A guide to Hanoi, Vietnam
Wondering what the buzz around Hanoi is all about? This bustling Vietnamese capital has a little bit of everything: vibrant street markets, temples, and mouth watering street food. If you’re planning a trip and wondering about the best things to do in Hanoi, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share our favourite things to do, places to eat and best place to stay in Hanoi.
Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam
Sit at one of the many street side cafes siping on a famed Vietnamese iced coffee with a french pastry while watching the city buzz around you.
Our favourite was The Little Plan Cafe. Step back into Hanoi’s past at this cute little vintage cafe ( best coconut iced coffees). You can also find one of the many Cong Caphe’s around town. If you are after some french colonial vibes head to Cafe La Terrasse or Trill Bistro Cafe.
Hoàn Kiếm Lake
Take a stroll around the beautiful Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the heart of the city. On the weekends the roads around the lake are closed & the streets turn into a meeting point for artists, families and students that continues on into the late night. For a real festival community vibe this is one not to miss.
The Famous Train Street
One of Hanoi’s most unique sights is its famous Train Street located in Old Hanoi quarter at Le Duan and Kham Tien street. Where the main train line to Hanoi’s central station passes through a narrow strip of residential buildings. The train passes through at 3:30pm and 7:30pm daily and can get busy with tourists trying to take a snap so get there early and you can even have a coffee right on the tracks from one of the local cafes, just keep an eye on the time.
Hanoi Old Quarter
Step back in time and explore Hanoi Old Quarter with its unique blend of French colonial and Oriental architecture, colourful vintage buildings and street stores.
Where to eat in Hanoi:
Take a self guided or organised street food tour and experience the best of Hanoian street cuisine. The Friday night street markets in Hàng Đào St are also a great option for street food.
A must try in Vietnam is the famous Bahn Mi (Vietnamese salad and pork or chicken roll) head to Bahn Mi 25 at 25 Hàng Cá st for one of the best.
If street food isn’t your thing then there are countless great restaurants to choose from for all budgets offering traditional Vietnamese dishes to high end classic French or fusion restaurants.
A great option if you want to try a variety of Vietnamese dishes is Nhà Hàng Ngon restaurant. My favourite was the Bun Cha noodles or the classic Pho.
If you’re after a great beer to quench your thirst after a day exploring the city. Head over to Pasteur Street Brewing Co for the best craft beer in Hanoi and some great food too.
Where to stay in Hanoi:
The best area to stay in Hanoi is around Hoàn Kiếm Lake where most of the big hotels restaurants and sights are located.
There are lots of great value Airbnb’s in Hanoi, from beautiful french colonial apartments to modern stylish urban escapes we stayed here for a few nights before heading to the Metropole Hanoi.
If you’re after an escape from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi streets then treat yourself to some French colonial luxury. The Sofitel Legend Metropole with its beautiful grand architecture, central courtyard pool and lush tropical grounds will offer that peace. Located right in the heart of the city this is your best best! Try their famous egg coffee at Parisian inspired corner Cafe La Terrasse. Indulge in some French sweets at L’epicerie du Metropole or sip on a cocktail by the pool at the Bamboo bar.
Hanoi is not just a destination, it’s an experience that imprints on your soul. From the chaotic charm of its streets to addictive cafe culture, there’s something for everyone in this captivating city. We hope this guide on things to do in Hanoi helps to give you some ideas for your trip. Until next time, safe travels and enjoy the buzz of Hanoi!
If you love Vietnam make sure to check out our blog on Hoi An