Table of Contents
Hanoi at a glance
Referring to Hanoi, many people will remember it, such as an old town with many historical sites during feudal dynasties. But Hanoi is also known as one of the most dynamic and developed cities in Vietnam. Its thousand-year ancient beauty combined with the modern lifestyle has created a colourful Hanoi, the top destination in Vietnam.
Check out Hanoi lifestyle video
Hanoi tourist map
Before starting the journey to explore Hanoi, we would like to introduce you to Hanoi tourist map. The map includes Hanoi’s most popular destinations as well as other useful information such as restaurants, bars, and shopping. The points on the map we have researched very carefully, and accurately, so don’t forget to download it for offline use when coming to Hanoi!
When you should travel to Hanoi
Hanoi weather has four seasons all year round: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Because of the characteristics of a humid monsoon tropical country, Hanoi’s climate in the winter and summer are quite harsh. The winter in Hanoi is so cold; sometimes the temperature drops deeply below 10 degrees C. Meanwhile, the summer is hot, sometimes stormy.
According to the experiences of many Hanoi travellers, you should visit this city in the autumn. It can be said that fall from September to November is the most beautiful time to visit this city. Although only a little transfer moment between summer and winter, autumn still leaves many influential imprints to every visitors. Autumn is cool and comfortable for any tourist. The scenery with yellow leaves falling all over the street and the delicious food make people fall in love with Hanoi immediately.
Vehicle options to explore Hanoi
There are many types of vehicle you can choose to go around Hanoi. If you want to explore Hanoi traditionally, you can catch a cyclo. Going around Hanoi on a cyclo, seeing this romantic beauty of this city and talking to cyclo drivers to understand more about Vietnam culture are unforgettable experiences. However, the price for a walk around Hanoi by cyclo is quite high, about 300.000-500.000 VND/ person. So you should ask the price first incase of being ripped off.
If you want to save money, you can choose to go around Hanoi by bus. The average ticket price for a ride is only 7.000 VND. Shortly, Hanoi will also put into operation the urban elevated railway so that you will have more options for transportation.
Another option for you when exploring Hanoi is by double-decker bus. There are three price levels for Hanoi double-decker bus: 300.000 VND (for 4 hours); VND 450.000 VND (for 24 hours) and 650.000 VND (for 48 hours). The ticket selling point is Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square (Bo Ho parking spot).
However, if you want to travel more comfortably and quickly, you can call a taxi or if you go alone, take a motorbike taxi. Currently, there are quite a lot of booking applications such as Grab, GoViet that help you save costs than cabs or traditional motorbike taxi.
But the most convenient way to exploring Hanoi is hiring a motorbike and go by yourself. So you can go to any destinations in Hanoi at any time you want. The cost of renting a bike ranges from 100.000 VND-200.000 VND/ day. You also have to leave from 1.000.000-2.000.000 VND as a deposit for renting a motorbike. And of course, your money will be brought back to you after you returned the bike.
In Hanoi, there are many kinds of a motel, hotel and homestay around most of the city. Prices and services are also diverse for travellers with many choices. Hotels near the Old Quarter are more expensive. You can select rooms by location, rates on hotel booking applications to fit your needs.
In particular, to experience the unique culture of Hanoi, stay at the homestay. The homestay in the old town often has a nostalgic design style. So you can feel the unique beauty of Hanoi-the capital of Vietnam deeply.
Hanoi is a city more than a thousand years old, but it is still growing. Besides the sites with hundreds of years or even thousands of years old, this city also has very modern destinations, let’s see the most attractive destinations in Hanoi.
1. Hoan Kiem Lake
Located in the heart of Hanoi, it can be said that Ho Guom is a symbol, representing the most famous Hanoi tourist destination of this city. Anyone who comes to Hanoi would like to visit once. In the middle of the lake is Thap Rua, Cau The Huc red and Ngoc Son temples.
You can go around the lake to enjoy the breeze and look at the scenery, and you can go to The Huc Bridge to take some beautiful photos. It’s completely free. If you want to visit Ngoc Son Temple, you have to pay 10.000 VND.
Hoan Kiem Lake is located in the middle of The Old Quarter, so it’s really convenient for you to discover the Old town. You can walk around 36 streets in Hanoi to learn about the city’s long-standing cultural features, and buy some souvenirs.
Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District
2. Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature is considered as one of the famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. Built-in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong, it is a place of worship of Confucius, Confucian scholars, scholars and sages. Temple of Literature is also considered as the first university in Vietnam to train talented people for the country. Up to now, Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam has become a symbol of the thousand-years civilization and cultural cradle of Vietnam.
The most significant number of tourists come to visit the Temple of Literature during the New Year. Everyone gathers here in the early days of spring to ask for letters only as a sign of good luck.
- Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da District
- Ticket price: 30.000 VND / time, free for children under 15 years old
- Opening hours: Summer from 7:30 am – 18:00 pm, Winter from 8:00 am – 18:00 pm
3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Referring to the tourist destinations in Hanoi, everyone probably thinks of Uncle Ho’s Mausoleum right away. Ho Chi Mausoleum was built on the Ba Dinh Square, at 17 Ngoc Ha Str, Ba Dinh, Hanoi. This is the final resting place for President Ho Chi Minh. You will feel the solemn and respectful atmosphere when you first arrive at the square. And the atmosphere even becomes more solemn when you step into the mausoleum to see Uncle Ho’s corpse. When you come here, pay attention to wearing long clothes, go and say softly.
There are some specific regulations for opening and visiting times of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. So if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you need to pay a little attention. The opening and visiting time is different on each season as follows:
- The hot season ( from 1/4 to 31/10 every year): The opening time is from 7:30 am – 10:30 pm. Only on Saturday and Sunday, it’s extended until 11 pm.
- The cold season ( from 1/11-31/03 every year): The opening time is from 8:00 at 11 pm. Only on Saturday and Sunday or public holidays, it’s extended until 11 pm.
After visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you can also go to visit President Ho Chi Minh relics such as fish ponds, President Ho Chi Minh stilt houses, Presidential Palace, or Ho Chi Minh Museum.
- Address: 19 Ngoc Ha Street, Ba Dinh District
- Ticket price: Free for Vietnamese citizens, 25.000 VND/ way for foreign guests
- It’s closed on Monday and Friday
4. Hanoi Old Quarter
If you want to understand more about the culture and the life of Hanoi people, you definitely cannot miss the Old Quarter – one of the most attractive destinations in Hanoi, especially at night.
Hanoi Old Quarter is located in the west and north of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is home to the densely populated area with 36 streets. Each street here mainly focuses on selling a specific type of item. Walking around the old town and enjoying the local cuisine such as Pho Hanoi, La Vong grilled fish, Dinh Liet instant noodles, will make your trip a lot more memorable.
At night, you should go to Ta Hien-a famous street of 266m in length where most visitors come here to drink beer and see Hanoi’s ancient streets.
Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
5. West Lake
West Lake is the largest freshwater lake located in the Northwestern part of Hanoi City. It’s also known as Mu Suong lake, Trau Vang lake, Sua Cao lagoon. With an 18-kilometres round lake road, West Lake leads you to unique and unique corners of Hanoi.
To Vietnamese people, West Lake is the most beautiful, peaceful place in the heart of Hanoi, helping them temporarily forget the hustle and bustle of the city life. You can come here in the early morning or late afternoon to feel the quietest, pure atmosphere. Catching the sunrise or watching the sunset in West Lake are experiences not to be missed when visiting Hanoi.
Address: Thanh Nien Street, Tay Ho District
6. Hanoi Cathedral
Hanoi Cathedral is one of the seven most beautiful churches in Hanoi. Its official name is St. Joseph’s Cathedral. French architect built this church, so all details are bold European Gothic architecture. It has high walls with many domes and windows.
The church’s exterior still retains a hundred-year-old ancient covered by moss. While inside the church, everything has been designed more modern to meet the needs of worshipping and visiting everyone. This church is open from 8 am to 9 pm daily for visiting.
Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District
7. Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Opera House is known as an artistic and cultural symbol of the city. It’s also a tourist destination in Hanoi that is loved by many visitors. Hanoi Opera House is the place where many national-level performances, as well as international art performances, are held. Coming here, you will enjoy many unique art forms, not only famous Vietnamese plays such as Tuong, Cheo, Cai Luong but also, the French opera, classical Italian opera, Chinese opera, or even Ballet.
