Tourist’s guide to Hanoi – the main attractions

First of all, they fly to the capital of Vietnam to go to Halong Bay. But there is something to see in the city of Hanoi itself – the sights here, though not the most impressive, are still interesting.

Keeping just one day to explore the city will be not enough. You can get acquainted in Hanoi in a short time, although it is better to set aside 3-4 days and leisurely see one of the most unusual cities in Vietnam.

Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam

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What to see in Hanoi in one day?

Many sights of Hanoi are located near the Lake of the Returned Sword, so in our guide we will consider the pond a starting point for exploring the city on its own.

Advice! Given how many attractions are in the capital of Vietnam, it is best to prepare in advance. Think over your route and print a list of names. The Vietnamese will be happy to show you the way, but the name should be indicated in the local language, few people know Russian and English in Hanoi.

Hanoi map in Russian

Be prepared for the fact that hotels do not have high-quality maps, most often tourists are offered to use a simple card printed on a printer.

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If you are limited in time and want to know what to see in Hanoi in 1 day, focus on the location of the objects. They should be within walking distance, which will save money on transport and get to know the city better during a walk. So, we are going on an independent trip to Hanoi.

Lake of the Returned Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Hoan Kiem Lake

The lake is located in the central part of the city, a beautiful, ancient legend about the emperor Le Loi is connected with it. Legend has it that the magical sword presented by the golden turtle helped the ruler defeat the enemy. When the enemy army was defeated, Le Loy arranged a magnificent holiday on the lake, but suddenly appeared turtle dragged the sword to the bottom. The lake appeared in the old channel of the Red River, in its center a tower was built – the Temple of the Turtle.

Jade Mountain Temple built in the 14th century
Jade Mountain Temple

Not far from the lake there is a Buddhist temple of the Jade Mountain, built in the 14th century. A stuffed tortoise 2 meters long is stored here. Entrance to the temple will cost $ 1, it is open from 7-00 to 18-00.

The Hook Bridge or the Morning Sunlight Bridge leads to the temple. This attraction of Hanoi (Vietnam) is considered the hallmark of the city. Travelers, pilgrims, believers come here. Newlyweds come to this bridge to take pictures. In the evening, the bridge is beautifully illuminated.

On the shore of the lake there are many cafes where you can eat and look at the life of the townspeople from the side. In the evening, guests are invited to the puppet theater on the water. After the performance, you can walk near the lake.

Park on the shores of Lake of the Returned Sword

The park is a favorite place for locals to walk. Adults and children come here. In the morning, athletes train here – jogging, doing kung fu.

Not far from the lake there is a beautiful park, Lee Thai To, in the square in the center there is a statue of the ruler Lee Thai To.

The museum is located south of Lake of the Returned Sword. City transport arrives here – buses No. 8, 31, 36 and 49.

Cathedral of St. Joseph

At first glance, the cathedral seems gloomy because it is made in gray tones and in the Gothic style. The building stands out from the architectural landscape of the city. The best time to walk near the temple is the evening, when it is highlighted and acquires a certain grace, but at the same time does not lose medieval gloom. The Cathedral is operational, services are held here, and an organ sounds.

Cathedral of St. Joseph

It is interesting! During Christmas, carnivals are held in the square near the temple.

The cathedral opens daily at 5-00. From 12-00 to 14-00 the temple closes and then again receives tourists until 19-30. Services are carried out:

  • from Monday to Friday – at 5-30 and at 18-15;
  • on weekends – at 5-00, 7-00, 9-00, 11-00, 16-00 and 18-00.

The entrance is free. The cathedral is located next to the Lake of the Returned Sword in a westerly direction.

Old quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter

The quarter is called “36 Streets” because in the past it had 36 streets, each reserved for certain artisans. In the name of every street there are words hang – goods. This quarter has streets of silk, jewelry, vegetables, shoes. Here you can purchase everything. Today, the quarter has more than fifty streets. The best time for tourists is after 19-00, the streets of the quarter turn into a night market with a huge number of drinking establishments.

Night market

Night Market, Hanoi

The main advantage of the market is the lack of transport, this part of the old quarter is turning into a pedestrian zone. The owners of bars and cafes put out chairs, tables and invite for dinner. The kitchen is the most diverse, but to come here is not so much for culinary masterpieces as for a special atmosphere and mood.

The night market starts from Hang Gai Street and continues to Hang Dau Street.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi

Hanoi landmark (Vietnam) was designed and built by analogy with the Lenin Mausoleum. The construction took two years – from 1973 to 1975. By the way, specialists from the Soviet Union led the project. Material was brought from all over Vietnam, even plants planted near the Mausoleum reflect the nature of all corners of the country.

