- Top Things To Do in Hanoi
- 1. Hoan Kiem Lake: The Best Thing To Do in Hanoi
- 2. Unique Vietnamese Water Puppetry
- 3. Greek and French Fusion at Hanoi Opera House
- 4. Gothic Revival at St. Joseph’s Cathedral
- 5. A Labor of Love at Vietnamese Women’s Museum
- 6. Horrors of Hoa Lo Prison Relic
- 7. The Charming Old Quarter
- 8. Dong Xuan Wholesale Market
- 9. Ho Chi Minh Memoria
- 10. A Pagoda Built on a Pillar
- 11. 1 300 Years at Thang Long Imperial Citadel
- 12. Vietnam Military History Museum
- 13. Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum
- 14. Temple of Literature and Vietnam’s First University
- 15. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
- 16. 3rd Century Co Loa Citadel
- 17. Tay Ho Temple And A Mythical Princess
- 18. West Lake and Ancient Tran Quoc Pagoda
- 19. River and Cave Adventure to Perfume Pagoda
- 20. Four Protectors of Hanoi Old City
- 21. Traditional Handicraft Villages
- 22. Flower Gardens Along Red River Banks
- 23. Easy Hiking in Tram Mountain
- 24. Ba Vi National Park
- 25. Halong Bay Tours
- Getting Around Hanoi
- Traveling Tips for Hanoi
Hanoi (Vietnamese spelling: Hà Nội) is one of the few capital cities in Asia to have maintained a unique traditional character amid the uniformity of modernism. Combined with unique characteristics of its four seasons, there are various fascinating things to do in Hanoi.
Hanoi grew out of ancient citadels and kingdoms dating back to 258 BC, and with a population of around 10 million, it still serves as the political and cultural center of Vietnam. From Hanoi you can easily get to Halong Bay or venture up to the hill tribe areas of Sapa.
Top Things To Do in Hanoi
Hanoi, with its many charms and delights, will connect you to the heart and soul of Vietnamese culture. There are interesting things to do in Hanoi for everyone.
Visitors can walk around Hoan Kiem Lake where traditional and modern recreations intertwine. The quaint Old Quarter is an excellent spot of window shopping, cafe lounging, and street food.
If history and culture interest you, visit themed museums, religious sites, and ancient citadels. There’s also an abundance of natural getaways outside of the city.
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1. Hoan Kiem Lake: The Best Thing To Do in Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake (hồ Hoàn Kiếm), or Sword Lake (hồ Gươm), is the symbol of Hanoi. Located in the center of the city, it represents over a thousand years of history and culture. The many shops and activities around the lake make it the main attraction to locals and visitors.
On weekend evenings starting Friday from 6 pm to 12 am the east side of the lake becomes the Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street (Phố đi bộ hồ Hoàn Kiếm). Visitors come here to watch and join in traditional Vietnamese games, street performances, and displays of traditional art.
Ngoc Son Temple (đền Ngọc Sơn) is located in Ngoc Island (đảo Ngọc) and the spiritual highlight of Hoan Kiem Lake. Visitors can walk across The Huc Bridge (cầu Thê Húc) to get here. This temple is representative of Northern Vietnam religious beliefs and architecture.
2. Unique Vietnamese Water Puppetry
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre (Nhà hát Múa rối Thăng Long) is one of the biggest water puppet theatres in Vietnam established in 1993. The puppet shows tell stories from Vietnamese mythology, fairy tales, ancient empires, or life during times of war.
Water puppet shows are one of the highlighted things to do for visitors coming to Hanoi. Water puppetry emerged from the culture of Vietnam’s agricultural past and is a unique form of puppetry.
Visitors don’t have to worry about language because Vietnamese water puppetry originally excluded dialogue, placing stress on sound and visual presentation.
The stage consists of three components: a four by four meter pool where the puppets are partially submerged, a black curtain where the puppeteers hide themselves, and the audience space.
3. Greek and French Fusion at Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Opera House (Nhà hát lớn Hà Nội) is one of the prominent French Colonial Period structures in Hanoi. It has witnessed many historical events of the country and will continue to witness its growth.
This opera house used to hold classical performances for the upper class of French Officials and wealthy Vietnamese. Nowadays, it’s a location for artistic and cultural activities serving political and social purposes of the Vietnamese Government.
The building was constructed by the French Government from 1901 to 1911. The French designers took inspiration from the Paris Opera House and combined that with Greek neoclassical architecture.
Protip: Guided tours around the structure may include the addition of one performance.
4. Gothic Revival at St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Another structure of the French Colonial Period is St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Nhà thờ Thánh Joseph). Commonly known as Big Church (Nhà thờ Lớn) by locals, it’s the oldest church in Hanoi built in 1884.
The dominant style of the building is Gothic Revival with a lot of resemblance to Notre Dame De Paris. The quiet surroundings makes it a go-to for many people. And even for non-Catholics, this area is still a top choice for wedding pictures.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral resides on the site of the previous Bao Thien Pagoda (chùa Báo Thiên) (built in 1057, during the Ly Dynasty). It started out as a temporary wooden structure in 1873 but was reconstructed in 1886 into what it is today.
5. A Labor of Love at Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Vietnamese Women’s Museum (Bảo tàng Phụ nữ Việt Nam) is a visitors’ favorite thanks to its fascinating curated collection of exhibits. The museum depicts different aspects in the life of Vietnamese women during various periods and between regions.
Upon entering the building, you’ll be welcomed with a prominent statue of the Vietnamese Mother surrounded by photos. The second floor showcases working tools, accessories, and clothing, along with photographs, documentaries, and textiles.
The third floor is where the legacy of Vietnamese Women Association is on display, along with gifts from international friends. One of the highlights being ‘A letter of apology to Vietnam’ from the mother of a US marine during the Vietnam War. Finally, the fourth floor consists of fashion.
Visitors may pay for audio guides in Vietnamese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, but guided group tours are only in Vietnamese and English. The gift shop is inside the building for anyone who wants some souvenirs.
6. Horrors of Hoa Lo Prison Relic
Hoa Lo Prison (Nhà tù Hoả Lò) used to be known as one of the most gruesome prisons in Southeast Asia. Hoa Lo made its way in Vietnamese history through the brutality of its wardens combined with torturing devices, and isolation chambers.
The most famous exhibit here is the guillotine used for the execution of many Vietnamese soldiers. This is also the place where John McCain – former US senator for Arizona – was held captive from 1967 to 1973.
The prison was built in 1896 during the French colonial period and named Maison Centrale. Hoa Lo used to be a village and the prison’s construction was a symbolic act of suppressing popular revolution.
For this reason, the whole 12 000 m2 area was built from the best materials imported from France, resulting in one of the sturdiest prisons in all of Indochina at the time. Nowadays, only 2 434 m2 was preserved as a relic. There are audio guides available for a small fee.
7. The Charming Old Quarter
Hang Bong, Hang Tre, Hang Non, Hang Dao, Hang Duong… (Hàng Bông, Hàng Tre, Hàng Nón, Hàng Đào, Hàng Đường…) are the streets that carry within them the history, the culture, and the tradition of over 1000 years of Hanoi. The name of each street represents specific merchandise in the old days.
Despite the rapid modernization, people can still catch a glimpse of the past through the architecture of the previous times. And the people inhabiting these streets will keep on passing down their stories.
Ta Hien Beer Street (phố bia Tạ Hiền) is a favorite hangout spot for both locals and visitors. Sitting in a corner while having a beer is always a cheap option. And the busy pubs and restaurants during the evening always make for interesting choices.
Hanoi Street Food Tour is a go-to for visitors wanting to have a local guide to accompany them.
Hanoi Night Market (chợ đêm Hà Nội) is an excellent spot for some window shopping later in the evening. Just remember to bargain in a calm and respectful manner.
8. Dong Xuan Wholesale Market
Dong Xuan Market (chợ Đồng Xuân) by day is where local businesses come to get everything wholesale, so don’t be surprised if it’s hard to get anything retail around here.
During weekend opening hours Friday to Sunday from 6 pm to midnight, Hanoi Night Market reaches all the way to Dong Xuan Night Market with even more exciting street foods and bargain goods.
