Hanoi Travel Guide & Things To Do

All Things Need to Know Before Travelling to Hanoi

Ha Noi is Vietnam’s capital city. Located by the banks of the Red River and in Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is the second largest in the country by population apart from Ho Chi Minh. Ha Noi is an old city. Hanoi is the connecting city to interesting sites in North Vietnam such as Halong Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Hai Phong, etc.

It is also one of the most famous tourist attractions in Vietnam. Hanoi is on the great location facilitating to become an important economic, political, cultural, social, and scientific center of Vietnam country.

Why Hanoi is the top destination want to go in Vietnam?

King Ly Cong Uan is the first king in Ly Dynasty decided to set up a new capital in the name Thang Long in 1010. Passing many Dynasties of Ly, Tran, Le, Mac, Thang Long was the cultural, educational and commercial centre of the country.

Three times defeated Nguyen Mong liberated Thang Long from Jan 1258 until 1230. From then Thang Long started to form the village and divided into 61 wards. The commercial and industrial economy also produced the urban population

Passed hundreds of years under many dynasties, sometimes Thang Long belonged to the reigned of the north.

Until Tay Son under Nguyen Hue King and then Nguyen Dynasty came to power, the capital moved to Hue. Then Thang Long had new name Hanoi from 1831 by King Minh Mang.

In 1902, Hanoi became the capital of the Indochinese Federation. It was reconstruction again by French. Passing through 2 wars defending the country against French and America, Hanoi has become the capital of the country until now.

When is the best time to visit Hanoi?

Hanoi has two main seasons: rainy season (May – Sep) and dry season (Oct – Apr). However, Hanoi has the experience of four seasons in weather. While travel to Hanoi, visitor can experience the beauties of the city by different seasons.

Spring is from Feb to April. This is the best time to visit Hanoi capital city. Because the weather is cool, not too cold as well as hot. The temperature is from 15 to 20 degree (59-680F). Tet Lunar New Year falls all end of January to mid-February so travelers can see the preparation of local Vietnamese for Tet holiday especially streets are more colorful and crowded than.

Summer is from May to August. This is the hot time and humid in the city. The temperature is around 32 degrees (90°F). It is usually rainy in August with the most rainfall.

Fall is from Sep to Nov. This is also the idea time to visit Hanoi city as spring. The weather is mild with the temperature around 25 degrees (77°F). It is very nice to walk around street in Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake. It will give you the most impressive for its beauties of this old city while the yellow leaves fall and cover all streets.

Winter is from Dec to Jan. This is the coldest time of the year. The temperature is around 17°C (63°F), sometimes drop down below 10°C (50°F). It is high humidity, windy therefore, it makes feel colder.

How to get to Ha Noi city?

Same as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is the biggest and the most important in North Vietnam. Most transportations arrive and leave in Hanoi city. Hanoi has Noi Bai international airport therefore, all flights to Vietnam have in this airport. It is 45 minutes from city center.

By flights

International flight: There are many different airlines have flight to Noi Bai airport. It is easy for travelers reach Vietnam by Hanoi first as well as end tour in Vietnam from Hanoi city.

Airlines within Vietnam country: Vietnamairlines, Jetstar airlines, Vietjet airlines.

Airlines from foreign countries: Airasia, China Southern airlines, Asiana airline, Eva airlines, Qatar airline, Korea airlines, American airlines, Japan airlines, Tukish airlines, Russian airlines, Cathay airlines, Angkor airlines, Laos airlines, Singapore airlines, etc.

Domestic flight: Airlines within Vietnam country: Vietnamairlines, Jetstar airlines, Vietjet airlines.

It has flights everyday with different times.

By private transport

While you are stay in Vietnam already, you travel to Hanoi city by private car. With short distance from province around Hanoi in North Vietnam, this is the best way to travel to Hanoi. Although it is the most expensive transport, you can flexible time and have stopover en route as your arrangement.

By train

There are trains from North to South and vice versa. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the main ones for these trains. Trains leave daily according to each time.

Hanoi has two train stations. Travel from North to South and vice versa, it is Le Duan street train station. Another is Tran Quy Cap train station for travel to Lao Cai.

Train schedule you travelers can reference at this link to have the plan of in and out Hanoi city. There are main cities stops along the country. http://giotaugiave.vr.com.vn/, http://www.vr.com.vn/en

By open bus or public bus

The sleeper bus leaves Hanoi daily. Most buses stop in big cities along Vietnam.

