Coordinates: 21°00′N 105°51′E / 21.00°N 105.85°E / 21.00; 105.85
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Hà Nội
City of Hanoi
Thành phố Hà Nội
Hoàng Mai District (540,732)[16]


district-level town. It has an area of 3,359.84 km2 (1,297.24 sq mi)[3] and a population of 8,435,700 in 2022.[8] In 2022, Hanoi has the second-highest gross regional domestic product of all Vietnamese provinces and municipalities at 51.4 billion USD,[13] behind Ho Chi Minh City.[18] Hanoi Capital is also ASEAN 8th largest economy after Surabaya

In the third century BCE, the

Hà Tây Province
and two other rural districts were annexed into Hanoi, effectively tripling Hanoi's area.

In the 21st century, Hanoi is the cultural, economic and education center of

UNESCO World Heritage Site), Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoàn Kiếm Lake, West Lake, and Ba Vì National Park near the outskirts of the municipality. Hanoi's urban area has a wide range of architectural styles, including French colonial architecture, brutalist apartments typical of socialist nations and disorganized alleystube houses reflecting the city's rapid growth in the 20th century. As of early 2020s, many urban amenities in Hanoi are under heavy construction, such as the 8-lines Hanoi Metro and numerous housing estates


Hanoi has had various names throughout history. It was known first as Long Biên (龍編, "dragons interweaving"), then Tống Bình (宋平, "

new district to the east of the Red River. Several older names of Hanoi feature long (, "dragon"), linked to the curved formation of the Red River around the city, which was symbolized as a dragon.[20][17][21]

Thăng Long 昇竜 written in 大南國史演歌 Đại Nam quốc sử diễn ca.
Kẻ Chợ 仉𢄂 (one of the many historical names for Hanoi) written in the book, 大南國史演歌 Đại Nam quốc sử diễn ca

In 866, it was turned into a citadel and named Đại La (大羅, "big net"). This gave it the nickname La Thành (羅城, "net citadel"). Both Đại La and La Thành are names of major streets in modern Hanoi. When

Nội Bài Airport
, and the Thăng Long Boulevard expressway in the southwest of the city center. In modern time, the city is usually referred to as Thăng Long – Hà Nội, when its long history is discussed.

During the

Hoàn Kiếm lake was named Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục after the reformist Tonkin Free School under French colonization.[17][24]

After the end of the

rivers") in 1831. This has remained its official name until modern times.[17][21][24]

Several unofficial names of Hanoi include: Kẻ Chợ (marketplace), Tràng An (long peace), Phượng Thành/Phụng Thành (phoenix city), Long Thành (short for Kinh thành Thăng Long, "citadel of Thăng Long"), Kinh kỳ (capital city), Hà Thành (short for Thành phố Hà Nội, "city of Hanoi"), Hoàng Diệu, and Thủ Đô (capital).[17][21][24]


Pre-Thăng Long period

Many vestiges of human habitation from the late

Paleolithic Age, 20,000 years ago.[28] During the mid-Holocene transgression, the sea level rose and immersed low-lying areas; geological data clearly show the coastline was inundated and was located near present-day Hanoi, as is apparent from the absence of Neolithic sites across most of the Bac Bo region.[29] Consequently, from about 10,000 to approximately 4,000 years ago, Hanoi in general was completely absent.[26] It is believed that the region has been continuously inhabited for the last 4,000 years.[30][31]

Kingdom of Âu Lạc and Nanyue

In around third century BCE,

hectares. In 179 BC, the Âu Lạc Kingdom was annexed by Nanyue, which ushered in more than a thousand years of Chinese domination. Zhao Tuo subsequently incorporated the regions into his Nanyue domain, but left the indigenous chiefs in control of the population.[34][35][36] For the first time, the region formed part of a polity headed by a Chinese ruler.[37]

Hanoi under Chinese rule

In 111 BC, the Han dynasty

ruled it for the next several hundred years.[38][39] Han dynasty organized Nanyue into seven commanderies of the south (Lingnan) and now included three in Vietnam alone: Giao Chỉ and Cửu Chân, and a newly established Nhật Nam.[40][41]

In March

Lac ethnicity[43] in Mê Linh district (Hanoi), led the locals to rise up in rebellion against the Han.[42][44][45] It began at the Red River Delta, but quickly spread both south and north from Jiaozhi, stirring up all three Lạc Việt regions and most of Lingnan,[45][43] gaining the support of about 65 towns and settlements.[44] Trưng sisters then established their court upriver in Mê Linh.[46][47] In 42 AD, the Han emperor commissioned general Ma Yuan to suppress the uprising with 32,000 men, including 20,000 regulars and 12,000 regional auxiliaries.[44][46] The rebellion was defeated in the next year as Ma Yuan captured and decapitated Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, then sent their heads to the Han court in Luoyang.[48]

