2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Phuong Uyen - March 20, 2019

Hanoi Museums - Exploring Thousand Years of History with 10 Greatest Museums in Hanoi

Talking about the museum, you may think of the tedious buildings filled with not so interesting samples, lying solemnly behind the glass wall. Sounds like a horrible place to visit, isn’t it?

However, it is not the case for these best 10 museums in Hanoi. If you want to have a better understanding of Hanoi and Vietnam in general, museums are definitely the places you must go and take a look. You will be surprised by the colorful, mysterious and lively atmosphere of Hanoi museums. Don’t hesitate to get a chance of traveling back in time with us.

We also offer various Hanoi City Tours and Free Itinerary Planning, so don’t be shy, just contact us, the AZ Local Trip team right away!

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Explore the top 10 museums of Hanoi

1. HOA LO PRISON - HANOI HILTON MUSEUM

We will get started with a very special museum: Hoa Lo Prison reconstructed from the original Maison Centrale’s base. Hoa Lo Prison basically was built by French colonialists to jail Vietnamese political prisoners.

Even though most of the buildings were demolished during wartime, a part of Hoa Lo Prison was converted into a one-of-a-kind museum in the whole Hanoi.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Hoa Lo Prison gate

Touring around this museum will give you a brief description of how the prison got both the nicknames “Hell’s Hole” (the literal meaning of “Hoa Lo”) and “Hanoi Hilton”.

You will go through small and barely lit jail rooms and see the brutal and horrible living conditions of Vietnamese prisoners by the sight of chained human-like puppets and the torture rooms. The torture equipment is all displayed, even the notorious original guillotine that will give you chills and shivers.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

You will go through jail rooms and see the brutal and horrible living conditions of Vietnamese prisoners

On the other hand, the museum also exhibits the quarters for American prisons. These quarters are well-equipped with accommodations and pictures showing a really hotel-like life of the Americans: playing chess, raising chickens, playing football,... Other objects on display including letters, used personal belongings and so on.

This museum will give you a piece of truth and a bit of thought about the Vietnam War. The entrance ticket will be 20.000 VND (about 1 US$) and tour guides are available. The museum open daily (even on holidays) from 8:00 to 17:00.

However, you should take consideration if your group has children since they may not cope well with the visual and audio materials presented in the prison.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

The scary guillotine inside Hoa Lo prison

>>> Take a FREE WALKING TOUR including Hoa Lo Prison <<<

2. VIETNAM MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY

Next, we will go through one of the largest museums in Hanoi – the Vietnam Museum Ethnology. If you are interested in the diversity of ethnic groups in Vietnam and are curious about the colorful culture of Vietnam, this is the right place for you.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Nhà Rông - A big house built in each village of Vietnamese ethnic groups for important meetings

Unlike most museums, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is not an only indoor exhibition, there are full-scale replicas of traditional village homes of the 54 ethnic Vietnamese groups outdoor. The greatest thing is you can practically go into the house and take a lot of photos. If you were a fancy architecture, this would be a must-visit museum for you in the whole of Vietnam.

Inside the exhibit building, you can see various things from traditional clothes, household utensils, examples of tribal art. This is how we can introduce the symbolic and religious rituals and traditional way of life of each group to the tourists and natives alike. You will be caught in a Wonderland filled with color, aliens and mystery.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Weaving activity is a long-term and strenuous work

The ticket price of Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is 40.000 VND (2 US$), Vietnamese, French and English tour guides are available. If you want to bring in your camera, it will cost you an additional 50.000 VND (2.5 US$).

And here are small tips for you: you should bring some water, a hat and sunglass because you will spend time outside, under the direct sunlight. You should also wear comfortable clothes (avoid high heels and skirts) if you want to climb in the replicas of traditional houses.

3. VIETNAMESE WOMEN’S MUSEUM

Another one-of-a-kind museum is the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, a museum dedicated only to women. It was rated as top 25 interesting museums in Asia and ranked 1st tourist attraction in Hanoi. Is this enough to stir your curiosity?

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

A rock grinder - An rudimentary way to grind rice, seeds,...in the past

Vietnamese Women's Museum will give you the most insightful knowledge about Vietnamese women, from their clothes, their habits and their ways of life. There are three permanent exhibits, including Women in History, Women in Family and Women in Fashion. Each of them will give you light to an aspect of Vietnamese women and their contribution.

