5 Beautiful French Architecture You Need to Check Out in Hanoi

Hanoi is a beautiful city with a rich history and that history can be seen through the stunning buildings all across the city, especially the French colonial architecture. It has been many years since the French left Vietnam but on their way out they left behind some stunning architecture. In this blog, we’ll take a look at 5 beautiful French architecture in Hanoi you need to check out.

Stunning French architecture in Hanoi

The Hanoi Opera House

The Hanoi Opera House is one of the most beautiful pieces of French architecture in Hanoi. It features a classic example of French neoclassical architecture with its pillars, windows, and domes. It was built between 1901 and 1911 by V. Harley and Broyer under the patronage of the French government. The opera house was heavily inspired by the Palais Garnier, a famous Opera House in Paris, France. After its completion, it was used by wealthy Vietnamese and French officials to host balls and operas. In later years, during the Vietnamese independence movement, it became a sort of rallying point for the fighters. The building is currently being used to host musical events throughout the year, particularly traditional Vietnamese opera. 

exterior of the Hanoi Opera House refelcted on a puddle in the road

Read up on this quick and handy guide to all things Hanoi

Vietnam National Museum of History

Nearby the Hanoi Opera House is another shining beacon of French colonial architecture, The Vietnam National Museum of History. Designed by architect Ernest Hebbard, the museum is a unique blend of French and Chinese styles. Originally an archaeological research institution for Far East studies under the French colonial government, it was turned into a national history museum by the Vietnamese government after independence. You can walk around the museum to witness Vietnam’s history from the stone age to the independence movement.

Vietnam national musuem of history exterior from the parking ot

The Presidential Palace

The strikingly yellow Presidential Palace is an architectural marvel in downtown Hanoi. Built between 1900 and 1906 by renowned architect Auguste Henri Vildieu, the stunning neoclassical architecture is truly European in its aesthetics with its grand staircases, classical columns, and lush garden. It was originally used by the governors-general of Indo-China as their base. After independence, the building became famous for being a political symbol with Ho Chi Minh refusing to live there and living on a small stilt house within the grounds. Nowadays, the palatial house is used strictly for government functions. Visitors are not allowed inside the building but can walk around the garden.

exterior of the presidential palace

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

A stunning example of Neo-gothic architecture, the St Joseph's Cathedral is believed to be one of the oldest churches in Hanoi. Built in 1886, the church was heavily inspired by the Notre Dame Church in Paris, particularly its twin bell towers. The interior of the church is heavily decorated with high ceilings, stained glass windows, and embellishments. The exterior is made of granite which has unfortunately started to wear down to pollution. However, the church still exudes a grand atmosphere. Every year, hundreds of people visit the church during Christmas Eve to celebrate mass.

run down exterior of st joseph cathedral in hanoi

State Guest House

Another building in Hanoi that exudes a charming French-inspired atmosphere is the State Guest House. Built by the architect Auguste Henri Vildieu, the building was used as a residence for the Governor of Tonkin (old name for North Vietnam). It was here that Ho Chi Minh won the August Revolution of 1945 to overthrow the French Colonial government. It then became the headquarters of the new government led by Ho Chi Minh. Nowadays, it is used as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries.

Exterior of state guest house in hanoi with a moped passing by

Now that we’ve come to the end of the list, I’m sure you want to see these places for yourself. Well, you’ve come to the right people. We here at BDATrip will help you make a custom itinerary for your trip to Vietnam. We are a one-stop shop for all your Vietnam tour needs. We also provide online Vietnam visa services, airport pickup and transfer services, hotel bookings, and more.

Shop Like a Local- 5 Best Places to Shop in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city with its bright lights, crazy traffic, and endless energy is one of the best places to shop in Vietnam. Countless shops and markets are selling different ...

A Guide to Weather in Vietnam

Vietnam, though it does not look like it on maps, is actually a big country. Its size and location mean the weather in Vietnam varies widely from region to region. ...

5 Beautiful French Architecture You Need to Check Out in Hanoi

Hanoi is a beautiful city with a rich history and that history can be seen through the stunning buildings all across the city, especially the French colonial architecture. It has ...

6 Best Day Trips From Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam. Once you land in the city, there are multiple things to do, food to eat, and sights ...

10 Fun Facts About Vietnam That You Probably Didn't Know

Vietnam is a fascinating country and the more you learn about it, the better it gets. After all, who doesn’t love finding out interesting tidbits or facts, especially about a ...

Safety Tips For Solo Female Travelers in Vietnam

Traveling solo, especially as a female, is empowering and can lead to life-changing experiences. One country that every female traveler should go to at least once is Vietnam. The country ...

Best Things to do in Ly Son Island

Ly Son is an island just off the coast of Vietnam. Popular among locals for its breathtaking scenery, beaches, and temples as well as some of the best garlic in ...

How to Travel From Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hanoi and Halong Bay are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. A visit to Vietnam is incomplete if you don't spend at least a day in either ...

Ho Chi Minh City Nightlife: The Top 6 Best Bars

The vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City are home to some of the best nightlife scenes in the country. The people here love to drink and have fun. And ...

The Weird And Wonderful: 5 Unique Places to Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful place with numerous heritage sites, colonial-era buildings, ancient temples, rice fields, and more. But if you look beyond that, the country is also home to unique, ...