Hanoi is one of my favourite cities in South East Asia and is incredibly photogenic. Throughout the city you’ll find fantastic landmarks, beautiful architecture and streets, friendly locals and heaps of things to photograph. In this post you’ll find my tips and suggestions on things you should take pictures of during your visit, including a link to the spot on Google Maps, if the location is free, and the best time to take photographs.

You may also like my post: City Breaks: Guide to Hanoi in 24-72 Hours
More posts on Instagram and Photography Spots.

Here are 10 top Instagram and photography spots in Hanoi.

1. ‎Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the most important landmarks in the city, and the final resting place of their Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

The Mausoleum is nice for photographs during the day, but I preferred it at night. There are security around and they won’t let you use a tripod so you may have to either up your ISO, or get lower to the ground and use your bag. When taking pictures during the day you may catch the guards marching which is interesting to watch.

Best time for pics: Blue Hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

2. ‎St Joseph Cathedral

St Joseph Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church built in a Neo-Gothic Style. It almost seems out of place in the city and is definitely worth checking out.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

St Joseph Cathedral, Hanoi
St Joseph Cathedral

3. ‎Tran Quoc Pagoda

The Tran Quoc Pagoda is towards the north-west of the city and is on a small island on the West Lake. It’s the oldest Buddhist temple in the city and is very pretty to photograph, especially at night. You’ll also be able to use the water to capture reflections and enhance your composition.

Best time for pics: Blue hour
Cost: Free from outside
Location: View on Google Maps

Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi blue hour
Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi blue hour
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4. Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural

This beautiful and famous mosaic is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest mosaic at over 4000m long. You’ll find it near the Old Quarter along a road called Yên Phụ, as well as connecting roads.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: The mosaic runs along Yên Phụ and connecting roads

Mosaic along Yen Phu
Mosaic along Yen Phu

5. Train Tracks

In the centre of the city you’ll find train tracks that run from Hanoi Railway Station through the north of the city. I’ve found posting pictures of these train tracks do extremely well on Instagram, so it’s definitely worth checking out. You’ll find these tracks towards the west of the Old Quarter and I recommend being patient and waiting for interesting elements such as locals (seen below). You could also try and time it so you see trains along the tracks too.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Railway track street in Hanoi, Vietnam
Railway track street in Hanoi, Vietnam

6. Hoàn Kiếm Lake

The Hoàn Kiếm Lake is very pretty and a great place to hang out and walk around. Around the lake you’ll find various elements which are great for photography. Such as the Cầu Thê Húc (red bridge below left) and the Turtle Tower. The lake is especially nice to photograph at night when it lights up, and if you are staying close you may find it a good spot for sunset.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: View on Google Maps

Hoan Kiem Lake at night
Hoan Kiem Lake at night

7. Streets of the Old Quarter

The streets of the Old Quarter are beautiful and great for capturing Instagram shots as well as Stories. As you explore you’ll constantly see locals going about their everyday life and wearing traditional cone hats such as below. There isn’t one particular place in the Old Quarter which is great for photographs, I’d say just allow yourself to get lost and you’ll definitely snap a few good shots.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Explore the Old Quarter

Locals and Streets in Hanoi
Locals and Streets in Hanoi

8. Markets

All around the city and especially around Đồng Xuân Market you’ll find fruit, vegetable and other types of stalls. These make for great photographs. I didn’t really get anything that worked for Instagram, but if you take your time I’m sure you can. You could also just take pictures to capture the culture of the city.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Around Đồng Xuân Market

Street markets in Hanoi
Street markets in Hanoi
Street markets in Hanoi
Street markets in Hanoi

9. The Roundabout

The traffic in Hanoi is pretty crazy and one of the best spots for capturing this is from the roundabout and the bars and cafes just north of Hoàn Kiếm Lake. I also used my tripod here and the staff were cool. Head to my post on light trails for tips.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Polite to have some food or a drink
Location: View on Google Maps

Hanoi Traffic - Night view
Hanoi Traffic – Night view

10. Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature used to be a university but is now a major tourist attraction. It provides beautiful gardens and pavilions to explore, as well as stunning interiors such as below.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Ticketed
Location: View on Google Maps

Temple of Literature, Hanoi
Temple of Literature

Photography Tips for Hanoi

Here are some photography tips for the city.

  • Have some change if you wish to take pictures of the locals. Maybe 10 or 20 thousand Dong (USD 0.5-1) may be polite
  • When taking pictures at night use a decent tripod and follow my tips for night photography
  • Be careful of traffic when taking photographs as it’s pretty hectic
  • Think about your composition and framing to take more powerful images
  • Be patient and wait for local elements, such as people wearing cone hats to enhance your images

For more tips head to my page on Travel Photography.

Summary

Do you know any other good Instagram and photography spots in Hanoi? Please leave a comment below.

Need a place to stay in Hanoi?

Book one of my recommended hotels below or find a deal on Booking.com:

Recommended guest house: Advisor Family Homestay – A wonderful place to stay in the heart of the Old Town and a short walk from major attractions.
Recommended hotel: O’Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa – A beautiful luxury hotel in a great location, with stunning rooms and great facilities.



Booking.com

Other posts you may like:

City Breaks: Guide to Hanoi in 24-72 Hours
City Breaks: Guide to Hoi An in 24-48 hours
In Pictures | Travels in Vietnam

More posts on Instagram and Photography Spots

Other posts on Hanoi
Other posts on Vietnam

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Top Instagram and Photography Spots in Hanoi