This section of ba Dinh District’s most popular attractions is ideal for travellers looking to learn about Vietnam’s war-filled history và experience the local culture during their holiday in Hanoi.

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Ba Dinh Square is a big mở cửa space, west of Hoan Kiem Lake. It has been Vietnam’s political nucleus ever since the French occupation và was where Ho chi Minh, widely regarded as the father of modern Vietnam, declared independence in 1945. It’s also relatively close to Tay Ho Lake, where you can find exquisite five-star hotels và fine-dining venues. A popular alternative lớn the often overpopulated Old Quarter, tía Dinh District is trang chủ to mid-range hotels, quaint restaurants, & several neighbourhood bars that overlook Hanoi Botanical Gardens. Read on to discover out the 10 best things to vì in ba Dinh District.

The Temple of Literature, a 10-minute walk from ba Dinh Square, is a charming temple complex in the centre of Hanoi that was originally built to be a centre of learning dedicated to lớn the Chinese sage và scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years many more buildings have been added và beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, & a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature và the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical và cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 metres high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel và is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the centre of ancient Hanoi và served as the political centre for eight centuries. Located in ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions.

One Pillar Pagoda is a modest temple is constructed from wood based on a single stone pillar crafted into the shape of a lotus blossom & has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1955 when the base was destroyed during the French evacuation. The pagoda is often used as a symbol for Hanoi và remains one of the city’s most revered sights in a beautifully tranquil garden setting with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The shrine inside the pagoda is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity quan Am with her effigy nestled inside the tiny three square metres temple.

Ho bỏ ra Minh Mausoleum in tía Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho chi Minh, the most iconic & popular leader of Vietnam, known lớn his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His toàn thân is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho bỏ ra Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). Security is tight & visitors should dress with respect (no shorts, sleeveless shirts & miniskirts) and everyone has lớn deposit their bags và cameras before getting in. For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a chất lượng history. 

Presidential Palace Hanoi, established in 1900 by French architect Auguste Henri Vildieu, was intended to lớn be Ho đưa ra Minh’s official residence but the Vietnamese leader had opted for a traditional Vietnamese stilt-house instead. The three-storey, mustard yellow building features 30 rooms built in colonial French architectural style, an orchard, carp pond, và a 91-metre long boulevard surrounded by lush gardens. As political gatherings are still held at Presidential Palace Hanoi, visitors are only allowed khổng lồ explore the gardens & Ho chi Minh’s stilt home. 
The Vietnam Military History Museum Hanoi, also known as the Army Museum, houses an extensive collection of weaponry that was used throughout Vietnam’s war-filled history. Ideal for history buffs looking to lớn know more about the country, there are plenty of authentic war relics, weapons, and detailed accounts by former soldiers who have fought against the French và American forces. Notable attractions include the wreckage of an American B-52 bomber, an M107 self-propelled gun, and a military tank that had ploughed through the gates of Saigon’s Presidential Palace, thus ending the Vietnam War in 1975. You can also find classic propaganda videos, improvised weapons, a diorama of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, and exhibitions of artefacts dating back khổng lồ the Hong Bang Dynasty (2879 BC).Located along Dien Bien Phu (next to cha Dinh Square), entrance lớn the Vietnam Military History Museum Hanoi is priced at VND 30,000 and if you’re looking khổng lồ photograph the displayed items, there’s an additional charge of VND 20,000. The museum is also a five-minute walk of notable landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, Ho đưa ra Minh Mausoleum, as well as botanical gardens & the stilt house of Uncle Ho.
Quan Thanh Temple Hanoi is an ornate Taoist temple in ba Dinh District, where you can see local devotees praying for good fortune and health just about any time of the year. Built in the 11th century, it houses a tranquil courtyard & worship hall with a massive đen bronze statue of Taoist deity Tran Vu, Vinh Tri II’s stele, & intricate carvings of animals & weapons. As one of the Four Sacred Temples of the capital, it gets especially lively during annual festivities such as Tet (Lunar New Year). Quan lại Thanh Temple is adjacent to the iconic West Lake and is less than 10 minutes away from bố Dinh Square on foot. 
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum showcases both traditional and modern masterpieces by celebrated artists across the country. The museum occupies two buildings in bố Dinh District, one of which is a former Catholic boarding school, where you can spend several hours marvelling at its many displays of fine arts from various time periods. Popular exhibits include ancient Champa stone carvings, unique statues of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, and lacquered effigies of Buddhist monks dating back lớn the Tay Son dynasty. Xuất hiện daily, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum also offers guided tours for VND 150,000.
Hanoi Flag Tower is one of the few historical structures in the city that has managed khổng lồ survive Vietnam’s many years of French colonialism. Part of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, the brick tower was constructed during the Nguyen Dynasty in 1812, standing at 40 metres in height atop a three-storey pedestal. Located on Dien Bien Phu Street, visitors climbing khổng lồ the vị trí cao nhất of the Hanoi Flag Tower can enjoy expansive views of bố Dinh Square and Hanoi thành phố Centre.
Cua Bac Church, formerly called the Church of Martyrs, has been serving Hanoi’s Roman Catholic community since its establishment in 1932. Designed by French architect Ernest Hebrard, this religious site combines both art deco and traditional Vietnamese architectural elements, making it one of the most quality churches in Vietnam. Located at the intersection of Phan Dinh Phung và Nguyen Bieu Street, Cua Bac Church is within a 10-minute walk from several landmarks such as Ho đưa ra Minh Mausoleum, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and Quan Thanh Temple.Source Vietnam-guide
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Hanoi’s most important cultural & historical monuments are found in the ba Dinh district, immediately west of the Old Quarter, where the Ly kings established their Imperial city in the eleventh century.

