This guide provides a perfect 5-day itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of what Hanoi has to offer.
Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake On your first day in Hanoi, it’s a good idea to explore the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.
The Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets, ancient temples, and traditional architecture. You can easily spend hours wandering around the streets and alleys, taking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant area.
Head to Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the Old Quarter in the afternoon. The lake is surrounded by parkland, and there are plenty of benches and shady spots where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Stroll around the lake, and check out the Ngoc Son Temple on a small island in the middle of the lake.
The Temple of Literature and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology On your second day in Hanoi, head to the Temple of Literature, one of the city’s most important historical landmarks.
The temple was originally built in the 11th century as a Confucian temple and was later used as Vietnam‘s first university. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction and a great place to learn about Vietnam’s rich history and culture.
Head to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in the afternoon, about 7 kilometers from the city center.
The museum houses a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the diversity of Vietnam’s ethnic groups.
On your third day in Hanoi, head to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which is located in Ba Dinh Square. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Vietnam’s most famous leader, Ho Chi Minh.
It’s an impressive building that’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and is worth a visit.
After visiting the mausoleum, head to the nearby Presidential Palace built in the early 20th century for the French Governor-General of Indochina.
Today, it’s used as a government building and is not open to the public, but you can still admire the beautiful architecture from the outside.
On your fourth day in Hanoi, take a day trip to Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most famous natural wonders. Halong Bay is a stunning area of limestone karsts and islands that rise out of the sea.
There are plenty of tour companies that offer day trips to Halong Bay, and you can choose from a variety of different types of boats and activities.
On your final day in Hanoi, head to West Lake, the largest lake in Hanoi. The lake is surrounded by parkland and is a popular spot for locals to walk or a jog.
You can rent a bicycle, explore the area on two wheels, or take a boat trip around the lake.
One of the highlights of West Lake is the Tran Quoc Pagoda, located on a small island in the lake. The pagoda is one of the oldest in Vietnam and is considered a symbol of Hanoi.
It’s a beautiful spot to visit, and you can explore the pagoda and its gardens before returning to the city center.
If you have some extra time in Hanoi, there are plenty of other activities that you can do to make the most of your trip. Here are a few ideas:
Street food tour
Hanoi is famous for its street food, and a street food tour is a great way to sample some of the city’s best dishes. There are plenty of tour companies that offer street food tours, and you can choose from a variety of different routes and types of food.
Vietnamese cooking class
If you’re a foodie, why not take a Vietnamese cooking class? Plenty of cooking schools in Hanoi offer classes where you can learn to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a must-visit attraction in Hanoi. The theater in the Old Quarter offers a unique and fascinating look into Vietnamese culture.
Visit the Museum of Vietnamese Women
This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of Vietnamese women. The museum features a range of exhibits that showcase the contributions of Vietnamese women to the country’s history and culture.
Hanoi is a fascinating city with plenty to see and do. This 5-day itinerary will give you a good taste of what the city offers, but there’s always more to explore.
Be sure to take your time and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant and exciting city.