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Hanoi Temple of Literature - Things to do in Hanoi

10 things to do in Hanoi – Amazing traveling schedule you need to try!

If you’re still considering what things to do in Hanoi, let’s try the amazing traveling schedule, I promise it won’t disappoint you! 

Tourists should visit Hanoi for its unique blend of history, culture, and cuisine. With over 1,000 years of history as Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi is a city that’s steeped in tradition and is home to several historical sites and monuments. From the Temple of Literature to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, visitors can experience Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage in the heart of the city. 

Hanoi is also known for its delicious cuisine, which is a blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French influences. From street food to fine dining, Hanoi has something to offer for everyone’s taste buds. Additionally, Hanoi is a city of contrasts, where old and new coexist side by side. With its unique blend of traditional and modern elements, Hanoi is a fascinating city to explore. Whether it’s wandering through the Old Quarter or taking a day trip to HaLong Bay, there’s always something new to discover in Hanoi.

So, let’s find out 10 things to do in Hanoi!!!

1. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake - The Palace things to do in hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful and historic lake located in the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam. There are several interesting things about Hoan Kiem Lake that going to it is one of the best things to do in Hanoi. 

One of the most notable features of the lake is the Ngoc Son Temple, which is located on an island in the middle of the lake. The temple is accessible by a charming red bridge and features beautiful traditional Vietnamese architecture. It’s a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Another interesting thing about Hoan Kiem Lake is the legend behind it. According to legend, in the 15th century, a magical sword was given to Vietnamese leader Le Loi to help him fight off Chinese invaders. After the war, Le Loi was boating on the lake when a giant golden turtle surfaced and took the sword back to the gods. This legend has made the lake a symbol of Vietnamese independence and national pride.

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Hoan Kiem Lake is also a great place for leisure activities. There are several walking paths around the lake, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll or jog. There are also paddle boat rentals available for those who want to explore the lake from the water.

2. Explore the Old Quarter

Exploring the Old Quarter is one of the best things to do for anyone visiting Hanoi. The Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, each one filled with history, culture, and vibrant street life. Here are some of the interesting things to see and do in the Old Quarter:


The Old Quarter is filled with beautiful colonial-era buildings, each one with its unique character and charm. Many of these buildings have been converted into cafes, shops, and guesthouses, allowing visitors to experience the Old Quarter’s history and culture firsthand.

The Old Quarter - Things to do in Hanoi
The Old Quarter – Hanoi

Temples and Pagodas

The Old Quarter is home to several beautiful temples and pagodas, including the Bach Ma Temple and the Quan Thanh Temple. These ancient structures are a testament to Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage.


The Old Quarter is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. The area around Ta Hien Street, also known as “Beer Street,” is particularly popular with backpackers and locals alike.

Overall, exploring the Old Quarter is a fascinating and rewarding things to do in Hanoi, with something for everyone to enjoy.

3. Visit the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is a must-see destination in Hanoi, Vietnam. This historic site is one of the oldest and most well-preserved examples of Vietnamese architecture, and it holds great cultural and historical significance. The Temple of Literature is an excellent example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, with beautiful courtyards, gardens, and pavilions. The main entrance is an imposing gate called the Dai Bai, which leads to a series of five courtyards. Each courtyard has its own unique architectural features, including statues, steles, and shrines. This can be the most fascinating things to do in Hanoi that you may haven’t known.

Despite being located in the heart of Hanoi, the Temple of Literature is a peaceful and tranquil oasis. Visitors can enjoy the serene gardens and courtyards, which are filled with bonsai trees, lotus ponds, and sculptures.

Hanoi Temple of Literature - Things to do in Hanoi
Hanoi Temple of Literature

4. Watch a Water Puppet Show

Watching a water puppet show in Hanoi is a unique and fascinating experience that offers insight into Vietnamese culture and history. Water puppetry originated in the rice paddies of the Red River Delta and has been an important part of Vietnamese entertainment since the 11th century. The wooden puppets are controlled by puppeteers who stand in waist-deep water behind a bamboo screen, creating scenes and stories using music, singing, and special effects.

Water puppet shows are widely available in Hanoi, and they are entertaining and accessible for people of all ages. Watching a water puppet show is an excellent way to immerse oneself in Vietnamese culture and history, and it’s sure to be a memorable things to do in Hanoi.

