Completed in 1906, the Presidential Palace was originally built by the French for the Governor General of Indochina. The French colonial–style palace, surrounded by lush botanical gardens and orchards, is the official home of the President of Vietnam, now used solely for formal receptions and state events.
Built in a neoclassical beaux arts style with elements of Italian Renaissance, the 3-story, mustard yellow building features 30 rooms. The palace stands behind wrought iron gates flanked by guard boxes and features a grand staircase. The extensive palace grounds include well-tended gardens, fruit orchards, the 300-foot-long (91-meter-long) Mango Alley, a carp pond, and the Ho Chi Minh Residence, where Ho Chi Minh lived instead of in the Presidential Palace.
Most sightseeing tours stop at the Ho Chi Minh Complex and can be combined with visits to other top sites, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, One Pillar Pagoda, or the Temple of Literature. Opt for a motorbike tour to experience Hanoi like a local, and consider add-on activities such as a water-puppet show or a cooking class. Things to Know Before You Go
- The entrance fee to the Presidential Palace also includes the Ho Chi Minh Residence.
- Visitors are not permitted inside the Presidential Palace but are allowed to explore the grounds.
- Access the Ho Chi Minh Residence through Mango Alley.
How to Get There
The Presidential Palace forms part of the Ho Chi Minh Complex. It’s easiest to take a taxi directly there, but a number of buses also stop at nearby Le Hong Phong Road, including lines 9, 22, and 34. When to Get There
The Presidential Palace is open daily, with a break for lunch. Leave yourself enough time to view the Ho Chi Minh Residence, which can see long lines during busy periods. Ho Chi Minh Residence
Located on the grounds of the Presidential Palace is the modest wooden stilt house that Ho Chi Minh lived in from 1958 until his death in 1969, preserved just as he left it. Visitors cannot enter the residence, but can look in and get a glimpse of the life of North Vietnam’s founder at this humble abode.