For example: Hanoi – Ninh binh – Vinh – Quang Binh – Hue – Danang – Hoi an -Nhatrang – Dalat – Ho Chi Minh City or vice versa.

The convenient of open bus can pick up at some hotels and bus company address is in city centre which is easy for traveler come to travel.

As for public bus, traveler must go to bus station for book ticket and travel.

How to travel around Hanoi city?

By Grab/Uber: It is cheap and convenient. You can choose Grab ride from Noi Bai International airport to Hanoi Old Quarter around 13 usd each way. The same for Uber.

By taxi: There are many taxies in Hanoi city. You can wave a taxi everywhere. The recommend you choose a reliable taxi company to travel so that you can avoid not good one. The famous companies are Mai Linh taxi (0243 838 38 38), Taxigroup (

Accommodation in Hanoi

Hanoi is one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam. Furthermore, most of conferences and seminars hold in this city. Therefore, Hanoi has a lot of different choices for accommodation. It has from homestay, guesthouse to luxury hotels.

Most of hotels are in Old Quarter and this is the most convenient place for staying in Hanoi to tourist. Because when booking a tour in Hanoi or surrounding, most transport pick up and drop off at the hotel.

Here are some suggestions for accommodation with good quality to stay

  • Luxury hotel: Sheraton Hanoi hotel, Sofitel Metropople hotel, Melia hotel, Pan Pacific hotel, Apricot hotel, etc
  • Deluxe hotel: Mercure Hanoi LaGare hotel, Silk Path hotel, Hanoi Pearl hotel, Boss Legend hotel, etc
  • Superior hotel: Quoc Hoa hotel, Essence Elegance hotel, May De Ville hotel, etc

And it is easy to find superior to budget hotels along streets in Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake.

What to do in and around Hanoi city?

Take a Stroll in and around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is an interesting area for traveler to discover. With its French colonial architecture and many tree-lined boulevards and alleyways, it is an exciting place to explore on foot and have street food at night. Walk through the most popular attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, Hoa Lo Prison, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Especially, with a guide you can walk inside the Old Quarter to see the real life and small and very narrow house and roads of Hanoian.

2: Ha Long Bay Cruise with overnight

Most companies and cruises start tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Therefore, staying at hotel in Old Quarter driver will pick up you at your hotel for trip. The Halong Bay trip from Hanoi should not miss when you come here. According to the time, you can choose 1 day or 2 or 3 days in Halong Bay. There are also many choices for overnight cruise trip to this famous place.

3: A day trip to Tam Coc cave or Trang An Grottoes

With a short time, visitor can choose 1 day to Ninh Binh 100km away from Hanoi to visit Tam Coc cave or Trang An grottoes. Have a boat ride along the Hoang Long River surrounded by rice paddy fields and Limestone Mountains to get the beautiful scenery in Tam Coc. You can reach the complex system of caves and Limestone Mountains and temples in Trang An. Reach Trang An, there is another option for discover King Kong Skull Film scene with ethnic village remain here.

4: Water Puppet Show

Water puppet show is the special of Hanoi. It is an unique art of Hanoi and Vietnam. It will be a miss when visit Hanoi without a water puppet show enjoyment. There are some theaters for choose such as Thang Long water puppet theater near Hoan Kiem lake or within Ho Chi Minh museum. You will enjoy an hour-long performance of water puppets reenacting Vietnamese folktales and legends while accompanied by a live orchestra.

5: Duong Lam ancient village

Address: Duong Lam Village, Son Tay Town, Hanoi, Vietnam

Far from Hanoi city about 50 km, Duong Lam Ancient Village is the unique ancient villages in Hanoi. The village is the unique laterite museum for the mossy ancient houses for over 400 years old. It is the museum for the rural lifestyle and agriculture village. There are many ancient houses still remains as original as well as traditional craft and career keep here. It makes a wonderful time to explore the countryside and old values of Vietnam

6: Bat Trang Ceramic village

Address: Bat Trang, Gia Lam Distict, Hanoi

Bat Trang traditional ceramic village is a tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists. It is 60km from Hanoi city centre.

Bat Trang shows products in different shapes and styles. The price here is quite reasonable thanks to family companies. Travelers come here to buy their favorite ceramic products. Visiting this ceramic village, travelers can take part in many entertainment activities such as riding buffalo vehicle to visit the village.

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