Protip: Stroll around and compare prices before making a decision and don’t be afraid to bargain but do it in a calm and respectful way. Also, be careful of pickpockets.
9. Ho Chi Minh Memoria
Just across the parade grounds from Ba Dinh Square (Quảng trường Ba Đình), you’ll find some of the key things to do in Hanoi.
At the center of these is the distinctive cube-shaped Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh). This is where you can view the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body. There are two entrances: one for normal visits and another for guided tours.
Opening times are limited so you should plan around these. From April to the end of October, it is open from 07:30 to 10:30 weekdays and until 11:00 on weekends and holidays. From November through March the opening hours are extended by 30 minutes.
Directly behind the Mausoleum is the Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House (nhà sàn Hồ Chí Minh) where he lived and worked from 1958 until he passed away in 1969. The design of the house has been kept the same in memory of his life here. Outside the house are a garden of fruit trees and a pond filled with koi fish.
Just up from the stilt house is a short walk to the small Presidential Palace built from 1901 to 1906 during the French Colonial Period. Since 1954, it’s been the residence of Vietnam presidents, so it’s not open to the public.
When you head back down to the city side entrance towards the One Pillar Pagoda, is the popular Ho Chi Minh Museum. It took 20 years, from 1970 to 1990, for the complete exhibition of his life, times, and achievements to be finalized.
10. A Pagoda Built on a Pillar
One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột) has been one of the symbols of Buddhism in Hanoi since 1049. The main structure consists of one pillar supporting a wooden chamber and the roof in the center of Linh Chieu Pond (ao Linh Chiểu).
From afar, it looks like one single lotus flower emerging from the water. Its origin is from the story of King Ly Thai Tong who, in a dream, received his firstborn son from the Bodhisattva Guan Yin standing on a lotus.
The Pagoda is a simple architectural masterpiece incorporating Buddhist philosophical teachings. It’s also known as Dien Huu Pagoda (Chùa Diên Hựu) or Lotus Keep (Liên Hoa Đài).
The Pagoda was destroyed by French colonialists in 1954, but restored in 1955 by the North Vietnamese Government and became a National Heritage Site in 1962.
11. 1 300 Years at Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Thang Long Imperial Citadel (Hoàng thành Thăng Long) was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2010.
Structures and archeological sites under excavation in the Citadel are of numerous architectural styles and remnants overlaying the past 1300 years, starting from the 7th century to the 20th century.
South Gate (Đoan Môn) and North Gate (Bắc Môn) are the main entrances to the citadel but built about 4 centuries apart.
Kinh Thien Palace (Điện Kính Thiên) was built in 1428 under the Le Dynasty as a functional place for the imperial court. Princess Palace (Hậu Lâu) was built under the Later Le Dynasty as a residence for queens and princesses.
Hanoi Flag Tower (Cột cờ Hà Nội) was built in 1812 and was fortunate enough to not be damaged during the French Colonial Period.
House D67 (Nhà khách D67) was built to be the headquarters for the Defense Ministry during the Vietnam War in 1967, hence the name.
12. Vietnam Military History Museum
Vietnam Military History Museum (Bảo tàng Lịch Sử Quân sự Việt Nam) has been a researcher and preserver of Vietnam’s military history since 1956.
There are over 16 000 objects on display depicting every aspect of war from a few hundred years BC to Independence in 1975, and also to the present day.
There’s a large outdoor area to showcase objects of a grander scale in the wars against French and US armies like planes, tanks, missiles, and canons.
The first floor in the main building is dedicated to relics of the Hung Kings (Hùng Vương) Period to 1930, and the second floor is where you can see military objects from 1930 to the end of the French Revolution in 1954.
The next building showcases the American Revolution from 1954 to 1968, the Ho Chi Minh Trail (đường mòn Hồ Chí Minh/ đường Trường Sơn), and the 1975 Spring Offensive.
The last building contains exhibits from 1975 to the present, and also a themed display of Vietnamese Heroic Mothers and a model of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign.
13. Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum
Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum (Bảo tàng Mỹ thuật Việt Nam) is the Mecca of Vietnam’s artistic legacies. The museum is responsible for researching, preserving, and passing down the knowledge on Vietnamese fine arts.
