Like any good capital, Hanoi offers the visitor a decent collection of museums and cultural attractions. They cover all areas and aspects of the country, including the wars, natural history, geology, and art, and can be found in and around the best parts of town.
Most people head straight for the Ho Chi Minh Museum. This is without question the top museum in Hanoi, being dedicated to the life and achievements of late Vietnamese leader and communist revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh (1890 to 1969). If you want to learn all about Vietnam's many ethnic minorities, be sure to check out the Museum of Ethnology.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
Address: 19 Ngoc Ha Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam, VN
Tel: +84 04 846 3572
This modern and unique museum brilliantly covers the life and times of Ho Chi Minh and is a highly informative attraction. It features two floors of exhibits, with the top floor having the most impressive draw - a grotto representing the inside of Uncle Ho's brain. On the first floor are writings and photographs and all displays are in English and French.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday - 08:00 to 11:30, 14:00 to 16:00, Monday and Friday - 08:00 to 11:30
Museum of Ethnology
Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, VN
Tel: +84 04 836 0350
Hanoi's Museum of Ethnology is an intriguing cultural attraction located a short way out of town, within the Cau Giay district. Accessible by bus and a five-minute walk, it takes a look at Vietnam's dozens of ethnic groups, featured through thousands of artefacts, including traditional clothing, tools and ways, and the many cultural identities in the country.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:30 to 17:30
Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution
Address: 25 Tong Dan Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, VN
You can learn all about the revolutionary wars in Vietnam
at the Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution. The struggle against the Americans in the Vietnam War is covered on the ground floor, while the war with the French is on the first floor. The building itself is worth the effort of getting here, being a stunning colonial-style structure with typical Vietnamese forms.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:00 to 11:45, 13:30 to 16:15
National Museum of Vietnamese History
Address: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, VN
Tel: +84 04 825 3518
The interesting National Museum of Vietnamese History is sited between Hoan Kiem Lake and the river, where it tells the story of Vietnam from 1,000 years ago to the 20th century. It is loaded with antiques and resides in a fine building that used to be home to the French consulate. There are some unique Bronze Age items and ceramics on the ground floor.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 11:30, 13:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge; discount for students and under under 15 years old, extra charge for camera and video
Address: 6 Pho Pham Ngu Lao, Hanoi, Vietnam, VN
Tel: +84 04 826 6802
Situated in the Hoan Kiem district and near to the National Museum of Vietnamese History is this curious Geological Museum detailing rocks, fossils and gems found around the country. It is housed in a French-style building within pretty grounds, with descriptions of exhibits written in English. You can actually buy rubies, Vietnam's most common gemstone, at the shop here.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 12.00, 13.30 to 16.30