The Cultural Industry Thriving in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Hanoi strives to capitalize on its traditional cultural values and transform itself into a creative hub and a must-visit for tourists.


Hoan Kiem District is a crucial component of the capital’s creative hub, boasting cultural, historical, architectural, and scenic assets that play a vital role in the growth of local cultural industries.

The authorities in Hoan Kiem have prioritized the preservation and promotion of cultural values, as well as the stimulation of commerce. These efforts help not only in safeguarding heritage but also in enhancing tourism activities.

Cultural Center of the Capital

Compared to other districts in the city, Hoan Kiem stands out as the pioneer in introducing and cultivating innovative spaces. In particular, the district is renowned for its community creative spaces, setting a benchmark for similar initiatives in Hanoi.

 Photo Hanoi’23 biennale took place at the Art Center at 22 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem District. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The pedestrian zone surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake, known as Phung Hung Mural Street, Phuc Tan Public Art Space, Hang Buom 22 Art Center, and 19/12 Book Street, have revitalized Hoan Kiem District. These areas provide local residents with a pleasant leisure destination and have also garnered significant attention from both domestic and international tourists.

According to the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, hosted over 200 events on weekends and attracted more than one million visitors in 2022.

On Phung Hung Street, visitors can enjoy 19 impressive murals that capture the essence of contemporary urban life. The area is currently undergoing expansion to create a dynamic artistic hub that will serve the local community.

Phuc Tan Public Art Space presents an exciting new addition that invites young people to capture moments, appreciate artistic creations, and discover the rich history of our city through creative expression. This project encompasses an outdoor gallery that, with its emphasis on environmental and communal values, aims to not only beautify the surrounding area but also foster a greater sense of cleanliness and aesthetic charm for our residents.

Hoan Kiem district is host to several esteemed creative spaces, including the Center for Film Talent Development and Assistance (TPD), Six Space, AGO Hub, and The Learning Hub. These inspirational venues provide a nurturing environment for creativity to thrive, offering training, workshops, exhibitions, and project support.

Since the adjustment of administrative boundaries 15 years ago, Hanoi has incorporated several cultural institutions, including:

  • The Lai Xa Museum of Photography in Hoai Duc District
  • The Phan Thi Ngoc My Museum of Art in Quoc Oai District
  • The Vun Art Space in Ha Dong District
 Skill demonstration by members of Vun Art Space at Hanoi Museum. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The integration of Hoan Kiem District’s cultural spaces with suburban areas has proven to be instrumental in fostering the growth of the city’s cultural industry. This was evident during the June edition of the Photo Hanoi’23 biennial, where central events took place in Hoan Kiem District while supplementary activities were held in various cultural venues across the city.

Pham Tuan Long, Chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee, emphasizes the continued efforts of the authorities to prioritize the organization of community activities in public spaces. This commitment is driven by the dual objectives of preserving heritage values and stimulating the local economy.

Boosting the Cultural Industry

According to Associate Professor Bui Hoai Son, a distinguished member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education, the Hoan Kiem district is undergoing a transformation into a prominent hub for arts and heritage, with an emphasis on nurturing cultural industries.

“Positioning cultural industries as the prominent development policy is a significant initiative that capitalizes on the intrinsic cultural values, scenic landscapes, and numerous other advantages of Hoan Kiem District. Adhering to this strategic approach, Hoan Kiem is poised to establish itself as the epicenter of art, creativity, heritage, and events that showcase and celebrate these cherished values,” remarked Son.

 An artwork depicting Temple of Literature by Vun Art Space.

To drive the growth of Hanoi’s UNESCO Creative City initiative, Chairman Pham Tuan Long of Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee has emphasized the strategic utilization of creative spaces to foster industrial development.

The district is currently undertaking efforts to explore and develop the alluvial island on the Red River. The focus is on creating a multi-purpose cultural park that maximizes the potential and benefits of the Red River’s natural beauty.

In addition to enhancing the availability of walkable areas and public art installations, Hoan Kiem District consistently collaborates with artists and artisans to host recurring cultural events within the community.

Dr. Dao Ngoc Nghiem, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Urban Development Planning Association, has emphasized the importance of the Red River Urban Subdivision Planning. This plan aims to effectively utilize the resources and advantages of the Red River, catering to the needs of residents and visitors in the capital city. Additionally, it will harness the potential of the local ecosystem, taking into account the practical conditions and current development trends.