The cuisine in Hanoi tends to be slightly sweeter than in the rest of Vietnam, with a focus on abundant fresh herbs and freshwater seafood. Here are a few dishes and activities you won't want to miss.
Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hanoi, Vietnam
There are two branches to the museum. The main branch is spread over two buildings, including a stunning French Colonial building renovated to include elements of traditional Vietnamese communal houses. Within an exhibition space of 32,292 square feet (3,000 square meters), the exhibits are arranged into six themes (prehistoric arts, art from the 11th to 19th centuries, art from the 20th century to present, traditional art, folk art, and ceramics), and chronologically from bottom to top. There’s also a Creative Space for Children. The second branch, located at Hoang Cau Street, focuses more on storage, conservation, and restoration.
A number of sightseeing tours feature a stop at the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum. Other stops may include the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, or the Ho Chi Minh Complex, depending on the option chosen. If you want to see Hanoi like a local, take a motorbike tour of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum is a must-visit for art lovers.
Guided tours are available in Vietnamese, English, Chinese, and French.
Educational programs at the Creative Space for Children require a separate ticket.
The museum shop offers original paintings by local artists.
There is a cafe on-site, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
How to Get There
The museum is located in the Ba Dinh District, across the street from the Temple of Literature. It’s about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) west of Hoan Kiem Lake, and will take about 15 minutes to walk from there.
When to Get There
The museum is open year-round, except for the Tet holidays. The museum rarely gets crowded, making it an ideal alternative when other attractions are busy. The Temple of Literature is across the street and many visitors visit both sites.
Highlights of the Museum
Highlights of the museum include ancient Champa stone carvings, ceramics excavated from five ancient boats, extraordinary effigies of Guan Yin (the 1,000-armed and 1,000-eyed goddess of compassion), lacquered statues of Buddhist monks from the Tay Son dynasty, and its collection of contemporary paintings.
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- Vietnam Military History Museum
- Temple of Literature (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam)
- Do Temple (Den Do)
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh)
- One-Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
- Presidential Palace
- Ambassador’s Pagoda (Chua Quan Su)
- Hoa Lo Prison
- St Joseph’s Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)
- Ho Chi Minh's Residence (Nha Bac Ho)
- Dong Xuan Market
- Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC)
- Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
- Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple)