As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years and the country's second largest city, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centers of Vietnam, and a beautiful place where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their exotic imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike.
Even when the nation's capital moved to Huế under the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802, the city of Hanoi continued to flourish, especially after the French took control in 1888 and modeled the city's architecture to their tastes, lending an important aesthetic to the city's rich stylistic heritage. The city hosts more cultural sites than any city in Vietnam, and boasts more than 1,000 years of history as of October 2010. Thankfully for us the past few hundred years have been well preserved in Hanoi.