Hanoi for 1 day itinerary

One day in Hanoi – What to do in Hanoi for a day

Posted By : khaipv/ 167 0

Having been a tour guide for international tourists for a few years, I have gained precious experience in organizing day trips.

Though one day is quite a limited amount of time, you can still manage to see the realist of Hanoi with well-selected destinations.

Hope that AZ Local Trip’s suggestion for your 1-day itinerary (including budget, what to see in Hanoi in one day, What to do in Hanoi for a day, transportation guide) will help.

See more: Fun things to do in Hanoi

I. Budget for one day in Hanoi

Sightseeing entrance fee Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House $1.75
Temple of Literature $1.32
Meals Breakfast $1.5
Lunch $2-4
Dinner $3-6
Local beer $2-5
Transportation Taxi ≈$8
Bus $0.3/ride
Cyclo $4-8

You may approximately spend $40 in total for one day in Hanoi.

II. Detailed What to do in Hanoi for a day

II.1. Morning in Hanoi: Ho Chi Minh Complex – Temple of Literature

Breakfast with banh mi

You can find savory banh mi in many food stalls at Hanoi Old Quarter. This delicious dish is sure to give you enough energy to start exploring Hanoi.

Banh mi - One day in Hanoi
Banh mi Hanoi for breakfast

Destination 1: Ho Chi Minh Complex

Ho Chi Minh Complex is included in most tours to Hanoi even for Vietnamese people.

It is hard to say that you have come to Hanoi without paying a visit to this top national historic site. Just grab your chance to gain an understanding of the Vietnamese leading figure as well as part of Vietnamese history.

1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Location: No. 2 Hung Vuong Street, Dien Ban Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi 100000

You can take a taxi to the location.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum only opens from 07:30 to 10:30 am (summertime) or 08:00 to 11:00 am (wintertime). Even if you want to rearrange the schedule, please take your time to visit the mausoleum in the morning.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - One day in Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The architectural combination of both Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow and distinctive Vietnamese features has always made a deep impression on me.

2. Ho Chi Minh Stilt House

Location: No.1 Bach Thao Street, Ngoc Ha Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi 100000

Only 5-minute walk from the mausoleum will take you to the second attraction within Ho Chi Minh Complex. Map

The modest stilt house demonstrates a frugal life of President Ho Chi Minh. Through that, you can understand why he has won the heart and respect of all Vietnamese generations.

The cozy atmosphere prevailing in this lovely house makes this my favorite destination in the complex.  

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House - one day in hanoi
A corner inside Ho Chi Minh Stilt House
3. One Pillar Pagoda

Another 5-minute walk will take you to One Pillar Pagoda. Map

One Pillar Pagoda is one of the two most iconic Buddhist temples in Vietnam. You will be surprised by the unique architectural feature which gave the pagoda the name One Pillar.

One Pillar Pagoda - One day in Hanoi
Steps leading to One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi

Destination 2: Temple of Literature

Location: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da District, Hanoi

You can take a 20-minute walk to the first official educational institution of Vietnam.

A lot of students particularly flock here before examinations to pray for luck. Temple of Literature is also a common spot for students to shoot photos for their yearbook.

Noticeably, Ong Do (Vietnamese calligraphers) sit patiently inside or around the Literature Temple to produce great meaningful handwritings on red paper.

Temple of Literature- one day in Hanoi
Ong Do at Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Before the entrance exam to university, I came here for a calligraphy of the word “Đỗ” (pass) and it really did bring me good fortune.

II.2. Afternoon in Hanoi: Hoan Kiem Lake – Hanoi Old Quarter

Lunch with pho

pho - one day in Hanoi
A Steaming bowl of pho for lunch

AZ Local Trip suggests having a steaming bowl of pho to recharge yourself before resuming your adventure.

Pho 24 at 61 Van Mieu Street is a good choice and it is only 500 meters from Temple of Literature.

Destination 3: Hoan Kiem Lake

It is okay to either catch bus route 23 (or 18, 34) or take a taxi to Hoan Kiem Lake – the heart of Hanoi.

Enjoying a leisurely stroll around the lake is always the best way to indulge yourself in the everyday active life of Hanoian. Local people often do exercises here. 

Hoan Kiem Lake - one day in Hanoi
Everyday activities around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

 Destination 4: Hanoi Old Quarter

With its combination of charming French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples and pagodas, the Old Quarter of thirty-six streets is a unique commercial district.

Hanoi Old quarter - one day in Hanoi
A charming corner of the Old Quarter at night

You can choose to observe the vibrancy of the local lifestyle here by getting on a “xich lo” (cyclo).

II.3. Evening in Hanoi: Hanoi Old Quarter

Dinner with bun cha

Former US President Barack Obama had a meal at a local bun cha restaurant during his visit to Vietnam in 2016. This unique and delicious yet affordable dish has certainly left a favorable impression on many international tourists to Hanoi.

Bun cha - one day in Hanoi
The savory Bun cha with the tasty Golden color of fried Nem

Local beer at Hanoi Old Quarter

It is interesting for foreign visitors to find out that drinking beer is a huge part of Hanoi street culture, especially among the youth.

Some streets in Hanoi Old Quarter such as Ta Hien or Luong Ngoc Quyen are packed with people coming for beer from 7 pm to midnight.

III. Local tips for 1 day in Hanoi

  • Dressing properly (no shorts, mini skirt or tank-top) is a must when visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex. You had better wear trainers because of a long walk.
  • You cannot smoke, drink and eat inside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature.
  • You can only take pictures or videotape under allowance at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Temple of Literature.
  • You are advised to make a deal in advance with the taxi drivers.

I hope that my suggestion will work well, and you will have an unforgettable one day in Hanoi. Feel free to contact AZ Local Trip if you need further advice.

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