If your heart aspires to find a destination with peaceful and ancient beauty in the midst of an exciting bustling city, Hanoi, the capital City of Vietnam, might be the perfect match that will make your heart fall in love at first sight.

As a crucial economic and trade center, people come from various provinces of Vietnam. You will feel the harmony and friendliness of the people here. Every corner of this city always has a fantastic story to tell. Hanoi’s fresh air and gentle charm enlivens the soul.

Hanoi is a culinary paradise sought after for its street food. Your taste buds will flutter with joy because you don’t need to go to expensive 5-star restaurants to enjoy delicious local dishes and explore new flavors you have never tried.

In addition, there are many stunning spots to see near Hanoi, such as Ha Long Bay and Ninh Binh. Northern Vietnam is the perfect place for nature and adventure lovers. Fuel up with tons of outdoor activities like trekking, caving, cycling, camping, & more.

Hanoi travel essentials: (click below to view prices online)

Where to stayTours + discountsHanoi fares

See also: Places to Visit in Vietnam | Ho Chi Minh Itinerary | Things to do in Hanoi | Indochina Travel Guide.

1. Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter appeared from the Ly – Tran dynasties, keeping traces of the ups and downs of time, bearing historical memories and Vietnamese cultural beauty that has been handed down for thousands of generations. If you plan to visit Hanoi Capital, this place is a must-visit.

Hanoi Old Quarter is located in the center of Hoan Kiem District. It has a total area of ​​about 100 hectares, including 36 streets. Each street has a distinct character lined with shops specializing in a unique craft. For example, Hang Bong or the “Street Of Cotton” is a street lined with shops selling cotton blankets; Hang Ma street is filled with shops selling votive goods and different types of handicrafts; Come to Ta Hien Street to grab some beer.

Especially on weekends, Hanoi Old Quarter at night becomes very lively. The walking tour is trendy here, not only among locals but foreign tourists also love to wander around the Old Quarter. People from provinces often gather to exchange culture and art, from magic games to competitions.

A pleasure not to be missed is enjoying Hanoi Old Quarter cuisine with various dining options, from small sidewalk eateries to luxurious glass-door restaurants. In addition, there are many clothing stores and shops for you to bring home the cutest souvenirs.

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Hanoi BonBon Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

Hanoi guided package tour

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2. Ho Chi Minh Complex

Due to its remarkable historical value, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is one of the country’s most famous tourist destinations. Nearly everyone makes the trek to honor Ho Chi Minh, the Greatest President. He is not just a politician and a revolutionary; he is also a national hero and the man who guided Vietnam to independence.

If you’re there for the first time, you can discover more about Ho Chi Minh’s life and role in Vietnam’s history reflected in the complex’s different sites. There are 6 must-see places in Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex you should visit:

Ba Dinh Square — the largest square in Vietnam, with more than 32,000 square meters, and where Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was built.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum — where the body of Uncle Ho is located.

Ho Chi Minh Museum — is one of Vietnam’s largest museums, where documents and artifacts about President Ho Chi Minh and other cultural heritages are displayed.

House No.54 — Where President Ho lived and worked.

Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House — President Ho moved to this stilt house after four years in House No.54.

One Pillar Pagoda — constructed in 1049, under the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. The pagoda and tower were harmoniously combined in the middle of a lotus pond.

Location: 2 Hùng Vương. Save on Google Maps.

3. Water Puppet Show

Hanoi Water Puppet Show is famous for its puppetry performed entirely on the water. This is an exciting destination for those who love art.

When visiting this place, you will have the opportunity to learn about famous historical legends of Vietnam, which are recreated by wooden puppets and colorful dragons on the water stage. The controllers are experienced and skilled puppeteers with a deep understanding of the art of puppetry.

The remarkable thing here is although the story is narrated entirely in Vietnamese, the music and gestures of the wooden puppets can still convey the entire content of the story to everyone. So even if you don’t know the Vietnamese language, you can still understand and feel the creativity and originality of all the puppet plays here.

If you are in Hanoi Old Quarter or about to visit here, I highly recommend Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, located in the Old Quarter area. And this theater is open every day of the week, so it is convenient for those who have a short trip to Hanoi.

Hanoi guided package tour with water puppet show

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4. Enjoy Vietnamese Food & Coffee

Hanoi is known as a paradise with delicious street food. Anyone who has tasted it once cannot help but come again. I can’t avoid mentioning “sidewalk cafe” when discussing Hanoi’s food scene. Hanoi’s sidewalk cafes have taken on a life of their own. For instance, Nha Tho street is a popular hangout for young people and students who enjoy the sidewalk cafes.

When in Hanoi, you should definitely try these:

Egg coffee (Ca Phe Trung) — on the list of the most enjoyable coffees in the world. The rich taste of coffee blends perfectly with the sweetness of fresh cream, and the fat of egg yolk will make you unforgettable.

Beef Noodle (Pho Bo) — a dish not to be missed in Hanoi cuisine. It is a soft, chewy blend of fresh pho, beef, herbs, and sweet broth.

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Hanoi Old Quarter Food Tour

Hanoi Old Quarter Food Tour

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5. Hanoi Museums

If you’re looking for a peaceful location with stunning and distinctive art, here are the three famous museums in Hanoi that you don’t wanna miss.

