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Top 10 Things to Do in Hanoi Old Quarter

June 30, 2022 - 811 views

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, attracts a large number of visitors all over the world. Not only does Hanoi possess ancient beauty, but it is also graceful with small street corners in the Old Quarter. What activities can tourists do in Hanoi Old Quarter? Let’s explore with us the top 10 things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter in this article.

Old Quarter is the highlight of Hanoi, which is located right in the city center comprising 76 streets. There are several activities that tourists can do when they visit Hanoi Old Quarter. The list below shares 10 activities in Hanoi's old town.

Take a trip to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

One of the famous pilgrimage destinations for Vietnamese people in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is a huge complex with many beautiful gardens. It is the place where the tomb of the “ Venerable Father” of the Vietnamese people – President Ho Chi Minh is laid. The embalmed remains of President Ho Chi Minh are put in a glass case in a marble building at the actual mausoleum. Besides, tourists can visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum, his house-on-stilts, Presidential Palace to explore more about the Vietnamese famous leader, President Ho Chi Minh City, how he gained independence from Vietnam, as well as his humble daily life as the great leader of the country. The special thing about Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the flag raising and lowering ceremony at Ba Dinh Square considered a national ritual. The flag-raising starts at 6 a.m. every day in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum while flag lowing one takes place every 9 p.m. A trip to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must-do tourist activity in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Take a trip to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Take a trip to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

 

Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

The next activity in Hanoi Old Quarter that tourists can try is strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake. It was believed that Hoan Kiem Lake was attached to the win of the Lam Son Revolution. It is the place where Le Loi gave the magical sword, which helped him defeat Minh's enemy, back to the Dragon King with the Golden Turtle. Because of this legend, Le Loi King renamed the lake “The Lake of the Returned Sword” (or Hoan Kiem Lake in Vietnamese). It is a great experience to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Hoan Kiem Lake in the early morning or its sparkling beauty in the evening. Coming to Hoan Kiem lake, tourists have the opportunity to take wonderful pictures of charming sceneries around the lake, Ngoc Son Temple as well as the busy life of locals.

Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

 

Visit Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi

If tourists love exploring outstanding architecture, Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi is a must-see spot. St Joseph’s Cathedral, more familiarly called by locals “The Big Church” is the very first structure built by French colonists at the end of the 18th century. It is not only a great altar to attend Mass and pray for Catholic people but also a famous tourist attraction of the capital. In general, Saint Joseph Cathedral looks like Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, representing the Gothic architectural style in France. On the top of the church is a stone cross with a clock and holy statues below highlighting its fascinating beauty. By visiting Saint Joseph Cathedral, tourists can discover charming architectural beauty as well as explore interesting things about Catholicism. Additionally, the church is surrounded by busy lemon iced tea stalls, coffee shops, etc. Tourists just need to choose a suitable position to both enjoy fresh tea and admire this beautiful church. Visiting Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi is another must-do thing in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Visit Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi

Visit Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi

 

Watch a performance at Thang Long Puppet Theater

The next activity to do in Hanoi's old town is watching a performance at the Thang Long water puppet theater. Thang Long puppet theater is located on Dinh Tien Hoang street, next to Hoan Kiem Lake. It can be said that Thang Long puppet theater is an ideal cultural spot for those loving the unique water puppet show - an extremely attractive spiritual "specialty" of Vietnam. Artists stand in a waist-high pool of water and then operate puppets fixed to long bamboo canes making puppets look like they are dancing on the surface of the water. The performance revivals common farming stories or Vietnamese legends, and myths to let spectators deeply discover the cultural beauty of Vietnam in the past. It is such a great experience for those loving cultural exploration.

Watch a performance at Thang Long Puppet Theater

Watch a performance at Thang Long Puppet Theater

For any cultural lovers, it would be a waste if you don't book a Thang Long Water Puppet Show - Hanoi to enjoy an out-of-the-world art performance in Vietnam.

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Taste local street food

Not only is Hanoi well-known for its cultural and historical sites, but it also fascinates tourists because of its various delicious street food. Talking to Hanoi, tourists immediately think about Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle), Banh Cuon (Steamed rice rolls), “Banh Mi” (Vietnamese Baguette), etc. Those are appealing street food in Hanoi. Coming to Hanoi without tasting local street food in the Old Quarter is a big mistake. Strolling around the old town, tourists easily find food stalls, and small restaurants selling local food at a reasonable price. Sitting on low chairs, trying delicious dishes, and seeing the busy daily life of locals are grateful.

