Old Quarter Hanoi is the “heart and soul” of the capital city. A place to save ancient culture, memory of times and indeed the best place to visit!
Located in the prime destination – the center of Hanoi, Old Quarter Hanoi has preserved the characteristics of this lands, memories of history, country and people.
Through the ups and downs, the streets are still alive to this day and become a place that many visitors visit at least once in their life.
There are some recommends for you, especially newcomers, to know more about the place. Now let’s acknowledge yourself about the spiritual symbol of Hanoi!
1. Overview of Hanoi Old Quarter & Things to do
Since the 15th century, Old Quarter has featured a local lifestyle in ancient houses and at a slow pace of living. Throughout more than 1000 years, Hanoi Old Quarter still keeps a mysterious look but full of charm, which has enchanted many visitors coming here.
Originally, the Quarter consists of 36 main old streets, most of which were begun with “Hang” and originated from names of types of merchandise produced and traded such as Hang Duong (Sugar), Hang Muoi ( Salt) …
Therefore, Hanoi Old Quarter is known with another name “Hanoi – 36 old streets”. Besides, there are a lot of old historical sites associated with the formation and development of the Old Quarter.
Visit Old Quarter Hanoi, you will be able to explore Asian architectures which have remained for thousands of years. Moreover, travel here even only a day, you will have the chance to experience the daily life of Hanoian and understand their lifestyles.
A lot of people visiting here more than one time because of endless traditional value in the breath of modern life which attracts them and make them curious about Vietnamese culture.
How about following our below route recommended to you to have the best understanding of Old Quarter Hanoi?
- Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son temple.
- Ly Thai To garden.
- Ma May ancient house.
- Bach Ma temple.
- Dong Xuan Market.
- O Quan Chuong – An Old Gate.
- Long Bien Bridge.
For more, check out Things to do in Hanoi – Hanoi bucket list 2019!
Map of Old Quarter Hanoi
Guide map for tourists coming to the Old Quarter Hanoi
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2. The Old Quarter Hanoi Attractions
Now, we will introduce you each destination in our given routes.
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple.
Coming to Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake would be the first destination appearing in visitors’ minds.
Located in the center of Hanoi, the lake is one of the major sceneries in Hanoi and serves as a focal point for its public life.
Beautiful Turtle Tower, located in the center of Hoan Kiem Lake, when all the light’s on
Related to a legend of Vietnamese history – Le Loi King returned the sword to Turtle God, Hoan Kiem Lake has attracted a huge number of tourists every day to explore the local daily lives and enjoy the atmosphere, both day and night in Hanoi!
Visiting here, you will get impressed immediately with the unique Asian architecture when you walk on The Huc Bridge to enter Ngoc Son temple.
The entrance leads to ancient Ngoc Son Temple
- Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem district.
- Price/Entrance fee: 30.000 VND
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Ly Thai To garden
Opened on October, 7th 2004 to celebrate 50 years of Hanoi liberation and 1000 years of Thang Long, Ly Thai To garden is a place for not only locals but also tourists to visit and hang out every day.
There is a copper statue of Ly Thai To King which is 32 tons of weight and 10.10 meters height to contribute who built the old capital of Thang Long.
The feature is the length (1010 centimeters) is also the year that the capital was moved from Hoa Lu Ninh Ninh to Thang Long Hanoi
- Address: Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem district
- Price/Entrance fee: FREE
Ly Thai To Kinh statue at the garden
Ma May ancient house
One of 14 old house in Hanoi built at the end of 19th century, Ma May ancient house has become a place to provide information and display the picture of old Hanoi as well as old Hanoian.
After getting restored many times, Ma May ancient house still remains almost all features of the original one.
Come to the ancient house to contemplate this unique architecture
Moreover, if you are lucky when visiting here on some special occasions, you may have a chance to join in and enjoy some cultural events such as Ca Tru show.
- Address: No.87 Ma May street. Hoan Kiem district
- Price/Entrance fee: 10.000 VND
Bach Ma Temple
Built in 9th century, located in the middle of Old Quarter Hanoi, Bach Ma Temple – one of the Four Palaces of Hanoi – has a typical old Asian architecture which is mostly of Nguyen dynasty style in the 19th century.
The Guardian’s God at Bach Ma Temple
The temple was believed to be sacred so it has attracted a lot of locals and tourists to visit and pray throughout many years.
- Address: No.76 Hang Buom street, Old Quarter Hanoi, Hoan Kiem district
- Price/Entrance fee: FREE
Dong Xuan Market
Opened in 1889 by the French government, Dong Xuan market with a prime location of the center of Old Quarter Hanoi the place for locals and tourists to visit as well as purchase things.
With the area is more than 6.500 square meters, the French architecture market is divided into many parts selling different items such as clothes, food, toys, and fabrics also.
Near Dong Xuan market, there is Hanoi night market which is organized on Friday night and Weekend night, as an interesting activity for tourists
- Address: Hang Dao street, Hoan Kiem district
- Price/Entrance fee: FREE
Dong Xuan Market is the biggest indoor market of Hanoi
O Quan Chuong – Old City Gate
This is the West gate of Thang Long old city which was built in 1749 and reconstructed in the third year of Gia Long (1817).
As the only gate still remaining these days, O Quan Chuong is perfect for anyone who wants to see an Asian architecture and learn about Vietnamese history.
- Address: O Quan Chuong street
- Price/Entrance fee: FREE
The last remaining gate of Thang Long Citadel
Long Bien Bridge
Constructed in 1899 – 1902, Long Bien Bridge was opened in 1903 which has the original name of “Paul-Doumer Bridge”. Although being bombed heavily by the American army, some original parts of the bridge still remain intact until today.
With the length of 2290m across the river, Long Bien Bridge is the first bridge in Hanoi which has experienced all the events of Hanoi.
Long Bien bridge is the symbol of courageousness during wartime
With 3 lanes for railways and roads for motor vehicles, the bride is not only for using purpose but also for history memory maintaining.
- Address: Long Bien district
- Price/Entrance fee: FREE
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Snail Rice Noodle
The small lane that is only a few hundred meters long, located on the side of Dong Xuan market attracts thousands of visitors every day because of hundreds of Vietnamese food.
The most famous two dishes in this lane are Snail Rice Noodle and Bun Cha!
Snail Rice Noodle is sour and spicy with many toppings, including pickled bamboo shoots, dried radish, fried bean curds and fresh green vegetables.
- Address: Dong Xuan Market
- Average price: 10.000 – 35.000 VND
Mouth-watering snail rice noodle is perfect for breakfast
Lasting for more than half of the century, Bat Dan has become an art of Pho, makes Pho to be a masterpiece.
When you come to Hanoi and want to experience Hanoi old life, Bat Dan is one of the best things show how Hanoian start their daily lives. So get yourself the best Street Food Tour ever!
- Address: Bat Dan Street, Hoan Kiem district.
- Average price: 30.000 – 50.000 VND
Pho – The signature dish of Vietnam
Although the restaurant is small and located in a small lane, there are always a lot of customers coming here every day.
With the carefully marinated process, the taste the bun cha of Hang Quat’s is different from that of other restaurants. Some said because of the aroma, they find and come to this restaurant.
- Address: Hang Quat Street.
- Average price: 25.000 – 40.000 VND
Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind dish while in Hanoi
Pillow cake (Banh goi) and deep-fried cuisine
Located on Ly Quoc Su Street, right near St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi, the restaurant has become a destination for both locals and tourists living in Hanoi.
Best eaten in the winter, hot deep-fried cuisine helps customers get the warmth and “crisp” flavor. With the mixture of sour, sweet and spicy, the sauce of this dish can even satisfy the most difficult customers.
- Address: No.52 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem Hanoi
- Average price: 7.000- 25.000 VND
Yellow crispy pillow cakes are ready to be served
Southern mixed rice paper
As one of the features of Vietnam street food, southern mixed rice paper attracts customers in a different way from other street foods.
Coming from the south of Vietnam, this dish has been changed a little bit in the recipe to match the taste of the North, which makes the customers experience a different flavor from those of Southern dish.
