Designed in the style of medieval European Gothic architecture, St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi is on the list of 7 famous churches in the capital. With its solemn and grand appearance, it is not only a place of pilgrimage for Catholics but also a renowned tourist destination in the capital.

The article below will introduce you to some information to make your exploration of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi the most fascinating.

Introduction to St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Where is St. Joseph’s Cathedral located?

Hanoi’s Grand Church, formally known as the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, is situated at 40 Nha Chung Street, at the intersection of three streets: Nha Chung, Nha Tho, and Ly Quoc Su, in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. It serves as a place for religious activities for the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Hanoi and is also a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the capital.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi is among the list of 7 famous cathedrals in the capital city

Admission to St. Joseph’s Cathedral

While there is no admission fee for visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral, it may not always be open to the public. Therefore, make sure to take note of the opening hours below.

Opening hours of St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Opening hours:

  • Sundays: Morning from 7:00 AM to 11:30 AM, and afternoon from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
  • From Monday to Saturday: Morning from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM, and afternoon from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Mass times at  St. Joseph’s Cathedral

  • From Monday to Friday: 5:30 AM and 6:15 PM.
  • Saturday: 6:00 PM.

Sunday: Multiple time slots at 5:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM (French Mass), 4:00 PM (Children’s Mass), 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM (Adult Mass).

Getting There

To travel to St. Joseph’s Cathedral, in addition to using a motorbike or car, taking a bus can also be a convenient option. There are no bus routes that pass directly by St. Joseph’s Cathedral as it is located in the Old Quarter where buses are not allowed. You can take a bus to nearby stops and walk to the church.

  • You can take bus route number 1 to Trieu Quoc Dat Street and then walk to Phu Doan. From there, continue on Au Trieu Street to reach the church.
  • Take bus route number 2 to Trang Thi Street, walk to Phu Doan, and then proceed to Au Trieu Street.
  • You can take bus routes number 09, 14, or 36 to Hoan Kiem Lake (Bo Ho), then walk a short distance to reach the church.

Additionally, if you wish to explore various locations in Hanoi, renting a private car in Hanoi is the best option. With the private car service from’s, you can have a comfortable and convenient trip in Hanoi. The driver will pick you up from any location in Hanoi, such as your hotel lobby or the airport. With a fleet of new vehicles equipped with all the amenities, it will ensure a smooth journey for you. Contact for detailed itinerary advice.

Learning about St. Joseph’s Cathedral

History of St. Joseph’s Cathedral

St. Joseph’s Cathedral was constructed by the French colonialists on the site of the former Bao Thien Pagoda, which existed during the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong. In the 18th century, Bao Thien Pagoda was dismantled to make way for the central market of Dai Viet’s people. Later on, the Catholic Church received the government’s permission to build a church on this land.

The St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi was built by the French colonialists on the former site of Bao Thien Pagoda.

Initially, the church was made of wood. By the late 19th century (in 1884), it was rebuilt with more grandeur using fired bricks, under the design and supervision of Bishop Puginier. The church was completed in 1887, and its consecration took place during the Christmas season that year.

After nearly three centuries, St. Joseph’s Cathedral stands as a witness to the transformation and rise of the capital city amidst the historical ups and downs.

Unique Architecture of St. Joseph’s Cathedral

The church is designed in the style of medieval European Gothic architecture, which was prominent in the 12th century, drawing inspiration from the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, with its pointed arches that reach towards the sky.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral is designed in the style of medieval European Gothic architecture

The primary construction materials of the church are fired bricks, and the walls are plastered with paper pulp. The church measures 79 meters in length, 28.5 meters in width, and features two bell towers that are 64.5 meters tall, each with four massive stone pillars at the corners. The building is divided into three sections: two soaring bell towers on either side, and in the middle, a lower section that culminates in a triangular gable with a cross, creating a focal point.

Many of the entrances and windows feature the typical Gothic pointed arch form (combined with stained glass windows depicting saints that create a beautiful and harmonious source of natural light inside the church). In front of the church, there is a small square with a statue of the Virgin Mary that enhances the scenic value.

Moreover, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is also a product of East-West cultural exchange, with its system of fired clay tiled roofs and interior decorations that carry strong Vietnamese traditional elements – indigenous architecture.

Exploring  St. Joseph’s Cathedral

If you are a first-time visitor to St. Joseph’s Cathedral, you’re probably curious about what makes this place interesting and famous. Read on for 5 suggestions for your visit to St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and ensures you will find answers for yourself!

