Hanoi French Quarter - French Architecture In The Heart of Vietnam's Capital

Duc - October 28, 2018

Is there Hanoi French Quarter in the heart of Hanoi? Why do we call French Quarter but not Vietnamese Quarter?

Perhaps you heard about Hanoi French Quarter before, but you don’t have much information about it, right? If you are unsure where it is, let me introduce some interesting facts that maybe blow up your mind.

1. Overview of Hanoi French Quarter

Beside Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi French Quarter is also a big and busy hub in the center of Hanoi. This area is possibly considered as “Little Paris”, where we can find some similar architecture, typical street style of the capital of France.

It also one of the most luxurious corners in the city, the place encompassing five-star hotels and upmarket restaurants. Galleries, boutiques, bookshops, coffee shops is right in your vision, with an outstanding appearance of Trang Tien Plaza.

Located on the southeastern end of Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi French Quarter is the center of foreign embassies, government buildings and wealthy residential neighborhoods.

Maybe you have already known many things about Old Quarter, but The Quarter nearby sounds strangely and new to most people. Therefore, we will show you the most featured highlights in this area so that you can enjoy special moments here.

2. What To See In Hanoi French Quarter - Hanoi French Quarter Attractions

St. Joseph's Cathedral

From the classical architecture of Hanoi Opera House, the solemn and festive atmosphere of St. Joseph’s Cathedral to the luxurious, flashy life in Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and Trang Tien Plaza, overall, Hanoi French Quarter brings us a unique beauty and romantic fragments in Hanoi.

Being outstanding due to European architecture inside Hanoi, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a perfect example for you to find out more about Christian religion and Neo-Gothic style design.

This is one of three major churches in Hanoi,  along with Cua Bac Catholic Church and Ham Long Church.

We are allowed to go inside St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi in the opening time of ceremonial practice on weekdays (5:30 and 18:15); Saturday (18:00); Sunday (5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11:00, 16:00, 18:00 and 20:00) and special ceremony on March 19th every year. Make sure you wear formal clothes.

If you just want to wander outside to see the view, casual and comfortable clothes are your suitable outfits.

The Cathedral is more beautiful with twinkle light at night so highly recommended visiting at that time.

There are many activities on Christmas season with glitter decorations for you to chill out with friends. Don’t miss that chance to enjoy happiness in this special moment.

  • Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Phone: 024 3928 6350

  • Entrance fee: No

Hoa Lo Prison

Silently in one corner of peaceful Hanoi is Hoa Lo Prison, the place keeping dark memories in the last century.

Hoa Lo prison reappears the grim perspective of Vietnamese history in which we easily get goose bumps with violence and brutality. In spite of the designed capacity for 450 prisons, there were actually more than 2000 people held in subhuman conditions here in 1954.

The struggle for independence of the Vietnamese nation left us many evidences in this unbreakable prison. So, if you want to find out more about history, it’s definitely the place you need to drop by.

The prison site also features short documentaries, depicting scenes of American prisoners being detained there.

We had better not pay a visit in the winter because the cold weather and the low temperature in the prison might make you feel uncomfortable. The best suitable season for us to get here is the autumn from August to October. Make sure your clothes is polite in worshipping/ sanctuary parts.

  • Address: 1 Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hours: 8:00 - 17:30

  • Entrance fee: 30.000 VND (Discount 50% under-12-year-old Kids and students with cards.)

>>> Explore Hoa Lo Prison With Hanoi French Quarter Walking Tour

Hanoi Opera House

Another masterpiece of the French colonist in Hanoi is Hanoi Opera House, built in 1911. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House.

Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theater in Vietnam and served as a center for high-end entertainment, theater and classical music during the French colonialism period.

Today the grand old lady functions as a high-end venue for the the best of local and international performers, and a popular photo spot. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.

  • Address: 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Tel: +84 43 933 0113

  • Ticket Price: VND 100,000 – VND 2,000,000

Vietnam National Museum of History

We continue going deep down to historical world in Vietnam National Museum of HistoryWe can find rich and diverse collections of historical relics and thematic exhibitions on Vietnamese culture and history here. That’s a very thorough and comprehensive historical outlook that other museums cannot offer.

The architecture is one special thing we will want to notice. The harmony of French style design in the surface structure with some adaptation to traditional culture, overall, create an elegant and unique beauty.

Not only showing artistic values, each building of the museum includes its own historical significance, in the land of thousand years of civilization.

Some tips maybe useful once you get there. Site One on Trang Tien Street is bigger and covers a larger scope of history, so recommended to spend more time at this site. A free English audio tour is available in this museum building but the table offering headsets is not obvious, so ask locals for it.

  • Address: 214 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hours:  8:00 – 12:00, 13:30 - 17:30

  • Entrance fee: 40.000 VND

Apart from heroic history of 4000-year-old Vietnam, we arrive to the land of modern, luxury, development, of an innovative, creative Hanoi in new era.

Trang Tien Plaza

Away from the noisy and rowdy crowd, we go to another shopping place, but fancier and more expensive: Trang Tien Plaza.

In a favorable position, Trang Tien Plaza is on top of high-class luxurious shopping malls in Hanoi. This plaza sells high fashion and expensive costumes of well-known brands such as: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, Chanel, Dior…

Patterns on banisters and ceiling in royal style of Western culture are comparatively eye-catching, classical but modern at the same time.

Especially, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lotteria, H3Q to satisfy your appetite on the 4th floor. That’s the place locals often drop by to have lunch, dinner on weekends.

There is a mini Korean shopping mall and sometimes holding some fairs on some occasions on the 6th floor.

  • Address: 24 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hour: 9:30 – 21:30.

>>> Check Out Hanoi City Tours including the Hanoi French Quarter

Parallel to rush flow of dynamic Hanoi, French Quarter still keep for their own a unique character - Arts and Theater.

It’s time to explore artistic corner in French Quarter. The first destination we can stop to look for something artful is Red Moon Gallery

Red Moon Gallery

In Red Moon Gallery, we will come to the world of varied and tasteful Vietnamese art collection with good service, reasonable price and convenient transportation.

  • Opening time: 10:00 – 18:00

  • Address: 38 Trang Tien street.

Thanh Binh Art gallery

Stepping into the gallery, you will be surprised by a panoramic view of contemporary paintings on the life, people, scenery and culture of Vietnam. The depth of Vietnamese traditions and culture is transformed into art, open our views to explore.

The collections displays works by both senior and established artists and promising young talent, reflecting some of notable trends in contemporary art.

  • Opening time: 10:00 – 18:00

  • Address: 25 - 27 Trang Tien street

Dong Phong Gallery

Dong Phong Art Gallery’s space is seemingly small, but deluxe with exquisite paintings by talented artists of Vietnam. There is more than what you see: a large off-site collection and access to many artists' studios.

It’s a good point of reference when it comes to further enhance your outstanding collection of Vietnamese paintings.

There are also Artpartment 3 km away from this one, which presents their whole collections of Vietnamese arts.

  • Address: 3 Ly Dao Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

  • Opening hours: 9:30 - 18:30

3. Best Restaurants in Hanoi French Quarter

Au Delice – Hanoi French food

French restaurant Au Delice is an outstanding restaurant with ancient architecture, has two floors each floor is decorated delicate, feeling very luxurious. For the design of the second floor, the guests can stand from the balcony looking directly at the church, the scene is extremely romantic.

The menu of the restaurant is diverse with many kinds of fine wines, imported from France and many flavors such as French fries, cheese, fish meat, lamb … Come home You will enjoy the quintessence of French cuisine.

  • Address: 2B Ngo Thi Nham, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 22:00

  • Reference price: 200.000 – 500.000 VND.

La Terrasse Du Metropole

La Terrasse Du Metropole at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi offers traditional French cuisine and refreshing beverages. This Parisian-style sidewalk café is decorated with vintage ceiling fans, iron-framed awning, polished timber deck, and comfortable seating arrangements with views of Hanoi city centre.

Throughout the day, the restaurant offers a wide range of soups, salads, and sandwiches while in the evening, there are fresh seafood and imported meats. For a quick on-the-go meal, we highly recommend the club sandwich (VND 300,000), which comes with generous amounts of smoked bacon, chicken breast, egg, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise.

  • Address: 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hours: 11:00 – 22:00

Sen 60 Ly Thai To

Just across from the Sofitel Metropole hotel in Hanoi French Quarter is Sen Ly Thai To, a restaurant that stands out amongst most restaurants in Hanoi for serving extensive buffet dinners.

Sen Ly Thai To is decorated with an elegant black and white theme, chandeliers, wooden furnishing. This restaurant serves a variety of Vietnamese cuisine in a single sitting. A massive buffet area set up in the centre, and spacious seating arrangements that make Sen Hanoi feel like a proper sit-down restaurant.

It’s always a good idea to make a reservation before making your way to Sen Hanoi.

  • Address: 60 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hours: 18:00 – 22:00

Le Beaulieu Restaurant Hanoi

Le Beaulieu Restaurant Hanoi is a brasserie-style dining venue which serves authentic French cuisine and cocktails in a luxurious setting.

It takes a five-minute walk from Hanoi Opera House to Le Beaulieu Restaurant.  This award-winning establishment featured dark wooden furnishing, polished wooden and marble floors, while chandeliers, as well as large windows overlooking the hotel courtyard.

  • Address: Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel, 5 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

  • Opening hours: 06:00 – 10:30, 11:30 - 14:30, 18:00 - 22:30

O’Douceurs Hanoi

O’Douceurs Hanoi is a renowned French patisserie where you can enjoy freshly baked pastries, breads, and cakes as well as smoothies, coffees and teas in a cosy setting.

Not a big restaurant, O’Douceurs Hanoi offers a wide selection of sandwiches and croissants as well as desserts, fruit tarts, and cookies. If you’re looking for a light meal, this place is a cannot missed.

  • Address: 91A Tran Hung Dao Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

  • Opening hours: 07:00 – 22:30

4. Best Hotels in Hanoi French Quarter

Sofitel Legend Metropole

Embellishing for marvelous and wonderful Hanoi is Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, with a unique characteristic, long-standing history and classical romance. Your journey to Hanoi will be special in luxurious artistic French life, harmonious with Vietnam elegance.

Considered as an iconic of Hanoi’s colonial work, this hotel represents one of typical French corners in the heart of the capital.

  • Star Rating: ★★★★★
  • Address: 15 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel

Hilton is the famous hotel brand in the world and they have one in the center of Hanoi French Quarter. It’s easy to walk from Hilton Hotel to the famous Hanoi Opera House and some of the best shopping in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Hanoi Hilton has 269 guestrooms with Vietnamese traditional design. There are modern accouterments like high-speed Internet, cable television, and separate work areas.

  • Star Rating: ★★★★★

  • Address: 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi

Melia Hanoi

Close to Hoa Lo Prison is the 22-storey Melia Hotel. Also a luxury hotel in Hanoi, Melia has 306 guest rooms come with private bathrooms and all the equipment you need.

Melia also has exercise room, lobby bar, and poolside bar, among other amenities to your need.

  • Star Rating: ★★★★★

  • Address: 44B Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi

Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi

Close to the legendary Hanoi Opera House, the Hotel de l'Opera makes for a fine staging point for opera enthusiasts, whether they plan to have a pre-opera dinner at the hotel's sophisticated Satine French restaurant, or if they choose stay at one of the Hotel de l'Opera's 107 guest rooms and suites - each providing luxurious wood floors, pricey linens, and massive bathrooms en suite.

The interior décor is enriched with French colonial accents and an overall sense of the theatrical, appropriate for a hotel inspired by an opera house.

  • Star Rating: ★★★★★

  • Address: 29 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

Somerset Grand Hanoi

Somerset Grand Hanoi is close to a number of city attractions such as Hanoi Old Quarter, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. This hotel can be chosen as a perfect base to explore the city.

The Somerset Grand's 185 serviced residences are fully furnished, all spacious units offering fully-equipped kitchens, IDD telephone, plus amenities like the in-house Jaspa restaurant, Papa Joes & Highland Coffee, large swimming pool, tennis court, gymnasium, sauna, children's playground/playroom, and 24-hr reception.

  • Star Rating: ★★★★

  • Address: 49 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hanoi, Vietnam