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What to do in Hanoi for 4 days | BEST Hanoi Itinerary 4 days 3 nights

Quản trị hệ thống - October 17, 2018

Just arrived in Hanoi and you’re wondering “What to do in Hanoi for 4 days?” As a local tour guide for foreigners, I have my own experience in planning Hanoi itinerary of different durations. In this blog, I am happy to suggest a Hanoi Itinerary 4 days recommended by locals living in Hanoi for many years.

If your have any difficulty in planning your itinerary in Hanoi that suit your plan, don't hesitate to contact for FREE Itinerary Planning with 24/7 support.

You can see other itineraries in Hanoi 

What To Do In Hanoi For 4 days - Hanoi Itinerary 4 Days In Brief

Option 1: 2 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay 

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2,3: Halong Bay (2 days)
  • Day 4: Hanoi City 

Option 2: 3 days in Hanoi, 1 day in Ninh Binh 

  • Day 1,2: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 3: Ninh Binh 
  • Day 4: Hanoi City 

Detailed Hanoi 4 Days Itinerary 

1. OPTION 1: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi (2 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay) - What to do in Hanoi for 4 days

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter & French Quarter

In The Morning - Hanoi Old Quarter

4 days in Hanoi will start with Hanoi Old Quarter, one of the best things to do in Hanoi. Hanoi Old Quarter has a long history of 2000 years of development which is the beating heart old the city. In here, bustling life of Hanoians is reflected in the most vivid way with crowded streets of people trading with each other. The quarter consists mainly of 36 Old Streets divided and named according to their craft guides in the past, and remain most of that working system until now. This area is also the eternal soul of Hanoian cultural architecture, historic relics and religious center. This itinerary is written with the purpose to help tourists having a complete walking tour around this indispensible destination.

4 days in Hanoi Ma May

Many agencies provide FREE Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour with university students volunteer, you can search and consider to book a tour. Highly recommend: Hanoi Free Old Quarter Walking Tour. Some destinations around and near Hanoi Old Quarter you must go are:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Hồ Gươm, is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
  • Hanoi Ancient House – Located within Hanoi Old Quarter, the ancient house at 87 Ma May street which was built at the late of the Twentieth century, is quite intact with typical architecture of ancient houses on Hanoi street
  • Bach Ma Temple: In the heart of the Old Quarter, the small Bach Ma Temple is said to be the oldest temple in the city, though much of the current structure dates from the 18th century and a shrine to Confucius was added in 1839. It was originally built by Emperor Ly Thai To in the 11th century to honour a white horse that guided him to this site, where he chose to construct his city walls.
  • Dong Xuan Market: Đồng Xuân Market is a market in the center district Hoàn Kiếm of Hanoi, Vietnam. Originally built by the French administration in 1889, Đồng Xuân Market has been renovated several times with the latest in 1994 after a fire which almost destroyed the market

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In The Afternoon - Hanoi French Quarter

The French Quarter lies to the southeast of Hoan Kiem lake and has an atmosphere far more refined than the mercantile 36 streets of the Old Quarter. In the late 19th century, the French colonists demolished many of the old Vietnamese buildings and replaced them with modern and stunning French-style villas and buildings. The French Quarter architecture makes it easier to navigate than the narrow alleys of Old Quarter. The area is also home to some of Hanoi’s ritziest restaurants and hotels.

Some of the famous attractions you must stop-by and pay a visit are:

  • Hoa Lo Prison was a prison used by the French colonists in French Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. During this later period it was known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton.

4 days in Hanoi Hoa Lo Prison

  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a church on Nha Tho Street in the Hoàn Kiếm District of Hanoi, Vietnam. Its a late 19th-century Gothic Revival church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country
  • The Hanoi Opera House, or the Grand Opera House is an opera house in central Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911

Day 2: Halong Bay - The Spectacular Landscape

You should book your 2 days 1 night first and follow their itinerary. 2 days 1 night cruise is very popular in Halong Bay and many cruises provide this itinerary ranging from 3* service to 5* service depends on your needs. Below is the sample itinerary for 2 days 1 night in Halong Bay.

From around 8 a.m in the morning, depart from Hanoi to Halong Bay. You will reach Halong Bay around 3 hours later. Right after that, you check in on cruise, meet the staff and listen to the brief introduction of the cruise. Have lunch on the cruise. 

The cruise keeps moving slowly along along the limestone islands and attractions

  • Surprising Cave

Sung Sot Cave was discovered in 1901 by the French, locared in the central area of Ha Long Bay, in total Sung Sot cave cover  the area of over 10,000m², It is a typical karst cave with high scientific value. Back then, when they were surprised by the variability in the cave and called it “Grotte Des Surprises”.

4 days in Hanoi Sung Sot cave

  • Titov Island 

Titov Island is considered as one of the most attractive beauty spots in Halong Bay. This island is the harmonious combination of white clouds, blue sky, and emerald sea water. 

Keep cruising to Titov island. You can go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Titov or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.

  • Sunset Party on sundeck

Enjoy your night on cruise with fellow travellers with sunset party. Have dinner on cruise and take part in board games, fish for squid, or just laze around. Spend overnight on board. 

Day 3: Halong Bay - Back to Hanoi 

  • Tai Chi Exercises

Start your day with Tai Chi Exercises on cruise in the early morning. Then have breakfast while keep cruising through beautiful islands and islets.

  • Kayaking 

Kayaking is an exciting activity that you cannot miss when visit Halong Bay. Sitting on a tiny kayak, paddling in the blue water, wriggling into the cave, or touching the stalactites, ... what's more amazing! Halong Bay has been voted by National Geographic Adventures as one of the top 25 Kayak Tours in the world. Clear and blue water, large space and calm tides, Halong Bay is the perfect location for this experience. The feeling of rowing boats through the majestic caves that heavy ships can’t navigate is definitely great.

4 days in Hanoi - Halong Bay

  • Trong Mai Islet (Fighting Cock Rocks)

Trong Mai islet, also known as “Ga Choi”, is usually one of the first islets that you will see during your trip. Shaped like a pair of chickens rising from the blue sea, these rocks make up the most well-known islet in Halong Bay. The name “Trong – Mai” evokes the image of male and female with loyal love and cohesion. With its artistic value and meaning, Trong Mai has become a symbol of Ha Long Bay.

The name “Trong Mai” conjures up the image of men – women with love and cohesion. Beautifully shaped stone block was associated with the romantic legend of a faithful relationship.

  • Dau Go Cave

Situated on Dau Go island in Ha Long Bay, Dau Go Cave is considered one of the most beautiful caves in Vietnam. The cave is approximately 5,000m2, divided into three main sections with a 17m wide entrance. At the end of the cave is a well of clear water surrounded by four ancient walls. Apart from the beautiful stalactites, Dau Go is also well-known for its great diversity of plants like moss, ferns and woody trees,… distinguishing it from some of the other caves.

Back to Hanoi in the afternoon and spend a night in Hanoi.

Day 4: Hanoi City Tour 

In the last day, if your time allow, take a Hanoi City Tour to explore around the city. You can choose to do a Hanoi City Tour to Ho Chi Minh Complex and Temple of Literature.

  • Ho Chi Minh Complex – The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietna
  • West Lake –  is the biggest freshwater lake of northwest center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km and 500 hectare in area, this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas.
  • Long Bien Bridge – Long Biên Bridge is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River that connects two districts, Hoan Kiem and Long Bien of the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. It was originally called Paul Doumer Bridge.

4 days in Hanoi - City

That's a wrap of 4 days itinerary in hanoi for option 1. Let's move on and see what we have in the option 2.


2. Option 2: 3 days in Hanoi, 1 day in Ninh Binh - What to do in Hanoi for 4 days

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter + Hanoi French Quarter

The first day plan will be just like the option 1. Scroll up for details.

Day 2: Hanoi City (Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature + Museum of Ethonology)

4 days in Hanoi - Women Museum

  • Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country.

Day 3: Hidden gem Ninh Binh

This vast religious complex can still be an exception even when you are not a huge fan of pagodas and temples. Its unique traditional architecture and historical values make it the pride of Vietnamese Buddhist pilgrims.

  • Bai Dinh Pagoda 

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a bombastic Buddhist complex, built on a vast scale, that rises up a hillside near Ninh Binh. Construction was completed in 2014, and it's now a huge attraction for Vietnamese tourists. The entrance leads to cloistered walkways past 500 stone arhats(enlightened Buddhists) lining the route to the main triple-roofed Phap Chu Pagoda. This contains a 10m, 100-tonne bronze Buddha, flanked by two more gilded Buddha figures.

Bai Dinh Pagoda is also the largest pagoda in Vietnam and holds so many records for itself.

  • Take a pleasure boat trip at Trang An Landscape Complex

The destination has been officially recognized as World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO. Your trip to Trang An can be simply mesmerizing thanks to its geographic wonders of caves, canals, and lakes.

A 2-hour rowboat trip through beautiful waterways and spectacular rocky caves with a local lady will never let you down!

4 days in Hanoi Ninh Binh

Boat Trip at Trang An Landscape Complex

Getting into a wooden boat made me feel like the main character in an adventure novel!

Day 4: Bat Trang Village

  • Say goodbye to Hanoi

3. Local tips for Hanoi 4d3n Itinerary

  • When visiting central Hanoi, you had better wear trainers because walking will be the main and the most convenient way to reach tourist destinations.
  • You should not forget to apply sunscreen, especially during summertime.
  • It is completely okay to visit Halong Bay in only 1 day. Yet, if you are really interested in this destination, I highly recommend your spending one more night on board. You can visit more tourist attractions, and there are sure to be many more exciting activities.
  • In case you have special requirement for food on the cruise, please remember to notice when booking.
  • There are loads to prepare for 4 days in Hanoi Vietnam. I recommend AZ Local Trip if you need expert advice from the local.

Booking a 4d3n Hanoi tour package or Hanoi 4 days 3 nights tour can be a good choice.

  • My blog What to do in Hanoi for 5 days or Hanoi Itinerary 7 days have already been published if you have more time and desire to discover even more.

Based on my three suggested Hanoi itinerary 4 days above, I hope you can now answer the question "What to do in Hanoi for 4 days ?". I hope that you will have an unforgettable journey in Vietnam. Feel free to contact for a further recommendation.