Hanoi is a city that has something for everyone. There’s a rich history to explore, delicious food to eat, and beautiful scenery to take in. And whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in Hanoi that will leave you astonished. Here are 10 of our favorites.
Visit the Old Quarter
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photo: Son Vu Le
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is one of the most atmospheric parts of Hanoi. It’s full of narrow streets lined with traditional shops and homes, and it’s a great place to get a taste of old-world Hanoi. Be sure to check out some of the unique shops selling everything from spices to silk clothing.
Explore Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the most popular attractions in Hanoi. Here, you can see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam. The mausoleum is open Tuesday through Thursday mornings, but it’s advisable to arrive early as lines can be long.
Take a Cyclo Ride
A cyclo ride is a must-do while you’re in Hanoi. These three-wheeled bicycle taxis are a great way to see the city, and they’re relatively cheap too. Just be sure to negotiate your fare before getting in.
Wander Around Hoan Kiem Lake
photo: Duc Nguyen
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Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hanoi. It’s especially beautiful at sunset when the golden light reflects off the water. Be sure to take a walk around the lake and check out Ngoc Son Temple while you’re there.
Visit the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is a stunning temple that was built in 1070 to honor Confucius and serve as Vietnam’s first university. Today, it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi. Be sure to wander around the beautiful grounds and take plenty of photos.
Shop at Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market is one of the largest markets in Hanoi, and it’s a great place to find souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home. You’ll find everything from clothes and electronics to food and tourist trinkets. While you’re there, be sure to bargain for the best price possible!
See a Water Puppet Show
Water puppet shows are a traditional form of Vietnamese theater that dates back centuries. These shows are performed using puppets made out of wood and bamboo, and they’re always accompanied by music and singing. They’re typically performed in open-air theaters near lakes or ponds, so they make for a truly unique experience.
Drink Bia Hoi
Bia hoi is a type of fresh beer that’s popular in Vietnam – and especially Hanoi – thanks to its cheap price (you can find it for as little as $0.20 per glass!) and its light, refreshing taste.’ If you want to experience some true local flavor, be sure to head to Ta Hien Street in the Old Quarter where you’ll find bia hois being served on nearly every corner!
Take a Cooking Class
One great way to learn more about Vietnamese culture is through its food – which happens to be some of the best in Asia! If you want to learn how to make some classic dishes like pho or spring rolls, consider signing up for a cooking class during your stay in Hanoi. Not only will you learn valuable culinary skills, but you’ll also get insight into Vietnamese daily life – plus, you’ll have plenty of delicious food to eat afterward!
Go on an Excursion
photo: Lewis J Goetz
There are plenty of great day trips that you can take from Hanoi. If you’re interested in learning more about Vietnam’s history, consider visiting Hoa Lo Prison or the Cu Chi Tunnels. Or, if you want to get out and explore nature, head to Ba Vi National Park or Halong Bay.
There are plenty of things to do in Hanoi, and the list we’ve provided is just a taste of what’s available. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s history and culture or you want to get out and see some of Vietnam’s natural beauty, Hanoi has something for everyone. Be sure to wander around the lively Old Quarter, take a cyclo ride through the streets, and enjoy a refreshing bia hoi while you’re here – you won’t regret it!
Hanoi sounds like an amazing destination to explore, and the travel guide you shared provides some great recommendations for things to do and see while visiting the city.
Oh, visiting Hanoi seems like a boring idea. I mean, who wants to explore a city with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful lakes, and delicious food? And don’t even get me started on the stunning natural scenery nearby. Yawn.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, why not try crossing the busy streets of Hanoi on foot, it’s like playing a real-life game of Frogger!
Hanoi seems like a fascinating city to explore, with its rich historical landmarks like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature, as well as its lively Old Quarter and delectable local cuisine.
Hanoi is truly a gem of Vietnam, with its rich history and culture, and there are so many amazing things to do there that will leave you in awe, such as visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, trying out the delicious street food, and exploring the unique water puppet show.
@AskMeAnything88 I’m not sure if I’m convinced that the water puppet show is worth seeing, but I’m willing to give it a try.
