Hanoi is an Instagrammer’s heaven with plenty of beautiful architectural landmarks, parks and natural landscapes to photograph. Here are some places you can take some awesome photos to spice up your Instagram feed.
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Hanoi Citadel | © katiebordner
This royal enclosure was built in the center of Hanoi during the Ly Dynasty in 1010 and since then served as the political center of the country for 13 consecutive centuries, and as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hoan Kiem Lake
Bridge, Buddhist Temple, Park
Just by the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular hangout spot for both locals and tourists. In the middle of the lake lies an island on which Ngoc Son Temple is built, connected by a scarlet bridge. Altogether, the sight is extremely scenic and often used as a backdrop for engagement photoshoots.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
History Museum, Park
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum | © Chris Yunker/Flickr
Over here you will find the preserved body of beloved Uncle Ho
laid to rest in a glass case. While you can visit and pay your respects, you are not allowed to take pictures inside. There are plenty of opportunities in the vicinity though such as the Bach Thao park, Ho Chi Minh Museum and Ba Dinh Square.
Hanoi Opera House
The Hanoi Opera House
was built in 1911. It is one of the most elegant structures of the whole city and was modeled to look like the Paris Opera House. You don’t necessarily have to buy a ticket and enjoy a performance since the cream-colored structure is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.
Temple of Literature
Buddhist Temple, University
Entrance | © Brian Jeffery Beggerly/Flickr
This is the oldest university in Vietnam
, initially intended for noble families, however later taking a more egalitarian approach to admissions. Built in 1070, it’s one of the oldest and also one of the most beautiful structures in the city.
Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prisoner | © Matthias Rosenkranz/Flickr
Hoa Lo Prison was infamously called the Hanoi Hilton. Built by the French colonists in the late 1800’s, its purpose was to hold prisoners of war. A famous POW that was captured and held here was Senator John McCain. His uniform is displayed among the many eerie mannequins that depict horrific scenes of what it was like within the prison walls back then.
Cave pagoda | © Maya-Anaïs Yataghène/Flickr
These are a series of temples built into a mountain around the 15th century. To get there is an adventure, including a long boat ride and a rather arduous hike. Plenty of nature will surround you, giving many opportunities to take beautiful pictures.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in the whole of Vietnam, having been built in 541 A.D. It stands tall on an island within the West Lake and is surrounded by lush greenery, giving you the ultimate opportunity for a beautiful Instagram shot.
Offering respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, this park has a giant statue of, you guessed it, Lenin. It was offered by Vietnam as a goodwill to commemorate his 110th birthday.
Thu Le Park
Peacock | © Mateusz Drogowski/Flickr
Thu Le Park
is where you can get some awesome shots of exotic animals as this place goes by another name: Hanoi Zoo. There are about 800 animals here, all taken good care of. The aim of the zoo is to conserve and protect regional animals that are under threat.
Ba Vi National Park
Church ruins | © Piumi Rajapaksha
This nature reserve is home to multiple peaks, waterfalls, viewpoints and even old and haunting French colonial structures that are now overgrown with weed such as a prison and church.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
Watch as puppets dance on water, elegantly controlled by puppet masters, reenacting stories of famous Vietnamese legends. You’ll smile, laugh and maybe even cry. You’ll definitely have a good time.
Long Bien Bridge
This beautiful steel bridge was built in 1902 by the French. It runs across the Red River, joining Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts. Looks especially gorgeous during sunset.
Bun Cha Huong Lien 2 Obama
Restaurant, Vietnamese, $$$
Obama eating bun cha | © manhhai/Flickr
It may be a little weird for you finding a bun cha
restaurant up here in this list. This restaurant shot up to popularity when President Barack Obama was invited by American chef Anthony Bourdain
to try a local lunch time meal favorite, bun cha. After they finished their meal, the table was left uncleaned and moved to a corner, where it is now a glass-enclosed shrine. The name of the restaurant changed too and they introduced a new item to the menu: The Obama Combo. Definitely Instagrammable, as it provides a little humorous insight into the culture.
Hanoi Train Street
This is a narrow residential alley in the Old Quarter of Hanoi through which a train street runs terrifyingly close to the houses. As if on some silent cue, every resident packs up their daily lives in unison and moves back into their houses as trains go by twice a day. This is a very popular spot for Instagrammers and one of our favorites.