Hanoi Itinerary - Best Itinerary To Hanoi By Local Advices

Lê Ngọc Minh Châu - November 02, 2018

Having a good Hanoi Itinerary is one of the most important and difficult to-be-done tasks when it comes to planning a trip to Hanoi. The research from Expedia shows that 86% travelers see planning an itinerary boring and tired.

  • Where?
  • What?
  • When?
  • How?
  • and How Much?

are the questions need to be looking for!

After questioning more than 20.000 traveler customers from AZ Local Trip via email and direct interview and our experiened tour guides, we’ve found out best itinerary for Hanoi. The itineraries are displayed below, from 2 day in Hanoi to 7 days in Hanoi.

For anyone who is finding the appropriate itinerary, You can get a Free Advice on your Itinerary for Hanoi by our FREE Itinerary Planning service. Local supporter will contact and help you out with the customized itinerary whether you want a Hanoi free and easy itinerary or a tight schedule to visit all the destinations as much as possible. Click the link below and we will contact you as soon as possible!

Hanoi Itinerary From 2 To 7 Days 

1. Hanoi Itinerary From 2 To 7 Days In Brief

Hanoi Itinerary 2 days
Option 1: 

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter and food discover

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter - Hanoi French Quarter

In The Morning 

  • Hoan Kiem lake
  • Ngoc Son Temple
  • St. Joseph's Cathedral

In The Afternoon: Hanoi French Quarter – A little Paris in Hanoi

  • Hanoi Opera House
  • Hoa Lo Prison
  • Water Puppet Show or Cyclo Ride 

In The Evening - Hanoi Street Food Tour 

Day 2: Explore Around The City

In The Morning:

  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Citadel
  • Ho Chi Minh Complex
  • Temple of literature

In the afternoon: 

  • Museum of ethonology

Option 2: 

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter - Hanoi French Quarter (As option 1)

Day 2: Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu - Tam Coc)

In The Morning

  • Visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, King Dinh and King Le's Temples.
  • Have lunch at a local restaurant and try local cuisine.

In The Afternoon

  • Get on a boat ride in Tam Coc, ride through Ngo Dong River for 1.5 hours
  • Get back to Hanoi 

Hanoi Itinerary 3 days

Option 1: 

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter 

Daily time (The Old Quarter)

  • Destinations: Visiting Bach Ma TempleAncient HouseDong Xuan Market, Long Bien Bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake. For more of things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter, click here for more information.
  • Budget: From $5/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 top attractions as mentioned above. 

At night (Ta Hien Street)

  • Exploring the Hanoi nightlife  like a local
  • Beering, chilling and chatting with friends or locals. The Ta Hien Beer Street comes to live at about 18:00. You can grab some beer or join the nightclubs. 
  • Budget: Form $5/pax

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Going to the main sites of for 3 day Hanoi itinerary and getting to know more about the city through the now – and- then stories related to each site.

In The 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
  • Budget: From $4/pax for visiting. From $4 for a taxi ride
  • Note: 
  • 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

In The Afternoon: Museum of Ethnology - West Lake - Tran Quoc Pagoda

  • Museum of Ethnology: exploring the daily activities of each ethnic group and joining Vietnamese Traditional Games outside. (Entrance fee: $2/pax). 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.
  • West lake – Tran Quoc Pagoda: visiting the oldest Pagoda of Hanoi with Beautiful buddhas and Boddhisatvas statues inside the main temple. 

In The Evening

  • Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre: attend a water puppet show - a traditional performance of Vietnamese people. (Ticket: 100.000VND - 200.000VND). Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre opens daily at 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00.
  • Hanoi Street Food Tour: go on a Hanoi foodie adventure and taste some of the best local cuisine. Some agencies are providing Free Street Food Tour, you can check out Hanoi Free Street Food Tour of Hanoi Free Local Tours. 

Day 3: Bat Trang Ceramics Village

As it is the last day, you should consider visiting Bat Trang pottery village which takes you a morning and a haft of an afternoon, based on your departure time. 

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.