However, in fact, the Mausoleum was built against the will of the ruler. The fact is that, in accordance with the will, he should have been cremated and scattered ashes throughout the country. A guard of honor in good shape is regularly standing next to the building. Mausoleum guards ensure that visitors observe strict rules:

  • it is forbidden to enter the territory of the Mausoleum in shorts and short skirts;
  • there is silence;
  • you can not keep your hands in your pockets and cross your chest;
  • it is forbidden to smoke, take pictures, shoot videos.

Photo and video equipment and personal belongings are left in lockers.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in night illumination

The line at the Mausoleum, as a rule, looks intimidating, stretching several hundred meters, but it moves quickly. In the evening, the square in front of the building is highlighted.

The entrance is free. You can look at one of the main attractions of Hanoi daily (Monday and Friday – weekends) from 8-00 to 11-00. In the fall, for three months, the Mausoleum closes for maintenance work.

Exploring the sights of Hanoi on your own according to the guide, visit the stilt house and the leader’s museum. Both structures together with the Mausoleum form a complex. The stilt house is one of the residences of the legendary ruler, and the museum exhibits exhibits telling about his life.

  • Entrance to the museum will cost 25,000 VND.
  • Visiting hours are from 8-00 to 11-30, then until 14-00 a break, after which guests visit the museum until 16-00. On Monday and Friday, the museum is closed after 12-00.

On a note! Near the Mausoleum, it is impossible not to see the bright yellow building. This is the Presidential Palace, where you can also go on any day except Monday and Friday from 7-30 to 11-00 and from 14-00 to 16-00. The cost of visiting is also 25 thousand dong.

Hanoi Botanical Garden

By the way, the entire mausoleum complex is located on the territory of the botanical garden. Originally unique plants grew on 33 hectares, but today the garden occupies only 10 hectares. Most plants are native, but a third of them are brought from Africa, Oceania, South and North America. The garden has pedestrian and bicycle paths, comfortable fields for practicing various sports, there are even two lakes where you can go for a catamaran swim.

The mausoleum complex is located on Ba Dinh Square.

Puppet theater on the water

One of the most visited events and entertainments not only in Hanoi, but also in Vietnam. In each guidebook, this attraction is indicated, and travelers themselves recommend watching the performance in the oldest theater in the world.

Puppet theater on the water
Puppet theater on the water

The performance has not changed for five centuries. A fascinating performance tells about the many-sided culture and life features of numerous Vietnamese nationalities. You will not see such a puppet show anywhere, you will not hear such ancient songs that are accompanied by playing national musical instruments.

  • The duration of the show is about 45 minutes.
  • Ticket price from 60 thousand dong.

Arrived in Hanoi for a few days?

These days will be the most vivid and unforgettable in life, unless, of course, you have at hand a map of Hanoi with attractions shown.

Women’s Museum

Women's Museum in Hanoi

In the center of the city, just half a kilometer from the lake of the Returned Sword, there is a museum, which several years ago became the most visited attraction of the capital. However, some tourists recommend leaving a tour of the museum for the following days.

The museum was founded at the end of the last century, and is dedicated to the invaluable contribution of women to the development of Vietnam. The museum occupies a four-story building with a total area of ​​more than 2000 sq.m. The number of museum exhibits exceeds 25 thousand. Information about 54 ethnic groups is presented here.

Traveler's motorcycle

The main exposition is located on three floors. Each exposition is dedicated to a specific topic, and near each exhibit there are signs in three languages, including English.

The museum displays the difficult life of women in Vietnam, first of all, this applies to residents of the countryside. It also shows national women’s costumes, costume jewelry, jewelry, handmade objects by craftsmen.

4th floor of the women's museum

Personal items can be put in a cell in the left-luggage office, and you can buy a souvenir as a souvenir shop at the museum.

  • The museum is open every day except Monday from 8-00 to 16-30.
  • Entrance will cost 30,000 VND.
  • The attraction is located south of the Lake of the Returned Sword, here follows public transport – buses No. 8, 31, 36 and 49.

Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Another interesting museum in the category of “what to see in Hanoi.” Here, the history, traditions and life of the people of Vietnam and all countries of Southeast Asia are graphically shown. The exhibition is rich and interesting, household items, boats of local fishermen and real houses are collected. Especially interesting in the museum for children. At the entrance, tourists are offered a guide, but the story is in English.

Outdoor exhibition

The museum covers an area of ​​13 thousand square meters. The decision on its construction was made by the government in 1987. Construction work was carried out for 8 years – from 1987 to 1995. The peculiarity of the museum is that it is located on Nguyen Van Heyen Street. Previously, rice was grown here. The expositions are located in two parts of the museum – indoor and outdoor. In the covered part, in addition to the exhibition, there is an office, a library, laboratories, and storage facilities. The museum annually receives more than 60 thousand visitors.

  • The attraction is open daily except Monday from 8-30 to 17-30.
  • The cost of an adult ticket is 40,000 dong, and a child ticket is 15,000.
  • If you plan not only to see what is in the museum, but to photograph or shoot a video, you will have to pay 50,000 VND.
  • The museum is located near the tourist area, bus number 14 comes here. Address: Nguyen Van Huyen road, Cau Giay district | Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam.

