Built to preserve the legacy of North Vietnam’s first President, the Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh) offers a comprehensive overview of Ho Chi Minh’s life, as well as the country’s fight for independence. Over 2,000 items are presented in this massive, Soviet-style building, built in the shape of a lotus.
A massive bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh greets visitors in the lobby. The exhibition space is divided into eight chronological sections covering different parts of Ho Chi Minh’s life. Photos, documents, books, personal items, and other historical artifacts are mixed in with documentaries and works of art, ranging from socialist realism to abstract to the surreal. There’s also a gift shop, library, and hall for studying.
Most sightseeing tours make a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Complex, and may also stop at other top attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature, or Tran Quoc Pagoda. Or see Hanoi like a local on a motorbike tour. It’s also possible to combine sightseeing with a cyclo ride, food tour, or water puppet show.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors will need to check their bags at the entrance.
- Photos are not permitted inside; cameras will have to be checked.
- Visitors are requested to be quiet inside the museum.
- Expect to spend about an hour at the museum; two if you plan to study the exhibits in detail.
How to Get There
The museum is located within the Ho Chi Minh Complex, behind the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, at Ba Dinh Square. A number of buses also stop at nearby Le Hong Phong Road, including the 9, 22, and 34.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, except for Mondays and Fridays, with a break for lunch. Most people visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum first, then Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and finally the museum. The complex can get crowded with large tour groups, so you may want to adjust the order as needed.
Ba Dinh Square
In front of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, Ba Dinh Square was the site where Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence on September 2, 1945. Visitors are discouraged from walking on any of the 240 patches of grass intersected by concrete pathways. Every day, there’s a flag-raising ceremony at 6am and a flag-lowering ceremony at 9pm.