Exhibits include lacquer and oil paintings; paintings on silk and paper; sculptures made from wood, stone, and ceramic. Many of these exhibits belong in permanent themed displays ranging from prehistoric to modern times.
There are currently about 20 000 objects collected and preserved by the museum with around 2 000 on display. Visitors can purchase guided tours in Vietnamese, English, French, and Chinese. The museum also offers educational programs at their Creative Space for Children.
The building was first a boarding school for French children during the Colonial Period, and in 1966 Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum officially opened to the public.
14. Temple of Literature and Vietnam’s First University
Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu) is dedicated to Confucius, his teachings, the seven sages, and prominent scholars. It was built in 1070, and a few years later in 1076, incorporated the Imperial Academy (Quốc Tử Giám). This first university in Vietnam even predates Bologne and Oxford universities.
The temple has gone through many restorations but has retained its 5 distinct courtyards. These include relaxing gardens, the Khue Van Pavilion (Khuê Văn Các) of the Pleiades, the main temple, and old student dormitories now functioning as a museum and souvenir shop.
Prior to Lunar New Year, calligraphists of ancient Chinese characters gather outside the temple selling their artworks as gifts and home decorations. The temple is also featured on the 100 000 VND bill.
15. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Bảo tàng Dân tộc học Việt Nam) is a place dedicated to all 54 Vietnamese ethnicities opened in 1977. This museum showcases over 15 000 objects, thousands of hours of video footage, and photographs.
Visitors can investigate every aspect including daily life, culture, religious beliefs, mythology, festivals, celebrations of all ethnic groups. You can receive a brochure in English. There are explanations in Vietnamese, English, and French for each exhibit.
One of the highlights of the Museum are outside replicas of the ten traditional houses. These houses were built by the ethnic groups themself to precisely depict the exterior and interior.
Protip: The museum also sells tickets to a water puppet performance every day, but if you come in around 10 – 11 AM, you may be lucky enough to watch it for free. The Museum also has a shop selling high quality, original souvenirs.
16. 3rd Century Co Loa Citadel
Co Loa Citadel (Thành Cổ Loa) is the most ancient citadel in Vietnam dating all the way back to the 3rd century BC. There’s no entrance fee, but it’s best if visitors come with a local guide to learn the history along with the tales related to each location.
Located 15 km away from the city, it’s initially the largest citadel with a total of 9 walls forming a spiral shape. Only 3 walls now remain covering a perimeter of 16 km.
The area is enveloped with stories and legends which later manifested into temples and other sites. The highlights include An Duong Vuong Temple (đền An Dương Vương), My Chau Shrine (am Mỵ Châu), and Trong Thuy Well (giếng Trọng Thuỷ).
Archeologists have discovered many sites and buried relics dating as far back as 700 BC. Objects can be found on display in Co Loa Citadel Museum (Bảo tàng Trưng bày Cổ vật Thành Cổ Loa).
17. Tay Ho Temple And A Mythical Princess
Tay Ho Temple (Phủ Tây Hồ) was built in the 17th century to worship Princess Lieu Hanh (công chúa Liễu Hạnh)— the second daughter of Jade Emperor in Vietnamese folklore. She’s also one of the Four Immortals (Tứ Bất Tử) of Vietnam.
The temple is about 7.5 km away from the city center along the calm and tranquil shores of West Lake (Hồ Tây). People come here to pray for luck or prosperity and it gets extra crowded during Lunar New Year.
According to the legends, Lieu Hanh was banished to the mortal realm and then spent her days helping ordinary people. During that time, she met with scholar Phung Khac Khoan (Phùng Khắc Khoan) who later built Tay Ho Temple.
18. West Lake and Ancient Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda (Chùa Trấn Quốc) is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi dating back to 541 AD. The Pagoda is one of the main attractions in the city and is located on the sole island of West Lake, about 4.5km away from the city center.
In 1959, the Former President of India gave a Bhodi tree as a gift to the Pagoda. In addition, the Former President of Russia visited this National Heritage Site in 2010. There is no entrance fee for this temple, but feel free to give your own donation.
