3 Days in Hanoi – BEST Hanoi Itinerary 3 days (Local Guide)

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3 Days in Hanoi – BEST Hanoi Itinerary 3 days (Local Guide)

72 hours in Hanoi and you want to have a planned 3 Days in Hanoi route that can make the most of your limited time here?

The Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days is reasonably designed for travelers who would love to experience as much as possible. Especially for cultural tourists looking for the essence of assorted cultures.

Dong Xuan market – Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
Dong Xuan Market at night

What to do in Hanoi for 3 days list also gives you other options to customize your own journey that suit your taste and private schedule.

Recommended 2 days itinerary

Hesitate no more, plan your own 3 Days in Hanoi by getting a glimpse of these selected options:

OPTION 1: From $60/pax

  • Day 1: Arrival – explore the nostalgic beauty of the Old Quarter
  • Day 2: City Touring to the iconic sites of the capital city
  • Day 3: Bat Trang Village or Food Tour
water puppet show - Hanoi 3 days itinerary
A Water Puppet performance is a unique traditional art form of Vietnam that praises of the farm animals raising.

Option 2: From $80/pax

  • Day 1: Arrival – wander around the Old Quarter and French Quarter
  • Day 2: Day trip to Ninh Binh or Halong Bay then back to Hanoi
  • Day 3: Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature - Hanoi Itinerary 3 days
Temple of Literature is not only a famous cultural site but also a symbol of Vietnamese studiousness


  • The budget expected excludes flights, visa, accommodations and any insurances. For a fixed or no-added budget plan, check out the Hanoi 3 Days Tour Package.
  • With a 3 Days 2 Nights travel duration, it is recommendable to say that staying in the city for deeply discover the daily local life, as well as its culture, would be the best decision.
  • However, the Day trip to other destinations out of Hanoi would be in the best condition if you plan your trip with a package tour in order to avoid any unpredictable problems.
  • Take a look at other choices for different durations: one day, two days, 4 days, 5 days.

3 Days in Hanoi – Option 1:

The Old Quarter - Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
The bustle and hustle life of the Old Quarter

Day 1: Old Quarter

  • Budget: Around $10/pax
  • Information: As people said, The Old Quarter is the soul of Hanoi that rhythm of modern life can hardly affect this area. Much of Hanoi charm lies in the Old Quarter, but sometimes you need a little local knowledge to locate them. Following the map below, you won’t be lost in this “maze”.
  • Map:
An Old Quarter Map for Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
An Old Quarter Map for Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days


Time Route/Place Things to do $ Note
Daily time The Old Quarter
  • Wandering around
  • Trying some local food
  • Visiting Bach Ma Temple, Ancient House, Dong Xuan Market
From $2/pax
  • You can choose whether to visit all of the destinations listed on the map or just follow the route for a concise overview of the area.
  • However, make sure you don’t miss the Ancient House, Bach Ma Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake or Dong Xuan Market.
At night Ta Hien Street
  • Exploring the  nightlife of Hanoi like a local
  • Beering, chilling and chatting with friends or locals
From $2/pax
  • The street beer comes to live at about 17:00. Don’t miss the Bia Hoi (street beer).
  • You are advised not to pay in a credit card but pay in cash since tourists are often overcharged here.


Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Hanoi City Tour - Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
Touring in the central of Hanoi is definitely the best way to unveil the hidden beauty of this charming city
  • Budget: from $30/pax
  • Information: Going to the main sites of Hanoi and getting to know more about the city through the now – and- then stories related to each site
  • Map: 


Time Route/Place Things to do $ Note
Morning Ho Chi Minh complex – Temple of Literature –


  • Visiting inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Visiting Ho Chi Minh’s House on Stilts
  • Enjoy the unique structure of One Pillar Pagoda
  • Visiting the iconic place printed on VND100,000 note
  • From $4/pax for visiting
  • From $4 for a taxi ride
  • You should not bring too many belongings since the security here is quite tight.
  • Be ready to be queuing since this is one of most attractive place
Afternoon Museum of Ethnology – West lake – Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • Exploring the daily activities of each ethnic group
  • Joining Vietnamese Traditional Games outside
  • Visiting the oldest Pagoda of Hanoi with Beautiful buddhas and Boddhisatvas statues inside the main temple
  • From $2/pax (for Museum of Ethnology entrance fee)
  • From $4 for a taxi ride
  • The Museum is really large and has a lot of things to see.
  • It’s closing time is 17:30 and the museum doesn’t close for lunch time so you can consider spending 2 hours or less to explore all the customs of each ethnic minority of Vietnam.
  • You are not allowed to bring shoes for visiting inside.



