Hoa Lu Millennium Ancient Capital - Complete Guide (Updated)

Hoa Lu ancient capital is located in Truong Yen at Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. This is the first capital of Vietnam for 42 years (968 – 1010), passed by the 3 Dynasty of Vietnam. 

Hoa Lu ancient capital will tell you the story of Vietnam with a thousand-year history by beautiful landscape and historical relics from thousands of years ago until today.
UNESCO recognizes it as one of the four core zones of the Trang An World Heritage Complex. This is one of the best places must visit in Ninh Binh

1. When to travel to Hoa Lu Ninh Binh?

You can come to Hoa Lu at any time of the year. However, spring is the most beautiful time, and many festivals are held, so this is the right time for you to participate and experience the bustling atmosphere of these festivals. And if you like quiet, want to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this place, you can choose to go on them any time of the year. Especially visit in the afternoon will be very quiet.

2. The history of Hoa Lu ancient capital

In 968, after defeating 12 rebels, Dinh Bo Linh ascended the throne, named the country "Dai Co Viet," and chose Hoa Lu as the capital. From here, Hoa Lu became the political center of Dai Co Viet country. Dinh Bo Linh chose here to build the capital because it had a safe and secure location with a system of surrounding Rocky Mountains and rivers as a moat for military defense. It was easy to depend and hard for invaders to attract. Moreover, he was born in this area, which is why he had a lot of support from the local people.
This was the capital from 968 -1010 there were 6 kings from 3 dynasties stationed here. In 1010, King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Thang Long (Hanoi) because the King thought it was a small area and could only develop for a short time.
Hoa Lu became the ancient capital. The area of the ancient capital at this time had many magnificent and magnificent palaces, surrounded by arc-shaped Rocky Mountains and beautiful landscapes.
Due to the erosion of time, the capital was almost destroyed and ruined. Currently, this relic complex has about 30 relics, of which there are 2 typical monuments: King Dinh temple and King Le temple.

hoa lu ancient capital 1

3. Hoa Lu ancient capital entrance fee and opening hours

  • The entrance fee is 20.000 VND per visitor.

  • Hoa Lu ancient capital opening hours 07:00 am to 05:00 pm.

hoa lu ancient capital entrance fee tickets

Hoa Lu ancient capital entrance fee

3.1. Hoa Lu ancient capital map

hoa lu ancient capital map

Hoa Lu ancient capital map 


>>> Read more Ninh Binh tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary

4. What to do in Hoa Lu Ninh Binh

Most tourists come here for sightseeing and to study more about the history of the first capital in Vietnam.

In the past, it's was a giant citadel with three parts: Outer City, Inner City, and South City. Unfortunately, due to time and war, destroyed many architectural works of the ancient capital.
However, visitors still have a chance to explore many relics such as Dragon beds, tombs...Especially two temples dedicated to 2 kings rebuilt since 17th century under the Nguyen dynasty.

4.1. King Dinh Temple

The first place you must visit when coming to Hoa Lu is the temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang - who chose Hoa Lu as the capital of Dai Co Viet. King Dinh Temple is built on an area of over 5 hectares surrounding it is covered with magnificent rock mountains with the front-facing Ma Yen mountain, above the hill is the tomb of King Dinh.
If you want to visit, you may climb up to the top of the hill, and the experience is also exciting!

hoa lu ancient capital gate 02

Main gate of Dinh temple

4.2. King Le Temple

After visiting King Dinh temple, you can visit Le Temple, just about 300 meters away from the first temple. This temple was designed with similar architecture but compared to King Dinh temple, this place is simple and does not carve dragons on the roof of the temple. Represent the respect of Le King with the previous king. (King Dinh).

hoa lu ancient capital ninh binh

King Le temple 

4.3. Nhat Tru Pagoda

Local people also call "one pillar pagoda" of Ninh Binh was built in 984, located at Yen Thanh communal near King Le Temple. There are still Buddhist scriptures in front of the pagoda, which remains intact from thousands of years ago, considered the oldest stone of Vietnam.

nhat tru pagoda

Nhat Tru Pagoda

4.4. Hoa Lu traditional festival

Every year from March 8th -10th of the Luna calendar, local people will organize the festival to honor the Kings and national heroes who established and protected the country in the 10th century.

5. Where to eat and what to eat near Hoa Lu

Besides the historical sites, and unique landscapes in Hoa Lu Ninh Binh, this attraction is famous for some cuisines attracting tourists from other countries in the world. Here below are fantastic restaurants and cuisines:

Trường An restaurant: Address: Tràng An, Trường Yên, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình

Đức Tuấn Restaurant: Address: Thôn Tràng An, Trường Yên, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình

Spice Garden Tamcoc: Address: Đam Khê Ngoài, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình

goat meat ninh binh 3

Goat meat - famous food in Ninh Binh 


Goat dish (mountain goats): Not only is it delicious, but it's extraordinarily nutritious and good for health.

Snail dishes (snails living in the mountains): They are crispy and cooked in various ways: steamed with ginger, stir-fried snails, mixed salad …

Burned rice: Also very famous in Ninh Binh, it's very crispy, light yellow color, served with a sauce that makes it very delicious.

5.1. Some tips for your trip to Hoa Lu ancient capital

Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is a spiritual tourist destination, so please wear long clothes while visiting the temple. 

Keep quiet and take off the hat or sunglasses while visiting inside king Dinh - Le temple.

If you travel on your own, you should bring a map of Hoa Lu tourist complex.

You may also like:

>>> Tam coc boat tour - "Halong bay on land."
>>> Conquer Mua cave - Great wall of Vietnam

>>> Click here to get free itinerary planning for Hoa Lu or Ninh Binh tours 

Go Viet Trip hope that this article will help you understand more about Hoa Lu ancient capital, if you need more help. Please feel free to contact us: Email: or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.


Author Hoan Nguyen

Hoan Nguyen has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.

Photos: Go Viet Trip,Internet

author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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