What are some Top things to do in Hanoi?

Old Quarter at Night

Old Quarter at Night. (Hanoi)

Hanoi is probably one of the most elegant and exotic Asian capital – the capital of Vietnam, with large boulevards, dating from ancient times and ancient pagodas in which local people perform tai chi movements, near the lakes surrounded by trees. Due to the charm untouched by time, Hanoi city is definitely one of the metropolises of the 21st century.

So What are top things to do in Hanoi?

The narrow crowded streets of the Old Quarter are invaded by merchants. Some of them have been named after the traditionally merchandise sold here. For example, on the P Hang Gai Street, are sold silk and embroidery, while from the P Hang Quat Street you can buy candlesticks and flags.

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mammon leather hanoi vietnam (Old Quaters)

A leather store in the Old Quarters

The French air is best seen in the Old Quarter or the ‘’Quarter of 36 streets’’, named after the number of narrow streets, housing thousands of boutiques and shops of all kinds.

ice condense milk hanoi milk coffea

Ice condense milk Hanoi milk coffea. Cong Caphe. Old Quarters.

Also make sure to stop for a cup of joe, as the Old Quarter is known for some for the best coffee stops in Hanoi. One chain to try is Cong Caphe, a cool hip place to relax & to have coffee after a long walk.

Nearby, is the Temple of Jade Mount – an impressive building dating from the eighteenth century, where the festivities are celebrated, being a true cultural and religious delight.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a monumental edifice of marble and in the basement of this building, the body of the former Vietnamese leader was deposited in a glass sarcophagus. The Mausoleum can be visited in the months of December to September, and the entry is free.

HCM Mausoleum

Built in the 11th century and dedicated to Confucius, the Literature Temple is a genuine example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. The entry was initially allowed only for the noble people, but nowadays anyone can visit it, in exchange for a small fee.

Temple of Literature by ssedro, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by ssedro – Temple of Literature

The Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular symbol of the Hanoi old town. The legend says that the Vietnamese used once a magic sword to bring Chinese from their lands, before a huge turtle to steal it and go with her into the depths.

When mealtime comes, you’ll find that Hanoi is a delightful city, especially when we think about its cuisine. You can try delicious local specialties at the street kiosks; you can drink a cold beer at a café, but also fresh squeezed sugar cane drinks. There are many excellent restaurants to choose from, if you like to eat together with the locals.  Make sure to check out our pictorial guide to food of Hanoi.

Vegetarian in Hanoi Vietnam

Vegetarian fried rice and mango salad. Sometimes difficult to find vegetarian dishes.

Do not miss!

• A quiet walk on Lake Hoan Kiem
• The colonial architecture of the French Quarter
• The discovery of the country’s past at the History Museum
• The colorful streets of the Old Quarter
• The commemoration of past conflicts, at Hoa Lo Prison
• An ancient and fascinating art: The Water Puppet Theatre

When it’s good to visit Hanoi

Hanoi is a hot and rainy city, from May to September. At the end of January or beginning of February, is the Vietnamese New Year (Tet), marked by floral exhibitions and fairs, while Cama Festival takes place in June, and presents music of all genres, from Polynesian hip-hop to Japanese rock.

How to arrive in Hanoi

Noi Bai Airport is 45 kilometers north of Hanoi. From London Gatwick Airport you can take a flight with Vietnam Airlines (the ticket price is around £ 800). The flight takes you directly to Hanoi, and from Heathrow, you can fly with Thai Airways to Noi Bai, but you must change in Bangkok (the ticket price is about 1050 pounds).

Transportation in Hanoi

Hanoi is a busy city with networks of roadways and 10 way intersections just to exaggerate a bit.  Don’t feel overwhelm, read our article on the top 5 ways to get around Hanoi.