​Hanoi French Quarter Tour

 

International visitors coming to Hanoi are perhaps familiar with the Old Quarter’s 36 ancient streets, but most of them generally know a little bit about the Hanoi French Quarter. Really worth checking out, this area is not simple just to be an architecture complex but also became a precious heritage of Hanoi, which is mostly home to restored colonial buildings, high-end hotels and restaurants with French architectural influences.

 


> During this 3-hour walking tour, travelers will be able to explore the spectacular cultural and historical beauty of celebrated landscapes such as St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, Hoan Kiem Lake,.. so on this tour will definitely bring you an amazing experience through the intriguing stories told by our guide, who are super enthusiastic, informative and good at English as well.

> If you are really into French architecture, or just merely want to see a different vision of this bustling capital, a tour around Hanoi French Quarter is a perfect pick.

Price: $20 per person

​Stop 1: Saint Joseph Cathedral

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Address: 40 Nha Chung street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi


St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi is considered to be one of the symbols of Hanoi. It’s a late 19th-century Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic style) church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country. The architecture of St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi is designed in the style of medieval Gothic Europe.
 
The church and colonization are inseparable and the church has played an outsize role in Vietnam’s modern history. It is not only a regular place of worship activities of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, but St Joseph cathedral Hanoi is also a popular tourist destination in Hanoi, attracting a large number of tourists inside and outside to visit. 

Stop 2: Madame Hien Restaurant

Address: 15 Chan Cam street
 
Madame Hien restaurant in Hanoi is housed in a restored 19th-century French villa. The restaurant is also the latest venture of the most celebrated French chef in Vietnam – Didier Corlou besides La Verticale. 

​Inside Madame Hien restaurant, customers may immediately feel the distinction of it through a cozy atmosphere created by the art of installation and luxury furniture. The restaurant has also enclosed and open-air space which may help people getting out of the bustling of Hanoi.
 
Madame Hien’s menu is only authentic Vietnamese foods such as Banh Cuon, Pho, Bun, Nem, Com Nieu or grilled piglets, banana-flower salad and lemongrass-duck foie gras ... This restaurant makes traditional Vietnamese food great dishes, improves food into an art, if you want to taste local Hanoi food, then Madame Hien restaurant is a must while in Hanoi.

Stop 3: Hoa Lo Prison

Address: Hoa Lo street
 
Hoa Lo Prison was built in Hanoi by the French, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. The French called the prison Maison Centrale – literally, Central House, a traditional euphemism to denote prisons in France. It was built for housing Vietnamese political campaigners and was completed in 1913.

Apparently razed one of the local outlying craft villages when they picked out the site for this, Hoa Lo prison was the largest of the French Indochinese prisons.
 
This was also kept many documents and files of the communist soldiers. Hoa Lo Prison has intact with many precious materials, science display, and the attractive spot for many domestic and foreign guests to Hanoi.

Post Buttletin (the U.S) has an article on Vietnam’s tourist highlights Hoa Lo prison is a destination not to be missed when come to Vietnam.

​​Stop 4: Turtle Tower

​Address: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
 
Turtle Tower is one of Hanoi’s most iconic attractions, symbolizing the patriotic pride of the local population. The tower is a combination of European and Asian architecture – with gothic arches at its first two storeys combined with the hip roof of Vietnam architecture.
 
During the French colonial period, on the top of the Turtle Tower, a version of the Statue of Liberty (1890-1896), was placed by the French. However, it was removed when the Tran Trong Kim regime gained control of the city in 1945. During the French rule, the local people would often hang Vietnam’s revolutionary flag from the tower in order to show their defiant spirit.

Stop 5: Trang Tien Street

Trang Tien street are familiar to most of Hanoian, which was known as a beautiful street and has the development from the early days of Hanoi through the French period to the present time. Trang Tien is a busy shopping area, featuring bookshops, galleries and boutiques.

On this street, Trang Tien Plaza, which was elaborated in elegant French style of architecture, is the first high-end luxury shopping center in Hanoi with various popular international authentic brands under one roof.
 
Located on 35 Trang Tien street, Trang Tien ice cream can be seen as the most popular ice cream brands in Hanoi, which is a great treat for everyone to enjoy, especially in hot summer days in tropical countries like Vietnam.

Ice cream was introduced by the French during the First Indochina War, and this brand was opened in 1958, not long after the French left Vietnam. 

​​Stop 6: Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi  

Address: 15 Ngo Quyen street
 
Standing the test of time and being considered the most beautiful colonial era hotel, Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole is recognized as Hanoi’s legendary landmark for its contribution to the city’s heritage.


​The hotel has been a prominent fixture in the heart of Hanoi since 1901 when it opened as the first official luxury residence and hotel in the city during the French colonial period. It boasts a rich history, was constructed with a French Colonial architectural style by two talented designers.

​​Stop 7: The Opera House  

Address: no 1 Trang Tien, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem
 
Hanoi Opera House
was a historical evidence of Vietnamese social and cultural development under French rule, a vestige for an architectural development stage dating back to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Vietnam. The theatre has seen many significant historical events associated to the August Revolution and the early years of Vietnam

Hanoi Opera House embraces the European architectural style under the Renaissance period with the Italian-made marble floor, copper chandeliers and exquisite French murals on the ceiling, thus making the place one of Hanoi’s singular architectural landmarks.
 
For a long time, Hanoi Opera House has been a rendezvous for those who love theatrical performance and traditional songs and music, symphonies, opera and classical opera. It is also a tourist attraction for local and foreign visitors.

  • ​​Important
  • ​Additional Info

Departure Point - Traveler pickup is offered

  • ​We pick you up at any hotel in around old quarter area.
  • ​If not our meeting point will be at Saint Joseph Cathedral (40 Nha Chung street, Hoan Kiem dist, Hanoi)

Departure Time​ - Duration : 3 hours

Return Details

  • ​Inclusions: Entry/Admission 
  • Exclusions : Coffee and/or Tea

Please note that there is a 30% cancellation fee for any cancellation made less than 24 hours prior to the tour date since we have to book many services in advance.

“​After walking around Old Town and Halong Bay, I'm glad that Tony showed me this other side of Hanoi. From the classical Gothic St. Joseph's church he explained how the Catholic faith took hold in Hanoi. In contrast, he showed me a nearby Buddhist temple.

Also on the list were different French colonial houses. A walk around the lake, with a brief history of Turtle Temple, and we were at the French Quarter. Thank you again!”

Highly recommend!


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​​Hanoi French Quarter Tours

​Let’s take a tour and enjoy the wonderful adventure!