Hanoi is one of those cities where you can linger for a long time. There is enough to see and do that will keep you occupied and once you have spent a few days here, it is difficult to leave. If you are a fan of museums then you are in luck. Hanoi has some fascinating museums and you should not visit the city without entering a few of these at least. Museums should intrigue you and tell stories in a captivating way. Thankfully, Hanoi has an abundance of good museums and here are a few that you should visit if you are in town for a few days or even months.
Hoa Lo Prison Museum – also known as Hanoi Hilton
This is probably Hanoi’s most visited (and fascinating perhaps) museum. The remains of Hoa Lo Prison turned into a museum in the 90s showing the experiences of prisoners of war in Vietnam. It is both a fascinating, chilly and intriguing museum that you must visit if you want to learn more about Vietnam’s tumultuous history. Here you will get a glimpse of life as a prisoner in Vietnam’s most notorious prison. The exhibition also features John McCain’s flight suit and parachute. Cost: 20,000 VND.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
One of the most captivating museums in Vietnam, this one showcases the exploration of the 54 ethnic minorities of Vietnam. The museum will offer you a unique glimpse into the ethnic minorities religious and cultural ceremonies and everyday rituals. Although it is a little way out of town, this is definitely worth taking a taxi for. Cost: 40,000 VND.
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
Even if you are not a big fan of art, you must visit this breathtakingly French Colonial building which used to belong to the French Ministry of Information. Here you will find a collection of modern, contemporary, traditional and religious Vietnamese art. The best part is that the museum is often quite empty as well, so if you prefer to be alone in museums where you can take in the art in your own pace, this is a wonderful place to go to. It is a big museum so you will most probably not be able to see everything in one day. But it’s worth a second visit. Cost: 30,000 VND.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
No visit to Hanoi should be complete without entering the Ho Chi Minh Museum. It might be one of the strangest experiences you will ever have, but it is also very fascinating and interesting. Get a glimpse of the revolutionary leaders life where you get to see exhibitions on his military accomplishments, historical documents and photographs. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is both informative, interesting and at times weird. But it is one of the museums in Hanoi that you must visit. And another great thing – it is cost free.
Vietnamese Women’s Museum
This museum features an exhibition where you get to see women’s role in wartime, a display on the ‘Heroic Mothers of Vietnam’ which is in loving memory of all the women who lost their children during Vietnam’s tumultuous war. It also showcases a fascinating costume display on the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. Cost: 30,000 VND.
These are just some of Hanoi’s most popular museums and they are all worth paying a visit to. Whether the weather is rainy, sunny or windy, going to a museum is one of the best activities to do in Hanoi and one that will guarantee a unique experience.
If you still haven’t applied for your Vietnam visa, make sure that you do so in order for you to enter the country. Depending on which country you are a citizen of and for how long you intend to stay in Vietnam, you have three options to choose from: get a Visa on Arrival, go to your local or nearest Vietnam Embassy or Consulate or apply for an E-Visa. The last option is only available for certain countries so if you are unsure if you are eligible, have a look at our website or contact your embassy.