Hanoi Museum brings contemporary oriental beauty. This is also the most beautiful Museum in Vietnam and one of the most impressive architectural works. The Museum has an area of nearly 54,000 square meters, a height of 30.7m, designed in the shape of an inverted pyramid. Standing in the main hall, you can observe the whole space under a spiral ramp connecting all 4 floors. The highlight here is that all the exhibits in the Museum are displayed and arranged in chronological order.

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a building of French architecture, established in 1966. With a display area of more than 3,000 square meters, the Museum displays typical fine artworks, collections, and historical documents. Vietnamese history. In addition, the Museum also has a nearly 5,000 square meters campus, a culinary space, and a creative space for children.

Museums in Hanoi

Vietnam Fine Arts MuseumLocation: 66 Phố Nguyễn Thái Học. Save on Google Maps.

Vietnam Museum of EthnologyLocation: Nguyễn Văn Huyên. Save on Google Maps.

Hoa Lo Prison MuseumLocation: 1 phố Hoả Lò. Save on Google Maps.

Vietnamese Women’s MuseumLocation: 36 Lý Thường Kiệt. Save on Google Maps.

National Museum of Vietnamese HistoryLocation: 1 Tràng Tiền. Save on Google Maps.

Museum of the Vietnamese RevolutionLocation: 216 Đường Trần Quang Khải. Save on Google Maps.

6. Hanoi Train Street

Hanoi Train Street is one of Hanoi’s most famous and adventurous tourist attractions. Commuter trains run along this narrow street surrounded by houses & tall buildings.

There’s no place else in the World where you can experience trains pass so close to buildings. The distance between the train and the house doors can be as little as an arm’s length. The incredible scenes at Hanoi Train Street is often featured on social media and popular foreign publications. Here, you also can enjoy delicious coffee for less than $ 1 on what’s popularly described “weirdest” train track in the world.

Location: Trần Phú, Hàng Bông. Save on Google Maps.

7. Thang Long Imperial Citadel

Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a unique golden imprint of Vietnam’s thousands of years of history. If you come to Ha Noi, you must visit Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Admire the monuments and rare antiques and learn about Vietnam’s historical and cultural ups and downs.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a beautiful architectural work of Vietnam. It is recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. The citadel spans 18,000 hectares, including important sites like the citadel gate, the palace, and other archaeological areas.

Admire the rare antiques and experience the monuments and works of thousands of years old. Participate in exciting activities such as enjoying the royal court ceremony of the King. Royal dance, incense offering ceremony to commemorate the 52 Kings at Kinh Thien Palace, or a chance to collect water from the King’s wells. The water stream symbolizes holiness and blessing.

Location: 19C Hoàng Diệu. Save on Google Maps.

8. Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem lake is a peaceful spot amid busy Hanoi. It is a worthy place for you to relax and exercise.

A turtle and a king are involved in a thrilling story about this lake. According to legend, a king received a sword from the lake turtle, who gave it to him so he could defeat his foes during the war. To honor the turtle, the king constructed a temple.

Best time to visit is during the weekends when streets around the lake are closed to traffic. People replace vehicles. Laughter replaces horns. Even in the heat of the summer of the day, this is a perfect area to enjoy a cool drink, an ice cream, and observe daily life because of the generous shade from trees and pleasant breeze. Go for an evening hangout along the lakeside, enjoy the shopping experience, and buzzing activities! Give it a try if you are near The Old Quarter.

Location: Hang Trong. Save on Google Maps.

9. Temple Of Literature

Temple Of Literature is the first university in Vietnam. It is a worthwhile place for anyone interested in education and culture, especially young people and students. Dating back to the 12th century, this place is an incredible insight into an old and rich culture. A reminder of how important it is for people to invest in learning to improve their society. The Temple Of Literature is a destination popular among students seeking to connect with history and hoping for some luck to support their studies.

Each monument and building in the inner courtyards tells a tale of education and learning in Vietnam, and lovely walks continue to take you deeper and deeper into them. A lot of shade and lovely gardens to cool off in the heat. It’s a must-visit place if you are sightseeing near Hoan Kiem lake. It’s only a few kilometers away.

10. Tran Quoc Pagoda

Location: Thanh Niên, Yên Phụ. Save on Google Maps.

11. St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Location: 40 Nhà Chung. Save on Google Maps.

12. Dong Xuan Market

Location: Đồng Xuân, Hoàn Kiếm. Save on Google Maps.

Ha Long Bay

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Halong Bay Travel Essentials

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Ninh Binh

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Ninh Binh Travel Essentials

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Ban Gioc-Detian Falls

Location: TL 211, Đàm Thuỷ, Trùng Khánh, Cao Bằng, Vietnam. Save on Google Maps.

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Hanoi that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Hanoi

Hanoi tourist spots, things to do in Hanoi, where to go in Hanoi & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

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How much does it cost to travel to Hanoi? Click below to compare flight, ferry & buses fares posted on these booking sites:

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Where to Stay in Hanoi

Click below & search recommended Hanoi hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

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Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Hanoi Essentials & Top Discounts

Private Noi Bai Airport Transfers (HAN) for Hanoi City or Halong Bay

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Hanoi Private Car Charter

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Private City Transfers for Hanoi City and Surrounding Areas

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