A virtual tour of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi

by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Hanoi, located on Nha Tho Street, situated west of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter. The church was constructed in 1886, with the neo-Gothic architectural style described as resembling Notre Dame de Paris. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina.

The oldest church of Hanoi now becomes a famous tourist’s site for both international and domestic tourists, the young local people love this place, the most attractive street of Hanoi including Nha Tho str Nha Chung str, Ly Quoc Su str, Au Trieu str… with many nice restaurants, bars, boutiques, and coffee shop… We can find many tourists, mostly young people who love taking photographs at this place, with the background of the Church.

Every weekend, especially on Christmas day, thousands of local people (both Christian and non-Christian) visit this religious site.

St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi


The best time to visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral is in the early morning, it is time for you to place in a nice coffee shop with such a view to enjoy the beauty of this historical site. It gets more crowded later in the afternoon and in the evening, with many young people taking a selfie.

How to get there from Hoan Kiem lake

From Hoan Kiem Lake, the heart of Hanoi,  you head to Hang Gai strand turn left to Ly Quoc Su str then Nha Tho street or you walk along Hang Trong str then Nha Tho str, with a Starbucks coffee shop at the corner.

>>> Location on google map 

Entrance fee: No

Opening time & Mass time 

  • Monday to Saturday
  • Morning: 08:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Afternoon: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Sunday
  • Morning: 07:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Afternoon: 15:00 – 21:00

Sunday afternoon is the crowded time for locals worshipping.

Mass time

  • Weekdays: 05:30 and 18:15
  • Saturdays:
  • 05:30: Weekday mass
  • 18:00L Vigil mass
  • Sundays:
  • 05:00: Mass in Vietnamese
  • 07:00: Mass in Vietnamese
  • 09:00: Mass in Vietnamese
  • 10:30: Mass in France
  • 16:00: Mass for children
  • 18:00: Mass in Vietnamese
  • 10:00: Mass for Youth
  • Confession schedule
  • Thursday: 17h30
  • Friday: 17h30
  • Saturday: 17h30
  • Sunday: 08:30, 15:30, 17:30
St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi-mass time
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi-mass time

Virtual tour of Hanoi St. Joseph’s Cathedral


In front of the church, there is a statue of Mother Maria covered by a metal fence and decorated with many flowers

St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi-outside
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi-outside


The architecture with domes of the cathedral follows the Gothic style and design of the Paris Cathedral. It is 64.5m in length, 20.5m in width with two bell towers of 31.5m-height.

The Church with the front door in the middle and 2 side doors. The front door opens only in the special day and mass time for worshippers while the 2 smaller side doors open for the public follow the opening time of the day.

St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi- xmas
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi- xmas


Getting inside the church, you will find  the stained glass windows, to the religious paintings for decoration follows Western style


St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi-outside

During the day, St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi is a favorite place for taking photographs (especially wedding photography) and playground for tourists and locals.

St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi- checkin
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi- checkin

After visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral you might want to take a coffee with such a view to the quarter or try some street food. Hope this information helps you plan your visit to this oldest Church of Hanoi

St. Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi- sip a cup of coffee
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi- sip a cup of coffee

Dress code & some notes when visiting the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral:

  • Formal attire is recommended. This means avoiding anything too revealing, casual, or beachy.
  • For women, a knee-length or longer skirt or dress, and a blouse or top that covers the shoulders, is a good option. You can also wear dress pants with a nice top.
  • For men, long pants and a collared shirt are appropriate. If it’s hot, you can opt for a short-sleeved shirt, but avoid tank tops or sleeveless shirts.
  • Hats and sunglasses should be removed inside the cathedral.

Outside the Cathedral:

  • You can be a bit more relaxed with your clothing when you’re just outside the cathedral.
  • However, it’s still important to be respectful of the religious significance of the site. Avoid wearing anything too short, tight, or revealing.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must, as you’ll likely be doing some walking around the Old Quarter.

Here are some additional tips

  • If you’re visiting during a religious service, it’s best to be extra quiet and respectful.
  • Avoid talking loudly, taking photos, or using your phone inside the cathedral.
  • Be mindful of your body language and avoid anything that could be considered disrespectful.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you have a respectful and enjoyable visit to St. Joseph’s Cathedral.


Minh Hiếu

Written by Minh Hiếu">Minh Hiếu

Co-founder at OneVivu Travel & Service Co., Ltd