Hanoi travel guide

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Practical tips

How long to visit Hanoi

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Money

Hanoi has many ATM’s. Currency exchange is often the cheapest in gold and jewellery stores. The rates in these stores are often surprisingly fair, without extra costs

When to visit Hanoi

Best travel time

  • Best travel time: Fall (around September to November) and spring (March and April) are the two best seasons. Then the weather is pleasant with milder temperatures.
  • Winter: During this period (December to February) it is quite cold in Hanoi when temperatures can drop below 10 degrees.
  • Summer: It is very hot in Hanoi from May to August, with July as the hottest month. A lot of rain can fall.

Local events and holidays

  • Tet: Lunar New Year is the mega festival of Vietnam to celebrate with family members and to commemorate the dear deceased. The holiday lasts up to a week when many stores are closed.
  • Full Moon Festival: This festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, starts on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, usually mid-September or early October. You will see things like singing and dragon dance.
  • Hanoi Pride: The annual Hanoi Pride festival is a colorful week full of parties, film screenings, lectures and a bicycle rally. It is held for a week between July and September.
  • Vietnam’s National Day: celebrated with a rally and fireworks in front of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. There are also boat races on Lake Hoan Kiem.
  • Quang Trung Festival: Wrestling competitions, lion dances and human chess take place on the 5th day of the first lunar month.

Top 10 things to do in Hanoi

There is a lot to do in the city, you can see the top 10 best things to do in Hanoi below. But Hanoi is also a good base to explore the region. You will also see that if you visit many destinations in the north during your trip in Vietnam, you will have to travel back a few times via Hanoi to your next destination. But there are also a number of destinations from Hanoi that you can visit in one day trip.

1. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

2. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

3. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

4. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

5. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

6. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

7. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

8. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

9. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

10. Old Quarter

A fascinating district where you can enjoy beautiful colonial architecture, packed along narrow streets and endless traffic of motorcycles, bicycles and cars zigzagging around street vendors.

Chez Mimosa Boutique Corner

Accommodation in Hanoi

Where to stay

Hoan Kiem (the Old Quarter) – The historic soul of the city, it is clear why most tourists choose to stay here. Temples, old gates and traditional shops create a busy neighborhood that will stimulate all your senses! From luxury hotels to backpacker hostels, there is something for everyone here. Hoan Kiem is the best area to stay in Hanoi if you want a convenient and cultural experience in the center!

Best hotels & hostels in Hanoi

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Central Backpackers Hostel – Old Quarter
  • Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel:
  • Cocoon Inn
  • Luxury Backpackers

Mid range hotel

  • Hanoi Golden Moment Hotel
  • New Vision Palace hotel
  • The Hanoian Hotel
  • Hanoi Graceful Hotel

High end hotel & resort

  • Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy
  • The Chi Boutique Hotel
  • Hanoi Bonsella Hotel
  • Tirant Hotel

Restaurants in Hanoi

Deciphering Hanoi’s street food scene can be astonishing, but it is worth keeping up and diving into. The city’s best food comes from the dozens of vendors that line the city’s sidewalks with smoking charcoal burners, tiny plastic stools and queues of locals.

Nightlife

How to get around

Hanoi taxi's

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Grab

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Metro

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Cyclo

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How to get to Hanoi

Plane

Hanoi has fewer direct international flights than Ho Chi Minh City. Read all about flights to Vietnam here.

Jetstar Airways, VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines connect Hanoi with destinations throughout Vietnam. Popular routes are Hanoi to Dalat, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, all daily flights. Read more about booking domestic flights in Vietnam here.

 

Bus

Hanoi has four major bus stations. They are fairly well organized, with ticket offices, fixed prices and schedules. It is often easier to book through a travel agent. From Hanoi there are buses to everywhere in Vietnam such as Sapa, Da Nang, Dalat, Hue, Ninh Binh. Cao Bang and Ha Giang. Many open-ticket bus tours through Vietnam start or end in Hanoi. Tourist minibuses can be booked at most hotels and travel agents. Popular destinations are Halong Bay and Sapa. Prices are usually about 30% to 40% higher than those of the regular public bus, but include a hotel pick up service.

Train

The train station is in the center. You can buy tickets for trains that can take you all the way south to Ho Chi Minh City, or north to Sapa and across the border to China.

Itinerary 2 days Hanoi

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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