Budget: from $25/pax/each choice

  • $2 for a bus but it would be more complicated for first-time visitors;
  • $2 for making one pottery item
  • $5 for souvenirs
  • $2-3 for each food or drinks

— More information: Bat Trang Village – Hanoi Traditional Ceramic Village

That's all for our 3 days in Hanoi for Option 1. Next is the option 2

Option 2: 

Day 1: Arrival – wander around the Old Quarter and French Quarter

Day 2: Day trip to Ninh Binh (80Km from Hanoi – 2,5 hours on Bus ) or Halong Bay (120Km from Hanoi 4 hours on bus)

  • Halong Bay: Day 3 (Halong Bay day 1): Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sung Sot Cave – Titov Island
  • Visit Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave
  • Titov Island
  • Day 3: Around Hanoi city

Hanoi Itinerary 4 days

Option 1:

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter

Day 2,3: Halong Bay (2 days)

  • Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sung Sot Cave – Titop Island
  • Day 2: Luon Cave – Halong Bay – Hanoi

Day 4: Around Hanoi City

Option 2:

Day 1,2: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter

Day 3: Ninh Binh ( Hoa Lu Tam Coc)

Day 4: Around Hanoi City

Hanoi Itinerary 5 days

Option 1:

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour 

Day 3, 4: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi  

Day 5: Departure from Hanoi 


Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour 

Day 3, 4: Hanoi - Sapa - Hanoi  

Day 5: Departure from Hanoi 

Option 2:

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival 

Day 2, 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Halong Bay - Hanoi 

Day 4: Hanoi - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc - Hanoi 

Day 5: Hanoi - Departure 

Hanoi Itinerary 6 days

Option 1: 

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival - Hanoi Old Quarter

Day 2: Hanoi – Halong bay 

Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi 

Day 4: Hanoi - Sapa (Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat Village)

Day 5: Sapa – Muong Hoa Valley – Lao Chai – Ta Van - back to Hanoi at night. 

Day 6: Hanoi City around Free and Easy day 

Option 2: 

Day 1 – Arrive in Hanoi (Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi Nightlife)

Day 2 – Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight on cruise

Day 3 – Halong Bay - Back to Hanoi 

Day 4 – Hanoi Around the City (Ho Chi Minh Complex, Hanoi Citadel, Temple of literature) + French Quarter + Enjoy Foods to prepare for the next day

Day 5 – Ninh Binh Day Trip: Hoa Lu - Tam Coc

Day 6 – Hanoi Free & Easy day

Hanoi Itinerary 7 days

Option 1: 

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival 

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour 

Day 3: Ninh Binh

Day 4, 5: Halong Bay

Day 6,7: Hanoi 

Option 2: 

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

Day 2, 3: Halong Bay

Day 4,5,6: Sapa

  • Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa Town Square – Sapa Catholic Church – Cat Cat Village
  • Day 2: Lao Chai Village – Ta Van Village
  • Day 3: Ham Rong Mountain – Hanoi

Day 7: Hanoi Departure 

Hanoi Itinerary to the main attractions in the North Vietnam

Hanoi Itinerary (from 2 to 7 days) to the main attractions in the North Vietnam

2. Itinerary For Other Destinations Near Hanoi

3. Interesting Facts To Know About Hanoi - Planning Itinerary For Hanoi 

A fact that not many people know about is that this city – Hanoi is considered one of the oldest capitals in the world with a history of more than 1000 years. With such a long history, it’s no surprise that you can find ancient Buddist temples and pagodas, colonial buildings and architectures, war museums within the center of Hanoi. Meanwhile, Hanoi is still a growing city, trying to catch up with the fast and constant development of the world. That’s why Hanoi has this rushing and bustling side – a typical trait of a developing country’s capital.

  • Perfect Combination Of Tradition And Modernity

What’s interesting about Hanoi is the perfect combination between tradition and modernity. Visiting ancient temples or pagodas, you can get this peaceful and calm feeling with the influencecs of Buddhism. At war sites or museums, you get to learn much about the long yet tragic history of war in Vietnam. Driving on the streets filled with motorbikes and constantly blaring horns, enjoying the vibrant nightlife with some fresh beer at Old Quarter Hanoi, you feel the hustle and bustle, the openess of a this city. Those are everything that make Hanoi different from any other citites in Asia. And of course, worth to pay a visit!