By the middle of the fifth century, in the center of ancient Hanoi, a fortified settlement was founded by the

Hoài Đức districts) with a metropolis (the domination centre) in the present inner Hanoi.[51]

Protectorate of Annam

By the year 679, the

Annan (Pacified South), with Songping as its capital.[52]

In the latter half of the eighth century, Zhang Boyi, a viceroy from the Tang dynasty, built Luocheng to suppress popular uprisings. Luocheng, also known as La Thanh or La Citadel, extended from Thu Le to Quan Ngua in what is now known as the Ba Dinh precinct. Over time, in the first half of the ninth century, this fortification was expanded and renamed as Jincheng, also known as Kim Thanh or Kim Citadel. In 863, Nanzhao army and local people laid siege of Jincheng and defeated the Chinese armies of 150,000.[53][54] In 866, Chinese jiedushi Gao Pian recaptured the city and drove out the Nanzhao and rebels.[54] He renamed the city to Daluocheng (大羅城, Đại La thành). He built the wall, 6,344 meters around the city, which some part were more than eight meters high.[55] Đại La at the time with approximate 25,000 residents included small foreign communities and residents of Persians, Arabs, Indian, Cham, Javanese, and Nestorian Christians,[56] became an important trading center of the Tang dynasty due to the ransacking of Guangzhou by Huang Chao rebellion.[53] By early tenth century AD, modern-day Hanoi was known to the Muslim traders as Luqin.[57]

Hanoi under Independent Vietnam

Thăng Long, Đông Đô, Đông Quan, Đông Kinh

In 1010, Lý Thái Tổ, the first ruler of the Lý dynasty, moved the capital of Đại Việt to the site of the Đại La Citadel. Claiming to have seen a dragon ascending the Red River, he renamed the site Thăng Long (昇龍, "Soaring Dragon") – a name still used poetically to this day. Thăng Long remained the capital of Đại Việt until 1397, when it was moved to Thanh Hóa, then known as Tây Đô (西都), the "Western Capital". Thăng Long then became Đông Đô (東都), the "Eastern Capital".

  • Map of Đông Kinh (Hanoi) in 1490, attributed to Emperor Lê Thánh Tông
    Map of Đông Kinh (Hanoi) in 1490, attributed to Emperor Lê Thánh Tông
  • A view of Hanoi from the Red River in 1685, manuscript from Royal Society's archive
    A view of Hanoi from the Red River in 1685, manuscript from Royal Society's archive

In 1408, the Chinese

better source needed] who later founded the Lê dynasty and renamed Đông Quan to Đông Kinh (東京, "Eastern Capital") or Tonkin. During 17th century, the population of Đông Kinh was estimated by Western diplomats as about 100,000.[59] Right after the end of the Tây Sơn dynasty
, it was named Bắc Thành (北城, "Northern Citadel").

During Nguyễn dynasty and the French colonial period

Map of Hà Nội citadel during the Nguyễn dynasty
French troops leaving Hanoi in February 1874
French troops attacking the city's wall on 20 November 1873.

When the

better source needed

During WWII and American War in Vietnam

Bird-eye view of Hanoi in 1944; the Hoan Kiem lake in the middle

The city was occupied by the Imperial Japanese in 1940 and liberated in 1945, when it briefly became the seat of the

North Vietnam in 1954. The French Army withdrew that year and the People's Army of Vietnam and International Control Commission occupied the city under the terms of the 1954 Geneva Conference.[61]

During the Vietnam War, Hanoi's transportation facilities were disrupted by the bombing of bridges and railways by the U.S. Seventh Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force. These were all, however, later repaired. Following the end of the war, Hanoi became the capital of a reunified Vietnam when North and South Vietnam were reunited on 2 July 1976.[62]

Modern Hanoi

Hoàn Kiếm lake

After the Đổi Mới economic policies were approved in 1986, the Communist Party and national and municipal governments hoped to attract international investments for urban development projects in Hanoi.[63] The high-rise commercial buildings did not begin to appear until ten years later due to the international investment community being skeptical of the security of their investments in Vietnam.[63] Rapid urban development and rising costs displaced many residential areas in central Hanoi.[63] Following a short period of economic stagnation after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Hanoi resumed its rapid economic growth.[63]

On 29 May 2008, it was decided that

Hòa Bình Province be merged into the metropolitan area of Hanoi from 1 August 2008.[64] Hanoi's total area then increased to 334,470 hectares in 29 subdivisions[65] with the new population being 6,232,940.,[65] effectively tripling its size. The Hanoi Capital Region
(Vùng Thủ đô Hà Nội), a metropolitan area covering Hanoi and six surrounding provinces under its administration, will have an area of 13,436 square kilometres (5,188 sq mi) with 15 million people by 2020.

