What to do in Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has many things to see and do. You can see the influence of the East and the West with noticeable traces of the Communist influence. It is filled with markets to discover, admire landscapes and the preserved relics in wonder. Besides that, it is an amazing place for foodies and adventures traveler. If you are planning to explore Hanoi, here are a few of suggestions on the best things to do in this capital of Vietnam.

1. Wander around the Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is one of the most historical and ancient attractions in Hanoi. Wander around the Old Quarter, you will notice that it is packed with a multitude of interesting attractions ( think temples and pagodas), tiny bars, restaurants and the biggest array of street food places. You should spend time just walking around to feel the difference as well as specialties of Vietnam’s capital.

Be careful as you may get lost and confront the traffic when walking around this place. But if you do, just stop by a small coffee shop and enjoy the hustle and bustle of this unique city. Don’t forget to check out some budget-friendly hotels in Hanoi located in the Old Quarter for a more authentic experience.

36-old-streets - What to do in Hanoi Vietnam

(What to do in Hanoi Vietnam)

2. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is one of the unmissable things to do in Hanoi. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a large memorial dedicated President Ho Chi Minh – the father of Vietnam. The Mausoleum is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square where President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945.

ho chi minh - What to do in Hanoi Vietnam

(What to do in Hanoi Vietnam)

The building was built over 2 years from 1973 to 1975. It is inspired by the Lenin’s mausoleum (in Moscow) but with a Vietnamese twist.

Important Reminder: Please wear clothes that cover your knees, cover your shoulders and no sandals, flip flops, or any shoes that expose your toes when visiting this place.

3. Visit Top 5 Attractions in Ha Noi

One Pillar Pagoda – Lotus Pagoda in Vietnamese. The pagoda is designed to resemble a lotus flower in bloom, the wish for wisdom and vitality of human beings. One Pillar Pagoda is one of the most delightful architectural complexes with the long history and cultural and spiritual values in Hanoi.

One Pillar Pagoda - What to do in Hanoi Vietnam

(What to do in Hanoi Vietnam)

Hanoi Opera House – the biggest theatre in Vietnam. The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was completed in 1911 after 10 years of construction by Broyer and V. Harley – French architects. So, its design is strongly influenced by The French neo-classical style from 19th century. Hanoi Opera House is one of Hanoi’s cultural centers where regular cultural activities, concerts, art performances,… are often held.


(What to do in Hanoi Vietnam)

Temple of Literature – one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. This historic site was built in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. The Temple of Literature is a place of study rather than a religious landmark, it honors Vietnam’s finest scholars. This well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture is ranked as one of Hanoi’s most important cultural places.

Van Mieu

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple: Ngoc Son Temple was built in memorial of leader Tran Hung Dao in the early 19th century. It is a pagoda surrounded by the Hoan Kiem lake. Hoan Kiem lake (Lake of the Returned Sword) is considered a symbol of Hanoi capital. The lake and the temple offer plenty of trees and shaded spots, so it attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise of the city.

ngoc son temple

Long Bien Bridge – the symbol of courageous capital in wars. It was built from 1899 to 1902 during French’s occupation of the country. This bridge is one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of the French colony, symbol of architecture in the Far East.

4. Watching Water Puppet Show in Hanoi

Water Puppet is a distinctive traditional art of Vietnam that dates all the way back to the 11th century. It has become something specific to art of Vietnam. The contents of the performance is usually short sketches about daily life (catching fishes, tending buffalo, cultivating …) or some of the Vietnam legends and myths. Water Puppet Show is a highlight not to be missed in Hanoi.

5. Eating Street food

If you are a true foodie then you must go to Hanoi to enjoy the street food. The cuisine is a balance of sweet, salty, sour and hot flavors. The quality of ingredients and the simplicity of the dishes are what makes its charms.

nom bo kho

Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen Street are the places always crowded at night. There are many kinds of tasty street food for you to try such as: Goi Cuon, BBQ, sea food, fried bananas, Sweet soup, hot pot,… Nothing could be better than having some food with some beer to enjoying your night in Hanoi.

6. Explore Bat Trang Village

Bat Trang, which is a 14th century porcelain and pottery village near Hanoi, is an interesting attraction that tourists should not miss. Beautiful porcelain artworks here is diverse in their styles and shapes.


Not only can you see them made right before your eyes during your visit, you can also create your own pottery products by joining a workshop.

7. Shopping at Dong Xuan Market

Established in the late 19th century, Dong Xuan Market is housed within a 4 storey communist styled building on the edge of the Old Quarters. It mainly sells bulk food items, clothing and accessories for many retailers in Hanoi. All of which being sold at wholesale prices but you need to be good at bargaining.


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