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Tata Capital > Blog > Loan for Travel > Top 10 Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Hanoi

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Top 10 Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Hanoi

Top 10 Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a fascinating city known for its bustling energy yet tranquil lakeside rendezvous. With over 1000 years of history, Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina in the colonial period. It became the capital of independent Vietnam in 1954 after the French withdrew.

Hanoi is Vietnam's major political, economic, and cultural centre today. It is world-famous for its iconic French colonial architecture, green parks, lakes, bustling boulevards, vibrant street food culture, and a buzzing entrepreneurial spirit.

You might be wondering, “What does this beautiful city offer to first-time visitors?” We have curated a list of the top 10 must-visit places to visit in Hanoi so that you can experience the best of this exquisite city.

1. Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Hanoi Lake, is a famous freshwater lake in the historical centre of Hanoi. It is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a popular place to visit in Hanoi.

Surrounded by lush green trees and small temples, the lake gets its name from a legend. During the 15th century, it is said that Heaven sent Emperor Le Loi a magical sword which he used to drive out Chinese invaders. Post-war, the Emperor was boating on the lake when a golden turtle surfaced and grabbed the sword, returning it to its divine owners. 'Hoan Kiem' stands for 'Lake of the Returned Sword'.

2. Temple of Literature

Built in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong, the Temple of Literature is a peaceful oasis that honours Confucius and scholars of Vietnam, making it one of the top places to visit in Hanoi.

The temple features five courtyards lined with lush gardens. Highlights include the Well of Heavenly Clarity, scholar stones representing the men who received doctorates from the temple, stone turtles symbolising knowledge, and altars and statues of Confucius and his disciples.

3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a monument and resting place of Vietnam's iconic communist leader, Ho Chi Minh. Located in Ba Dinh Square, the mausoleum sees long lines of visitors waiting to pay respects to 'Uncle Ho', as he is affectionately called.

Ho Chi Minh led Vietnam's revolutionary struggle for independence from French and American forces. Many Vietnamese consider it an honour to visit the final resting place of their beloved leader. The mausoleum, a top place to visit in Hanoi, provides insight into Ho Chi Minh's role in liberating Vietnam and unifying the country under communist rule after thousands of years of invasions and separation.

4. One Pillar Pagoda

Rising from a lone stone pillar emerging from a lotus flower pond, the iconic One Pillar Pagoda is one of Vietnam's most unique temples and among the best places to visit in Hanoi.

Built of wood in the 11th century under Emperor Ly Thai Tong, the pagoda is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is the Buddhist symbol of enlightenment. This one-of-a-kind pagoda overlooks a tranquil pond adjacent to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, making it a top Hanoi tourist spot.

5. Hoa Lo Prison

Once dubbed the 'Hanoi Hilton' by American prisoners of war, Hoa Lo Prison provides a glimpse into Vietnam's complex history of colonialism and wars for independence. It is now a popular Hanoi city tourist attraction.

Now a museum, Hoa Lo Prison is an important place to visit in Hanoi that commemorates Vietnam’s past conflicts while documenting the prisoners’ experiences. The museum offers a more complete view of Vietnam’s complex history.

6. Hanoi Old Quarter

For a thrilling taste of Hanoi street life, wander through the bustling Old Quarter near scenic Hoan Kiem Lake, a top Hanoi sightseeing spot. The Old Quarter grew up along the Red River, where each of Hanoi's 36 guilds traditionally had its own street, reflected by names like Silk Street, Salt Street, and Bamboo Street.

You can detour down alleys of this street, one of Hanoi's main attractions, to discover hidden temples and crumbling French colonial buildings. Stop at the small Bach Ma temple honouring the legendary Emperor Ly Thai To, who founded Hanoi in 1010.

7. Vietnamese Women's Museum

Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, the Vietnamese Women's Museum honours the role and contribution of women in Vietnamese history and society. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Hanoi.

The museum’s exhibits showcase the profiles of famous women leaders and ordinary women's accomplishments, challenges and daily life through the years.

8. Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)

Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, the Fine Arts Museum of Hanoi houses an excellent showcase of Vietnamese art masterpieces spanning ancient times to the modern era. If you have a love for the arts, you will adore this place to visit in Hanoi.

The grand neoclassical French colonial building was built in the 1930s for the Ministry of Information. Galleries exhibit thousands of paintings, sculptures and artefacts in their immense collection.

9. St. Joseph’s Cathedral

In the heart of Hanoi, the striking Gothic spires of St. Joseph's Cathedral soar above the skyline, reminding visitors of the French colonial imprint. Hanoi's oldest church and an important place to visit in Hanoi was built in 1886 on the site of Bao Thien Pagoda, incorporating some Buddhist temple features.

10. Water Puppet Theatre

For a uniquely Vietnamese cultural experience, watch a mesmerising water puppet show at the downtown Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Water puppetry originated in the Red River Delta rice paddies as entertainment for farmers. Puppets, operated by talented puppeteers behind screens, perform in a waist-deep pool accompanied by music and vocals narrating folk tales and legends, making it one of the most fun places to visit in Hanoi.

Wrapping up

With so much to experience in Vietnam's capital, you may need to stay a while to uncover all its treasures fully! Consider opting for a personal loan for travel from Tata Capital to make your dream trip to Hanoi possible. Enjoy attractive personal loan interest rates and a convenient 100% online application process. What’s more, you can use our personal loan EMI calculator to estimate monthly payments in advance. Visit our website for more details.

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