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National Museum of Vietnamese History

Discover one of the finest collections of historic artifacts in Vietnam housed in this stunning 20th-century school building.

Marvel at classical architecture and carved Hindu statues and discover tools and utensils dating back as far as 10,000 B.C. when you visit the superb Vietnam National Museum of History.

Before you enter the museum, be sure to examine the building’s exquisite design. Constructed in 1932, it is the former home of the École Française d’Extrême-Orient. The orange façade combines typical French columns and arches with curved roofs and hexagonal towers usually seen on Chinese temples. Both the interior and exterior are decorated with statues of gods from the Khmer and Champa kingdoms.

Start your tour on the ground floor where you’ll find a number of excellent ancient history exhibits. See precious jewelry worn by some of the country’s early aristocrats and marvel at prehistoric weapons and metal tools that were used for hunting and eating during the early Neolithic period. Get close to tombs that contain real human remains. Don’t miss one of the country’s most extensive assortments of cast bronze Dong Son Drums. 

Continue on to the museum’s second floor where you will leap forward in time to the 15th century. Here, find a display of carved bronze sculptures that depict idyllic scenes of rural Vietnam. A collection of printing blocks used to create Buddhist prayer books is a particular highlight on this floor. Don’t leave before you’ve seen the intricate pieces of ceramic artwork that have been carefully preserved from the Nguyen Dynasty, which spanned the 19th century and half of the 20th.

Study the exhibit of placards from the resistance movement during the war with the French. See similar examples of propaganda posters for anti-American sentiment and general public service pleas as you browse through city shops.

Find the Vietnam National Museum of History at the top of Trang Tien Street in the east of Hanoi. There is a small admission fee and the museum is closed on the first Monday of each month. If you get hungry during your visit, have a snack or drink in the café in the museum’s courtyard.


Guide to Exploring around National Museum of Vietnamese History


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Melia Hanoi ¥11,303
Melia Hanoi

Melia Hanoi

44b Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hoan Kiem Lake, and St. Joseph's Cathedral. Hanoi Opera House and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Railway Station is 10 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 25 minutes.

    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi ¥13,187
    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

    15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Opera House. Ngoc Son Temple and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 23 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 25 minutes.

      Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi - Mgallery ¥8,517
      Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi - Mgallery

      Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi - Mgallery

      29 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and St. Joseph's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 23 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 26 minutes.

        Imperial Hotel & Spa ¥2,780
        Imperial Hotel & Spa

        Imperial Hotel & Spa

        44 Hang Hanh Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Gai Street, and Hanoi Old Town Night Market. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and St. Joseph's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 15 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 22 minutes.

          Dal Vostro Hotel & Spa ¥1,756
          Dal Vostro Hotel & Spa

          Dal Vostro Hotel & Spa

          12 Bao Khanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Ngoc Son Temple. Hanoi Opera House and Hanoi War Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Long Bien Station is 16 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 21 minutes.

            Hanoi Horse Hotel ¥1,896
            Hanoi Horse Hotel

            Hanoi Horse Hotel

            9 Hang Muoi, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hanoi Old City Gate, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple and Dong Xuan Market are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 12 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 28 minutes.

              Hilton Hanoi Opera ¥6,356
              Hilton Hanoi Opera

              Hilton Hanoi Opera

              1 Le Thanh Tong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 25 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 29 minutes.

                Hanoi Paradise Center Hotel & Spa ¥3,401
                Hanoi Paradise Center Hotel & Spa

                Hanoi Paradise Center Hotel & Spa

                22/5 Hang Voi Street, Ly Thai To Ward, Hanoi, Hanoi Province
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Hanoi Opera House. Hanoi Old City Gate and Ngoc Son Temple are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 19 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 26 minutes.