Temple Of Literature Hanoi – Vietnam’s First University

Temple Of Literature Hanoi - Hanoi Locals


Temple Of Literature Hanoi is a noteworthy site in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. As the very first university, its thousand-year existence has become an embodiment of national studiousness and a spirit for knowledge. Travelers keen on Vietnamese culture and history absolutely cannot miss such a deep-rooted icon.

Via this blog, Hanoi Locals will provide useful travel tips and a native insight into the Temple Of Literature Vietnam.

Vietnam Temple Of Literature - Hanoi Locals

How To Visit Temple Of Literature Hanoi

Temple Of Literature Hanoi address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District, Ha Noi City

It is situated in a busy ward of Dong Da, amidst its 4 main streets, including Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Nguyen Thai Hoc, and Ton Duc Thang. Such a favorable location makes it even easier for visitors to drop by.

For more details, take a look at the Temple Of Literature Hanoi map:

To save you time and effort, we provide good trips to Hanoi, particularly the Temple Of Literature, with high-quality Hanoi tours and private cars. Check them out as follows:

Entrance Fee & Opening Hours

  • Temple Of Literature entrance fee: 70,000 VND/person (~ 3 USD)
  • Hours of opening: 08:00-17:00, from Monday to Sunday

Note: The best time to visit is in autumn (August–November) and spring (February–April), when Hanoi is cool and mild, not too hot like in summer or freezing like in winter.

Dai Trung Mon Gate - Hanoi Locals
Dai Trung Mon Gate in the spring – Hanoi Locals

Temple Of Literature Hanoi History

With a rich culture and history, the Temple Of Literature Hanoi Vietnam is a source of great pride for locals. It manifests an ingrained enthusiasm for education and a deep appreciation for great thinkers.

In fact, the Hanoi Temple Of Literature is called “Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam” in Vietnamese, which shows two parts: the Temple of Literature and National University.

“Van Mieu” was established during the 1070s, under the Ly Thanh Tong Emperor’s reign, to worship Kong Fuzi (the Confucianism founder) and other Confucius sages. Later, “Quoc Tu Giam” was set up in 1076 by Ly Nhan Tong Emperor as the school for the royals.

Temple Of Literature Hanoi in the past - Hanoi Locals
Temple Of Literature Hanoi in the past – Hanoi Locals

Until the Tran Dynasty, in 1253, it served as a public school, welcoming all talented students regardless of their classes. After years, in the Later Le Dynasty, Le Thanh Tong Emperor commenced the system of doctor’s stelae.

Nowadays, the 82 doctor’s stelae have become precious historical resources, designated as the Memory of the World Programme by UNESCO. Thereby, this site is not only a priceless heritage of Vietnam but also a valuable contribution to human civilization.

Today, it acts as a place for cultural activities, such as commendations for brilliant students, tourist visits, poetry festivals, and so on.

Hanoi Temple Of Literature Vietnam - Hanoi Locals

Temple Of Literature Hanoi Structure

The Temple Of Literature’s total area is 54.300 square meters. It includes various intriguing constructions and brick walls, arranged into areas symmetrically based on a north-south axis. On your visit, you will enter a serene haven with 5 areas separated by walls and unique gates.

The main gate is opposite an expansive lake, “Ho Van” (Literature Lake). It offers visitors a satisfying sightseeing experience before heading to the site.

After getting through the main gate, a three-door gate called “Van Mieu Mon,” you will enter the first area. It shows a well-paved path with tidy bushes, lawns, and trees surrounding it.

Van Mieu Mon - Hanoi Locals
Van Mieu Mon the main gate to the Temple Of Literature – Hanoi Locals

Crossing the path leads you to a roofed gate supported by red pillars called “Dai Trung Mon.” You will enter the second area where the most iconic construction of Hanoi appears in front of you: the Khue Van Cac Pavillion. This pavillion is so symbolic that it is printed on 100,000 Vietnam Dong bills.

Khue Van Cac Pavillion on a 100,000 VND bill - Hanoi Locals
Khue Van Cac Pavillion on a 100,000 VND bill – Hanoi Locals

Next, you set foot on the third part, where a large square lake called “Thien Quang Tinh” shows up. Most importantly, its two sides house 82 doctor’s stelae, the most significant relics of this whole place.

Turtle Steles - Hanoi Locals
Turtle Steles with the names of top students in royal exams – Hanoi Locals

Getting access to the fourth area, the Temple Of Literature’s core part, will open you to the sacred worship site of Kong Fuzi and other sages. Finally, you reach the last part, where the Emperors Ly Nhan Tong, Ly Thanh Tong, Le Thanh Tong, and Vietnamese greatest teacher Chu Van An are worshipped.

The altar to Chu Van An in Temple Of Literature - Hanoi Locals
The altar to Chu Van An in Temple Of Literature – Hanoi Locals

Travel Tips

  • Please read the visit regulations and strictly follow them.
  • Do not do any harm to the relics; for example, do not touch the stelae’s turtle heads or leave any traces (by writing, drawing, stepping, etc.) on the relics.
  • You should pay attention to the Temple Of Literature dress code. Hats, shorts, mini skirts, or any disrespectful clothes are not welcome.
  • Cigarettes or any flammable items are banned.
  • Please be tidy, keep clean, and show proper manners.
  • You should keep an eye on your belongings, especially when the place becomes crowded, to avoid thieves or pickpockets.
  • You should visit the Temple Of Literature during the Tet holidays, when calligraphic masters will give meaningful words to visitors.
A Vietnamese calligraphic master and visitors - Hanoi Locals
A Vietnamese calligraphic master and visitors – Hanoi Locals

Nearby Attractions

On your visit to Hanoi, you probably don’t want to skip on other attractions in this thousand-year-old capital city. We highly recommend you combine visiting Temple Of Literature with special sites, such as:

  • Hanoi Flag Tower: It’s only 1,1 kilometers away (15 minutes walking), very close to the Imperial Citadel Of Thang Long. You can visit it from 09:00-17:00 every day for 30,000 VND/person.
  • Imperial Citadel Of Thang Long: 1,4 kilometers away. It’s open from 08:00-17:00 every day. It costs 70,000 VND/person (free for under-16 visitors).
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: 1,6 kilometers away. You can visit its outside part anytime for free, but the inside visit is only allowed in the morning on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. It usually costs 25,000 VND/person.
  • Ho Chi Minh Museum: It’s located inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. Open from 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. It costs 40,000 VND/person.
  • Hoa Lo Prison Relic: 1,9 kilometers away. It is available to visit from 08:00-17:00 every day for 50,000 VND/person.


The Temple Of Literature Hanoi has been a beautiful part of Vietnam’s capital city for a long time. From a worship site and the earliest national university in Vietnam, it now remains its core value and thrives as a tourist attraction.

We hope that you’ve gained worthwhile information from our blog. We wish you a lovely visit to Hanoi and Vietnam. Thanks for reading.

Hanoi Locals