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Hoa Lo Prison Tours

Hoa Lo Prison
Built by the French in 1896 to hold Vietnamese political prisoners and known originally as Maison Centrale, Hoa Lo Prison was taken over by the Vietnamese in 1954. During the American War (Vietnam War), it housed American POWs, who referred to it as the “Hanoi Hilton.” Today, parts of the original prison have been turned into a museum.
 
The Basics
Most of the original prison has been demolished, but a small corner has been preserved as a museum and memorial. Visitors can tour prison cells and see exhibits showing the conditions under which prisoners lived, including life-size models of shackled prisoners in stockades. Most of the exhibits focus on the prison’s use through the mid-1950s and the Vietnamese struggle for independence, though there are some displays relating to American soldiers incarcerated there. Original relics include a French guillotine and tunnels used by prisoners to escape.
 
Combine a tour of the museum with a sightseeing tour of other top war attractions, including the Vietnam Military History Museum and Ngoc Ha Village, where part of a downed B-52 has been preserved. The museum can also be combined with visits to other top Hanoi attractions, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, or the Temple of Literature.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Hoa Lo Prison is a must-visit for war and history buffs.
  • There are gruesome displays here that are not suitable for children.
  • A visit to the prison can be an emotionally difficult experience.
  • Most of the displays have English translations.
  • Expect some of the displays to reflect propaganda.
 
How to Get There
Hoa Lo Prison is located near the French Quarter in Hanoi, about a 15-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. Buses 2, 9, 40, and 49 stop nearby. Look for a bright yellow building with the sign “Maison Centrale.”
 
When to Get There
Hoa Lo Prison is open daily, year-round, with a break for lunch. Most visitors spend between 60 and 90 minutes here. Hoa Lo Prison is located near Ambassador’s Pagoda, which makes for an easy sightseeing pairing.
 
American POWs
Hoa Lo Prison was one of the main areas where American pilots shot down over Vietnam were held. Famous former inmates include Admiral James Stockdale, Brigadier General Robinson Risner, Pete Peterson (the first US ambassador to a unified Vietnam), and Senator John McCain. McCain’s flight suit is displayed, along with a photo of his capture from Truc Bach Lake after he was shot down.
Address: Hoa Lo, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Admission: Varies
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74 Tours and Activities to Experience Hoa Lo Prison

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Half-Day Morning Tour of the Highlights in Hanoi with Lunch

Half-Day Morning Tour of the Highlights in Hanoi with Lunch

star-4.5
Follow in the footsteps of one of Vietnam’s most famous men as you explore the streets of Hanoi on this small-group adventure tour. 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.
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  • 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$39.00
From
US$39.00
Taking safety measures

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems: Best of Hanoi Private Tour

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems: Best of Hanoi Private Tour

star-5
The narrow streets and alleyways of old Hanoi can be hard to navigate. Forget guidebooks and itinerary planning, and immerse in this ancient city’s rich culture with a dedicated private guide. Enjoy the sorts of insights only a local can provide as you explore markets, temples, alleyways, historic homes, the French Quarter, the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and even Hoa Lo Prison.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$37.22
Price varies by group size
From
US$37.22
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

French Quarter Tours - Ninh Binh ( Hoa Lu,Tam Coc) with boating and biking

French Quarter Tours - Ninh Binh ( Hoa Lu,Tam Coc) with boating and biking

+ Get 20% discount for massage service in Hanoi Old Quarter + FREE Itinerary for the whole trip in Vietnam + Full advice before payment + Support 24/7
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$39.00
From
US$39.00

French Quarter Tours - Ninh Binh ( Hoa Lu,Tam Coc) with boating and biking

French Quarter Tours - Ninh Binh ( Hoa Lu,Tam Coc) with boating and biking

+ Get 20% discount for massage service in Hanoi Old Quarter + FREE Itinerary for the whole trip in Vietnam + Full advice before payment + Support 24/7
More
  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$39.00
From
US$39.00

Highlight- Hanoi city tour and Cycle around old quarter

Highlight- Hanoi city tour and Cycle around old quarter

star-4
Discover the best that Hanoi has to offer on this small-group city tour. Visit key landmarks such as the Ho Chi Minh Complex dedicated to the former leader, the Confucian Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda in the middle of the lake, and the Hoa Lo Prison also known as the Hanoi Hilton. Learn about the history of Vietnam from your guide and discover Hanoi’s Old Quarter by bicycle.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$32.83
From
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Hanoi City Sightseeing and Street Food Tour

Hanoi City Sightseeing and Street Food Tour

star-5
Kick off your Hanoi stay with a half-day motorbike tour of the city. Sit bak and relax as local drivers transport you through the main streets and back alleys of this Vietnamese destination. Cruise past iconic landmarks, sample local cuisine and choose from one of three tour options to meet your interests and needs. This is the perfect way to get acclimated to the city and begin to explore with the wind in your hair!
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$51.29
From
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Hanoi Military tour for Half day city

