Things to do in Hanoi

Activities, attractions and tours
Hanoi showing cycling as well as an individual female

Places to Visit in Hanoi

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Let Expedia.co.nz help you find the most exciting and fun things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam while also allowing you to save a ton on travel arrangements. Regardless of whether you’re an urban explorer or an intrepid outdoor enthusiast, we can help you decide exactly what to do and see during your time in town.

Our thorough travel guides offer you an insider’s perspective on all of the best Hanoi attractions from , making it easy for you to decide which places to visit and when. And by using Expedia.co.nz to set your sightseeing schedule, you can take in more of the enchanting attractions this area is famous for.

From group Hanoi tours and must-see landmarks to personal guides who take you off-the-beaten track, Expedia.co.nz offers you over of the most popular events, activities, and attractions in this corner of the world. So whether you’re travelling alone, alongside a loved one, or with the whole family in tow, be sure to browse through our extensive travel guides prior to your plane touching down in this spectacular Hanoi. We even have a massive selection of flights, car hires, and accommodation for you to choose from. So what are you waiting for? Start your search today, and you’ll be having the time of your life before you know it.


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Top places to visit

1. Hanoi Opera House

Whether you're on your way to a show or just fancy a walk, it's definitely worth having a look at the exterior of the opera house as a monument. The French modelled it on the Palais Garnier, the older of the two Paris opera houses, and it now stands as a landmark of colonial architecture in Vietnam: a Renaissance-style building incorporating many Gothic and Neo-Classical features. A wander around the outside of the building will lead you through the beautiful gardens that surround it.
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Located at the heart of the French Quarter, the magnificent Hanoi Opera House represents the pinnacle of music and performance in Vietnam.

2. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The monuments and buildings in the Hanoi Citadel have testified to Vietnam's fight for independence for over 10 centuries. Steeped in history, the iconic buildings, bunkers and military structures portray years of political power and military resistance. Relax in the tranquil gardens and explore the nearby Vietnam Military History Museum.
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For over a thousand years, from Chinese and French colonialism to the war with America, this citadel has been key to the country's political and military history.

3. Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature, known as Van Mieu, has honored Vietnam’s intellectual elite for centuries. Originally a university dedicated to Confucius, this historic temple pays homage to the philosopher and the many intellectuals who have contributed to building Vietnam’s scholarly culture. The grounds have a tranquil air, providing a welcome escape from the bustle of the city. Admire the traditional architecture, relax in the gardens and marvel at the historic stelae (honorary inscriptions).
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Five sacred courtyards, each with a unique history, honorary inscriptions and manicured gardens, revere Confucius and the country’s best scholars.

4. Hoa Lo Prison Museum

The Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also known as Maison Centrale, played a significant role in the French colonial expansion of Vietnam. Many of Vietnam’s political prisoners were tortured and killed here. Afterward, during the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese used it to imprison American soldiers.
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The harsh difficulties of French colonization and the Vietnam War are somberly remembered in one of the most brutal prisons in Vietnam.

5. Ho Chi Minh Museum

If you want to learn more about Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s revolutionary leader and the former president of North Vietnam, look no further than the Ho Chi Minh Museum. The exhibits here are tailored towards acquainting visitors with the history of the communist state and the struggle for Vietnamese independence, as well as explaining Ho Chi Minh’s part within that struggle.
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An insight into Vietnam's recent history and the life of "Uncle Ho"

6. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

An evening spent watching a show of hand-carved and lacquered wooden puppets dancing on water to a mesmerising live score is not something you're likely to catch outside of Vietnam. It is a truly stunning experience, and Hanoi is certainly one of the better places to see it.
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A unique taste of Vietnamese traditional puppetry – watch out for splashes!

7. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Upon his death in 1969, Ho Chi Minh, former leader of the Viet Minh independence movement, was embalmed for posterity. His body appears to be in good condition and can be visited in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an extremely popular attraction in the Vietnamese capital. It is a monument of huge significance to many of the nation’s people.
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Pay your respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s revolutionary leader.

8. St. Joseph's Cathedral

St Joseph Cathedral was built in the 1880s by French colonialists as a clear echo of the Notre Dame de Paris, and certainly stands out from its surroundings. The French tore down the 12th-century Bao Thien pagoda to make way for this Neo-Gothic monolith. The dark and looming structure is certainly a bold statement that establishes a domineering and European element within the Vietnamese capital. Today it holds regular services for Hanoi’s large Roman Catholic community and any visitors to the city.
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Hanoi’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.

9. Ngoc Son Temple

Perched on an island in the middle of Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) is one of the most picturesque and peaceful spots in Hanoi. This fascinating historic and religious site is known for its scenic beauty, great photo opportunities and an interior filled with intriguing artifacts. Explore the area around the lake and cross the bright red Huc Bridge to reach the temple.
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See a stuffed turtle, take photographs of traditional Vietnamese architecture or enjoy a moment of quiet reflection in the tranquil surroundings of this temple.

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