things to see in hanoi

Discover Hanoi’s Hidden Gems and Must-See Spots

Welcome to Hanoi, things to see in hanoi where history breathes through every street and alley. This vibrant capital of Vietnam has endured over a thousand years of wars, colonialism, and revolution, yet it remains a bustling hub of culture and tradition. From ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, Hanoi offers a fascinating blend of the old and the new.

Hanoi is not just a city; it’s an experience. Its unique charm lies in its chaotic yet harmonious streets, where motorbikes, whiz past vendors selling street food, and age-old pagodas stand next to French colonial buildings. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Hanoi has something for everyone.

This blog post will take you on a virtual tour of Hanoi’s must-see places, unique experiences, and hidden gems. Whether planning a short visit or an extended stay, this guide will help you make the most of your time in this captivating city.

Top 5 Must-See Places in Hanoi

Top 5 Must-See Places in Hanoi

Don’t take advantage of things to see in hanoi Old Quarter’s bustling streets packed with shops and hidden temples in Hanoi. Explore the One Pillar Pagoda or the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for history. Take a serene boat ride on Hoan Kiem Lake, and visit the Ngoc Son Temple for a peaceful escape. Hanoi offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and local charm.

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple

Start your Hanoi adventure with a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake, located in the heart of the city. The lake symbolises Hanoi and is surrounded by legends and myths. Ngoc Son Temple, situated on a small island in the lake, is accessible via the iconic red Huc Bridge.

The serene atmosphere around the lake offers a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to visit, as you can witness locals practising Tai Chi and other traditional exercises.

The Old Quarter

Next, head to the Old Quarter, Hanoi’s historic and commercial heart. With its narrow streets, bustling markets, and traditional shops, the Old Quarter offers a glimpse into Hanoi’s past. Take the chance to explore the street food scene here, which is one of the best in the world.

Take a leisurely walk through the labyrinthine streets, each named after things to see in hanoi goods historically sold there. The Old Quarter is a shopper’s paradise from Hang Bac (Silver Street) to Hang Duong (Sugar Street).

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

A visit to Hanoi would only be complete with paying respects to the great leader Ho Chi Minh. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is the final resting place of “Uncle Ho.” The mausoleum is a monumental structure that reflects the nation’s reverence for its founding fathers.

Visitors can also explore the nearby Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and the Ho Chi Minh Museum to better understand his life and legacy.

Temple of Literature

Visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university for education and tranquillity. Established in 1070, this temple is dedicated to Confucius and scholars. The complex features beautiful gardens, ancient courtyards, and well-preserved architecture.

The Temple of Literature is a testament to Vietnam’s rich educational heritage and a peaceful oasis in the bustling city.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

End your day with a cultural treat at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Water puppetry is a traditional Vietnamese art form from the 11th century. things to see in hanoi theatre offers daily performances showcasing this unique art with live music and vibrant storytelling.

The shows are a delightful way to learn about Vietnamese folklore and culture, making it a must-see for anyone visiting Hanoi.

Unique Experiences in Hanoi

Top 5 Must-See Places in Hanoi

Ditch the tourist traps and delve into Hanoi’s soul. Watch a water puppet show, a vibrant dance on the water. Take a motorbike tour at dusk, weaving through the Old Quarter’s electric streets. Learn to cook a local dish, like bun cha, in a friendly home kitchen. Hanoi’s magic lies in its hidden gems, waiting to be discovered.

Hidden Cafés

Hanoi is home to many hidden cafés that offer a unique coffee culture experience. These cafes serve various innovative drinks, from egg coffee to coconut coffee. Some popular hidden cafes include Cafe Giang, Cafe Dinh, and Maison de Tet Décor.

These cafés are often tucked away in narrow alleys or old buildings, adding to their charm. They offer a cosy atmosphere where you can relax, read a book, or enjoy people-watching.

Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural

Another hidden gem is the Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, which holds the Guinness World Record for the longest ceramic mosaic. Stretching over 4 kilometres, this mural depicts various scenes of Vietnamese history and culture.

The mural is a collaborative effort by local and international artists and is a testament to Hanoi’s creative spirit. It’s a visual feast worth exploring, especially for art enthusiasts.

West Lake

For a more laid-back experience, visit West Lake, Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake. The area around the lake is dotted with cafés, restaurants, and temples, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely day out.

Rent a bike or stroll around things to see in hanoi lake to enjoy its serene beauty. Remember to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam, on a small lake island.

Exploring the Old Quarter

Exploring the Old Quarter

The Old Quarter thrums with life. Narrow lanes twist between ancient buildings, their colourful facades adorned with lanterns. Motorbikes weave through the chaos, horns honking a friendly rhythm. Shopkeepers are enticed with hand-painted silks and steaming bowls of phở. Every corner promises a new discovery, a taste of Hanoi’s rich history.

Shopping in the Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is a shopper’s paradise, offering everything from traditional handicrafts to modern fashion. Stroll through the bustling markets and shops to find unique souvenirs like silk scarves, lacquerware, and hand-painted ceramics.

Haggling is common here, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices. For a more structured shopping experience, visit Dong Xuan Market, the largest indoor market in Hanoi.

Street Food Journey

Every visit to the Old Quarter is complete with indulging in its legendary street food. things to see in hanoi options are endless, from pho and banh mi to bun cha and egg coffee. Join a street food tour to discover the best spots and learn about the history and preparation of each dish.

Some must-try street food items include pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich). Each dish offers a unique taste of Hanoi’s culinary heritage.