If you want to visit The Opera House inside, you must buy a ticket that includes an art show package for 400.000 VND. This is quite inconvenient for those who only want to see around, but this is also an opportunity for you to fully enjoy the beauty of architecture, culture as well as the music and art space here.
If you are planning to visit the Opera House, please actively visit the website to update information about the performance schedule. So you can select the appropriate program and book early to get a good position in the auditorium.
Address: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District
8. Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prison, also known with the name “Maison Central” was built in 1896 by the French to keep revolutionary soldiers against the colonial regime.
The total area of the former prison is more than 12.000 m2. However, today only 2.434m2 is kept for relic purpose, serving tourists who want to see and witness the scenery of the colonial prison. With its significant historical role, Hoa Lo Prison now becomes an exciting place to visit in Hanoi, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists. It is opened to everyone to visit with the extremely reasonable fare, just 30.000 VND/ person.
Address: 1 Hoa Lo, Hoan Kiem District
9. Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market is the busiest and oldest shopping area in Hanoi, which is built in 1889 under the Nguyen Dynasty. It is also one of the must-visit places in Hanoi.
Dong Xuan Market is the leading wholesale market in the North. There is a wide variety of item on sale here, ranging from fabrics, clothes, silk brocade, dry food, jam, confectionery, food, souvenirs to electronic appliances. The details here are mainly from China with many different prices. Before buying something, you should go around the market to check the amount first and remember to bargain to avoid being expensive.
Not only diverse in shopping items, but there are also many famous dishes around Dong Xuan market, such as shrimp cakes (average price from 10.000 VND to 50.000 VND), Khuc Bach sweet gruel (average price from 15.000 VND to 25.000 VND) and Hanoi rib porridge (average price from 20.000 VND to 50.000 VND). You should visit Dong Xuan market on the weekend nights to enjoy the most crowded and diverse atmosphere as possible.
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District
10. Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge is the first steel bridge to cross the Red River linking Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts of Hanoi, built by France from 1899-1902. For Hanoi residents, Long Bien is not just a bridge; it’s also a place to witness so many majestic historical events of Hanoi.
If you go to the bridge in the early morning, you will see many older adults walking on the deck or leisurely fishing. At sunset or when the night comes, Long Bien Bridge becomes a romantic dating place for couples. Catching the sunrise or watching the sunset on the long bridge is an individual experience you must try once when coming to Hanoi.
Address: Long Bien, Hoan Kiem District
11. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
In 1969, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater was established and then become one of the most famous water puppet art venues in Vietnam. The fairy tales and Vietnam historical legends are reproduced by wooden puppets on the water vividly. It is an exciting experience not to be missed for visitors when travelling Hanoi. If your family has young children, surely the children will enjoy watching the water puppet shows so much. Watching a water puppet show will help you learn more about Vietnam’s traditional culture and art forms.
You should buy tickets in advance because the tickets will be sold out very fast. And if you buy tickets early, you can request the first seat position right in front of the stage or the middle row to watch the entire performance. Also, the theatre stipulates that you must not take photos and videos during the performance. If you want to record the show, you have to register with the organizers, and it charges 20.000 VND for taking photos and recording video is 60.000 VND.
Address: 49 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District
12. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Hoang Thanh Thang Long (Imperial Citadel of Thang Long) is an important historical and cultural relic of Vietnam and has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage since 2010. The citadel has been the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries. Next, it has become the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. The attraction of Hoang Thanh Thang Long is the Hanoi Flag Pole, also known as Hanoi Fortress – a symbol of the national freedom and independence.
If you want to understand deeply about the cultural meaning and historical stories of the Citadel, you should hire a guide or ask a volunteer for detailed information.
Address: 19 Hoang Dieu Street, Ba Dinh District
13. Quang Ba Flower Market
People always said that Hanoi is the most beautiful and Quang Ba Flower Market is the most interesting place in Hanoi at this time. Once you visit Hanoi, you must try waking up in the middle of the night to visit the Quang Ba Flower Market. It will be a delightful experience that you will never forget. The market is the most crowded from 1:00 am to 2:00 am. When the whole city is still asleep, the Quang Ba flower market is bustling, full of flowers. The light emitted from the overhead lights makes the entire market immersed in shimmering, fanciful colours. For those who like wandering around Hanoi at night, this is one of the beautiful tourist destinations not to be missed.
