Preserving a heritage of more than 1300 years and with its continuous role as a seat of power, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi is an impressive piece of Vietnamese history, culture, archaeology and values. Before Thang Long Citadel was built in 11th Century AD, this area was the core of the Dai La Citadel, dating from the period when this region was ruled directly by China ( 7th to 9th Century AD). At times, this is also referred as the Forbidden City as access was limited to only royals and important dignitaries.
It was from the Citadel that first the Chinese administrators and later the Vietnamese Emperors ruled. The Headquarters of the North Vietnamese Government and army were located here during the American War (Vietnam War, 1954 – 1975).
Pictures of Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, Hanoi
The Central Axis of the Citadel runs from the Hanoi Flag Tower and South Gate to the mound where the Emperor’s Kinh Thien Palace was located and then to the North Gate.
Hanoi Flag Tower
Hanoi Flag Tower was built around 1805-1812. Towering over 33 meters, Hanoi Flag Tower is visible even from a distance. You can visit Flag Tower separately or have a view of Hanoi Flag Tower from inside of Thăng Long Citadel.
Hanoi flag tower opening hours: 9 AM to 5 PM; Entrance Fee: Free
Inside Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, Hanoi
Due to impact of time, massive citadel and the splendid pavilions no longer remain. However, the standing monuments and archaeological artifacts still contain priceless historical and cultural values.
There are multiple sites inside Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (Hoàng Thành Thăng Long). After taking your ticket, you enter through South Gate (Doan Mon), take left for Museum and keep walking to explore an underground military bunker (Once center of operations for People’s army of Vietnam), Kinh Thien Palace Foundation, Ladies Pavilion and more till you approach North Gate. There is also an archaeological site with display of artifacts from millennial history of Thang Long.
Military Bunker (D67 Tunnel) is worth visiting as you need to step down to enter an underground military bunker. This was the center of Vietnamese People’s Army during American War.
Hanoi Citadel Opening Hours
All days except Monday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Hanoi Citadel Entry Fee
VND 30,000 Per Person. No Fee for Children under 15 years. 50% discount for Vietnamese Students above 15 years and Vietnamese Old people above 60 years of age.
Thang Long Hanoi Dress Code
There is no specific dress code to visit Hanoi Old Citadel. Considering that you will also be visiting Kinh Thien Palace Foundation inside Thang Long Citadel which is a place of worship, please dress appropriately. Best way is to have full pants and have a dress that also covers your shoulders. For women, they may carry a shawl for places of worship in Vietnam.
You can find more information at Hanoi Citadel website here or call them at (84-24). 37345427
We hope that this helps you to explore Hanoi Citadel with ease. Please feel free to drop us comments below in case you need any additional information or have more to add for our fellow travellers.