Hanoi Free City Tour - Hanoi Free Local Tours

Hanoi Free City Tour

Looking for a tour that satisfies your desire for exploring the city?

Hanoi Free City Tour guides you through the central Hanoi area. Our guide will tell you interesting stories from then and now – it’s a great overall tour and the perfect way to get to know this beautiful city!


  • Truly experience the real Hanoi with locals
  • A local partner who really knows the city
  • Picking up and Dropping off
  • Save time and money (Only pay for the transportation, tickets during the tour)
  • Customizable tour

Tour Type: Local Life & Culture Discovery, Customized Tour, Guided City Tour


  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Starting time: Half day 1: 8:30 -12:00  A break Half day 2: 14:30 – 17:30 ( Because of the schedule of students so this must be 2 tours (one in the morning, one in the afternoon)
  • Pick-up, Drop off: Your hotel (If in the old quarter, if not – The meeting point)
  • Transportation: Walking  (or Taxi if required)
  • Language: English
  • Price: Free
Book Your City Tour

City Tour Guides: English Speaking Local University Students

  • Well-trained Local Guides. (fluent in English, knowledgeable in Hanoi culture and history)
  • Friendly, local university students
  • By their knowledge about the region, their willingness to help foreign friends, you will never feel lost in this crowded city.
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A guide from Hanoi Free Local Tours is having fun with her new foreign friends during the tour

Half day 1 – French Quarter

  Hanoi City Tour Half Day Itinerary
  We pick you at your staying hotel/hostel on time.
  We wander around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Then we get inside

  • St. Joseph Cathedral
  • Hoa Lo Prison (Political Prison Museum)
  • Opera House
We stop at some traditional eateries to have lunch with Bun Cha, Pho or other foods.

Half day 2 


Around The City 


We pick you at your staying hotel/hostel (14:30)

Then take a taxi to Ho Chi Minh Complex

   Take a taxi to Temple of Literature, the first National University of Vietnam

Then take a walk to Ho Chi Minh Complex 

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausolem (Not going inside)
  • Ho Chi Minh Museum (Not going inside)
  • One Pillar Pagoda
  If we have time, we will visit West Lake and Tran Quoc Pagoda
We take you back to your hotel/hostel.
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Hanoi City Tour Introduction:

Going around the main destinations of the capital like Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, Hoan Kiem Lake with a free local guide is a best choice for ones who would like to know more about the city, especially travelers.

Hanoi City Tour is a tour organized by Local University students who want to improve themselves by doing a volunteer job as a free tour guide . We’d love to hear your sharing about your traveling stories and experiences.
Our team always see you as our family members, friends.We truly enjoy meeting new people from all over the world and spending time with them, trying to give them a glimpse of Hanoi and our life here.

Hanoi Free City Tour Guide Map - Hanoi Free Local Tours

Hanoi Free City Tour Guide Map


Your City Tour will introduce you to:

1. Hoan Kiem Lake (1 hour)

After picking you up at your staying hotel, we will wander around Hoan Kiem Lake area – the Pearl of the Capital. Here, you can enjoy sightseeing the area, listen to the “Returning Sword” legend of the lake, some interesting stories about The Huc Bridge, Turtle Tower,… or just simply take a Cyclo for chilling.

On weekends, the area turns into Walking Street area which is a hot spot for locals and tourists. They spend time there doing morning exercises, playing folk games, dancing, watching street shows,…

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An artist is drawing his 10-minute portrait on Walking Street, Hoan Kiem area

2.Visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral (40 minutes) 

Our next destination is assured to give you a brand new experience of discovering an European corner in the middle of a typical Asian city like Hanoi.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a 100-year-old Catholic church built by French in Hanoi. Visiting this destination, you will have chance to know more about the variety of religions in Vietnam as well as the “little Paris” in Hanoi.

We will take outside to see the overall Catholic Structure which resembles the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, then we go inside to see the well preserved architecture. Then, let’s take a seat at a street cafe and enjoy Tra chanh – Lime Tea while watching people walking around, couples taking pre-wedding photos.

For more information about this beautiful structure, check this out: St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi.

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A view inside the beautiful Catholic Church

3. Hoa Lo Prison (1 hour)

We move to a place once known as “the most thrilling place in Hanoi” – Hoa Lo Prison.

This was a famous political prison built by French to house Vietnamese Communists prisoners and later followed by North Vietnam to house prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Today it becomes a famous historic museum in showing the cruelty and inhumanity of wars during the French colonial time in Hanoi.

