We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

95%
Found this guide helpful

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam, and you'll experience a very different side of the country here in this northern and cosmopolitan city than what you get in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Good for
  • Solo
  • Friends
  • Couples
  • Senior
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie

10 Places

7 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Bodies of Water

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Hotels

Hanoi Opera House

Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Theatres

Old Quarter

Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods

Cafe Duy Tri

Restaurants

Chua Tran Quoc

Sacred & Religious Sites

One Pillar Pagoda

Sacred & Religious Sites

Temple of Literature & National University

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Long Bien Bridge

Bridges

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Theatres

George K's City Tips

  • Vietnam doesn’t have a specific rule on tipping. It is up to you how much you tip, and generally a tip is not expected.
  • Prices of goods in supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, and basic commodity shops, and for official transportation, are usually fixed.
  • Always ask for permission before you take someone’s photo, and do not photograph anything that has to do with the military.
  • For rickshaws, tuk tuks, motos, and all taxis in Asia, always bargain first and make sure that you have agreed on the price before you start the service.
  • Dress modestly when visiting temples and Pagodas, and do not swim naked or topless in public.
  • Use both hands to pass things, and do not pass anything over someone’s head.
  • Please don’t litter. Picking up rubbish sets a good example for Vietnamese youths.
  • Save
    Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    This lake is inhabited by large soft-shell turtles, which are critically endangered. According to legend, Emperor Lê Lợi was boating on Hoan Kiem Lake when he was visited by Golden Turtle God, who asked the emperor to return the magic sword that had been lent to him some time before by another god. You will see the Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa) on a small island in the center of the lake, and the 18th-century Temple of Jade is on an islet on the northern side, connected to the shore by the iconic red-painted Huc Bridge.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hot or cold coffee in one of the lake’s cafes is the best way to start your day.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tour 24/09/2017
    • Blissful weekend walk 23/09/2017
    • Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
  • Save
    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
    Hotels
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    This historic hotel, constructed in the French Colonial style using materials from around the globe, opened in 1901. Since then, it has hosted state leaders, ambassadors, and artists. It even has Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, and Graham Greene suites to honor its famous guests. (Graham Greene wrote 'The Quiet American' while staying here!)