  • Eat Your Heart Out 

Vietnam is famously known for its authentic and mouth-watering cuisine. Some of them are selected as best street food in the world by popular and prestigous chefs and magazines such as CNN Travel. Lucky enough, Hanoi have all these food. This is why nobody comes to Hanoi and leaves without trying these kind of dishes. Even President Barack Obama can’t hesitate giving praises to Bun Cha – a famous dish while visiting Hanoi.

  • Travelable All Year Round

Hanoi is located in the North of Vietnam and has 4 seasons in a year: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its unique traits and holidays. Spring is fun and many festivals are held, especially the traditional TET Holiday. Summer is time for school-break and traveling, all destinations are highly active during this period. Autumn is a perfect time to travel since the weather is good and the scenery here in Hanoi is truly beautiful. Winter are cold in Hanoi but the cold doesn’t prevent you from exploring this city. Hanoi is travelable throughout the whole year and for more details and considerations, please read more in Best time to visit Hanoi.

Also, if you can’t decide weather to follow which itinerary, you can find the answers in the article How many days in Hanoi?

4. Before Coming To Hanoi And Vietnam 

If you are one of those who has chosen Hanoi for your next trip, and are planning an itinerary, we think you should notice some details before coming here:

  • Things to know

Vietnam is a Southeast Asia country, it might have many differences from your area, especially if you are not from Asia region. So that it’s neccessary to know and preprare everything needed for your trip.

We summarize all the information you need in this post: Detailed Preparation For A Trip To Vietnam.

These information includes (1) Visa (2) Currency & Services (3) Weather (4) What to wear (5) Getting around Vietnam (6) Dos and Don’ts in Vietnam and even some basic Vietnamese to learn in case you need to use.

  • How to get around

From the airport, there’re many ways to book a transportation to your hotel. You can book a transfer through your hotel, or book a transfer through an agency or the fastest way is to take a taxi. Metered taxis in Hanoi are notorious for trying to rip tourists off. In order to avoid this, make sure you agree on a price before getting in.

Taking a Vespa Tour is a good option in Hanoi

Taking a Vespa Tour is a good option in Hanoi

In the Old Quarter, you’ll have no problem walking everywhere. But it’s best to book a Hanoi Tours with the locals so that the locals will lead you to the most authentic places. If walking isn’t an option, you can do a city tour by car or taxi or hop on one of the cyclos or motorbikes.

  • Safety in Hanoi 

Protecting your safety on the roads is very important while you’re in Hanoi. It’s a relief that pick-pocketing and petty theft are not common here; however, it still happens and you have to be very careful of your belongings and always be aware of them.

The steps to avoid theft are easy and usual. First of all, don’t carry lots of cash. If you have your wallet with you, keep it hidden in someplace that is hard to reach than your back pocket. With handy things like cameras, phones or purse, hold them tightly in hand while walking along the streets. That’ll prevent people on motorbikes from snatching your valuables and driving away. It’ll be a lot trickier to avoid the less obvious kind of theft, scam, but if you do a little research before your trip, it’ll be much easier to tell if you’re being cheated!

Walking on the streets can be a problem, too if you don’t know the “rules” here. On the streets, there are no designated paths for walkers and there are no crosswalks. The drivers keep driving how they want and it seems like there isn’t any rules for them. Most tourists can’t pass the streets on their own without the help of the locals and it’s a pretty scary experience for them too. That’s why you have to know the “rules” of crossing the streets here. The motorbikes don’t stop, they just go around you, which means it is extremely important not to stop after you start walking across the street. The motorbike drivers will observe you and predict what you’re going to do, then they’ll keep going and try to avoid you. The whole process can be very terrifying for some. Also, motorbikes are parked on the pavements, so be careful of people parking on where you’re staying.

  • Budget for your trip 

Prices and Costs are important things to consider while travelling. It’s good if you have a brief imagination about the prices and costs so that you can make up a budget for your trip to Hanoi.

Knowing the difficulty of travellers to have detailed information about the costs, we – the locals will provide you the knowledge. There are Accommodations prices, Food prices, Transportation prices, Popular destination entrance fees and some other expenses. Everything is included in How Much Will I Spend In Hanoi?, make sure you check this out.

We hope that this Hanoi Itinerary Blog will help you out with planning Hanoi Vietnam Itinerary. Hope you have a great great time in this beautiful country - our homeland.