If you have a chance to visit Vietnam, you will not be stuck for things to do in Hanoi ( the capital of Vietnam), where ancient and proudly preserved Vietnamese culture is felt most keenly by tourist and progress wrestles with tradition in different areas of the city.  Hanoi is a city with more than 1000 years old so the wealth of its history is mind boggling: ancient citadels, temples, unique theater, and stunning wilderness just outside the city all offer fun-filled days in Vietnam’s capital. These are a plenty of attractions where you can visit in Hanoi because they all offer beauty, entertainment, and education at different turns. Enjoy our list of Top 10 following things to see in Hanoi.

  1. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and signifying its cultural and historical importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The central flag tower which stands 40 meters high is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is usually used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the center of ancient Hanoi and served as the political center for eight centuries. Being in Ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions. It is opened daily 8:00 – 12:30  and 13:30 – 19:30. It is an interesting place that you should go one time.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

  1. Water puppet theater

Water puppet theater which is an ancient art form of entertainment has a long association with Hanoi. There are lots of theaters where traveler can enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The original theater in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Water puppet means that puppets dance and slide elegantly over the liquid stage, controlled by a whole troupe of puppet masters who hide behind a screen. Most shows also feature the famous legend of the Restored Sword of King Le telling the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. It is opened daily 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 and 20:00 at 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Water puppet theater - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Water puppet theater – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

  1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Uncle Ho’s preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in Ba Dinh district of Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is more than a tourist attraction, it’s a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The somber building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow. The Mausoleum is opened from Tuesday to Thursday from 07:30 to 10:30, Saturday and Sunday from 07:30 to 11:00.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

  1. The Perfume Pagoda

This Pagoda is a dramatic temple complex which was first built in the 15th century. These ancient Buddhist temples were built in a green mountain range in a maze of alleyways which are carved into the rock with rich forests and flowing streams all around as well. Located about 60km to the South of Hanoi in the Son Mountains, the journey here is an experience for you. However, you must take a 2-hour journey by car or bus before traveling by boat to the foot of the mountains. The Perfume Pagoda is opened daily from 06:30 to 17:00.

The Perfume Pagoda - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

The Perfume Pagoda.

  1. Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple

Hoan Kiem Lake, Turtle Lake or Sword Lake is a central feature of Hanoi and a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and visitors. Ngoc Son Temple which is on a small island in the center of the lake and linked by a The Huc Bridge makes a beautiful background for a few photos. Around sunrise and sunset, this area becomes very busy with joggers, couples enjoying the relaxing views of the lake and line dancing. Hoan Kiem Lake is completely  free of charge, but there is a fee of VND 30,000 (about $1.2) for a ticket to visit Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a small island in the center of the lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.

  1. Dong Xuan Market

This market is the largest one in Hanoi and is one of the most places that you should go if you have chances to visit Hanoi. Within four-storey Soviet-style building, this sprawling complex offers an extensive collection of apparel, fashion, and souvenirs at some of the best prices in the city. Even if you are not interested in printed T-shirts or cheap sunglasses, it is still fascinating because you will have chances to see the comings and goings of the local traders. There is a wet market on the ground floor where the sights and smells of exotic produce assault the senses. Dong Xuan Market is opened daily from 06:00 to 19:00. That is a good choice for you when you go to Hanoi.

Dong Xuan Market - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Dong Xuan Market – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

  1. Hanoi Old Quarter

This is one of the most attracting areas of Hanoi where visitors can enjoy a plenty of fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, , motorbikes, bicycles and cars weave around traders which sells fruit and souvenirs or even narrow shop houses sell delicious Vietnamese food for pennies. Hanoi Old Quarter brings to life what a lot of people imagine Hanoi to be. Exploring this area on foot is also highly recommended for all visitors to Vietnam’s capital city.

Hanoi Old Quarter - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Hanoi Old Quarter – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

  1. Ba Vi National Park

This is a nature reserve of stunning beauty which is around two hours ( about 48 kilometers) from downtown Hanoi. Ba Vi National park is famous for its three-peaked mountain that juts steeply up into the sky and is always topped by cloud. This national Park has dramatic scenery and a diverse range of jungle animals and plants. At the summit of the tallest mountain is an 11th-century temple which offers expansive views of the surrounding countryside and on the forest floor are natural hot springs.

Ba Vi National Park - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Ba Vi National Park 

  1. Hanoi Opera House

This famous place is in the heart of the French Quarter and arguably one of the most elegant buildings in Hanoi. Built in 1911 and modeled after the Paris Opera House, Hanoi Opera House exudes Parisian charm from its ivory-toned columns, ornate balustrades, and Gothic domes. Visitors coming here will have a lot of chances to enjoy classical performances ranging from Vietnamese opera and music concerts by world-renowned artists and dance performances to sketches. It is at 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi and you can easily to find it.

Hanoi Opera House - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

Hanoi Opera House – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

  1. The Temple of Literature

It is a charming and famous temple complex in the center of Hanoi which was originally built to be a center of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over 1000 years of proceeding, a lot of buildings have been added and beautified and now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions,  a rich garden and shrines. The Temple of Literature has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit. The whole place is also steeped in Vietnamese history. The Temple of Literature is opened from Tuesday to Sunday at 8:30 – 11:30 in the morning and 13:30 – 16:30 in the afternoon.

The Temple of Literature - Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.

The Temple of Literature – Top 10 things to see in Hanoi.