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The 29 Greatest Issues to do in Hanoi Vietnam

Welcome to the thrilling capital metropolis of Vietnam. The place east meets west and outdated meets new. Hanoi, Vietnam is chaotic and interesting, overwhelming and intriguing. One factor is for certain, Hanoi will make an impression. From the unbelievable French colonial structure to the tantalizing Vietnamese delicacies, it’s a metropolis that can put all your senses to good use. Being the capital metropolis of Vietnam and one of many historical capitals of the world, there are a whole lot of issues to do in Hanoi that you’re not going to wish to miss.

Situated in northern Vietnam, Hanoi is the proper place to make a base when visiting locations in Vietnam like Halong Bay and Sapa. However Hanoi must be explored for not less than just a few days to expertise its tradition, meals, historical past, and nightlife. So that will help you profit from your time, we’ve put collectively the very best issues to do in Hanoi Vietnam on this easy-to-follow journey information.

High Issues to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

While you first arrive in Hanoi, particularly if it’s your first time, it may be just a little overwhelming. We recommend leaping on a Strolling Tour as a way to get the lay of the land and resolve which elements of town you wish to deal with.

Try the Outdated Quarter

Things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

The Outdated Quarter aka Hoan Kiem District is the enterprise hub of Hanoi and the principle vacationer space of town. That is the place we spent most of our time in Hanoi. It’s busy, to say the least. One of the crucial memorable issues to do in Hanoi’s Outdated Quarter is solely crossing the road.

I’ll always remember Dave mentioning that crossing the road in Hanoi is like enjoying a human recreation of Frogger. The outdated quarter is stuffed with colonial structure and remnants of its French previous. There are many issues to do within the outdated quarter, so as an alternative of itemizing them off in a fast paragraph, we’re going to break them down right here in part 1.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Things to do in Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake might be the most well-liked factor to do in Hanoi. I do know it’s the first place we walked to once we arrived within the metropolis. Situated between the Outdated Quarter and French Quarter of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a quiet oasis within the coronary heart of town.

Hoan Kiem means Lake of the Returned Sword and received its title from the legend during which an emperor used a magical sword to defeat the Ming Dynasty from China. Upon victory, the Golden Turtle God returned the sword to the underside of the lake. Right now, Turtle Tower stands guard commemorating the legend. Preserve a watch out for the endangered turtles which might be swimming within the lake.

Ngoc Son Temple

Best things to do in Hanoi Vietnam Ngoc Son Temple

The primary attraction of this lake is Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) situated on an island within the middle of the lake. The Ngoc Son Pagoda is essentially the most visited temple in Hanoi and sits on Jade Island. It’s devoted to Common Tran Hung Dao who defeated the Mongols within the thirteenth century and is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Hanoi. To get to it you cross the beautiful crimson Huc Bridge or Rising Solar Bridge.

Store at Dong Xuan Market

Shopping in Hanoi Vietnam Dong Xuan Market

Let me warn you now, buying in Vietnam is a sport. It’s high-pressure contact with a whole lot of haggling, however it’s a should! While you go to Hanoi make your strategy to the Dong Xuan Market to choose up all of your souvenirs and any little nicknacks or clothes. Situated within the Outdated Quarter, the Dong Xuan Market dates again to 1889, this four-story buying middle is big promoting every thing you possibly can think about. There’s a meals market on the bottom ground that’s bustling with exercise promoting fruit, greens, meat, and fish.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Things ot do in Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral

Situated within the Outdated Quarter, St. Joseph’s Cathedral aka The Huge Church was one of many first buildings constructed by the French and continues to be standing. Constructed to resemble Notre Dame in Paris, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is price stopping to see the attractive gothic structure. Be certain that to go inside

Hanoi Weekend Evening Market

Hanoi Night Market Things to do

When Visiting anyplace in Southeast Asia and Indo-China, a go to to an evening market is a should. If you’re on the lookout for issues to do in Hanoi at night time, the weekend market is abuzz with pleasure. From Friday to Sunday the market runs from 7 pm by Grasp Dao Road to Dong Xuan Market. That is your likelihood to place your bartering abilities to the check and to attempt some Vietnamese avenue meals.

