Temple of Literaturedisplaying the diversity of the Vietnamese Culture

Last Update: 23rd October 2020
Located in the center of the old city in Hanoi, the Temple of Literature was the first national college in Vietnam. It is situated around 15 minutes walk from Hoan Kiem Lake – Hồ Hoàn Kiếm. The layout and the structure are similar to those of the Confucian Temple in China.

Temple of Literature Fast Facts

  • Name: Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu)
  • Area: approx.26,000 x square meters
  • Things to do th​ere: Confucianism, Photography
  • Who visits: History Lovers, Photographers, Culture Lovers
  • Time required: 1 – 2 x hours

What to expect at the Temple of Literature

Built in the 11th Century, Temple of Literature has a Vietnamese gate and a Burmese lake near the gate. The temple used to be the school where the children of the royal family in the Li Dynasty (1009 – 1225) studied. It is composed of five courtyards, including Lingxing Gate, Kuiwen Pavilion, Panchi Pond, and Dacheng Hall. The fiver courtyards stand for the five elements of “Water, Wood, Fire, Gold and Earth” in Chinese culture, as well as the five virtues of “Benevolence, Righteousness, Courtesy, Wisdom and Trust “.
You will find the three Chinese characters of “文庙门” on the gate of the first courtyard. After entering the gate, turn around and you’ll see a couplet in Chinese on either side of the gate. The The Confucius is worshiped in the center of the main hall while other Confucian masters well-known in China and in Vietnam are worshiped on both sides of Confucius.
The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is well-known for the 82 Jinshi (a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in Ancient China and Vietnam) Steles. The list of Jinshi in the dynasties in Vietnam is well-preserved in the temple as well. Each stele tells the time of the imperial examination, the writer of the inscription, the sculptor, and the name of Jinshi.
If you are lucky enough, you may see the local culture shows. During the Spring Festival, some solemn activities as well as cultural and recreational activities such as calligraphy, chess, poetry, cockfighting, and fighting birds are regularly held in the temple.

Best time to visit the Temple of Literature

The best time to visit Temple of Literature is in the morning.
You could visit the temple around the year.


How to get to the Temple of Literature

There is no direct bus to the temple. Therefore, the only option is to rent a vehicle to the temple.


Additional Temple of Literature Travel Advice

  • Opening hours: 07:30 – 17:30 (April 15 – October 15) and 08:00 – 17:00 (October 16 – April 14)
  • As at 23rd October 2020, the entrance pricing to the temple is 30,000 VND; children under 15 years old (15 years old not included) are free of charge. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (info@wendyweitours.com)
  • Please don’t wear shorts, skirts and slippers in the museum.

Interested in visiting the Temple of Literature on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including the Temple of Literature, among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.