Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has over 1,000 years of history and plenty of museums to explore. These museums showcase Vietnamese society and culture throughout the years. Here are the best museums to visit in Hanoi for cultural enthusiasts:
- Essential museums for cultural exploration
- Offer a glimpse into Hanoi’s vibrant culture and daily lives
- Best to visit during non-monsoon seasons
Practical tips before you go
Please check the museum schedule.
While some museums are open all day, even during national holidays like Hoa Lo Prison, others close for lunchtime or two days per week, such as the Military History Museum. It is best to check the schedules on Google Maps before you go.
Museum tickets are half-price for students
Students can purchase museum tickets at a 50% discount. However, it is necessary to present a student card in order to receive the discount.
Traveling with kids
Museums generally provide space for strollers.
Most museums have stairs for walking but also provide paths for strolling. However, some museums, like the National Museum of Fine Art, may not have stroller accessibility on all floors. In such cases, you can leave the strollers on the first floor. For museums like Hoa Lo Prison, which are single-floor buildings, stroller accessibility is not a concern.
>>> Check out: Hoa Lo Prison
Vietnam Museum Of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a must-visit attraction. It showcases artifacts from various ethnic groups in Vietnam and offers workshops on traditional craft-making techniques. You can also find an impressive collection of textiles and pottery at the museum.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
- Address: Đường Nguyễn Văn Huyên, Hà Nội, 100000, Vietnam
- Entrance fee: 40.000 VND/adult, Students: 15.000 VND
B52 Victory Museum
Address: 157 Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: Every day except Monday and Friday
- Morning: 8 AM – 11 AM
- Afternoon: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM.
The B-52 Victory Museum, also known as Bảo Tàng Chiến Thắng B.52, is situated at 157 Đội Cấn, Ba Đình district, Hanoi. It is located approximately 3 km away from the Hanoi Old Quarter.
The museum features a main building that showcases the history of the Vietnamese revolution, the First Indochina War, the Vietnam War, and Operations Rolling Thunder, Linebacker, and Linebacker II. It also highlights the air defense of Hanoi. Outdoor displays include the wreckage of a B-52D or G Stratofortress, which was seemingly shot down during Operation Linebacker II, though specific details are not provided. Additionally, various air defense equipment is exhibited.
The Museum is situated around 300m south of the “B-52 lake,” Hồ B-52 or Huu Tiep Lake, which contains a portion of the undercarriage section of the B-52 displayed at the Museum. A plaque at the lake indicates that the aircraft was a B-52G shot down by a Surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired by the 72nd Battalion, 285th Air Defence Missile Regiment on 27 December 1972. However, on that day, only two B-52Ds were lost.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & Presidential Palace
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & Presidential Palace in Hanoi for a glimpse into Vietnam’s history. Built in 1976, it honors Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary leader of Vietnam during World War II. The Mausoleum houses his remains for public viewing, and outside exhibits showcase recent Vietnamese history. Opening: 12:17 pm
Entrance Fee: 40,000 VND/person
Kham Thien War Memorial
The Kham Thien Memorial is situated at 49 Kham Thien Street. It is a small and hidden memorial dedicated to the victims of the Christmas bombing in 1972 during the Vietnam War. The memorial was constructed on the land where three houses were once destroyed by the bombs.
Inside the memorial, there is a small document room displaying photos of the area during the war and documenting the number of Vietnamese people who lost their lives due to the war. The memorial is located approximately 2 km away from Hoan Kiem Lake and is in close proximity to the train street.
Address: 49-51 Kham Thien Street, Hanoi
>>> Read more: Kham Thien bombing 50 years on – Resurrection from ruins
Vietnam National Museum of History
The Vietnam National Museum of History (Vietnamese: Viện Bảo tàng Lịch sử Việt Nam) is located in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, Vietnam. The museum building was an archaeological research institution of the French School of the Far East during French colonial rule. It was established in 1910 and extensively refurbished in 1920. Architect Ernest Hébrard redesigned the museum between 1926 and 1932. The museum was acquired by the government of North Vietnam (now the government of Vietnam) in 1958, and its artifact collections were expanded to include Eastern arts and national history.
Temple Of Literature
When in Hanoi, visit the Temple of Literature, a national monument dating back to the 11th century. The temple focuses on studying literature, philosophy, and other subjects and features a courtyard with 1,307 stone tablets depicting graduate names and statues of important figures. Hanoi is a bustling city with lots of motorbikes, but it also has a rich history and hidden attractions like the Temple of Literature, which is considered the first national university. Visit the temple to find a peaceful place in the city center.
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum has a great collection of more than 6,500 pieces by local artists in various styles such as impressionism and abstract art. The items are displayed in different galleries based on themes like portraits, landscapes, and Vietnamese art. Visitors can take guided tours to understand the featured pieces better and learn about the symbolism behind them.
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum pays homage to the contributions made by Vietnamese women throughout the centuries in fostering social progress despite the difficult circumstances faced during times of war. The exhibitions here depict the struggles they faced and highlight their achievements in breaking barriers and achieving remarkable feats, regardless of their gender identity. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a must-visit for those seeking a deeper understanding of Vietnam and its female citizens’ history and legacies.
Vietnam Military History Museum
The Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi offers a unique look into the country’s military warfare. It showcases an extensive collection of artifacts and relics from various wars, including the Vietnam War and the Sino-Vietnamese War. The museum also displays weapons, ammunition, and communication equipment used throughout history. Visitors can learn about the evolution of Vietnam’s military forces and take guided tours to gain a deeper understanding. A visit to this national museum is both educational and entertaining!
>>> Check out: Our walking tour Vietnam War & French Influence in Vietnam
Hoa Lo Prison Historical Site
Hỏa Lò Prison was a prison in Hanoi originally used by the French colonists in Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. During this later period, it was known to American POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton”.
>>> Read more: Hoa Lo Prison
Address: 1, Phố Hoả Lò, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Opening: every day
Entrance Fee: 30.000 VND/person
House No. 5D Ham Long Street
During wartime, Hanoi played a significant role in national revolutionary movements. Many historical relics, including houses attached to the country’s glorious historical events, can be found throughout the city. One such house is located at 5D Ham Long Street, where the first Communist Party Office was established in 1929. The house was recognized as a historical and cultural relic in 1964 and is now preserved as a souvenir house, retaining its original structure and furniture. This house, along with other revolutionary historic houses in Hanoi, proudly contributes to the history of the Vietnamese Revolution.
Hanoi’s museums offer a rich history of Vietnamese society and culture. Visitors can explore the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology’s artifacts from various ethnic groups in Vietnam, or the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum’s collection of 6,500 pieces by local artists. These museums are a must-visit for cultural enthusiasts and are best enjoyed during non-monsoon seasons. We hope you have a lovely trip to Hanoi.
If you’re a food lover visiting Hanoi for the first time, we recommend taking the Hanoi food walking tour and The Hidden Hanoi Old Quarter Experience. For vegans and vegetarians, the Vegetarian Street Food & Stories of Hanoi is an excellent choice. If you’re a history buff or looking for a unique experience in Hanoi, consider the Stories from Vietnam War at not-to-go-alone areas tour. Note that 20% of the proceeds go to charity organizations.
For those who love coffee and history, the Coffee, History, and Architecture of the French Quarter tour is a must. Lastly, if you’re visiting Hanoi on a hot or rainy day, the Escape the Heat of Hanoi – Museum Experience is a great option.