Chua Tran Quoc Multi-story Pagoda

Pagoda Chan Quoc

This pagoda is the oldest in Vietnam and is revered as an object of cultural and national heritage, you should definitely look at it. There are many interesting legends associated with this place. The pagoda was built in the 6th century near the Red River, which at that time was the main waterway in the northern part of the country. After 11 centuries, the building was forced to move to the island and set it on the foundation. This was a necessary measure, because every year during the flood of the river the pagoda was flooded.

Throughout the 17-18 centuries, the building was restored, restored, all the statues and steles were carefully preserved. The main value of the pagoda is a Buddha statue made of rare wood.

Buddha statues on each tier of Chiang Quoc Pagoda

The pagoda is decorated with a picturesque garden, in which a structure of 15 meters high, consisting of 11 tiers, is built. On each tier there is a statue of Buddha, there are 66 in total. The garden is decorated with a bodhi tree, it is believed that it was grown from a branch of the sacred tree, where the Buddha gained enlightenment. The pagoda is revered by locals as an essential part of the development of all of Vietnam.

The attraction is located on a small island connected to the bank of the dam, the point is on the map at the bottom of the page.

Ceramic mosaic

Ceramic mosaic

Perhaps this landmark is not indicated in the guide, however, if you travel around Hanoi on your own, take the time to look at it.

The place is recognized as one of the most spectacular and interesting, so it is better to go to the wall on foot. It is located east of Lake of the Returned Sword.

Ceramic Mosaic Wall

The wall is a real masterpiece, almost 4 km long. The uniqueness of the mosaic is that it is laid out manually. Initially, it was just a concrete wall about one meter high, built as a dam. Today it is a work of art, every centimeter of which is decorated with mosaics. The wall depicts the history of Vietnam, plots of numerous legends, everyday scenes. In autumn 2010, the wall with a total area of ​​a little less than 7 thousand square meters. listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the most extended mosaic in the world. The city was awarded a certificate during the magnificent celebrations dedicated to the millennium anniversary of the capital of Vietnam.

Part of the wall lined with ceramic mosaics

The idea belongs to an artist from Vietnam. In 2003, archaeologists discovered the unique pottery of the Li Dynasty. The woman inspired a bright mosaic and decided to make her a symbol of Vietnam, which would be reminiscent of the history of the country.

In the competition dedicated to the reconstruction of the dam system, the project of the artist received a special prize. Work on laying out ceramics began in 2007, most of them were completed in 2010, but masters of different nationalities are working on this masterpiece today. The project involved young people from Vietnam and more than a hundred artists from other countries.

  • You can look at the wall at any time every day. You do not need to pay for it.
  • It is not difficult to get to the sights on your own – first go to the Long Bien Bridge and turn north to Au Co. Follow to Duong Hong Ha Street.

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Excursions and tours in the capital of Vietnam

Gastronomic tours

Gastronomic tour in Hanoi

If you want to completely immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Vietnam, carefully study the question – what to see in Hanoi and try. Tourists are offered to plunge into the world of local cuisine. The guide accompanies guests of the city to various cafes; in total, 6-7 places with different cuisines are planned in the tour. The menu includes first courses, rolls, rice, noodles, ice cream, salads and amazing coffee with an egg.

Tours on the ship

On a comfortable ship with a polite, professional guide you can go to Halong Bay. During the trip, guests are fed and introduced to the history of the country.

Tours Hanoi as Kids

Tours Hanoi Kids

The peculiarity of such tours is that students are a guide for tourists. It is always interesting to look at the city through the eyes of a teenager – emotionally, unconventionally and cheerfully.

Tours and excursions at agencies are usually booked by tourists who plan a trip to Hanoi for the first time. Traveling around the city and the surrounding area saves a lot of time, because the guide knows exactly what attractions to show.

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Motorcycle / scooter tours in Hanoi

If a calm and measured rest is not for you, if you like speed and are very curious, feel free to book a tour on a motorcycle. This is another convenient way to watch Hanoi in one day.

Motorcycle tours in Hanoi

The price of this tour includes vehicle rental, insurance, an experienced guide and, of course, a trip to Hanoi. Before a trip with tourists, a briefing is required. Mototours are offered by many travel agencies, you can pick up an excursion for a different number of days and with visits to various attractions in the city and in the vicinity.

If you are not limited in time and want to stay longer in the capital of Vietnam, pay attention to attractions such as Sapa, Halong Bay and Fragrant Pagoda. You can get here on your own or as part of tour groups.

One of the most interesting cities in Southeast Asia is Hanoi, the sights of which attract admirers of Asian culture.

The atmosphere in Hanoi is conveyed by the video below quite well.



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