Things to do in
As the capital city of Vietnam for over a thousand years, Hanoi is home to well-preserved historical monuments and centuries-old architecture. From wandering through the storied streets of the Old Quarter to experiencing its dynamic culinary scene, Hanoi offers a journey through time. Here are our top recommendations for the best things to do in Hanoi.
Historical & Cultural Insights
Celebrate Women in Vietnam
Understand the role of women in Vietnam’s history and society, through a range of exhibits and stories at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.
Explore the Fine Arts Museum
Discover Vietnamese art history through diverse art collections, spanning from ancient times to the modern era.
Visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral
See the Gothic architecture of this historic cathedral in the heart of Hanoi, a reminder of the city’s colonial past.
Experience Hoa Lo Prison
Understand Vietnam’s past through this historic prison turned museum, a testament to the country’s turbulent history.
Admire the One Pillar Pagoda
Visit this beautiful site – renowned for its lotus-inspired design, this pagoda is a serene oasis of spirituality, reflecting the elegance of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture and rich history.
Explore a UNESCO Site
Discover the historical depth and wonder of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hanoi.
Visit the Temple of Literature
Explore this historic Confucian temple, originally Vietnam’s first university, and a symbol of the country’s educational heritage.
Learn about Ho Chi Minh
Tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & learn about the life and legacy of Vietnam’s iconic leader, Ho Chi Minh. A memorial and profound symbol of national unity.
Urban Adventures & Entertainment
Take a River Cruise
Enjoy scenic views and a different perspective of Hanoi on the Red River.
Hop on Hop Off
Navigate your sightseeing with ease with the Hop on Hop Off bus. Discover Hanois main attractions with comfortable, open-air, double-decker buses.
Adventure on a Vintage Motorbike
Experience the best of Hanoi, with a guided vintage Motorbike tour to all the best local secrets, famous attractions, street food, and back alleys!
Visit Traditional Craft Villages
Discover Bat Trang’s pottery, Van Phuc’s silk, Ha Thai’s lacquerware, and more. Each village around Hanoi showcases unique Vietnamese craftsmanship and cultural heritage.
Explore Hanoi’s unique coffee culture in its vibrant cafes.
Shop at the Night Market
Immerse in local shopping and street food in the Old Quarter.
Watch a Hanoi Opera House Show
Experience cultural shows in this historic venue.
Leisure & Lifestyle
Attend Art Exhibitions
Engage with the local art scene by visiting galleries and attending various art exhibitions.
Art Cafes and Bookshops Visits
Spend time in Hanoi’s artistic spaces, perfect for inspiration and relaxation.
Literature and Antique Street Exploration
Wander through streets dedicated to books and antiques, a haven for history and literature enthusiasts.
Tea Culture Exploration
Experience the tranquility and tradition of Vietnamese tea in serene tea houses.
Relax in Hanoi’s Botanical Gardens
Find serenity amidst lush greenery, a perfect escape from the city bustle.
Picnic at West Lake
Enjoy the peaceful surroundings of West Lake, perfect for a relaxing day out.
Coffee Culture Experience
Dive into the unique world of Vietnamese coffee at traditional and contemporary cafes. Try egg coffee at one of these famous cafes in Hanoi.
Leisurely Walks by Hoan Kiem Lake
Enjoy the tranquil ambiance of Hoan Kiem lake, especially in the mornings and evenings, with activities like Tai Chi and street performances.
Active & Creative Activities
Traditional Vietnamese Pottery Classes
Experience the art of pottery at local studios or cultural centers, especially in the Bat Trang Ceramic Village.
Engage in cultural immersion by learning traditional Vietnamese dances or contemporary styles at local studios like Le Cir.
Bird Watching in Nature Areas
In Hanoi’s green spaces and nearby locations like Cuc Phuong National Park, observe species such as the vibrant Red Junglefowl, the elegant Silver Pheasant, and the melodious Black-hooded Laughingthrush.
Kite Flying in Local Parks
Participate in the traditional activity of kite flying, especially popular in spacious parks.
Rock Climbing at Indoor Facilities
Test your climbing skills at one of Hanoi’s indoor climbing centers, suitable for all levels.
Kayaking on the Red River
Paddle through tranquil waters, enjoying scenic views of the countryside and cityscape, a perfect blend of urban and natural beauty.
Tai Chi in Local Parks
Join morning Tai Chi sessions in one of Hanoi’s peaceful parks, a popular activity among locals and visitors alike.
Cycling around West Lake
Enjoy a scenic bike tour around Hanoi’s largest lake, offering fresh air and beautiful views.
Discover More Things To Do
Experience Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife at Bia Hoi Junction, enjoy a show at the Hanoi Opera House, explore the night market in the Old Quarter, take a night-time food tour, sip cocktails at vibrant Hanoi bars, discover the music scene in Hanoi at various bars and clubs.
Hanoi offers diverse dining options, from street food at Old Quarter to upscale restaurants. Discover our carefully curated list of restaurants in Hanoi.
Yes, you can stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, visit Ngoc Son Temple, explore the historic Old Quarter, or enjoy people-watching in one of the city’s many parks.
Dong Xuan Market is known for its wide range of goods, including clothes, fabrics, souvenirs, and local food. It’s a bustling spot for experiencing local trade and culture.
Day 1: Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and evening Street Food Tour.
Day 2: Full-day city tour or Jeep Tour to see landmarks like the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. In the evening, indulge in Hanoi’s Restaurant scene.
Day 3: Fine Arts Museum, crafts Market, enjoy a traditional water puppet show, take a cooking class, unwind at one of the best spas in Hanoi.
Day 4: Head out on a day trip to nearby destinations like Ninh Binh to explore its stunning landscapes, Halong Bay for its breathtaking seascape, or venture to Sapa or Ha Giang for a glimpse of Vietnam’s rural beauty.