As a wholesale flower market, customers are mainly wholesale buyers, so the price of flowers is quite low. However, you should ask the amount first and bargain if necessary.
Address: Nghi Tam, Au Co, Tay Ho District
14. One Pillar Pagoda
Located in the middle of Hanoi, along with Khue Van Cac, One Pillar Pagoda is one of the two oldest symbols of Hanoi.
One Pillar Pagoda or Secret Pagoda is also known as Dien Huu Tu or Lien Hoa Dai possesses the unique architectural structure with a square structure located on a stone pillar. It is a special architectural point for the temple to become one of the attractive tourist destinations in Hanoi.
Address: One Pillar Pagoda, Doi Can, Ba Dinh
Price: 25 000 VND (1,1 USD)
Opening Hours: 7 am – 6 pm
15. Bat Trang Pottery Village
Bat Trang pottery village is located along the Red River, in Gia Lam district, about 14km from the centre of Hanoi city. Bat Trang village is the oldest and most famous pottery village in Vietnam, attracting not only domestic visitors but also foreign tourists.
This village was established in the Ly dynasty. Over 500 years of history with many ups and downs, Bat Trang still exists and is growing day by day.
It specializes in producing ceramics with a variety of types and designs. The most exciting thing when coming to Bat Trang village is that visitors have the opportunity to see the pottery making the process of the local artists directly and also experience making pottery under artists guidance.
Address: Gia Lam District
Hanoi – The Capital of a Thousand Years of Civilization, is also the cradle of Vietnamese cuisine. In addition to the dishes that have made Vietnam famous such as Pho or Bun Cha, Hanoi still has very typical dishes.
Indeed, when you come to Hanoi, you cannot help enjoying traditional Pho here. Pho has become a culinary symbol not only in this place but also in the whole of Vietnam. It is one of indispensable conventional Vietnamese dish, associated with Vietnamese people from generations to generations.
Made with the main ingredients included bone-beef broth, Banh pho noodles, and thinly sliced beef, the hot bowl of pho in the morning will make visitors want to try it immediately. Remember to add little fresh herbs, north pepper and squeezed lemon to get the real taste of Pho Hanoi.
Some famous delicious Pho addresses in Hanoi:
- 49 Bat Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 13 Lo Duc Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District
2. Bun Cha
Bun cha is a familiar dish of Hanoi people. Bun Cha has received many compliments from visitors from near and far, and it’s listed in top 10 best street foods in the world. Bun cha Hanoi has a uniquely traditional flavour. Enjoying the spicy patties with delicious sauce served with tangled noodles and crispy green papaya is so excellent.
Some suggestions for you:
- 34 Hang Than Street, Ba Dinh District
- 1 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 74 Hang Quat Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 4 Le Van Huu Street, Hoan Kiem District
3. Bun Thang
It will be flawed if you miss Bun Thang in the list of delicious dishes of Hanoi cuisine. Compared with another Vietnamese noodle, Bun Thang is the most sophisticated one. To make a delightful Bun Thang, it requires 20 different types of ingredients such as rice vermicelli – white and in small strings, scrambled eggs – fragile and sliced evenly, chicken – tender and shredded with skin, dried shrimps, shiitake mushrooms, dried, pickled radishes, and of course spring onions and laksa leaves.
Just tasting the Bun Thang once, you will remember the spicy of chilli, the sweetness of broth, the rich taste of chicken. Visiting Hanoi in the cold season and enjoying a hot bowl of Bun Thang, there’s nothing better.
You can try Bun Thang in some of the following locations:
- 48 Cau Go Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 2 Hang Chi Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 11 Ha Hoi Street, Hoan Kiem District
- D2 Giang Vo House, Ba Dinh District
4. Banh Mi
Banh mi gradually asserts its position in culinary culture, as the BBC’s David Farley once praised Banh mi of Vietnam as the best in the world. You will find Banh mi everywhere in Hanoi. Making Banh mi is very simple, and it tastes incredibly delicious. With just a few ingredients such as herbs, raw vegetables, accompanied by pate, pork, sprinkling a bit of chilli sauce, there is already a Banh mi for you to enjoy.
