Nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, Hoa Lo Prison has seen generations of Vietnamese revolutionaries who fought against French colonialists. The prison was built by the French in 1896. By the 1930s, nearly 2,000 political prisoners were incarcerated in the cells originally constructed to hold no more than 450 inmates--in fact, hundreds of prisoners broke away over the years through the sewage system. During the 1990s, most of the prison was torn down, leaving only the gatehouse for the museum. See the notorious French guillotine, a ghastly relic of French colonial presence in Indochina. The exhibits include U.S. Senator John McCain's flight suit, which he wore when he was shot down and rescued by locals in 1967. Find out how to plan Hanoi trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.
Tours To Hoa Lo Prison
Discover Hanoi’s Morning Highlights Half Day Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $39
Duration: 240 to 270 minutes
Hanoi City sights and street food BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $51
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
Full-Day Hanoi City Private Car Charter BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $85
Duration: 8 hours
Hoa Lo Prison Reviews
Visited Hanoi "Hilton" which was only partially remaining, The visit was eye opening as it showed how the prisoners were kept in cramped quarters. John McCain was also kept as a prisoner here. Worth..... more »
This memorial prison has been well conserved and gives u a glimpse into Vietnam s struggle for freedom under the French and the atrocities suffered by them. Hoa Lu Prison is also called Hilton... more »
Decided to be touristy and try this place out, thought it was going to be small trek and for us to be in and out in half an hour but I was pleasantly surprised at the interesting history and wealth of information and exhibits provided, we spent 2 hours here! 30,000 dong entrance fee and would recommend paying the extra 20,000 for the little info booklet (we just bought one between the two of us) as it puts a lot in context and is a good read in itself! The exhibits were well laid out and informative as well as quite emotive, not to be a sad sap but I had tears in my eyes at a couple of points! Felt this has been one of my favorite excursions in terms of learning about Vietnamese history and brilliant value for an afternoon out. Would definitely recommend a visit!
Really enjoyed this visit. It’s well set out with good exhibits and it wasn’t too crowded. Entry was 30000 dong. I did the audio tour which made it so much better. You get to hear the stories behind the pictures you see. Really good. Of course, there is the odd bit of communist distortion of the truth/events so be open minded about what you hear regarding the war because not everything told is historically accurate. There is no mention of the extreme torture the captured American pilots were subjected to. In fact according to the prison narrative the prisoners were treated like it was home away from home. It's the biggest, most obvious lie presented by Vietnam in all the museums I've been to. The audio tour costs 50000 dong plus the same as a deposit which you get back at the end.
Places to stay near Hoa Lo Prison
Plan your trip to Hanoi
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Hidden gems in Hanoi
See all ›
Side trips from Hanoi
See all ›
Nearby attractions in Hanoi
Plans to Hoa Lo Prison by other users
60 days in Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Vietnam BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 27 days in Vietnam BY A USER FROM BELGIUM April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Vietnam BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 59 days in Asia BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 33 days in Vietnam, Thailand & Phnom Penh BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium