Skip to Content

Famous Landmarks in Vietnam you need to visit

Planning a trip to Vietnam and want to know the most famous Vietnamese landmarks to visit? From Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Hue and Hoi An, this captivating country is packed with iconic landmarks. You’ll discover a host of fascinating places and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world to explore.

Citadel, Imperial City, Hue, Landmark in VietnamImperial City, Hue, Vietnam

A holiday to Vietnam is a bucket list trip and you’ll want to see the best Vietnam landmarks, historical sites and natural beauty this incredible country has to offer. Plan your sight-seeing with the best Vietnamese landmarks that you absolutely must include on your itinerary.

What is Vietnam Famous For?

From UNESCO World Heritage sites, ancient and modern history, buzzing cities humming with scooters to the tranquil scenery of Halong Bay. There are the historical temples and tombs of the Imperial city of Hue and the enchanting ancient town of Hoi An and Vietnam’s culture and fabulous cuisine. Vietnam is famous for a diverse range of experiences.

But, this is a huge country stretching over 1600 km from north to south, and fitting in all of the most famous landmarks in Vietnam is a challenge. To help you get the most out of your itinerary I’ve curated this guide to the best major landmarks in Vietnam.

Landmarks in Vietnam you should visit

Most people fly into Hanoi in the north and travel south through the country – so our journey starts there, with the Hanoi places of interest. We then travel south through Vietnam to the Ho Chi Minh City famous landmarks. En-route we’ll take in the best places to see in Hue, Danang, Hoi An and Mui Ne. If you’re flying into HCMC and travelling north just do it in reverse.

This post may contain compensated links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support. Find more info in my disclaimer.   

Planning your trip to Vietnam

The Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Temple of Literature, Hanoi, VietnamA tranquil Vietnam landmark – Temple of Literature in Hanoi

At the Intersection of Van Mieu and Pho Quoc Tu Giam you’ll find the Temple of Literature, probably the most tranquil of Hanoi landmarks. The temple is said to be the first university in Vietnam, originally dedicated in 1070 to the teachings of Confucius and is a top landmark building in Vietnam.

The serene walled garden complex with beautiful pagodas, traditional Vietnamese architecture and ancient trees are beautifully preserved. During your visit you’ll discover stone carvings with inscriptions of Confucius teachings, five beautiful courtyards, the Well of Heavenly Clarity and the bell and drum tower. It’s a peaceful spot away from the chaos of the city.

Temple of Literature landmark: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi.

You could book a full day tour of Hanoi and enjoy the Temple of Literature and other Hanoi sights all in one day plus a visit to the Water Puppet show with pick-ups and transport included.

The One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi

The One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi

The One Pillar Pagoda temple rises from a single pillar in the centre of a lotus pond and is said to represent a lotus flower growing up out of the water. This tiniest of temples, at just three square metres, is one of the most iconic sights to see in Vietnam.

The pagoda was built in the eleventh century between 1028 and 1054. Its ornate shrine is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity Quan Am.

The One Pillar Pagoda landmark is located at Hua Mot Cot, Doi Can, Ba Dình, Hanoi.

Book this half-day guided tour to see the sacred site of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hanoi Opera House and Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of Hanoi’s most imposing buildings and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam’s capital city. The huge granite memorial is located in the impressive Ba Dinh Square and is watched over by guards wearing crisp white uniforms.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam

Contrary to Ho Chi Minh’s wishes the mausoleum contains his preserved corpse. He did not want to be preserved like Lenin, however, his embalmed remains lie in a glass case so that, according to the Vietnamese population, he can ‘live forever’.

Get there early as this Vietnam monument gets busy, especially on local holidays. Check the mausoleum website before you go as opening times vary. The mausoleum is closed for two months each year for maintenance and also on Fridays. Dress code is respectful, so no shorts, vests or flip-flops. Shoulder to knee must be covered.

A short walk from the mausoleum is Uncle Ho’s stilted house in tranquil gardens, where he worked and lived.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Landmark: 2 Hung Vuong, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

Book a full day tour with lunch to see the best of Hanoi’s highlights.

There are many more Vietnam famous places located in Hanoi including Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the French Quarter. Check out my two-day Hanoi itinerary to find out how to best spend your time in the city.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam natural Landmark

When asked what is Vietnam famous for, Halong Bay is bound to be mentioned. You absolutely cannot go to Vietnam without spending time in the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay.

Ha Long Bay sits in the Gulf of Tonkin and is one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Ha Long Bay translates to Bay of the Descending Dragon and the scenery is stunning.

Book a full-day Halong Bay cruise

The best way to take in the spectacular scenery of Ha Long Bay is by a relaxing cruise on a traditional junk boat. Spend the day exploring the landscape where thousands of limestone karsts burst breathtakingly skywards from the depths of the sparkling water, and kayak through the emerald-green water of the South China Seas. Read about my experience of spending a night on a junk in Halong Bay.