Attend the Church’s Ceremonies

If you’re not a Catholic, have you ever been curious about the rituals in a Catholic Church ceremony? Why not try attending a service here? The religious ceremonies at St. Joseph’s Cathedral , such as baptisms and weddings, follow the Catholic religious traditions. It’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Celebration at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Note: St. Joseph’s Cathedral is open for visitors, and the opening hours may vary from day to day. The church often closes during the noon break. When you visit the church, make sure to dress neatly and respectfully, avoid speaking loudly, and absolutely refrain from making disrespectful remarks or gestures.

Christmas Celebrations at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Every Christmas, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is adorned brilliantly and becomes an exciting place to celebrate Noel for those who want to experience a sacred and peaceful Christmas.

Christmas Celebration at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Visitors can enjoy the nativity scene, the Christmas tree, colorful lights, and immerse themselves in the lively Christmas atmosphere and the warmth of the people here.

Take Photos at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

If you browse through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you’ll easily find photos of young people checking in at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or a chilly winter day, whether you are a Hanoi resident or a first-time visitor to the Grand Church, don’t forget to take photos at St. Joseph’s Cathedral to capture beautiful moments.

Taking Photos at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Enjoy Lemon Tea Around St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Local Specialty

When you visit the area around St. Joseph’s Cathedral, don’t miss out on the ‘lemon tea and chit-chat’ experience. It’s a simple cup of tea with a slice of fragrant lemon, yet it has become a trademark of this area. Young people can gather here to enjoy the church’s view and chat under the sun.

Don’t forget to try the delicious local snacks around the church, such as grilled pork rolls, rice paper salad, mung bean noodles, rib congee, and more. They are delicious and represent the authentic flavors of Hanoi, and the cost is quite affordable, typically a few tens of thousands of Vietnamese dong for each dish.

Participate in Recreational Activities at Hanoi’s Walking Street and Hanoi Old Quarter Night Market

You’ve probably heard of Hanoi’s Walking Street, a famous weekend recreational area, which is just a few hundred meters’ walk from St. Joseph’s Cathedral. This place regularly hosts art performances and various outdoor activities. On special occasions, holidays, or when the city organizes events, the area becomes much more lively. Check out the upcoming events in Hanoi to ensure you don’t miss any of them!

Hanoi Pedestrian Street.

Nearby Places to St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi:

Around St. Joseph’s Cathedral, there are many interesting and other tourist spots for you to explore. Below are some places near St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the symbols of Hanoi and is located near St. Joseph’s Cathedral. You can stroll around the lake, visit Ngoc Son Temple on the island in the middle of the lake, or relax at the nearby cafes.
The ancient beauty of the Turtle Tower on Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Hanoi Old Quarter: The Old Quarter is close to St. Joseph’s Cathedral and is a bustling area with shops, restaurants, and souvenir stores. It’s a great place to experience local culture and cuisine.
  • Vietnam National Museum of History: This museum, located in the vicinity of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, houses a diverse collection showcasing Vietnam’s history and culture.
  • Hanoi Opera House: This elegant building hosts various artistic performances, including theater, musicals, and concerts. It is in close proximity to St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
  • Hoa Lo Prison: Situated nearby, Hoa Lo Prison is an important historical site in Vietnam where political prisoners were held during wartime.

Guidelines for Visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi

When visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, please take note of the following:

  • Opening Hours: Determine the opening hours of St. Joseph’s Cathedral and plan your schedule to ensure you are not locked out when you arrive. Typically, the cathedral is open daily, but there may be breaks between religious services.
  • Dress Code: This is a place of religious significance, so it’s advisable to dress modestly and respectfully. If you intend to participate in a St. Joseph’s ceremony, make sure you wear appropriate attire for the event.
  • Hot Sun and Rain: Hanoi experiences hot weather in the summer and rain during the rainy season. Be prepared with raincoats or umbrellas when necessary, and protect your skin from the sun if required.
  • Noise Restrictions: St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a solemn place. Please maintain silence and minimize noise to avoid disturbing those who are praying and visiting.
  • Photography: Before taking photographs, check whether photography is permitted. In some solemn places, photography may be restricted.
  • Personal Space: When you enter St. Joseph’s Cathedral, please respect the personal space of those who are praying and avoid disrupting their contemplation.

Following these guidelines will help you visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi with respect and create a memorable experience.

The name “St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi” is probably not unfamiliar to the residents of Hanoi. Combined with its unique and historic architecture, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a famous tourist destination in Hanoi when you visit the capital of Vietnam.