Unlike Saigon, Hanoi has four seasons, and as the city’s in the northern hemisphere, that means the chilly winter starts in December and steaming summer hovers around July and August. It’s impossible to give firm predictions of the Hanoi weather each month, or even each season, as temperatures, rainfall and sunshine can change from day to day.
However, the best time to visit Hanoi is Autumn. During autumn, Hanoi seems more relaxed than any time of the year. Leaves are falling on the pathways and there are remnants of bloomed flowers from the past Hanoi climate. Everything is just so beautiful. Every scene is worth a postcard snapshot and it’s a sin not to bring a decent camera during your visit.
Before knowing about what Autumn in Hanoi can offer, AZ Local Trip would like to introduce you the 4 seasons in Hanoi and special events that come with each season.
IV. Winter (Dec – Feb)
Let’s start with the coldest time of year. Winter in Hanoi usually starts from mid December and typically lasts until late February or early March.
IV.1. Temperature and what to pack
The average temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius, though it sometimes can go below 10 degrees
It doesn’t sound that bad, especially if you’re from countries that are used to a sub-zero winter. However, ten degrees in Hanoi is a lot colder than you might expect: the humidity, wind chill factor and lack of building insulation and heating can make it feel much chillier.
Make sure that you pack some seriously warm clothes when visiting Hanoi in wintertime. Sweater, waterproof coat, runners, rain coat are recommended. If you forget to bring them along, they can be easily bought in Vietnam for just a few bucks.
As usual, Hanoi’s streets at the end of the year are transformed into a brilliant space along with shimmering lights and decorations for the Christmas holidays. A happy Christmas atmosphere prevailed over the capital with a range of bustling activities on Christmas Eve makes it a sleepless night for thousands of people to celebrate the last days of a year.
New Year is also an awaited festival. Firework displays and Heineken Countdown Party have become an irreplaceable part of New Year in Hanoi.
Specifically, five locations for high-range fireworks include:
- Hoan Kiem Lake (Hoan Kiem district)
- Thong Nhat Park (Hai Ba Trung district)
- Lac Long Quan flower garden (Tay Ho distrct)
- Van Quan Lake (Ha Dong district)
- My Dinh National Stadium (Nam Tu Liem district).
There are different ways you can enjoy the last hours of a year. If you like some places that are crowded and fun with loud music then go to the beer corner (Ta Hien street), or to Hoan Kiem lake for a big concert with live music.
If you want to have a place for yourselves, nice light music, good vibe for a romatic night then search for Swing Cafe (Trang Tien street)
III. Spring (Feb – Apr)
It’s wet! There’s no better word to describe spring in Hanoi. From February to April, springtime brings light drizzles and grey sky with air heavy with humidity, before the monsoon starts its heavy downpour in May.
III.1. Temperature and what to pack
The average temperature normally ranges from 15 to 20 Celcius degree. As this kind of weather is suitable for the plants to grow and flowers to blossom, spring will be the best time for tourists to witness the vitality of tropical nature.
However, spring is not an ideal time to visit Hanoi if you hate damp weather and love to wear white sneakers. The constant drizzles turns the city’s dress code from winter coats to rain coats.
Don’t forget to bring along your flip-flop and an umbrella when you come to Hanoi in spring. Streets are a bit muddy and the high level of humidity makes your clothes uncomfortably cling to your skin, not to mention that it can ruin your hair!
For those who are annoyed with frizzy hair, a smoothing or glossing serum can help.
To keep straight hair curly in humid weather, remember to bring a spray that has humidity resistant ingredients. These hair products are not difficult to find stores around Hanoi
Hanoi – land of a thousand years of history and culture, is the holder of many cultural values. When spring comes, hundreds of festivals, big or small, takes place all around the city, including Tet (Lunar New Year), which is the biggest festivals in Vietnam.
Tet usually falls in late January or early February. Things start to heat up as soon as Spring comes and the exciting atmosphere can be felt throughout the entire nation.
People become excited for the big holiday as they rush to local markets for Tet’s specialties, gather different ingredients for their homemade “Bánh Chưng” (glutinous rice cake with mung bean and fatty pork) and shop for the Vietnamese peach blossoms.
Numerous traditional festivals will be held to commemorate the legendary character, history, such as:
- Dong Da hillock festival (5th January) is held in memory of the glorious achievements of King Quang Trung – an outstanding hero in the history of the nation who defeated the northern invader in a short period of time
- Soc Temple festival (6-7 January) St. Giong – saint expel invaders from the north
- Hai Ba Trung Temple Festival (6th January) commemorates the merits of two Ba Trung’s uprising launched to dislodge the enemy Han
- Co Loa Festival (6-8 January) commemorates Thuc An Duong Vuong – who was the 18th Hung King
- Huong Pagoda Festival, Buddhist festival held annually and lasts three months, from the 6th day of Lunar New Year to the 6th day of the third lunar month in the year.
II. Summer (May – Aug)
See the picture above? It was taken in a typical summer day in Hanoi. You may find it very beautiful how the sun shines through the evergreen trees like fountains of magic light from the sky. It is the look of summer here in Hanoi. The feel of it, however, is a different story.
II.1. Temperature and what to pack
Hanoi’s summer is very hot with the average temperature of 32 degree Celsius, lasting from May to August with July as the hottest month.
The highest temperature ever recorded is 42.8 degree. And with extremely high humidity, it feels even hotter here.
The relative humidity ranges from 62% (mildly humid) to 97% (very humid) over the course of a typical July. The closer it is to raining, the steamier and more humid it gets.
From February onward, the rainy season begins, reaching its peak in April and continuing till the end of August. Therefore, prepare yourself for the blazing sun during the day and thunderstorm usually in late afternoon and night.
You should bring: T-shirts. shorts, crop tops and other clothes that are light, breathable and sweat-absorbent to beat the heat! Also, flip-flops are highly recommended in this season! Don’t forget to apply sun cream every time you go out during daytime.
Always bring an umbrella or raincoat for it could chuck down suddenly.
II.2. Hanoi nightlife in summer
Lakes, St. Joseph Cathedral and the Old Quarter are among the busiest spots of the city at night. After a long sunny day, some people gather with friends for a beer or iced tea, some exercise around breezy lakes, and others just take out their scooters and wander the city. Whatever the activity is, just getting out of the house for some fresh air and cool wind is enough to refresh the mind and body for the next same cycle.
I. Autumn (Sep – Nov)
The best time to visit Hanoi is Autumn. That fact is, perhaps, unknown to most of the tourists to Hanoi. There is hardly any travel blogger would tell you this fact but insiders who have lived in Hanoi long enough to experience all of its different weathers. And we are here to assure you that you could get the greatest experience in Hanoi during the months of autumn.
It can get horribly cold and misty in winter, scorching hot in summer, extremely damp in spring but the balmy weather in autumn makes it the most beautiful and romantic time for travellers to visit Hanoi.
If you love seeing the leaves change color, enjoying some local autumn specialties such as young green rice, living slowly to appreciate the beauty of life, you definitely should come to Hanoi in autumn.
This season is quite short, typically from middle of September to the end of November.
I.1. Temperature and what to pack
With the average temperature is 25 degree, Hanoi’s autumn is charming with warm sunlight, cool breeze and dry atmosphere.
It could have a light rain from time to time, but in general, the streets are dry most of the time.
T-shirts, light trousers, shorts and trainers are ideal. Thin coats are recommended as it could get a bit chilly in the morning.
Since the level of humidity in this season is quite low, make sure to bring moisturizers if you have dry skin.
Like some other countries in Asia, Vietnam celebrate Mid Autumn Festival on 15th August in Lunar calendar (often in late September or early October), when the moon is fullest in a year. Some consider this as a festival for kids but experiencing such unique opportunity won’t be a shame to unleash your inner child.
Right from the beginning of the month, every corner of the city is bustling with people shopping for mooncakes, fresh fruits and offerings. Streets are decorated with flags, flowers, and lanterns from mid-lunar July.
At the principle time of the festival, visitors are intrigued with groups of lion dance and lantern processions of adorable kids who sing merrily while parading.
if you travel with kids, autumn is definitely the best time to go to Hanoi as there are a lot of things to do and see.
Whatever time of the year you plan to go to Hanoi, there will always be tons of things to try and discover. But if you know what you’re looking forward to, you can choose the suitable season and itineraries that come with it. Have you chosen your season? Let us know your choice in the comment section.
For more information, please contact AZ Local Trip.