Experience Hanoi’s vibrant culture
There’s no better place to soak up Hanoi’s vibrant cultural tapestry than in the historic Old Quarter. Brightly painted French colonial buildings stand sentry on narrow streets with ancient pagodas and temples dotted among them. The bustling street markets are chock-full of goodies, including local handicrafts and delicious street food.
Don’t miss Hanoi’s culturally significant Temple of Literature. As Vietnam’s first national university, this 11th-century landmark is symbolic of the country’s commitment to knowledge and education. Wander the serene courtyards, admire the traditional architecture and stone steles, and reflect on the long-lasting impact of the Tempe of Literature.
Centuries ago, Vietnamese rice farmers used water puppetry to regale stories that the community believed kept their crops safe and harvest bountiful. Witness the masterful puppetry and traditional Vietnamese music at the unique Long Water Puppet Theatre.
Check the events calendar at the impressive Hanoi Opera House to experience the ornate details, exquisite embellishments, and French colonial architecture firsthand. Inspired by the Paris Opera House, the Hanoi Opera House hosts various events, including classical concerts, dance performances, and local and international opera singers.
Delve into Hanoi’s art scene
Hanoi is not only Vietnam’s capital with a complex and fascinating history, but its beating cultural heart. As you can imagine, a city that places emphasis on education and knowledge has a similar commitment to the arts.
Do you know your Nguyen Gia Tri from your Tran Van Can? Possibly not, but Hanoi's Fine Arts Museum will give you a crash course in Vietnam’s rich artistic heritage. Spanning the centuries, 2,000 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and lacquerware reveal the country’s breadth of artistic expression. The museum has a dedicated section for contemporary art, too.
To see a work of modern architectural art, visit the observation deck at Lotte Center Hanoi. Featuring a glass-bottomed floor, skywalk, and stunning 360-degree views, this sustainability-focused skyscraper was inspired by the ao dai, Vietnam's national dress.