5 Best Things to Do in Hanoi French Quarter

Hanoi French Quarter’s Most Popular Attractions

Hanoi French Quarter’s most popular attractions are perhaps not of the same calibre as the Old Quarter’s quaint temples, street markets and traditional Vietnamese arts, but are still worth checking out. Spanning the southern end Hoan Kiem Lake, this pedestrian-friendly area is mostly home to five-star hotels, restored colonial buildings, government offices, embassies and personal residences with French architectural influences.

Perfect for sightseeing, travellers can also find plenty of historical landmarks, art galleries, museums and fashion boutiques in the French Quarter, as well as enjoy classical musical performances in an elegant opera theatre that was built during the French occupation. There are also two notable museums housing numerous artefacts found around Vietnam, some of which date back to 500BC. Check out our helpful guide on the best things to do in Hanoi French Quarter.

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Hanoi Opera House, set in the heart of the French Quarter, is arguably one of the most elegant buildings in all of Hanoi. Built in 1911 and modelled after the Paris Opera House, this historical landmark exudes Parisian charm from its ivory-toned columns, ornate balustrades and Gothic domes. Priced at VND 100,000 upwards, visitors can enjoy classical performances ranging from Vietnamese opera and dance performances to sketches and music concerts by world-renowned artists. Read More...

  • Address: 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Tel: +84 43 933 0113
  • Price Range: VND 100,000 – VND 2,000,000
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Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison or the ‘Hanoi Hilton’, housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POWs during the Vietnam War. The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s. Visiting today, you will find the small southern section resting alongside a hotel and office complex. The prison is still a popular tourist attraction for those on the war history trail. Official records claim inmates numbered in their hundreds, although it was not unknown for up to 2,000 prisoners to be crammed into a space intended for 600 inmates. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 11:30 and 13:30 - 17:00
  • Address: 1 Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Tel: +84 43 824 6358
  • Price Range: VND 30,000
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The Vietnamese Women’s Museum delivers a beautifully presented tribute to the women of Vietnam across the ages. There are plenty of historical contexts alongside a wealth of information (with English and French translations) on today’s more modern Vietnamese woman. The museum is run by The Women’s Union of Vietnam, which is recognised as one of the country’s most powerful movements. Fascinating exhibits include a wooden tray that a female leader of the Indochina Communist Party once used to print propaganda leaflets in Long An from 1936-1939. The fashion section is full of jewellery and skilfully crafted clothing, including batik and woven garments. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
  • Address: 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: VND 30,000
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National Museum of Vietnamese History

The National Museum of Vietnamese History occupies a picturesque, two-storey French colonial building in the French Quarter, where visitors can find an array of antiques, sculptures and weapons discovered in Vietnam throughout the years. Open daily, standout exhibits include a 1,000-armed sculpture of the Goddess of Mercy, artefacts from the Khmer and Champa kingdoms, as well as weapons from the Bronze Age. There’s also a souvenir shop within the grounds of National Museum of Vietnamese History, offering coffee table books on Vietnam and traditional handicrafts at affordable prices.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 12:00 and 13:30 – 17:00
  • Address: 1 Trang Tien & 216 Tran Quang Khai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Tel: +84 43 824 1384
  • Price Range: VND 40,000
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Cho Hom Market

Cho Hom Market is where you can find an extensive collection of fabrics in Hanoi, making it a popular shopping venue for local tailors and tourists looking to purchase materials for their very own custom-made clothing. Similar to most Hanoi markets, the ground floor is filled with stalls selling local food, fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, seafood, meat and household appliances. The second floor is where you can find hundreds of stalls selling cotton, linen, wool, silk, tweed, brocade and nylon materials, all of which are stacked up in piles. The prices here are also negotiable – you can get up to 50% off retail prices.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 17:00
  • Address: 293 Tran Nhan Tong, Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
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