- 1. About Hanoi travel
- 2. The means of transportation for Hanoi Vietnam travel
- 3. TOP things to do during your Hanoi day trip
- 3.1. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and nearby attractions
- 3.2. Explore every alley of Hanoi Old Quarter
- 3.3. Visit and learn history in Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- 3.4. Contemplate the architecture of the Temple of Literature
- 3.5. Take stunning photos in front of Hanoi Opera House
- 3.6. Unwind with your beloved in VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium
- 3.7. Enjoy renowned dishes of the capital
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has been preserving the cultural essence of Vietnam for thousands of years. Hanoi travel should be on top of the list for tourists before their trip to the country. There are many sightseeing spots in Hanoi, many secrets of the past hidden inside historical relic sites. The city’s cuisine will also surprise any curious visitor.
1. About Hanoi travel
There are countless places you can explore in your Hanoi travel. Every street corner in the bustling capital has some secret for you to unveil. Hanoi has both modern and historic sites, standing in harmony in the thousand-year-old city.
Hanoi has 4 distinct seasons, each having its own charm. Yet, the best time to visit Hanoi is from early October to the end of March, when the weather is cool and the city is decorated with many kinds of flowers.
2. The means of transportation for Hanoi Vietnam travel
It is very easy to travel to and from Hanoi. The city has Noi Bai International Airport, one of the biggest international airports in the country, which operates hundreds of both domestic and international flights every day.
In addition, here, the Hanoi Railway Station is the hub of the north-south express. There are also several bus stations, to which you can travel to from other provinces. Therefore, the most convenient means of transportation depends on your preferences and budget.
2.1. Going to Hanoi
- By air
Five domestic airlines, namely Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and Vietravel Airlines, operate many flights to Hanoi every day. Each domestic flight to Hanoi takes 1.5 to 2 hours.
- By bus
This means of transportation is ideal for passengers with a smaller budget.
- By train
Going by train is an interesting option for those who have plenty of time and want to admire the scenery along the way.
2.2. Getting around Hanoi
- By taxi
This is a proper choice to go to Hanoi tourist spots if you are not used to using Google Maps, or if you go in a group of more than 3 people.
- By bus
You can either choose the public bus or the double-deck Hop-On-Hop-Off bus of Hanoi City Tour, which will help you leisurely watch the city from above and visit 30 sightseeing spots on your Hanoi tourist map.
- By bike
It is convenient and cheap to rent a bike from hotels, homestays or trustworthy websites. Between VND150,000-200,000/day, you can easily explore all the corners of Hanoi tourist places by yourself. Usually, you will be provided helmets, tourist maps, and raincoats. However, you should check the bike carefully to make sure it is safe enough for a ride.
- By car
For big groups of families or friends, renting a car is a better choice. At between VND800,000-1,200,000/day, you can rent a car with full insurance.
- By electric sightseeing bus
Taking a ride on an electric sightseeing bus around downtown Hanoi will be an unforgettable experience for you. At the price of some VND15.000/pax for a trip of 15 minutes, you can have an interesting Hanoi city tour.
- By cyclo
Sitting on this traditional vehicle of Vietnam, you can have a slow leisure trip around downtown Hanoi. At the price of VND50,000-150,000/trip around Hoan Kiem Lake, you will feel the spirit of Hanoi Old Quarter.
3. TOP things to do during your Hanoi day trip
3.1. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and nearby attractions
Hoan Kiem Lake is likened to the heart of Hanoi. It is associated with the legend of King Le returning a magic sword to a holy turtle. Hoan Kiem Lake is an ideal place for visitors to take a stroll around, contemplate beautiful spots, visit historical sites, and go shopping.
Tourists can stop by Ngoc Son Temple or King Le Monument and take photos of the Turtle Tower in the middle of the lake. These are all ancient relic sites on your Hanoi tourist map. On weekends, visitors can enjoy the bustling atmosphere and lots of fun at the pedestrian-only zone here.
3.2. Explore every alley of Hanoi Old Quarter
Just a short walk away from Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter is an area with 36 streets which used to sell different handicrafts. The quarter has many traditional tube houses which date back hundreds of years ago, along with many houses that were built by the French in the early 19th century.
The Old Quarter has witnessed many ups and downs of the city. It preserves the spirit of Hanoi. Here, there are various alluring activities for visitors to try. You can explore the Old Quarter by walking, cyclos, or sightseeing buses.
3.3. Visit and learn history in Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is among the most important Hanoi tourist places to visit. The mausoleum is located on Hung Vuong Street, Ba Dinh District. It is open to the public for free in all mornings, except on Mondays and Fridays.
It is where the body of President Ho Chi Minh is preserved. The Ba Dinh Square in front of the mausoleum was also where President Ho read the declaration of independence on September 2, 1945 to announce the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Tourists can come to the mausoleum to pay tribute to the late President, one of the most distinguished leaders of Vietnam who guided the Vietnamese people to gain independence and freedom from colonists.
Then, you can walk around the Presidential Palace and visit nearby museums to learn more about the life and revolutionary career of the President. Visitors can also see the flag raising and lowering ceremonies in Ba Dinh Square at 6 am and 9 pm daily, respectively.
