Many foreign tourists are in search of Top Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam. As a busy capital city of a developing country, Hanoi is placing increasing emphasis on promoting tourism.
There are now more and more interesting things to do offered to travellers.
I have been a tour guide for several years, so I have talked to many international friends about their experiences in Hanoi. This list of Top 10 Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam is compiled based on their most favourite tourist attractions and activities.
Whether you have got a romantic soul or an adventurous spirit or a lifelong passion for food, my blog will have something for your wish.
I will mention the main feature of each thing so that you can make your own decision.
- Things to do around and near Hanoi
- Things to do in Hanoi at Night
- Free and Cheap things to do in Hanoi
Things To Do in Hanoi (Attractions, Foods and Activities)
I. Top 3 Tourist Attractions in Hanoi
1. Main places to Visit in Hanoi
Visiting major tourist attractions cannot be excluded from any lists of top things to do in Hanoi for sure.
- Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, One Pillar Pagoda
- Temple of Literature
- Hanoi French Quarter: Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, St. Joseph’s Cathedral
- Hanoi Old Quarter
AZ Local Trip offers walking tours to major tourist attractions. You may want to take those into consideration to make the best of top ten things to do in Hanoi.
- Old Quarter Tour: Hoan Kiem Lake – Ma May Ancient House – Hanoi Old Quarter – Dong Xuan Market
- City Tour: Hoan Kiem Lake – Hoa Lo Prison – Temple of Literature – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – Tran Quoc Pagoda
- French Quarter Tour: St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Hoa Lo Prison – Hanoi Opera House
2. Chilling at Hoan Kiem Lake and Long Bien Bridge
It must be on the list of anyone who is seeking a relaxing vacation.
You can either take a leisure stroll or simply have a seat at a random stone bench around Hoan Kiem Lake. Just imagine that peaceful moment away from your hectic everyday life.
It is also a much-needed relief to watch the sunset while walking along Long Bien Bridge.
You also can see: Things To Do In Hanoi Old Quarter – For your best travel experience
II. Foods – Top Foods of “Things to do” Pocket
1. Having local food
You cannot say that you have been to Hanoi without taking a street food tour. There are wide range of delicious local specialties here.
A steaming bowl of beef pho is my preference for breakfast. Banh mi to recharge yourself is a great idea, too. You can find the yummiest dishes ever in all street food vendors!
And don’t forget to give egg coffee a try. You will not be able to find it anywhere in the world.
For the best food stall recommendation, you may need a local expert. It can be a good idea to go on a Street food tour with a student guide. You will have nice talks while enjoying Vietnamese cuisine. Feel free to contact us for further details.
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III. Activities that all almost Travelers do in Hanoi
4. Enjoying nightlife
The next in the list of top things to do in Hanoi is enjoying an amazing nightlife.
The local nightlife in this busy capital city is just fun!
After dark, you may simply take a heritage walk and wander along the street.
Otherwise, just tap into local beer. It is like the one of a kind activity of Hanoians. I am pretty sure you will find yourself some nice local buddies at beer corner in Hanoi Old Quarter.
5. Shopping like a local
10 best things to do in Hanoi must include shopping.
Where to shop like a local
Please look at my recommendation and find something for yourself!
- Hanoi Old Quarter: Hanoi Old Quarter of 36 commercial streets have different main featured products. You can purchase quality craftsmen at Hang Gai Street, paper products at Hang Ma Street or silver jewelry and antiques at Hang Bac Street, etc.
- Dong Xuan Market: This largest indoor market in Hanoi just has everything!
- Hanoi Night Market: Don’t miss it if you visit Hanoi on the weekend!
How to shop like a local
- Not many stores accept card. Especially in the market, you can only pay in cash.
- It is okay to browse around a little at first. You can find your most favourite items and purchase after that.
- You can negotiate the price off 10-40% from the quoted price. The “fixed price” claimed at tourist shops is not really fixed.
6. Visiting unusual sites
Alternative things to do in Hanoi will help you discover a different aspect of this capital city.
- Museums: Vietnam Women’s Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Vietnam Museum of Revolution
- Bat Trang Ceramic Village
- Hanoi Railway Street
7. Experiencing Vietnamese iconic vehicles
Hanoi is said to be a city of crazy traffic, and it really is. In case you are seeking adventure, why not give motorbike a thought?
If you do not have a driving license, it is still okay to find a local buddy to give you a ride after all!
Motorbike tour is available for adventurers like you. Local experts always have great tips and instructions!
Cyclo tour is also very popular among tourists in central Hanoi. Getting on a cyclo to observe everyday life of the people here is in my must-do list whenever I visit Hanoi Old Quarter or Hoan Kiem Lake.
8. Watching traditional shows
It will be amazing to take your time and enjoy certain traditional shows.
- Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre: traditional art form – water puppetry
- Hanoi Opera House: Vietnamese plays
- iONAH: unique Hanoian modernism
9. Enjoying festival time in Hanoi
There are particularly more Vietnamese traditional activities during festivals in Hanoi. You can have even more fun when visiting Hanoi at such time.
- Tet Holiday: New Year Holiday of Vietnam based on the lunar calendar
- Co Loa Festival: January 6-16th for commemorating King An Duong Vuong
- Tay Ho Temple Festival: March 3-7th (lunar calendar)
- Mid-Autumn Festival: August 15th (lunar calendar)
10. Taking day/overnight trips
Once you have more time in Hanoi (Northern Vietnam), taking day trips or overnight trips is considered a must in top things to do in Hanoi.
Some of the destinations are:
- Ninh Binh Province – a hidden gem
- Halong Bay – a natural wonder of the world
- Sa Pa – amazing mountainous area
There are a bunch of great things to do in Hanoi Vietnam, so you may need more time to consider. I hope that my blog does good and somehow assists you in planning your journey