Do you want to know the top things to do in Hanoi? Then continue reading below!
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is an incredible lively city that has a lot to offer its visitors. In Hanoi there are many things to do, that varies from visiting exciting markets, watch lovely sights and visit cozy restaurants. When in Hanoi, there are also some memorable excursions that you can do, to places that are easily reachable from the city center and that makes Hanoi to even a much more interesting and exciting city.
Here is the list of the top 10 Things to Do in Hanoi:
Stroll around Hanoi Old Town
If you are looking for shopping to low prices, then the old town is the place to be. Here there are a significant number of stores that are full of shoes, bags, clothes and different kinds of things. Something that is popular to buy here is trainers and outdoor clothing from the international brands like Nike and North Face. But, be careful if you are looking for the real thing as there is much plagiarism that they sell here. When shopping here, don’t be afraid of practice your bargain skills as many of the items will be sold for half of the original price.
Except shopping, there are also incredible French-colonial architecture and many cozy restaurants and cafés that vary from international to local.
Stop by the Temple of Literature & National University
The Temple of Literature is considered to be one of the most picturesque tourist attractions in the city. Originally the Temple of Literature was built as a university in 1070 and was dedicated to Confucius, who was a teacher, researcher, philosopher, and politician. The building is well preserved and is an excellent example of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
This attraction offers several interesting places to check out, such as the Lake of Literature, pavilions, and courtyards that were once used by the country’s royalties. Temple of Literature was Vietnam’s first university. You who are interested in architecture and history just have to write this one down on your personal list of things to do in Hanoi!
Hiking in Sa Pa
If you stay in Hanoi for more than just a couple of days, then I can highly recommend you to make a 2-3 day trip to Sa Pa. Sa Pa is a great little place situated in the Lao Cai province in northwest Vietnam. Sa Pa is the name of the valley and offers incredible nature with both mountains, rice paddies, waterfalls and a river that supplies the villages in the Valley with electricity.
One of the most popular things to do here is to go on hiking for two or three days, which is usually guided by a local from the tribes that speak English. I can honestly say that this hike that I made was one of the best things I have done in my life. I did a two-day hiking trip with an overnight stay in one of the villages. It’s so incredibly beautiful to wander through the lush countryside and get to learn about the valley, the people who live there and just enjoy the beautiful nature.
A visit to Sa Pa, combined with hiking and an overnight stay with a local family is a must when you have some extra time to spend in Hanoi! This is definitely one of the best things to do in Hanoi if you have some extra time!
Unwind by the Lake of the Restored Sword – Hoan Kiem Lake
Lake of the Restored Sword is a lake that is located in the central part Hanoi, and you will most likely encounter it a few times during your stay. The lake is Hanoi’s quiet haven where one can watch a serene temple (Ngoc Son Temple), take a walk or just relax on one of the benches that surround the lake.
Lake of the Restored Sword is a favorite spot for locals to do morning exercise. So, if you want to see a bit more unusual and funny side of Hanoi, then you just have to get up early in the morning to see a great number of strangers doing morning exercise together!
See a Thang Long Water Puppet Theater show
Do not leave Hanoi without seeing a Thang Long Water Puppet Theater show. It is a fantastic musical show that informs you about the historical legends and folktales in an incredibly beautiful and funny way. These performances are created by a squad of actors and are followed by a traditional Vietnamese orchestra. This theatrical performance is suitable for all ages! This is a must among the things to do in Hanoi if you travel with your children!
Go on a cruise in Halong Bay
Something you just cannot miss during your stay is going away on a cruise in Halong Bay. Halong Bay is one of the highlights when visiting Hanoi, and it is one of the best things to do in Hanoi! Halong Bay is such an incredibly beautiful place that offers incredible scenery, fantastic views, and fun activities.
A cruise on Halong Bay can obviously look different depending on which company you book with and also the amount you are willing to pay. Overall, the most companies offer the same activities, but there are the boats, hotels, and bedrooms that may look a little different depending on what you are willing to pay.
Go shopping at Hanoi’s night market
This market stretches from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market and is one of the most favorite night activities in the city. The night market is one of the most popular things to do in Hanoi, which offers a lively atmosphere, souvenir shopping, and delicious street food.
Here you will find just about everything between heaven and earth, from clothes and toys to sweets and decorations. There is no wonder that tourists visit this market extensively during their stay in the city, where there is always something new to discover or to buy. Even though you are not looking to shop, it might be fun just to stroll around and enjoy the lively atmosphere!
Participate in a “Free Walking Tour”
Hanoi Free Walking Tour is just what it sounds like, a free walking tour around the city! On these free tours, you can follow along a half or full day with expert guides who will show you around town. During the tour, you will get the chance to see all the major sights that Hanoi has to offer, and also get interesting information and history about each stop on the way. A big plus during these guided tours is that you get help with crossing the roads, which can be quite scary and confusing if you’re not used to it.
If you think that the tour has been good, then you can always leave the guide a tip as a sign of your appreciation!
Still your hunger with Pho
When in Hanoi you just have to taste the country’s national dish Pho. A noodle soup bowl with a number of different ingredients. Almost all restaurants around town sell this dish, but I recommend to taste it at the Bun Bo Nam Bo restaurant that lies at 67 Hang Dieu in central Hanoi. Personally, I do not like Vietnamese food that much, but this dish at this restaurant was pretty good with a lot of flavors! Did I mention it was cheap as well?
Address: 67 Hang Dieu
Sip on a cup of egg coffee at Café Giang – One of my favorite things to do in Hanoi!
Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan