Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Vietnam  /  Hanoi  /  Museums  /  Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi
(4/5 based on 5,500+ reviews on the web)
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. Make Hoa Lo Prison part of your personalized Hanoi itinerary using our Hanoi trip builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Worth seeing especially if you want to know about what the "Hanoi Hilton" was all about. You do not leave this site with a "feel good" feeling. Many pictures of American Prisoner being treated to grea...  more »
  • Open 08:30 - 11:30 & 13:30 - 1630 hours, Tuesday - Sunday. Admission fee: 30,000VND/about £1. Plenty of interesting exhibits, all with English translations. Well worth visiting. 
  • Interesting in parts, but full of government propaganda about how well they treated American POWs. Don't believe it. 
Google
  • It was alright. There wasn't too much to see (and if you're an English reader even less to read since most of the stuff was in Vietnamese and French). It gave a pretty good idea into prison life and the purpose of the prison. The best part about visiting was the video on the second floor, which offered some good history. Too bad it's hard to properly read all the subtitles because the screen was not wide enough and it cuts off the beginning and end (hopefully they fix this), but it was OK.
  • Tad bit of propaganda here. Should have a guide following to explain would be better. There are such alikes in HCMC as wel
  • Hỏa Lò Prison was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War. During this later period it was sarcastically known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, though the gatehouse remains as a museum.
  • Great, not crowded and quite interesting bit of vietnam history. Also expect quite a different view of vietnam war.
  • Nice museum. Some of the areas have been made tourist friendly, but still give you the idea of what the prison was all about. Recommended.