Overnight is spent on your junk boat where you’ll wake to sunrise over Halong Bay. There is no sight more tranquil or beautiful than Halong Bay cast in the misty first light of day.

The Imperial City Hue

Imperial City, Hue gatewayThe Imperial City, Hue, Vietnam – one of Vietnam’s historical landmarks

Vietnam historical monuments are many but Hue, Vietnam’s old Imperial City, is where you’ll find some of the oldest, along with the cultural heart and soul of the country. Hue was the imperial capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty between 1802 and 1945 and sits at the mouth of the Perfume River.

The Imperial City, an imposing square fortress, was built to emulate the Forbidden City in Beijing, and is encompassed by 6-metre high walls. Thai Hoa Palace, is embellished with exquisite lacquer, gilding, and bronzeware with dragons guarding the entrances. The gateway to Hien Lam pavilion, a three-story wooden structure, is stunning. The former Imperial City is one of the most famous landmarks of Vietnam.

Hue Imperial City landmark is at Thanh pho Hue, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

Book a private tour with English speaking driver taking in all of Hue’s highlights including three tombs and the Imperial City.

Khai Dinh’s Tomb

Khai Dinh's Tomb, Hue, VietnamKhai Dinh’s Tomb, monument in Hue, Vietnam

Tomb hopping was one of my favourite activities in Hue. We picked up a boat on the Perfume River and the family, who’s home it was, took us on a cruise stopping of at many of the tombs en-route.

Khai Dinh Tomb is a little further out of Hue and we booked a taxi for the morning who took us there and waited before returning us to our hotel. You could also hire push bikes and go under your own steam.

Khai Dinh Tomb sits on the slopes of Chau Chu mountain. After climbing 100 dragon-flanked steps you’ll arrive on a platform of life-sized stone elephants, horses and Mandarin warriors. The mausoleum looks unassuming from the outside, but the interior is impressive and the view across the hills over the tree-canopy is stunning

The Khai Dinh Tomb landmark is located at: Khai Dịnh, Thuy Bang, Huong Thuy, Thua Thien Hue 530000, Vietnam.

Book a private tour with English speaking driver taking in all of Hue’s highlights including three tombs and the Imperial City.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda (Heavenly Lady) is the official symbol of Hue and a famous landmark in Vietnam. Steps lead from the Perfume River directly to the seven storey octagonal tower which is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam.

Visit the 3 most famous royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty and the seven-story pagoda of Thien Mu on this private guided tour.

Seven represents the sacred number in Vietnam Buddhism. On the seventh floor behind a locked door is a golden Buddha statue. Visitors are permitted to climb to the sixth floor only, via a spiral staircase.

Explore the nearby pavilion, housing a giant stone turtle with engraved stele, a huge bronze bell, laughing Buddha and Disneyesque temple guardians.

Thien Mu Pagoda, historic landmark is located at: Huong Hoa, Thanh pho Hue, Huong Hoa Thanh pho Hue Thua Thien Hue

Book a private tour with English speaking driver taking in all of Hue’s highlights including three tombs and the Imperial City.

Golden Bridge Da Nang

Golden bridge in Bana Hills French village, Sun World, Da Nang, VietnamGolden Bridge, Da Nang, man made landmark in Vietnam

Probably the newest of man made landmarks in Vietnam, the Golden Bridge, in Ba Na Hills, Da Nang was built in 2017 to encourage tourists to visit the area. The 150-metre long pedestrian bridge is cradled by a pair of giant hands with panoramic views of the beautiful countryside.

Golden Bridge is an impressive architectural masterpiece located in the Ba Na Hill Sun World amusement park. The bridge is right at the top of Ba Na Hill accessible by a 20-minute cable car ride.

Go early if you don’t want to share the bridge with hundreds of tourists and check the weather forecast. If it’s raining the views from the bridge will be obscured. Day tours go from Da Nang and Hoi An.

Experience all 4 seasons in a single day at Ba Na Hills. Take a cable car ride then visit Linh Ung pagoda, the bridge and Nghinh Phong peak on this day tour from Da Nang.

Golden Bridge Landmark is located at: Tuyen cap treo len Ba Na Hills, Hoa Ninh, Hoa Vang, Da Nang, Vietnam

Hoi An Ancient Town and Heritage Houses

Ho An heritage buildings, landmarks in VietnamHoi An, Vietnam, historical landmark

When it comes to Vietnam historical landmarks, Hoi An is the most enchanting ancient town and a must-see place during your Vietnam trip. The small town is filled with historical landmarks and is one of the most popular tourist places in Vietnam. Entering the ancient trading port is like stepping back in time and if you visit during full moon the town is even more magical. It’s held on day 14 of the lunar month.

