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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Must-Visit Attractions in Hanoi-Top 5 Highlights in Hanoi
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Must-Visit Attractions in Hanoi-Top 5 Highlights in Hanoi

Regarded the cultural capital of the country, Hanoi is a city that's home to some of Vietnam's most coveted attractions and activity hubs. Here are five highlights every traveller must visit during a trip to Hanoi.


The Perfume Pagoda

Open to visitors from 6.30 am to 5 pm, the Perfume Pagoda is one of a kind point of religious interest in Hanoi. The stunning edifice which dates back to the 15th century features dramatic architectural elements that are not only visually engaging but form the cultural identity of this place of worship. The vast compound is not a single Buddhist temple but a collection of temples that have been built into a hill. Although the temple is not located in the heart of Hanoi, the two-hour drive to the venue is well worth the effort to witness the beauty and majesty of this ancient spiritual hub in My Duc, Hanoi.


The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recent years, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is no ordinary historical landmark in Hanoi. Towering above the surrounding landscape at a height of 40m, the most impressive portions of this citadel include its central flag tower which is considered the unofficial symbol of the city of Hanoi. Having served as the political capital of ancient Hanoi, rulers governed the country from this seat of power for over 800 years. Occupying pride of place in Ba Dinh, the venue is open to visitors from 8 am to 12.30 pm and then again from 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm.


Hanoi Opera House

Travellers based at Somerset West Point Hanoi or any other Hanoi hotels with pool facilities should take the time to explore the city's French Quarter where the iconic Hanoi Opera House is found. Ranked among the city's finest buildings, the structure was built to model the Paris Opera House and constructed as early as 1911. Featuring elaborate balustrades and Gothic columns and domes, catching a performance of traditional Vietnamese opera at the venue is a must for all first-time visitors. As a popular venue for modern-day concerts, comedy sketches and dance recitals, opera is not the only art form that takes centre stage at this ivory-toned theatre.


The Water Puppet Theatre

Tipped to be the best place to witness a traditional Vietnamese water puppet performance, the Water Puppet Theatre down Dinh Tien Hoang Street is another must-visit attraction for tourists exploring Hanoi. The Thang Long Puppet Theatre as it is also known hosts regular shows featuring countless puppets that are manoeuvred by a team of expert puppet masters across the liquid stage at the venue. Some of the most famous shows at the Water Puppet Theatre include the Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le.


Dong Xuan Market

As one of the biggest local markets in the city, the Dong Xuan Market is housed in a Soviet-style structure that's four storeys high. Known as the best place to buy clothing, accessories and souvenirs at reasonable prices, other goods for sale at the locale include fresh produce that's unique to Hanoi and Vietnam.

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