hanoi girl

10 things you can do in Hanoi

Vietnam overall is so diverse and multifaceted that it is definitely worth a visit. And Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is as Asian as you imagine: noisy, colorful, exotic and friendly. 

So, 10 things to do in Hanoi:

turtle

1. Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake (“Lake of the Returned Sword”), learn the legend of a Golden Turtle God, visit a beautiful temple, see there the giant stuffed turtle that was caught in the lake (may be the legend has some truth in it!).

2. Attend Water Puppets Theater – a unique cultural experience included into UNESCO intangible heritage list.train street hanoi

3. Walk along the weird city street with railway tracks in the middle. You may also check the train timetable and see how local inhabitants move their laundry racks and cooking pots from the tracks before the train comes.

4. Visit Hoa Lo prison, also known as “Hanoi Hilton”. Experience Vietnamese propaganda – they will tell you stories about awful French oppression of Vietnamese communists. The guide would mention that the prison was also used to detain American pilots during the war, but “they were treated with respect and in good conditions”. Do you believe this for a moment?

market hanoi

5. Get a visual overdose at Hang Ma street market from thousands of paper lanterns, holiday decorations and “fake money” cakes for burning in temples.

6. Treat yourselves with Vietnamese cuisine: pho soup and bun cha noodles with meatballs deserve your attention.

temple hanoi

7. Have a rest in the Temple of Literature. Try to absorb some Confucian wisdom.

8. Buy souvenirs in one of many small shops of the Old Town – maybe a copy of vintage propaganda poster or an embroidered wallet.

guard change

9. Visit Ho Chi Min Mausoleum and his modest house nearby. Wrap-up with a surrealistic Ho Chi Min museum with gigantic 3D installations symbolizing the struggle of Vietnamese people.

10. In the evening drink beer with locals at the corner of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets. Tap beer costs here just 5-10 thousand dongs ($0.25-0.5) per pint! If you are not into beer, try exotic smoothies in one of cafes nearby. I even saw a crazy smoothie of mango, tomato, cucumber and dolce de leche… and no, I did not risk to try it!


20 Comments

  • Paul

    30.10.2016

    These are great tips and thanks for sharing, we are travelling through Vietnam early next year so we will definitely check these things out when we get to Hanoi!

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      30.10.2016

      Good luck with your trip. Many people treat Vietnam as just a place to relax on sea resort, but it is so much more than this.

      Reply
  • Carol Colborn

    31.10.2016

    I will definitely visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the market, and eats lota of Vietnamese food!

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      Good choice!

      Reply
  • Norbert Micus

    31.10.2016

    Yes, very nice. I have bin there last Chrismas.

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      What is the weather there on X-mas? Still warm?

      Reply
  • Nathan

    31.10.2016

    Great phoots! I loved Hanoi. I And I definetly agree abotu trying the fresh beer and pho. I didn't get to go to the Hanoi Hilton when I was there before but at least now I have a reason to go back! 

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      Beer is actually average, but for this price I’ll take it :)))

      Reply
  • Victoria

    31.10.2016

    Thanks for the tips. I will certainly try one of those strange smoothies 🙂

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      Good luck! Share your experience with us afterwards, please :))

      Reply
  • Edwina Dendler

    31.10.2016

    I've been to the mausoleum, such a weird place! I have an experience to add: drinking an egg coffee at Giang's. It sounds weird, but tastes like liquid tiramisu. Delicious!

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      My husband tried it! And also coffee with condensed milk! I don’t drink coffee at all, so this experience is not for me 🙂

      Reply
  • Nathan

    31.10.2016

    We'll be in Hanoi for Christmas, any tips?

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      In addition to the tip in the article – just enjoy :)))

      Reply
  • Lala

    31.10.2016

    I have seen pics of the train tracks before. So bizarre. Looks like such an interesting place to visit.

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      It is bizarre!

      Reply
  • Mike

    01.11.2016

    Awesome tips for what to do in Hanoi!  I can't wait to go explore this city again.  What was your favorite place to eat?

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      I am bad with remembering the names, but one time we have tried a posh restaurant at the hotel of a hotel, and bun cha there was just amazing!

      Reply
  • Evan Kristine

    02.11.2016

    I would love to visit Hanoi too! And I will take notes from this post. Thanks for sharing! It's a great story. ❤️

    Reply
    • Elena Nemets

      02.11.2016

      Thank you!

      Reply

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