Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam) Tours

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Few truly historic buildings exist in Vietnam, which makes the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) extra special. First built as a Confucian temple in 1070 AD, it became Vietnam’s first university (Quoc Tu Giam) and operated as one for more than 700 years. Between ponds, gardens, and tranquil courtyards, it’s a haven in the heart of the Hanoi

The Basics
The Temple of Literature is a surprisingly long and far from scenic walk from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where many hotels cluster, so many visitors choose to travel by taxi or as part of a Hanoi day tour.

One of the city’s key highlights, the Temple of Literature is a common stop on Hanoi city tours, be they by motorbike, cyclo, or minibus. Don’t expect to cover all five courtyards and learn about the principles of Confucianism and Vietnamese education on a multi-stop tour; if you’re interested in the cultural history, a private tour may be your best bet.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Temple of Literature is a place of worship, so dress respectfully—cover your shoulders and knees.
  • The small admission fee needs to be paid in cash.
  • This is a tranquil place that deserves to be experienced at leisure, so avoid overbooking the afternoon with other activities. 
  • Look for the Temple of Literature on the back of the 100,000 VND banknote.

How to Get There
The Temple of Literature is well over a mile (1.5 kilometers) from Hanoi Old Quarter and the walk is far from scenic. You can travel by bus (route) numbers 02, 03, and 41), hail a taxi—or motorbike taxi—on services such as Grab, or haggle with a cyclo driver. Save time and energy by visiting as part of a Hanoi city tour with a guide.

When to Get There
The Temple of Literature can get busy over Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, and is a popular weekend destination for Hanoians year-round. It closes on Mondays and during the middle of the day; visit on a midweek morning or afternoon. During the exam season (roughly March until early July), students pray at the altars—for good grades, of course. 

The Temple and the Turtle
Since ancient times, the humble turtle has been a symbol of Vietnam; out of four sacred animals (the dragon, the phoenix, the unicorn, and the turtle), it’s the only one that really exists. While the sacred turtle of Hoan Kiem Lake has passed away, turtles still hold up the commemorative stelae in Hanoi’s Temple of Literature. That’s why students touch turtles’ heads in an effort to get good grades. 
Location
Address: Quoc Tu Giam Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
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Admission: Varies
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Private Hanoi City Half-Day Tour

Get a feel for Hanoi on a private sightseeing tour. Your own personal guide shares the city’s highlights and local culture, with your choice of itineraries that both include the Old Quarter. Choose a morning departure and see the Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. Depart in the afternoon for the Museum of History, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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USD34.00
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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USD34.00

Hanoi City Full-Day Tour

Spend a day exploring Hanoi, Vietnam’s mesmerizing capital city. Learn about its history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square and Presidential Palace with an informative guide. After lunch, get a glimpse of Vietnamese culture at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or Bat Trang ceramic village, then see the Temple of Literature and Ngoc Son Temple. You have the option to add on a traditional water puppet show; round-trip hotel transport included.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD30.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD30.00

Half-Day Hanoi Private City Tour

See major attractions in the capital city of Hanoi on a private 3.5-hour tour, departing in the morning or afternoon. Unlock Vietnam’s rich history at its cultural heart, heading to popular sights that include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Quan Thanh Temple. Stroll to West Lake with a personal guide at your side and cast your gaze on picturesque Tran Quoc Pagoda before a visit to the Old Quarter.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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USD70.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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USD70.00

Private Full-Day Halong Bay Tour Including Cruise, Kayaking and Surprising Cave

Spend the day aboard a traditional Vietnamese junk as you journey through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay. Bite into a sumptuous seafood lunch and set sail for natural wonders amid 3,000 limestone islands dotting the emerald-hued bay. Your private guide accompanies you to explore Sung Sot (Amazing Cave), with the option to kayak or hike to the summit of Ti Top Island. Includes round-trip hotel transport by private vehicle from Hanoi.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD80.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD80.00

