Art and design Hanoi city guide

Here is our art and design guide to Hanoi city, the beautiful capital of Vietnam, situated on the banks of the Red River, in the North of Vietnam. Known for its street food, French and Chinese influenced architecture Hanoi is a charming city, ideal for a short visit. 

Be prepared for traffic, lot’s of traffic, scooters, horns and chaos. But among that chaos, you’ll find pockets of calm, quiet courtyards, colonial architecture, great galleries and a city bursting with contemporary arts.

The Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts

Located in Dong Da district, this former boarding school for daughters of French officials is now the home to the National Museum for Fine Arts. 

In 1962, the government asked the Ministry of Culture to use the building as a place to collect, exhibit and preserve Vietnamese art from it’s earliest prehistoric form to contemporary art from Vietnamese artists. The building was later expanded and in 1966 became a museum and opened to the public.

The museum has over 3000 square meters of exhibition space. With a mix of permanent displays and temporary exhibitions. 

Photo: vnfam

Manzi Art Space 

The heartbeat of the contemporary art scene in Hanoi, Manzi is housed in a beautiful old French Villa just north of the Old Quarter, Hanoi. 

Manzi hosts exhibitions in painting, sculpture and photography. Along with the exhibition space, there is also a courtyard offering coffee and wine and a small shop selling painting and prints by various Vietnamese artists.

In 2019, Manzi opened a second exhibition space not far from the original, this though is more of an exhibition space, with white walls and concrete. 

Manzi Art Space Hanoi
photo:Chris Humphrey

A Space

Á Space is a non-profit art space, based in Hanoi. Started in May 2018, its mission is to support and develop the artistic practises of young and emerging artists in Vietnam. A Space runs a number of exhibitions and programs for artists. You’ll need to book a time to visit. Contact

Six Space

Six Space is an artist-run art space based in the historical centre of Hanoi. Six Space supports artists and creatives by providing them with a space to exhibit and talk about their practices. There are regular exhibitions and events and to see what’s on please visit their evens page.

Vincom Center For Contemporary Art

Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA) can be found in the Vincom Megamall shopping center, Hanoi. With 4,000 m2 of floor space, this non-profit art centre aims to connect the community to the vibrant Vietnamese contemporary art scene. And Vietnamese contemporary art to the global art scene. The exhibition space is large, modern and light, another must-visit if in Hanoi. to see what’s on please visit their evens page.

Hanoi City Guide Architectural highlights

Old Town

Homeowners were once taxed on the width of the house adjacent to the road. This inevitably led to houses being built with narrow frontage but high and long. Often built with courtyard in between to allow light to flood in. head to the Old Quarter to see them and in particular Ancient House.

87 Ma May Street. It’s open to the public and offers a fascinating view of these remarkable buildings.

The Hanoi Museum 

Designed by gmp Architects in 2010, it’s probably the highlight of modern architecture in Hanoi. The museum has 4 floors and 2 basements and sits among a water park. 

The Hanoi Opera House

The 2,600 m2 theatre was designed by two French architects Harlay and Broyer. Its neoclassical design Resembling the Opéra Palais Garnier, feature domes, pillars and gothic touches. Probably more impressive inside than out. 

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 

Built-in 1901 by André Ducamp and Gustave-Émile Dumoutier, this French Colonial building is the oldest hotel in Hanoi. Over the years it has hosted actors, royals, politicians including, George H Bush, Charlie Chaplain, and many more.

French Colonial hotel Hanoi
Photo: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Where to stay?

Our pick, for its historic appeal, luxury rooms we think Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi  

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