Top 5 Fascinating Museums In Hanoi
La Sinfonía del Rey Hotel & Spa

When a museum is good, it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad, it’s horrible. A disappointing museum is a mausoleum of glass-encased stuff and things without a soul or a story in sight, and the experience can be enough to put you off museum-going for a long time. A good museum should always be busy and just a little noisy, a building full of dead things needs the noise of the living, but more than anything, a good museum should tell great stories. Hanoi has no shortage of museums that fit the bill, and below are five of the best.

1. Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi

Housed in a gorgeous French colonial building formerly used by the French Ministry of Information, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a real treasure trove of traditional, religious, modern and contemporary Vietnamese art. The museum can sometimes be completely empty, a remarkable detail considering the quality of the work on display and the low cost of entry, just 30,000 VND.

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi

Chronologically organized, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum offers an easy lesson in the history of Vietnamese art and features ancient Champa carvings, 20th-century folk paintings, and 21st-century abstract works. The museum is so large and densely packed with artworks that you might want to make more than one visit to take it all in and be sure to take a moment to view the sublime effigies of Guan Yin, the 1,000-armed and 1,000-eyed goddess of compassion.

Entrance fee: 30,000VND/person

Opening hours: Everyday | 8:30 – 17:00

Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

Tel: +84 24 3733 2131

2. Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi

Even if you have visited hundreds of museums all over the world, you will be impressed by the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. A gem of an attraction, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum features a fascinating costume-heavy display on the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam, a hard-hitting exhibition on women’s role in wartime and an exploration of the much-neglected subject of family life and maternity.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi

The display on the ‘Heroic Mothers of Vietnam’ that memorializes women who lost children during Vietnam’s many years of warfare is particularly moving, and space is reserved on the top floor of the museum for an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions.

Entrance fee: 30,000VND/person

Opening hours: Everyday | 8:00 – 17:00

Address: 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Tel: +84 24 3825 9936

3. Vietnam National Museum of History

You will discover the Vietnam’s best account of its thousands of years of history in the Hanoi’s finest buildings. If other museums have overwhelmed you with propaganda and war, this museum will come as a welcome relief with both its delightful setting and its superb collection.

Vietnam National Museum of History

Opening hours: Everyday 8h00 to 12:00 | 13h30 to 17h00 (closed on every first Monday of the month)

Entrance fee: 40,000VND/person; 50% discount for: old people, veterans and disable people (confirmed card or certifiable); Free for children under 6 years old.

Address: 216 Tran Quang Khai, HoanKiem, Hanoi.

Tel: +84 24 8325 2853

4. Ho Chi Minh Museum

Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi may be one of the strangest yet most fascinating experiences you will ever have. Combine a visit to see Uncle Ho himself with roughly 01 hour in the museum dedicated to his life and legacy at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

While the majority of the museum delivers precisely what you would expect from a monument to Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary leader of the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam, including a chronological account of his life, exhibitions on his military accomplishments and a huge, gilded sculpture in his image, the upper level of the museum is a surprise to say the least. Interspersed with historical documents and photographs are a number of ’70s-era artworks that, as a whole, can be vaguely described as postmodernist, pop art, Soviet social realist-inspired installation art. Brilliantly bizarre, the Ho Chi Minh Museum is intriguing, informative and just plain weird.

Entrance fee: 40,000VND/person

Opening hours: Monday & Friday: 08:00–12:00

Others: 08:00–12:00, 14:00–16:30

Address: Ho Chi Minh Museum, Chua Mot Cot, Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 24 3846 3757

5. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a captivating exploration of the 54 ethnic minorities of Vietnam. Vietnam’s capital city has undergone a rapid transformation in the last 20 years, and its streets are a chaotic, scooter-filled clash of old and new where you’re unlikely to see any of Vietnam’s traditional ethnic culture in action. Within the Museum of Ethnology, however, you can get as close as any tourist can to the religious and cultural ceremonies and everyday rituals of the many different people of Vietnam. Located a little way out of town, a visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is worth the extra taxi fare.

Entrance fee: 40,000VND/person. Free for children under 06 years old.

Opening hours: Everyday | 8:30 – 17:30 (except Monday & Lunar New Year)

Address: Nguyen Van Huyen street, Nghia Do, CauGiay, Hanoi.

Tel: +84 24 3756 2193

More Travel Guide

Discover our extensive guide for first-timers in Hanoi