Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum A Journey Through Vietnamese Art History

The Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum is to preserve, study, and promote Vietnamese art across all its glorious forms from traditional to contemporary. Through its carefully designed exhibits, the museum provides deeper insight into Vietnam’s unique artistic identity and its invaluable creative contributions that have shaped global artistic discourse.

Where is Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum?

The Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum enjoys a convenient location in the heart of Hanoi at 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District. Its position in the capital makes it easily accessible for visitors who wish to incorporate a museum visit into their exploration of Hanoi’s plentiful attractions.

Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum map

Open hours

To give ample opportunities for art enthusiasts to explore its vast collection, the museum maintains consistent opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday:

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
  • The museum is closed on Mondays.

Entrance fee: 40,000VND/ person

Introducing Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum
Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

The Museums building, a significant landmark in Hanoi, has a rich history dating back to the French colonial period. Originally built as a boarding school for the daughters of French officials, it served as a symbol of Western education and influence in Vietnam.

However, with the end of French rule in 1954 and the establishment of an independent Vietnamese government, the purpose of the building shifted. In 1962, the Ministry of Culture was tasked with transforming the building into a space dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and preserving the diverse and valuable works of art from Vietnam’s prehistoric era to modern times.

To fulfill this new purpose, the building underwent extensive renovations and additions, incorporating traditional Vietnamese architectural elements to create a suitable environment for an art museum. Finally, in 1966, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum opened its doors to the public, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Covering an area of 4,737m2, the museum boasts a spacious exhibition space of approximately 3,000m2. Apart from the permanent displays, the museum also features a designated area for temporary exhibitions, a Creative Space for Children, and a cozy Café where visitors can relax and reflect on the artworks they have seen.

In addition to its main location on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, the museum also has a second site on Hoang Cau Street. This site houses professional departments, collections storage, and a conservation center, highlighting the museum’s commitment to preserving and promoting Vietnamese art for future generations.

Overall, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum stands as a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage and serves as a platform for artists to showcase their talents and creativity. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the vibrant and diverse art scene of Vietnam.

Exploring Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

The museum boasts a diverse collection spread throughout galleries dedicated to distinct eras and genres, allowing visitors to traverse the intricate timeline of Vietnamese art history.

Ancient Art Gallery

Ancient Art Gallery
Ancient Art Gallery

Step back in time at the Ancient Art Gallery containing artifacts from Vietnam’s prehistoric and ancient cultures including the primitive Dong Son civilisation and the sophisticated Cham and Ly dynasties amongst others. Marvel at the skilled artisanship behind ancient sculptures, ceramics and bronzes shaped by the creativity of Vietnam’s early artists.


  • Intricate Dong Son drums depicting scenes of daily life
  • Cham Sandstone sculptures reflecting Hindu-Buddhist iconography
  • Glazed ceramics from the Ly dynasty marked by sublime workmanship

Medieval Art Gallery

Medieval Art Gallery
Medieval Art Gallery

Soak in the spiritual essence of Vietnam’s medieval artistic heritage showing Buddhist and Confucian influences. Examine the masterful lacquer painting, sculpture and regalia from the era, each piece reflecting the predominant religious and cultural motifs.


  • Buddhist sutra pillars with deeply carved designs
  • Ornate lacquer boxes and screens inlaid with mother-of-pearl motifs
  • Bronze incense burners and ritual objects

Modern Art Gallery

Modern Art Gallery
Modern Art Gallery

Discover the revolutionary beginnings of Vietnamese modern art in the early 20th century through this gallery. Appreciate the social realism that underpins the paintings and sculptures created by trailblazing artists like Nguyen Gia Tri, Nguyen Phan Chanh and Le Pho.


  • Nguyen Gia Tri’s oil paintings depicting hardships of the working class
  • Woodcuts by Nguyen Phan Chanh portraying peasants and workers
  • Le Pho’s serene landscapes inspired by European post-impressionism

Contemporary Art Gallery

Contemporary Art Gallery
Contemporary Art Gallery

Immerse in Vietnam’s vibrant contemporary art scene via installations, paintings and sculptures that subvert traditions and push boundaries. Witness the outpouring of creative experimentation by the nation’s contemporary visionaries.


  • Dinh Q. Le’s symbolism-rich photographic weavings
  • The Wall: Messages for the Future eco-artistic installation
  • Tran Luong’s abstract lacquer creations

Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum Reviews

The museum enjoys consistent acclaim for its expansive collection, illuminating exhibits and welcoming atmosphere:

  • “An absolute must-visit for art and history enthusiasts. The museum houses a truly impressive repositories of Vietnamese creative heritage spanning ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces.”
  • “I loved the clear segmentation across galleries showing different eras and forms. Allowed me to easily traverse and understand Vietnam’s rich art history and culture.”
  • “The free entry is a huge plus and the exhibits are very well curated. Great way to spend an afternoon understanding Vietnamese identity.”

Overall, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum provides a compelling insight into the nation’s unique cultural vision by housing stellar examples of its aesthetic achievements through the ages.

Eating Places near Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

Tong Duy Tan street food
Tong Duy Tan street food

After an enriching exploration of the museum, visitors can refuel at any of the nearby dining options that offer a range of delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Here are some popular choices:

  • Phở Thịnh – 39 Ton Duc Thang street, Dong Da, district, Hanoi
  • Gà tần, bánh cuốn, cơm rang, seafood – Tong Duy Tan food street Hanoi
  • Kotlet Ribs, Italian Grilled Beef – Goethe Cafe – 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

Attractions near Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum

Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature

Extend your cultural excursion by visiting other captivating attractions within walking distance from the museum:

  • Temple of Literature – Established in 1070 as the first imperial university, it is now a revered testament to Confucian values and stunning architecture.
  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Explore the ancient stronghold of Hanoi and learn about its rich history through archaeological finds.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – Pay respects to Vietnam’s revolutionary leader and witness the grandeur of his final resting place.

With such a wealth of cultural and historical sites in close proximity, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum makes for an ideal starting point for exploring Hanoi’s multifaceted identity.


The Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum stands as a jewel in Hanoi’s cultural crown, offering an unparalleled journey through Vietnamese art history. It serves as a testament to the nation’s enduring creativity and provides a platform for appreciating its diverse artistic expressions. A visit here promises to be an enriching experience for all, making it a must-see destination for anyone seeking to understand the essence of Vietnam.