Hanoi has experienced a rapid construction boom recently. Skyscrapers, appearing in new urban areas, have dramatically changed the cityscape and have formed a modern skyline outside the old city. In 2015, Hanoi is ranked 39th by

Hanoi Lotte Center
(272 m, also, third tallest in Vietnam).

Public outcry in opposition to the redevelopment of culturally significant areas in Hanoi persuaded the national government to implement a low-rise policy surrounding

Ba Đình District is also protected from commercial redevelopment.[63]

On 12 September 2023, at least 56 people died in a huge fire in an apartment block in Hanoi. The blaze highlighted that many newly built apartments of fast-growing Hanoi lack sufficient fire safety.[66]


Location, topography

Hanoi is a landlocked municipality in the northern region of Vietnam, situated in Vietnam's Red River delta, nearly 90 km (56 mi) from the coast. Hanoi contains three basic kinds of terrain, which are the delta area, the midland area and the mountainous zone. In general, the terrain becomes gradually lower from north to south and from west to east, with the average height ranging from 5 to 20 meters above sea level. Hills and mountainous zones are located in the northern and western parts of the city. The highest peak is at Ba Vi with 1281 m, located west of the city proper.


Hanoi, Vietnam
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology [67]
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

When using the

subtropical climate

The region has a positive

La Niña, with the temperature reached up to 42.5 °C (108.5 °F) in a week. Hanoi can sometimes experience snow in winter. The most recent snow happened on Ba Vì mountain range, and the temperature fell to 0 °C (32 °F) on January 24, 2016.[74]

Climate data for Hanoi (Đống Đa district)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.3
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 19.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 14.5
Record low °C (°F) 2.7
Average rainfall mm (inches) 22.5
Average rainy days 9.5 11.4 15.9 13.7 14.6 14.8 16.6 16.5 13.2 9.7 6.8 5.2 147.9
relative humidity
79.9 82.5 84.5 84.7 81.1 80.0 80.7 82.7 81.0 78.5 77.1 76.2 80.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 68.7 48.1 45.5 87.4 173.7 167.0 181.1 163.0 162.4 150.3 131.6 113.0 1,488.5
Source 1: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology[75]
Source 2: Extremes[b]

Administrative divisions

Sơn Tây
is demoted to a district-level town. They are further subdivided into 22 commune-level towns (or townlets), 399 communes, and 145 wards.

Administrative divisions of Hanoi
Name Area (km2) Population Population density Subdivisions
12 urban districts (Quận)
Ba Đình district 9.21 223,100 24223.7 14 wards
Bắc Từ Liêm district 45.25 359,200 7938.1 13 wards
Cầu Giấy district 12.38 294,500 23788.4 8 wards
Đống Đa district 9.95 377,900 37979.9 21 wards
Hà Đông districtHT 49.64 435,500 8773.2 17 wards
Hai Bà Trưng district 10.26 293,900 28645.2 18 wards
Hoàn Kiếm district 5.35 140,200 26205.6 18 wards
Hoàng Mai district 40.19 539,800 13431.2 14 wards
Long Biên district 60.09 342,700 5703.1 14 wards
Nam Từ Liêm district 32.17 290,500 9030.2 10 wards
Tây Hồ district 24.38 166,600 6833.5 8 wards
Thanh Xuân district 9.17 293,400 31995.6 11 wards
Subtotal 308.04 3,757,300 12,197 166 wards
1 district-level town (Thị xã)
Sơn TâyHT 117.20 156,500 1335.3 9 wards, 6 communes
17 rural districts (Huyện)
Ba Vì districtHT 421.80 307,600 729.3 1 commune-level town, 30 communes
Chương Mỹ districtHT 237.48 351,200 1478.9 2 commune-level towns, 30 communes
Đan Phượng districtHT 77.83 186,100 2391.1 1 commune-level town, 15 communes
Đông Anh district 185.68 411,700 2217.3 1 commune-level town, 23 communes
Gia Lâm district 116.64 299,800 2570.3 2 commune-level towns, 20 communes
Hoài Đức districtHT 84.92 282,300 3324.3 1 commune-level town, 19 communes
Mê Linh district 141.29 254,400 1800.6 2 commune-level towns, 16 communes
Mỹ Đức districtHT 226.31 210,200 928.8 1 commune-level town, 21 communes
Phú Xuyên districtHT 173.56 231,900 1336.1 2 commune-level towns, 25 communes
Phúc Thọ districtHT 118.50 195,300 1648.1 1 commune-level town, 20 communes
Quốc Oai districtHT 151.22 204,400 1351.7 1 commune-level town, 20 communes
Sóc Sơn district 305.51 361,200 1182.3 1 commune-level town, 25 communes
Thạch Thất districtHT 187.53 226,000 1205.1 1 commune-level town, 22 communes
Thanh Oai districtHT 124.47 225,900 1814.9 1 commune-level town, 20 communes
Thanh Trì district 63.49 294,100 4632.2 1 commune-level town, 15 communes
Thường Tín districtHT 130.13 263,800 2027.2 1 commune-level town, 28 communes
Ứng Hòa districtHT 188.24 215,900 1146.9 1 commune-level town, 28 communes
Subtotal 2934.6 4,518,800 1,539 377 communes và 21 commune-level towns
Total 3,359.84 8,435,600 22510.7 175 wards, 383 communes và 21 commune-level towns
Source: Niên giám thống kê Hà Nội 2022[81]

