The Hidden Citadel
Entrance at 19 Hoang Dieu, just behind the Army Museum (not yet in Lonely planet…)
Recently opened for Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary, the area has served as the capital and centre of power on and off for the last thousand years. The Citadel was Hanoi’s equivalent to the forbidden city in Beijing. In the 1880s the French razed most buildings and made it their military headquarters. The main gate, primarily from the 16th century, still exists and even earlier remains are being excavated across the road. Ho Chi Minh and General Giap then based their headquarters here during the American War and built a nuclear proof bunker.
The citadel is a very peaceful place to wander around popping into exhibitions in the old french barracks. The guards don’t seem to object to the Nubian Hound’s frequent visits.