Temple of Literature Temple of Literature – Image courtesy of Chuoibk/Wikimedia Commons

Hanoi Sighs & Attractions

Created with broad tree-lined boulevards, lakes and parks, belle époque villas and beautiful temples, the capital city of Hanoi reflects a fascinating blend of Indo-Chinese and French colonial influences.

What to see in Hanoi

Explore a maze of picturesque narrow streets of the Old Quarter; browse the sprawling Dong Xuan Market; pay your respects at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and see personal artifacts of the late Vietnamese leader at the Ho Chi Minh Museum or at his former lakeside home.

Then visit One Pillar Pagoda, a cultural and historic relic built in 1049 and unique for its architectural features or pop into the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu), Vietnam’s first university.

Major attractions in Hanoi, include the following…

Huc Bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake

Located in the heart of Hanoi, this pretty and mystical lake is known locally as the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’.

The lake is steeped in Arthurian-style legend: in the 15th century, a giant turtle rose from the lake to reclaim a magical sword that was given to Emperor Le Loi to expel the Chinese army from Vietnam.

Stroll beneath a mix of huge, lush green trees, especially beautiful in June and July when the flame trees flower. Watch the locals exercise and practice martial arts while lovers cuddle on park benches and don't miss Ngoc Son (Jade Mountain) Temple, one of Hanoi’s most picturesque temples.

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Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Temple of Literature

Follow well-maintained pathways past scenic gardens and through ornate gates separating five large courtyards to the Temple of Literature and the National University (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam).

Stroll around the Well of Heavenly Clarity, admire a series of pavilions, halls and statues that combine classic Chinese architecture with traditional Vietnamese influences, and see richly decorated altars dedicated to Confucius.

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National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi

National Museum of Vietnamese History

Discover an exhaustive collection of ancient and historical relics showcasing Vietnamese history.

Displays include prehistoric artifacts, carvings, funerary jars, decorative mandarin robes, bronze drums, Buddhist statuary and excavations of Han tombs.

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Ho Chi Minh Residence (Nha Bac Ho), Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Residence

(Nha Bac Ho) – Get a glimpse into the life of this Vietnamese hero by taking a guided tour through Ho Chi Minh’s residence where he lived and worked from 1958 until his death in 1969.

The traditional rural dwelling has been preserved just as Ho left it, facing a carp-filled pond and surrounded by well-tended gardens filled with flame trees, willows, mango trees and aromatic frangipani.

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Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Head to this imposing granite mausoleum, to view the embalmed body of the Vietnamese hero, Ho Chi Minh.

Silently follow the line of vsitors into the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum where Ho’s body – dressed in a khaki suit – lies within a glass case protected by a military honour guard.

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Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Get an insight into the life and times of Ho Chi Minh at this huge Soviet-style museum dedicated to the founder of modern Vietnam

View an array of personal mementos as well as fascinating historical photos and documents relating to the overthrow of the French and the rise of communism.

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Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

One-Pillar Pagoda

Tucked away between the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum stands the One-Pillar Pagoda, a charming wooden structure that sits on a stone pillar over a lake.

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Vietnam Military History Museum, Hanoi

Vietnam Military History Museum

Discover an amazing array of weaponry, including aircraft, tanks, bombs and artillery pieces that were used during the French and American wars.

Thousands of exhibits, including evocative photographs, maps, scale models and various bric-a-brac, give an insight into Vietnam’s struggle against the colonial powers.

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Hoa Lo Prison

(Also knowns as the Hanoi Hilton) – Get a glimpse into Vietnam's grim past at this small museum, all that now remains of a prison complex originally built by the French to detain Vietnamese dissidents, then used by the Vietnamese to house US pilots – including John McCain – who were shot down during the Vietnam War.

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Where to stay in Hanoi

Hanoi offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit most honeymoon budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…

Sofitel Legend Metropole HanoiSofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Location: 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD314 per room
Description: A historic luxury landmark since 1901, Sofitel Legend Metropole features pampering spa services, 24-hour room service and a heated swimming pool. It is in central Hanoi, near the Old Quarter. Still retaining the hotel’s original grandeur, rooms feature either an elegant neo-classical theme or classic French decor. Fully air-conditioned, each room includes free internet and a flat-screen TV. Offering a blend of Eastern and Western therapies, guests can indulge themselves with a massage and body treatment at Le Spa du Metropole. So Fit Fitness Centre is well-equipped and offers exercise classes. The hotel also provides a business center and gift shop. With a private dining room and outdoor terrace, Spices Garden serves Asian and Vietnamese specialties. Other dining options include Angelina Italian Restaurant and Lounge and Le Beaulieu French Restaurant. Drinks can be enjoyed at any of the hotel's 3 bars. The 5-star Sofitel Legend Metropole is just 170 yards from the famous Hanoi Opera House. The scenic Hoan Kiem Lake is less than a kilometre from the hotel.

JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi
Location: 8 Do Duc Duc, Hanoi
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD206 per room
Description: Boasting an impressive facade, the luxurious 5-star JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi offers elegant, air-conditioned rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi. It is located beside a local lake next to the National Convention Centre. A flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and seating area are found in all rooms and suites. Private bathroom includes a bath or shower, hairdryer and free toiletries. Select rooms and suites boast lake views. Recreation facilities include an indoor pool, spa and fitness centre. A virtual concierge is available at the hotel, which also has business centre. Luggage storage facilities are provided at the 24-hour front desk. International cuisine is served at JW Café with a variety of cuisines including Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Mediterranean. Other dining options include light snacks at the Lounge, seafood at the French Grill and authentic Cantonese at Crystal Jade restaurant. JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi is just 1 km from Kang Nam Tower and 4 km away from the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum. It takes 35 minutes to drive to Noi Bai International Airport.

Lotte Hotel HanoiLotte Hotel Hanoi
Location: 54 Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD180 per room
Description: Lotte Hotel Hanoi offers modern and luxurious accommodation with free WiFi access throughout the property. It features an outdoor pool, indoor pool, a fitness centre, sauna facility and free parking on site. Offering city views, air-conditioned rooms and suites are furnished with a wardrobe, in-room safe, a flat-screen cable/satellite TV and sofa seating area. Minibar and tea/coffee making facilities are also included. The en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub, separate shower, bathrobes and hairdryer. At Lotte Hotel Hanoi, guests may indulge in a pampering massage at the spa. The friendly 24-hour front desk staff can assist with laundry, car rental and tour arrangements. Airport transfers and business facilities are also available at an extra charge. The in-house restaurant serves a delectable selection of local and Western dishes. After-meal drinks can be enjoyed at the bar, while barbecue facilities are available upon request. Room service options are offered for guests’ convenience. This non-smoking hotel is just 1.2 km from Giang Vo Exhibition Centre an 1.8 km from Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The famous One Pillar Pagoda is 2.2 km away, while Noi Bai International Airport is accessible within a 20 km drive.

InterContinental Hanoi WestlakeInterContinental Hanoi Westlake
Location: 1A Nghi Tam Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD160 per room
Description: The luxurious InterContinental sits on the peaceful waters of Hanoi's Westlake, next to the 800-year-old Kim Lien (Golden Lotus) Pagoda. Spacious air-conditioned rooms feature contemporary Vietnamese decor and flat-screen TVs. Free WiFi is available in public areas. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake is about 14 miles from Noibai International Airport. Attractions like Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Vietnam Fine Arts Museum are within 3 miles of the hotel. Featuring hardwood floors, the stylish rooms provide a minibar and private balconies overlooking the hotel's pool, Westlake or Hanoi City. The large private bathrooms have walk-in rainshowers and bathtubs. The hotel's Health Club features a well-equipped fitness center, as well as yoga and Pilates classes. Guests can enjoy relaxing massage services, or arrange day trips at the tour desk. The 3 on-site restaurants serve a daily breakfast, Vietnamese cuisine and Italian dishes. Drinks and wine can be enjoyed at Sunset Bar or Diplomat Lounge.

Apricot HotelApricot Hotel
Location: 136 Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Rating: 5-star
Ave nightly price: AUD146 per room
Description: Situated at the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, the neo-classical and luxuriously designed Apricot Hotel offers modern and luxurious accommodation with free WiFi access throughout the property. It offers sweeping views of the city and lake from its rooftop swimming pool and panoramic fitness centre. Free parking space is available on-site. Artistically-designed, air-conditioned rooms and suites come with a wardrobe, in-room safe, a work desk, seating area and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Electric kettle, minibar and ironing facilities are also provided. The en suite bathroom includes shower facility, bathrobes and hairdryer. At Apricot Hotel, the friendly 24-hour front desk staff can assist guests with laundry services, currency exchange and meeting/banquet arrangements. Car rentals, ticketing service and tour excursions are also available. Featuring a trendy rooftop bar where a fine selection of drinks are offered, the property also offers guests with 2 dining options. Guests can enjoy an appetising selection of Vietnamese and Western dishes. The hotel is 300 metres from Thang Long Water Puppet Theater and St. Joseph Cathedral. Noi Bai International Airport is approximately 21 km away.

Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more hotels in Hanoi at TripAdvisor.

Best time to visit Hanoi

For best time to visit Hanoi is between October and December, when you can expect warm, sunny days, with limited rainfall. December is the driest month of the year.

Hanoi has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year.

For warm, sunny days, visit Hanoi from October to December. Northern Vietnam is dry from November to April; wet and hot from June to August.

Winter, December through February, averages 17°C (62°F), while summer, from June to September, averages 28°C (82°F).

You can expect hot and wet weather from May to September.

In summer, daytime temperatures are high with warm nights. Much of the summer rainfall comes from thunderstorms. August is typically the wettest month of the year.

The warmest month, on average, is June with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F), while the coolest month, on average, is January, with an average temperature of 17°C (62°F).

Winter (December through February) averages 16°C (60°F) while summer averages 30°C (86°F).

More information about Hanoi weather

How to get to Hanoi

Hanoi – the capital and largest city in Vietnam – is located on the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam, around 90km (56mi) from the coast.

The most convenient route to Hanoi is by air to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), located about 28km (17mi) northeast of central Hanoi.

Alternatively, ride the Reunification Express from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, a distance of 1726km (1072mi), taking about 32 hours, with a choice of five trains daily.

More information about How to get to Hanoi

Latest update: Hanoi Sighs & Attractions: 14 January, 2020

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