HT – formerly an administrative subdivision unit of the defunct Hà Tây Province.


Summit 2006

During the French colonial period, as the capital of French Indochina, Hanoi attracted a considerable number of French, Chinese and Vietnamese from the surrounding areas. In the 1940s the population of the city was 132,145.[82] After the First Indochina War, many French and Chinese people left the city to either move south or repatriate.

Hanoi's population only started to increase rapidly in the second half 20th century. In 1954, the city had 53 thousand inhabitants, covering an area of 152 km2. By 1961, the area of the city had expanded to 584 km2, and the population was 91,000 people. In 1978,

Bắc Ninh Province
(2.90% / year).

Nowadays, the city is both a major metropolitan area of Northern Vietnam, and also the country's cultural and political centre, putting a lot of pressure on the infrastructure, some of which is antiquated and dates back to the early 20th century. It has over eight million residents within the city proper and an estimated population of 20 million within the metropolitan area.

The number of Hanoians who have settled down for more than three generations is likely to be very small when compared to the overall population of the city. Even in the Old Quarter, where commerce started hundreds of years ago and consisted mostly of family businesses, many of the street-front stores nowadays are owned by merchants and retailers from other provinces. The original owner family may have either rented out the store and moved into the adjoining house or moved out of the neighborhood altogether. The pace of change has especially escalated after the abandonment of central-planning economic policies and relaxing of the district-based household registrar system.[87]


SIM cards are readily available in Vietnam, with pre-paid mobile phone credit
available in all areas of Hanoi.


The three teachings (Vietnamese: tam giáo) of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism have been the main religions of Hanoi for many years. Most people consider themselves Buddhist, though not all of them regularly follow religion.

Ethnic groups

There are more than 50 ethnic groups in Hanoi, of which the Viet (Kinh) is the largest; according to official Vietnamese figures (2019 census), accounting for 98.66% of the population, followed by Mường at 0.77% and Tày at 0.24%.[11]


According to a recent ranking by

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will be amongst the fastest-growing cities in the world in terms of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025.[88] In the year 2013, Hanoi contributed 12.6% to GDP, exported 7.5% of total exports, contributed 17% to the national budget and attracted 22% investment capital of Vietnam. The city's nominal GDP at current prices reached 451,213 billion VND (US$21.48 billion) in 2013, which made per capita GDP stand at 63.3 million VND (US$3,000).[89]
Industrial production in the city has experienced a rapid boom since the 1990s, with average annual growth of 19.1 percent from 1991 to 1995, 15.9 percent from 1996 to 2000, and 20.9 percent during 2001–2003. [citation needed] In addition to eight existing industrial parks, Hanoi is building five new large-scale industrial parks and 16 small- and medium-sized industrial clusters. The non-state economic sector is expanding fast, with more than 48,000 businesses operating under the Enterprise Law (as of 3/2007).[90]

Trade is another strong sector of the city. In 2003, Hanoi had 2,000 businesses engaged in foreign trade, having established ties with 161 countries and territories. The city's export value grew by an average 11.6 percent each year from 1996 to 2000 and 9.1 percent during 2001–2003. [

Hà Đông
in the west.

Similar to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi enjoys a rapidly developing real estate market.[91] The most notable new urban areas are central Trung Hòa Nhân Chính, Mỹ Đình, the luxurious zones of The Manor, Ciputra, Royal City in the Nguyễn Trãi Street (Thanh Xuân District) and Times City in the Hai Bà Trưng District. With an estimated nominal GDP of US$42.04 billion as of 2019, it is the second most productive economic area of Vietnam (after Ho Chi Minh City)

Agriculture, previously a pillar in Hanoi's economy, has striven to reform itself, introducing new high-yield plant varieties and livestock, and applying modern farming techniques.[92]

After the economic reforms that initiated economic growth, Hanoi's appearance has also changed significantly, especially in recent years. Infrastructure is constantly being upgraded, with new roads and an improved public transportation system.[93] Hanoi has allowed many fast-food chains into the city, such as McDonald's, Lotteria, Pizza Hut, KFC, and others. Locals in Hanoi perceive the ability to purchase "fast-food" as an indication of luxury and permanent fixtures.[94] Similarly, city officials are motivated by food safety concerns and their aspirations for a "modern" city to replace the 67 traditional food markets with 1,000 supermarkets by 2025. This is likely to increase consumption of less nutritious foods, as traditional markets are key for consumption of fresh rather than processed foods.[95]

Over three-quarters of the jobs in Hanoi are state-owned. 9% of jobs are provided by collectively owned organizations. 13.3% of jobs are in the private sector.

microbusiness" and local grassroots economic development by business reports.[94] In July 2008, Hanoi's city government devised a policy to partially ban street vendors and side-walk based commerce on 62 streets due to concerns about public health and "modernizing" the city's image to attract foreigners.[94] Many foreigners believe that the vendors add a traditional and nostalgic aura to the city, although street vending was much less common prior to the 1986 Đổi Mới policies.[94] The vendors have not able to form effective resistance tactics to the ban and remain embedded in the dominant capitalist framework of modern Hanoi.[97]

Hanoi is part of the Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast through the Strait of Malacca towards the southern tip of India to Mombasa, from there through the Red Sea via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of Trieste with its rail connections to Central Europe and the North Sea.[98][99][100]


Infrastructural development

A development master plan for Hanoi was designed by Ernest Hebrard in 1924, but was only partially implemented.[96] The previous close relationship between the Soviet Union and Vietnam led to the creation of the first comprehensive plan for Hanoi with the assistance of Soviet planners between 1981 and 1984.[101] It was never realized because it appeared to be incompatible with Hanoi's existing layout.[96]

In recent years, two master plans have been created to guide Hanoi's development.

Thanh Trì District.[96] The result of the land-use pattern was meant to resemble a five cornered star by 2010.[96] In 1998, a revised version of the Hanoi Master plan was approved to be completed in 2020.[96] It addressed the significant increase of population projections within Hanoi. Population densities and high rise buildings in the inner city were planned to be limited to protect the old parts of inner Hanoi.[96] A rail transport system is planned to be built to expand public transport and link the Hanoi to surrounding areas. Projects such as airport upgrading, a golf course, and cultural villages have been approved for development by the government.[96]

Hanoi is still faced with the problems associated with increasing urbanization. Although it is a major transport hub with a large network of national routes, expressways, railways, and is home to Noi Bai International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam, the disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor is a problem in both the capital and throughout the country.[96] Hanoi's public infrastructure was assessed as in poor condition with high amounts of pollution and congestion in 2001. The city also has air and water pollution, difficult road conditions, traffic congestion, and a rudimentary public transit system. Traffic congestion and air pollution are worsening as the number of motor cycles increases. Squatter settlements are expanding on the outer rim of the city as homelessness rises (2001).[96]

In the late 1980s, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Vietnamese government had designed a project to develop rural infrastructure.[96] The project focused on improving roads, water supply and sanitation, and educational, health and social facilities because economic development in the communes and rural areas surrounding Hanoi is dependent on the infrastructural links between the rural and urban areas, especially for the sale of rural products.[96] The project aimed to use locally available resources and knowledge such as compressed earth construction techniques for building. It was jointly funded by the UNDP, the Vietnamese government, and resources raised by the local communities and governments. In four communes, the local communities contributed 37% of the total budget.[96] Local labor, community support, and joint funding were decided as necessary for the long-term sustainability of the project.[96]

Civil society development

Part of the goals of the Đổi Mới economic reforms was to decentralize governance for purpose of economic improvement. This led to the establishment of the first issue-oriented civic organizations in Hanoi. In the 1990s, Hanoi experienced significant poverty alleviation as a result of both the market reforms and civil society movements.[102] Most of the civic organizations in Hanoi were established after 1995, at a rate much slower than in Ho Chi Minh City.[103] Organizations in Hanoi are more "tradition-bound", focused on policy, education, research, professional interests, and appealing to governmental organizations to solve social problems.[103] This marked difference from Ho Chi Minh's civic organizations, which practice more direct intervention to tackle social issues, may be attributed to the different societal identities of North and South Vietnam.[103] Hanoi-based civic organizations use more systematic development and less of a direct intervention approach to deal with issues of rural development, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection. They rely more heavily on full-time staff than volunteers. In Hanoi, 16.7% of civic organizations accept anyone as a registered member and 73.9% claim to have their own budgets, as opposed to 90.9% in Ho Chi Minh City.[103] A majority of the civic organizations in Hanoi find it difficult to work with governmental organizations. Many of the strained relations between non-governmental and governmental organizations results from statism, a bias against non-state organizations on the part of government entities.[103]


