One of the world’s oldest capital cities, Hanoi stretches along the banks of the Red River in the north of the country and offers a pleasant mixture of ancient culture and modern energy. Visibly less hectic than Ho Chi Minh City, unlike the always-hot southern megalopolis Hanoi also comes with the added bonus of four seasons, and is home to several iconic lakes.
Hanoi is a joy to explore on foot – especially once you’ve learned how to avoid getting run over by the omnipresent motorbikes. Stroll through layers of history as you explore the city’s boulevards lined with trees, French as well as Chinese colonial buildings and incense-infused pagodas, and begin to understand why this place has long been known as “the Paris of the Orient.”
Make sure you also dig into the dirt-cheap but delicious local dishes in the Old Quarter, and linger on a bit in the area and dive into Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife, which includes Vietnam’s unmissable karaoke parlours. And if such urban attractions aren’t exactly your cup of tea, why don’t you just use Hanoi as your base to discover the natural wonders in Halong Bay and Sapa?
Top Activities in Hanoi
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Hanoi?
The best time to visit Hanoi depends on your preferences and what you would like to do while you’re there.
If you like warm weather, the best time to visit Hanoi is from March to May, when temperatures are warm and comfortable, and there is very little rain. However, these months are also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.
If you prefer mild weather and want to avoid the crowds, you may want to visit Hanoi from October to December. During these months, the weather is cool and pleasant, and there is less rainfall.
However, if you want to see Hanoi’s famous flower markets and enjoy the city’s spring festivities, the best time to visit is from late January to early February, when the Tet Festival takes place.
Regardless of when you visit, it’s always a good idea to check the local weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing.
What are the must-see attractions in Hanoi?
Some of the top attractions in Hanoi include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Hanoi Old Quarter, the Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Hanoi Opera House. You may also want to explore some of Hanoi’s museums, such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.
How can I get around in Hanoi?
You can get around Hanoi by using taxis, motorbikes, or public transportation. Hanoi has an extensive bus network, and you can also use ride-hailing apps such as Grab to get around. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the city. Another great option is to book a tour which includes transport between the attractions as well as guides!
What are some of the best places to eat in Hanoi?
Hanoi is known for its delicious street food, and some popular dishes include pho (noodle soup), banh mi (baguette sandwich), and bun cha (grilled pork with noodles). Some popular places to eat in Hanoi include Pho Thin, Bun Cha Huong Lien, and Banh Mi 25.
What should I be aware of when visiting Hanoi?
Hanoi is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and theft. You should also be careful when crossing the street, as traffic in Hanoi can be chaotic. Finally, be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as taking off your shoes when entering someone’s home or a temple. It is also recommended to only use licensed taxis and to avoid traveling alone late at night.
What are some traditional Vietnamese dishes I should try in Hanoi?
Hanoi is known for its delicious street food, and there are many traditional dishes to try. Some popular options include pho (a noodle soup), banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and cha ca (grilled fish with turmeric and dill). Have no idea where to start, try our Hanoi food tours now!