Have a Drink on the Hanoi Social Membership

For some issues to do in Hanoi at night time, head out to the Hanoi Social Membership. Situated in a Nineteen Twenties colonial villa the Hanoi Social Membership is a multi-level cafe that is likely one of the hottest locations for drinks and meals for vacationers. There are nice vegetarian choices on the menu right here. It’s additionally a preferred spot for breakfast.

Take a Free Strolling Tour

Free walking tours in Hanoi Vietnam

I feel we point out in almost each metropolis information to take a free strolling tour as quickly as you arrive. That is one of the simplest ways to get acquainted with a metropolis in Hanoi. Hanoi Free Strolling Excursions takes you thru the Hanoi Outdated Quarter to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. You’ll pattern ice cream and hit up the strolling avenue and night time market. It’s a nice introduction to Hanoi. Particulars right here.

Take a Stroll Via the French Quarter

Things to do in Vietnam French Quarter

Situated south and east of Hoan Kiem Lake, the French Quarter is a stunning stroll by early Twentieth-century structure, Artwork Deco designs, and a few Nineteen Thirties modernism because of all of the influences. There are a number of Hanoi factors of curiosity to maintain a watch out for as you stroll by the French Quarter. Let’s have a look to see what there may be.

The Hoa lo Jail Museum

Visit the Hoa lo Prison Museum in Hanoi Vietnam

Maison Central, aka the Hao Lo Jail, was generally known as the Hanoi Hilton in the course of the Vietnam Battle the place it housed American POWs together with Senator John McCain. Historical past Buffs will discover this an fascinating cease on their Hanoi go to. Earlier than the Vietnam Battle, it was used to incarcerate Vietnamese Revolutionaries by the French authorities.

There are galleries telling the ugly tales of the inmates together with the French guillotine and memorabilia from American pilots shot down in the course of the warfare. So far as the American POWs, the jail promotes that opposite to fashionable perception, the inmates had been handled nicely.

Hanoi Opera Home

Best Things to do in Hanoi visiting the Hanoi Opera House

There may be a whole lot of French affect in Hanoi because of the French occupation, and the Hanoi Opera Home is Aptly situated within the French Quarter. It was modeled after the Paris Opera Home, Palais Garnier, and is likely one of the most lovely items of colonial structure in Hanoi. If you’re on the lookout for just a little little bit of tradition whereas visiting Hanoi, e book an evening on the opera to see Vietnamese Opera or the ballet.

The Nationwide Museum of Vietnamese Historical past

Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam National Museum of Vietnamese History

Housed in a former faculty from the French Colonial interval, the Nationwide Museum of Vietnamese Historical past can also be price a cease within the French Quarter. This constructing showcases 5 totally different sections all through its architectural design paying homage to a French villa or Vietnamese palace. Items could be discovered from the stone age to the Vietnamese Revolution. There are greater than 200,000 items detailing Vietnamese historical past.

Vietnamese Ladies’s Museum

The Vietnamese Ladies’s Museum has develop into one among Hanoi’s hottest points of interest devoted to the historical past and lives of Vietnamese girls. From showcasing the function that girls performed in its wars to native life and household life and dealing on the streets as distributors. There are 30,000 items on show depicting girls in household, girls vogue and girls in historical past.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi Vietnam

No journey to Hanoi could be full and not using a go to to the tomb of Ho Chi Minh. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum homes president Ho Chi Minh in a glass tomb. Paying a go to to Uncle Ho is likely one of the high points of interest in Hanoi. Opened in 1975, it was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Russia. When visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum you will need to gown accordingly in lengthy sleeves, and lengthy skirts or pants. There aren’t any pictures allowed contained in the mausoleum and luggage should be checked on the door.

Situated throughout the similar advanced is the Ho Chi Minh Museum which options his private results and memorabilia. The Ho Chi Minh museum provides a glimpse into the lifetime of this key determine in Vietnamese historical past with movies, paperwork, and objects depicting his revolutionary work and life.