The One Pillar Pagoda near the mausoleum complex is one of the must-visit Hanoi tourist spots. The original work was completed in 1105, with a shrine built atop a stone pillar in the middle of a lotus lake. The pagoda is dedicated to Buddhism.
A ticket to the pagoda complex costs VND25,000/pax for foreign tourists. It is open between 7 am and 6 pm every day. Tourists can walk around the compex to relax, contemplate the scenery, and learn more about Vietnamese culture.
3.4. Contemplate the architecture of the Temple of Literature
Another highlight on your Hanoi tourist map is the Temple of Literature on Van Mieu Street, Dong Da District. It opens every day between 8 am and 5 pm. Ticket prices are VND20,000/adult and VND10,000/child.
The Temple of Literature complex consists of Van Lake; the Imperial Academy and Giam Garden. The Temple of Literature worships Confucious and the Academy used to be the first university of Vietnam. The Temple is surrounded by brick walls, with five layers of different architectural works inside. There are three gates connecting one layer to the next.
The Temple was built in 1070 under the reign of Emperor Ly Thanh Tong (1023-1072). Now, it is a tourist destination, which often hosts awarding ceremonies for students and an annual poetry festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month. This is also where students often come to pray for luck before they take the important university entrance exam.
3.5. Take stunning photos in front of Hanoi Opera House
Your travel to Hanoi will not be perfect if you don’t stop by Hanoi Opera House to take some photos. The magnificent architectural work was built by the French between 1901 and 1911, having a classical European design. Now, the Opera House hosts many art performances of top artists and various important events. Here, visitors can contemplate the architecture, take photos outside, or buy tickets to take a tour inside and watch a show.
- VND120,000/pax for a tour inside
- VND400,000/pax for a tour inside & watching an show
3.6. Unwind with your beloved in VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium
There are some other well-known destinations in Hanoi, including VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium Times City on Minh Khai Street, Hai Ba Trung District. This is where you and your children can explore the ocean world and play modern games.
As one of Vietnam’s most modern aquarium systems, Vinpearl Aquarium offers visitors a chance to experience the exciting underwater world. It is designed as a miniature ocean in the heart of the capital, having more than 30,000 diverse freshwater and saltwater marine creatures.
Meanwhile, VinKE is an entertainment space that provides career guidance and education exclusively for children. Here, children can experience real jobs to get an understanding about future careers. Also, VinKE has a large indoor game area with many exciting activities and more than 200 game machines to help your family enjoy your time.
>>> Book tickets of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium to have even more fun on your Hanoi City tour!
3.7. Enjoy renowned dishes of the capital
Hanoi’s cuisine is another feature of the capital of Vietnam, which will take you by surprise. There are many dishes that you should try on your Hanoi city tour, including:
This traditional Vietnamese noodle is considered a symbol of Hanoi’s cuisine. Pho can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as noodles with broth, dry noodles, or rolls.
Some highly recommended pho shops are: No. 10 Ly Quoc Su Street, No. 13 Lo Duc Street, No. 49 Bat Dan Street, No. 63 Yen Ninh Street, and No. 5 Phu Doan Street.
- Bun cha
This is a popular dish for lunch. It is vermicelli served with grilled pork, fresh herbs, and sweet-salty-sour sauce.
Some popular addresses for this dish are: No. 1 Hang Manh Street, No. 24 Le Van Huu Street, No. 74 Hang Quat Street and No. 41 Cua Dong Street.
- Bun dau mam tom (vermicelli with fried tofu dipped in fish sauce)
This is also a typical dish of Hanoi’s cuisine. Its special feature lies in the way the sauce is mixed. The dish can be served with fried spring rolls, boiled pork, grilled paste and fresh herbs.
You should try the dish at No. 31 Hang Khay Street and No. 54 Phan Huy Ich Street.
- Cha ca La Vong (La Vong fishcake)
To prepare this dish, the fish is marinated, then fried in boiling oil, mixed with green onion, coriander, and dill. The fish is often served with vermicelli, fish sauce, and roasted peanuts.
Some popular restaurants offering this dish are: No. 14 Cha Ca Street, No. 21 Duong Thanh Street, and No. 171 Thai Ha Street.
- Trang Tien ice-cream
You should try the famous Trang Tien ice cream on your Hanoi city tour. The authentic shop at No. 35 Trang Tien Street offers various flavours of ice cream, such as green rice, coconut milk, mung bean, and chocolate.
- Egg coffee
Your Hanoi travel will not be flawless if you miss out on a cup of egg coffee in the Old Quarter. This creamy drink of hot coffee will leave you impressed with its unforgettable taste.
You should try egg coffee at: Cafe Giang (No. 39, Nguyen Huu Huan Street), Cafe Lam (No. 60, Nguyen Huu Huan Street), or Cafe Dinh (No. 13, Dinh Tien Hoang Street).
Vietnam has attracted a huge number of international tourists over the years. Hanoi travel should be on the top of every traveller’s bucket list. With the above information about the most popular destinations, cuisine, and recreational centres, hopefully you will have lots of fun in the capital of Vietnam. Make plans and prepare for your upcoming fantastic trip right away!
>>> Book tickets of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium to have even more fun and unforgettable memories on your Hanoi city tour!