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Top Historical Sights in Vientiane

Top Historical Sights in Vientiane

The city of Vientiane became the capital of Laos in 1563, and since then, this bustling city center has been recognized as the country’s cultural, artistic, and religious hub. From ancient Buddhist monuments to French colonial buildings, the city is an excellent place to dive into Laotian history. Here are some must-see attractions.

 

The Great Stupa (Pha That Luang)

Perhaps the most important national monument in the nation, this Buddhist stupa dates back to as early as the third century BC. The 148-foot-tall (45 meter) golden stupa is believed to enshrine a piece of the Buddha’s breastbone.

 

Wat Si Saket

This temple is believed to be the oldest surviving wat in the city. Built between 1819 and 1824, the structure managed to survive the Thai invasion in 1828 that claimed many of the city’s other Buddhist structures. A statue of the Buddha seated on a snake-like deity sits inside and is believed to date back to the 13th century.

 

Victory Gate (Patuxai)

Vientiane’s version of the Arc de Triomphe dominates the skyline of the commercial district. This seemingly out-of-place monument was erected in the 1960s to commemorate the Lao who perished during the prerevolutionary wars. A climb to the top rewards with panoramic views of the city.

 

Lao National Museum

The Lao National Museum, housed within a French colonial building, maintains a collection of art, artifacts, and objects tracing the history of Laos from prehistoric times to the present. It’s an excellent place to kick off a visit and brush up on your local history.

 

Wat Phra Keo

This temple was built in the 16th century as a place to house the famous Emerald Buddha after it was stolen from Thailand (then Siam). Today, the site serves as a museum for religious art, displaying a collection of Laotian Buddha statues, Khmer carvings, and other religious relics.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Vientiane Half-Day City Tour

Vientiane Half-Day City Tour

star-4.5
10
Take a tour of the capital city of Laos and see what makes this historical destination so unique. You'll experience the quiet beauty of this peaceful town and make stops at some of its top attractions like Wat Sisake, the Presidential Palace and more. This is the perfect way for first-time visitors to get a taste of the city and oriented to its streets, people and culture. 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.16
From
$46.16

Rustic and Unhurried Vientiane Explored

Rustic and Unhurried Vientiane Explored

Get to know Vientiane on a 4-hour city tour with a knowledgeable guide. Learn about the French influences on the Laos capital as you explore the city center and hear about the country’s independence from France. You’ll also visit Buddhist attractions such as Vat Sisaket, the oldest monastery in Vientiane. End at the Victory Gate, aka Anousavali or Patuxai.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size
From
$79.50
Price varies by group size

Complete Vientiane in a Day

Complete Vientiane in a Day

View the timeless temples, stupas and monasteries of Vientiane during a full day of sightseeing. Stroll along the banks of the Mekong River with your guide and learn about each historical attraction in the capital city. You’ll visit Vat Sisaket, Ho Phra Keo, Pha That Luang and Patouxai (Victory Gate). A traditional lunch at a local restaurant plus round-trip hotel transport are provided.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$96.16
Price varies by group size
From
$96.16
Price varies by group size

Vientiane City Day Tour and Buddha Park Visit with Lunch

Vientiane City Day Tour and Buddha Park Visit with Lunch

star-5
1
See the sights of Vientiane on this full-day city tour. Your guide provides an introduction to Laos' capital and largest city. Visit temples, monuments, and Buddha Park, plus see some local handicrafts. Lunch and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$65.39
From
$65.39