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.
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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 indispensable destination.
Dong Xuan market located in the Hanoi Old Quarter is the largest indoor market of Hanoi. Plenty of goods and foods are waiting for you!
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:
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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 the 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:
The thrilling feeling that you can find in some horror movies
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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 the cruise, meet the staff and listen to the brief introduction of the cruise. Have lunch on the cruise. (Tips to Choose Halong Bay Cruise)
The cruise keeps moving slowly along the limestone islands and attractions
Sung Sot Cave was discovered in 1901 by the French, located in the central area of Ha Long Bay, in total Sung Sot cave cover the area of over 10.000 square meters, 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”.
Surprising Cave will surprise you for sure
Titov Island is considered 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.
Enjoy your night on the cruise with fellow travelers with sunset party. Have dinner on the cruise and take part in board games, fish for squid, or just laze around. Spend overnight on board.
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Start your day with Tai Chi Exercises on the cruise in the early morning. Then have breakfast while keep cruising through beautiful islands and islets.
Kayaking is an exciting activity that you cannot miss when visiting 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.
Explore the amazing bay on your own just with a kayak
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. The beautifully shaped stone block was associated with the romantic legend of a faithful relationship.
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 5.000 square meters, divided into three main sections with a 17 meters 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.
In the last day, if your time allows, 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.
The proud of Hanoians during wars and nowadays
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.
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The first-day plan will be just like option 1. Scroll up for details.
Gain a deeper understanding of Vietnamese, you will be beyond amazed!
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.
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 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 10 meter, 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.
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!
Boat Trip at Trang An Landscape Complex
Getting into a wooden boat made me feel like the main character in an adventure novel!
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.