Top 5 Museums In Hanoi: Portals to the Past

Hanoi is a city with vibrant street life and rich history. To get a glimpse into the history of Hanoi, the best way is to visit some of the most famous museums in Hanoi. From prisons to fine arts, these museums offer unique insights into Vietnamese society and its past. Let’s explore some of the most captivating museums that await you in Hanoi.

Best museums in Hanoi to visit

Hoa Lo Prison Relic

Hoa Lo Prison Relic provides a chilling glimpse into Vietnam’s history. Originally built by French colonizers to detain Vietnamese revolutionaries in 1896. The prison later housed American prisoners of war during the Vietnam American War. Visitors can explore eerie cells, view artifacts such as a guillotine, and learn about the experiences of prisoners through compelling exhibits.
The museum just launched a night tour on July 2020. The tour only runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, starting from 7 PM. Each tour lasts for approximately 90 minutes. The night tour offers a totally different experience compared to the day tour. Night tour will help visitors to have a peek into the horrific history of the Vietnam American War and the resilience and spirit of Vietnamese soldiers.
Museums In Hanoi

Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

Situated in a stunning colonial building, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum showcases the evolution of Vietnamese art from ancient times to the present day. With a diverse collection ranging from traditional Champa carvings to contemporary abstract paintings, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of Vietnamese artistic expression.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Venture outside the bustling city center to discover the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The museum is quite far from the Old Quater, to get here, you will need to get a bus or a taxi. But rest assured, your visit to this museum is well worth your time sitting in the car. Here, you can immerse yourself in the cultural diversity of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities. Featuring authentic houses, religious artifacts, and traditional costumes, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich tapestry of Vietnamese culture.

Vietnam Military History Museum

For history enthusiasts, the Vietnam Military History Museum is a must-visit destination. Outdoor displays of tanks, aircraft, and artillery pieces provide a glimpse into Vietnam’s military history, while indoor exhibits cover various conflicts, including the Vietnam American War and wars against China and France.
museums in hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Dedicated to the life and legacy of Vietnam’s revolutionary leader, the Ho Chi Minh Museum offers a glimpse into the man behind the legend. While the museum’s propagandist tone may deter some visitors, its eclectic mix of exhibits, ranging from military achievements to avant-garde art installations, provides a thought-provoking experience.
Museums In Hanoi


Museums in Hanoi offer a fascinating journey through Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage and tumultuous history. Whether you’re interested in art, military history, or social dynamics, these cultural institutions provide valuable insights and experiences for visitors of all ages. If you’re interested in a day tour visiting these museums, read our Hanoi Classic Tour to learn more.
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