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5 days 4 nights Hanoi and Halong Bay – Ideal Schedule for Visitors

Lê Ngọc Minh Châu - October 26, 2018

5 days 4 nights Hanoi and Halong Bay - an Ideal Schedule for Visitors

Most tourists choose to visit Hanoi and Halong when they come to the north of Vietnam. However, what makes they confused is how long they should spend and what to do there, although there are a lot of route recommendations from many tourist agencies on the internet.

Do not worry. As a local who has had a lot of traveling experience, the perfect duration I recommend to visit these two places is 5 days and 4 nights which consists of 3 days in Hanoi and 2 days in Halong.

5 days Hanoi 4 days Halong Bay


This ideal duration will help you to visit almost all the destinations in both Hanoi and Halong but you still have some free time for yourself. I suggest you spend 5 days 4 nights because it is suitable for couple, family, friends or solo also.

But if you don't have that much time in Vietnam, you can also check these shorter Halong Bay itineraries:

Or for more detailed with the itineraries, check out Halong Bay Itinerary

Moreover, if you want to spend more or less time in Hanoi and Halong but do not know what to do, we – AZ local trip – have some other package tours for you to choose.

First, I will give you some information about both places to make sure you can you have a best 5 days 4 nights Hanoi Halong Bay itinerary.

Time:   Hanoi is beautiful all the times in a year so you can come here anytime and get a lot of different experiences in each season.

Halong two main kinds of weather: Hot during summer and extremely cold in winter and most of tourists choose to stay in Halong in summer. The perfect time to travel here is from March to October.

Many tourists choose to visit Halong during summer

However, I highly advise you to come here either from March to May or from August to October. You should avoid June and July because the volume of tourists coming here this time is high and there are a lot of storms in Halong during these two months.

Transportations: There are two main means of transport which can take you to Hanoi from Halong, which are: car and train. I recommend you travel by car as it takes less time to travel from Hanoi (3-4 hours) while trains take 5 hours.

Now, there are flights from Hanoi to Halong but I do not think you should try because it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to go by plane

As a Hanoian and base on my experience in Halong, there is a route I recommend you to choose so as to make the most of time here.

  1. Day 1: First impression about Hanoi
  • In the morning, after arriving in Hanoi, I think you should come to your hotel and take some rest before starting your 5 day 4 night trip
  • Many tourists would visit Old Quarter – the heart of Hanoi first because most of them stay here, so it is more convenient. Hanoi Old Quarter consists of Sword Lake, Ma May ancient house, O Quan Chuong – the old gate, Dong Xuan market, Long Bien Bridge…

A corner of Hanoi Old Quarter

  • I highly recommend you to walk in the Old quarter as the road is quite small and it would help you to watch the street.
  • After having dinner, in the evening, Ta Hien Street is where I suggest you should come. Drinking beer here at night has become a must – do for everyone visiting Hanoi.
  • You can check our post One day in Hanoi to have more options for the first day.
  1. Day 2: Explore the history and culture of Hanoi.
  • Morning is the time I think you should visit some local sites as the weather is cooler. There are some highlight places you might want to go when in Hanoi:
    • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: The final resting place of Ho Chi Minh president.
    • Tran Quoc temple: One of the most sacred temples in Hanoi.
    • Temple of Literature: The place saves Vietnam educational tradition.

5 days 4 nights Hanoi Halong Bay

  • In the afternoon, tourists should go to one more historical places in French Quarter: Hoa Lo prison – to understand the crime of French colonial during the war in Vietnam.
  • After that, it is time to explore the Vietnamese cuisine culture with a lot of delicious street foods. I suggest you come to Dong Xuan market side lane, Lo Duc Street, Hang Trong Street to try Banh my (Bread), Pho, Snail rice noodle, southern mixed rice paper…
  • In the evening, Hanoi Water puppet show is a show you must see due to its unique and special.
  • We have a post of Two days in Hanoi to help you get more options to visit Hanoi.
  1. Day 3: Get impression with Halong Bay – one of the seven new wonders of the world.
  • I think you should leave Hanoi in the early morning so as to arrive in Halong at 9 or 10am. Then, get on a cruise and start a small journey to explore many caves in Halong such as Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung caves…for the whole day.

  • The night should be free so you can explore the night life in Halong yourself.
  1. Day 4: Understand more about the life in Halong.

There are 2 options I want to suggest and you can follow the one you think more suitable for you

  • The first one is visiting the Cua Van fishing village. In here, you can see the living of local and even buy some fresh seafood at a quite low price. Then you come back to Hanoi in the afternoon.
  • The second choice is Cat Ba – where is not far from Halong so you should come here in the morning and spend the whole day here. Then you come back to Hanoi in the early evening.

Cat Ba is a famous beach attracting more and more tourists

  • After that, you will have a night free to get relaxed or to explore Hanoi nightlife.
  1. Day 5: Last day in Hanoi
  • In the morning, you can choose to visit Bat Trang ceramic village or Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. While Bat Trang is an old village having a tradition of making products for ceramic, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will show you the variety of Vietnamese Ethics.
  • In the afternoon, you should go shopping to buy some souvenir or some specialties of Hanoi as gifts for your family and friends.

That is a route I recommend you to follow if you want to spend 5 days and 4 nights in Hanoi and Halong. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us – AZ local trip – for further explanations and recommendations.

Written by Tùng Nguyễn