Navy Historical past Museum

Spending extra time in museums, we now take you to the Navy Historical past Museum the place you’ll see navy tools and transportation from the Vietnam Battle. This museum celebrates the Vietnamese victories over each the People and the French. Right here you’ll see a tank, some outdated airplanes together with a Soviet MiG fighter aircraft, and wreckage of a B52 Bomber.

There’s a mannequin of the Cu Chi Tunnels which had been an integral half in beating the People in the course of the Vietnam Battle and also you’ll see a show of the weaponry that was used throughout each wars.

Lotte Tower Statement Deck

top things to do in Hanoi Lotte Observation Tower

Who doesn’t love going excessive in a metropolis for views? And a go to to Hanoi Vietnam isn’t any exception. The Lotte Tower Statement Deck is a slice of recent Vietnam taking you up 65 flooring for dazzling metropolis views from the observatory. The Skywalk takes you out over a glass ground feeling as in case you are suspended within the air. There are interactive displays, a lightweight pageant at night time, and a show that includes Vietnamese tradition and nature.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Lengthy

The Imperial Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site that’s has been the middle of Vietnam’s political energy for greater than 1300 years till the capital was moved to Hue in 1810. After falling into disarray in the course of the French colonial period, it was then used as a jail by the Japanese military in 1945, after which in 1954, it turned the headquarters for the Ministry of Imperial Protection.

The Citadel has been part of Vietnam’s historical past for hundreds of years and has been restored and excavated and you may tour its remaining buildings and gates essentially the most notable being the Kinh Thien Palace, the North Gate and the Princess Pagoda.

Go to The Temple Of Literature

Best things to do in Hanoi Vietnam Temple Of Literature

The Temple of Literature was Vietnam’s first college, the place college students had been educated within the ideas of Confucianism, literature, and poetry. Right now, the temple and its monuments honor Vietnam’s best students, from poets to mathematicians and historians. Its conventional Vietnamese structure is beautiful, the advanced is spacious, and has a lot of fascinating issues to see: monuments, artifacts on show, and the largest gong ever (very tempting, I admit).

On a standard day, strolling across the peaceable quiet courtyards and gardens, you’d neglect you might be in the course of a bustling metropolis. We, nevertheless, visited the Temple of Literature on Commencement day, including fairly a little bit of colour to the expertise.

After your go to, you’ll want to pop into Koto throughout the road, it’s one among my favourite cafes/eating places in Hanoi. Koto is a not-for-profit program giving hospitality coaching to deprived children, all employees are graduates of this system. I really like the inside, the youngsters can hang around on the purple sofas, the meals is wonderful, and the service is skilled and pleasant. And all whereas overlooking the temple of literature.

See a water puppet present

Water Puppet show in Hanoi Vietnam

When visiting Hanoi, we noticed so many ads for a water puppet present. It seems that seeing a Water Puppet Present is likely one of the high issues to do in Hanoi, particularly for households. This historical artwork type dates again 1000 years and was historically carried out in ponds or lakes. The sleek puppets gliding on water, the dwell music dramatizing their actions, the sounds of splashing water, and the darkish auditorium, all provides as much as a magical expertise you possibly can’t miss.

Right now, the stage consists of a giant water basin of murky water, hiding the secrets and techniques of the skillful puppeteers. The place marionettes are being dropped at life by strings from above, these picket puppets are operated from beneath by puppeteers submerged waist-deep within the water.

The Municipal Water Puppet Theatre gives 5 reveals every day or you possibly can E book this Water Puppets Tour and luxuriate in some Vietnam Road meals with views of Hoan Kiem lake at night time.

Lake Tay Ho (West Lake)

Things to do in Hanoi Lake Tay Ho

Lake Tay Ho or West Lake is Hanoi’s Largest Lake that spans 15 km. It’s a quiet reprieve from town the place locals apply tai chi, go biking, or for a stroll. There are two pagodas to go to at West Lake as nicely, Tay Ho Pagoda and Tran Quoc Pagoda. Tran Quoc Pagoda is a Buddhist temple that is likely one of the oldest of its form. The primary pagoda stands 15 meters excessive (45 toes). The pagodas are free to enter, however make certain to decorate conservatively as it’s an performing place of worship so make certain to cowl your shoulders and knees.