One Pillar Pagoda

As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centres of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Even when the nation's capital moved to Huế under the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802, the city of Hanoi continued to flourish, especially after the French took control in 1888 and modeled the city's architecture to their tastes, lending an important aesthetic to the city's rich stylistic heritage. The city hosts more cultural sites than any other city in Vietnam,[104] and boasts more than 1,000 years of history; that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.[105]

Old Quarter

The Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake, maintains most of the original street layout and some of the architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century Hanoi consisted of the "36 streets", the citadel, and some of the newer French buildings south of Hoàn Kiếm lake, most of which are now part of Hoàn Kiếm district.[106] Each street had merchants and households specializing in a particular trade, such as silk, jewelry or even bamboo. The street names still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce.[107] The area is famous for its specializations in trades such as traditional medicine and local handicrafts, including silk shops, bamboo carpenters, and tin smiths. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Đồng Xuân Market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.

The city's more than six decades of French colonization, as well as centuries of sociocultural influence from China, have influenced the designs of the old houses in Hanoi. The Franco-Chinese or hybrid architectural styles can be reflected in the front of a house in the co-existence of French-styled columns, Confucian scrolls, the Taoist yin-yang sign, and the Buddhist lotus sculpture.[108]

Imperial sites

Front gate of the Temple of Literature

Imperial sites are mostly in

Hanoi Citadel was discovered in central Hanoi, near the site of Ba Đình Square.[109]


A city between rivers built on lowlands, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and is sometimes called the "city of lakes". Among its lakes, the most famous are Hoàn Kiếm Lake, West Lake, Trúc Bạch Lake and Bảy Mẫu Lake (inside Thống Nhất Park). Hoàn Kiếm Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. West Lake (Hồ Tây) is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi, with many temples in the area. The lakeside road in the Nghi Tam – Quang Ba area is perfect for bicycling, jogging and viewing the cityscape or enjoying the lotus ponds in the summer. The best way to see the majestic beauty of a West Lake sunset is to view it from one of the many bars around the lake, especially from The Summit at Pan Pacific Hanoi (formally known as Summit Lounge at Sofitel Plaza Hanoi).

Colonial Hanoi

Tonkin Palace used to host the French Governor of Tonkin
The Hanoi Opera House, taken in the early 20th century, from rue Paul Bert (now Trang Tien street)
The Hotel Metropole was opened in 1901.

Hanoi was the capital and the administrative center for

Indochina Medical College. Gouveneur-Général Paul Doumer (1898–1902) played a crucial role in colonial Hanoi's urban planning. Under his tenure there was a major construction boom.[111]

Hoàn Kiếm District
, the two French Quarters of the city. Notable landmarks include:

In Ba Đình district:

In Hoàn Kiếm district:


Traditional Hanoi dwelling, Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi

Hanoi is home to a number of museums:


Perfume Pagoda in western Hanoi

Hanoi's western suburbs, previously

Hà Tây Province
, offers a number of important religious sites:


Approximation of Hanoi's Old Quarter and French Quarters

According to

Paris of the East" for its French influences.[117]
With its tree-fringed boulevards, more than two dozen lakes and thousands of French colonial-era buildings, Hanoi is a popular tourist destination.

The tourist destinations in Hanoi are generally grouped into two main areas: the

Hoàn Kiếm District
with small street blocks and alleys, and a traditional Vietnamese atmosphere. Many streets in the Old Quarter have names signifying the goods ("hàng") the local merchants were or are specialized in. For example, "Hàng Bạc" (silver stores) still have many stores specializing in trading silver and jewelries.

Two areas are generally called the "French Quarters": the governmental area in

French Colonial
style villas and broad tree-lined avenues.

The political center of Vietnam, Ba Đình has a high concentration of Vietnamese government headquarters, including the

are also in Ba Dinh.

South of Hoàn Kiếm's "French Quarter" has several French colonial landmarks, including the

. Most of the French-Colonial buildings in Hoan Kiem are now used as foreign embassies.

Northwest of the historic center, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology opened in 1997, and consists of two major exhibition halls and an Architecture Garden. It is one of the most important Asian collections of traditional architecture.

Since 2014, Hanoi has consistently been voted in the world's top ten destinations by TripAdvisor. It ranked eighth in 2014,[118] fourth in 2015[119] and eighth in 2016.[120] Hanoi is the most affordable international destination in TripAdvisor's annual TripIndex report[citation needed].


Performance of the water puppet theatre Thăng Long

A variety of options for entertainment in Hanoi can be found throughout the city. Modern and traditional theaters, cinemas, karaoke bars, dance clubs, bowling alleys, and an abundance of opportunities for shopping provide leisure activity for both locals and tourists. Hanoi has been named one of the top 10 cities for shopping in Asia by Water Puppet Tours.[121] The number of art galleries exhibiting Vietnamese art has dramatically increased in recent years, now including galleries such as "Nhat Huy" of Huynh Thong Nhat.

Nhà Triển Lãm at 29 Hang Bai street hosts regular photo, sculpture, and paint exhibitions in conjuncture with local artists and travelling international expositions.

A popular traditional form of entertainment is water puppetry, which is shown, for example, at the Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre.


The name of Hanoi has been used to name many species of

The name Hanoi has also been given to asteroid 7816 Hanoi, which was discovered in 1987 and has a diameter of nearly 3 km.[126]


Chả cá Lã Vọng, a dish that originated in Hanoi

Hanoi has rich culinary traditions. Many of Vietnam's most famous dishes, such as

chả cá Lã Vọng, bánh cuốn and cốm are believed to have originated in Hanoi. Bún chả, a dish consisting of charcoal roasted pork served in a sweet/salty soup with rice noodle vermicelli and lettuce, is by far the most popular food item among locals. President Barack Obama famously tried this dish at a Le Van Huu eatery with Anthony Bourdain
in 2016, prompting the opening of a bún chả restaurant bearing his name in the Old Quarter.

Hanoi has a number of restaurants whose menus specifically offer dishes containing snakes

Eating dog meat used to be popular in Hanoi in the 1990s and the early 2000s but is now dying out quickly due to strong objections.


The Hanoi Medical University was the first modern university in Vietnam.

Hanoi, as the capital of French Indochina, was home to the first Western-style universities in Indochina, including Indochina Medical College (1902) – now

Hanoi University of Fine Art

After the Communist Party of Vietnam took control of Hanoi in 1954, many new universities were built, most prominently the

University of Languages and International Studies) was rated as one of the top universities in south-east Asia for languages and language studies at the undergraduate level.[131] Other universities that are not part of Vietnam National University or Hanoi University include Hanoi School for Public Health, Hanoi School of Agriculture, Electric Power University and University of Transport and Communications

It is estimated that 62% of the scientists in Vietnam are living and working in Hanoi.[132] Admission to undergraduate study is through entrance examinations, which are conducted annually and open to everyone who has successfully completed their secondary education in the country. The majority of universities in Hanoi are public, although in recent years a number of private universities have begun operation. Thăng Long University, founded in 1988 by Vietnamese mathematics professors in Hanoi and France,[133] was the first private university in Vietnam. Because many of Vietnam's major universities are located in Hanoi, students from other provinces (especially in the northern part of the country) wishing to enter university often travel to Hanoi for the annual entrance examination. Such events usually take place in June and July, during which a large number of students and their families converge on the city for several weeks around the intense examination periods. In recent years, these entrance exams have been coordinated by the Ministry of Education, but entrance requirements are decided independently by each university.

Although there are state owned

high school
from grades 10 to 12. There are several specialised schools (also known as high schools for the gifted) in Hanoi where students with the most academic prowess attend.

Education levels are much higher within the city of Hanoi in comparison to the suburban areas outside the city. About 33.8% of the labor force in the city has completed secondary school in contrast to 19.4% in the suburbs.[96] 21% of the labor force in the city has completed tertiary education in contrast to 4.1% in the suburbs.[96]


Country-wide educational change is difficult in Vietnam due to the restrictive control of the government on social and economic development strategies.[134] According to Hanoi government publications, the national system of education was reformed in 1950, 1956 and 1970.[134] It was not until 1975 when the two separate education systems of the former North and South Vietnam territories became unified under a single national system.[134] In Hanoi in December 1996, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam stated that: "To carry out industrialization and modernization successfully, it is necessary to develop education and training strongly [and to] maximize human resources, the key factor of fast and sustained development."[134]


Hanoi has 1,370 streets and roads with the total length of over 2,300 km (1,429 mi); 573 bridges, of which 483 small to middle bridges, 13 light overpasses for vehicles, 70 pedestrian overpasses and 7 main bridges (Chương Dương, Vĩnh Tuy, Thanh Trì, Nhật Tân, Đông Trù, Thăng Long, and Phùng); 115 tunnels, including 9 main tunnels, 39 pedestrian tunnels and 67 underpass. In total, the proportion of land for traffic in the city as of 2021 is 10.3%. The city also has 63 km (39 mi) of inland waterways, which include Yến stream, Hai stream, Cà Lồ and Đáy river.[135]

Hanoi is served by Noi Bai International Airport, located in Soc Son District, approximately 15 km (9 mi) north of Hanoi. The new international terminal (T2), designed and built by Japanese contractors, opened in January 2015 and is a big facelift for the airport. In addition, a new highway and the new Nhat Tan cable-stay bridge connecting the airport and the city center opened at the same time, offering much more convenience than the old road (via Thang Long bridge). Taxis are plentiful and usually have meters, although it is also common to agree on the trip price before taking a taxi from the airport to the city centre.

