10 places to visit in Hanoi to learn about culture and history

by Lam Pham

Hanoi contains a lot of long-standing cultural identities. Tourist destinations in Hanoi not only bring a sense of nostalgia for the thousand-year history of culture but also give visitors an unforgettable impression with the bustling atmosphere of 36 streets and the elegance of Hanoi people.

Coming to Hanoi, you will feel a bustling and dynamic life from early morning until late at night. Besides, there are famous historical relics and many other cultural works that create a very unique identity. Below Karst Plateau will introduce to you the 10 10 places to visit in Hanoi to learn about culture and history.

1. Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square – located on Hung Vuong Street, Ba Dinh district – is the largest and most historically significant square in Vietnam. This is where President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945. At Ba Dinh Square, on major holidays, grand parades often take place. With a width of 100m and a length of 320m, this is also a familiar leisure and sightseeing spot for locals and tourists alike.
Coming to Ba Dinh Square, visitors must definitely spend time visiting. This place not only possesses solid and unique architecture. Rather, this work also preserves the priceless spiritual assets of Ho Chi Minh’s “Father of the Nation” and his love for a free and independent Vietnam.

2. Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) 

Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam

In your Hanoi travel itinerary, you must definitely spend time visiting the Temple of Literature – the temple of Confucius, Vietnam’s first national university built in the Ly Dynasty. Not only has it been the birthplace of many talented people in Vietnam for more than 1000 years throughout many generations, but the Temple of Literature is also a traditional symbol of Hanoi which carries important meanings in terms of architecture, culture, and history.

Temple of Literature makes a strong impression on both locals and tourists through its ancient architectural safes full of art and nostalgia, this is the place where talented people have been trained to help build and preserve the country is getting stronger.

3. Hoan Kiem Lake

The heart of the capital – Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is located right in the heart of Hanoi Capital. This is considered a symbol of Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake has long-standing cultural and historical significance, making the beauty of the Capital of thousands of years of civilization.

Whether it is early in the morning or late at night, Hoan Kiem Lake has its own vitality. A large number of locals and tourists come here to exercise, take a scenic stroll, visit historical sites, eat, and shop. On weekends, the area around Hoan Kiem Lake also takes place in many unique festivals and art performances. If you want to feel the young energy of Hanoi, you must go to Hoan Kiem Lake.

4. Hanoi Cathedral

Cultural tourism symbol of Hanoi – Cathedral

The Cathedral was built by the French in the early years of the 19th century, in the style of medieval European architecture. The cathedral was built according to the prototype of Notre Dame de Paris with wide, curved domes facing the sky. The church has a width of 20.5m and a length of 64.5m, and two bell towers are 31.5m high.

With an airy landscape with many trees, Hanoi Cathedral is one of the tourist destinations in Hanoi that attracts young people. In the morning, you can sit and drink typical sidewalk coffee and enjoy the cold weather of Hanoi.

5. Thang Long Imperial Citadel

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – World Cultural Heritage

Besides many famous attractions, Thang Long Imperial Citadel is still a name not to be missed because this place is not only a famous tourist destination in Hanoi but also a place to preserve important historical markers.

Through the ups and downs of history, Thang Long Imperial Citadel was destroyed many times, repaired and rebuilt on the old foundation, but up to now, most of the original works are gone. However, the area of ​​Thang Long Imperial Citadel today is still the center of power of the country, preserving many historical values ​​of the nation. Including the values ​​of architecture, history, culture, etc.

When you have the opportunity to come to Hanoi, arrange a time to explore the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and enjoy wonderful moments in its typical palace space!

6. Hoa Lo Prison

Heroic feat in the heart of Hanoi – Hoa Lo Prison

The most unique point when it comes to Hanoi is in the midst of a bustling, modern capital, always interwoven with ancient spaces, historical monuments with many ups and downs, and nostalgia, evoking strong emotions in each person. Hoa Lo Prison is such a place.

Hoa Lo Prison was built in 1896 as “Maison Central”, where revolutionary soldiers against colonial rule were held. Today, Hoa Lo prison has become a special historical site with many precious documents carefully displayed and preserved, attracting thousands of domestic and foreign tourists to visit each year.

7. Hanoi Old Quarter

The unforgettable beauty of time – Hanoi Old Quarter

One of the tourist destinations in Hanoi not to be missed is the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is houses, streets, and street corners imbued with the architecture of the French of the 19th century. Through many ups and downs of history and time, this place has retained its original architectural features.

 Although many streets no longer sell traditional goods, this is still a destination where visitors can explore the lifestyle and culture of Hanoi people in the past and present. In particular, when you come here, you will get lost in a maze of famous street food, and typical sidewalk cafes that you will not find anywhere else but Hanoi.

8. West Lake

Beautiful sunset viewing spot in Hanoi – West Lake

West Lake has the largest area in Hanoi, which is considered the green lung of the Capital with an area of more than 500 hectares, the circumference around the lake is up to 17km, and a history of several thousand years. This is not only beautiful because of the immense blue water surface but also highlighted by the purple-red color of Bang Lang flowers, Phoenix flowers, and green trees. Coming to West Lake, you can rent water bikes or cruise around the lake.

A characteristic feature of West Lake is that the water color changes according to the climate and time of day – guaranteed to bring you a very “satisfying” experience.

9. One Pillar Pagoda

The capital’s most famous cultural and spiritual destination – the one-pillar pagoda

Located next to the Presidential Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda is a very famous Hanoi scenic spot that attracts many visitors from the first time they step foot in the capital. One Pillar Pagoda, also known as Lien Hoa Dai, is considered a long-standing cultural symbol of Vietnam.

The pagoda is built of wood, including a square monument, erected on a 4-meter-high column. Lotus has a tiled roof, bent at four corners, topped with Mesodragon adoration. Since ancient times, the Dragon has been a sacred symbol, expressing power and strength, hidden in it many human values and human aspirations.

In Addition, the space surrounding One Pillar Pagoda is extremely peaceful and quiet. Everywhere is the image of verdant trees shading, this pleasant and comfortable spot also makes One Pillar Pagoda attract a large number of visitors.

10. Co Loa Citadel

Ancient, majestic citadel in the heart of the capital – Co Loa citadel

Co Loa Citadel belongs to Dong Anh district. This is probably a scenic Hanoi familiar to the people of the capital in particular as well as to the Vietnamese people in general. This place was built in the 3rd century BC and is the largest architectural and scale project in the country.

In addition, on the 6th of January every year, in memory of King An Duong Vuong who has contributed to building and preserving the country. People often organize festivals with many folk games and special cultural, making visitors enjoy it unforgettably.

Hanoi, whether modern or ancient, still possesses charms that are difficult to describe in words. Let’s spend many days traveling to the capital to explore the famous tourist destinations of Hanoi. In addition, you can refer to the article 7 delicious dishes Hanoi must try by Karst Plateau to learn more about what to eat in Hanoi.

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