Hoi An ancient town was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999 and it’s where you’ll find most of the old merchant houses with faded yellow paint and well-preserved interiors. Visit some of the old houses like the Phung Hung House and Phuc Kien Assemby Hall.

There are lots of fun things to do in Hoi An. Be sure to visit the food market in Hoi An and take a cooking class where you’ll learn to make some of the popular food in Vietnam.

Enjoy a guided walking tour of enchanting Hoi An ancient town.

Hoi An Ancient Town landmark is located at: Phuong Minh An, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An

Japanese Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam landmarkJapanese Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

The Japanese Covered Bridge was built in the seventeenth century and has a pagoda style roof with ornate carvings. The bridge has been carefully preserved and crosses a small channel which runs into the Thu Bon river in the heart of the ancient town.

You’ll find the Japanese Covered Bridge landmark at Nguyen Thị Minh Khai, Phuong Minh An, Hoi An, Quang Nam.

Enjoy a guided walking tour of enchanting Hoi An ancient town.

Mui Ne White and Red Sand Dunes

Mui Ne is a beautiful fishing village on the Eastern coast of Vietnam with a 6km beach. Many people head there for kite surfing, but Mui Ne is home to an attraction that you wouldn’t expect Vietnam to be famous for. Its stunning white sand dunes are a must-see landmark.

The White Dunes, Mui NeMui Ne Sand dunes, Vietnam

The most popular Mui Ne attraction, the white sand dunes, also known as Bau Trang or White Lake, are about 25 kilometres north-east of the town and around 30 to 40-minutes by car or motorcycle. The Mui Ne white sand dunes make a beautiful backdrop to an oasis of green set around a peaceful lotus pond.

At the visitor centre you can hire quad bikes and indulge in some adrenalin inducing dune bashing.

Mui Ne White Sand Dunes landmark is located at Hoa Thang, Bac Binh, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet.

The red sand dunes are a 20-minutes’ drive from Mui Ne on the outskirts of the town. Hire a plastic surf mat for a small fee and slide your way down the dunes. Go at sunset when the colour of the sand looks more vivid and take in the wonderful views out to the ocean.

Mui Ne Red Sand Dunes landmark are at 01 Hon Rom, ĐT716, Mui Ne, Thanh pho Phan Thiet, Bình Thuan Province (directly next to the main coastal road running out of Mui Ne)

Mui Ne Fishing Village and Fairy Stream

While you’re in Mui Ne take time to visit the fishing village with its fleet of authentic, brightly coloured fishing boats and take a stroll through the fairy stream. For a small town there are a lot of unusual things to do in Mui Ne and there are quite a few attractions of Vietnam within a small area.

Mui Ne Fairy Stream, Vietnam

Mui Ne Fairy Stream, Vietnam

Next stop is Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Like Hanoi, HCMC is a must-see stop on your Vietnam itinerary where you’ll find some of the most famous Vietnam landmarks. There are many things to see and do but the following are the top Ho Chi Minh City landmarks.

Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

Reunification Palace, HCMCThe Reunification Palace, Vietnam

The Reunification Palace is where the Vietnam war ended on 30 April 1975 and is one of the most famous landmarks in Vietnam. It the place where the north Vietnamese tanks tore through the gates marking the end of the war between the north and south and the reunification of Vietnam. The tanks, aircraft and other military vehicles are displayed in the grounds of the palace.

The building stands today as it was left in 1975. I recommend a guided tour through its rooms, chambers, secret hideouts and wartime tunnels, most of which are still fitted with original furniture and equipment.

The presidential living quarters are something of an eye-opener and the basement tour is a must-do with its network of tunnels, war rooms and communication centre. As Saigon landmarks go this is a must-see.

A visit to the Reunification Palace is included in this range of tours in Ho Chi Minh City.

135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Phuong Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Bitexco Financial Tower

Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City landmark

Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City landmark

There are many buildings where you can get a bird’s eye view of Ho Chi Minh City, but the most spectacular views are from the Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor of the 262-metre tall Bitexco Financial Tower. It’s one the most famous buildings in Vietnam.

Bitexco Financial Tower is open until 21:30 hrs and the views of the stunning 360-degree panorama of the city as it lights up at dusk are a Saigon must-see.

Find this Saigon Landmark at 2 Hai Trieu, Ben Nghe, Quan 1, Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh 700000, Vietnam.

Ben Tanh Market

Ben Thanh MarketBen Thanh Market, HCMC, Vietnam

The French-built Ben Thanh Market with its distinctive clock tower at the main entrance gate is a popular landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. The huge market covers over 10000 square metres and its 2000 stalls sell just about everything from essential housewares, clothes, fresh produce, meats, fish and countless types of coffee to souvenirs and tourist trap trinkets.

