Traveling to Vietnam

3 days in Hanoi

Courtesy by Laurie White

3 days in Hanoi

Three days in Vietnam’s capital can give a great taste for the country’s political and cultural history, as well as an opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and food scenes. Whether on foot or cyclo, prepare for an urban adventure.
Good for: Families, Groups, Seniors, Individuals
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
26 ratings 
Day 1
Old Quarter

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Old Quarter

Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter comprises nearly 40 streets packed with shops selling all kinds of goods, each street named for its primary good or service.

Fee: No Duration of visit: More than 3 hours
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Temple of Literature & National University

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Temple of Literature & National University

The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu, 文廟) is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the “Imperial Academy” (Quốc Tử Giám, 國子監), Vietnam’s first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of King Lý Nhân Tông. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which are dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The Temple is located to the south of…More

The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu, 文廟) is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the “Imperial Academy” (Quốc Tử Giám, 國子監), Vietnam’s first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of King Lý Nhân Tông. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which are dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The Temple is located to the south of Thang Long Citadel. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae of doctors are places where offering ceremonies, study sessions and the strict exams of the Dai Viet took place. The temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese đồng banknote. Just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Hán characters. The art works are given as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions. Less

Fee: No Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Opera House (Nha Hat Lon)

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Opera House (Nha Hat Lon)

This leading performance hall is famous for being an architectural mimic of the grand Paris Opera.

Fee: Yes Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Day 2
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

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Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the historic place where Respected Uncle Ho read the Vietnam Manifesto on September 2nd, 1945. There are always two guardmen…more »

Fee: No Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)

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One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)

The characteristic central pillar of this small pagoda is said to represent the stem of a lotus flower, symbolizing purity.

Fee: No Duration of visit: <1 hour
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Ho Chi Minh Museum

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Ho Chi Minh Museum

Existing in the same complex with “Uncle Ho’s” mausoleum, the Ho Chi Minh Museum provides a comprehensive overview of his life and leadership for Vietnamese independence from the early 1940s until his death in 1979.

Fee: No Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Hoa Lo Prison

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Hoa Lo Prison

This recommendation to travelers to Hanoi is a new book published by Yale University Southeast Asia Studies called Hoa Lo/Hanoi Hilton Stories. The…more »

Fee: No Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Cha Ca La Vong

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Cha Ca La Vong

Visit this street after a long day of sight-seeing for a traditional dish of fish fried tableside with herbs, spices, onions, peanuts, and rice noodles.

Cost: $5 – $10
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Day 3
Vietnamese Women's Museum

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Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Focused on the contribution of women to Vietnam’s history and culture, this museum highlights their roles in Vietnam’s many military conflicts as well as in commerce, including features on female street vendors, women’s role in the family, and more recently, single mothers in Vietnam.

Fee: Yes Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

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Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a unit under the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hanoi City. Both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. The mission of the Museum is scientific research, collection, documentation, conservation, exhibition and preserving the cultural and historic patrimony of the nation’s different ethnic groups.

Fee: Yes Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Vietnam Military History Museum

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Vietnam Military History Museum

This repository of Vietnam’s military history includes rooms full of war propganda, photographs and documents from wars against China, France, and the United States. The grounds feature several captured aircraft as well as a central structure build from the wreckage of French and American planes. Visitors may climb the flag tower, with great views from the top.

Fee: Yes Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

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Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Traditional legends and historical tales are among the enchanting puppet plays performed at this popular theatre.

Fee: Yes Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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West Lake

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West Lake

The largest lake n Hanoi is a popular spot for gathering, surrounded by many shops, restaurants, gardens, and hotels. It features the Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Vietnamese for “Stabilizing the Nation.”

Fee: No Duration of visit: 1-2 hours
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