Explore the most famous bridge in Hanoi – Long Bien Bridge – A cultural and historical symbol of Hanoi

The Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi, which has been crossing the Red River for more than a century, is not only a significant historical witness but also a well-known attraction for locals in the bustling city. Now let’s join Hanoi Explore Travel to discover more about this well-known bridge with the following article!

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Long Bien Bridge across Red River. It is a historical witness as well as a cultural symbol of Hanoi (Source: Collected)

Where is Long Bien Bridge and How to get there?

Upon first glance, Long Bien Bridge could appear to be no different from other bridges, even if it does have an aged and run-down appearance. Still, not many people are aware that the Long Bien Bridge was the first steel bridge to span the Red River. Situated in the Long Bien district, this bridge links the Long Bien and Hoan Kiem districts of the capital city of Hanoi.

How to get to Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge is located about only one kilometer east of Hanoi city center. Because the distance is quite short, you can walk or ride a bicycle/ motorbike to the bridge.

  • Taxi or cyclo: From Hoan Kiem Lake, you can go by taxi or cyclo to get to the bridge with only about 5 – 10 minutes to travel
  • Walking: This is a suitable choice for those staying in hotels in the old quarter area. After about 15 minutes walking, you can see the ancient beauty of Long Bien bridge.
  • Public transportation: For those who live far from the old quarter center. You can choose one of the following bus routes: 03, 30A, 36, 41, 58, 86 and get off at the bus stop located right under the bridge.

Have a look at:

Long Bien Bus Station. (Source: Collected)

Information about Long Bien Bridge – A witness to Hanoi’s history

During the French colonial era, the Parisian architects Daydé & Pillé constructed the Long Bien bridge between 1989 and 1902, involving about 3,000 Vietnamese laborers in its construction. The bridge was inaugurated in 1903 and was one of the longest bridges in Asia at the time, measuring 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles).

Long Bien Bridge – A witness to Hanoi’s history. (Source: Collected)

It was originally named Paul-Doumer Bridge, after Paul Doumer – Governor General of French Indochina and later President of France, but Vietnamese people traditionally referred to it as Long Bien Bridge or Cai River Bridge. Nowadays, Long Bien has become the most popular name of the bridge.

During the national two heroic resistance wars against the French and Americans, Long Bien Bridge was the witness to the most important milestones of Vietnam history.

The architecture of Long Bien Bridge Hanoi

With a total length of 2,290 meters, the bridge is made up of 19 long steel beams supported by 20 tall pillars. In addition, there is a stone road of 896 meters leading to the western end of the bridge. Following the US Brooklyn Bridge, the Long Bien Bridge was the second-longest bridge in the world when it was first opened.

The steel bridge currently is only 1,682 meters long and bears many marks of time, with rails rust and narrow roadway on both sides of the bridge. (Source: Collected)

Long Bien Bridge is 4.75 meters wide, divided into 3 main road sections. On both sides are roads for motor vehicles and pedestrians while in the middle is a single track for trains to operate. The road on both sides includes 2.6 meters for motorbikes and rudimentary vehicles and the 0.4-meter outermost lane for pedestrians. The steel bridge currently is only 1,682 meters long and bears many marks of time, with rails rust and narrow roadway on both sides of the bridge.

The best time to visit Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi

  • Early morning: Go to Long Bien bridge and get something fresh if you’re feeling overly overwhelmed by the dust and hustling of the capital. Gazing at a sizable area filled with beautiful scenes, such reed areas, a tiny boat, gently rippling waves, etc, will bring you a lot of excitement to start a new day.
Best time to visit Long Bien Bridge is late afternoon. (Source: Collected)
  • Late afternoon: This is the ideal time for visitors to visit Long Bien Bridge to take in its beauty as the day is coming to an end and the meek sunshine is gradually giving way to darkness. You’ll feel incredibly romantic and at ease when you take in the ancient beauty of the bridge concealed beneath shimmering lights and watch the group of people making their way home as the sky gets darker.

Things to do when visiting Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi

There are many activities you should not miss at this Hanoi’s beautiful bridge:

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Walking along Long Bien Bridge – A must-do activity

For many travelers seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of Hanoi city, walking across the Long Bien Bridge is a worthy alternative to riding a motorbike at a faster pace.

The spectacular charm of Long Bien Bridge. (Source: Collected)

Enjoy serene surroundings as you stroll across Long Bien bridge for an hour. The cool, fresh air from the Red River will greet you at the start of the bridge. And upon reaching the middle of Long Bien Bridge, you can be able to witness some Vietnamese boys swimming in the refreshing Red River during the sweltering summer months.

