Hanoi, Vietnam: 12 Things to Do

two women surrounded with green fish nets
Photo by naeem mayet on Pexels.com

Welcome to Hanoi, the city of the street! Discover mouthwatering street cuisine on every corner, observe trains squeezing behind small buildings, and observe traffic clogging up in all directions. Aim to spend two to three days in Hanoi experiencing everything it has to offer in order to experience its vitality and vigor.

  1. Mototour Hanoi
    Tour Hanoi’s Old Quarter on motorbike. Hanoi Backstreet Tours uses antique Minsk bikes. Ride these motorcycles over iconic bridges and stop at actual markets.

Well-informed advisors share local knowledge and Hanoi’s history. The journey will also take you through a green region, which is a nice change from the city. The tour covers most of Hanoi’s landmarks and is a blast.

  1. Visit The Note Coffee

Hanoi is a coffee city with many great cafes. The Note Coffee deserves a special ‘note’ This charming eatery allows guests to leave handwritten notes on colored sticky paper.

The three-story building is covered in colorful notes, hence the name The Note Coffee. Read and leave visitor notes.

3. Old Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a must-see. This is a 2000-year-old neighborhood. Here’s a snapshot of Hanoi life.

Old dwellings line tiny alleys, locals carry wares on poles, and traffic crosses every road.

When crossing the street, walk gently and directly across so vehicles can move around you.

4. Hanoi’s Train Street

In a tiny roadway between shanty dwellings and cafes, trains pass twice a day. Hanoi’s railway street is a must-see.

Previously, you could sit outside cafes and feel the train’s air pressure. Local safety measures prohibit this. The railway is still there, but the cafes are closed. Train times change frequently; check with your hotel.

5. Coffee!

Vietnam produces the world’s second-most coffee. Since French colonisation, the coffee craze has flourished. You’re never more than two feet from fantastic coffee cafes, where Vietnamese locals gather to drink.

Vietnamese egg coffee contains egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee. Yum!

person holding silver spoon and gold cup
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com
  1. Visit Hanoi’s Night Market

Visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter night market on the weekend. Ceramics and clothes are sold. Haggling is a popular habit in Northern Vietnam. Finally, try some delicious street cuisine. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 6pm-12am.

French Street Luxury (Phan Dinh Phung Street)

Phan Dinh Phung Street is a city landmark. The spacious road with overhanging trees is unlike Hanoi’s narrow back streets. Take a stroll down the road to see the impressive houses and antique French cottages.

  1. Hanoi

Long Bien bridge connects Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts. The war bombed the bridge multiple times. In disrepair, it’s being renovated.

Now only walkers, bicycles, mopeds, and trains utilize the bridge; most traffic uses alternate routes. Because of this, the orange rusty posts along the old train track are beautiful.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

The French Colonial authorities erected St Joseph’s cathedral to resemble Notre Dame. It’s very different from other city buildings. Hanoi’s oldest church. The exterior gothic architecture is magnificent, but the interior has a medieval European flavor and is free to enter.

Hanoi’s Trompe L’Oeil Murals

Phung Hung Street’s Trompe L’Oeil paintings are a community art initiative. The initiative began to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Vietnam. These murals are “Trompe L’Oeil,” an optical deception.

The art depicts village life so it merges seamlessly with city life. People can interact with the art by snapping photos, placing themselves to look like they are part of it.

  1. Hanoi

Watch the sunrise over Hoan Kiem lake around dawn. Watch residents do tai chi or yoga among the trees. Beautiful!

Hoan Kiem lake is a spiritual sanctuary in the city’s tumult. It’s centrally located, so you’re never far away. Don’t miss this Hanoi must-do.

Temple Ngoc Son

Ngoc Son Temple is a lakeside pagoda in Vietnam. The red ‘rising sun’ bridge seen on numerous postcards. The pagoda is open from 8 AM until 6 PM.
Adult tickets cost 30,000/student tickets 15,000 VND (0.75–1.5 USD). Under-15s free.

Water puppet theater Thang Long

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is on the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, where you may enjoy Vietnamese puppetry on water.

  1. Ha Long Bay daytrip

Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO natural marvel, is a must-see in Vietnam. Its limestone karsts rise from the ocean, surrounded by picturesque bays and lush foliage.


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