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One of the “special cells” used to house “special Vietnamese communists” during the war

Visiting Hoa Lo (also called Hanoi Hilton because of humanity treatment of Vietnamese government) you will see prison’s cells, guillotines and remains of Vietnamese prisoners. Besides, there are some rooms displaying tools and artifacts that American pilots had left when they were captured in Hoa Lo prison.

4. Ho Chi Minh Complex (2 hours and a half)

After having lunch, we will move to Ho Chi Minh Complex by taxi.

The First place of the Complex is Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where we spend a lot of time visiting compared to other attractions in the tour. The place was modeled on Lenin’s mausoleum in Russia and built as a resting place of Ho Chi Minh – our greatest President. According to many tourists, it’s is an impressive sight and worth the trip just to see another side of Vietnam.

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The beauty of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at night

The place is not very crowded and you will have a chance to see the “Changing of the Guard” as its a nice activity to witness.

Next, we move to visit Ho Chi Minh Museum where Ho Chi Minh’s life story is told. After that, we went to see Ho Chi Minh’ s House on Stilts which was a place for Ho Chi Minh to live his life peacefully. Then, we will take you to One Pillar Pagoda which is well known as an unique architectural and cultural work of Vietnam.

If you want to know more about the place, don’t miss this article: Ho Chi Minh Complex

5. Temple of Literature ( 1 hour and a half) 

Our City Tour reaches the last stop with a place often cited as one of  Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions – Temple of Literature.

Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. No Vietnamese does not know Temple of Literature – the symbol of education. Especially, in exam season, it is Must-go place for students and their parents to go with a view to passing the exam with flying colors. Besides, there has a variety of ancient sirtes such as doctoral steles, pavilions and passageways that you only see here.

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Khue Van Cac (Constellation of Literature pavilion) is chosen to be the Symbol of Hanoi

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NOTE: All places mentioned are reasonably organised following suitable distances, transportation and time management. Still, you can freely tell us your desired places as well as time limitation so that we can customize your own tour for free with our local guides.

Contact us!

We are here to help you with any information you need.

Follow the WhatsApp Number and Email Address to have more detail about your tour, time arrangement, picking up, dropping off or customizing places you want to go. Or simply, contact us in the chat box popping up in the bottom right corner of your screen.

Hanoi City Tour Tripadvisor

@write2mimi: We had a wonderful tour with Hanoi’s free tour service. Yes, it’s actually free. Our awesome guide Gha (Jenny) and the guide in training Linh (both local college students) were amazing. They picked us up at the hotel and guided us through the old quarters. They were informative and really friendly. At the end, they took us to a coffee place to have some egg coffee and gave us suggestions for local food places. I definitely recommend taking this tour.

@ArthurBowns: Thuy an was very knowledgable about vietnams traditions and life. Her English was excellent and she was super smiley and happy to answer all our questions and practice her English. Very impressed with Hanoi free tours being able to ‘pull the rabbit out of the hat’ and find thuy an in the space of an hour after our request email. That was a lovely surprise and I’m so glad we explored the area with thuy an. I would thoroughly recommend Hanoi free tours to anyone and you’d be particularly lucky if you were partnered with thuy an. Fabulous afternoon.

@Calpino: We have just spent two lovely days Linh. We had originally booked for 1 day free city tour. Lynn took us to all the main tourist sites and explained the cultural significance of all we saw. We enjoyed the day so much we decided to spend a second day and see some of other places near to Hanoi. This morning we made clay bowls (very badly) in the ‘ceramic village’, in the afternoon we went to Snake village where the restaurants will serve you all things . Not for us, but interesting to see. Lynn is hoping to become a professional tour guide and is excellent, happy company.

@ShaminiG: We booked Hanoi city tours with Hanoi Free Local Tours on the very first day of our Hanoi trip. It was very helpful to have a local university student as our guide for exploring the city. Our guide’s name was Sunny; she speaks good English and friendly too. She took us around the sight seeing in nearby places by taxi and short walks. She also brought us to a local Vietnamese noodle shop (Bun Cha Nem) and introduced the famous Egg Coffee to us. It was super tasty and we loved it. We really appreciate Hanoi Free Local Tour’s efforts of providing free tours by local university students to the foreigners which is mutually beneficial for both the tourists and local students.

@PaulaP: I went today on a tour with Anna to the Hoa Lo prison and to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. Before starting our trip, she told me about the main touristic sites and let me decide which ones I prefered to visit.
She was extremely nice and her English skills were excellent. It was very easy for me to understand everything. I had a really good time and learnt a lot about Vietnamese culture. I highly recommend it!

Contact us!

We are here to help you with any information you need.

Follow the WhatsApp Number and Email Address to have more detail about your tour, time arrangement, picking up, dropping off or customizing places you want to go. Or simply, contact us in the chat box popping up in the bottom right corner of your screen.