Is there Hanoi French Quarter in the heart of Hanoi? Why do we call French Quarter but not Vietnamese Quarter?
One corner of Hanoi French Quarter in daily life
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.
This area is possibly considered as “Little Paris”, where we can find some similar architecture, typical street style of the capital of France.
Hanoi French Quarter, a charming and elegant beauty, is an indispensable part of Hanoi soul, which reminisces of French colonial era.
Gaudy life of Hanoi French Quarter at night
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 stranglely 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.
II.1. 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.
We may start the exploring Hanoi French Quarter journey in the morning with St. Joseph’s Cathedral, one of particular architectural construction representing for French elegance.
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.
St. Joseph's Cathedral, one of three major churches in Hanoi
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.
II.2. Hoa Lo prison
Silently in one corner of peaceful Hanoi, we come to 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. Inspite of the designed capacity for 450 prisons, there were actually more than 2000 people held in subhuman conditions here in 1954.
Hoa Lo prison, a place keeping solid proofs of Vietnamese history
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.
II.3. Vietnam National Museum of History
We continue going deep down to historical world in Vietnam National Museum of History - An Architecturally Impressive Museum.
We can find rich and diverse collections of historical relics and thematic exhibitions on Vietnamese culture and history here. It’s a big occasion for us to understand a broad overview from the prehistoric period of Vietnam. That’s a very thorough and comprehensive historical outlook that other museums cannot offer.
Vietnam National Museum of History, a place preserving precious objects and documents
The architecture is one special thing we will want to notice. The harmony of French style design in the surface structure with some adaption 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.
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.
II.4. 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…
Trang Tien Plaza, luxurious life at night
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.
II.5. Sofitel Legend Metropole
Continuing the trip discovering French Quarter, we pay a visit to one of the most luxurious hotels in Hanoi: Sofitel Legend Metropole
Hotel Metropole Hanoi outside view, typical French corner of Hanoi
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.
Hotel Metropole Hanoi front view
Considered as an iconic of Hanoi’s colonial work, this hotel represents one of typical French corners in the heart of the capital.
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. Are you ready?
The first destination we can stop to look for something artful is Red Moon Gallery
II.6. Red Moon Gallery
Red Moon Gallery display
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.
II.7. Thanh Binh Art gallery
Stepping into the gallery, you will be surprised by a paranomic view of comtemporary 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.
Thanh Binh Art gallery display
The collections displays works by both senior and established artists and promising young talent, reflecting some of notable trends in contemporary art.
II.8. 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.
Dong Phong Gallery front door
It’s a good point of reference when it comes to further enhance your outstanding collection of Vietnamese paintings.
There are also Art-partment 3 km away from this one, which presents their whole collections of Vietnamese arts.
II.9. Hanoi Opera House
If you are interested in classical art, you can’t miss the chance to visit Hanoi Opera House, the pearl of French colonization in the past. Not only a historical, artistic building, it’s also a golden dream of artists with recognization of their talent.
Hanoi Opera House, where arts converge
In Hanoi Opera House, we will live in the vivid, rhythmic dream of opera and drama world with Carmen, the Secret Garden or Hamlet. You like ballet? Can’t deny the opportunity to watch Casse Noisette or Swan Lake one more time.
And many contemporary music, symphony or Vietnamese plays are waiting for you.
Performances for public take place more often from August to November so if you are in Hanoi at that time, check out the schedule of the Opera. It will be a memorable experience to listen to classical music in Hanoi Opera House.
If you attend to an event, make sure you wear formal and polite costumes and on time.You will want to bring along a camera because the main hall architecture is gorgeous.
One last note, sitting outside Hanoi Opera House and watching buzzling scooters is a fun experience though.
III.1. Ngo Huyen
Once you are already on Nha Chung street to visit St. Joseph's Cathedral, don’t be hesitant to drop by Ngo Huyen, where you can eat one of the best pork porridge in Hanoi for your breakfast.
Pork porridge on Ngo Huyen
III.2. Trang tien Ice cream
Along the way, take your precious time to sense every single taste of Trang Tien Ice cream
Attached to the habit of Hanoi people, Trang tien Ice cream is a part of childhood memories. Anyone who have a chance to visit Hanoi should try this ice cream once.
Open in 1958, Trang Tien Ice cream has gained one spot in Hanoi people’s heart, became a famous and prestigious brand, not only in Vietnam but also receiving many compliments from tourists
Many traditional flavors comprising green rice, green bean, coconut, chocolate, ice cream… creates fresh, cool, mildly sweet ice creams. We definitely can’t deny that deliciousness!
Matcha flavor in Trang Tien Ice cream store
One tips for you: avoiding night time to save your time for lining up.
You seem hungry and tired after a very long walk, right? Don’t worry! Food will boost up your energy instantly right after smelling the flavor. Can you believe it?
Surprisingly, food heaven is just right next to you, in Trang Tien alley. Why don’t we take a walk and explore all the taste for your lunch?
III.3. Bun dau:
Reasonable price, ensure you to be full with an explosion in taste.
III.4. Vi Quang – Central area cuisine:
We don’t need to go to Central area to savour the typical spicy and a little bit sour of its food. Just inside Hanoi and you can taste flavors of lands hundred kilometers away
Address: 2B Trang Tien Alley, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
III.5. Noodle, pho, and steamed rolls:
That’s everything you need after a long day walking. A whole complete beautiful dishes will never let you down.
Noodle, pho and steamed rolls
III.6. Bich Sweet soup (Che Bich)
Last but not least, the dessert is totally indispensable to your food trip. Sweet soup, a favorite street food of Hanoi, is a perfect ending for your cuisine-discovering journey.
Bich sweet soup
There are still many delicious food in Trang Tien Alley, so if you have time, taste all of them.
After exploring French Quarter life and still being so excited, you can pay a visit to Ba Dinh square and Thang Long Imperial Citadel, where you will be flabbergasted by fascinating historical facts and old-age architecture.