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Complete half-day itinerary with Vietnam History Museum in Hanoi

Complete half-day itinerary with Vietnam History Museum in Hanoi

By John Davison
Complete half-day itinerary with Vietnam History Museum in Hanoi

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    Vietnam Military History Museum - Most visited history museum in Hanoi?

    Where is Vietnam History Museum?

    If you come to Hanoi and visit Vietnam History Museum, you might notice that instead of artifacts on display in one big institution, Vietnam History Museum consists of two separate buildings, located on two different streets! The first building, also known as exhibition A, is to the right of Hanoi Opera House, at number 1 Trang Tien street. The second building, or exhibition area B, is on the street opposite the first building, at number 216 Tran Quang Khai.   

    Vietnam History Museum

    The confusing history of Vietnam National Museum of History

    Years ago, number 1 Trang Tien street and number 216 Tran Quang Khai street were two separate museums, called Vietnam History Museum and Vietnam Revolutionary Museum. Only when the managing committees of these museums decide to merge them into one institution that the Vietnam National Museum of History (or Bảo tàng lịch sử quốc gia) was born. Today, however, many still call this merged museum the Vietnam History Museum, in memory of the old Vietnam History Museum on Trang Tien street.

    The perfect half-day tour with Vietnam History Museum

    Because of the museum’s diversity and closeness to other destinations, a visit to the Vietnam History Museum no doubt requires an itinerary!

    1. A fresh morning with the one and only Hanoi Museum cafe 

    Vietnam History Museum’s opening hours are at 8.00 A.M every morning and walking there from Hanoi's Old Quarter, where most tourists are, would take only around 10 minutes. So if you’re planning an early visit to the Vietnam History museum, it is a great idea to spare a little time to have a cup of coffee before coming in.

    Vietnam History Museum cafe

    7.00 A.M - 8.00 A.M

    The museum cafe is named Nguyen Ba cafe, a cafe shop of which interior is a part of Vietnam History Museum outdoor space. This is the perfect place to enjoy Hanoi’s fresh morning before going into the museum.   

    • Prices: 25,000 VND - 100,000 VND
    • Opening hours: 6.00 A.M - 11.00 P.M
    • Extra information: The cafe also serves breakfast and lunch.  

    2. Exhibition Area A: Let’s start at the beginning of Vietnam’s history

    After paying the entrance fee (40,000 VND/adult and free for children under 6 years old), you will enter the A exhibition area of Vietnam History Museum - number 1 Trang Tien street. 

    The only museum in Hanoi about prehistoric Vietnam

    8.00 A.M - 8.30 A.M

    If you’re looking for an exhibition that impresses, Vietnam History Museum’s first floor, Stone Age exhibition is what you’re looking for. Here, extremely fascinating archeological evidence of the earliest Vietnamese is on display. From ancient ceramic tombs to super detailed prehistoric men simulation, this exhibition will wow you from beginning to end!

    A part of history lesser-known than the Vietnam American war

    8.30 A.M - 9.00 A.M

    Next, on the second floor, Vietnam history museum brings forth the cultural context of Vietnam’s least-known era, the 13th -14th century. While learning about this era of Vietnamese history, tourists can have a look at the most interesting artifacts, such as a 3-meter-tall Buddha statue or a giant stone slab with names of Vietnam’s most talented men at the time. Although unfamiliar, these displays give many hints of modern Vietnam culture today. 

    3. 30 minute break: Take a water break or go for a culture tour

    After walking around the huge exhibition area, maybe you’re looking for a leg break or a place to take some memorable photos, in that case, let’s go to the Hanoi Opera House!  

    Hanoi Opera House

    9.00 A.M - 9.30 A.M

    For decades since its establishment, the Hanoi Opera House has been one of the most beautiful buildings in Hanoi. Nowadays, besides being a theatre, Hanoi Opera House has become a landmark of Hanoi. Therefore, even if you don’t have any time to watch any water puppet shows, stopping here to take photos and look around is still a wonderful idea! 

    If you’re looking for a place to sit and/or eat lunch, there are also many cafes nearby the opera house, such as Highlands Coffee or Starbucks. 

    4. Exhibition area B: Moving on with Vietnam’s history in military and war

    9.30 A.M - 10.00 A.M

    Leaving Hanoi Opera House and walking along Trang Tien street, you will arrive at the second exhibition area of the Vietnam Military History Museum, which introduces Vietnam history in the 19th century (Vietnam wars with American and French empire). 

    Although much less modern than the first building, the exhibitions at Tran Quang Khai street are more impressive. It is no childish water puppet show. Here, besides hundreds of artifacts describing Communist revolutions in Vietnam, you will witness some real torturing instruments taken from military war. Rawly exposed in underlit small exhibition areas, these artifacts can surely scare a few faint-hearted visitors and leave unforgettable impressions about this side of the Vietnam History Museum.  

    5. Reflection after visiting Hanoi’s most fascinating museum

    10.30 A.M - 12.00 A.M

    After experiencing the entire history of Vietnam, you must be hungry. In that case, why not enjoy a Vietnamese lunch and try out Vietnam’s cafe culture!? For us, here are the best places to sit down and reflect on your exciting museum trip:

    AHA cafe
    • Address: Number 23A Tong Dan street, behind Vietnam History Museum.
    • Prices: 25,000 VND ~ 50,000 VND
    • Menu: Vietnamese coffee and drinks. This cafe also serves noodle dishes, suitable for lunch 
    • Atmosphere: Traditional Vietnamese cafe setting, opened space, suitable for smokers. 
    Dai Hai Restaurant
    • Address: Number 1A Trang Tien street
    • Prices: 150,000 VND ~ 200,000 VND
    • Menu: Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle) and other Vietnamese dishes. 
    • Atmosphere: Bustling, suitable for big groups and beer drinking.

    Finally, after visiting Hanoi’s most captivating history museum, what do you think? Are you overwhelmed by the size of the two buildings or incredibly impressed by their introduction to Vietnam’s history? Either way, Vietnam History Museum is no doubt a must-see! Don’t miss it when you come to Hanoi!


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