Wear your haggling head because goods start at outrageously high prices, but the stall-holders are generally up for some haggling and banter, which they’re very good at. I bought some Vietnam souvenirs and probably paid more than I should have. I was happy with the price, but I get the feeling the stall-holder was happier…

Ben Tanh Market landmark is located at D. Le Loi, Phuong Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh 700000, Vietnam. It’s across from the bus station near to Ben Thanh Roundabout, a great traffic-watching spot.

A visit to Ben Thanh market is included in this walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City.

Cu Chi Tunnels

Just an hour’s drive northwest of Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most famous landmarks in Vietnam – the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels are part of an expansive underground network that spans over 200 kilometres in length.

Cu Chi Tunnels, Landmark in VietnamCu Chi Tunnels, one of the top landmarks in Vietnam

The tunnels played an important role in the Vietnam War. Used as a base for the operations of the Viet Cong, they housed troops, make-shift hospitals, shelters and stored supplies. They eventually housed entire villages and protected the occupants from bombings and were also used to lay booby traps and mount surprise attacks.

Today, the Cu Chi Tunnels are part of Vietnam War Memorial Park, where visitors can learn about the Vietnam War. There are many interesting displays and visitors can crawl through some areas of the tunnel network and view command centres, booby traps and firing ranges – that is if you can squeeze into the tiny tunnels which are very cramped and narrow.

Check out this half-day guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels landmark is located at L15, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh

So, that’s my round up of some the best places to see in Vietnam. There are dozens of incredible natural landmarks, historical sites, and monuments to choose from during your visit to Vietnam. If you’re only interested in the major Vietnam landmarks, this list is a great starting point.

Do you have a favourite landmark that I’ve missed? Share with us in the comments below.

Read more Vietnam posts here…

An epic two-week Vietnam Itinerary

Vietnam – Food, Flavour and Pho

Hoi An – A Little Piece of Heaven

Hoi An – A Culinary Quest

Golf at Sea Links Golf Club, Mui Ne, Vietnam

Things to do in Mui Ne

Mui Ne – Kite Surfing Central

Two days in Hanoi – a perfect itinerary

Sightseeing and scooters in Saigon

A night and a day hanging in Halong Bay

Tomb and Temple Hopping in Hue

How many motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City

Seeing in the New Year in Saigon

The Non La Vietnamese Hat

If you enjoyed my guide to these iconic landmarks in Vietnam, please pin!


Friday 13th of August 2021

I lived in Vietnam for most of 2019, and it's really interesting to see your list! I've been to a lot of them, but I only visited Hanoi twice and haven't been to most of the ones there you mention. The Imperial City in Hue is really impressive and a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels is quite an experience, especially if you crawl through them!

Suzanne Jones

Monday 16th of August 2021

How fantastic to live there for a year - there's so much to see and do in the country. Hanoi was one of my favourite cities and would love the chance to go again.


Thursday 12th of August 2021

So many gorgeous landmarks to visit. The only one I was familiar with was Halong Bay. It is so beautiful that it's no wonder it's a UNESCO site. I'd love to see it in person someday.

Suzanne Jones

Monday 16th of August 2021

I hope you do get to visit Vietnam - it's a fantastic country with so much to see and do.


Thursday 12th of August 2021

You are right Vietnam is diverse! Those are a lot of fascinating landmarks that are worth seeing. If I was ever to visit there, I would want to balance those that are under the radar with the famous ones. But seeing this list it looks like I need to spend a bit of time here.

Suzanne Jones

Monday 16th of August 2021

And this is just a short list! I hope you get to explore this amazing country in the near future.


Monday 9th of August 2021

Yes, I do absolutely want to visit Vietnam and what a list to have to check off! Thank you for this great compilation. I just hope we're able to travel freely soon!

Suzanne Jones

Monday 16th of August 2021

I hope we're able to travel freely again soon and that when we do you can explore Vietnam and some of these landmarks.

Jane Frith

Monday 9th of August 2021

I love this itinerary of landmarks to visit! I shall definitely be keeping this on file for when I manage to visit Vietnam. I have wanted to visit Golden Bridge since I first saw the pictures of it and Halong Bay has long been on my wish list too, but frankly, I now want to visit everything you have included here. And yes, haggling! I like the idea of it and think I will be good at it, but I always end up paying more than other people. Hey ho! If one is happy with the price and the vendor is also happy, where's the harm?

Suzanne Jones

Monday 16th of August 2021

There are so many Vietnam landmarks to choose from! We found that the Vietnamese people love a bit of banter and haggling is a great way to do this - they have such a great sense of humour too!

Comments are closed.