Hanoi Military tour for Half day city

star-5
Half day Military tour to explore Hanoi city is idea for tourist, who's interesting in Vietnam's History and War. The tour will bring tourist an overview of Vietnam country, people, and the answer what made Vietnamese people could be successed with 2 big enemy: French and American.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$76.93
Price varies by group size
From
US$76.93
Price varies by group size

Hanoi War Sites Walking Tour

Hanoi War Sites Walking Tour

Hanoi war sites walking tour will lead you to Military history museum (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) or French Quarter (Monday and Friday) and Hoa Lo prison to help you to discover the history of Vietnam’s modern wars.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$5.13
From
US$5.13

Hanoi in a day from Halong city

Hanoi in a day from Halong city

- Door to door service: We pick up right at the foot of your cruise. - Hanoi tour guides in different languages (Surcharge following the language chosen). - Bring the best of Hanoi values to customers. - Easy to customize and follow customers' desires. - Port of calls tours which are professionally operated.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$180.52
Price varies by group size
From
US$180.52
Price varies by group size

Hanoi Private City Tour - Chose Your Places To Go

Hanoi Private City Tour - Chose Your Places To Go

Experience and knowledgement tour guide, comfortable transfer, best availability of food choise option. Surely this is best available tour option for your ideals or purpose of study something unique..
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$117.95
Price varies by group size
From
US$117.95
Price varies by group size

Hanoi City Small Group Tour and Water Puppet Show

Hanoi City Small Group Tour and Water Puppet Show

star-5
This city tour and cooking class is ideal for traveler who want to both see the sights of Hanoi and have a delicious foodie experience. Visit temples, museums, and other must-see attractions on a convenient introductory tour. Learn to cook Vietnamese food from a professional chef, so you can eat authentic food even after you’ve returned home. This is a fun-filled and varied day tour.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$25.65
From
US$25.65

Full-Day Hanoi City Private Car Charter

Full-Day Hanoi City Private Car Charter

star-5
Discover Hanoi at your own pace with a custom-made itinerary and a personal chauffeur on this full-day self-guided tour. Travel in the comfort of a private vehicle with hotel pickup and drop-off included, and hop out to explore sights such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Tran Quoc Pagoda, or Hoan Kiem Lake.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$85.13
per group
From
US$85.13
per group

Private Hanoi city tour and water puppet show

Private Hanoi city tour and water puppet show

star-5
Enjoy personalized attention from your guide on this comprehensive tour of Hanoi. You’ll make good time hitting all the top highlights—Hoa Lo Prison, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Ho Chi Minh Complex, and others—since you don’t have to wait for a large tour group. Your guide will tailor their commentary to your interests. Finish up with a water puppet show or a cycle around the Old Quarter.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$69.75
From
US$69.75

Private Hanoi Classic City Tour

Private Hanoi Classic City Tour

star-5
Explore the fascinating history and rich culture of Vietnam’s capital city on this all-day tour. After a convenient hotel pickup, travel by private vehicle to important sites like Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Hanoi Opera House, the Temple of Literature, and the notorious prison where United States Senator John McCain was held. Enjoy a rickshaw ride and a delicious lunch before returning to your hotel.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$85.13
Price varies by group size
From
US$85.13
Price varies by group size

Hanoi French Quarter Walking Tour: The Present and the Past

Hanoi French Quarter Walking Tour: The Present and the Past

star-5
During this 3-hour walking tour, travelers will be able to explore the spectacular cultural and historical beauty of celebrated landscapes such as St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, Hoan Kiem Lake, so on. This tour will definitely bring you an amazing experience through the intriguing stories told by our guide, who are super enthusiastic, informative and good at English as well. If you are really into French architecture, or just merely want to see a different vision of this bustling capital, a tour around Hanoi French Quarter is a perfect pick. Let’s take a tour and enjoy the wonderful adventure!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$16.00
From
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Hanoi Customized Tour By Motobike - 3,5 hours

Hanoi Customized Tour By Motobike - 3,5 hours

Our tours are customized according to tourists' schedule. In some case, tourists have visited some places, we recommend other sites to help tourists discover every corner in Hanoi. When it comes to time, supposed that tourists have landed in Hanoi at 9am and they want to take Motobike tours at 10am, we are glad to provide customized tours. - Customized time - Customize places to visit - Other customize --------- ITINERARY --------- - Pick you up at your hotel/hostel on time. - Take a short conversation to discuss tour's itinerary which depends on tourists' schedule - Start exploring Hanoi on your own terms by motobike - The itinerary is customized by you. - All drinks and foods, entrance fees you have to pay by yourself --------- RECOMMENDED DESTINATION --------- Here are out-standing destinations in Hanoi that you should pay a visit to
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$22.57
From
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Bus ticket - Vietnam Sightseeing

