Flag Tower of Hanoi

This early 19th-century tower is one of the region’s only remaining pre-war landmarks. It remains a symbol of Hanoi’s military history.

Gaze up to the top of Flag Tower where the national colors have been flying every day since 1986. The flag is an important symbol of the unification of Vietnam and its participation in the global economy. Climb the stairs to the top and enjoy views over the war museum and idyllic Lenin Park below before visiting the nearby museum to learn more about Vietnam’s military past.

Make your way through the buildings that remain of the Thang Long Citadel to the base of Flag Tower. Built between 1805 and 1812 as a lookout point, the tower is one of the only buildings in Hanoi to have survived both the French and American conflicts.

At the top of the 108-foot (33-meter) tower, spot the yellow star on a field of red of the Vietnamese flag swaying gently in the breeze. The flag itself measures 258 square feet (24 square meters) and is replaced every 2 to 3 weeks.

Head inside the tower and up the winding stone staircase. Stop at various points on your way to peer out of the 36 flower-shaped windows that are dotted along the thick, curved walls. There are three separate platforms but the best views can be enjoyed from the observatory on the upper level. From eight windows facing all directions, view the tanks and helicopters of the war museum or watch people strolling around the gardens and fields of nearby Lenin Park.

Flag Tower is on Dien Bien Phu Street in the center of Hanoi and is a part of the adjacent Military History Museum. The museum is open every day except Mondays and Fridays and there is a small entry fee. Once you have visited the tower, be sure to investigate the museum. Particular highlights are a Soviet jet fighter, a US F-111 plane and the remains of a French aircraft that was shot down at Dien Bien Phu.