Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Hanoi

Hoa Lo Prison Museum

This thought-provoking site is all that remains of the former Hoa Lo Prison, ironically nicknamed the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ by US prisoners of war (POWs) during the American War. Most exhibits relate to the prison’s use up…
Top Choice Cafe in Hanoi

Hanoi Social Club

On three funky levels with retro furniture, the Hanoi Social Club is the city's most cosmopolitan cafe and an artist hub. Dishes include potato fritters with chorizo for breakfast, and pasta, burgers and wraps for l…
Top Choice Vietnamese in Hanoi

Chim Sao

Sit at tables downstairs or grab a more traditional spot on the floor upstairs and discover excellent Vietnamese food, with some dishes inspired by the ethnic minorities of Vietnam's north. Definite standouts are th…
Top Choice Vietnamese in Hanoi

Bun Cha 34

Best bun cha in Vietnam? Many say 34 is up there. No presidents have eaten at the plastic tables, but you get perfectly moist chargrilled pork, zesty fresh herbs and delicious broth to dip everything in. The nem (se…
Top Choice Confucian Temple in Hanoi

Temple of Literature

A rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture, the Temple of Literature honours Vietnam’s finest scholars. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the attractive complex is dedicated to Conf…
Top Choice Lake in Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake

Legend claims in the mid-15th century Heaven sent Emperor Ly Thai To a magical sword, which he used to drive the Chinese from Vietnam. After the war a giant golden turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared into the d…
Top Choice Museum in Hanoi

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

This fabulous collection relating to Vietnam's ethnic minorities features well-presented tribal art, artefacts and everyday objects gathered from across the nation, and examples of traditional village houses. Displa…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hanoi

Hai Ba Trung Temple

Two kilometres south of Hoan Kiem Lake, this temple was founded in 1142. A statue shows the two Trung sisters (from the 1st century AD) kneeling with their arms raised in the air. Some say the statue shows the siste…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hanoi

Bach Ma Temple

In the heart of the Old Quarter, the small Bach Ma Temple is said to be the oldest temple in the city, though much of the current structure dates from the 18th century and a shrine to Confucius was added in 1839. It…
Top Choice Museum in Hanoi

National Museum of Vietnamese History

Built between 1925 and 1932, this architecturally impressive museum was formerly home to the École Française d’Extrême-Orient. Its architect, Ernest Hebrard, was among the first in Vietnam to incorporate a blend of …