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Hanoi Citadel

For over a thousand years, from Chinese and French colonialism to the war with America, this citadel has been key to the country's political and military history.

The monuments and buildings in the Hanoi Citadel have testified to Vietnam's fight for independence for over 10 centuries. Steeped in history, the iconic buildings, bunkers and military structures portray years of political power and military resistance. Relax in the tranquil gardens and explore the nearby Vietnam Military History Museum.

Early Chinese culture, the southern Kingdom of Champa and religious traditions influenced the architectural style of the citadel. It was built in the 11th century on remnants of a 7th-century Chinese fortress; some of the original Chinese wells and structures still stand. Enter under the Doan Mon Gate, which is one of eight Nguyen Dynasty gates. See the stone dragons and relics of the Kinh Thien Palace, admire the Hau Lau (Princess Tower) and climb the Flag Tower at the military museum for panoramic views of the city.

In the 1880s Thang Long was the center of French Indochina. Notice the impressions on the Cua Bac Northern Gate. These were created by cannonballs fired by French warships. In 1954, after the First War of Independence, North Vietnam’s military headquarters were based in the Forbidden City. Explore the underground D67 command bunker, where General Giap was sheltered during the Vietnam War.

Until 2010, when it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the citadel was used as a military base.

The informative Vietnam Military History Museum across the gardens is well worth a visit. Learn about the country’s fight for independence from Chinese, French and American interventions.

Despite its cultural significance, the Hanoi Citadel is a relatively unknown attraction. It is located by Ba Dinh Square, opposite the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. Nearby are a number of other significant attractions, including the One Pillar Pagoda and the 18 Hoang Dieu Archeological Site, which has an excavation of Vietnam’s old capital with monuments that date back to the 7th century.

Walk to the Hanoi Citadel easily from the center of the city. Adults are charged an admission; children under 15 years enter free. The citadel is open daily with the exception of Mondays.


Guide to Exploring around Imperial Citadel of Thang Long


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

See all 1,815 Properties near Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
The Oriental Jade Hotel ¥8,704
The Oriental Jade Hotel

The Oriental Jade Hotel

No. 92-94 Hang Trong Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Hanoi
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Joseph's Cathedral and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Hanoi Old City Gate and Hanoi Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 18 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 19 minutes.

    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa ¥6,518
    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa

    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa

    122 Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hang Da Market and Vietnamese National Tuong Theatre. Ly Trieu Quoc Su Pagoda and Hang Gai Street are also within 10 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 11 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 17 minutes.

      Oriental Central Hotel ¥3,559
      Oriental Central Hotel

      Oriental Central Hotel

      39 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Hoan Kiem, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi Old City Gate and St. Joseph's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 14 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 25 minutes.

        Movenpick Hotel Hanoi ¥9,733
        Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

        Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

        83A Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St. Joseph's Cathedral, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hanoi Opera House. Dong Xuan Market and Hanoi Old City Gate are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Railway Station is 5 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 24 minutes.

          Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel ¥3,237
          Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel

          Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel

          2 Hoi Vu Street, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Hanoi
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hang Da Market, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Hoa Lo Prison Museum. St. Joseph's Cathedral and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 12 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 17 minutes.

            Hanoi Royal Palace Hotel 2 ¥2,779
            Hanoi Royal Palace Hotel 2

            Hanoi Royal Palace Hotel 2

            95 Hang Bong Street, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hang Da Market, St. Joseph's Cathedral, and Hoa Lo Prison Museum. Hanoi Old City Gate and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 13 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 16 minutes.

              Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy ¥5,902
              Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy

              Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy

              12 Nguyen Quang Bich St, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Vietnamese National Tuong Theatre and St. Joseph's Cathedral. Hanoi Old City Gate and Hanoi War Museum are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 14 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 15 minutes.

                O'Gallery Majestic Hotel & Spa ¥8,017
                O'Gallery Majestic Hotel & Spa

                O'Gallery Majestic Hotel & Spa

                38A Tran Phu, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Ba Dinh, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Temple of Literature, St. Joseph's Cathedral, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Dong Xuan Market are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Railway Station is 9 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 20 minutes.