Top 5 Things to See and Do in Hanoi

The capital always has a special place in the heart of the visitors on their travel to Vietnam. You will love Hanoi not only because of the friendly local, the unique cuisine but also the interesting culture and history. In this post, we will tell you about five of the most worthwhile things to see in Hanoi.  

1. Temple of Literature 

Temple of Literature or Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam is an important education signature of Vietnamese. This is a popular location that receives a great number of tourists every year, especially during Tet holidays. You should visit Van Mieu to explore the rich culture, customs, and traditions of ancient Vietnam.

Things to see in Hanoi 12Van Mieu Gate

The campus of the temple has 5 noticeable parts. The first and second courtyard was originally resting places for students in the past in which today you can relax in the beauty of nature. The third one is where graduates in the past were honored by engraving their names and birth places on the ancient Turtle Steles. Continuing through Dai Thanh Gate, you can see the House of Ceremonies, buildings and halls in which Confucius and his disciplines were worshiped. The imperial academy was the fifth courtyard, but now, it had been reconstructed to worship important kings related to Van Mieu such as Ly Thanh Tong, who established the temple; Founder of the imperial academy, Ly Nhan Tong, and other important figures.

Things to see in Hanoi 11Turtle Steles in the Third Courtyard

There are also shops around the campus and calligraphists to write wishes in Han Characters (during Lunar New Year) if you are interested. 

Things to see in Hanoi 10Tourist Taking Photo of a Calligraphist

2. Vietnam Fine Art Museum

There are many significant museums in Vietnam and one of them is Vietnam Fine Art Museum. All important relics of Vietnamese arts are stored in this National museum. It is a destination you should not miss to learn about the rich culture of Vietnam.

Things to see in Hanoi 9Inside the Museum

From the houses of French Officials’ daughters in the past, the building had been reconstructed to keep the signature arts, artifacts in Vietnam. Today, there are over 15000 exhibits and paintings of famous Vietnamese artists kept in Vietnam Fine Art Museum. The collection consists of paintings, sculptures, ceramic from the prehistoric and ancient time to contemporary arts.  

Things to see in Hanoi 8A Painting of Ho Chi Minh

Many exhibitions are hosted in Vietnam Fine Art Museum, so if you are lucky, you can contemplate the unique masterpieces of modern Vietnamese artists. 

3. Dong Xuan Market

If you interested in shopping and history alike, then Dong Xuan Market is a must-visit destination on your list. This hundred-year-old market has been the trading center of Hanoi since the French colonial time. Along with Old Quarter, it is easy to travel as Dong Xuan Street is a pedestrian street on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Things to see in Hanoi 7Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market offers a wide variety of products for local and also foreign tourists. You can find most essentials on the first floor of the market such as clothes, glasses, shoes, and electronic devices. Many silks, cloths, jewelry shops and so on are located on the second floor. Around the market and outside, there are a great number of souvenir stores to buy a nice gift for friends and family.

Things to see in Hanoi 6Choosing Souvenir

On the North of Dong Xuan Market, you can find various food stalls with delectable local cuisine if you need to recover your energy. Remember to take photo of this remarkable place.

"Buffalo Bridge"

4. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam is home of 54 ethnic groups living together in one country, thus it is a pity not to visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to see the beauty of culture, customs and traditions in one location. 

As the name suggests, the museum will bring you through a huge number of exhibits about Vietnam’s Ethnic groups, including clips, pictures, videos and so forth. Exhibits are closely related to the life of the people like textiles, jewelry, tools, weapons and traditions in marriage ceremony, funeral. 

Things to see in Hanoi 5Interior of Thai House in the Museum

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology also has an outdoor exhibition with 10 unique structures of Vietnam’s Ethnic communities. These are distinguishable house models of the Bahnar, Rade, Tay, Yao, Hmong, Kinh,Cham, Hani, Jarai, Katu people. 

Things to see in Hanoi 4Ede House in Outdoor Exhibition

One special feature in the museum is the collection of Indonesian Glass Painting. The topic varies from the daily lives, history to nature of this South East Asia country.

Things to see in Hanoi 2An Indonesian Glass Painting

Last but not least, many captions are translated to English, French for visitors to read. Paper guides in English, French, Chinese, Japanese and so on are also available. 

5. Hanoi Ancient House

During the French colonial time, hardly any house kept the ancient style of Hanoi in their architecture. However, Hanoi Ancient House is one of the last remaining relics of the past featuring the traditional architecture and a destination that tourist must not ignore. 

Things to see in Hanoi 1The Front Room of Hanoi Ancient House

There are two parts in the house: one in the front and one in the back, which are separated by an open skylight in the middle. In the front of the house, the room was used for selling goods and contains stairs leading to the living room on the second floor. The back consists of a room for production, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom on the second floor of this part.

Things to see in HanoiThe Kitchen of Ancient House

The house also has a collection of Vietnamese tools, furniture, equipment used in the past. Tourist can immerse in the peaceful life of traditional Hanoians among the busy and bustling streets of the Old Quarter. 

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