You would want to experience the most out of Hanoi during your short visit to this 1000-year-old capital, right? If you’ve got 7 days in Hanoi to spend, and looking for ideas of what to do and where to go, I’ve got you covered!
This is for you:
As a local, I know where you should go and what you should do so that your time in Hanoi would be amazing and memorable. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will have figured it all out.
I’m going to share with you some itinerary ideas for your 7-day trip in Hanoi. These are all carefully considered and reasonable itineraries. So, read on!
Hanoi with the signature ancient vibe are waiting for you to explore!
Hanoi 7 Days Itinerary In Brief
Option 1: Hanoi Comfort Family Holiday 7 Days
- Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
- Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
- Day 3: Halong Bay Overnight Cruise
- Day 4: Halong Bay – Ninh Binh (Tam Coc )
- Day 5: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
- Day 6: Bai Dinh – Trang An – Hanoi
- Day 7: Hanoi Departure
Why it is right for you?
- A relaxing vacation trip for your family, leaving the busy and stressful life behind, and immerse yourself in the vast sea on the cruise in Halong and enjoy Ninh Binh countryside view.
- Traveling on highways, your family will not spend much time moving between locations.
- This trip is designed so that your family will have a private space, giving you more unforgettable moments of reunion.
- Visit the quiet and peaceful tourist attractions, creating comfort and safety for your trip.
This option covers Hanoi, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay. You have plenty of days in Hanoi as a home base and enough time to explore Hanoi to the fullest. This one-week itinerary is an easy one and mainly focus on relaxing purpose.
That’s why this is a reasonable itinerary for everyone, from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers. Anyone who wants a leisurely and unhurried trip then this is the perfect trip.
Free walking tour to the Old Quarter with AZlocal NPO
Option 2: Hanoi Essential 7 Days Itinerary
- Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
- Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Train To Lao Cai
- Day 3: Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van
- Day 4: Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa – Bus To Hanoi
- Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise
- Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi
- Day 7: Hanoi Departure
Why it is right for you?
- This plan is suitable for a group of friends or couples with a detailed schedule.
- Experience hiking and kayaking in your trip to feel love and joyfulness, to have the memorable moments!
- A remarkable trip to make you and your beloved ones more understand each other and closer. From the stunning cities in plains to the magnificent green forests and imposing mountains in South Vietnam, you and your partners will have precious time to share, experience, and love more!
- A unique and romantic space on a Halong Bay cruise for the happy couples
Option 2 of Hanoi Essential 7 days itinerary covers Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa.
Sapa is a small town in Northern Vietnam and known for its beautiful ethnic minorities’ villages, spectacular scenery with rice terraces and picturesque valleys.
However, visiting Sapa requires you to do some trekking and walking, so that elders and kids should consider in case they cannot do so.
Anyways, this tour is relaxable and not rush as you have much time for enjoying yourself. This itinerary is like option 1, suitable for everyone from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers.
Option 3: Hanoi Unique 7 Days Itinerary
- Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
- Day 2: Trang An – Hoa Lu – Mua Cave – Train To Lao Cai
- Day 3: Sapa : Cat Cat – Sin Chai Village
- Day 4: Sapa : Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Night Train To Hanoi
- Day 5: Halong Cruise Trip
- Day 6: Halong – Hanoi
- Day 7: Hanoi Departure
Why it is right for you?
- This trip will shine a spotlight on less well-known destinations such as Lan Ha Bay, Ninh Binh, Sapa, where you will have more authentic experiences and enjoy the poetic and majestic natural beauty.
- It is time to experience the unique rhyme of local life when you have a chance to explore with the locals in Sapa. Besides, you will explore the unique night train where you hardly find anywhere in the world except Southeast Asia.
- A trip for you to refresh yourself and make new friends!
In this option, you have a chance to discover all 4 destinations which are the most famous ones in North Vietnam. However, with all 4 destinations in a week make this itinerary quite rush.
This itinerary is appropriate for adventurous souls, young people who want to experience North Vietnam to the fullest.
Detailed Hanoi Itinerary 7 Days
1. Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh
Day 1: Explore Hanoi Old Quarter or French Quarter + Around the city
After your arrival in Hanoi, explore the area called the Hanoi Old Quarter.
At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Dong Xuan Market, selling household goods and street food.
