The best 7 days in Hanoi!
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!
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For More Itineraries in Hanoi, please check out:
You may found many ancient corners like this anywhere of Hanoi
Option 1: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Ninh Binh (4 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Halong Bay, 1 day in Ninh Binh)
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 - Halong Bay - Sapa (2 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Option 2 of 7 days Hanoi 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.
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Option 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Sapa - Ninh Binh (2 days in Hanoi, 1 day in Halong Bay, 2 days in Sapa, 1 day in Ninh Binh)
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.
>>> For more options, see Hanoi Tour Packages for 4 to 7 days tour
Halong Bay is a must-go place if you stay in Hanoi for such a long time
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 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.
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. Check out Things to do in Hanoi at night!
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
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. Ninh Binh is stunning and diverse; it is also extremely traveler friendly. However, Ninh Binh remains far less popular than its sister to the northeast, Halong Bay. A day trip to Ninh Binh is possible.
Ninh Binh is less popular than its sister Halong Bay so it is more perfect for those don't like crowded and touristy
You should begin your trip to Ninh Binh around 7 or 8 in the morning so you would reach there about 2 hours later.
Yet Halong Bay is still a top must-check in any travelers’ bucket list. So visit it if you have time!
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.
If you choose Cruises:
Halong Bay nightlife on the Bay 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,…
Floating fishing village - how the locals live in the water may surprise you!
Halong Bay cruises only provide from 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights tour depending on the journey of each cruise.
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.
The First Day in Halong Bay:
The second day in Halong Bay:
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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 for 2 days in Hanoi 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:
My second top-of-mind would be some further places such as:
For the seventh 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 for souvenirs.
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 One day in Hanoi for more information.
One Pillar Pagoda with its surprising architecture
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 and that evening, get on the night train to Sapa. Arrive in Sapa in 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 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. Here, you can take pictures of Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall, also, taking a deep breath while feeling the view of terraced fields is a nice idea.
The misty Sapa from the above
Cat Cat 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.
Sapa kids who always smile
Day 7: Hanoi Departure
You have a free and easy day to ready for your departure.
Last but not least, I give you guys other suggested Hanoi 7 days itinerary which covers other cool attractions of Vietnam. For further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are glad to be your local expert. Hope you have a great trip!!!