Hanoi Opera House is a great beauty of Hanoi. However, inside this beautiful and peaceful architecture, there are a lot of truths or myths that even Hanoians here, especially the youngsters do not know or remember about.

So what is the feeling of a Foreign Tourist like You go traveling in other countries, to a destination, and you have more knowledge and information than the local ones? It’s Great, right?

Surprising some of Hanoi citizens, or simply the emotion that you are sightseeing in a place you understand it like its own people? Let’s figure out!!

Hanoi Opera House Overview & Map

Like a golden dream of artists, Hanoi Opera House is a highlight of Hanoi French Quarter you should not skip!

7 surprising truths even locals don’t know about Hanoi Opera House

1. One of 3 Vietnamese Grand Opera built in the 20th century in Southeast Asia

Of all 3 of those, Hanoi Opera House is the biggest one witch 2600 square meters originally. It was not only a typically built opera central, but also a French Architecture drove influence.

Hanoi Opera House ( Collected)

It was believed to be inspired by the Opéra Garnier in Paris, but smaller in comparison to sizes and materials were more suitable for local tropical conditions. (Plus, a lot of architectural features were identical to some of the theaters in Southern France).

2. This particular “French Quarter” use to be a big swamp

Hanoi Opera House was chosen to be built in an area at which that time a giant swamp between 2 villages: Tay Luong and Thach Tan. It was also because of this reason that the construction process was so complicated.


35,000 was the number of bamboo poles using to pressure down before pouring 900-centimeter thick concrete cement and hard rock, which confirmed that the foundation can sustain the grand amount of weight from the architecture above.

3. Hanoi Opera House is still a matter of debates amongst French Scholars in the present age

It is 100% correct, 2,000,000 Franc was the total cost building the Hanoi Grand Opera. It was approximately 27 million USD in terms of present value, which is a lot at that time.

There were concerns from French society, press, politicians about why the French government accepts to pay that huge amount of money to built a luxurious architecture at a colonial territory, is it important? Is it necessary? Is it possible secret collusion between the center and local politicians and the constructor that carries the project?

Debates exist until now in some French Scholar Forum. After all, we may never know exactly the truth, we just know that this Grand Opera is known as one of the great symbols of Hanoi!

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4. Hanoi Opera House has witnessed many important historical periods of Vietnam

The quiet peaceful time of Hanoi Opera House ended in 1945, 34 years from its inauguration day.

17th August 1945 was the day that all of Hanoian gathering on the square in front of the Opera to protest against the existing government. Just 1 week after that day, the Communist Party took over the government and held a first military parade just outside this Opera House.

In the national war against the intervene of Outside Forces, Hanoi Opera House was also the place that witnessed couples “temporarily break up”, so the man went on military trucks, fought in the frontline, the women waited for their lover at home.

5. Hanoi Opera House was once “North Vietnam General Assembly House”

opera house

Now is the information even the locals don’t know or just forgot!!

Hanoi Opera House actually acted as the Headquarter of the North Viet Congress from the first session in 1946 to the year 1963 when the real National Assembly was finished in Ba Dinh District.

From the beginning time of the Vietnam Democratic Republic in 1945, the national fund was so poor that Ho Chi Minh – the president at that time – once launched the “Golden Week” campaign, which the government “encourage” its citizen to donate their assets to the state, happened also right in Hanoi Opera House!

6. Hanoi Opera House in the present belongs to the national authority, but they have to be “financial autonomy”

Sound so confused, right?

An asset that belongs to the government authority, with its operating employees, also recruited by the state, but it has to take in charge of their revenue – ensure it has profit, enough funds to pay salary for its employees, enough to sustain the vintage condition of the Opera and also has to ensure that they have money to pay back to the state, just like a private company.

Inside hanoi opera house ( Sourse: Collected)

Before 2010, nearly all of the culture and arts sectors like Opera House, state art centers, theaters, and public museums are fully funded by the government. The story of Opera House or state’s theaters having shows but no or few audiences occurred many times and people were getting used to it.

However, time passed and the state cannot sustain the huge public debt that these facilities generated, they then issued a law that requires these art and culture centers had to be financial autonomy, but still managed by the government.

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7. Hanoi Opera House in the present are not only the place for Opera anymore

Despite the fact that the name of the architecture nowadays is “Hanoi Opera House”, there is barely an Opera showcase held here.

Hanoi Opera House

There are very few Vietnamese or Hanoians in specific nowadays listen to this musical genre. Along with the Financial Autonomy that the Opera House has to sustain, they have to do everything to survive in the market.

