In its musical theaters and diverse nightlife, Hanoi’s cultural allure comes alive when the sun goes down. Productions showcasing traditional music and theater are a great way to delve into the spirit of Vietnam. With the multimillion-dollar restoration of the Opera House in the late 1990s, Hanoi's performing-arts scene reemerged. The imposing French-built arts palace hosts Vietnam's top traditional musicians and pop stars as well as the occasional Western performer. Elsewhere in the city, you can catch a performance of Vietnamese folk opera, traditional music, or enchanting water puppetry. If you want a peek at the results of years of Eastern European physical training, head to the circus at the northern edge of Lenin Park for Vietnam's version of the Cirque du Soleil.

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  • 1. Golden Bell Show


    This popular cultural show encompasses a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese folk and dance forms. Shows take place every Thursday evening...Read More

  • 2. Hanoi Opera House


    Hanoi Opera House, whose Vietnamese name translates into "House Sing Big," is worth a visit no matter what happens to be showing. This beautifully...Read More

  • 3. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

    Hoan Kiem District

    As one of Hanoi's top tourist attractions, this entertaining performance gives you insight into Vietnam's history and traditions through water puppetry storytelling, three musicians, and...Read More

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  • 4. Vietnam Central Circus

    Vietnam Central Circus was founded in the 1950s in the mountains, along with the Communist Party. Besides an evening of guaranteed entertainment—the elephants and monkeys...Read More

  • 5. Goethe Institut

    Ba Dinh District

    In addition to German language classes and opportunities abroad, Germany’s cultural institution often hosts photography and film exhibitions....Read More

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  • 6. Hanoi Cheo Theater

    This tiny, simple drama house seats 50 people. Cheo operas and traditional music concerts are usually staged on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm,...Read More

  • 7. L'Espace

    Hoan Kiem District | Film

    Operated by Institut Francais de Hanoi, L'Espace regularly screens world cinema as well as hosting an eclectic selection of cultural events. ...Read More

  • 8. National Cinema

    Ba Dinh District

    Refurbished in 2017, this antique cinema now has 12 screens. Films are often cheaper than in the major theaters, and many film festivals are held...Read More

  • 9. National Puppet Theater

    The National Puppet Theater holds water-puppet shows that are more in the vein of village performances, harking back to the days when water puppets were...Read More

  • 10. Youth Theater


    Youth Theater, a 650-seat facility, is one of the larger theaters in the city and focuses mainly on contemporary drama, although music and dance...Read More

  • 11. Cinematheque

    Hai Ba Trung District | Film

    Run by movie buffs, this is the best (only) place in Hanoi to catch up with the best in arthouse cinema. It is run as a membership organization...Read More

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