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Top 10 Non-touristy Things to Do in Hanoi

June 17, 2022 - 1235 views

Before traveling anywhere, it is essential to have knowledge of famous tourist destinations of that places. Hanoi is a city having so many interesting places to explore such as the Temple of Literature, the Hoan Kiem Lake, One Pillar Pagoda, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. However, there are a lot of amazing activities to do in Hanoi that you’re rarely heard about. If you’re looking for activities fascinating but not well-known by tourists, let's take a look at the best 10 non-touristy things to do in Hanoi for a memorable vacation.

Non-touristy things to do in Hanoi

1. Taste Hot pot at Phung Hung Street

Hot Pot has become one of the most favorite choices when going out to eat. That is the reason why hot pot restaurants are mushrooming all around Hanoi. Located in Hoan Kiem district, Phung Hung is probably the oldest street specialized in HotPot. This place is famous for having the best restaurants offering diverse tasty dishes and great customer care services. With only about 200,000 VND, you can eat a lot of different types of hot pot such as mixed hot pot, hot and sour hot pot, or seafood hot pot.

Hot Pot at Phung Hung Street

Hot pot at Phung Hung street


2. Have BBQ Dinner at Gam Cau Street

Like Hot Pot, BBQ might not come up in most visitors’ minds as Vietnamese cuisine, but it is a favorite dish of local people. One of the most famous barbecue places in Hanoi is Gam Cau street (Hoan Kiem). Regardless of winter or summer, when going through this street in the evening, you will be attracted by the mouthwatering aroma of BBQ. With a reasonable price, this street is always full of people. The main food is grilled dishes: heart, stomach, intestines, beef, roast. You can order a set to grill yourself or order each pre-baked plate according to your needs.

BBQ at Gam Cau Street - non touristy things to do in Hanoi

BBQ dinner with friends and family at Gam Cau Street


3. Drink Tea at Church

St. Joseph's Cathedral (Hoan Kiem) has become a familiar gathering place for young people every evening. Maybe a least once, you're heard about " Tra Chanh" - an iconic beverage of Hanoi. Among many coffee shops or pubs with luxurious space or chilling atmosphere, the lemon tea shops on the sidewalk with tiny tables and plastic chairs are always crowded. With only about 25,000 VND, you can enjoy a delicious cup of lemon tea here while watching the church and the flow of passers-by.

Drink tea at the Church

Enjoy a cup of lemon tea in front of the Church


4. Swan ride on West Lake

The West Lake (Ho Tay), located in the heart of Hanoi city, is a large freshwater lake. Referring to West Lake, people often talking about the beauty of this place at dawn or sunset. And what is more wonderful when we ride swan boats while watching the sun going down. The pretty Swan Boats come in two or four-seaters and it costs only 50.000 VND to take a Swan Ride-on West Lake in one hour. It’s an amazing way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, exploring the waters.

Swan ride on West Lake

Swan ride on West Lake


5. Walk Around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Early Morning

Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most attractive tourist destinations, so it is always crowded with people here. But you can still see a peaceful Hoan Kiem lake if you come here early in the morning.

Local people doing excercises at Hoan Kiem Lake

Morning at Hoan Kiem Lake

Many people often go to the lake to watch the sunrise or do exercise. Especially, you should not miss the chance to contemplate the sunrise here. The best time to watch the sunrise is autumn with chilling and comfortable weather. Just imagine the scenery full of stunning sunlight along with the enormous ancient trees and you can enjoy the fresh air. How wonderful it is! Besides, you also have a chance to see people cycling, doing exercise.

So try to get up early in the morning, walk around the lake and breathe the pure air here.


6. Enjoy Bun Cha at Local Stall

Along with Pho, bun cha is one of the most popular traditional foods of Vietnam that many foreigners are crazy about. Bun cha is a dish with vermicelli, pork rolls grilled on charcoal, served with a bowl of sweet and sour fish sauce. The dish originates from the North of Vietnam and is one of the typical specialties of Ha Thanh cuisine.

Bun Cha Hanoi at Local Stall

Bun Cha at a local stall in Hanoi

There are many delicious and famous local stalls such as Dac Kim noodle soup (Hang Manh), bun cha 34 Hang Than (Ba Dinh), bun cha Huong Lien (Le Van Huu Street). Among of Bun Cha Stalls mentioned above, Bun Cha Huong Lien has become more popular with foreign tourists since the US president came here in 2016.


7. Shopping at Night Weekend Market

Hanoi at night always has a lot of interesting activities for tourists to explore. One of them is going shopping at Night Weekend Market. This market starts on Hang Dao Street and ends on Hang Giay Street. It’s open from 18:00 to 23:00 on weekends on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Hanoi Night Market

Hanoi Night Market

At night, this area is lightened up with decorative lights. making this more colorful. Walking around this night market, visitors can understand more about the captivating culture here. Because this is not only a place to sell a variety of items, but also a place to promote Hanoi's unique local culture to international tourists. There are always full of roadside stalls and local food vendors. The tourist will have chances to taste not only traditional dishes but also Asian and Western dishes.


8. Flag raising and lowering ceremony at Ba Dinh Square

Flag raising and lowering ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Flag raising and lowering ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 

The flag-raising and lowering ceremony at Ba Dinh Square is a national ceremony of Vietnam implemented in front of President Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum. Regardless of the hot or cold weather, the flag ceremony is solemnly performed at 6 am and the Lowering Ceremony is held at 9 pm every day. It can be quite interesting to witness the national flag raising and lowering ceremony in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Though the ceremony is a bit formalistic, it is still a great non-touristy thing you can do while in Hanoi. Visit Long Bien Bridge


9. Visit Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien - one of the oldest bridges in Hanoi, is known as “ the witness of history”. It’s was built by two French architects in the French occupation and Vietnam War. Therefore, this bridge is also considered a historical site carrying the Hanoi people’s memories and pride. If you have an opportunity to visit the Long Bien Bridge, don’t miss the chance to experience the sunrise and the sunset here. You will feel another peaceful aspect of Hanoi - where people are becoming into the rushing life rhythm. Let’s imagine the scenery when the gorgeous red Sun reflects on the water surface of the Red River. Isn’t it marvelous? It will also make you feel relaxed when watching pedestrians and cyclists pass by.

Visit Cau Long Bien - non touristy things to do

Visit Long Bien Bridge 


10. Bike along the ceramic mosaic road

Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, or Hanoi Ceramic Road, is a ceramic mosaic mural built along the walls of the Red River dike system in Hanoi Capital, northern Vietnam. In 20, the city council decided to build this road to celebrate the thousand-year anniversary of Hanoi.

Cycling Along the Ceramic Mosaic Street

Cycling along Ceramic Mosaic Street (VnExpress)

The idea about the Ceramic Road was developed by Vietnamese journalist Nguyen Thu Thuy in March 2007. The incredible artwork has shown many historic events as well the rich traditional cultures of the city. The mosaic road received "Bui Xuan Phai - For the love of Hanoi" Award in 2008 and it is recognized by the Guinness Record Book as the longest ceramic mosaic in the world.

Thanks to the support of the Hanoi’s People Committee along with the hard-working of thousands of artists and craftsmen, the construction of this amazing mosaic is finished in 2010. Until now, this has been a famous place that brings huge crowds of young people going to visit or taking pictures.

Hanoi is a wonderful city that offers many activities and places to visit, even the non-touristy things to do will surprise you, making it a unique and memorable travel experience. Visit BestPrice Travel and see our Hanoi tours list we will take you through Hanoi for the best journey of a lifetime.

Thuy An

Image sources: Internet

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