There is plenty everyone can do in Hanoi, from discovering the ancient Old Quarter to taking in the busy markets and dining on the city’s renowned street food. A traditional water puppet play, a visit to one of the city’s many museums, or a stop at one of the rooftop bars can all be enjoyed by visitors.
We also list some of the city’s must-see pagodas, restaurants serving local cuisine, and other attractions. This guide from San Hotel Series will help you explore the best of Hanoi whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor.
10 BEST Things To Do in Hanoi
1. Wandering Around Hanoi Old Quarter
Anyone touring the city must go to the Hanoi Old Quarter, an area that has kept its traditional atmosphere. The Old Quarter is the ideal location to get lost and discover all that the city has to offer because of its clogged streets, historic buildings, and moving culture. To experience Hanoi as it truly is, take a stroll through the streets, take in the ambience, and stop by the neighborhood stores and food stands. Additionally, you can go to the Hanoi Opera House, a stunning structure from the French colonial period that is still in use today.
2. Going Hanoi Street Food Tour
Food is one of the best ways to experience Hanoi. A street food tour is a terrific opportunity to sample the cuisine of Hanoi, which is known for its street food scene. Take a trip with a guide and try some of the city’s most well-known foods, including cha ca (grilled fish), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), and pho (noodle soup). The culinary tour will introduce you to the varied cuisine culture of the city by taking you through the local neighborhoods and secret alleys of Hanoi.
Bun Cha Huong Lien
When former US President Barack Obama dined here in 2016, Bun Cha Huong Lien received widespread notice. The local specialty is grilled pork and noodles, called bun cha. The restaurant is situated close to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the Ba Dinh neighborhood.
Pho Gia Truyen
One of Hanoi’s oldest and most well-known pho eateries is called Pho Gia Truyen. Try their beef pho; it’s delicious. On Bat Dan Street in the Old Quarter, the restaurant is situated.
Banh Cuon Gia Truyen Thanh Van
Gia Truyen Thanh Van serves some of the best banh cuon (steamed rice rolls) in the city. The rolls are packed with pork and mushrooms. On Hang Ga Street in the Old Quarter, the restaurant is situated.
3. Enjoy Water Puppet Show – A Vietnamese Culture’s Beauty
Over a thousand years ago, in northern Vietnam, an ancient art form called the water puppet show developed. The puppets are manually controlled by expert puppeteers who are concealed behind a screen, and the performances take place on a watery stage. It’s a fascinating and enjoyable event that shouldn’t be missed. The greatest spot to see a show is at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, which lies in the center of the Old Quarter.
4. Party and Nightlife
Everyone may enjoy Hanoi’s diverse and exciting nightlife. There is no shortage of venues to grab a drink and rest after a day of exploration, from rooftop bars to speakeasy-style lounges. The Tadioto Lounge is a terrific place to enjoy cocktails and take in the artistic ambiance, while the Bia Hoi Junction is a must-visit location for beer enthusiasts. In addition to the Hanoi Opera House frequently hosting evening concerts, Hanoi Rock City is a well-known music venue that features both national and international bands.
5. Shopping at Traditional Markets
The marketplaces in Hanoi are flooded with stalls offering everything from fresh food to trinkets. One of the biggest and most well-known markets in the area, the Dong Xuan Market sells everything from electronics to clothing. Another colorful and crowded event is the Old Quarter’s weekend night market, where vendors provide street food, handicrafts, and mementos. The Cho Hom Market is the place to go for apparel and fabrics, while the Hang Da Market focuses on fabrics, textiles, and handicrafts.
Long Bien Market
One of Hanoi’s biggest wholesale markets, Long Bien Market is an interesting location to explore. Vendors are everywhere, offering everything from fresh food to electronics. It is recommended to visit the market, which is on the Red River, in the morning.
Hang Dao Night Market
The Hang Dao Night Market is open every night from 7 p.m. to midnight and is situated in the Old Quarter. It’s a fantastic location to buy trinkets, clothes, and accessories.
6. Visit The Heart of the capital- Hoan Kiem Lake
Talking about things to do in Ha Noi, you can’t never miss out is visiting Hoan Kiem Lake. A lovely refuge in the middle of Ha Noi is Hoan Kiem Lake. You may rent a paddleboat and explore the water, or you can wander around the lake and take in the lovely view. According to legend, the lake is home to a giant turtle, and on one of the lake’s islands is a shrine dedicated to this fabled animal. On the bank of the lake, there is also the well-known Ngoc Son Temple.
7. Museums – Learn more about Vietnamese History
It is essential to visit the museums in Ha Noi since they each provide unique insights into Vietnamese history and culture. The Hoa Lo Prison Museum illustrates the circumstances and treatment of the detainees while serving as a grim reminder of Vietnam’s past. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is devoted to the existence and legacy of Vietnam’s famous revolutionary leader, while the Vietnamese Women’s Museum honors the significant contributions made by women to the nation’s growth. The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum displays the nation’s rich artistic history with a collection of traditional and modern works, while the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology provides insights into the country’s numerous ethnic groups and their cultural heritage.
8. Cafe at Ha Noi Train Street
A train travels down a small street filled with homes and businesses on the Ha Noi Train Street, a singular attraction. The train passes past the buildings in close proximity as spectators stand beside the tracks. The experience is exhilarating and unforgettable. Be careful to plan your visit to coincide with the two times the train runs through the street each day. It’s recommended to check in advance because the train schedule is subject to change.
9. Visit The Temples of Ha Noi To Get Luck
Beautiful pagodas and temples can be found across Ha Noi, each of which provides a window into Vietnamese spiritual traditions. One of the most well-known temples in the city, the Temple of Literature honors Confucius and the intellectuals of Vietnam. A distinctive temple in the form of a lotus blossom known as the One Pillar Pagoda represents Vietnamese Buddhism. The patron saint of Ha Noi is honored in the Ngoc Son Temple, which is situated on Hoan Kiem Lake. If you do the right rituals at these temples and you have enough faith, you could get luck from the Gods here.
10. World’s Largest Ceramic Mosaic Mural – Ha Noi Ceramic Mosaic Mural
The Red River dike in Ha Noi is home to the largest ceramic mosaic mural in the entire world. Over 4,000 ceramic tiles make up the mural, which shows images from Vietnamese history and culture.
If you have a chance to explore Ha Noi, this list provides you 10 things to do in Ha Noi. In general, Ha Noi is a city that offers you a distinctive fusion of tradition, culture, and modernity. Visitors are guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience exploring this dynamic city with so much to see and do.