Hanoi is also the origin or departure point for many

Reunification Express (tàu Thống Nhất) runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City from Hanoi station (formerly Hang Co station), with stops at cities and provinces along the line. Trains also depart Hanoi frequently for Hai Phong and other northern cities. The Reunification Express line was established during the French colonial rule and was completed over a period of nearly forty years, from 1899 to 1936.[136] The Reunification Express between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City covers a distance of 1,726 km (1,072 mi) and takes approximately 33 hours.[137]
As of 2005, there were 278 stations on the Vietnamese railway network, of which 191 were located along the north–south line.

The main means of transport within Hanoi are motorbikes, buses, taxis, and a rising number of cars. In recent decades, motorbikes have overtaken bicycles as the main form of transportation. Cars are the most notable change in the past five years as many Vietnamese people have started to purchase them for the first time. The increasing number of cars is the main cause of gridlocks, as roads and infrastructure in older parts of Hanoi were not designed to accommodate them.[138] On 4 July 2017, the Hanoi government voted to ban motorbikes entirely by 2030 to reduce pollution, congestion, and encourage the expansion and use of public transport.[139] The number of vehicles registered in Hanoi as of July 2022 is over 7.6 million, including more than 1 million cars, over 6.4 million motorcycles of and 179,000 electric motorbikes. This figure does not include vehicles of the armed forces, diplomatic missions and other localities' vehicles operating in Hanoi.[135]

There are two metro lines in Hanoi, one of which is under construction, as part of the master plan for the future Hanoi Metro system.[140] Line 2A opened on 6 November 2021,[141] while Line 3 is expected to begin operations in mid-2024.[142]

People on their own or traveling in a pair who wish to make a fast trip around Hanoi to avoid traffic jams or to travel at an irregular time or by way of an irregular route often use "xe ôm" (literally, "hug bike"). Motorbikes can also be rented from agents within the Old Quarter of Hanoi, although this falls inside a grey legal area.[143]


Mỹ Đình National Stadium

There are several gymnasiums and stadiums throughout the city of Hanoi. The most approved ones are Mỹ Đình National Stadium (Lê Đức Thọ Boulevard), Quần Ngựa Sports Palace (Văn Cao Avenue), Hanoi Aquatics Sports Complex and Hanoi Indoor Games Gymnasium. The others include Hàng Đẫy Stadium. The third Asian Indoor Games were held in Hanoi in 2009. The others are Hai Bà Trưng Gymnasium, Trịnh Hoài Đức Gymnasium, Vạn Bảo Sports Complex.

On 6 November 2018, it was announced that in 2020, Hanoi would become the host of the first FIA

Formula 1 Vietnamese Grand Prix on a street circuit on the outskirts of the city.[144] The race was initially postponed and later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inaugural edition of the event postponed to 2021.[145] The Grand Prix was removed from the 2021 calendar because of the arrest of Hanoi People's Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung on corruption charges unrelated to the Grand Prix. As a result, it's unclear whether the race will be held at all.[146]

Hanoi has two basketball teams that compete in the

Viettel, both participating in V.League 1

Health care and other facilities

Some medical facilities in Hanoi:

  • Bạch Mai Hospital
  • Viet Duc Hospital
  • Saint Paul General Hospital
  • 108 Military Central Hospital
  • Hôpital Français de Hanoi
  • International SOS
  • Hanoi Medical University Hospital
  • Thanh Nhan Hospital
  • Vinmec International Hospital
  • Thu Cuc General Hospital
  • K Hospital
  • Medlatech Hospital

City for Peace

On 16 July 1999, the

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented the title "City for Peace" to Hanoi because the city met the following criteria: exemplary action against exclusion and in support of the dialogue between communities, exemplary urban action, exemplary environmental action, exemplary action to promote culture, exemplary action in the field of education and especially civic education.[147]

Hanoi is the only city in Asia-Pacific that was granted this title.

International relations

Hanoi is a member of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

Twin towns – sister cities

Hanoi is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ Sometimes spelled as Ha Noi
  2. ^ All-time record high;Vietnamnet.vn (May record high and January record low only),[70] Vietnamnet.vn (June record high only),[76] Imh.ac.vn (August record high only),[77] Nchmf.gov.vn,[78]January record high, November record high, April and May record low in The Yearbook of Indochina[79][80]


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