Discover Vietnam Bustling Capital : Hanoi

Hanoi Travel Guide (Hà Nội) the bustling capital city of Vietnam, one of the ancient capitals in the world that was found over 1000 years ago. The Old Quarter or the business hub of Hanoi is a home of colonial architecture buildings, vibrant history and culture, modern cafes, world-class restaurants, affordable street food, sleepless nightlife. The exact hustling life and bustling capital city of Vietnam that people imagine it to be. Even crossing the street might need some courage to do it!

Hanoi Travel Guide & 15 Best Things To Do

1. St Joseph Cathedral

The oldest church in Hanoi that was constructed since 1884 and open to public in 1886. The locals known as ‘The Big Church’ (Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội) has become the center of Hanoi social life where people meet and gathering

Being one of Hanoi top historical attractions in any Hanoi travel guide. Despite the bustling life in Hanoi, the church brings peace through its old unique beauty with the Notre Dame de Paris reassembled architecture style that will definitely impress the travelers who had visited

St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

2. Ngoc Son Temple

Hanoi most visited temple that features traditional architecture style. Famous among travelers that is always included in any Hanoi itinerary. The temple is also one of the important spiritual site, that pays homage to Van Xuong De Quan, The God of Prosperity from Taoism where people come to pray for good fortune and seek peace of mind

Ngoc Son Temple (Đền Ngọc Sơn) is standing peacefully on the island right in the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake Park, connected to the lake shore by a red wooden bridge (The Huc Bridge). You can also expect to find the ancient hand-writing calligraphy by the master for good fortune in the temple

Tips: Entrance Fee 30k VND, Open Daily 08.00 – 18.00

Ngoc Son Temple Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide
Ngoc Son Temple Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

3. Hanoi Old Quarter

The business hub of Hanoi that located in the heart of the city. The place where its all begin – ‘The 36 streets of Hanoi’ leads from the centre, home of colonial architecture buildings, world-class restaurants, authentic Vietnamese street food, hidden cafes with a cozy vibes in the alleyways

It’s best to explore by foot, as the traffic of both vehicles and people will make you feel overwhelming, people are constantly in motion. The longer you wander, the more city secret will reveal

Lets get lost in the crowd, enjoy bargaining, taste authentic Vietnamese flavor, worship a hidden shrines and pagodas in the deepest corner of Hanoi town

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

4. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Discover the beauty of Vietnam traditional art, the water puppet theatre is one of the highlight in Hanoi tourist attractions. Distinctive culture identity represents in wood puppets painted with colorful lacquer

Learn more about local lifestyle through the show story – Tễu – The iconic character of Water Puppetry, Dragon dance, Phoenix dance, Buffalo riding and playing the flute, Agriculture, Rice planting, Frog fishing, Chasing the Fox, Fishing

Tips: Entrance Fee 100k, 150k, 200k VND, Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00

Hanoi Travel Guide

5. Hoan Kiem Lake Park

The Sword Lake (Hồ Hoàn Kiếm) is one of the symbol of Vietnam capital. The public park that located in the heart of Hanoi. Being famous for its peaceful beauty and historical values. We take-in this unmissable destination from our Hanoi travel guide with a nice morning walk around the serene park and explore the historical attractions around the area

6. King Le Thai To's Temple

King Le Thai To temple is one of the oldest monuments in the capital of Vietnam. The cultural work that built in 1896, a statue of a national hero-king associated with the legend of Sword Lake

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

7. The Turtle Tower

The significant landmark that located in the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake. The turtle tower (Tháp Rùa) is a pride of Hanoi people, known as the symbol of patriotism and unity of Vietnamese people. According to legend, a holy turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake gave Le Loi king a magical sword, which gave him power and strength to gather his soldiers against the Ming army and received victory in the war

The Turtle Tower Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

8. King Ly Thai To Monument

A large bronze sculpture; a cultural and architectural work to honor Emperor Ly Thai To, founder of the Ly dynasty of Vietnam. Located in Indira Gandhi Park where locals stroll, held the dance and games

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

9. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Hanoi is one of the oldest cities in the world, rich in culture that reflected on one of the most ancient historical sites. On the central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (Hoàng thành Thăng Long) that has been listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site

It worth a couple hours of your time to explore Vietnamese History. The imperial citadel is one of the most important Vietnamese relics that was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an outstanding place of interest not only for Hanoi city, but for the country as a whole

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi Vietnam

There are 5 significant sectors to dive-in ; Flag Tower (Ky Dai), Kinh Thien Palace, Doan Mon (South Gate), Bac Mon (North Gate), and Hau Lau (Princess Pagoda)

Tips: Entrance Fee 30k VND, Open Daily 08.00 – 17.00

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi Vietnam
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi Vietnam

10. Long Bien Bridge

The historical attraction bridge of Hanoi aged over hundred years. A 3km long bridge from Hoan Kiem Lake that cross The Red River. The steel bridge of Long Biên Bridge (Cầu Long Biên) was constructed by French from 1899 to 1902. The ideal time to visit is around sunrise and sunset hours that will allow you to admire the scenery while the sun is about to rise and set from the bridge