>>> Take a Hanoi City Tour Full Day – Explore Highlights of Hanoi as a Local for your Hanoi days

Capture the beauty of the old railway

Remember to bring a camera for your visit to Long Bien Bridge so you can capture the breathtaking scenery here. The rustic look of the bridge goes well with both traditional and modern outfits. That is the reason why many young people come to this location in the vibrant capital to take many beautiful pictures.

The rustic look of the bridge goes well with both traditional and modern outfits.(Source: Collected)

View a different Hanoi from Long Bien bridge

From the bridge, you can view a verdant landscape filled with cornfields, vegetables interspersed with tiny roofs, and the water that is heavily laden with sediment of the Red River. What could be more beautiful than experiencing a distinct Hanoi in the middle of the city, devoid of congested traffic lights, and characterized by an expansive area brimming with sunlight, wind, clouds, trees, and rivers?

Visit Long Bien Bridge, find a spot to sit quietly, unwind, and take in the distinctive vibe of this beautiful city.

Long Bien Bridge has a significant value in the daily life of Hanoi’s people. (Source: Collected)

Take in stunning sunsets and sunrises

One of the most beautiful spots in Hanoi to witness the sunrise and sunset is the Long Bien Bridge. During those moments, the sun gleams on the river below and casts a dazzling light across the bridge. You won’t find a more stunning and singular sight anyplace else in the capital.

Romantic sunrise at Long Bien Bridge. (Source: Collected)

For many residents, this is a wonderful time to take in the local way of life, feel the cool, fresh air of the setting sun, and hear the whisper of the wind. Visitors can join the throng of individuals who are eager to get home after a long day of work as night falls. Along the Red River, you may also witness locals fishing and rowing boats.

Explore and take photos at Long Bien Train Station

One of the “oldest” stations in Hanoi, Long Bien Station dates back to 1902 and is situated near the start of the Long Bien bridge, just on the edge of the old quarter. The new station has been renovated and the exterior has been repainted to replace its old, degraded look. The station platform connects to the historic Long Bien bridge. This is a popular spot for visitors and young people to visit because it’s also a great place to shoot pictures for memory.

Check-in at Long Bien train station. (Source: Collected)

Explore the vibrant Long Bien Market: The center of local life

In addition to being a historical landmark, Long Bien Bridge is a bustling hub of community activity.

Right at the base of the bridge, an outdoor market has emerged, providing a range of products to meet the everyday requirements of the people of Hanoi, from fresh fruit to handcrafted gifts.

The bridge is also a popular gathering place for locals, who come to enjoy the fresh, peaceful atmosphere here.

Long bien market. (Source: Collected)

Take in the view of Long Bien Bridge from a coffee shop on Tran Nhat Duat Street

The café on Tran Nhat Duat street offers a panoramic view of the historic bridge. It is situated on Tran Nhat Duat Street on the fourth floor of a building with an open-air space. Here you can have a cup of coffee to enjoy while you converse and take in the views of the bridge, the rocky field or the bustling market nearby. And don’t forget to capture the captivating virtual live photos!

The café on Tran Nhat Duat street offers a panoramic view of the Long Bien bridge. (Source: Collected)

Eat corn and grilled potatoes in winter.

Long Bien Bridge is a well-liked spot for locals to enjoy a cool breeze on summer evenings, but it is also not overly empty in the winter. The bridge is still a great spot to enjoy grilled corn and potatoes while sharing some stories in the chilly winter air.

Notes when visiting Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi

  • The pedestrian lane on the Long Bien Bridge is equipped with a low guardrail because it was built a long time ago. So, if this is your first time here, go cautiously to ensure your safety.
  • The rail tracks and Long Bien station are popular locations for pictures. To ensure that nothing unfortunate happens during your enjoyable journey, don’t forget to pay attention to the trains as they pass by.
  • Ask about the cost of the food and the rental mat first if you plan to eat grilled corn or potatoes on the road. There are many cases where the seller charges you a very high price if you do not ask the price first.

Long Bien Bridge continues to play an important role in the daily lives of Hanoi people. Even in the midst of bustling urban life, you still can find a place to relax. Hopefully, the information above will come in use when you decide to visit this historical bridge.

Besides Hanoi, Vietnam also has many other attractive destinations that bring unique experiences to tourists. To enhance your itinerary in Vietnam, you should not miss some of the famous destinations like Ninh Binh, Sapa, Hoi An and Halong Bay.

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