The venerable Temple of Literature & the picturesque One Pillar Pagoda both date from this time, but nothing else remains of the Ly kings’ vermilion palaces, whose last vestiges were cleared in the late nineteenth century to accommodate an expanding French administration. Most impressive of the district’s colonial buildings is the dignified Residence of the Governor-General of Indochina, now known as the Presidential Palace. After 1954 some of the surrounding gardens gave way in their turn to tía Dinh parade ground, the National Assembly Hall and two great centres of pilgrimage: Ho đưa ra Minh’s Mausoleum & Museum.

The nearby Botanical Gardens, however, survived lớn provide a welcome haven from modern Hanoi’s hustle và bustle. East of bố Dinh Square the citadel encloses a restricted military area. Its most famous feature is the Cot teo Flag Tower that dominates the extreme southwest corner, next khổng lồ one of Hanoi’s most rewarding museums, the Military History Museum. Although there’s a lot khổng lồ see in this area, it’s possible khổng lồ cover everything described below in a single day, with an early start at the mausoleum and surrounding sites, leaving the Fine Arts Museum along with the Military History Museum & Temple of Literature until later in the day.

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Entrance khổng lồ the Mausoleum is free. Visitors to the mausoleum (note the very limited opening hours) must leave bags & cameras at one of the reception centres, the most convenient being that at 8 Hung Vuong, from where you’ll be escorted by soldiers in immaculate uniforms. Respectful behaviour is requested, an appropriate dress code (no shorts or sleeveless vests) and removing hats và keeping silence within the sanctum. Lưu ý that each autumn the mausoleum usually closes for a few weeks while Ho undergoes maintenance.

In the tradition of great Communist leaders, when Ho đưa ra Minh died in 1969 his body was embalmed, though not put on public view until after 1975. The mausoleum is probably Hanoi’s most popular sight, attracting hordes of visitors at weekends and on national holidays; from school parties khổng lồ ageing confederates, all come to lớn pay their respects to lớn “Uncle Ho”.

Inside the Mausoleum

Inside the building’s marble entrance hall Ho chi Minh’s most-quoted maxim greets you: “nothing is more important than independence & freedom”. Then it’s up the stairs và into a cold, dark room where this charismatic hero lies under glass, a small, pale figure glowing in the dim light, his thin hands resting on black covers. Despite the rather macabre overtones, it’s hard not lớn be affected by the solemn atmosphere, though in actual fact Ho’s last wish was lớn be cremated & his ashes divided between the north, centre and south of the country, with each site marked only by a simple shelter. The grandiose building where he now lies seems sadly at odds with this unassuming, egalitarian man.

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The Temple of Literature Hanoi

Located in Nguyen thai Hoc, you can find the entrance lớn the temple on Quoc Tu Giam. The temple is mở cửa daily April–Oct 7.30am–6pm; Nov–March 8am–6pm. The price for entry is 30,000đ.

Hanoi’s most revered temple complex, the Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu, is both Vietnam’s principal Confucian sanctuary và its historical centre of learning. The temple is also one of the few remnants of the Ly kings’ original city và retains a strong sense of harmony despite reconstruction và embellishment over the nine hundred years since its dedication in 1070.