This led to the fact that besides the state duty to held specific important event, the Opera in the present ages works as venue rental, with various live shows of local artists, art exhibitions, seminars, meeting ceremonies, the event the outside area is utilized for rents: Coffee shops, parking, etc.

Basic Information (Opening hours, Ticket, etc.) About Opera House in Hanoi

Where is Opera House in Hanoi ?

  • Address : 01 Trang Tien – Hoan Kiem District – Hanoi – Vietnam
  • Phone : (024) 3 933 0113
  • Email: hnopera@hanoioperahouse.org.vn
  • Website: www.hanoioperahouse.org.vn

Opening Hours of Hanoi Opera House & Show Schedule.

If you want to pay a visit inside, you need to have a 400.000-VND ticket. Hanoi Opera House opens from 10:30 AM every Monday and Friday.

Activity Standard Tour Tour with Art Show
Duration 70 minutes 90 minutes
Opening Hours for Visit 10:30 am – 12 pm 10:30 am – 12 pm
Max People per Visit/Show 20 250
Ticket Price VND120,000 (~US$4.8) per person
VND400,000 per person
Opening Days Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun Mon & Thu
Additional Art Show
Ticket Price for Art Show VND300,000 per person Included in tour price

“Standard Tour,” the Opera House is open for visits most days of the week, while the “Tour with Art Show” has more limited days. Also, art show tickets can be bought separately.Or you can contact us by clicking the button below and let us help you arrange everything.

Hanoi Opera House Tour Tickets ( Collected)

Hanoi Opera House Tour Tickets ( Collected)

You can check the available show schedule of the Opera House in Hanoi at the official website: http://hanoioperahouse.org.vn/en. Each performance will have a different price, about 300.000 VND – 1.000.000 VND.

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How to get Hanoi Opera House in Hanoi ?

The best way to travel to the Hanoi Opera House depends on your location and preferences. Here are some of the most convenient options:

  • On Foot: If you’re staying in the central parts of Hanoi, particularly in the Old Quarter, the Opera House is within walking distance. It’s not only a practical option but also allows you to enjoy the streets of Hanoi.
  • By Taxi or Ride-hailing Service: Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are readily available throughout Hanoi. They are a quick and comfortable option, especially if you are traveling from farther areas.
  • By Public Bus: Hanoi’s public bus system is extensive and can get you close to the Opera House. This is one of the most economical options.
  • Cyclo or Bicycle:For a more local experience, you can hire a cyclo (pedicab) or rent a bicycle. This is an eco-friendly way to get around and perfect for sightseeing at a slower pace.
  • By Motorbike or Scooter: Renting a motorbike or scooter is commonplace in Vietnam.

This option offers flexibility to explore on your own; however, be prepared for Hanoi’s busy traffic. When choosing your transportation, consider factors like distance, convenience, cost, and your comfort with navigating Hanoi’s lively streets. Always remember to check the most current and relevant transportation advice based on local traffic conditions and rules.

Tips to see a show at the Hanoi Oper House.

When planning to see a show at the Hanoi Opera House, here are some tips to ensure you have a delightful experience:
  • Dress Code: The Hanoi Opera House may have a dress code, typically smart casual. It’s best to avoid shorts, flip-flops, and tank tops. Dressing well also adds to the elegance of the event.
  • Book in Advance: Shows can sell out quickly, especially prestigious ones. Booking tickets in advance secures your spot and often provides better seat selection.
  • Arrival Time: Arrive at least 30 minutes early. This gives you ample time to find your seat, read the program, visit the restroom, and settle in before the performance begins.
  • Photography: Photography or recording might not be allowed during performances. Always check the house rules. If permitted, ensure the flash is off to avoid disrupting performers and other guests.
  • Silence Your Devices: Make sure to turn off your mobile phone or any electronic devices that might make noise during the show.
  • Intermission: If there’s an intermission, it’s a great time to stretch your legs, have a quick drink, or discuss the performance so far, but make sure to return to your seat promptly.
  • Understanding the Show: If you’re seeing a non-verbal performance like ballet or opera, it might be helpful to read up on the show’s plot beforehand, especially if it’s in a different language.
  • Applause Etiquette: Applaud after the overture and at the conclusion of arias or scenes in an opera. Following the lead of regular attendees is a good way to know when it’s appropriate to applaud.
  • Language Considerations: In case the performance is in Vietnamese or another language you don’t understand, check if there are subtitle options or summaries available in English.
  • Refreshments: Some theaters offer drinks and snacks during intermission; however, consuming them in the seating area may not be allowed.
Remember each visit to the Opera House is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Hanoi, so savor the experience both architecturally and artistically.

The above facts that we have listed are things even locals don’t know about Hanoi Opera House. If you have discovered something more than that, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

Have a wonderful trip!

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