11 Best Hanoi Travel Agency – Travel Agency in Hanoi can’t be missed

More inside of the museum

The specialty of this museum is the display on the “Heroic Mothers of Vietnam”. This display is in order to commemorate women who lost children and family members during Vietnam wartime, which will bring you to tears.

The exhibit is reserved on the top floor of the museum for an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions. You should check out the schedule of the display before visiting the museum.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

The display “Heroic Mothers of Vietnam”

The entrance fee for the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is 30.000 VND (1.5 US$). you can enjoy free audio guide in Vietnamese, English and French. The museum opens daily from 8:00 to 17:00.

>>> Discover Hanoi Women's Museum in HANOI MUSEUM TOUR. It's FREE

4. HO CHI MINH MUSEUM

Now, we will go to a famous museum to commemorate the life of our great leader: Ho Chi Minh Museum. This museum will give you a chance to know more about the life of Ho Chi Minh and the struggle of the Vietnamese to win the war.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Ho Chi Minh huge bronze statue placed in the middle of the museum

The museum is basically divided into 8 chronological parts of the display. You will be invited into a journey of Ho Chi Minh’s life, from upbringing, youth to a national hero and greatest leader of Vietnam. With this, you will have a chance to get a better understanding of the beloved father figure of our country.

In the museum, artifacts, miniatures, letters and communications related to his life and work will be displayed. The museum is considered to be brilliantly bizarre, intriguing, informative and just plain weird.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Clothes, books and some writings used by Uncle Ho

However, the opening hours of the Ho Chi Minh Museum are a bit tricky. It opens daily, from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:30. However, on Monday and Friday, the museum only opens from 8:00 till 12:00. The ticket for foreign tourist is 40.000 VND per pax (2 US$). The tour guide is also available.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is a part of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, so we offer Ho Chi Minh Complex & Temple of Literature Walking Tour just for you, so you can have the best experience while in Vietnam.

5. VIETNAM FINE ARTS MUSEUM 

If you are interested in Vietnamese art forms, welcome to Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, the house of traditional, religious, modern and contemporary Vietnamese art.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Take a look into the museum

The museum’s artworks are displayed chronologically, from ancient Champa carvings, 20th-century folk paintings to 21st-century abstract works. You can see various schools of art in this museum: abstraction, impressionism, folk narratives are the most common here.

One of the best and most famous artwork is the sublime effigies of Guan Yin, the 1.000-armed and 1.000-eyed Goddess of Compassion.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Numerous of unique artworks

Much like other museums in Hanoi, you can visit the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum with a cheap entrance fee of 40.000 VND (2 US$). The museum opens from 8:30 to 17:00 daily and only closes on Tet Holiday. The tour guide is also available.

>>> Get your FREE ITINERARY PLANNING in Hanoi <<<

6. VIETNAM NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURE

Yet, Vietnam National Museum of Nature is a must for any nature-lover. The museum will bring you along a journey of 3.6 billion years of evolution. This is one of the leading museums about nature in Vietnam.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Some beautiful arts about animals outside the museum

Even though the display site is quite small, but the design and decoration are really nice, warm and friendly. Most of the specimens are, of course, glass-cased, but you can find models of giant species outdoor. In total, there are around 1.400 unique samples showing the formation of life throughout 3.6 billion years are now exhibited.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

You can bring your kids here to learn about the amazing natural world

In the museum, you can register to watch 3D movies about space, marine, dinosaur, insect, fish and human evolution. The opening time is from 08:00 to 11:30 and from 13:30 to 16:30 daily, no entrance fee.

7. HANOI MUSEUM

Hanoi Museum will definitely give you a deeper understanding of Hanoi city. Hanoi Museum exhibits the past and present of Hanoi with thousands of artifacts relating to the capital and this is the largest and the most modern museum in the whole country.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

The pyramid-upsidedown architecture of Hanoi Museum

Hanoi Museum will impress you with the unique architectural design of an inverted pyramid. This museum has miniature models of Hanoi in many eras: Tien Thang Long area, Phung Nguyen Grave, the map of Co Loa, Dong Son culture and other pictures of Hanoi.