Entry is through the two-tiered Van Mieu Gate. The temple’s ground plan, modelled on that of Confucius’s birthplace in Qufu, China, consists of a succession of five walled courtyards. The first two are havens of trim lawns & noble trees separated by a simple pavilion.

The Third Courtyard

Enter via the imposing Khue Van Cac, a double-roofed gateway built in 1805, its wooden upper storey ornamented with four radiating suns. Central lớn the third courtyard is the Well of Heavenly Clarity – a rectangular pond – to lớn either side of which stand the temple’s most valuable relics, 82 stone stelae mounted on tortoises.

The Fourth Courtyard

Passing through the Gate of Great Success brings you khổng lồ the fourth courtyard và the main temple buildings. Two pavilions on either side once contained altars dedicated to the 72 disciples of Confucius, but now house administrative offices and souvenir shops. During Tet (Vietnamese New Year) this courtyard is the scene of calligraphy competitions & “human chess games”, with people instead of wooden pieces on the square paving stones.

The fifth Courtyard

The fifth & final courtyard housed the National Academy, regarded as Vietnam’s first university, which was founded in 1076 to educate princes & high officials in Confucian doctrine. Later, the academy held triennial examinations to select the country’s senior mandarins, a practice that continued almost uninterrupted until 1802 when Emperor Gia Long moved the nation’s capital to lớn Hué. In 1947 French bombs destroyed the academy buildings but they have now been painstakingly reconstructed, including an elegant two-storey pavilion housing a small museum và an altar dedicated khổng lồ a noted director of the university in the fourteenth century, Chu Van An. Upstairs, three more statues honour King Ly Thanh Tong, the founder of Van Mieu; Ly Than Tong, who added the university; và Le Thanh Tong, instigator of the stelae. The exhibits are mostly post-eighteenth century, including 1920s photos of the temple, và students’ textbooks, ink-stones và other accoutrements, such as a wine gourd for the fashion-conscious nineteenth-century scholar. Recitals of traditional music are held in the side-pavilion according lớn demand.

The Ceremonial Hall

The hall, a long, low building whose sweeping tiled roof is crowned by two lithe dragons bracketing a full moon, stands on the courtyard’s north side. Here the king and his mandarins would make sacrifices before the altar of Confucius, accompanied by booming drums and bronze bells echoing among the magnificent ironwood pillars. Within the ceremonial hall lies the temple sanctuary, at one time, prohibited even to lớn the king, where a large và striking statue of Confucius sits with his four principal disciples, resplendent in vivid reds và golds. Between the altar & sanctuary is a Music Room, where musicians playing traditional instruments provide a great opportunity for photos.

The Presidential Palace

Just north of Ho’s mausoleum lie the grounds of the Presidential Palace. The palace was built in 1901 as the trang chủ of the governor-general of Indochina – all sweeping stairways, louvred shutters và ornate wrought-iron gates of the Belle Époque – và these days is used lớn receive visiting heads of state. It’s closed to lớn the public but you can admire the outside as you walk through the palace gardens to Ho đưa ra Minh’s house.

The One Pillar Pagoda

Just south of the Ho chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda rivals the Turtle Tower as a symbol of Hanoi. It is the most unusual of the hundreds of pagodas sponsored by devoutly Buddhist Ly Dynasty kings in the eleventh century and represents a flowering of Vietnamese art. The tiny wooden sanctuary, dedicated lớn Quan Am whose statue nestles inside, is only three square metres in size and is supported on a single column rising from the middle of an artificial lake, the whole structure designed to resemble a lotus blossom, the Buddhist symbol of enlightenment. In fact, this is by no means the original building – the concrete pillar is a real giveaway – & the last reconstruction took place after departing French troops blew up the earlier structure in 1954.

The Military History Museum

Dien Bien Phu, a road lined with gnarled trees và former colonial offices, interspersed with gingerbread villas, is home to the white, arcaded building of the Military History Museum, opposite a small park with a statue of Lenin. The museum chronicles national history from the 1930s khổng lồ the present day, a period dominated by the French & American wars, though it’s noticeably quiet on china and Cambodia.

Ba Dinh Square

Two kilometres west of Hoan Kiem Lake, the wide, xuất hiện spaces of ba Dinh Square are the nation’s ceremonial centre. It was here that Ho đưa ra Minh read out the Declaration of Independence to lớn half a million people on September 2, 1945, & here that Independence is commemorated each National Day with military parades. You’ll see the National Assembly Hall, the venue for party congresses, standing on the square’s east side.

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