Although Buddhist temples (also called pagodas) are dotted all over Vietnam, Hanoi is particularly rich in its concentration of beautiful as well as important temples. Incorporate these into your sightseeing itinerary, or dedicate a whole day to exploring temples alone - because, rest assured there are plenty to see! Here are 12 to keep an eye out for on your  trip to Hanoi.

Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem

Rising from the Jade Island at the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son Temple was built to honour a 13th-century military commander. Along with an elegant pavilion and the Pen Tower, it is reachable by the famous red Light of Dawn bridge, making for a well-rounded destination of sights.

Address: P. Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Sunday.

Entry fee: 30,000 VND (approx USD 1.3) 


Perfume Pagoda, My Duc

The Perfume Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most important religious destinations, with thousands of pilgrims making the journey yearly. Despite its singular name, it is a collection of smaller pagodas, shrines, and stupas clustered together around the central titular Perfume Pagoda - making it an excellent day trip opportunity within Hanoi.

Address: Hương Sơn, Mỹ Đức, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: The temple is open to visitors 24x7.


Chua Tran Quoc, Tay Ho

Perched on the gorgeous West Lake, the Chua Tran Quoc is the oldest Buddhist Pagoda in Hanoi. It dates back to the sixth century, and is home to a sacred Bodhi tree that is said to have been grown from a cutting of the very tree the Buddha himself meditated beneath. The temple also features a lush garden that visitors can wander through on their visit.

Address: 46 Đ. Thanh Niên, Trúc Bạch, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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Timings: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh 

With a name that translates to Place of the Gods, Quan Thanh is a truly serene experience. While it is originally dated to the 11th century, additions and renovations have been made through the centuries, resulting in a delightful mix of architectural elements. With beautiful facades and tranquil courtyards, this Taoist temple is certainly a must-see.

Address: Đ. Thanh Niên, Quán Thánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 118810, Vietnam

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Timings: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Bach Ma Temple, Hang Buom 

Not to be confused with the wildlife sanctuary of the same name, Bach Ma temple is nevertheless a sanctuary in and of itself, for people instead of wildlife. Amidst the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, this temple is said to have been built at the site where an emperor was led to by a white horse. Walk through the ornately carved wood doors for a sliver of peace that’s sure to resonate.

Address: 76 P. Hàng Buồm, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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Timings: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Bat Thap Pagoda, B Dinh 

With its carefully preserved architecture and peaceful gardens dotted with small ponds, Bat Thap Pagoda blends historical richness with lived experience. The most prominent feature, however, is a towering statue of the Goddess of Mercy, with a thousand eyes and a thousand hands, which is sure to take your breath away.

Address: 211 Đội Cấn, Ngọc Hồ, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Sunday


Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong

Named after a legendary monk of the same name who cured a king, this temple was built to honour his legacy and houses his embalmed remains to this day. The temple is also home to several important Buddhist idols, which are also still on display within the ornate walls. Just a short walk away from several other landmarks of the city, including St Joseph’s Cathedral, it’s a must on any downtown itinerary.

Address: 50 P. Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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Timings: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


One Pillar Pagoda, Ba Dinh

With a storied history of construction, damage, and eventual restoration, this temple is nonetheless known for its most prominent architectural feature: the central pagoda built upon just a single stone pillar. It remains among Vietnam’s most iconic temples, for its structural uniqueness as well as the significance to both religious and cultural history.

Address: phố P. Chùa Một Cột, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Quan Su, Tran Hung Dao 

With it’s classically intricate yellow facade and garden located within, Quan Su Temple is the epitome of Vietnamese pagodas. And for good reason: it is the headquarters of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha, where monks from across the country train and occasionally gather to practice their faith together. Over the years, it has housed many important historical figures as well, all of whom have left their mark on the space.

Address: 73 P. Quán Sứ, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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Timings: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Hoe Nhai Pagoda, Ba Dinh

Originally among the largest gathering places in Vietnam for Buddhist monks, the Hoe Nhai Pagoda is a sprawling temple with several wings showcasing teachings and idols. The most famous of these is the uniquely sculpted Buddha depicted kneeling upon the back of a king. The temple is also considered to be the birthplace of the Tao sect of Buddhism.

Address: 19 Hàng Than, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Ba Da Pagoda, Hang Trong

Buried deep in the west side of Hanoi, this temple is easy to miss. It serves as the headquarteres for the local Municipal Buddhist Association, and is over 1000 years old. It might take a little searching, but the oasis of tranquillity to be found within is certainly worth  looking. 

Address: Số 3 P. Nhà Thờ, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

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Timings: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Sunday.


Lang Temple, Dong Da

Called the ‘Temple of Dames’ by the French during their time here, the temple is known today for its near perfect symmetry in architecture. Comprising nearly 100 rooms, the complex is completed by an octagonal hall, a bell tower, and a massive three-door gate. Its extensive grounds offer a wonderful opportunity for a calming walk before moving on to other sightseeing activities.

Address: 116 P. Chùa Láng, Láng Thượng, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam

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Timings: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Sunday.

Published on: Jan. 23, 2023, midnight Last modified on: Jan. 19, 2023, 3:44 a.m.
Anita Rao Kashi
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Anita Rao Kashi

I am a Bangalore-based independent journalist and travel and food writer with over 25 years of experience writing for domestic and international publications including BBC, Nikkei Asian Review and South China Morning Post. I love my city to bits, but am always looking for an excuse to travel. When not travelling, I can be found writing, reading, cooking or eating - and not necessarily in that order!