A large number of antiques from the whole country are being displayed in this museum, you can see artifacts such as bowls, vases and labor tools collected and displayed here. From that, you will be able to understand a part of Vietnamese colorful and diverse culture.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Ancient drum in the Ly Dynasty

The opening time is from 08:00 to 11:30 and from 13:30 to 17:00 daily, no entrance fee.

You might be interested in:

8. B-52 VICTORY MUSEUM

Now, we will introduce you a really special museum: The B-52 Victory Museum, dedicated to displaying the wreckages and aircraft shot down during the Vietnam War.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Artillery - the most modern weapon Vietnam Army used in the war

In this museum, you will have a chance to see the history of the Vietnamese revolution, the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War, Operations Rolling Thunder, Linebacker and Linebacker II and the air defense of Hanoi.  The outdoor models include the wreckage of a B-52D rumored to be shot down during Operation Linebacker II and various air defense equipment.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 08:00 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:30. There is no entrance fee.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

Old pilot equipment displayed in the museum

9. VIETNAM MILITARY HISTORY MUSEUM

In case you are a military fanatic, the Vietnam Military History Museum is a suitable destination for you. It is one of the seven national museums of Vietnam. An interesting fact is that the Flag Tower of Hanoi is located inside of the museum grounds.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

You can also visit the Flag Tower located in the museum's ground

There are various buildings in the museum complex, each will display artifacts related to an era of the Vietnamese military history. Visitors can enter the first two tiers of the Flag Tower, however, the spire is inaccessible.

The museum also offers exhibits of decommissioned, captured or destroyed military equipment and vehicles used by the United States and the NVA during the Second Indochina War.

The exhibits mostly consist of artifacts and little description or explanation, you should prepare yourself a bit of the First and Second Indochina wars to understand artifacts and the references within the notecards better.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

The body of the B52 plane fell in Hanoi

The entrance fee is 40.000 VND (2 US$), but there is an additional fee if you want to use your camera. The museum opens every day, except for Monday and Friday. The opening hours are from 8:00 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:00.

10. AIR DEFENSE - AIR FORCE MUSEUM

The history of Vietnam was built by wars, so it is easy to understand the huge number of military-related museums in Hanoi. The Vietnam People's Air Force Museum is also a good choice for tourists.

2019 | Top and Tips for Hanoi Museums - Price + Opening Hours

The instrument panel of an aeroplane used in the war

The museum presents the history of the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) from its formation in 1954 to this day and mainly about its contribution in the Second Indochina War and the Cambodian-Vietnamese War.

The display area will show you artifacts about the history of the VPAF, biographies of VPAF aces, uniforms and flight suits, aircraft weaponry and engines, items from downed US aircraft and the forward fuselage of a MiG-21. The outdoor exhibits include models of aircraft used by VPAF from the day of its formation till today.

The museum opens daily, except for Friday. The entrance ticket will cost you 20.000 VND (1 US$). You can come to visit the museum from 8:00 to 11:00 and from 13:00 to 16:00.

>>> If you are interested in the history of the Vietnam War, let’s check out our Hanoi War Sites Walking Tour to see more!

Some tips for Hanoi Museums you should know

  • Museums in Hanoi have different opening time, so you should check out carefully. They often close at noon, so you should visit the museums early in the morning and afternoon.

  • Generally, the tour guide service is available in most of the museums, but the service fee is not the same and excluded from the ticket fee. If you’d like to have a tour guide, you should contact the ticket office or museum staff to book.

  • You should ask the museum staff if you can use your own camera in the museum. Some museums prohibit taking photo, others allow it with a fee and some museums have no regulations about using camera.

  • Don’t touch the exhibiting objects or try to trespass the models without approval. If you do so, you may cause damage to the objects and models and be fined.

  • Usually, the museums prohibit eating and littering in the display site. Therefore you should refrain from eating and trashing in the museum. It will be great if you can help to keep the museum clean.

So that is all of our recommendations for you in case you want to have a museum trip in Hanoi. We hope that you find this article useful and will have a great time in Hanoi.

If you want any further advice and information, feel free to contact us, the AZ Local Trip team. It is our pleasure to help you!