Some famous delicious Banh mi addresses in Hanoi:
- 38 Dinh Liet Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 34 Lo Su Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 19 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District
5. La Vong Grilled Fish
Cha Ca (Grilled fish) has long been a speciality of Hanoi. It is a complicated dish right from the stage of selecting ingredients. Made from the freshest Hemibagrus fish and Snakehead fish, so the meat will be so firm and chewy, and will not be frayed out when repeatedly stirring on the pan. Until the fish meat has been cooked, add some onion, dill into the pan and stir them evenly. All these ingredients mixed to create the great taste of La Vong grilled fish.
We recommend 4 restaurants for you to enjoy this dish in Hanoi:
- 14 Cha Ca Street and 107 Nguyen Truong To Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 120 K1 Giang Vo Street, Ba Dinh District
- 21 Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 171 Thai Ha Street, Hoan Kiem District
6. Banh Tom
Banh Tom (shrimp cake) is available in many places and on many streets of Hanoi. It is also a simple snack for many students. The shrimp chose to make cakes must be fresh. It is wrapped in flour and eggs the fried. Shrimp cake is cooked to nearly the size of a hand. It’s served with raw vegetables, sweet and spicy sauce. It is a delicious dish you cannot miss when travelling to Hanoi.
Some suggestions for you:
- Shrimp cake restaurant around West Lake
- 48 Hang Bo Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 25 Le Dai Hanh Street, Hai Ba Trung District
7. Cha Ruoi
Cha Ruoi (Sandworm omelette) is considered to be a “rare” speciality of Hanoi because it only appears in a concise time in the late autumn. Hanoi sandworm omelette is particularly delicious because of the specific ingredients such as bacon, duck eggs, chicken eggs, loli leaves, scallions, dill, ginger leaves, pepper, spaghetti, and fish sauce.
Sandworm omelette is fried on a hot pan at moderate heat. You can feel the crunchy crust and the fatty taste in your mouth. Roll sandworm omelette with raw vegetables, add a piece of rice noodles and then dip with mild sour sauce in the cold weather, perhaps there is nothing more beautiful.
Some famous delicious Sandworm omelette addresses in Hanoi:
- 1 Hang Chieu Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 25 Gia Ngu Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 244 Lo Duc Street, Hoan Kiem District
8. Banh Cuon
One of the dishes you cannot miss in Hanoi is Banh Cuon (steamed rice rolls). Hanoi steamed rice roll is thin sheets of cooked rice batter filled with ground pork, jicama and wood ear mushrooms. Smooth rice rolls, served with creamy dipping sauce, combine to create a tasty dish of Hanoi.
The famous Banh Cuon shops must mention are:
- 66 To Hien Thanh Street, Hai Ba Trung District
- 17 Cha Ca Street, Hoan Kiem District
- 19 Nguyen Che Nghia, Hoan Kiem District
9. Pho Cuon
There are other beautiful dishes you must try in Hanoi is Pho Cuon (rolled rice pancake). This dish is made from straightforward ingredients, just thin noodles, chew wrapped with fried beef and some raw vegetables. It’s served with tasty dipping sauce.
Referring to the Rolled Rice Pancake, Hanoi people immediately think of Ngu Xa, a small street hidden behind Truc Bach Lake. There are a few restaurants here you can choose from.
Some famous delicious Rolled Rice Pancake addresses in Hanoi:
- 25 Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District
- 31 Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District
- 40 Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District
10. Egg Coffee
Egg Coffee, especially in Giang Coffee, is not only famous in Vietnam but also the whole world. In November 2014, Giang Egg coffee was voted to be the top of the drinks that made from coffee you should try once in your life.
Egg coffee is made from excellent materials, unlike any coffee in the world. It is a perfect combination of egg yolk, coffee, milk, sugar. When drinking, you will feel the sweetness, fat, greasy and bitter neutralize together extraordinarily.
Enjoy a cup of Egg coffee at the following coffee shops:
- Giang Coffee: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Dinh Coffee: 13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Loading T Coffee: 8 Chan Cam Street, Hoan Kiem District
Above is all the necessary information for you to prepare a perfect plan for the incoming trip to Hanoi. Hope you have a great experience in this city, and don’t forget to tell us what Hanoi is in you! Don’t forget to check out the Hanoi’s video below!
Meet you in Hanoi!