Tran Quoc Pagoda was relocated once, has been through many restorations, but still managed to stay true to the classic Vietnamese Buddhism architecture.
The extravagant structures cover 3000m2 beginning from the Grand Entrance, then follow along the red-bricks-paved-way to the Front House, the Ancestor House, and the Stele House.
19. River and Cave Adventure to Perfume Pagoda
Perfume Pagoda (Chùa Hương) is a Buddhist complex built during the end of the 17th century. It’s located about 63 km plus a boat ride from the city center.
Your spiritual journey begins as soon as you step on the boat and head along the Yen Stream (suối Yến) to Trinh Shrine (đền Trình) and other terminals, before finally making your way to Outer Pagoda (Chùa Thiên Trù) and Giai Oan Pagoda (Chùa Giải Oan).
From there, you can choose to walk or pay for a cable car ride to the entrance of Huong Tich Cave (Động Hương Tích) which is also the Inner Pagoda.
Protip: Booking a tour around here is an ideal choice for new visitors. There are different routes including different destinations and you can choose from.
20. Four Protectors of Hanoi Old City
These four protectors (Thăng Long Tứ Trấn) are temples marking the four sacred directions of Hanoi Old City. Kings would visit the temples during Lunar New Year, and nowadays it’s a custom Hanoi people still follow. Each temple is a National Heritage Site and a unique structure dedicated to a specific figure of worship.
Bach Ma Temple (đền Bạch Mã) in the East is the place of worship for Long Đỗ—the Land God of Old Hanoi. Built in 866, the Temple was partly destroyed in the Vietnam War but the main building remained intact. Visitors are welcomed by a legendary white horse.
Elephant Temple (đền Voi Phục) in the South worships Linh Lang— the 4th son of King Lý Thánh Tông. Built in 1065, the Temple has gone through many renovations, especially from damage during French colonial period. Visitors can see a pair of bowing elephants at the front door.
Kim Lien Temple (đền Kim Liên) in the North honors Cao Son Dai Vuong—a son of Lac Long Quan and Au Co—the first ancestors in Vietnamese mythology. Built around the 16 to 17th century, the Temple has the architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Quan Thanh Temple (đền Quán Thánh) or Tran Vu Temple is in the East and worships Huyền Thiên Trấn Vũ—the God of the North Star Polaris. Built in 1010, the Temple features a 4-meter bronze statue cast by smiths from Ngũ Xã Village about 3 centuries ago.
21. Traditional Handicraft Villages
Traditional handicraft villages are an invaluable national legacy. Whether you’re visiting one on tour or on a spontaneous adventure, these villages are sure to bring you a unique and interesting experience.
Not only can you observe traditional manufacturing, but you can join in and learn how to make your own pottery, hat, or basket.these are also places for picking up unique souvenirs.
Bat Trang Ceramic Village (làng gốm Bát Tràng) is the birthplace of world-famous Bat Trang Ceramic dating back 1 000 years. There are factories around that offer a quick pottery class if you’re on a tour, and the local markets are not as touristy.
Van Phuc Silk Village (làng lụa Vạn Phúc) was adored by royalties 1000 years ago, and their merchandise was exported far afield.
Chuong Conical Hat Village (làng nón Chuông) is famous for its signature Vietnamese non la or conical hat. Visitors can come to observe the craftsman and learn how to make a non la for themselves.
22. Flower Gardens Along Red River Banks
Red River in Hanoi has been an agriculture center for thousands of years, with many fields and gardens along the banks. Due to trends among the younger generations, some fields and gardens offer photoshoot and day camping services.
Red River Bedrocks Botanical Garden (Vườn hoa bãi đá sông Hồng) is 6km away from the city center and filled with seasonal flowers. There’s a windmill and giant trees with swings and it’s ideal for photoshoots and picnics. There’s a small entrance fee for some gardens.
Long Bien Longan Garden (Vườn nhãn Long Biên) started out as a private garden 7km away from the city center and gained popularity as a place for wedding photos. The garden is open to visitors coming in for photoshoots and picnics, especially on beautiful sunny days.