I am absolutely thrilled to learn about the amazing things Hanoi has to offer! From the Hoan Kiem Lake to the Temple of Literature, I am already planning my itinerary for my next trip. I can’t wait to try the famous street food and get lost in the Old Quarter. My personal experience in Hanoi was visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and being in awe of the immense respect and admiration the locals had for their beloved leader.
Hanoi sounds like an amazing destination with so much to offer, from exploring the old quarter to trying out the delicious street food and learning about the country’s history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
@SwiftyCoyote I’m not convinced that Hanoi is worth visiting, as the article seems to only focus on touristy activities rather than authentic cultural experiences. However, I did learn that the city has over 600 temples and pagodas, which is impressive.
. Indulge in the delicious local cuisine, from pho to banh mi to egg coffee, Hanoi has a food scene that will leave your taste buds tingling.
8. Take a day trip to the nearby Perfume Pagoda, a beautiful Buddhist temple complex nestled in the mountains.
9. Learn about Vietnam’s history at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the country’s diverse ethnic groups and their cultural traditions.
10. End your day with a visit to the Long Bien Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hanoi that offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Hanoi truly has something for everyone and I highly recommend a visit to this incredible city.
If you’re looking to soak up some culture and history, Hanoi is the perfect destination with its beautiful architecture, delicious food, and fascinating landmarks to explore!
@BuonMaThuotBadass It’s so wonderful to hear about all the amazing things to do in Hanoi! I can imagine how breathtaking it must be to experience the city’s rich culture and history firsthand.
@BuonMaThuotBadass I’m not entirely convinced that Hanoi is the best place to visit for those seeking a unique cultural experience, as there are many other cities around the world that offer similar attractions.
more about Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups and their cultures, customs, and traditions.
8. Take a day trip to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning limestone cliffs and emerald waters.
9. Visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former political and cultural center of Vietnam.
10. Shop at the Dong Xuan Market, a bustling indoor market offering everything from souvenirs to fresh produce, just watch out for the crowds!
travelers from all over the world. I would love to hear from anyone who has visited Hanoi before and get some recommendations on off-the-beaten-path destinations that are worth checking out.
@WeiWei777 I’ve always been fascinated by the rich history and culture of Vietnam, and reading about these 10 things to do in Hanoi has only heightened my curiosity to explore this beautiful city even more.
@WeiWei777 I was amazed by the rich cultural heritage of Hanoi and the vibrant energy of the city. Does anyone have any tips on the best local food spots to try while exploring the city?
Hanoi is a fantastic destination for those seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience, and I highly recommend taking a cooking class to learn how to recreate some of the delicious street food at home.
@foodie_girl I couldn’t agree more with the article, Hanoi is truly a mesmerizing city with so much to offer. Personally, I was blown away by the beauty of the Temple of Literature and the rich history it holds.
Oh, exploring a maze of narrow streets and alleys with shops, restaurants, and cafes? How original! I’m sure nobody has ever thought of doing that before.
Oh great, just what I needed, another article telling me what to do on my vacation. I’ll make sure to add visiting the final resting place of a dead leader and taking a cooking class to my already packed itinerary.
@DeLaCruz I have always been fascinated by the rich culture and history of Hanoi, and this article has given me some great ideas on how to immerse myself in it. From exploring the Old Quarter to enjoying a traditional water puppet show, I can’t wait to experience all that this vibrant city has to offer.
Hanoi sounds like an incredible city to explore, with so much history and culture to discover. I especially love the idea of trying the famous egg coffee and exploring the street food scene in the evening. When I visited Vietnam, I had a chance to try a traditional Vietnamese coffee and it was absolutely delicious!
@compasstraveler I disagree, the street food scene in Hanoi might not be for everyone and trying new foods can be a risk for some people.
Hanoi sounds like a city that has it all, beautiful scenery, rich history, and delicious food, I can’t wait to pack my bags and explore all the amazing things it has to offer! As a suggestion related to the article, it would be great to see more information on the best time of year to visit Hanoi.