Ideal photo spots in Hanoi
What makes a vacation last in our memories are fantastic photos to share with friends and family – but even the diehard Instagrammers among us might not know the best spots in a new city to pose and snap.
But we’ve got you covered if your next holiday is in Hanoi. Head toward these 10 photo spots in Hanoi for some shots that your followers will shower with hearts.
1. Phan Đình Phùng Street – the most beautiful street in Hanoi
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Considered the most beautiful street of Hanoi, Phan Đình Phùng Street has spacious sidewalks where 2 rows of tall dracontomelon trees grow, alongside mansions built in French colonial architecture style.
Image credit: @sweety814
Whether your preferred outfit is áo dài or modern clothing, the background will flatter your figure perfectly – especially if your photographer shoots from a low angle to make you look taller on camera, parallel with the trees.
Image credit: @found_vu
On a bright day, you can see rays of sunlight piercing through the thick leaves onto the road, creating a soothing, peaceful atmosphere.
Image credit: @kimthoa0609
The street is especially beautiful during autumn, when the trees start shedding, littering the ground with yellow leaves.
Address: Phan Đình Phùng Str., Ba Đình, Hà Nội
2. Long Biên Bridge – a historical landmark with views of the Red River
Image credit: @tongkhanhlinh90
With its timeworn look and the picturesque Red River in the backdrop, the historical Long Biên Bridge has long been a destination locals and tourists alike flock to, hoping to catch a nice shot for their social feeds. It is not uncommon to spot young Vietnamese locals dressed in fancy clothing taking pictures here.
Image credit: @huy_hoang_xeko
For this flattering shot, many locals even go so far as to climb over the railing onto the train track running through the middle of the bridge. But trains still do run on this bridge, so be extra cautious before attempting this.
Image credit: @happygrazja
The place is especially crowded at twilight, when one can nail a pic of the sun setting on the Red River, or the dying light reflecting off the steel beams.
GPS coordinates: 21°02’34.0″N 105°51’26.2″E
3. Mão Bookstore – a retro bookstore with mint green shelves and bright paintings
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Tucked away in a dark alley on the famous Đinh Lễ “book street”, Mão Bookstore – the one that started it all – holds a special place in the hearts of Hanoi book lovers.
Image credit: @_myhanhhh__
The 30-year-old store boasts wooden flooring, fully-packed bookshelves going all the way up to the ceiling on all sides, and a twisted staircase with several paintings mounted on its railing. With a mountain of books in the background, you can find an artistic shot at practically every angle.
Image credit: @ngocquann0805
Address: Second floor, Alley 5, Đinh Lễ Str., Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 9AM-5PM | Fri – Sun 9AM-9PM
Telephone: 024 3826 1652
4. West Lake Alley – shoot pictures from a different angle at the West Lake
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You can find many great photo spots around the vast West Lake, but the one place particularly favored by Instagrammers is a small alley located on Từ Hoa street.
Image credit: @gnoulyaa
With white, slightly mossy walls covered in plants on either side and a view of the lake and sparkling clean buildings at the far end, this little alley could be mistaken for a corner in Venice.
Image credit: @linhmanly
Address: Alley 5 Từ Hoa Str., Tây Hồ, Hà Nội
5. Lotte Observation Deck – panoramic city view from the 65th floor
Image credit: @kimy1206
Perched atop the 65th floor of the Lotte Center Tower, the Lotte Observation Deck is one of the highest locations in Hanoi. With a panoramic view of the entire city visible through clear glass walls, this has been the birthplace of countless jaw-dropping pictures.
Image credit: @happy_life__s2
Some sections of the floor are made of glass as well, allowing you to look straight down at the streets below you from a height of 300M. The glass can support the weight of 10 people, so there’s no need to get nervous.
Image credit: @hieutt.photog
Address: 54 Liễu Giai Str., Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 9AM-12AM
Entrance fee: VND230,000 (~USD9.93)/adult | VND170,000(~USD7.34)/child between 3-12 years old
Telephone: 098 724 3922
6. Phùng Hưng Mosaic Street – old Hanoi captured in paintings
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Completed a couple of years ago, the Phùng Hưng Mosaic Street has become not only a photo hotspot but also a popular attraction of Hanoi.
Image credit: @pilavigne
Here, you can spot a stretch of mural paintings on the wall running along Phùng Hưng street, just under the railroad. These are set within the arches on the wall and depict an old Hanoi – evoking a sense of nostalgia within the hearts of Hanoians.
Image credit: @trixiele1905
Pictures of an old calligrapher selling his works on the street and a street vendor carrying vegetables on a bamboo pole passing by a classic-looking house are some of the highlights.
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Several pieces are even painted in 3D to create optical illusions.
Address: Phùng Hưng Str., Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
7. 19 Tháng 12 Book Street – bookstores in a chic setting
Image credit: @ladybirdljy
Aside from the more popular Đinh Lễ street, 19 Tháng 12 is another street full of bookstores in Hanoi. People don’t just come here for the books, but also for a stunning picture amidst its chic surroundings.
Image credit: @_kyu.ntl_
The street features two rows of wooden bookstores on either side of a stone path. In the middle, yellow lanterns hang above seating adorned with vines and flower pots.
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This is where visitors can rest, read their newly-bought books, and of course, take a nice picture.
Address: 19 Tháng 12 Str., Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
8. Long Biên Flower Plateau – great for colourful spring and autumn shots in nature
Image credit: Dung Tạ
Seated next to the Red River, Long Biên Flower Plateau is a go-to destination for those seeking a more natural photo background away from the city. Come in spring to pose with the flower fields, or in autumn when the leaves turn red and yellow.
Image credit: @hienke2410
True to its name, this 6-hectare area houses vast gardens of roses, daisies, and haethbells for shots where you can blend in with nature.
Image credit: Huyen Linh Nguyen
The venue also comes equipped with decorative structures to further satisfy your fairytale fantasies. You can let your imagination fly next to the abandoned stone castle or the vine-covered wooden houses here.
Image credit: @black_rose_411
What’s more, there’s a friendly herd of resident sheep who are more than willing to participate in your pictures.
GPS coordinates: 21°01’12.7″N 105°52’35.5″E
Opening hours: 6AM-6PM, Daily
Entrance fee: VND70,000 (~USD3.02)/person
9. St. Joseph’s Cathedral – a Notre Dame Cathedral lookalike in Hanoi
Image credit: @huongchanh1209
Built in the 19th century by the French Occupation, the St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a must-visit landmark of Hanoi. Besides tourists, you’ll see locals taking photos here on the daily.
Image credit: @goi_vietnam
The cathedral’s marble facade, made in the likeness of the Notre-Dame de Paris with two tall bell towers, offers a gothic vibe. Visit at night to see the whole structure lit up in golden lighting.
Image credit: cat_huongthao
Masses are held daily at 5.30AM and 6.15PM, so if you visit during these times, you’ll get to come inside to marvel at the interiors as well.
Address: 40 Nhà Chung Str., Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 5.30AM & 6.15PM | Sun 5AM-11AM & 4PM-8PM
10. Smiley Ville – both Western and Eastern backdrops
Image credit: Dom Đương
Located 12KM away from the center of Hanoi, Smiley Ville is home to retro-style structures both rustic and urban – a haven for photoholics.
At the center of the complex is a marble castle set atop a plaza, which has become the setting for many a wedding photo.
Image credit: @khanhhao_icon
Next to the castle is a big lake equipped with a dock and a series of wooden buildings, making for a lakeside shot backdrop.
Image credit: @changhaafv
Smiley Ville is where photographers who need to snag both Western and Asian-themed shots should come – there is also a section where you’ll find red umbrellas and lanterns hanging in front of bamboo buildings.
Photogenic destinations in Hanoi
Spare some time to visit these 10 photo spots in Hanoi the next time you visit to bring home some sublime pictures to make your friends back home jelly.
For even more beautiful locations in Hanoi, check out:
- 12 bakeries in Hanoi
- 10 bars in the Hanoi Old Quarter
- 8 rooftop cafes in Hanoi
- 8 vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Hanoi
- 8 Hanoi book cafes
- 8 bars with delicious cocktails in Hanoi