Private Hanoi Full-Day City Tour with Cyclo Ride

Learn about Vietnam’s storied history and contemporary life on a full-day private tour of Hanoi. Hear insightful commentary from your own personal guide, who sheds light on the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. Learn about traditional customs at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, then visit Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and Huc Bridge before a stroll to the Old Quarter. Your itinerary includes a cyclo tour around the city.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD45.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD45.00

Hanoi City Tour Including Water Puppet Show

Spend a day in Hanoi sightseeing around the capital with a guide who shares knowledgeable insight about its top attractions. Learn about Vietnamese cultural history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, and Temple of Literature. You’ll stroll the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter and enjoy a local lunch. Opt to extend your evening with admission to a water puppet show.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD38.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD38.00

Full-Day Hanoi City Small-Group Tour with Lunch

See the highlights of Hanoi on a full-day tour of Vietnam’s capital with a small group. Led by an informative guide, you’ll learn about notable landmarks and historical sites such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. View displays at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, enjoy a walk through the Old Quarter and eat local cuisine for lunch before concluding your tour by taking in some of the best views of the Old Quarter.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD69.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD69.00

Half-Day Hanoi Motorbike Tour

Travel around Hanoi like a local during this authentic 4.5-hour motorbike sightseeing tour. Hop aboard a motorbike, the transport most preferred by locals, as you explore this bustling city’s top landmarks, sights and daily way of life. Choose from among a number of trip options that let you further customize your experience, including nighttime motorbike rides, a food-focused trip to city markets, or an exploration of Bat Trang Pottery Village. Your trip includes a guide, entrance fees, motorbike and helmet, and activities as per the itinerary.
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
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USD68.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
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USD68.00

Private Full-Day Hanoi City Tour

Discover the culture and history of Hanoi on a full day of sightseeing around the Vietnamese capital. This private tour is led by a personal guide who introduces you to local life, past and present. You’ll tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake. Your itinerary includes lunch with the option to upgrade for private hotel transport.
  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
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USD87.50
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  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
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USD87.50

Highlights of Hanoi Full-Day City Tour with Lunch

Discover Hanoi's dynamic energy and ancient traditions on a full-day tour of the city's highlights that features a Vietnamese lunch in an Old Quarter restaurant. You'll see a long list of landmarks that include the historic Tran Quoc Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and Hoan Kiem Lake, with a guide to share stories about local history and culture. This full-day tour of Hanoi offers the convenience of pickup and drop-off at hotels in Hanoi's Old Quarter, and all entrance fees are included.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD44.50
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD44.50

Half-Day Tour of Ancient Hanoi

See the highlights of historic Hanoi on a 4-hour tour of the city that includes the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about Vietnam’s history and traditions at a series of landmarks, then take a traditional 'cyclo' ride through the Old Quarter on a three-wheeled, bike-powered pedicab. This small-group tour is limited to 10 participants for a personalized experience, and all entrance fees are included, as well as pickup and drop-off at Hanoi hotels.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD49.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD49.00

Ho Chi Minh's Hanoi Small-Group Adventure Tour

Follow in the footsteps of one of Vietnam’s most famous men as you explore the streets Ho Chi Minh once did on this small-group adventure tour of Hanoi. Pay a visit to the Temple of Literature and the notorious Hanoi Hilton prison. Follow your expert guide on a walking tour of the Old-Quarter and enjoy the expertise and knowledge that comes from being led by a local.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD42.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD42.00

Hanoi City Day Trip

Explore Vietnam’s vibrant capital on a comprehensive full-day sightseeing tour. Unravel some of Hanoi’s complex history as you follow your guide to Ba Dinh Square and Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum; pose for photos by the landmark One-Pillar Pagoda and visit the beautiful Temple of Literature. After a typical Vietnamese lunch (included), explore a different side to Vietnam’s history with either a tour of the Women’s Museum or a visit to Hoa Lo prison. Finally, wind through the historic lanes of Hanoi’s Old Quarter on a traditional cyclo (pedicab) ride.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD62.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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Private Tour: Hanoi City Tour Including Water Puppet Show and Cyclo Ride