Indulge on the street Meals

Street food in Hanoi Vietnam

Southeast Asia is understood for its avenue meals and Hanoi isn’t any exception. Many individuals are cautious of consuming avenue meals they usually have a great cause. If it’s not cooked correctly, you could possibly get into hassle. Our rule of thumb is to seek for distributors which might be busy and stuffed with locals. The meals is sure to be contemporary. However in case you are involved, an awesome introduction is that this Street Meals Tour by Bike.

This night tour will decide you up at your resort, and take you to pattern staples comparable to Bun Cha. Bun Cha is Noodle Soup with Porkpie and might be one of many extra widespread dishes you’ll discover in Hanoi. You’ll additionally pattern the Hanoi Shrimp Pancake, and coconut ice cream. In the course of the tour, you’ll additionally stroll across the Hanoi Outdated Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and go to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum the place you’ll see the flag-lowering ceremony.

Vietnamese Meals Tour

Things to do in Hanoi Vietnamese food tour

One of the best ways to bask in native delicacies is to take a meals tour of Hanoi. We love hopping on a meals tour to study all of the totally different meals we should always order. We didn’t use to take excursions or cooking lessons, however as soon as we did, it modified the best way we traveled. Studying of the native meals makes the remainder of your journey a lot extra fascinating and helps you department out from the standard Vietnamese Pho or spring roll dishes.

Take this Hanoi strolling tour with an actual foodie. This 3-hour strolling tour takes you into the world of avenue distributors and allows you to pattern 10 totally different native dishes together with Bun Cha (grilled pork with noodles), Pho, Banh Mi (Vietnamese bread), Ban Cuon (steamed rice pancake), and Vietnamese desserts. This can be a nice strategy to pattern Vietnamese meals.

Take a Cooking Class

If you wish to take just a little little bit of Vietnam dwelling with you, e book a cooking class to discover ways to make Vietnamese meals. It’s our favourite strategy to re-visit a vacation spot once we are caught at dwelling. We begin cooking the native dishes and it takes us again to the vacation spot.

This Cooking Class with a go to to an area market is an immersive expertise in conventional tradition and Vietnamese meals. The tour begins with an area market tour the place you’ll store for contemporary components and you then’ll make your personal meal which you’ll get pleasure from with an area glass of wine.

Vietnamese Egg Espresso

Taste Vietnamese Egg Coffee in Hanoi Vietnam

I’m not going to lie, Vietnamese Espresso took some getting used to, however after just a few cups, it turned a scrumptious morning deal with. Fortunate for me, I didn’t know I used to be ingesting egg yolks in my espresso on the time. Hey, at any time when I go to a spot, I immerse within the native tradition with out query. If that’s the espresso they offer me, that’s the espresso I’ll drink.

Ca Phe Trung aka Egg Espresso isn’t as unhealthy because it sounds. Egg espresso includes beating an egg yolk in condensed milk till it’s frothy and creamy. The sweetness is then poured over espresso and makes for a scrumptious brew. Egg espresso may also be made with iced espresso for a candy afternoon deal with. While you go, give it a attempt, you might find yourself liking it. I do know we did!

Drink Bia Hello

Whereas we’re on the subject of foods and drinks I’ve to say Bia Hello. Hanoi’s well-known contemporary beer is tremendous low cost, mild and refreshing. When visiting Hanoi, pull up a chair at one of many avenue distributors and order a pitcher of beer. There are Bia Hello distributors all around the Outdated Quarter of Hanoi and its a good way to rub shoulders with the locals.

In a single day tour to Halong Bay

Best Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam Day trip to Ha Long Bay

A go to to Hanoi wouldn’t be full with out doing a day journey to Halong Bay. In truth, you need to make it greater than a day journey! You’ll be able to e book in a single day excursions on a junk boat to Halong Bay from Hanoi and it really is a spotlight of any Vietnamese journey. Halong Bay is a wonderful bay stuffed with Karst formations.