Ready to take a bite of this colorful southern mixed rice paper?
Easily to be recognized on Hang Trong street, the restaurant has welcomed hundreds of customers every day!
- Address: No.86 Hang Trong street, Hoan Kiem district
- Average price: 20.000 VND
Sen buffet restaurant
As one of the best restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter, Sen has been a high-class buffet for gourmets coming and living in Hanoi.
Visiting this restaurant, the customers will have the chance to enjoy more than 150 dishes of Vietnam, European, Asian, and Australia…and have a beautiful view of Hanoi.
With a European decoration, the restaurant gives customers a feeling of a luxury place but still have some Vietnamese corners to help especially foreign tourists to experience Vietnamese culture.
- Address: No.60 Ly Thai To street, Hoan Kiem district
- Average price: 320.000 – 450.000 VND
4. What To Do In Old Quarter Hanoi
Hanoi Walking Street
Open every weekend, Hanoi Walking Street has been a destination for both locals and tourists to hang out and have some fun.
Visitors can join in many traditional games with locals here
Coming here, visitors will be able to join in many Vietnamese traditional games, enjoy music street shows or just take some beautiful pictures.
The street has brought joy and satisfaction to visitors, and there seems to be no difference in language, culture,…between locals and tourists. This is a place for everyone to enjoy the atmosphere of Hanoi!
- Address: Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem street
- Average price: FREE
“O An Quan” – a Vietnamese traditional game
Thang Long water puppet show
Thang Long Puppet Show has been an ideal cultural destination as well as a unique spirit program for tourists.
Throughout many years with a lot of improvements, Thang Long Theater now has modern facilities ready to serve up to 300 guests every show.
Perform 365 days in a year, the water puppet show has attracted many tourists every day to explore Vietnamese cultural essence!
- Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem district
- Average price: 100.000 VND/adults – 60.000 VND/kids
- Learn about Vietnam culture through a water puppet show
Ta Hien night street
Coming Ta Hien street in the evening, you would be surprised by the number of people visiting here every day, mostly youngsters.
There are a lot of restaurants as well as bars to serve all the guests coming here with both Vietnamese and European dishes. This is a perfect place to gather and talk with friends for a night in Hanoi.
- Address: Ta Hien street
- Average price: 80.000 – 100.000 VND
- Take a chance to make friend with locals here!
Night Market at Hang Dao Street
With the length of 3 kilometers, night market in Hanoi are nearly 4000 stores with hundreds of items, from clothes, shoes to souvenirs, handicraft…with a medium price.
Guests coming here can find a lot of Vietnamese street food as well as enjoy featured street music show.
- Address: Hang Dao street
- Opening time: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night
Families and friends gather at Ta Hien every night
5. Local Tips when visiting the Old Quarter in Hanoi (Hanoi Old Town)
- Best visiting in Autumn as the weather is cooler, the ground is more beautiful with falling leafs
- Best tacked with an English-speaking local guide on your side.
- Watch out for the guys trying to repair your shoes – what they do is spray your shoes with something which dissolves the glue! Find out how to prevent scams in Hanoi Old Quarter in  Hanoi Scams
“I kept refusing, saying “no, no, no” but he still took off my sandals and started to glue the soles.”
- To understand the beauty of the Old quarter, sitting in a pavement restaurant and look up on rather than eating in a luxury diner and looking down.
- Pavement restaurant often has more delicious and original dishes with a more reasonable price rather than those in a luxury restaurant.
- Always ask the price before purchasing or eating anything.
- Try to bargain for the items you want to buy. Do not accept the first price offered!
- Best travel on foot to watch the street and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Be aware of robbers while traveling. Take care of your own stuffs.
- Camera or smartphone is necessary to carry to capture your moment but once again, be aware of robbers.
With our local experience, I hope that you will get a deeper understand about Old Quarter Hanoi and can choose the places as well as activities that fit your travel purpose ad travel-mate as friends, family, couple or even solos.
If you have any further question, feel free to contact us. AZ are here to help!