Explore vibrant Hanoi with a private guide on a full-day sightseeing tour that hits all the highlights of Vietnam's capital city. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, in addition to sites such as One Pillar Pagoda and Ngoc Son Temple. You'll also attend a water puppet show and see the Old Quarter up close on a cyclo tour. Your tour includes a typical and tasty Vietnamese breakfast and lunch, plus Vietnamese coffee to start your day and a local beer to wind down.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD46.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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Half-Day Hanoi City Tour by Cyclo

It can be difficult to tick off Hanoi’s many highlights when exploring solely by foot. Explore the city on a cyclo tour, and zip between landmarks that offer insight into the city’s history and culture, including the village of Ngoc Ha and its B-52 wreckage, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter. Stop off for a taste of traditional coffee in a local cafe, and forget the guidebook with insights provided by your guide.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD55.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD55.00

Full-Day Hanoi City Tour

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  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
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USD36.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
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USD36.00

Half-Day Tour: Hanoi City by Motorbike

Take a ride on a ubiquitous means of transport in Vietnam: the scooter. Zip around the city on a half-day sightseeing tour of Hanoi, with your own personal guide in the driver’s seat. You’re introduced to Hanoi's daily life and food tastings at a restaurant. Choose from a customized itinerary that takes you to the Old Quarter or West Lake.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD59.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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Full-Day Hanoi City Group Tour

This full-day tour of Hanoi offers great value for first-time visitors. As you head to must-see Hanoi sights such as One Pillar Pagoda and Hoan Kiem Lake, your guide fills you in on stories about the city that you might have missed on your own. Lunch, entrance fees, and transportation are included, too, so you don’t have any surprise expenses.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD40.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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Hanoi Discovery Half Day (Private)

With limited time in Hanoi, this half-day tour offers a comprehensive introduction to the city’s most memorable sights. Benefit from the undivided attention of your private guide as you visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. Continue to Hoan Kiem Lake, where highlights include the Opera House and Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD28.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD28.00

Half-Day Hanoi City Tour

See the highlights of Hanoi on a half-day sightseeing tour of the Vietnamese capital. A professional guide picks you up at your hotel and accompanies you to major landmarks, starting with a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square. Continue on to popular attractions including the Temple of Literature and Ngoc Son Temple in the heart of Sword Lake.
  • Duration: 1 day
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  • Duration: 1 day
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Hanoi City Walking Tour of Old Quarter

Get a more intimate glimpse into Hanoi than you would by coach during a walking tour that focuses on both hidden gems and famous attractions. In a super-small group limited to six people, you’ll follow a guide who ensures you don’t get lost in Hanoi’s labyrinth-like Old Quarter and provides commentary filled with cultural and historical info that you may otherwise have missed. Plus, hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD28.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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Considered to be a charming city, retaining the ancient features of the old, visitors will find typical Hanoi features through a lively combination of bustling streets and a mix of French, Chinese architecture, united and Vietnam. Hanoi is considered as the jewel of Asia. Just a trip cyclo or walk, you will have a visit to the "36 streets" of the Old Quarter retains the ancient character of ancient Hanoi.
  • Duration: 1 day
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  • Duration: 1 day
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Private Tour: Hanoi City Full-Day Tour including Cyclo Ride

Hanoi is, without a doubt, one of the most charming cities in all of Asia. Fondly This full-day tour takes travelers on a journey through the highlights of this bustling metropolis that’s fondly referred to as the “Paris of the East”. Explore the Ho Chi Minh Complex, Museum of Ethnology, Ngoc Son Temple and the stunning Hoan Kiem Lake. Then take an exciting cyclo tour through the Old Quarter where travelers can comb through the stalls of local markets selling handmade goods to end the day.
  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
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USD45.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
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Hanoi Full-Day City Tour

With colonial architecture, Communist landmarks, and Buddhist heritage, Hanoi offers a glimpse of Vietnam at its most picturesque and vibrant. Explore the city on a full-day, guided tour that takes in Old Quarter sights, ancient temples, and Hoan Kiem Lake, with round-trip hotel transfer, a Vietnamese lunch, and entrance fees included.
  • Duration: 1 day
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USD28.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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