Taste local street food

Taste local street food

 

Try the egg coffee at Giang Café

After tasting local street food, drinking egg coffee at Giang Café is the next activity tourist can do in Hanoi Old Quarter. Many international tourists put Egg coffee in their to-do list in Hanoi. Thus, it can be seen that Egg coffee is a famous specialty attracting a large number of tourists’ attention all over the world. Egg coffee’s main ingredients are coffee, eggnog, and egg yolks condensed milk. All of them are perfectly mixed until they are thick and fluffy. This mixture is then poured over the top of traditional Vietnamese coffee creating smooth but burst of caffeine. This delicious beverage was invented by Mr. Nguyen Van Giang, who was a talented chef of the Metropole Hotel. His idea was to create an attractive beverage but affordable to Vietnamese people. Thus, the best place to try Egg coffee is at Giang Café. This is a small coffee shop at 39 Nguyen Huu Huan street, Hoan Kiem District. Trying Egg coffee at Giang Café is an unforgettable experience for those visiting Hanoi.

Try the egg coffee at Giang Café

Try the egg coffee at Giang Café

 

Enjoy a beer at Ta Hien Street

Ta Hien is a 100-meter street in Hanoi's Old Quarter. It is also known as “Beer Street” in Hanoi. Coming to Ta Hien street in the evening, tourists might be surprised because of its bustle and liveliness. There are small beer restaurants close to each other. People can enjoy a cold beer at a super cheap price. This is a place where local and Western cultures converge. This is also an ideal place at weekend for friends to chit chat and shares funny stories about their daily life. Enjoying beers at Ta Hien Street is a fascinating tourist activity in Hanoi's old town.

Enjoy beer at Ta Hien Street

Enjoy a beer at Ta Hien Street

 

Go shopping in the Old Quarter

Going shopping is the favorite activity of many tourists. When tourists come to Hanoi, going shopping in the Old Quarter is a must-do activity in the Old town. There are several narrow shophouses selling diverse kinds of goods in the Hanoi Old Quarter. Especially, each street in the old town sells a typical product. For example, tourists can find high-quality, fashionable silk items on Hang Gai Street, precious jewelry on Hang Bac street, eye-catching shoes, sandals on Hang Dau Street, and interesting and colorful kid toys on Luong Van Can Street, etc. Tourists have various choices for souvenirs from clothes, fabric, and scarves to specialties. One of the special things about shopping in the Old Quarter is the night market takes place at the weekend. There is a night market held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from 19:00 – 23:00 hrs in the old town. This is the favorite place for those loving shopping. Coming to this market, tourists can find a lot of interesting items. Besides, the night market’s area will ban transportation so tourists can easily stroll around stalls without worrying about traffic. The wonderful thing about the Hanoi night market is that tourists can bargain the price with sellers. The price can be gone down 20-30% compared to the price vendors tell. It is a great experience for international tourists who have never had a bargaining experience before.

Go shopping in the Old Quarter

Go shopping in the Old Quarter

 

Wander around Hanoi walking street

Wandering around Hanoi walking street is also a must-do activity in Hanoi Old Quarter that tourists should not miss. Hanoi Walking street started in 2016 including 16 streets around the Old Quarter. It is held every weekend from 19:00 hrs on Friday until 24:00 hrs on Sunday. During this period, all transportations are not allowed to reach this area. Thus, tourists especially foreigners who are scared of Vietnamese traffic, have a great chance to visit Hanoi's walking streets. There are several interesting activities to do in Hanoi walking streets such as joining Vietnamese folk games, tasting local street food, taking portrait paintings, enjoying talented street performances, or taking photos. It is such a wonderful experience for those loving to explore the cultural beauty of Hanoi.

Wander around Hanoi walking street

Wander around Hanoi walking street

 

Take a cyclo trip around Old Quarter

There are many ways for tourists to transfer around the Old Quarter and taking cyclo is an interesting experience. If tourists want to enjoy the beauty of the Old Quarter slowly and peacefully, taking cyclo is a great option. Sitting on the cyclo, tourists can admire the ancient beauty of historical sites, and famous tourist attractions such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi Opera House, etc. Besides, tourists can also stroll around the streets and see the busy daily life of local people. How wonderful it is to sit on a cyclo and take beautiful photos. It will give a “real taste” of Hanoi and is an unforgettable memory.

Take cyclo trip around Old Quarter

Take a cyclo trip around Old Quarter

 

In conclusion, Hanoi Old Quarter is a beautiful spot that attracts a large number of tourists all over the world. Let’s save the top 10 things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter and try them when taking a Hanoi City Tours with BestPrice Travel.

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Read more: Hanoi Useful Local Tips

Vana Pham 

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