Located along the bank of the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, home to a population of around 8.5 million residents. Hanoi is renowned as a perfect combination of the timeless cultural values of the old and the dynamic, colorful vibes of the new. Let’s discover Hanoi Travel Guide below together with Asia Legend Travel to fully experience this vibrant city!

Hanoi Travel Guide: Overview of Hanoi

Hanoi or Ha Noi is the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam. It covers an area of over three thousand square kilometers. Located within the Red River Delta of Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is after Ho Chi Minh City the second cultural and political center of Vietnam.

The modern Hanoi in the morning
The modern Hanoi in the morning

Hanoi city can trace its history back to over 2000 years ago, from the historic Vietnamese nation of Au Lac. As time has passed, Hanoi has become a major tourist destination in Vietnam which is rich in history and culture. Hanoi offers well-preserved French colonial architecture, religious sites dedicated to Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism and Taoism, several historical landmarks of Vietnamese imperial periods, and a large number of museums. The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Ba Dinh District was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

The ancient beauty of the Hanoi Train Street
The ancient beauty of the Hanoi Train Street

However, today’s Hanoi city is about much more than the past. This ancient city has become vigorous with modern cafes, world-class restaurant chains, and vivid art galleries. When the sun goes down, people have their pick of watering holes, from lavish rooftop bars to buzzing draft beer restaurants.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-visit tourist attractions

Let’s explore top destinations visitors should not miss out on in the Hanoi Travel Guide below!

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the traditional heart of Vietnam’s capital. Each of the 36 streets is named for a particular trade. Visitors can spend hours strolling through the network of tranquil narrow lanes that retain their quaintness over the years.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Hanoi Old Quarter

Sword Lake

Sword Lake, also known as Hoan Kiem Lake, is located in the heart of Hanoi’s old quarter, making it an ideal destination for all excursions. This lake is associated with a thousand-year-old myth that is familiar to any Hanoian. When visiting this lake, travelers can not only experience the history but also marvel at other attractions built inside it, such as Thap Rua (Turtle Tower), The Huc Bridge, and Ngoc Son Temple.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Sword Lake
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Sword Lake

West Lake

West Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi city, offering stunning views and historical sites nearby. Its beauty enchants Hanoians all day long, from the tranquil and misty mornings to the vibrant and bustling evenings. There are also many water activities available around the lake, such as bicycling and watching the sunset, making it a great place to enjoy both the scenery and outdoor activities.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - West Lake
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – West Lake

Temple of Literature

As a well-known tourist attraction in Hanoi, the Temple of Literature is also considered Vietnam’s first university, which nurtured talent for the country. To this day, the temple remains a symbol of the cradle of Vietnamese thousand-year civilization. Students believe that visiting this temple will bring them good luck in exams.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Temple of Literature
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Temple of Literature

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Hoang Thanh Thang Long (Imperial Citadel of Thang Long) was once the residence of Vietnamese kings and their families during feudal dynasties. Today, this UNESCO Heritage Site remains significant as an important historical and cultural relic in Vietnam.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Long Bien Bridge

The Long Bien Bridge was the first steel bridge constructed across the Red River during the French invasion. Over time, it has witnessed the nation’s joys and sorrows and is nicknamed “the historical witness” by the residents in the capital.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Long Bien Bridge
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Long Bien Bridge

Bat Trang Ceramic Village

Situated on the eastern bank of the Red River, this complex includes museums, workshops, ancient houses, and markets. Visitors can attend workshops to create their own ceramic work, and the market is a great place to find unique ceramics, as each piece takes hours for an artist to paint by hand.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi - Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-Visit Places in Hanoi – Bat Trang Ceramic Village

Hanoi Travel Guide: Must-try Local Food

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is renowned for its vibrant food scene. If you’re visiting this city, you must try Pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. It consists of flavorful broth, rice noodles, and your choice of meat or vegetables, creating a timeless culinary delight that impresses every eater.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi - Pho
Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi – Pho

Another must-try in Hanoi city is Banh Mi, a culinary icon of the city. What makes Banh Mi special is its simplicity and the skillful combination of ingredients. The crispy crust of the bread perfectly complements the delicious flavors of the meat and spices. Moreover, Banh Mi is reasonably priced, making it a popular choice for a quick and tasty meal among locals.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi - Banh Mi
Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi – Banh Mi

Furthermore, Hanoi offers a wide variety of other delicious dishes that capture the unique flavors of the city. Some of these include: Bun Cha (Grilled Pork and Noodles), Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls), Bun Dau Mam Tom (Rice Noodles with Fried Tofu and Shrimp Paste), Banh Goi (Vietnamese Crispy Dumplings), Bun Thang (Hanoi Rice Vermicelli with Ham, Chicken and Shrimp), and so on. You can find these dishes everywhere, from the lively local markets and street stalls to cozy restaurants. Enjoy your culinary adventure in Hanoi right away!

Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi - Bun Thang
Hanoi Travel Guide: Local Food in Hanoi – Bun Thang

Hanoi Travel Guide: Top Things to Do in Hanoi

Explore a list of top things to do in Hanoi with the Hanoi Travel Guide below!

Wander around the Old Quarter

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the traditional heart of Vietnam’s capital, in which each of the 36 streets is named for a particular trade. This place feels tranquil when the smoke of incense drifts out onto streets from the ancient temples, the clangs from the hammers of blacksmiths mingled with the calls of roving street vendors. Visitors can spend hours strolling the network of narrow lanes that haven’t changed much over time.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - Wander around the Old Quarter
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – Wander around the Old Quarter

Explore Hanoi’s cafe culture

Although the pace of life is fast on the surface, the true rhythm of Hanoi’s life is far from rushed. It is reflected clearly through the leisurely coffee hours in Hanoi. Besides traditional cafes, more and more modern cafe chains for the younger generation are springing up.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - Explore Hanoi's cafe culture
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – Explore Hanoi’s cafe culture

People watch at Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake lies in the heart of Hanoi. Every morning, the lake becomes alive with walkers, aerobics classes, and even a laugh yoga group. When the sun sets, it bursts back into activity, crowded with locals enjoying the relaxing evening atmosphere.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - People watch at Hoan Kiem Lake
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – People watch at Hoan Kiem Lake

Go shopping at Dong Xuan Market

Nestled in downtown Hanoi, Dong Xuan Market is Hanoi’s largest covered market with an area of 6,500 m2, offering a wide range of products such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories, and clothing at wholesale prices. It has become an iconic feature and pride of Hanoi’s people for many years, becoming a must-visit destination for those who want to explore cultural values and discover local daily life.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - Go shopping at Dong Xuan Market
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – Go shopping at Dong Xuan Market

Get social & Drink draft beer on the street

Strolling the sidewalks, sitting on a stool, having a nice cold beer and chatting with locals is a good way to get up close and personal with the culture of Hanoi. Try and discover some secrets about the capital that have never been known before.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - Drink draft beer on the street
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – Drink draft beer on the street

Visit historical and religious relics

Hanoi is famous for its long-standing history and culture, with hundreds of diverse historical relics from feudal dynasties to French colonial periods. These tourist spots attract millions of travelers who love culture annually and help these visitors gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s local people.

Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi - Visit French Quarter
Hanoi Travel Guide: Things to Do in Hanoi – Visit French Quarter

Hanoi Travel Guide: Best Time to Visit Hanoi

In addition to the distinct four seasons, Hanoi also experiences a weather pattern consisting of dry and rainy seasons due to its location in a region influenced by the tropical monsoon. If you are planning a visit, the best time to go is from January to the end of March or from October to December. During these months, the temperature usually remains below 30 °C, the skies are clear, and there is minimal rainfall. This makes Hanoi an ideal destination for a variety of activities.

Hanoi Travel Guide: How Long to Spend in Hanoi

Hanoi is a city full of history, which is evident on every corner. So, if you are a first-time visitor, it is recommended to spend three days in Hanoi to fully immerse yourself in the city and gain a comprehensive understanding of its essence.


Overall, Hanoi is a lively and captivating city, filled with enriching experiences and cultural wonders just waiting for you to explore. So why wait any longer? Start your journey to Hanoi with the Hanoi Travel Guide above, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city, and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!


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