Historic Landmarks

The Old Quarter is also home to several historic landmarks, including Bach Ma Temple, one of Hanoi’s oldest temples. Another must-visit is the Ancient House on Ma May Street, a traditional Vietnamese house that offers a glimpse into Hanoi’s past.

These landmarks provide a deeper understanding of Hanoi’s history and culture, making your visit to the Old Quarter even more enriching.

3-Day Itinerary for Hanoi

3-Day Itinerary for Hanoi

Start your day with a robust, creamy egg coffee at a historic cafe. Then, explore the Temple of Literature, a beautiful ode to education. In the afternoon, lose yourself in the bustling Old Quarter, where narrow streets are lined with shops selling everything from silk to souvenirs. Finally, soak up the atmosphere around Hoan Kiem Lake as the city cools down.

Day 1 Exploring the Must-Sees

Start your first day with a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. Spend your afternoon exploring the Old Quarter, enjoying the street food, and shopping. Catch a water puppet show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in the evening.

This itinerary ensures you cover the iconic landmarks and get a taste of Hanoi’s vibrant street life.

Day 2 Cultural Immersion

On your second day, visit things to see in hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace. Spend your afternoon at the Temple of Literature, then visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to learn about the country’s diverse ethnic groups.

Wrap up your day with a relaxing visit to West Lake, enjoying the sunset and the tranquil atmosphere.

Day 3 Hidden Gems and Local Experiences

Dedicate your final day to exploring Hanoi’s hidden gems. Start with a visit to the Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, followed by a coffee break at one of the city’s hidden cafés. Spend your afternoon at the Hanoi Botanical Garden, a peaceful oasis in the city.

End your trip with a visit to a local market, such as the night market in the Old Quarter, to experience Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife.

Free and Budget-Friendly Things to Do

Free and Budget-Friendly Things to Do

Explore Hanoi for free! Wander the bustling Old Quarter, soaking up the atmosphere. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake with locals, enjoying street performers and serene temples. Catch a free cultural show, like the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. History buffs can visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (free viewing area) or museums with free entry days.

Exploring Hanoi’s Parks

Hanoi is home to several beautiful parks, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. For greenery and fresh air, visit Lenin Park, Thong Nhat Park, or the Hanoi Botanical Garden.

These parks offer a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle, making them ideal relaxing spots.

Visiting Temples and Pagodas

Many of Hanoi’s temples and pagodas are free to enter, offering a budget-friendly way to explore the city’s spiritual heritage. Must-visit sites include Tran Quoc Pagoda, Quan Thanh Temple, and One Pillar Pagoda.

These religious sites provide insight into Vietnam’s rich spiritual traditions and architectural styles.

Free Walking Tours

Join a free walking tour to explore Hanoi with a local guide. These tours cover various aspects ofthings to see in hanoi city, from its history and architecture to its street food scene.

Free walking tours are a great way to learn about Hanoi from a local perspective, and they often include hidden gems you might need to discover on your own.

Hanoi Nightlife

Hanoi Nightlife

Hanoi’s nightlife offers something for everyone. Grab a beer on bustling Ta Hien Street or explore hidden jazz bars in the Old Quarter. Dance the night away to international beats in West Lake clubs. Though things wind down by midnight, Hanoi’s energy is infectious—soak it up!

Bia Hoi Junction

Experience Hanoi’s nightlife at Bia Hoi Junction, a popular spot for locals and tourists. Bia Hoi is a type of draft beer that’s brewed daily and served fresh. Enjoy a cold beer and some snacks while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Bia Hoi Junction is a great place to meet fellow travellers and experience Hanoi’s social scene.

Night Markets

Explore Hanoi’s night markets, such as the Dong Xuan Night Market and the weekend night market in the Old Quarter. These markets offer a variety of goods, from clothing and accessories to street food and souvenirs.

Night markets are a fun way to experience Hanoi’s vibrant culture and find unique gifts to take home.

Live Music and Entertainment

Enjoy live music at one of Hanoi’s many bars and clubs. There’s something for every taste, from jazz and blues to traditional Vietnamese music. Popular venues include Binh Minh Jazz Club, Tadioto, and things to see in hanoi Hanoi Social Club.

Live music venues provide a great way to unwind and enjoy Hanoi’s nightlife.


Hanoi is a city that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression. From its historic landmarks and vibrant street life to its hidden gems and cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.

This guide covers Hanoi whether you’re planning a short visit or an extended stay. We hope you enjoy exploring Hanoi as much as we do. Share your experiences with us, and check out our other posts for more travel inspiration.


What is Hanoi City known for?

Vietnam’s art capital is Hanoi. The graceful Fine Arts Museum houses the nation’s finest collection, including impressionist paintings and antique Cham antiquities. For a more modern experience, visit the Vietnam Art Gallery or Manzi.

Where to avoid in Hanoi?

Are there any areas not to go to in Hanoi? Though there aren’t any particular spots visitors should avoid, it’s a good idea to use caution when navigating tiny lanes. It is also important to note that pickpockets may target popular areas like marketplaces and tourist destinations.

Is Hanoi safe for American tourists?

The two largest cities in the nation are Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) in the south and Hanoi in the north. Both cities are extremely safe in terms of personal safety, according to GeoSure Global, which evaluates cities based on various factors and neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

When should we avoid Hanoi?

With an average of 12 inches of rain every month, Hanoi experiences the most precipitation from June to October, when the rainy season begins. After spending a few hours outside, excessive humidity combined with high average temperatures may transform anyone into a sticky, wet mess.

Why is the air so bad in Hanoi?

Thousands of households use charcoal as the primary energy source for their stoves within municipal limits. Restaurants in the city also serve barbecued meals. These elements work together to give Hanoi the image of a filthy city.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *