Overview of Hanoi Itinerary
Existing more than 1500 years, Hanoi city is one of the most ancient capitals all around the world. Throughout the ups and downs of time, Hanoi city still enchants thousands of visitors by the harmonious beauty of modernity and tranquility. You can be afraid of Hanoi’s chaos, but it is one of the distinct characteristics here.
See more: What to do in Hanoi for 4 days
To get away from the always-buzzing city, let’s refresh yourself in rustic villages or expand your trip to new destinations. Are you eager to discover Hanoi itinerary with us now?
What To See in Hanoi Itinerary
Day 1: One full-day discovery of Vietnamese history
Address: 8 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi city
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 10:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday
Coming to Hanoi city, you definitely not forget to go to Ho Chi Minh in Ba Dinh Square. This place holds the embalmed remains of Ho Chi Minh inside a glass sarcophagus, the most renowned and venerable leader of Vietnam. With huge granite structure looms over Ba Dinh Square, Vietnamese people have a desire to keep their respectful leader to “live on forever”. There are some cautions you should notice to do maintain an attitude of respect:
- Do not take photos
- Wear neatly
- Keep your proper attitude when walking slowly in queue
- Go to the mausoleum early
Address: Behind the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum near Ba Dinh Square
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm from Monday to Sunday
Existing for more than 1000 years, One Pillar Pagoda is constructed by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong. Surprisingly, this pagoda is recognized as a symbol of purity with the single wood-based stone pillar like a lotus blossom, which means strong vitality arising from sorrows. Praying at One Pillar Pagoda gives the blessing to fertility and health. After that, you can pay a visit to Dien Huu Pagoda placed in the bonsai garden.
Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District, Hanoi city
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday
As one of the important treasures of Hanoi city, the Temple of Literature is the first national university of Vietnam for Confucius, scholars, and sages. Specifically, this place is divided into 5 distinct courtyards taking the traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. Come to visit the Temple of Literature, you can admire the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, passageways that is only used by the previous royalty.
Address: Thanh Nien Street, Truc Bach Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi city
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm from Monday to Sunday
Leave behind the bustling atmosphere of Hanoi streets, you come to see Tran Quoc Pagoda, the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi city. This place impresses you by the 11-floor stupa with its height of 15m. Each floor contains Amitabha statue and a nine-storey lotus on the top of the stupa. The harmonious combination of the stunning landscape of Tran Quoc Pagoda and the ambiance atmosphere of West Lake have enchanted thousands of visitors each year.
̉5. Hoa Lo Prison
Address: 1 Hoa Lo, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm from Monday to Sunday
Hoa Lo prison is also called as “Hanoi Hilton” that take you to a new surprise. This place highlights a sea of sorrows that Vietnamese revolutionaries have suffered during the war against France. One frightful artifact is the French guillotine used for beheading Vietnamese revolutionaries. Indeed, present Hoa Lo Prison is one small part of the whole prison complex back. Most of them were devastated to build the great office and hotel complex – Hanoi Towers.
6. Thang Long Puppetry Theater
Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
Opening hours: Everyday at 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm from Monday to Sunday
After a long day, let’s relax with the light entertainment activities at Thang Long Puppetry Theater, one of the renowned Vietnamese artistic type. Dating back to the 11th century, this art form is recognized as one of the unique cultures of Northern Vietnam. Artists make the puppets move across the water through large rods to recall Vietnamese folk tales and legends in a humorous way. Most of the performances occur with Vietnamese traditional musical instruments. You can purchase one ticket at doors with $3 – $5 USD (about 60,000 VND – 100,000 VND).
Day 2: Immerse in the local daily life of Hanoi people
Sword Lake is also called as “Hoan Kiem Lake” related to the well-known historical legend of King Le Thai To. This story has many similarities with the story of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake. Along with Sword Lake, Ngoc Son temple, The Huc Bridge, Pen Town create a picturesque natural landscape.
What’s more, the most special thing about Sword Lake is the Turtle Tower locating in the middle of the lake, which express the gratitude of local people with the support of Turtle God. Wake up early, wander around Sword Lake, you can feel the fresh and peaceful atmosphere and see how locals start their day. You can see thousands of people do exercise, do jogging or start their business activities.
2. St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
Completed in 1886, this cathedral is designed with the domes-based architecture of the Gothic style and Paris Cathedral style. Although most of the exterior appearance of this cathedral follows Western architecture, its interior decoration still follows 2 typical colors of Vietnamese culture: red and yellow. This breathtaking venue attracts thousands of locals and international travelers to meet and chat together. It is the reason why Nha Chung Street is called “lemon tea street” for Hanoi young people. Especially, besides holding the wedding for Christian grooms and brides, it is an ideal spot for grooms and brides to take beautiful wedding photos.
Experiencing the ups and downs of time, Old Quarter has changed a lot, becoming the indispensable spot in Hanoi itinerary, especially for first-time travelers. Indeed, there are up to 70 streets in Hanoi Old Quarter instead of 36 streets from the 15th century. Each street possesses its unique character being worth discovering.
- Hang Ma Street is sparkled with decorated products like gift wrappings, wedding decorations.
- Lan Ong Street is full of herbal medicinal products such as leaves, roots, barks, and powders.
- Hang Bac sells jewelry and exchange money.
- Cau Go Street (Wooden Bridge Street) is packed with women’s accessories.
More notably, Old Quarter is also the ideal attraction of food fanatics.
Address: 1 Trang Tien Street, Phan Chu Trinh Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
Under the dominance of French, the architecture of Hanoi Opera House inherits neo-classical French vignettes with Gothic themes. Many beliefs argue that its interior is even more alluring than that of the Paris Opera House. As the largest theatre in Vietnam, this theatre can take up more than 600 audiences. You can enjoy a wide range of art forms at this renowned landmark such as local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballet, and symphonies.
5. Dong Xuan Market
Situated in the Old Quarter, it is one of the indispensable spots in your Hanoi itinerary. This market lasts over 2 kilometers from the beginning of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Ngang Street, and ends at the Dong Xuan market. Fortunately, you should come to see Dong Xuan Market on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night to immerse in the night market.
You can see a wide range of items sold on two sides of Hang Ngang Street such as handbags, clasps, and so on. Stroll through the Dong Xuan market, you can choose a suitable seat in Hanoi restaurants or Western bars to enjoy Vietnamese food and watch the street at the same time.
Oh, did I mention, Hanoi is best for spa & massage at unbelievable price?
What To Eat in Hanoi Itinerary
At nighttime, Hanoi streets come alive with a great variety of food. Are you wondering what to eat in your upcoming Hanoi itinerary? Let’s add these authentic Vietnamese dishes in your bucket list to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed:
- Pho (Noodle Soup)
- Cha Ca (Grilled & Fried Fish with Rice Noodles)
- Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
- Xoi Xeo (Sticky Rice with Mung Bean)
- Bun Ngan (Rice Noodles with Muscovy Duck)
- Banh Mi (Baguette Sandwich)
- Spring Rolls
- Che (Sweet Dessert Soup)
- Ca Phe (Vietnamese Coffee)
- Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Besides, if traditional Hanoi food is not suitable to your taste, there are a wide range of Hanoi restaurant from Vietnamese classics to international food all over the world. Here are some Hanoi restaurants you can check out:
- Maison Marou – 91A Tho Nhuom Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
- Angelina – 56 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
- Highway4 – 25 Bat Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
- Pizza 4P’s – Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
- S&L’s Diner – 22 Bao Khanh Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi city
See more: How to venture in Hanoi Street Food
>> Take a one-full day to discover Hanoi city tour just from $69:
- Hanoi City Tour – 1 Day
- Cooking & Street Food Tour Full Day
- Hanoi City Tour- Fullmoon Festival – 1 Day
If you have more days to stay in Hanoi city, let’s expand your Hanoi itinerary to new destinations to explore the beauty of Northern Vietnam:
Option 1: Discover the tranquil atmosphere of Vietnamese village
1. Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Address: Bat Trang, Gia Lam, Hanoi city
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm from Monday to Sunday
Formed in the 14th century, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is home for local artisans to create unique porcelain art products. Surprisingly, you can also participate in workshops to create your own porcelain products, especially daily household use like vase, bowl, cup, and plate. We make sure that this pottery-making experience will be your unforgettable memory.
2. Duong Lam Ancient Village
Address: Son Tay Commune, Hanoi city
Just far from Hanoi city nearly 50 kilometers, Duong Lam ancient village in a typically authentic Vietnamese rural village. Nowhere else other than Duong Lam ancient village you can retain the characteristics of former Vietnam tradition such as 300-year laterite brick ancient houses, ancient banyan trees, and water wells. There are some interesting activities you can do when coming to this village below:
- Pay a visit one 300-year laterite brick ancient houses
- Stroll around King Ngo Quyen temple and King Phung Hung temple, Mia pagoda
- Enjoy tea time at Tham Hoa Giang Van Minh Worship House
- Discover Son Tay Old Fortress
Option 2: Watch the pristine beauty of natural wonders – Halong Bay
Situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay is considered as “Bay of the Descending Dragons” recognized as The World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. Specifically, thousands of limestone islets resemble in the middle of the emerald-green waters creating the picturesque scenery.
Let’s take a cruise, sail through Halong Bay and shrink yourself into this majestic beauty.
- Go snorkeling or diving to watch coral reefs in Co To Island
- Surfing, kayaking, fishing in Tuan Chau Island
- Explore the cave complex in Halong Bay such as Amazing Cave, Paradise Cave, Virgin Cave, and so on.
- Entertain at Dragon Park, Typhoon Water Park, Sun World beach.
>> Take a new surprise at “rock wonder in the sky” – Halong Bay now:
Hanoi – Halong – Sapa 7 days
Option 3: Dive in the untouched grace of Ninh Binh
Described as Halong Bay on land, the unspoiled beauty of Ninh Binh is ideal for the ones who love the majesty natural beauty. Additionally, this destination also retains Vietnamese historical landmarks such as the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, Dinh and Le temple.
The outstanding landscape you cannot ignore is Tam Coc that is widely known for its karst landscape. Certainly, you will be overwhelmed by dramatic limestone hills lies in the middle of green rice paddies. Moreover, drop by Van Long nature reserve is not a bad idea if you love discovering wetland and watching diverse flora and fauna, Vietnamese wildlife.
>> Don’t miss Ninh Binh off your Hanoi Itinerary with our best tour: Hanoi – Halong – Ninh Binh 4 days
Option 4: Refresh yourself in the daily life of Northwest mountainous people
Along the uphill road to Sapa, you should admire an impressive natural landscape with green valleys, rice terraces, and local people – hill tribes working on the slope of hill.
Set your foot on Sapa town, let’s start your trip to Cat Cat Village where is home to H’Mong ethnic group maintaining unique customs. Moreover, you can come to see the peaceful pace of living of ethnic people in Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, Zay Village of Ta Van. Additionally, you definitely try to challenge yourself to hike 600 stone stairs to reach the Indochina’s Rooftop – Mount Fanxipan.
>> Experience another new lifestyle in Northwest Vietnam, see here: Hanoi – Sapa Tour 5 Days
Here are our best suggestions for your Hanoi itinerary in which you can enjoy both distinct cultural characteristics and awesome nightlife! Are you ready for your best trip to Hanoi, Vietnam? Contact us for even more advice as well as enjoy many promotions!