The Most Instagrammable Spots in Hanoi, Vietnam

The pretty scarlet bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake makes for a beautiful backdrop for a photo
The pretty scarlet bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake makes for a beautiful backdrop for a photo | © All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
Piumi Rajapaksha

Hanoi is an Instagrammer’s dream, with beautiful architecture, parks and landscapes to snap. But if you really want to spice up your feed, you’ll need to know where to go. Here are the best places for photos in the city.

Enjoy an immersive exploration of Hanoi with a Local Insider as part of our expertly curated 12-day trip to Vietnam. Cameras welcome.

1. Hoàn Kiếm Lake

Bridge, Buddhist Temple, Park

Hanoi, Vietnam; Early morning Tai Chi near Hoan Kiem lake
© David Sutherland / Alamy Stock Photo

Just by the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. In the middle of the water is an island on which the Ngoc Son Temple stands, reachable via a pretty scarlet bridge. The scenic sight is often used as a backdrop for engagement photoshoots.

2. Areas near Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Museum, Park

People queuing to visit Ho Chi Minhs grand mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, Vietnam
© J Marshall - Tribaleye Images / Alamy Stock Photo

You will find the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh in a glass case at the mausoleum. While you can visit and pay your respects, you are not allowed to take pictures inside. However, there are plenty of opportunities nearby, such as the Bach Thao Park, Ho Chi Minh Museum and Ba Dinh Square.

3. Temple of Literature

Buddhist Temple, University

Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam
© Stockbym / Alamy Stock Photo

This is the oldest university in Vietnam. It was initially intended for noble families, but later took a more egalitarian approach to admissions. Built in 1070, it’s one of the oldest (and most beautiful) structures in the city. You can visit with Culture Trip on our specially curated small-group Vietnam adventure, led by our Local Insider.

4. Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda)

Buddhist Temple

Buddhist temple at Huong Pagoda or Perfume Pagoda, My Duc District, Vietnam.
© Gekko Studios / Alamy Stock Photo

Huong Pagoda – locally known as Chua Huong (Inner Temple) – is part of a series of temples built into a mountain around the 15th century. To get there is an adventure, which includes a long boat ride and a rather arduous hike. Plenty of nature will surround you, giving you many opportunities to take beautiful pictures.

5. Trấn Quốc Pagoda

Buddhist Temple

M3N38G Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam
© Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy Stock Photo

Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, having been built in 541CE. It stands tall on an island within the West Lake and is surrounded by lush greenery, giving you the opportunity for a beautiful Instagram shot.

6. Lenin Garden

Park

Monument 1982 Vladimir Lenin in Hanoi city. Sculptor Tyurenkova. Statue was presented to Vietnam by communist party of USSR
© Elizaveta Galitckaia / Alamy Stock Photo

Offering respite from the bustle of the city, this garden has a giant statue of – you guessed it – Vladimir Lenin. It was offered by Vietnam as goodwill to commemorate his 110th birthday and makes for an impressive photo.

7. Vườn Quốc Gia Ba Vì (Bavi National Park)

Park, Ruins

View from cruise ship on the Black River in the Red River Delta, North Vietnam, with Ba Vi National Park in the background.
© Ron Emmons / Alamy Stock Photo

This nature reserve is home to glorious peaks, waterfalls, viewpoints and haunting French colonial structures now overgrown with weeds, including an old prison and church.

8. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Concert Hall

Puppeteers in the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hanoi, North Vietnam, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Asia
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Watch as puppets dance on the water – elegantly controlled by puppet masters – re-enacting Vietnamese legends. You’ll smile, laugh and maybe even cry and definitely have a good time.

9. Long Biên Bridge

Bridge

Hanoi,Vietnam - 18 November,2012: The woman and other people go home in the sunset at Long Bien bridge
© Quang Vu / Alamy Stock Photo

This beautiful steel bridge was built in 1902 by the French. It runs across the Red River, joining the Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts. Be sure to capture it at sunset – it looks especially stunning at this time of day.

10. Bun Cha Huong Lien 2

Restaurant, Vietnamese

Where Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain dined, Bun Cha Huong Lein Restaurant, Hanoi,Vietnam, Asia
© Douglas Peebles Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

This restaurant shot to popularity when President Barack Obama was invited by American chef Anthony Bourdain to eat a local lunchtime favourite: bun cha. After they finished their meal, the table was left uncleaned and moved to a corner, where it is now enclosed in glass. The name of the restaurant changed too and they introduced a new item to the menu: the Obama Combo. It’s definitely Instagrammable – providing a humorous insight into the culture.

11. Hanoi Train Street

Train Station

Hanoi train street, old house and railroad in Hanoi, Vietnam
© Elizaveta Galitckaia / Alamy Stock Photo

This is a narrow residential alley in the Old Quarter of Hanoi through which a train runs terrifyingly close to the houses. When a train comes, the residents pack up their lives in unison and move inside.

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