15 Things To Do In Hanoi

Things To Do In Hanoi

Nestled in the heart of Vietnam, Hanoi is a city that effortlessly blends rich history, vibrant culture, and modernity. From ancient temples and historical landmarks to bustling markets and delicious street food, Hanoi has something to offer every type of traveler. In this guide, we’ll explore the 15 things to do in Hanoi, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this captivating city.

Things To Do In Hanoi

  1. Explore the Old Quarter:

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, each named after the trade that once dominated it. Wander through the vibrant chaos, and you’ll discover a treasure trove of shops, cafes, and street vendors. Don’t miss Dong Xuan Market, where you can immerse yourself in the local market culture, and sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

  1. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum:

A pilgrimage site for many Vietnamese, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is dedicated to the founding father of the nation. Marvel at the impressive architecture and serene surroundings as you pay your respects to this revered leader. Make sure to check the opening hours, as the mausoleum is closed for maintenance during certain months.

  1. Wander Through the Temple of Literature:

The Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, is a tranquil oasis in the midst of the bustling city. Dedicated to Confucius, this well-preserved complex features beautiful gardens, ancient courtyards, and traditional Vietnamese architecture. Take a leisurely stroll and soak in the historical significance of the site.

  1. Enjoy a Water Puppet Show:

For a unique and entertaining cultural experience, catch a traditional water puppet show. This ancient art form originated in the rice fields of the Red River Delta and brings Vietnamese folklore to life with colorful puppets dancing on water. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a popular venue for this delightful performance.

  1. Savor Street Food Delights:

Hanoi is a food lover’s paradise, and the best way to experience its culinary wonders is through its street food. Indulge in local favorites such as pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli), and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich). Venture into the alleys and follow the aroma to discover hidden gems serving up authentic flavors.

  1. Take a Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake:

Hoan Kiem Lake, with its iconic red bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple, is a picturesque spot in the heart of Hanoi. Join locals for a leisurely walk around the lake, or relax in one of the lakeside cafes. The legend of the magical sword and the giant turtle adds a mystical charm to this serene location.

  1. Immerse Yourself in Vietnamese Art:

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. This museum showcases an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary Vietnamese art, providing insight into the country’s cultural evolution. From lacquer paintings to modern sculptures, the museum offers a diverse visual journey.

  1. Discover the Hanoi Opera House:

Embrace the city’s cultural scene by attending a performance at the Hanoi Opera House. This architectural gem, reminiscent of the Paris Opera House, hosts a variety of shows, from traditional Vietnamese performances to international concerts and ballets. Check the schedule in advance for a chance to experience the city’s artistic side.

  1. Bike through the West Lake:

Rent a bicycle and explore the scenic West Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi. The 17-kilometer circumference offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Stop by Tran Quoc Pagoda, situated on a small island in the lake, and enjoy the serene atmosphere of this historic Buddhist temple.

  1. Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:

Gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups by visiting the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The museum showcases traditional artifacts, clothing, and exhibits representing the country’s various ethnic communities. It’s a fascinating journey through Vietnam’s cultural tapestry.

  1. Experience the Long Bien Bridge:

Take a stroll or rent a scooter to visit the Long Bien Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hanoi’s resilience. Built over a century ago, the bridge has witnessed the city’s history and transformation. Walk along the pedestrian lane for panoramic views of the Red River and the city skyline.

  1. Join a Cooking Class:

Dive into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine by participating in a cooking class. Local chefs will guide you through the vibrant markets to pick fresh ingredients before teaching you the secrets behind classic Vietnamese dishes. It’s an interactive and delicious way to take a piece of Hanoi home with you.

  1. Explore the Hanoi Train Street:

Experience a unique thrill at the Hanoi Train Street, where trains pass through a narrow residential street just inches away from houses. Witness the daily life of locals as they go about their routines, and be sure to visit one of the nearby cafes for a front-row seat to this extraordinary spectacle.

  1. Shop at the Weekend Night Market:

If you’re in Hanoi over the weekend, don’t miss the vibrant Night Market around the Old Quarter. Stretching from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market, this bustling market comes alive with street performances, local handicrafts, and a wide array of street food. It’s a perfect opportunity to shop for souvenirs and experience the city’s lively atmosphere.

  1. Take a Day Trip to Halong Bay:

While not directly in Hanoi, a day trip to Halong Bay is a must for nature enthusiasts. Just a few hours from the city, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts stunning limestone karsts, emerald waters, and picturesque landscapes. Cruise through the bay to witness the breathtaking beauty of this natural wonder.


Hanoi, with its blend of history, culture, and culinary delights, is a city that captivates the senses. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, indulging in street food, or immersing yourself in the local arts scene, Hanoi has a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags and get ready to uncover the charm of this enchanting Vietnamese capital.

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