Hoa Lo Prison Museum
The Hoa Lo Prison, later known to American prisoners of war as the “Hanoi Hilton”, was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.
Located in downtown Hanoi, the infamous Hoa Lo Prison or the Hanoi Hilton was built by the French administration in 1896. Originally intended to hold around 450 prisoners, by the 1930s the number of detainees had soared to almost 2,000, the majority of them being political prisoners.
During the Vietnam War, Hoa Lo Prison achieved notoriety as a place of incarceration for downed US pilots, who ironically nick-named it the Hanoi Hilton. Named Maison Centrale during the French rule – the original sign still hangs over the entrance – most of the prison complex was demolished in 1997 in order to make way for the Hanoi Central Tower building.
- Address: No 1 Hoa Lo Street, Hanoi, Vietnam (Hoa Lo Street, between Ly Thuong Kiet Street and Hai Ba Trung Street)
- Phone: +84 (04) 3824 6358
- Opening Hours: 07:30am – 11:30am & 1:30pm – 4:30pm. Closed on Monday)
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the Imperial Academy, Vietnam’s first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông.
This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature.
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 16:30
- Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi
- Price Range: VND 10,000
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Hồ Gươm, is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
In the middle of the lake is a small island with a small stone Pagoda. You can’t get to it–there are no bridges or boats to the island.
But you can get to the other slightly bigger island on the lake–Jade Island. To get there, you cross a small bright red wooden bridge (The Huc Bridge) that leads to the entrance of an 18th century Buddhist temple–the Temple of the Jade Mountain.
There is also a turtle story with a magic sword story. I will let you explore it for yourself.
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is located on a 3.27-acre property in the Cầu Giấy District, about 8 km from the city center.
This is the most recent yet probably the largest and undoubtedly the most interesting Museums in Hanoi and Vietnam. The Museum comes out of the recognition that Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country and that more attention should be paid to promote socio-cultural diversity.
Despite being out of the way compared with other museums in Hanoi, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is worth a thorough visit, for those who are keen to learn about the multiculturality of Vietnam and for those who would appreciate some green space.
- Address: Nguyen Van Huyen, Hanoi
- Opening hours: Everyday except for Monday, 8:30-17:30
- Website: //www.vme.org.vn
- Entrance fee: 25,000 (or USD 1.20); camera fee: 50,000 (USD 2)
Bach Ma Temple
The Bach Ma temple at 76 Hang Buam Street honors a white horse which was thought to be an incarnation of a local river god. In the spring of the year 1010, the founder of the Ly dynasty, Ly Thai To (also known as Ly Cong Uan) issued the “Edict of the Transfer of the Capital”, which declared the transfer of the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La (today’s Hanoi).
After Ly settled in Hanoi, his laborers worked for a year and a half to construct a mighty citadel, but each time they erected the walls the marshy soil would give way. One day, while the king was praying, an apparition of a white horse appeared before the king and marked off an area using its hoof prints.
The king understood that the horse was indicating a safe area to construct the citadel, and indeed, the fortress erected at the site remained standing. In gratitude, the king established Bach Ma temple in 1010 to honor the White Horse who assisted the fledgling city.
Bach Ma Temple is located in the heart of the Hanoi old quarter Hanoi.
- Address: #76 Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Entrance Fee: Free
- Opening hours: 07.00 – 11.00, 14.00 – 17.00
Lotte Tower Observation Deck
The Lotte Center Hanoi is a relatively recent addition to the Hanoi skyline, opened in 2014.
Lotte Center Hanoi contains a 5 star hotel, modern offices, a premium department store, luxury serviced residences, Lotte Mart, restaurants and the superb Lotte Observation Deck. The deck is surely one of the five top things to do in Hanoi and offers 360º of unrestricted, stunning views of the capital, both during the day and at night.
From the 65th floor’s Observation Deck, one can see at one glance the dynamism of Hanoi. One can’t help but lose oneself while observing the rest of Hanoi from the top of LOTTE CENTER HANOI.
- Location : 65th Floor (253m, 830ft)
- Location : Total floor area: 3,514 ㎡
- The place of Observation Deck is entirety of Hanoi at one glance
- Two high speed elevators(360m/min) will take visitors from B1 to the 65th floor in 50 seconds
- First-ever build Sky Walk in Southeast Asia
- F&B (Lotteria & Angel-in-us), Multimedia, Photo Counter and Souvenir Shop
National Museum of Vietnamese History
Housed in one of Vietnam’s most spectacular pieces of French era architecture, the National Museum of Vietnamese History is home to the finest collection of artefacts from Vietnam’s ancient and more recent history.
If Hanoi’s other museums have overwhelmed you with propaganda and war, this museum will come as a welcome relief both with its delightful setting and its superb collection.
Museum highlights include a collection of Dong Son drums, artifacts from central Vietnam’s Cham kingdom as well as costumes and other pieces from Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty.
The Museum’s collection is impressive but a good guide is essential if you want to make full sense of it since the English language descriptions are disappointingly limited.
- Address: 1 Trang Tien St, French Quarter, Hanoi
- Timings: Daily 08:00-16:30 (Closed first Monday of the month)
- Phone: (04) 3825 3518
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum, in Hanoi, was founded by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in 1987 as an entity within the Viet Nam Women’s Union. The museum explores Viet Nam’s cultural diversity and women’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, culture and society.
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge about Vietnamese women’s lives across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups. The Museum is also a center for cultural exchange with women from other nations with the goal of fostering ‘equality, development and peace’.
The permanent galleries feature three thematic displays:
•Women in Family •Women in History •Women’s Fashion
The Museum’s collection features historical and contemporary objects which illustrate and reflect the lives and roles of Vietnamese women in society.
- Opening Hours: From 08:00-16:30 every day except Monday
- Location: Ly Thuong Kiet Street in Hanoi’s old quarter in the Hoan Kiem district.
- Remarks: Ticket bookings are also available online
- How to get there: You can reach the museum via bus numbers 8, 31, 36 or 49 or alternatively via taxi.
- Website: //www.womenmuseum.org.vn
Fine Arts Museum of Vietnam
The Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts is a national museum established by the Vietnamese government to preserve and present the country’s artistic treasures. The museum building itself is an artistic work of architecture. A former French girls boarding school, it is a combination of old French style architecture with traditional architectural elements of Vietnamese communal houses.
The museum exhibition, which was first opened to the public in 1966, features not only contemporary ‘fine arts’, such as paintings and sculptures, but also traditional arts, which include different forms of religious sculptures, folk paintings and ceramics. The Museum is also a place for contemplating great works of art produced by generations of artists whose life and work reflect the country’s major artistic achievements and historical landmarks of the 20th century
- Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hanoi
- Opening hours: Everyday except for Monday, 8:30-17:00
- Entrance fee: 20,000 (USD 1)
- Website: //www.vnfineartsmuseum.org.vn/English/