Bus ticket - Vietnam Sightseeing

As one of the first companies that bring double-decker bus to Thang Long – Hanoi, the city tour aims to give you an overview of this thousand year old capital and provide an understanding of prominent attractions as well as historical and cultural sites of Hanoi.
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  • 4 hours to 2 days
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US$12.00
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Retro Hop-on-hop-off Bonbon City Tour: Classic Package

Retro Hop-on-hop-off Bonbon City Tour: Classic Package

star-4.5
- Great services: Young and well English-speaking Local Ambassadors onboard who love Hanoi and want to share its culture and history; careful and friendly drivers - Reasonable & inclusive price: BonBon travel pass, brochure providing travel guide, and several F&B/services vouchers - Hop on and hop off at any of the stops at your own pace in accordance with the bus schedule to see the city's popular landmarks and attractions - Enjoy Hanoi sightseeing in modern air-conditioned bus no matter how extreme the weather is - Take Instagrammable photos with our little yellow retro buses - Audio available in 6 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$16.00
From
US$16.00

Ha Noi City Tour And Cooking Class

Ha Noi City Tour And Cooking Class

star-5
Discover Ha Noi’s rich cultural heritage with this city tour and cooking class package. Spend your morning ticking off top landmarks, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex and Vietnam Museum Of Ethnology, then immerse yourself in the city’s culinary scene with a traditional cooking class led by a professional chef. Round-trip transportation by air-conditioned bus ensures a hassle-free full-day experience.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$38.15
From
US$38.15

Top thing to do in Hanoi - Hanoi city tour with water puppet show

Top thing to do in Hanoi - Hanoi city tour with water puppet show

star-4.5
Explore the capital city of Hanoi on this small-group guided tour. The itinerary includes top attractions such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hoa Lo Prison, and the popular Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre where a pool of water serves as the stage for puppets. Plus, you’ll have the chance to bike around Hanoi’s old quarter.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$26.67
From
US$26.67

Half Day Hanoi military themed tour by Jeep

Half Day Hanoi military themed tour by Jeep

star-5
Explore Vietnam’s military history on this half-day guided excursion by Jeep. After a convenient hotel pickup, visit the “Hanoi Hilton,” a former French prison-turned-museum that housed Vietnamese revolutionaries in the Indochina War and American fighter pilots during the Vietnam War. Then head to the Vietnam Military History Museum to see war time artifacts, and stop by Huu Tiep Pond to see a shot-down Bomber 52.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$125.65
From
US$125.65

Hanoi Walking War Sites Tour

Hanoi Walking War Sites Tour

star-5
Vietnam is famously known as the nation with a lengthy history of resistance wars against oversea invaders. If you are a history lover, Hanoi War Sites Tour should be on your must-see checklist. This scenic tour will provide you an insight right into the period of the Vietnamese Battles and its consequences. Our visiting sites will certainly be the Hoa Lo Prison and Vietnam Military History Museum. Let's dive in! Can't wait to see you.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$15.00
From
US$15.00

Hanoi sightseeing tour with motorbike

Hanoi sightseeing tour with motorbike

We would like you to have the authentic and the unforgettable experience of travelling Vietnam. This private tour means every things private. You can customize all of this aspect and you can also tailor your tour. 8:30 AM: Our tour guides will pick you up at your hotel to start the tour, please be ready at lobby on time. We will explore the smallest and busiest street in Hanoi to see the real local people in here. We have the absolute best tour guides who are friendly, knowledgeable, outgoing and love to show you the real Vietnam. 9:20 AM: Keep exploring, we visit to The Opera house, Temple of Literature or Hoa Lo prison, Ho Chi Minh complex, Tran quoc pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, the beautiful and romantic streets in Hanoi, Long Bien bridge (Long Bien railway to take picture) 11:30 AM: Have a lunch in Vietnam restaurant 12:15 AM: Drink the special coffee in Vietnam (egg coffee). Our tour guide will drop you off your hotel and thanks you for joining tour with us.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$56.42
From
US$56.42

Private sightseeing highlight Hanoi City Tour with car

Private sightseeing highlight Hanoi City Tour with car

We would like you to have the authentic and the unforgettable experience of travelling Vietnam. This private tour means every things private. You can customize all of this aspect and you can also tailor your tour. 8:30 AM: Our tour guides will pick you up at your hotel to start the tour, please be ready at lobby on time. We will explore the smallest and busiest street in Hanoi to see the real local people in here. We have the absolute best tour guides who are friendly, knowledgeable, outgoing and love to show you the real Vietnam. 9:20 AM: Keep exploring, we visit to The Opera house, Temple of Literature or Hoa Lo prison, Ho Chi Minh complex, Tran quoc pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, the beautiful and romantic streets in Hanoi, Long Bien bridge (Long Bien railway to take picture) 11:30 AM: Have a lunch in Vietnam restaurant 12:15 AM: Drink the special coffee in Vietnam (egg coffee). Our tour guide and driver will drop you off your hotel and thanks you for joining tour with us.
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  • 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$66.67
From
US$66.67

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Hoa Lo Prison?

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