There are greater than 15000 limestone islands jutting out of the bay creating a rare scene. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and you need to undoubtedly e book not less than one in a single day cruise on the Bay. Learn extra: Halong Bay or Bai Tu Lengthy Bay – Easy methods to Select Your Cruise?

Go Trekking in Sapa

Things to outside of Hanoi Trekking in Sapa

Should you’re on the lookout for greater than a day journey from Hanoi, make certain to go to Sapa. Sapa is a mountain city close to the Chinese language border and could be reached from Hanoi by prepare. Take a trek into the mountains to see the extraordinary rice terraces plunging down the cliffs. You’ll meet the hill tribes of the realm as you keep in a homestay to immerse within the native tradition. That is really a visit you’ll always remember.

Earlier than going to Sapa, a great museum to go to in Hanoi is the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology which gives perception into the 54 ethnicities of Vietnam.

Fragrance Pagoda

day journey from Hanoi is a go to to Fragrance Pagoda or Chua Huong. It’s a maze of Buddhist temples constructed into limestone cliffs. The stalagmites and stalactites contained in the caves have been attracting pilgrims and vacationers searching for good luck. Contained in the cave are a number of Buddha statues. The journey to the pagoda is a little bit of a haul. It’s situated 60 km from Hanoi and after arriving by automotive, it is advisable switch to a ship to achieve the temple advanced. It’s then a one-hour stroll uphill to Fragrance Pagoda.

Strive Your Hand At Pottery

Hanoi is surrounded by quite a few handicraft villages, every specializing in its personal craft. You’ll discover villages devoted to conventional furnishings, ceramics, copper, silk, and even snakes. Whereas the snake village undoubtedly gave the impression of a cool children attraction, I did journey to Vietnam to discover a crockery provider, not a snake catcher.

Bat Trang, generally known as ‘the ceramic village’, is situated 13km southeast of Hanoi and is a real pleasure for any ceramic fanatic. Right here you’ll discover the potters working the clay, trimming and glazing pots, and filling the kiln. We acquired the warmest welcome from the non-English talking toothless craftsman. Professional Tip: Ceramic outlets dot the principle streets, however the secret’s to enterprise down the smaller back-alleys.

The place to Keep in Hanoi, Vietnam

Where to stay in Hanoi Vietnam

Outdated Quarter – Most vacationers keep within the Outdated Quarter (Hoan Kiem) district of Hanoi. This can be a great spot for first-time guests to discover the most well-liked issues to do in Hanoi. That is the realm the place you’ll discover backpacker hostels however there are additionally luxurious motels. With many eating places, bars and points of interest this can be a nice space to be within the coronary heart of the motion.

Ba Dinh district – That is one other good space to remain in Hanoi stuffed with wealthy historical past and points of interest. Right here you’ll discover Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the Navy Museum, and the Outdated Citadel

Tay Ho – is the ex-pat neighborhood of Hanoi that gives you a western really feel. This can be a great spot for Hanoi nightlife and there are high-end motels and eating places.

Easy methods to Get Round Hanoi

How to get around Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi is a really walkable metropolis and in case you are staying within the Hoan Kiem district which is the Outdated Quarter and French Quarter or Ba Dinh District, you’ll have the ability to stroll to a lot of its high points of interest.

If you wish to get round, motorbike taxis are fashionable and really low cost.

Taxis are metered and one other good and protected strategy to get round Hanoi.

As you possibly can see, there are such a lot of issues to do in Hanoi, you want not less than three days within the metropolis. From museums to pagodas, and monuments to navy historical past, a visit to Hanoi has one thing for everybody. When touring to Vietnam, make certain to place Hanoi on our checklist.

This publish was initially written by Karin Louzado. It has been utterly up to date for 2022. You’ll be able to try Kerin’s book – The Zen Of Toddler Journey and discover ways to simplify household journey. Fb Instagram

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