St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

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St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hanoi: Half-Day Small Group Tour

1. Hanoi: Half-Day Small Group Tour

Begin your tour at the Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter, modeled on the Palais Garnier, which is considered to be one of the architectural landmarks of Hanoi. The next stop is the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam which was built in the 10th century under the Ly Dynasty and greatly influenced by Confucianism. Next, visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for many Vietnamese pilgrims. A traffic-free area of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside the Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. Next stop is Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, before stopping at St. Joseph's Cathedral to learn about religion in Vietnam. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886.

Hanoi: Instagram-Worthy Tour of City’s Most Scenic Spots

2. Hanoi: Instagram-Worthy Tour of City’s Most Scenic Spots

Start the tour while posing at St. Joseph's Cathedral and wandering around the central spots of the Old Quarter. Your professional guide will not only take special and cool shots for you, but also make your picture spectacular and unique. Next to the cathedral, you also can capture a nice shot at the Hanoi House Cafe with its ancient features surrounding you.   The next stop will be the Ceramic Mosaic Mural, the longest and the most colorful street which was built to celebrate 1,000 years of civilization in Hanoi. You can go along the street and choose the best scenes or go to the Long Biên Bridge to get the combination of both bridge and mural in your photos. Your next scenic spot will be West Lake with the panoramic view of the biggest lake in the city combined with oldest Buddhist temple, the Tran Quoc Pagoda. After that, you will pass by Phan Dinh Phung Street, crossing the Cua Bac Church and the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long. Last but not least, you also have the chance to snap Hanoi Train Street, one of the must-see places that cannot be left out.

Hanoi Old Quarter: 1-Hour Cyclo Tour

3. Hanoi Old Quarter: 1-Hour Cyclo Tour

After departure from the meeting point, which heads out once every hour, sit back and relax with your driver pedaling you from behind. Enjoy an unobstructed view, and take plenty of photos. The Old Quarter, with its unique architecture from the French colonial times, is the heart of Hanoi and is home to many city highlights. Observe the Dong Xuan Wholesale Market, Joseph Cathedral Church and the Opera House. Take in the beautiful view from Hoan Kiem Lake for the perfect photographs of the city. Ride with the cyclo at the perfect pace to enjoy some of the 36 shaded streets of this historic district. Admire the products made and sold on each street, such as sugar, bamboo, leather or silver.

Hanoi: Traditional Ao Dai Dress and Non La Hat Rental

4. Hanoi: Traditional Ao Dai Dress and Non La Hat Rental

If you are looking for an authentic experience in Hanoi, don't miss out on this Ao Dai rental service. Immerse yourself in the Vietnamese culture wearing a beautiful Ao Dai of your choice strolling through the scenic streets of Hanoi. Wear your Ao Dai along with a Non La conical hat and get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience. The Ao Dai is a deeply ingrained part of Vietnamese culture and mind. Seize the opportunity to wear an Ao Dai that has carried its national identity and spirit since its creation. An outstanding work of art, the Ao Dai is also popular in modern culture and worn by flight attendants, teachers, bankers, and students. Embark on a self-guided photo tour in your Ao Dai and take stunning pictures in front of famous monuments such as the Hoan Kiem Lake, Opera House, Cathedral or the Long Bien Bridge. Make your stay in Vietnam unique and memorable.

Hanoi Highlights: Small-Group Tour

5. Hanoi Highlights: Small-Group Tour

Dive into the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling city on this Hanoi city tour, a great way to see some of the major Hanoi highlights. You will be joined by a local leader and a maximum group size of 12 passengers. Start the city tour with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Originally built in honor of Confucius by King Ly Thai Thong in 1070, a university was added to the grounds six years later. The university provided education to the royal family and children of the aristocracy or "mandarins". The University remained here until King Gia Long moved the country’s administrative capital from Hanoi to Hue at the beginning of the 19th century. Drop into a traditional tea house to taste some of the best Vietnamese flavored green teas and listen to thousand-year-old stories explaining the significance of tea leaves to local cultures. Tea is even better when served with some authentic snacks such as sweetened lotus seeds and green bean cake.  Continuing on the Hanoi tour, head to the Hoa Lo Prison museum. Used by French Colonists for political prisoners till 1954 and later by North Vietnam for American POWs, the prison complex was sarcastically nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American pilots during Vietnam War (1954-1975). Famous ex-prisoners of war include Pete Peterson (the first US ambassador to a unified Vietnam in 1995) and US Senator John McCain. Your next stop will be the largest and oldest church in Hanoi. St Joseph’s Cathedral was built in 1886 with an architectural style often compared to the Notre Dame de Paris, this Gothic Revival church is not only a religious site, but is also a popular photoshoot backdrop for local teenagers.  Continue to the heart of Hanoi - the Hoan Kiem Lake, with its magnificent Huc Bridge and Ngoc Son temple. Experience the spiritual harmony of different religions coexisting in the same place. Then, stop for lunch for a traditional bowl of pho, a definite must-do while you're in Vietnam, before ending the tour. You may then continue your own exploration of the area or your tour guide will assist you in getting a taxi back to your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

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What people are saying about St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 116 reviews

Met up at the opera house with the tour guide and our guide was small group and called Flower . Her English was very good and knowedge of all the sites too along with the food was excellent as was a local street cafe plus also went to a local tea place . We then were left on own to visit the literature place

Fifi was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and had a great personality to her which made the whole experience enjoyable. She also was able to adapt quickly to changes in schedule and route us efficiently so we could reduce the amount of time waiting in line. Would 10/10 recommend!

My daughter and I had an individual guide who was very knowledgeable and helpful. We enjoyed exploring all the sites and gained understanding of the significance of these sites to Vietnamese culture. The egg coffee was great too!

It was a super nice tour, my guide Rumi was a very eay to chat to and showed me wonderful spots. She also encouraged me to take great pics! I am ver grateful for having booked the tour. Highly recommended!!!

It was fun to have a friendly tour guide, the trip more enjoyable.