Banh mi pate – a part of the locals’ daily life
Another choice for the first day is walking around Hanoi French Quarter with a FREE local guide which will undoubtedly make your day. The area is full filled with European style buildings and contains historical stories of Hanoi that can bring you back in time.
- St. Joseph’s Cathedral which is also known as the Great Church to locals. After admiring its beautiful structure, having a fresh lemon iced tea at some street stores nearby is another must-do.
- Along the way to Hoa Lo prison, you will probably see some luxury hotels which are also an iconic image of the French Quarter. In contrast, Hoa Lo prison will guide you to a different world representing the French colonial period through impressive artifacts inside. You are noted to spend about 1 hour here.
- The next stop should be Hanoi Opera House that was inspired by the Paris Opera House. It is free to visit outside. Once you want to visit further inside, the ticket price is about 20 US$/pax.
When the sun goes down, it’s time to explore the Hanoi vibrant nightlife. Come to Ta Hien Street to grab some fresh beer or join in some nightclubs.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
- For the second day in Hanoi, do a Hanoi city tour for all main sites of Hanoi such as Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda…
- In the evening, we suggest you take a food tour with FREE local guides because you know what they say “indulging yourself in local cuisines is one of the best ways to get fantastic travel experiences”. Not tasting the food while in Hanoi would be such a waste!
Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu – Tam Coc)
After 2 days spent in Hanoi, it’s time to go outside and explore more of this beautiful country.
Although remaining far less popular than its sister to the northeast – Halong Bay, Ninh Binh is stunning, diverse and extremely traveler friendly. Worth for a day trip from Hanoi!
Ninh Binh is less popular than its sister Halong Bay so it is more perfect for those don’t like crowded and touristy places
You should begin your trip to Ninh Binh around 7 or 8 in the morning so you would reach there about 2 hours later.
- Visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, which used to be the old citadel of Vietnam when Ninh Binh was the capital a long time ago. According to historical documents, the ancient capital of Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh was once a magnificent, majestic palace surrounded by arched stone mountain with spectacular views of the lakes, rammer… making the landscape in this place both charming, gentle and mysterious. Then you pay a visit to King Dinh and King Le Temples nearby.
- Have lunch in a local restaurant and remember to try the goat meat – the cuisine of Ninh Binh.
- In the afternoon, go to Tam Coc, get on a boat trip along the river. You will spend 1.5 hours on the boat and the local peddler will take you through all the caves. This will be the highlight of your Ninh Binh 1 day trip.
- Go back to Hanoi and spend a night in Hanoi.
Day 4,5: Discover Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a top must-check in any travelers’ bucket list. This World’s heritage site never disappoints tourists for its fascinating landmarks.
A budget of a trip to Halong Bay is higher than other destinations’ since all tourism services are mainly served on a cruise. But don’t worry, it costs more, but not too much and of course, it’s worth the money. And with these 5 big tips for better cruise at lower price, you may find a great deal!
If you choose a night on Cruises
2 days allow you to experience Halong Bay nightlife that has become both domestic and foreign tourists’ preference.
With an overnight cruise trip, you will spend at least one night on the boat with many activities like watching the beautiful sunset or dawn on the sea, join kayaking, swim at some fascinating beaches of the Bay, go midnight squid fishing on a boat, visit floating fishing villages and so on.
Halong Bay cruises only provide from 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights tour depending on the journey of each cruise. Some recommendations are:
- 3-star cruises: V’spirit, Majestic, Calypso, Halong Sails, Oriental Sails, Glory
- 4 to 5-star cruises: Au Co, Bhaya, Indochina, Emeraude, Paradise, Starlight
>>> You can get a FREE itinerary planning for days in Halong and more! <<<
If you prefer hotels in Halong Bay
There are many 3 to 4-star hotels here to choose. In order to easily rent a room at an affordable price, you should go early in the week or midweek. Weekly, from Friday to Sunday, Halong is often crowded so all the rooms are likely to be full and the prices are way higher than usual.
