Located in the North of the country, the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is an authentic Vietnamese city full of charm. Influenced by the French colonial past, the city, not only has a unique character and architecture but also has preserved it’s cultural heritage. It’s a real delight to stroll through its streets! Discover our selection of the 5 best places to visit for a wonderful weekend in the Vietnamese capital!
The Temple of Literature
This is our favorite place in Hanoi! Built in 1070, this historic site has been an intellectual and spiritual center since its construction. Enjoy a walk through the five courtyards and gardens of this peaceful and delightful place. The Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university, is one of the few remains of the royal era that remained today in good condition.
The old quarter 36 streets
Lose yourself in the oldest shopping district of Hanoi, and feel the unique atmosphere of this place. Originally, each street was dedicated to the trading of handicraft products from the villages around Hanoi…today the streets are still specialized. The atmosphere of this district promises an exceptional experience.
The Hoan Kiem Lake
A “must-see” in Hanoi! Located in the heart of the city, this lake is the scene of one of the most famous myths of Vietnam: the magic sword of Hoan Kiem Lake. All around, a lively site worth a glance: this is one of the favorite walks of the young lovers at sunset. In the middle of the lake lies the island of Tortuga with a square-shaped stupa. Also, do not miss the Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) accessible through a lovely red bridge over the lake.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010, this ancient Forbidden City is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Vietnamese capital. Covering an area of more than 18,000m2, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was built in the eleventh century by the Ly dynasty and left a cultural and historical legacy amazing.
The colonial quarters (or called the European City)
The ancient city of the French Indochina, Hanoi is a testimony of the colonial architectural beauty. Do not hesitate to go to the colonial district to admire the well-preserved structures: the Opera House, the History and Fine Arts Museums, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, and also all the embassies that are real architectural jewels and experience a journey back in time!
After Hanoi, you can continue your trip to Sapa by the night train or by visiting the magnificent Halong Bay!
How to get there? Hanoi has an international and domestic airport, about 45mn from the city center.