St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)

Attraction 40 Nha Chung St | Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam Published on: 26-04-2017

1 hour
06:00 AM - 07:00 PM
05:00 PM
07:00 PM
First-time visit
Must see
0.00 USD

St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon) is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
St. Joseph's Cathedral (Vietnamese: Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội, Nhà thờ Chính tòa Thánh Giuse) is a church on Nha Tho (Church) Street in the Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Why St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon) is special ?

St Joseph's Cathedral was known simply as the "Big Church" among the Vietnamese of Hanoi. It was consecrated on the night of Christmas in 1886. The stained glass windows inside the church are the originals dating from its establishment.

To erect the St Joseph's, the French demolished Bao Thien Pagoda, an ancient Vietnamese temple that was standing on the site. It was in fact quite an important pagoda that dates from the 12th century Ly Dynasty.

St Joseph's Cathedral was designed to resemble the Notre Dame of Paris. When the communists took over Hanoi, the Catholic faith suffered three decades of suppression which was only relaxed two decades ago. Mass only resumed at the St Joseph's Cathedral in 1990. Today people once again enjoy freedom of worship. This can be seen on Sundays, when St Joseph's becomes absolutely pack.

What to explore at St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)?

Today, taking advantage of beautiful architecture and good venue at the center of the city, the area surrounding the cathedral is always packed with hundreds of local people and tourists hanging out with friends for drinking, talking, and watching the street.

Nha Chung Street now becomes the “Lemon Tea” street, a popular gathering place to many youngsters in Hanoi, and home to eye-catching souvenir shops and Western style restaurants. It is not only the holly place for Christian couples hold their wedding, but also a great venue for non- religious grooms and brides to take nice wedding shots.


How to get to St. Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)?

If you are coming from the direction of Ho Hoan Kiem, go along Le Thai To Street from south to north until it forks into two. The street on the left fork is Pho Hang Trong. A short distance from the fork is a T-junction on the left side. That is Nha Tho Street. St Joseph's Cathedral is located at the end of this street.

Selling points

  • Nostalgic building
  • Impressive gothic cathedral
  • Nice old church, located in part of Old Quarter
  • Lovely stained glass windows
  • A stunning beauty
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9.0 days
238.81 USD
Total travel distance
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40 Nha Chung St | Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • A warm and welcoming family, inspirational homily, first-class music, beautiful structure.
  • It is a place to get a drink or dessert.
  • It is a soul uplifting experience. The choir is very outstanding
  • There are a few displays by the Sunday school around the outside of the building which made you smile.
  • The church is spoken in different language.
  • It is a slight walk from the main Old Quarter area
  • To help the faithful enter a solemn celebration, the main entrance is closed during the mass.
  • Side doors are opened for the latecomers.
  • You should just be careful with your things as there are lots of people here.
  • Entrance is from a side door and is free, inside the arches are lovely and delicate, the stained glass windows are clean and bright (possibly new) and as good as any European church.
    Things nearby
  • It's nice to sit in one of the small coffeehouses and drink a lemon tea for 10000 VND.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • It is a nice old church to stop by for a photo.
  • Sitting in coffee shop at opposite side of church on Sunday morning & watching pilgrim go to pray time, listen a bell ring & feeling peaceful.


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Walk at xmas time around the church to see the illuminated garden

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A lot of beautiful girl around this area

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From time to time a small üolice trick comes with loudspeaker and all the shop odners musst clean the walkways from chairs tables and motorbiked - funny

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Sit in one of the small coffeehouses and drink a lemon tea for 10000 VND

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Peaceful in here!

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We enjoyed our visit to tis cathedral. The gates re not always open but we were lucky enough on Sunday to visit. Lots of children's activity at time of our visit.

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If this sort of building interests you, then its worth a visit. I always find it amusing at around 7am on Sundays or later on Sunday mornings as the Vietnamese Church goers flock in what seems their thousands for service. As usual it is chaos as they arrive and leave. The location is great surrounded by many coffee shops and restaurants of all denominations and very close to my favorite Bun Cha 'house' which is always busy and consistently good.

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It is a nice old building, that is about it as it was closed when we looked at it. I suggest you visit the Church, take a photo then walk up to Joma Bakery Cafe for a coffee and a meal.

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Gated in the front, simply walk around to the left rear of the church for weekday entry. Inside there are sculptures and some bronzes as well as true Vietnamese Catholicism at it's best. I flipped to hear the rosary being reverently chanted before a weekday mass. It was surreal and devotional at the same time. The church itself is beautiful and the people gathering on Saturdays (6 PM) and Sundays are a warm and joyful lot. There is a choir and the altar has a ongoing flower show of reverent gifts as is the Buddhist tradition. There is even a NEON Mary statue! You are then also near Hoan Kiem Lake and 100 great affordable restaurants just North of the square.

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From time to time a small üolice trick comes with loudspeaker and all the shop odners musst clean the walkways from chairs tables and motorbiked - funny

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