Vietnam TravelHanoi Old Quarter: A Guide for Travelers

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The Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating place to explore and offers a unique glimpse into Vietnamese culture. There are many things to see and do in the Old Quarter, so it can be tricky to know where to start. Here is a guide for travelers that will help you make the most of your time in this historic area.

The Hanoi Old Quarter is a historic area located in the heart of the city. It is home to many of Hanoi’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as a wealth of shops, restaurants, and hotels. The Old Quarter dates back to the 13th century when it was first established as a trading hub. Over the centuries, it has undergone many changes, but it remains one of the most popular areas to visit in Hanoi.

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There are plenty of things to see and do in the Old Quarter. Some of the most popular attractions include:

Hoan Kiem Lake: A beautiful lake located in the center of the Old Quarter. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and is surrounded by many shops and restaurants.

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hoan kiem lake

photo: buian_photos

St. Joseph Cathedral: A Gothic-style cathedral that was built in 1886. It is one of the oldest churches in Hanoi and is a popular spot for photography.

Dong Xuan Market: The largest and busiest market in the Old Quarter. It sells everything from clothes to electronics and is a great place to bargain shop.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: A mausoleum that houses the remains of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam. Visitors can view the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh and learn about his life and work.

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Water Puppet Theater: A popular traditional Vietnamese performance that tells stories through puppets and music. It is a must-see for anyone visiting Hanoi.

water puppet vietnam

photo: Van Xuan

Ngoc Son Temple: A temple dedicated to the Vietnamese folk hero, Tran Hung Dao. It is located on an island in Hoan Kiem Lake and can be reached by a short walk across a red bridge.

Old Quarter Walking Tour: A great way to see the Old Quarter and learn about its history. Many tour companies offer walking tours, and they typically last around 2 hours.

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Hanoi Street Food Tour: A must for any foodie! Hanoi is renowned for its street food, and a tour is a great way to try a variety of dishes.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, there are many hotels and hostels located in the Old Quarter. For budget travelers, there are a few hostels located near Hoan Kiem Lake. For those looking for a more upscale experience, there are several luxury hotels located in the area.

There are also plenty of great places to eat in the Old Quarter.

hanoi street food

photo: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

If you’re looking for Vietnamese food, there are many small restaurants that serve traditional dishes. There are also a number of cafes and bakeries if you’re in the mood for something sweet.

Finally, the Old Quarter is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts.

There are many shops selling traditional Vietnamese crafts, as well as clothes, jewelry, and other items. bargaining is common in the Old Quarter, so be sure to haggle for a good price.

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Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your time in the Hanoi Old Quarter:

Get there early: The Old Quarter can get very crowded, so it’s best to visit in the morning when it’s less crowded.

Wear comfortable shoes: There are a lot of narrow streets and alleyways to explore, so comfortable shoes are a must.

Bargain: As mentioned before, bargaining is common in the Old Quarter. If you’re not used to it, start by offering half of the asking price and see where it goes from there.

Try something new: The Old Quarter is a great place to try Vietnamese food, as well as other local specialties. Be adventurous and you may just find your new favorite dish.

With its rich history and abundance of things to see and do, the Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-visit for any traveler. By following this guide, you’ll be sure to make the most of your time in this fascinating area.

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anon23
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anon23

This is the best guide I’ve found for Hanoi! Thanks so much for posting it.

pinkcherie
Member

I may have said this a few other times but I always go back to my memories in Hanoi and it is still one of my favorite places to travel to and my most favorite overall in Vietnam. The Old Quarter is worth seeing in person and experiencing the life, love, food, and energy of the place!

NhimXuXu
Member

@pinkcherie For sure!! There is a reason this is the top place when it comes to traveling to Vietnam. I know so many people who have been or are planning to go and they always pick Hanoi. 

Caphezilla
Member

I’ve been to Hanoi a couple of times, and this is an excellent guide. I would suggest making a note that the lack of street signs in Hanoi can cause some confusion for first-time visitors. I’ve gotten lost more than once!

FFF1
Guest
FFF1

I’m so glad you wrote this article! I’ve never been to Hanoi, but I’m planning a trip there soon and wanted to learn more about the Old Quarter. This is a great resource.

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