08 Mar 2021

Long Bien Bridge Vietnam (Paul Doumer Bridge) with unique architecture and long standing history is one of the most outstanding tourist spots in Hanoi. Converting iron and steel blocks into emotional objects, the bridge also has its history passed down through generations.

Table Contents
  • I - History of Long Bien Bridge 
  • II - Role and historical significance of Long Bien Bridge
  • III - Travel guide around Long Bien Bridge 
  • 1 - Top things to do when visiting Long Bien bridge
  • 2 - Places to eat near Long Bien Bridge 
long bien bridge
Source: Patricia Chourio

Having existed for more than 100 years, Long Bien Bridge Vietnam has a special meaning in Hanoians’s hearts rather than a bridge connecting two sides of the Red river. The bridge was designed by French architects, and played an important role in wartime by connecting Hanoi with Hai Phong port. 

I - History of Long Bien Bridge Vietnam

This bridge was designed by Daydé & Pillé (French architect), then built by Vietnamese workers from 1898 to 1902 in French occupation of Vietnam to connect Hanoi and Hai Phong port. It was formerly named Doumer Bridge after Governor - General Paul Doumer of Indochina, then until July 1945, the mayor of Hanoi - Dr. Tran Van Lai, changed its name to Long Bien Bridge.


long bien bridge in past

This photo was taken in 1902 - Source: Nguoikesu

There were 3,000 Vietnamese workers, 40 French directors & engineers took responsibility during the construction process. The bridge has 19 spans using 30,000m3 of stone and metal. Inspired by the Tolbiac Bridge linking the Seine River and Paris Railways, Long Bien Bridge Vietnam spans the Red River with a length of 2290m and 896m with 19 steel spans. There are 3 lanes, two sides of the bridge are used for motor vehicles and walking, the middle lane is a single railway. 

II - Role and historical significance of the bridge

The demolition of the old ferry ports for the building of a stable bridge was the key to connect the Northern provinces with Hanoi to facilitate the colonial exploitation plan of the French. At the same time, thanks to Hanoi Long Bien Bridge, people no longer had difficulty in getting around & crossing the Red River, especially in the rain and flood season. 

Through many ups and downs of history over 100 years, from French to American war in Vietnam, this bridge still exists as a “war winitsess”. During the 1st sabotage war of North Vietnam in 1965-1968, this bridge was bombed ten times by American aircraft. As a result, 7 spans and 4 large pillars collapsed. Therefore, Vietnamese people proudly say: "Long Bien Bridge Vietnam - the witnesses of history." 

The second time in 1972, the bridge was bombed 4 times, causing the destruction of 1500m of bridge and two large pillars were cut off. After much effort of Vietnamese army, the bridge was recovered and used till today. Today, when Vietnam is entirely independent, this bridge always plays an important role in Hanoi traffic’s system. 

III - Travel guide around Long Bien Bridge Vietnam

Walking from Hoan Kiem Lake to the bridge takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Standing from the bridge, you can admire both sides of the Red river and the bustling city view. 


- This is the only bridge in Vietnam where riders have to go to the left instead of the right side 

- Bus routes with stops near the bridge are: 01, 18, 34, 36, 50

- The traffic congestion in the Long Bien Bridge Hanoi often takes place from 6am to 9am & from 4pm to 7:30pm. 


long bien bridge scenery

Source: Internet

1 - Top things to do when visiting Long Bien bridge

Ideal shooting spot 

This has long been a popular check-in & photo shooting spot in Hanoi as well. The impressive architecture & nice location is suitable for having great pictures and photos. The long & wide river with two green sides fully covered by plants & vegetables. One side is the symbol of a modern & vibrant city, another side is the peaceful atmosphere of the countryside. 

Admire the remaining French historical construction 

It took years to complete the design of the Paul Doumer bridge and time has responded to the initial challenges that the French set in constructing a bridge that was never obsolete. 

The bridge contains the high values of architecture and history. Every rusty bridge spans & elements as art masterpieces that bring a nostalgic feeling of Paris in the heart of Hanoi. 

Enjoy the view of Hanoi from Long Bien Bridge at night


long bien bridge at night

Source: Internet

The last rays of the sun shining across the bridge will create an extremely brilliant scene. That is the reason why this is the best place to enjoy the sunset or sunrise in Hanoi. Standing in the middle of the bridge, you can feel how beautiful nature is. And when the night falls, another beauty of Hanoi is opened to your eyes. 

2 - Places to eat near Long Bien Bridge Vietnam

Ngoc Lam Food Market

This market has numerous food stalls where you can enjoy plentiful dishes at affordable prices from 10am to 11pm. 

- Address: No.219 Long Bien street, Ngoc Lam ward, Long Bien district, Hanoi

- Opening hours: 10am - 11pm 

Old Town Restaurant & Pub 

It takes about ten minutes to walk from Long Bien Bridge Hanoi to Old Town Restaurant & Pub. Guests are served a fusion of Asian dishes, seafood & unique drinks.

- Address:  No.87 Hang Dao street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi 

- Opening hours: 3:30pm - 0am

Serein Café & Lounge



Serein CaféLounge - Source: Tripadvisor

Serein Café & Lounge is a suitable stop after visiting Long Bien Bridge. The inside space is cozy, the outside is airy, from here you can admire the beauty of the bridge and enjoy an extensive drink menu. You can enjoy a "Live Jazz Music" performance here. 

- Address: No.16 Long Bien station, Tran Nhat Duat street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

- Opening hours: 8am - 11pm

Long Bien Bridge Vietnam is a key feature of Hanoi's attractions. This bridge has played an intense role and meaning in the daily lives of the local people. It is one of the most friendly tourist destinations with inherent beauty and cultural significance.

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