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Best Activities to Do in Hanoi

As one of the most ancient capitals in the world, Hanoi is a gem of history, architecture, cuisine, and culture in Vietnam. You will never get stuck in what to do in Hanoi, where over-1000-year-old Vietnamese history and culture are well-preserved to keep the essence of the antiquity. The city is home to a perfect blend of Chinese, French, and Russian influences. With a wealth of history and tradition, Hanoi never fails to treat you with an excursion to a range of symbolic Vietnamese monuments.

things to do in Hoan Kiem lake

Wander around Hoan Kiem at night

A day trip in Hanoi offers numerous things to do around Buddhist temples, colonial buildings, unique theatre, and dozens of beauty spots. Especially, you can enjoy plenty of things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter, where a large number of ancient streets and traditional cuisine converge. One of the must-do activities in Hanoi is wandering around Hoan Kiem Lake and nearby streets in the old quarter. Another best thing to do is taking a Hanoi city tour to admire the awe-inspiring architectural buildings and attend traditional Vietnamese shows.

Best Hanoi foods & drinks you should not miss

Hanoi never fails to impress visitors with endless things to do and places to visit around the city. The land of a blend between the old and the new offers plenty of must-dos, from amusing activities to cultural discoveries in the old quarter. Let's explore our list of interesting things to do in Hanoi.

Hanoi - a city with a long history of traditional, though it may not as popular as Ho Chi Minh City ( aka Saigon), it surely surprises you at every turn of your way. Hanoi is fun and affordable for travelers so there are tons of things to do in Hanoi, whether you have days or weeks, you will always find interesting things to do and places to visit. Read along to find out what type of activities meet your preferences and suit you the best.

Apart from beautiful sightseeing, Hanoi is famous for its diverse cuisine and its flavorsome taste. A Hanoi food tour to try traditional dishes and street food is among the top things to do in the city. Don't miss out on the chance to devour a tasty loaf of Banh Mi (Vietnamese Bread), a savory bowl of Pho, and other appetizing dishes such as Bun Cha (Kebab Rice Noodles), Pho Cuon (Rolled Pho). Definitely, you will never forget the out-of-the-world flavors of Vietnamese food in Hanoi.

Things to do in Hanoi

Join a pottery workshop in Bat Trang Ceramic Village

Beyond the well-known features in Hanoi, you can enjoy a handful of interesting things to do at night time. There is a great diversity of spots to immerse in the vibrant nightlife in the capital of Vietnam. Also, you can get out of the hustling city to soak up the rural atmosphere and experience like a local in the outskirts of Hanoi.

Things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

Old Quarter is the name given to the historical civic urban core of Hanoi. This quarter used to be residential, manufacturing, and commercial area, where each street was specialized in one specific type of manufacturer or commerce. As one of the city’s hot spots, the old quarter is a fun hub and a place that attracts both locals and foreigners. There are several activities that travelers can do while staying in the Old Quarters such as strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake, visiting St. Joseph Cathedral, taking a cyclo trip around Old Quarter, shopping at Dong Xuan Market, or savoring the local street food and signature drink: Egg Coffee. Let’s take a look closer at top things to do in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to have a detailed activity guide. 

 

Things to do in Hanoi at night

Hanoi is the city of tradition, culture, and politics in Vietnam. However, it does not make the city boring. In contrast; the traditional lifestyle brings so many interesting destinations for tourists to discover, no matter day or night. Not to mention, nighttime is when you can see the city is even livelier as more people go out and have fun with family or friends. Hanoi at night offers a variety depends on your interests. You can meet up and mingle with many friendly locals at Ta Hien Beer Street, join them for a cheap drink and get to know about the people. If you prefer an energetic evening, dancing your night away at glitzy and glamorous clubs or sips a cold drink at any live music bars. If you wish to avoid the loud partyers, enjoy a soothing evening at Binh Minh Jazz Club. Strolling around Night Market in the Old Quarter or flower market at midnight in Quang Ba – which will awake your senses of sight and smell is also an interesting activity.

Even though Hanoi is not a famous city for its nightlife, it still has its own unique vibe and fun experiences to have. Want to get more ideas of what things to do in Hanoi at night; we’ve listed in one article for you.

 

Non-touristy things to do in Hanoi

Hanoi is one of popular travel destination in Vietnam so there are many places are very busy and crowded. However, as true Hanoians, we know several hidden gems in Hanoi that worth a visit. Or some gems which are not so hidden but not many people know the story behind or fully experience it. Hands-on activities that less known by both travelers and locals. Walking along Long Bien bridge and see many poetic sceneries of the vast cornfield, lush plantation Experience watching the whole city slowly light up from the top of Little Tower, from here you’ll be treated to 360 panoramic views of Hanoi, with a few interactive modules for the added experience of riding along with the ceramic mosaic mural and see the whole art. Visit Cua Bac Church for St. Joseph Cathedral alternative and admire the harmonic designs between Eastern and Western culture.

 

Things to do in Hanoi with kids

Traveling with kids sounds tough and exhausting but it’s actually fun and provides kids a lot of opportunities to learn and grow, especially in a totally different country and lifestyle. As Vietnam’s capital and second-largest city, Hanoi has plenty of things to see and do. If compare to Sai Gon, the size, traffic, noise, and congestion are more manageable which makes it the best place to begin a trip to Vietnam with kids. The museums in Hanoi are fantastic to visit with children as they can learn about the country’s culture and tradition, as there are several full-scale replicas of the objects that can amaze them, Museum of Ethology is one of the best museums that kids will definitely love. Embracing a different culture and traditions via cultural shows like Water Puppet Show or My Village definitely brings the kids unforgettable experiences. Besides, taking a food tour or cooking class is also fun and keeps them entertained.

 

Things to do around Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is not the only area that interesting too but the surrounding area of Hanoi is also worth visiting. Walking in the nearby district can give you a fantastic shoot for street photography and give you a deep look into Hanoi’s local life. Also, not too far from the city center, Hanoi offers a distinctive atmosphere of lush countryside. With the long history of culture, the city is able to keep its traditional handicraft village which impressive hand skills have been pass down to generations and well-preserved till today. Riding a bicycle along the rice field, feel the breeze and fresh air around you, observe how people making their masterpieces with only hands will absolutely amaze you. More information about visiting traditional handicraft villages in Hanoi for an exclusive experience.

In conclusion, there are many types of things to do in Hanoi and they are all enjoyable to do when traveling with friends and family. Let us be your local guide for your travel in Hanoi and take you to experience all the best that the city can offer.

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