11 Most Famous Landmarks in Vietnam

This beautiful country has everything to offer visitors, like epic beaches, interesting neighbourhoods and ancient sites. But here are the most famous landmarks in Vietnam you need to make time for.

Vietnam, a country steeped in history and endless natural beauty, has so many wonderful landmarks. I could list a hundred Vietnamese landmarks worth seeing, but these are the most popular and famous landmarks in Vietnam that need to be on every bucket list.

From the stunning emerald waters of Halong Bay to the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, each of the Vietnam landmarks show off a different facet of the gorgeous landscape and culture of the country. It really is like a Lonely Planet guide come to life, with so many colourful and beautiful things to admire.

I’ve put together a list of its most iconic landmarks, with each being unmissable for unique reasons. Whether you’re an adventurer, a nature lover, a history lover, or an admirer of architecture, you won’t be disappointed.

11 famous attractions in Vietnam

Discover the most popular Vietnamese landmarks and famous sites in Vietnam that will complete any trip to the country.

1. Halong Bay

The stunning Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, is a stunning natural wonder. There are more than 1,600  limestone karsts and islets that rise up dramatically out of the gorgeous emerald waters. The bay covers an area of around 1,553 square kilometres and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Most Famous Vietnam Landmarks Halong Bay

If you’re not convinced that it’s an absolute must-see Vietnamese landmark yet then picture this – millions of years of winds and downpours have whittled down these incredible wonders and they are now topped with jungle growth too. A place that simply had to be seen. In certain areas you can even swim around the islets. Bliss!

Halong Bay is famous for its beauty which makes it a popular destination for boat cruises, kayaking, and exploring the numerous caves and grottoes that dot the landscape. Whilst you can visit all year round I recommend avoiding peak summer months of June-August simply because it can be very hot and humid and is the most crowded time too.

However, if that doesn’t bother you then go to Halong Bay anytime – it’s beautiful and one of the best and most famous landmarks in Vietnam.

2. Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter in Hanoi is a historic district consisting of 36 old streets, famed for their narrow streets, ancient architecture, and a heady atmosphere. Hustle and bustle is a fitting description with it being one of the busiest places in Hanoi!

It is certainly bursting with life with its mix of traditional shops, fresh street food, greenery and compact living quarters. 

 Famous Vietnamese Landmarks Hanoi Old Quarter

Each street in the quarter traditionally specialised in a particular trade, and many of the buildings date back to the 15th century. There’s fresh flowers and fruit, the smell of cooking food from the street vendors, bikes whizzing by, jewellery for sale, silk and fabrics on display, herbs, coffee – a delight for all the senses!

Definitely a Vietnam Landmark you have to see in order to really get a feel for what some say is the ‘real Hanoi’.

Hanoi is one of the most exciting places in Vietnam. Check out how much I spent in Hanoi here, and all the best things to do in Hanoi here.

3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

If history is your thing then you need to head to Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, where the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is located.

It’s the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary leader and founder of modern Vietnam. Whilst the mausoleum is a monumental structure made of marble and granite, and an obvious architectural triumph, it also gives you a deeper understanding of the country’s history too. 

historic sites vietnam Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

As with many sites around the world which are both tourist attractions and places of respect or worship, be mindful that there is a dress code (e.g. no shorts allowed). I wouldn’t want you turned away if you’ve made the trip to go there!

With the site being a symbol of reverence for Ho Chi Minh and an important political and historical landmark in Vietnam, the dress code is a mark of respect – and is well worth honouring in order to visit one of the best Vietnam landmarks.

Also, I got told off for talking in the queue. Silence is respect!

4. Imperial City, Hue

Another famous landmark in Vietnam you’ll no doubt of heard of is The Imperial City in Hue. Built in 1803, it served as the political and cultural centre of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Where to go in Vietnam

I’d recommend putting aside half a day (or more) to view and enjoy all there is to see. The complex includes a citadel (complete with moat), breathtaking palaces, beautiful temples, fortified walls, and ornate gates.

popular places vietnam Imperial City Hue

It’s also an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, thus it immediately has to make it on my recommendation list for the best Vietnam landmarks to visit! The Imperial City shows off Vietnam’s imperial history and architectural grandeur with aplomb.

5. My Son Sanctuary

About an hour away from Hoi An by car, My Son is a cluster of Hindu temples and towers built by the Champa Kingdom between the 4th and 14th centuries.

You’ll begin at a visitors centre which is away from the ruins but they provide a shuttle bus to take tourists there, although you are also welcome to walk – you can have a guided tour of the ruins if you wish too. 

Most Famous landmarks in Vietnam My Son Sanctuary

Surrounded by trees and mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautiful testament to the history of the Champa civilisation. Despite damage during the Vietnam War, the site retains its beauty and, of course, its historical and archaeological significance.

There’s also an enchanting performance by traditional dancers, further adding the many reasons My Son is one of the best Vietnam landmarks for you to visit.

READ MORE: 21 Things Vietnam is Famous For

6. Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An is a treat for all the senses!

It earned its status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site by being a well-preserved ancient town and example of a Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries with a blend of different architectural styles, including Chinese, Japanese, and European influences.

