One of the most beautiful and historic buildings in all of Vietnam is the Hanoi Opera House. Built by the French administrators in charge of Vietnam at the time construction began in 1901, this neoclassical treasure is reminiscent of the famous Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier in Paris, itself built just 30 to 40 years earlier. The historically significant opera house has played a significant role in the cultural and political life in Vietnam’s history in the last one hundred years and today is the centre of performing arts events from the orchestra and ballet to theatrical stage productions.
It’s easy to see the French influence in the design of this stunning opera house and while not quite as ornate and grand as the Palais Garnier, the lovely design elements of its sister opera house are quite evident. From the imposing frontal columns and arched entryways with their intricate iron and glass doors to the domed rooftop corners, this is a building of unique cultural significance, and one with an inspired placement within the city centre. Approaching the lovely building from the long avenue it overlooks, the opera house casts an inspirational spell, illuminating the cityscape like the grand jewel it is.
The opera house is within the city’s cultural district and just blocks from the riverfront. The Museum of Vietnamese History, the Geology Museum and the Hanoi Stock Exchange are steps away as are many internationally branded hotels. The nearest bus stop is Khách san Hilton, near the main entrance to the opera house and Hilton Opera Hotel.