If you are planning a city trip to Hanoi, you are surely wondering what to do and what to see in Hanoi to get the most out of your stay. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide so that you can explore the city and enjoy its many attractions.
What to do and see in Hanoi
There are many things to do in Hanoi, from strolling through the Old Quarter to visiting museums and trying delicious Vietnamese food. Here are some of the most popular activities that you can’t miss:
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is a Confucian temple dedicated to the cult of Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher. The temple dates back to the 11th century and was the first national university in Vietnam, where the country’s mandarins were trained. The temple is a calm and serene place, with beautiful gardens and ponds. Here you can learn more about the history and culture of Vietnam and enjoy the beauty of traditional Vietnamese art and architecture.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a memorial to President Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Vietnam Revolution and the founder of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The mausoleum is located in Ba Dinh Square, in the center of Hanoi, and is a place of great historical and cultural importance. The mausoleum is open to the public for tours, and here you can see President Ho Chi Minh’s grave and learn more about his legacy and his life.
One Pillar Pagoda
The One Pillar Pagoda is a small pagoda built on a stone pillar, which stands in the center of a pond in the Ba Dinh neighborhood. The pagoda is one of the most photographed places in Hanoi, due to its beauty and uniqueness. The pagoda was built in the 11th century and is an important place of worship for Buddhists and Taoists in Vietnam.
Hanoi old quarter
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a maze of narrow, ancient streets, where you can find all kinds of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The neighborhood is famous for its narrow and tall houses, its temples and pagodas, and its lively and welcoming atmosphere. Here you can experience the daily life of Hanoi and try delicious Vietnamese food.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most popular places in Hanoi, a place where you can enjoy nature and tranquility in the center of the city. The lake is surrounded by gardens and bridges, and is a popular place for picnicking and cycling. In the center of the lake there is a small island with a temple, the Turtle Temple, which is a sacred place for the Vietnamese.
Long Bien Bridge
The Long Bien Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the Red River in Hanoi. The bridge was built by the French in the 19th century and is an important symbol of Vietnamese history and architecture. The bridge is a popular place to walk and take pictures, offering stunning views of the river and the city.
Enjoy vietnamese food
Vietnamese food is famous all over the world for its delicious taste and variety. Don’t miss out on trying some of the most popular dishes, including pho (a rice noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork skewers with noodles), and banh mi (a Vietnamese meat-stuffed sandwich). , vegetables and fresh herbs).
See a water puppet performance
Water puppets are a traditional form of entertainment in Vietnam dating back hundreds of years. In Hanoi, you can catch a water puppet performance at the Thang Long Theatre, where performers manipulate the puppets in a water tank while telling traditional Vietnamese stories.
Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan market is one of the largest and oldest in Hanoi. It is located in the old town and is an ideal place for lovers of shopping and local food. In this market you can find all kinds of products, from clothing, footwear, jewelry, to handicrafts, souvenirs and food.
What makes Dong Xuan Market unique is the experience of walking through its corridors, full of color and life. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to try authentic Vietnamese food as there are many food stalls in the market offering delicious local dishes.
Hanoi’s train street is a unique and fascinating place that you cannot miss. This narrow street is located in the heart of the city and is famous for its railway that crosses the street just a few meters from the houses and shops.
Train street is a popular place to take pictures and experience local life. Tourists can watch the train go by just a few meters away, which is an exciting experience. If you plan to visit the train street, make sure you are there in time for the train to pass.
Another place not to be missed in Hanoi is the flower market, also known as Quang Ba Flower Market. This market is the largest in the city and is located in the Tay Ho district.
Here you can find a wide variety of flowers and plants, from the most common to the most exotic. If you visit the market early in the morning, you will be able to see how the vendors start to prepare their stalls and the activity starts to increase as the customers arrive.
In addition to buying flowers and plants, you can also see how the Vietnamese use these plants for celebrations and special events, such as weddings and funerals. The Flower Market is a fascinating place to immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of Hanoi. Do not miss it.
Tours and activities in Hanoi
When it comes to Asian capitals, Hanoi has a lot to offer. With its impressive temples, landscapes and its traditional food and beaches, it is not surprising that this city hooks more than one traveler.
In this list you’ll find the activities and tours that you can enjoy during your stay in Hanoi.
How to get to Hanoi from the Airport
You have 3 options to get to Hanoi from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN): you can make the trip either by shared or private shuttle, bus or taxi.
The airport is located at a distance of 30 km from the center of Hanoi, which is equivalent to about 45 minutes by car or express bus, 1 hour and 15 minutes by shuttle buses, and 1.5 hours by public bus.
Next, I will tell you with more details how to make the journey.
Going by SHUTTLE (👉prices) is the fastest and most comfortable option. You will be picked up at Noi Bai airport and taken to your hotel in Hanoi.
In addition, the shuttle does not make stops and the journey only takes 45 minutes (you will arrive faster ), and you won’t have to transfer when you arrive in Hanoi center.
I recommend hiring a private shuttle instead of going by taxi. You’ll avoid problems with the final price and have the security that you will end up your hotel (some taxi drivers leave tourists at a random hotel, charge for the ride and leave).
You also have the cheap option of getting to Hanoi on one of the shuttles offered by the airlines.
You will find these shuttles right at the departure terminal of Noi Bai airport. The prices of the start at 40,000 VND.
The main disadvantage of this method of transport is that the stops are fixed and the shuttle will not take you to your hotel.
An economical and fast way to get to the city of Hanoi is to take the Express Bus 86. It is faster than taking the public bus (it takes about 45min); although not so cheap, since the journey costs 40,000VND.
The express bus runs from Hanoi airport to the central train station. This bus is particularly suitable for you if you are staying in the Old Quarter area.
You can take bus number 7 or 17 at Noi Bai airport. The first arrives at Kim Ma bus station and the second will take you to Long Bien station.
This is the best option if you are traveling on a tight budget, as the journey will cost you only 10,000VND and takes 1.5 hours.
Is it safe to travel to Vietnam?
If you’re considering traveling to Vietnam, it’s important to be aware of certain risks to ensure your safety. Although Vietnam is generally a safe country, theft is common in big cities, public transportation, crowded markets, and tourist areas.
It’s recommended to ask for the price before buying anything and negotiate if necessary since it’s common to be charged higher prices for taxis, souvenirs, products, or services, especially in the more touristy areas of Vietnam, if you’re a foreigner.
In addition, some areas of Vietnam, especially in the central region and near the border with Laos, have landmines that can pose a danger to travelers. If you plan to visit these places, it’s important to inform yourself in advance about the mined areas and follow the recommendations of local authorities.
Safety for Women
I spent a year and a half traveling in Vietnam and never encountered any truly unpleasant situations. It’s common for men to want to take pictures with you or even blatantly put their phone in front of your face and record videos.
That being said, Vietnam is not free from sexual assaults, verbal harassment, or unwanted groping. I recommend that you:
- Be cautious at night, especially if you plan to drink at a bar (which is not advisable).
- Use Grab to move around safely at night and always avoid taxis and motorbikes you find on the street.
- If you become a victim of sexual assault, seek immediate medical assistance, contact the local police, your embassy, and make sure to file a report.