Formerly the Army Museum, the Vietnam Military History Museum covers the country’s combat history from ancient times to the American War (Vietnam War). Learn about the many battles that Vietnam has fought for independence throughout its history through extensive photos, propaganda videos, weaponry, war machines, and other war relics.
The Vietnam Military History Museum’s exhibits are spread across three buildings, as well as outside in the courtyard. Many museum highlights can be found outside, including a mound of plane debris that includes a B-52, F-111, and a French transport plane, surrounded by a selection of intact planes, tanks, and other war machines. Climb up Flag Tower of Hanoi (Cot Co Flag Tower), next to the museum, for panoramic views of the city.
Combine a tour of the museum with a sightseeing tour of other top war attractions, including the infamous Hoa Lo Prison (referred to as the Hanoi Hilton by American pilots during the Vietnam War) and Ngoc Ha Village, where part of a B-52 shot down in 1972 is preserved.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Vietnam Military History Museum is a must-visit for war and history buffs.
- There is an extra fee to take photos or videos inside the museum.
- Bags must be stored at the entrance; lockers are available.
- The museum includes some graphic photos and portrayals, which may not be appropriate for young children.
How to Get There
The museum is located in central Hanoi, near Ba Dinh Square and the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which are about a five-minute walk away. It’s easiest to take a taxi there directly.
When to Get There
The museum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, and also closes for two hours for lunch (11:30am to 1:30pm). Visitors tend to spend about 1–2 hours here, depending on their level of interest in military history. The museum’s proximity to to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, and also the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature, makes it easy to visit the different sites together.
Flag Tower of Hanoi
The Flag Tower of Hanoi was built in 1812 and once formed part of the Hanoi Citadel, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the tallest site in Hanoi, it is 108 feet (33 meters) tall, topped by the national flag of Vietnam. One of the few structures not destroyed during the French invasion in the late 19th century, it offers panoramic views of Hanoi and of the courtyard to the Vietnam Military History Museum next door.