- Halong hotels: Wyndham Halong Hotel, Halong Plaza (No. 08 Hang Road); Halong Dream (No.10 Halong Road); Mithrin (Hung Thang Road); Halong Pearl (Bai Chay); Halong Bay (Halong Road); Bach Dang (No.02 Halong Road); Bai Chay Union (Halong Road); Moon Light (Hung Thang Road) …
The First Day in Halong Bay
- Visit Sung Sot Cave – One of the largest and most beautiful caves in the cave complex in Ha Long Bay. Indeed, when coming here, you will be amazed at the beauty of nature with the virtual stalactites and grandeur as the name itself …
- Visit the famous attractions of Ha Long such as Hang Tien Ong, Ho Tien, Hang Luon, Titov Island,… This is a very good time for photography-lovers
- Watch the sunset while chilling on the sundeck
- Join the cooking program of Vietnamese dishes on the deck
- Night activities such as squid fishing, partying,…
The second day in Halong Bay
- Wake up early, admire the sunrise and join the Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck, enjoy the fresh air
- Visit fishing villages, join activities such as kayaking, swimming,…
- Back to Hanoi
Day 6,7: Back to Hanoi For Further Discovery
After Halong Bay 2 days trip, we are finally back to the home-base to find the hidden beauty of Hanoi the capital.
As I’ve already recommended for Things you should do in Hanoi for 2 days in the first half, there’re still more places and must-do you can’t miss.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral will bring you the Paris vibe
Our first suggestion would be visiting museums which are quite far from the “tourism zone”. Some top-of-mind places are:
- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: here, you can know more about a diverse Vietnam – a country that has 54 officially recognized ethnic groups. Also, you can have fun while joining some traditional games here.
- Vietnamese Women’s Museum: the museum explores Viet Nam’s cultural diversity and women’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, culture, and society. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge of Vietnamese women’s lives across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups.
- Ho Chi Minh Museum: Included in Ho Chi Minh complex, the museum will help you know more about Ho Chi Minh’s life
My second top-of-mind would be some further places such as:
- Bat Trang Ceramic Village you are sure to get an unforgettable experience while doing pottery items your own.
- Duong Lam Ancient Village gives you a journey to be back in time.
For the last day in Hanoi, you should take your time, have a free and easy day to be ready for your flight back home. You can do some shopping or just chilling in a nice coffee shop!
2. Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa (2 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Hanoi City Tour
For day 1 and day 2 in Hanoi, please check out the itinerary of the option 1 above. Or check out our article 2 days in Hanoi for more information.
Day 2,3: Halong Bay
2 days in Halong Bay will be the same as the option 1 above. You will spend an overnight on a cruise.
On the third day, you will get back to Hanoi in the afternoon. Then that evening, get on the night train to Sapa and arrive in Sapa the morning after.
Day 4,5,6: Sapa
Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here’s where you’ll find the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan—the country’s highest peak.
The train will take you to Lao Cai Province and you have to catch a shuttle bus or a taxi to Sapa town. Don’t forget to check out Things to do in Sapa!
Then what to do next?
Once you reach Sapa, there are plenty of things to do here. The Holy Rosary church which is called the ancient stone church by locals, located in the heart of Sapa Town is the place where you can take your “check-in” selfie.
Nearby is Sapa Market where you can wander around and grab some foods.
Next day should be for further places. For family and friends group, visiting Sapa villages which are home to most ethnic minorities of Vietnam will make your day.
Among all the attractions in Sapa, Cat Cat Village is the easiest place to go since it is only 2 kilometers away from the main town. The place is home to H’Mong people, located at the foot of Hoang Lien Mountain, like a valley surrounded by terraced fields.
Also when in Sapa, you can take pictures of Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall or take a deep breath while witnessing the gorgeous view of the golden terraced fields in its finest season.
Ta Van Village
Ta Van Village (about 8 kilometers away from Sapa Town) and Lao Chai Village are often skipped since they are not as close to the main town as Cat Cat Village.
The pristine beauty of Ta Van could reach another level when it comes to grain seasons. On the other hand, winters make the scenery here look dull.
Ta Van is home to the H’Mong and the Red Dao. In general, their customs are quite mysterious so that it takes time to explore. Otherwise, an afternoon could be enough for you to take a walk, take a scenic tour then take pictures.
Another activity that you’d better not miss is conquering Fansipan Peak (also known as the Roof of Indochina).
For trekking to the summit, it takes at least 3 days (1 night sleeping outside on the way mountaineering). So my advice is that you should take the Fansipan cable car to reach the mountaintop because it takes only a few hours for both ways.
Can’t resist taking photos of these smily kids in Sapa
Day 7: Hanoi Departure
You have a free and easy day to ready for your departure.
3. Option 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa – Ninh Binh
For this option, you can see the example itinerary here. Or contact us for the detailed information as this itinerary will depend much on your travel style, budget and other requirements.