Tripadvisor traveler choice Traveler choice

Explore Hanoi as A Local

September 01, 2022 - 635 views

Just spend one day in Hanoi to try to be a local to experience daily activities, taste local food, special dishes, and drinks, it would be an unforgettable moment of your life.

Maybe you are from a different culture, and a strange city like Hanoi can make you surprised or confused. However, if you understand the lifestyle of Hanoi, you will love it. To experience like a real Hanoian, you should travel with your local friend or tour guide because you will be explained more about the culture. Just spend one day trying to be a local to experience daily activities, taste local food, special dishes, and drinks, it would be an unforgettable moment of your life.

The popular activity in the morning is doing exercises

Hoan Kiem Lakeshore is an ideal place for public activities. In the morning, Hoan Kiem Lakeshore is full of people with different physical activities such as doing exercises, doing laugh yoga or taichi, running or taking a stroll around the lake... Local people called this place ‘bo ho’ (lakeshore) and it became so popular as when mentioning the Lakeshore, they understand it was the Hoan Kiem Lake.  If you want to join them, just wake up early and come to the Lakeshore.

Doing Exercise in the morning

Doing Exercise in the morning

Having breakfast

After doing exercises for about 30 minutes, you will feel hungry so it is perfect to have breakfast. The popular meals for breakfast are many kinds of noodle soups, ‘banh my’ (Vietnamese sandwich), ‘xoi’ (sticky rice), ‘banh cuon’ (steamed rice flour pancake)...

Have breakfast like a local

Have breakfast like a local

See how locals live & work

Relax for a while then start wandering around the Old Quarter narrow streets to discover how locals live and work. Every street is an experience. In the Old Quarter area, there are also many ancient historical sites including old houses, temples, pagodas, and assembly halls. You may be interested in the ‘tube house’ with unique architecture.

You can stop for snacks and drinks. Hanoi is one of the world’s greatest street food cities and it is very interesting to unlock the hidden charm of the Old Quarter and its cuisine by foot.

Walk around to see how local live & work

Walk around to see how local live & work

You will see many locals enjoy drinking on the street. Coffee is a favorite drink of many people. Like no other, Hanoi has a special drink: the egg coffee which is definitely unique and must try, even for non-coffee lovers. The most famous coffee shops making egg coffee in the Old Quarter are Giang cafe on Nguyen Huu Huan Street and Dinh cafe on Dinh Tien Hoang Street.

At the west end of the Old Quarter, you will reach Dong Xuan market – one of the busiest trading places in Hanoi. This large multi-storied market sells everything from fresh foods to home appliances, souvenirs. If you are interested in any product, don’t hesitate to bargain. Everyone feels happy when they can buy something cheaper than the sale price.

Remember to check the clock to make sure you have lunch at the right time. You should spend about 2 hours for lunch and relaxing.

Cycling around

You should spend your afternoon discovering the other sides of Hanoi. Cycling is a perfect way to travel around. Sometimes, foreigners are afraid of the traffic in Vietnam, however, it is normal for local people. Go to the bicycle rent store, and start the tour around West Lake, Long Bien Bridge, and the suburb near the Red River. Along the way, enjoy the beautiful view over the biggest lake of Hanoi. You can stop at the famous shop named ‘Kem Ho Tay’ (West Lake Ice-cream) near the Lake to try the homely ice cream. Cross the Red River over the Long Bien Bridge, exploring the peaceful suburban will make you feel calm and comfortable.

Cycling around

Cycling around

Back to the Old Quarter, it’s time to have dinner. Cycling might make you feel hungry so the dishes will be more palatable.

Enjoy Hanoi street food at night

After dinner, Hanoian often goes not just to drink but also to gather with friends in the evening. Street drinking is also a piece of culture in Vietnam. When in Hanoi, drinking on the pavement or in the park is a thing to try. Two famous places are lemon tea around the Big Church (St. Joseph’s Cathedral) area and ‘bia hoi’ (draught beer) on Ta Hien street. Sitting in a narrow corner on the pavement, you can notice that everyone was engaged in the busy atmosphere and endless talk.

Join our street food tour only from $22/person 

Street food at night

Street food at night

After one day of discovering, you are really a Hanoian so don’t forget to share your experiences with your friends and family.

You may also like: Hanoi Useful Local Tips


Image sources: Internet

Plan your tailor - made trip with a local expert
Book securely with money-back guarantee
Travel stress-free with local 24/7 support

Questions & Answers

Ask a Question