Evening Water puppet Theatre
  • Watching and enjoying the traditional show
  • From $11/pax
  • From $4 for a taxi ride
  • The shows are performed in Vietnamese and there are programs in some other languages, such as English, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French, Germany, Thai.
  • Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre opens daily at 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00



Day 3: Bat Trang Pottery Villa or Street food tour

Bat Trang Pottery Village - Hanoi Itinerary 3 days
Making your own pottery item is an undoubtedly memorable part of the trip
  • Budget: from $25/pax/each choice
  1. $10-15 for private car, $2 for a bus but it would be more complicated for first-time visitors;
  2. $1 for making one pottery item
  3. $5 for souvenirs
  4. $2-3 for each food or drinks
  • Infomation:

As it is the last day, you should consider taking the 3-to-4-hour Street Food Tour which is in the Old Quarter or visiting Bat Trang pottery village which takes you a morning and a haft of an afternoon, based on your departure time. 

  1. Bat Trang Village is quite far from the center of Hanoi. You should get up early and know exactly how to get there. If you prefer public transportation, catch Bus No.47 from Long Bien bus station. Here, you can make pottery on a hand-powered wheel.
  2. If you are more excited in the unique cuisine of Hanoi, make the last but not least period time in your 3 days Hanoi tour become a satisfying eating day with Bun Cha (grilled pork with rice vermicelli), Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), Pho (Vietnamese Noodle with beef) and other savory foods.

3 Days in Hanoi – Option 2:

St. Joseph's Cathedral - Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
A sense of European style through St. Joseph’s Cathedral’s beauty

Day 1: The Fusion Beauty of Hanoi (French Quarter + Old Quarter)

  • Budget: from $5/pax
  • Information: Located in the South of the famous Hoan Kiem Lake, French Quarter is not as its neighbor – The Old Quarter, but it represents for the charming and elegant Hanoi. The area houses most of the city’s luxury restaurants, cafes, shopping malls and foreign embassies. Moreover, the area itself consists of lively history pieces of evidence from the French colonial period.
  • Map: 

As the first-day schedule mostly depended on your arrival time, you can choose whether to deeply explore the Old Quarter or the French Quarter or even both. If it was the French Quarter, make sure not to skip the Opera House, St.Joseph’s Cathedral and Hoa Lo Prison.

A one-hour Cyclo ride around the Old Quarter after that is also a good idea for both chilling and feeling the sense of the local life here.

Cyclo Tour in Hanio 3 Days Itinerary
Spending one hour on a Cyclo Ride is never a bad decision for both further discovering Hanoi and feeling the local life.

Day 2: Out of Hanoi (Halong Bay or Ninh Binh)

As the option 2 is made for ones who want to discover further Hanoi, you should take a full day trip to Ninh Binh province or Ha Long Bay on the second day.

1, Ninh Binh:

If you choose Ninh Binh, here are some routes for you:

  • Hanoi – Bai Dinh Pagoda – Trang An – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Van Long – Kenh Ga Floating Village (on Hoang Long river) – Hanoi


  • Group tour: from $40/pax
  • Private tour: from $60/pax


Ninh Binh - Hanoi Itinerary 3 days
A Majestic natural view of a place called “Halong Bay on land”

2, Halong Bay: 

If you prefer Halong Bay, these are some must-go and must-do:

  • Explore majestic caves, such as Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave, Dau Go Cave, Trinh Nu (Virgin) Cave, Thien Cung Cave,…
  • Visiting fishing villages: Cong Dam Village, Cua Van Village, Vung Vieng Village, Ba Hang Village
  • Kayaking
  • Nightlife on a cruise


  • Group tour: from $52/pax
  • Private tour: from $70/pax
  • As the Halong 1 day tour included cruising so that the price depends on the criteria of your selected cruise and the number of your travel group.
Ha Long Bay - Hanoi Itinerary 3 Days
Breathtaking Halong Bay that must be in the bucket list of many travelers

Note: The limited duration could be a disadvantage if you don’t know how to arrange the time carefully, especially for day trips mentioned. It would be a better decision to choose a package tour that reasonably optimizes your time here.

Day 3:  Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature

  • Budget: From $10/pax
  1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (for visiting inside): ~ $2/pax
  2. Ho Chi Minh Museum: ~ $2/pax
  3. House on stilts: ~ $2/pax
  4. One Pillar Pagoda: free
  5. Taxi ride (between destinations): ~ $2
  6. Temple of Literature: ~$1.5/pax
  • Information: 
  1. Even though it is your last day in Hanoi, make it become meaningful by visiting the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh – the Great Father of Vietnamese people. Here, you will get to know more about the history of Vietnam through the stories of Ho Chi Minh’s life.
  2. The next destination recommended is Temple of literature which is over 1000-year-old famous historical and cultural site of Hanoi. The place will make you feel overwhelmed by its architecture as well as worthy symbols.

Hopefully, with the What to do in Hanoi 3 days, you can discover all the main sites of Hanoi.  Moreover, with useful advice from locals on how to arrange the schedule in an appropriate way, you won’t feel rushed or have scams while touring.

For other travel Durations, see more at the 2-Day Itinerary, 5 Days 4 Nights in Hanoi Itinerary. If you have any questions or more detailed guiding, contact us.


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