11. Train Street of Hanoi

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi travel guide that definitely included in most if not all tourist travel itinerary. The unique sightseeing that attracts people all over the world to experience this first hand. You might find the train street experience similar to Mae Klong Railway Market in Thailand

Tips: Train Schedule 19.00, 19.45, 20.30, 22.00 / Sat-Sun 06.00, 09.00, 11.20, 15.20, 17.30, 18.00, 19.00, 19.45, 20.30, 21.00, 23.00

Train Street of Hanoi Vietnam

12. Hanoi West Lake

The perfect escape plan from the chaos of Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square (The Old Quarter). Hanoi West Lake (Tay Ho Lake) will give you a peace of mind, whether you choose to spend your time chilling by the lake, sipping local Vietnamese coffee, watching the sun goes down, or running 15km around lake park

We started from a nice brunch at Ma Xó Cafe that served a tasteful food right by the lake. Sipping Vietnamese coffee and soaking in Hanoi city view at Stone Coffee

Wrapped up the day with a relaxing massage at Elegant Suites West lake, the mixture of oil massage and herbal ball hot compress that came in a traditional Vietnamese way

What To Eat in Hanoi Vietnam
What To Eat in Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi Travel Guide

13. Spot Hanoi Street Vendors

People create culture.. If you wander around Hanoi from the old quarter to Hanoi west lake. Hanoi Street Vendors can be spotted easily as they’ll ride a bike or carrying twin baskets suspended from shoulder poles

It’s hard to be missed, most of them will wear Chuong Conical Hat (Vietnamese Hat) that easily notice even from afar

It’s so fascinating to see. A huge part of Hanoi cultural life, the local vendors that you would find in every corners of the city, selling things from fruits, food, snacks, flowers, to household items

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide
Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

14. Phung Hung Mural Street

The street art in the long stretch Mural street, the wall painting of Hanoi city in the past. It was created as a celebration in 25 years of political relations between Vietnam and South Korea in 2018

Added Phung Hung street art onto your Hanoi travel guide list. Taking your time walking down Phung Hing Mural street lane and observe the history of Vietnam through the creativity on the wall

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

Hanoi Art Space located near Hanoi Railway Station. The exhibition of ‘Cong Kim Hoa, Khoang Mo : Widening Space’ was held in the art gallery. It’s the place where most of the artists gather, admiring the artworks with colorful painting that were stand out beautifully

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide
Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

15. The Note Coffee

One of the best place in Hanoi to taste Vietnam signature Egg Coffee. The Note Coffee offer a unique experience as you’ll see a colorful post-it all over the cafe. Write down some future note to yourself or leave a message to your ‘the one’ and secretly stick it to the wall!

Lets find some beautiful place to get lost

Hanoi Vietnam Cafe Hopping
Hanoi Vietnam Cafe Hopping

What To Eat in Hanoi

Hanoi (Hà Nội) offers many authentic local specialty dishes for you to explore from Banh Mi (Sandwaich, a small French Baguette), Pho (Vietnam’s flagship noodle soup), Bun Cha (Barbecued pork with rice vermicelli), Banh Cuon (Steamed rice rolls), Cha Ca (Grilled fish with turmeric and dill)

Besides Northern Vietnamese food that should not be missed, lets not forget about Egg Coffee and Hanoi Beer (Bia Hà Nội) !

I list some of my favorite below:

  • Ma Xó Cafe
  • Bánh mì phố
  • Bún Chả Đắc Kim
  • Thuy Ta Legend
  • The Note Coffee
  • Infusion
What To Eat in Hanoi Vietnam
What To Eat in Hanoi Vietnam

How To Visit Hanoi

Traveling to Hanoi

Being the capital city of Vietnam, it’s quite easy to travel to. Hanoi International Airport offers many flights to/from both international and domestic

I took the flight from Da Nang to Hanoi that take only 1.5hrs. Other transportation also available from bus, sleeping bus, train, or private transfer

From Hanoi airport to The Old Quarter

Many transfers available from shuttle bus, bus, private car or Grab (located in front the domestic building). The transfer will take around 45mins drive

‍Traveling in Hanoi

There are many transportation available from motorcycle and car rental, bus, taxi, or Grab that is widely used

*The traffic is quite chaotic. Even crossing the street might take some courage to do it

Hanoi Vietnam Travel Guide

Traveling to Hanoi

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Where To Stay in Hanoi

I stayed at SOJO Hotel Ga Hanoi located in front of Hanoi Train Station, offer a nice view of the city just by open the curtain. The hotel is exceptionally clean, decorated in modern style with laundry room, game and bar area. I absolutely had a pleasant stay

For Hanoi first visit, you may consider to stay around ‘The Old Quarter’ or in a walking distance, it’s pretty much easy to get out and about, food and entertainments mostly located around there

Where To Stay in Hanoi Vietnam
Where To Stay in Hanoi Vietnam

Book Hotel in Hanoi