Entrance fee for a photoshoot team of 7 people is cheaper than individual tickets. There are only fast food establishments around so remember to pack some food and drinks if you’re also aiming for a picnic.
23. Easy Hiking in Tram Mountain
Tram Mountain (núi Trầm) is an excellent spot for day hiking or overnight camping. It’s about 22km away from the city center.
The most convenient way to get here is to book a Grab to the shop at the bottom of the mountain where parking is also available. There’s also a service for renting tents, other camping equipment, or a gas stove and grill for barbecues.
The Mountain looks amazing year-round but the ideal time is around March to May when the weather is nice and flowers bloom. It’s not very steep and there are trails leading to the top on every side, but a good pair of hiking shoes is always necessary.
Protip: To save the trouble, you can probably store your luggage for a day or so at your hotel. Make sure to bring warm clothes, especially for the night.
24. Ba Vi National Park
Ba Vi National Park (Vườn quốc gia Ba Vì) is a place to spend a day in nature amongst other attractions such as a cactus garden, ruins of an old French church, and temples. The entrance is about 60km from the city center.
The park is a great getaway from the heat of Hanoi from April to October, while from October to December is the flower season. You can either book a day tour from Hanoi or book a Grab driver for a day.
After paying the entrance fee, you can purchase guided tours for different routes inside. And if you decide to venture on your own, there are parking lots at the entrance and along the way so you can decide when to drive and when to walk.
There are inns, hostels, and resorts along the way. There’s also a camping equipment rental service if you want to camp outside.
If you choose to venture by bike, make sure to check your personal effects, vehicles, and protective gear (good hiking gears and safety pads) before going as the roads are quite untouched.
25. Halong Bay Tours
Halong Bay (vịnh Hạ Long) is one of the most popular attractions in Vietnam and the name means ‘descending dragon’. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of thousands of limestone karsts and isles jotting the bay creating a gem of geo and biodiversity.
An experience of Halong Bay can include many things from relaxing on the beach or kayaking to exploring famous caves and experiencing the life of the sea communities.
There are many day tours from Hanoi to Halong Bay. These are the most convenient and will include pickups from your hotel. Longer tours last one to four days, and if you’re planning to sleep on a boat, just make sure the tour company is reputable and their boats are in good condition.
Getting Around Hanoi
On Foot: Places around Hoan Kiem District are generally within walking distance. You may find hidden gems in the alleys. The weather can often be uncomfortable for walking long distances in summer or winter. Sidewalks sometimes are narrow or taken over by motorbikes.
Grab: This is the equivalent of Uber in Vietnam. Grab Car is cheaper than taxis, and a single person bike ride is even cheaper. An Internet connection and a phone number to receive SMS is all you need. For more information, you can browse their English language homepage.
Taxi: Taxis are easy to stop along the street or you can call one from your hotel front desk. Alternatively, major taxi companies also have English language smart apps, so you just need an Internet connection. Vinasun or Mai Linh are reputable taxi companies.
Bus: Using Google Maps, it’s much easier to go to places by bus. Just choose the Public Transportation tab, then enter your location and destination. Each bus has a number representing its course, and Google Maps will show you which bus to take, where to get off, and the extra distance to walk. One-stop tickets usually cost around 7 000 VND.
Motorbike Rental Services: You can find many of these services online. The requirements include your passport along with your international and national driving license. Insurance is also optional.
Private Motorbike Tour: For a reasonable price, you’ll have a personal tour guide who can also take you to friendly local places, hence its popularity among visitors.
Traveling Tips for Hanoi
Best Time to Visit: Hanoi has all 4 seasons, so it’s ideal to visit from March to April and from September to November. Spring and Autumn are when the temperature is milder and the weather is more pleasant.
Accommodation: Inns and homestays around Old Quarter may be a cheaper option for visitors staying more than a day.
Food: Go to local diners and street food vendors to get more authentic and cheaper Vietnamese food.
Commute: It’s easy to walk short distances in Hanoi. And if you want to travel a distance, Grab or buses are convenient choices. Tours are really helpful for visiting places outside the city.
Culture: Museums and religious structures along other important buildings may require visitors to not take photographs and also wear clothes covering knees and shoulders.