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 or what to do in Hanoi for 4 days with budget consideration.
You can choose to visit either 2 or 3 destinations during your 4-day stay in Hanoi (Northern Vietnam).
What to do in Hanoi for 4 days?
I. What to do in Hanoi for 4 days? 3 destinations: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay
Day 1: Charming central Hanoi
- Arrive in Hanoi
- Discover Hanoi Old Quarter of 36 commercial streets.
Shopaholics can always find cool Vietnamese original products here. Besides, if you wish to observe the local lifestyle of Hanoian, just get on a cyclo around. Eastern-Western constructions here also spark the interest of all architecture enthusiasts on the spot.
I have already included Hanoi Old Quarter in my detailed 1-day Hanoi itinerary.
- Go on a food tour
Excellent cuisine of Vietnam always leaves a deep impression on travelers’ mind.
It will be great to take your time, seek local assistance for recommended street food vendors.
Day 2: Hidden gem Ninh Binh
- Arrive in Ninh Binh Province
- Learn the cultural and spiritual life of Vietnamese people at Bai Dinh Pagoda
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.
- 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!
Getting into a wooden boat made me feel like the main character in an adventure novel!
- Return to Hanoi
Day 3: Natural wonder Halong Bay
- Start a 4-hour drive to Halong Bay and get on a cruise at noon
- Have lunch while cruising through Stone Dog Islet and Burning Incense Islet
Vietnamese people consider Stone Dog Islet a sea guardian for the life on the bay. It also takes care of local fishermen and tourists to Halong Bay.
Burning Incense Islet is shaped like a giant incense stand in the middle of the sea. Not only I myself but many others also feel it as a sacred object for heaven and earth.
- Visit Ba Hang fishing village for kayaking or sit in a bamboo boat rowed by locals.
You have an enjoyable experience to cast the fishing net yourself as a real fisherman.
At sunset or sunrise, Ba Hang Fishing Village features a poetic and charming picture of a romantic beauty.
- Visiting Fighting Cock Islet and Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace)
- Cruise back and return to Hanoi
Day 4: Hanoi
- Visit some location in Hanoi French Quarter if time allowed
The quarter is known as A little Paris in Hanoi for its aesthetic beauty. In case you want to explore impressive colonial relics, my blog 2-day Hanoi itinerary will provide necessary information.
- Say goodbye to Hanoi
Hanoi Old Quarter – Bai Dinh Pagoda – Trang An Landscape Complex – Halong Bay – Stone Dog Islet – Burning Incense Islet – Ba Hang Fishing Village – Fighting Cock Islet – Thien Cung Cave – Hanoi French Quarter
II. What to do in Hanoi for 4 days?- With 2 destinations
II.1. Option 1: Hanoi – Ninh Binh
Day 1, 2: Historic and Cultural Hanoi
In the first two days in Hanoi, you can follow the Best 2-day Hanoi itinerary that I have posted.
Day 3: Hidden gem Ninh Binh
Please read Day 2 of I. Hanoi itinerary 4 days with 3 destinations for details.
Day 4: Cuisine Hanoi
If time allowed, book a street food tour with English speaking student guide before departure for the best taste of Hanoi.
Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh Complex – Temple of Literature – Hoan Kiem Lake – Hanoi Old Quarter – Hanoi French Quarter – Bai Dinh Pagoda – Trang An Landscape Complex
II.2. Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Day 1: Charming central Hanoi
Please read Day 1 of I. Hanoi itinerary 4 days with 3 destinations for details.
Day 2: Halong – Hon Gai Harbour – Bai Tu Long Bay – Thien Canh Son Cave
- Enter Hon Gai International Harbour at noon time
- Have lunch while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay
- Explore Thien Canh Son Cave
You can enjoy the exotic beauty of limestone stalagmites formed over thousands of years. It feels as if I was in a fantasy land during the trip to this cave.
The ceiling of Thien Canh Son is covered with a “shining carpet”. Shimmering stalactites look like hanging lights.
- Relax at Hon Co Island, swim or go kayaking
Hon Co Island has not been exposed to a huge number of tourists as other islands in Halong Bay. Its pristine and untouched beauty is well preserved.
If seeking adventures, just go kayaking in secret lagoons, sun-kissed beaches and peaceful floating and fishing villages on your own. If not, you can simply choose to relax on the white sand and swim a little like me!
- Have dinner on board
Day 3: Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Hon Gai Harbour
- Do taichi exercises on board before having breakfast
You can still manage to have a basic workout session even during your busy trip to the far away land. Instructors will carefully show you an introduction to this effective form of martial art.
- Visit Vung Vieng Fishing Village by a rustic row-boat
Everyone easily gets immersed in the calm atmosphere while gliding on the water. This is also a great chance to gain insight into local lifestyle.
It is always my favourite part of the trip to sit on the wooden boat watching the natural scenery.
- Check out and visit Yen Duc Village for a water puppet show
Water puppetry perfectly represents Vietnamese rural life. Meaningful folk stories are uniquely and attractively retold in the water with puppets as performers.
I am pretty sure you all will be stunned by this traditional art form like me. Just grab the golden chance to enjoy a theatrical masterpiece.
- Return to Hanoi
Day 4: Cuisine Hanoi
Street food of Hanoi is something that I am so proud of. This is the golden chance that you should not miss!
Hanoi Old Quarter – Hon Gai Harbour – Bai Tu Long Bay – Thien Canh Son Cave – Hon Co Island – Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Yen Duc Village – Hanoi
I hope you now you can anwer the question “What to do in Hanoi for 4 days” and be able to enjoy your best time in Hanoi. Below, we give you some local tips just in case you need them.
III. Local tips
- 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, you can make changes of your own to suit your interests. I hope that you will have an unforgettable journey in Vietnam. Feel free to contact for a further recommendation.