Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It covers an area of 3,358.6 square kilometres (1,297 sq mi). It is the second largest city in Vietnam, with over eight million residents within city proper and an estimated population of 20 million within the metropolitan area. Located in the heart of the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the commercial, cultural, and educational centre of Northern Vietnam. Having an estimated nominal GDP of US$32.8 billion as of 2018, it is the second most productive economic area of Vietnam, after Ho Chi Minh City.
The city was a small settlement along the banks of the Red River until 1010, when monarch Lý Thái Tổ founded the city as the capital of Imperial Vietnam, naming it Thăng Long (literally “Ascending Dragon”). Thăng Long would remain the most important political and cultural centre of Vietnam until 1802, when the Nguyễn dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of Vietnam, moved the capital to Huế. The city renamed to Hanoi in 1831, and was the capital of French Indochina from 1883 to 1945 during French colonisation of the Indochina Peninsula. On 6 January 1946, the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam designated Hanoi as the capital of the newly-independent country, which would last during the First Indochina War (1946–1954) and the Vietnam War (1955–1975).
Following North Vietnamese victory in 1975, Hanoi has been the capital of a reunified Vietnam since 1976. It hosts various venerable educational institutions and cultural venues of significance, including the Vietnam National University, the Mỹ Đình National Stadium, and the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. On 16 July 1999, the UNESCO presented the title “City for Peace” to Hanoi. Hanoi joined UNESCO‘s Network of Creative Cities as a Design City on 31 October 2019 on the occasion of World Cities’ Day