St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi – one of the most fascinating sights in Vietnam


Among the most fascinating sightseeings throughout Hanoi are the capital’s many beautiful temples, pagodas, and churches. Fueled by the deep devotion to God, these magnificent buildings are some of our capital’s most beautiful and inspiring creations to visit on any Hanoi tour. Here is St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi – where art met stunning architecture and astonishing craftsmanship – our top pick for one of the most picturesque churches in Vietnam.

Why should St. Joseph Cathedral be included on your Hanoi group tours’ itinerary?


St. Joseph Cathedral

What list comprised of the greatest destinations to visit on your Hanoi group tours would be anything without St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi in it? So let’s get this off to the right start. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the capital for more than 4 million Catholics throughout Vietnam.

Constructed about 120 years ago, St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi is considered one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hanoi, Vietnam. We believe that the Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi is one of the most beautiful churches in the world thanks to a combination of Roman Catholic and Neo-Gothic style.

Conceived in 1882 and completed on the night of Christmas in 1886, St. Joseph Cathedral was the very heartbeat of the French colonist during the expansion of its colonial empire Indochina. Built on the site of Bao Thien Pagoda – the most significant religious structure as the center of Buddhist practice in the 12th century in Lý-Trần dynasty destroyed by the French colonist in 1882, St. Joseph Cathedral was completed in 1886 and only started to welcome people on the Christmas Eve of 1990.


St. Joseph Cathedral inside

In addition to being Vietnam’s most famous cathedral, St. Joseph’s in Hanoi is gorgeous inside and out. One of Hanoi history’s more stunning spiritual relics built about 120 years ago, St. Joseph Cathedral stands today as breathtaking time testimonials with the stained glass windows inside the church being the originals dating from its establishment. Many features of the majestic edifice fell into near-ruin during the time it was under the control of the Vietnamese Nationalist but revived interest in the 20th century brought about their restoration.

No one can deny the aesthetic draw of St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi on Hanoi group tours. This incredible structure with the architectural style described as inspired by the worldwide famous cathedral Notre Dame de Paris draws the extra attention of their angles. From the beautiful Gothic architecture to the statue of Virgin Mary kept in the palanquin and the main interior part decorated in Vietnamese way with two typical red and yellow colors, it’s hard not to love St. Joseph Cathedral.

What to do here?


St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi from the outside

When you visit this magnificent church area on the connecting point of Nha Chung and Ly Quoc Su Streets, all of the “to-do” options are free from the entrance fee to worshipping, taking nice wedding shots, having a drink with your friends on the “Lemon Tea” street, and watching Hanoians in their daily activities.

The most favorite thing to do among foreigners is being able to have a drink on the pavements of Nha Chung Street to see St. Joseph’s exterior walls made of granite stone slabs, doors, colorful window glass produced in France then imported to Vietnam, and twin bell towers with the resemblance to Notre Dame de Paris from outside. It is also a great chance to experience the sidewalk iced tea culture in Hanoi, have a short yet interesting conversation with Hanoians to know more about our sidewalk culture, or see people and vehicles passing by.

  • Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi – a short walk from the Hoan Kiem Lake (the Lake of the Returned Sword).
  • Opening time: All day long
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Best time to visit: On the weekend, during Christmas Festival, and on the Special annual ceremony on 19th March when hundreds of people, both local and travelers on their Hanoi group tours, Christian and non-Christian, go here to worship or celebrate this fascinating religious festival.

One of our capital’s most beautiful and inspiring creations, St. Joseph Cathedral is a must-visit destination on your Hanoi day tours.

Author Since: Jan 16, 2019

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