Water puppet theatre
Water puppet theatre Hanoi

5. Eat Pho

Pho - things to do in Hanoi
Phở is a popular food in Vietnam where it is served in households, street-stalls, and restaurants country-wide

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that is widely popular in Hanoi and throughout the country. Pho originated in northern Vietnam, and Hanoi is widely regarded as the birthplace of the dish. 

Pho typically consists of a clear broth made from beef bones, rice noodles, and various herbs and spices. The soup is often served with thinly sliced beef, but there are also versions that include chicken or vegetarian options.

Pho is an important part of Vietnamese culture and is eaten at all times of the day, from breakfast to late-night meals. It’s often served in street-side cafes and small family-run restaurants, where locals gather to enjoy a bowl of hot and comforting Pho.

Trying Pho is a must-do activity for any food lover visiting Hanoi. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that represents the heart of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. Don’t forget this if you want to try the best things to do in Hanoi. 

6. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a significant historical site in Hanoi, Vietnam that honors the country’s revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh. The Mausoleum was built in 1975 to commemorate Ho Chi Minh’s contributions to Vietnam’s independence. It contains Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body, which is on display for visitors to pay their respects. 

The Mausoleum is an important cultural and political landmark in Vietnam and a popular tourist attraction in Hanoi. So, visiting the Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is also one of the most wonderful things to do in Hanoi. Visitors should dress respectfully and follow the strict rules and regulations when entering the Mausoleum.

To know more about the Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, click here to read the article “Hanoi Ho Chi Minh mausoleum – One of the MUST-GO places in Vietnam”

7. Go Shopping in Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan market
Dong Xuan Market

Going to Dong Xuan Market is also one of the best things to do in Hanoi. Dong Xuan Market is one of the oldest and largest markets in Hanoi, Vietnam. The market offers a unique shopping experience with a wide range of products, including food, clothing, souvenirs, and electronics. 

The market is a bustling hub of activity with vendors haggling and negotiating prices. It’s an excellent place to experience local culture, taste authentic street food, and find unique souvenirs. Visitors should be prepared to bargain and keep an eye on their belongings while shopping.

Dong Xuan Market is open every day from early morning until late at night, making it a convenient destination for visitors with different schedules. Just come here and have a look. I believe it’s worth saying that going to Dong Xuan Market is one of the most interesting things to do in Hanoi. 

8. Take a Street Food Tour

Hanoi is known for its vibrant street food scene, and taking a street food tour is a great way to experience the city’s culinary culture. These are such wonderful things to do in Hanoi!!

Hanoi’s street food scene is diverse and includes a wide range of dishes from pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) to banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles), and more. Taking a street food tour allows visitors to sample a variety of these dishes and learn about their history and significance.

Street food is an essential part of Vietnamese culture, and taking a street food tour is a great way to experience this aspect of the country’s identity. Visitors can interact with locals and learn about their way of life while trying delicious food.

If you want to experience Hanoi, don’t miss out on trying the street food because it’s also one of the best things to do in Hanoi.

9. Visit the Hanoi Opera House

Going to the Hanoi Opera House and enjoying the view are interesting things to do in Hanoi for architecture and history enthusiasts. Visitors can attend performances or take a guided tour to learn about the building’s history and design. 

The Opera House is considered one of the most important cultural venues in Vietnam and has hosted numerous world-class performances over the years. Visitors can also take advantage of the stunning photo opportunities offered by the Opera House’s magnificent exterior and grand interior

10. Take a Day Trip to HaLong Bay

Ha long bay
Ha Long Bay

HaLong Bay is a popular day trip destination from Hanoi, offering visitors the opportunity to experience some of Vietnam’s most breathtaking natural scenery. The bay is home to thousands of limestone islands and islets, which rise dramatically out of the sea. Taking a cruise or kayak around the bay to explore the hidden caves, pristine beaches, and unique rock formations are interesting things to do in Hanoi.

HaLong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. It is a significant geological site with unique and significant features, including untouched ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. This makes it an essential location for nature enthusiasts and those interested in geology and ecology.

Taking a day trip to HaLong Bay is an excellent way to escape the bustle of Hanoi and experience the tranquility of the natural world. Visitors can enjoy the fresh sea air, stunning views, and peaceful surroundings, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.

That’s not all about things to do in Hanoi, but I’m sure it’s not a bad schedule! And if you’re finding a place to stay in Hanoi, contact us via: 


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