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can learn about the city's history on daily tours to the hotel's wartime bomb shelter.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 597 Hotels in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place, great staff, great experience 24/09/2017
    • Beautiful historic hotel 23/09/2017
    • Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
    Address:
    15 Ngo Quyen Street
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    011 84 4 3826 6919
    Other:
  • Save
    Hanoi Opera House
    Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Theatres
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    Modeled on the Palais Garnier Opera of Paris and located in the famous August Revolution Square, Hanoi's Opera House was built over the course of 10 years (from 1901 to 1911). During colonial times, Western artists were invited here to entertain privileged audiences, and today Nha Hat Lon is a popular cultural center and a venue for concerts, dance performances, and other art events.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • On weekends, Hanoi brides and grooms often take pictures at the entrance — it's always fun to watch.
    • While the exteriors are attractive, the interiors are exquisite. Check the website to see what's on during your visit, and try to get tickets!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Business in Hanoi 23/09/2017
    • Beautiful and iconic - and near the real Hanoi Hilton (hotel) 22/09/2017
    • Hanoi Opera House
    Address:
    1 Trang Tien Street
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 91 105 30 30
    Price range:
    US$30 - US$30
    Other:
  • Save
    Old Quarter
    Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    Located near the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the heart and soul of the Vietnamese capital. Occupying a busy square kilometer, the major commercial district is a web of streets and alleys cramped with Buddhist temples, pagodas, artisan workshops, charming colonial architecture, and 15th-century merchants’ houses. There is so much of interest here, and you will certainly catch a glimpse into the Quarter’s fascinating history. On the other hand, you will also find plenty of art galleries, hip cafes, quirky bars, and a good selection of restaurants, as well as most of Hanoi’s nightlife.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Visit the night market, which takes place from Friday to Sunday along four old walking streets: Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, and Dong Xuan.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nothing to write home about 24/09/2017
    • Mesmerising 24/09/2017
    • Old Quarter
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Cafe Duy Tri
    Restaurants (Cafe)
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    For a genuine experience of Hanoi’s café culture, you must stop at Café Duy Tri in the heart of the city’s old quarter. The three-floor establishment, a somewhat grungy locale with antique furniture, has been in operation since 1936. It's still a favorite local hangout today.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Try the house specialty: iced coffee with yogurt.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #268 of 1,890 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Delicious frozen yogurt in an authentic setting 18/05/2017
    • Authentic Hanoi coffee house 05/05/2017
    • Cafe Duy Tri
    Address:
    43 Yen Phu
    Ba Dinh
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3829 1386
    Other:
  • Save
    Chua Tran Quoc
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    Located on the small islet Kim Ngu, on the east side of West Lake, Chua Tran Quoc is linked to the mainland by a small causeway. It is the oldest pagoda in the city, originally named 'Khai Quoc' and built about 1,400 years ago on the banks of the Red River, during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De. It was renamed and relocated to its present location in 1615. There are many valuable items and statues inside, including the gold-trimmed, red lac statue of Sakyamouni Buddha's Parinirvana.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visitors must be dressed respectfully; long trousers are required for men.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Place 21/09/2017
    • Amazing temple 20/09/2017
    • Chua Tran Quoc
    Address:
    Thanh Nien
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    485828916
    Other:
  • Save
    One Pillar Pagoda
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    When you enter the complex of One Pillar Pagoda, you will see the marble mausoleum that is Ho Chi Minh’s tomb. It's a solemn place, and must be entered in silence. Behind the mausoleum are the Presidential Palace, a carp pond, the stilt house where Ho Chi Minh reputedly lived and worked during the last decade of his life, and the 1,000-somethng-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. While the pagoda itself is small, the whole complex is definitely worthwhile.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • When you exit the complex, do not leave immediately — the guards change every hour, and put on a show worth watching!
    • The complex is closed on Mondays, and on Friday afternoons.
    • The mausoleum closes for several months every year, when the embalmed corpse is sent away for maintenance in Russia.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Interesting but! 22/09/2017
    • Only if you have it on your path 22/09/2017
    • One Pillar Pagoda
    Address:
    Ong Ich Khiem St
    Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
  • Save
    Temple of Literature & National University
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature is the site of Vietnam's first university and honors the country's finest scholars. On the 54,000 square meters of grounds are the temple itself, the interior courtyards, Literature Lake, and Giam Park. I highly recommend a visit!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For some good food, check out the Café Trang, located near the edge of the Literature Temple.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fascinating 24/09/2017
    • Awesome 23/09/2017
    • Temple of Literature & National University
    Address:
    Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    07:30 - 11:30
    13:30 - 16:30
  • Save
    Long Bien Bridge
    Bridges
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    The Long Bien Bridge, designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), was completed in 1902 during the French occupation. As you cross it, you'll have a panoramic view of the Red River dotted with boats, as well as the islet beneath the bridge, where farmers plant crops like rice and banana trees.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Vendors here offer mouthwatering desserts.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Adventure photo mission 16/09/2017
    • Needs More Maintenance But Great To See 15/09/2017
    • Long Bien Bridge
    Other:
  • Save
    Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
    Theatres
    See more photos
    George K Says:

    The North Vietnamese water puppetry tradition originated in the Red River Delta villages in the 11th century. The shows are performed in water: The lacquered wood puppets are supported by large underwater rods, which puppeteers use to move the puppets from behind a screen. The puppets appear to perform traditional legends and historic tales over the water.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There are puppet shows every day at 3:30pm, 5pm, 6:30pm, 8pm, and 9:15pm, with an additional show at 9:30am on Sundays.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Quite boring 24/09/2017
    • Puppet show 23/09/2017
    • Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
    Address:
    57B Dinh Tien Hoang
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    84 04 8249494
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo