Capitalizing on Hanoi’s Night Tourism Untapped Potential

Numerous night tours have already been introduced in Hanoi; nonetheless, there is a pressing need for the city to develop a comprehensive strategy to enhance and promote this particular form of tourism.


In recent times, prominent tourist sites in Hanoi have introduced new products to stimulate the night-time economy.

The night tour “Decoding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long” was launched in April 2022 and has since attracted a large number of domestic tourists. This is the second night tour in the capital city after the one held at Hoa Lo Prison.

Hanoi Optimizes Potential to Promote Night Tourism
The night tour “Decoding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long” made its debut in April 2022. Photo:

Travelers start the 1.5-hour tour at Doan Mon (Main Gate) – the entrance to Cam Thanh (Forbidden area), the king’s residence, and learn about the historical, architectural, and functional aspects of the site.

Later on, they can enjoy a traditional dance performance on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area and gain insights from tour guides about the ongoing excavation that promises to reveal new information about the remnants of the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit an exhibition hall showcasing antiquities dating back over 1,000 years.

At Kinh Thien Palace, visitors can pay homage to King Ly Thai To, who moved the capital from Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh Province to Dai La, which was renamed Thang Long in 1010. Tour guides will also discuss the contributions of other kings to the development of the capital city.

The tour concludes at the archaeological site located at No.18 Hoang Dieu Street, where visitors can witness a laser light show featuring notable antiquities from the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Tourists can also participate in a game in which they identify typical objects from feudal dynasties in the past.

Since its launch, the tour, available every Friday and Saturday evening, has attracted approximately 9,000 travelers.

In July 2022, the Hoa Lo Prison relic site also introduced a night tour that takes visitors on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Through the use of light and sound effects, the 45-minute tour, titled “Sacred Night – Glorious Vietnamese Spirit,” depicts the story of the prison, which was once known as “hell on earth.”

Hanoi Optimizes Potential to Promote Night Tourism
In July 2022, the Hoa Lo Prison relic site also launched a night tour taking visitors on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Photo:

The tours are available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and are not recommended for children under 16 years of age.

With the aim of bringing literary beauty to the public through a fresh approach, the Vietnam Literature Museum, situated 6.2 km north of downtown Hanoi at 275 Au Co, Quang An ward, Tay Ho district, has been offering night tours every Saturday and Sunday since last year. This tour allows visitors to experience the uniqueness of Vietnamese literature from ancient and medieval periods to the present.

Most recently, a similar service was launched at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) located in the heart of Hanoi in October. This tour provides tourists the opportunity to immerse themselves in a spectacle of dazzling lights, traditional music, and the essence of Vietnamese educational history.

Experts suggest that night-time tourism not only enables tourists to appreciate the local culture and culinary specialties but also helps spread the tourist crowd throughout the day, thereby reducing the burden on main tourist sites during peak hours and promoting sustainability.

Hanoi Optimizes Potential to Promote Night Tourism
Night-time tourism allows tourists to enjoy the unique local culture and culinary specialties. Photo:

This type of tourism also contributes to creating more job opportunities for local residents, promoting the local economy, and enhancing the competitiveness of the country’s tourism sector.

However, challenges related to the size, connectivity, and quality of the tours need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research, suggests that Hanoi should propose a detailed project that takes into account potential risks in order to fully exploit the city’s potential for night tourism.

Rosy Huong