Travel advice for Vietnam Hoi An

In the evening the town is lit up magically with multi-coloured lanterns everywhere. On the river the lanterns make for a stunning and romantic setting and you can even take a wonderful small boat ride. 

Most Famous Vietnam Landmarks Hoi Ancient Town

Along the streets there are multiple artisans, vendors, food stalls, restaurants and coffee shops. With its mix of colours, smells, tastes and range of experiences to be had it is definitely one of the best Vietnam landmarks to visit whilst you’re there. The town is known for its charming lantern-lit streets.

7. Cu Chi Tunnels

The fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive underground network used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War located in Ho Chi Minh City. They are immense in scale and were used for everything from hiding, living, and conducting military operations.

Famous Vietnamese Landmarks Cy Chi Tunnels

This incredible historical site is not for the claustrophobic!

Cu Chi Tunnels

You are able to walk through some of the tunnels yourself on a guided tour which will also tell you much more about the workings and the history of the place. If you love history then the Cu Chi Tunnels are one of the must-see Vietnam landmarks – immerse yourself in the ingenuity of the landscape they created. 

8. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

The world’s largest cave, Son Doong, can be found in this national park in central Vietnam, immediately making it one of the greatest Vietnam landmarks to visit.

Not only does Phong Nha-Ke Bang have extensive cave systems but also mountains, lakes, jungle and wildlife! If you’re a nature lover or an adventurer then this is a must-see as it is known for its karst landscapes, limestone formations, and biodiversity.

Famous landmarks in Vietnam  Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

It is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site that Vietnam has to offer and you really could spend many days exploring the whole park. It is recommended to visit outside of the rainy season (from October to December) as parts will be inaccessible during that time. 

Phong Nha Cave and Paradise Cave are the most popular attractions in the national park as they are simple day tours that can be easily booked whereas visiting Son Doong is more of an expedition which includes a few days camping. Either way there is beauty and adventure to be had!

This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam.

9. Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi was built in 1070 and is dedicated to the philosopher Confucius, and other sages and scholars. It also served as Vietnam’s first national university known as the Imperial Academy. It covers an area of over 54,000 square metres and includes Giam Park and Van Lake.

It’s a very popular tourist attraction so I’d recommend getting there early in the morning when it may be a little quieter (and also a little cooler as it can get quite humid). 

Most Famous Vietnam Landmarks Temple of Literature

Whether you love architecture, history or literature and philosophy, this is a wonderful and beautiful Vietnam landmark that I’d very much suggest you visit. As much as it is a symbol of education and intellectualism, the Temple of Literature is also a grand example of traditional Vietnamese architecture.

10. Central Post Office

Now I understand the idea of a visit to a post office whilst on holiday or travelling the world doesn’t necessarily scream ‘exciting’ but hear me out!

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, designed by Gustave Eiffel, is a colonial-era building with breathtaking Gothic architecture. There’s an incredible domed ceiling with skylights, almost cathedral-like, and from the outside you would think this looks like one of the grand railway stations of Europe!

attractions in vietnam Central Post Office

To top it all off, not only is it one of the iconic Vietnam landmarks, but the Central Post Office is still a functioning post office not just a historical site, so you really get immersed in the atmosphere of the bustling visitors. There’s also shops inside and, of course, lots of souvenirs to buy if you so wish.

11. Lady Buddha (Linh Ung Pagoda)

The Lady Buddha statue, a symbol of compassion and peace, is part of the Linh Ung Pagoda complex on Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang, 10km away from the city centre. The statue, standing at over 67 metres, is the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam which automatically means it is one of the best Vietnam landmarks. There are also stunning views overlooking the East Sea and a spectacular view of Hai Van Mountain.

Most Famous Vietnam Landmarks Lady Buddha

From the towering (quite literally) Lady Buddha, the beauty of Halong Bay to the historical Cu Chi Tunnels, and the adventure-inducing Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam is a treasure trove for those seeking new travel experiences.

These landmarks collectively showcase the soul of Vietnam, immersing you into natural wonders and cultural icons which will stay with you forever. Get some, if not all, added to your bucket list and have a wonderful trip to amazing Vietnam landmarks.

11 famous landmarks in Vietnam quicklist

  • Halong Bay
  • Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Imperial City, Hue
  • My Son Sancutary
  • Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
  • Temple of Literature
  • Central Post Office
  • Lady Buddha (Linh Ung Pagoda)

What is the most famous landmark in Vietnam?

The most famous landmark in Vietnam is undoubtedly Ha Long Bay. Known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of natural beauty in Vietnam. It’s a popular destination for boat tours, kayaking, and exploring the numerous caves dotting the area.

What is the No 1 tourist spot in Vietnam?

The number one tourist spot in Vietnam is often considered to be the ancient town of Hoi An. This exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century is famous for its historic architecture, traditional wooden houses, and hundreds of tailor shops.

What is a famous monument in Vietnam?

A famous monument in Vietnam is the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. This museum offers a stark reminder of the Vietnam War, showcasing detailed exhibits including military equipment, photographs, and personal accounts. It’s a poignant site that provides insight into the profound impacts of the war on Vietnam and its people.

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