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Hanoi Itinerary

5 Days Itinerary Hanoi: What to do in Hanoi for 5 Days?

Here’s some tips for you

  1. No more than 3 days in Hanoi city.
  2. Only one day for Halong Bay can be a bit short
  3. For all the places in Hanoi ( Hanoi Old Quarter, French Quarter, City), you can consider doing a Hanoi free tour with Local university students.
  4. For 6 days in Hanoi you can spend more time for Halong Bay (2 days 1 night)
  5. 7 days in Hanoi, it is worthy thinking about one another option for Sapa as below detailed

If you are planning less than 3 days in Hanoi, Here is for you: 2 days in Hanoi

Or just click and get advice from our experts!

5 Days Itinerary Hanoi or Things to do in Hanoi for 5 Days? How do you plan these 5 days?

You know Hanoi is full of amazing attractions. And you have 5 days to spend here in Hanoi.

You’re excited to pack it up and make a Hanoi 5 days itinerary.

You can get Free Advice on Your Itinerary by filling in the form. Local Supporter will contact and help you out with the customized Itinerary (Based on your travel style and budget.

You don’t know what to do ? I will break it down day by day—all the things you can possibly do in 5 days—to create the best Hanoi itinerary for 5 days.

Hanoi The Old Quater
Hanoi The Old Quarter Walking Tour

The 5 days Hanoi itinerary includes things to do both:

  • In Hanoi
  • Out of Hanoi ( Halong Bay, Ninh Binh or other options)

This way, you can make the most out of your experience—with 5 days in Hanoi. by see the

you will chat directly with local guides, she will help you out.

Summary Itinerary for 5, 6, 7 days in Hanoi, North Vietnam

The summary 5 days Itinerary:

Option 1:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing
  • Day 3: Halong Bay
  • Day 4: Go to Ninh Binh
  • Day 5: Back to Hanoi

Option 2:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing
  • Day 3: Halong Bay (2 days)
  • Day 5: Back to Hanoi


  1. No more than 3 days in Hanoi city. (1 day for Halong Bay can be a bit short)
  2. For all the places in Hanoi ( Hanoi Old Quarter, French Quarter, City), you can consider doing Hanoi free tours with Local university students.
  3. If you are planning less than 3 days in Hanoi, Here is for you: 2 days in Hanoi
  4. the best way to enjoy Ninh Binh is taking a day trip from Hanoi from AZ Local Trip See Ninh Binh Tours and request them for more advice on the location you are going to do

The summary 6 days Itinerary:

Option 1: 2 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay, 2 days in Sapa) 

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (Free Old Quarter Walking Tour with Local volunteers)
  • Day 2: Hanoi – Halong bay day trip
  • Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi street food tours with AZlocal NPO
  • Day 4: From Hanoi to Sapa (Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat Village)
  • Day 5: Sapa – Muong Hoa Valley – Lao Chai – Ta Van — To Hanoi at night.
  • Day 6: Hanoi City around Free and Easy day (Detailed below)

The first option covers Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa. But if you are in a group with elders and kids, this itinerary will not be highly recommended. To explore Sapa, you have to walk or trek a lot down the roads and villages and this might be difficult for kids and elders. It also takes a lot of time to go to Sapa (by train or shuttle bus) so this itinerary is a little bit rushed. Young people and adventurous souls might be suitable for this trip.

Option 2: 3 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay, 1 day in Ninh Binh 

  • Day 1 – Arrive in Hanoi (Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi Nightlife)
  • Day 2 – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise
  • Day 3 – Halong Bay – Back to Hanoi
  • Day 4 – Hanoi Around the City (Ho Chi Minh Complex, Hanoi Citadel, Temple of literature) + French Quarter + Enjoy Foods to prepare for the next day
  • Day 5 – Ninh Binh Day Trip: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
  • Day 6 – Hanoi Free & Easy day

We would highly recommend this itinerary with groups of elders and kids or those who want a relaxing trip. The itinerary is not too rushed but you also can experience the most out of 3 destinations.

The summary 7 days Itinerary:

Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh (4 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Halong Bay, 1 days in Ninh Binh)

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi Tour  (Free tours with local volunteers)
  • Day 3: Ninh Binh
  • Day 4, 5: Halong Bay
  • Day 6,7: Hanoi

Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa (2 days in hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2, 3: Halong Bay
  • Day 4,5,6: Sapa
  • Day 7: Hanoi Departure

Option 2 of the 7 days hanoi itinerary covers Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa. Sapa is a small town in Northern Vietnam and known for its beautiful ethnic minorities’ villages, spectacular scenery with rice terraces and picturesque valleys. However, visiting Sapa requires you to do some trekking and walking, so that elders and kids should consider in case they cannot do so. Anyways, this tour is relaxable and not rushed as you have much time for enjoying yourself. This itinerary is like option 1, suitable for everyone from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers.

5 Days in Hanoi (Detail)

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter

You’ve just got to the Old Quarter. You see the crowded street full of people and motorbikes.

You can feel it—the atmosphere of the Old Quarter.  Now it’s time to explore it a little bit.

Old Quater Tours

Hanoi Old Quarter

Have you ever heard of this: “Hanoi has thirty-six streets and guides?” It’s a mixture of both traditional and modern—exciting and relaxing—at the same time.

Things that you can do here:

  1. Walk and sightsee the people and the street
  2. Shop local products
  3. Try street food on the way from local restaurants
Old Quater Map
Follow the map to explore the Old Quarter

Join the mystical adventure through 36 streets and guides:

  • Start: Cau Go Street
  • End: Le Thai To Street

As your exciting exploration is going, remember to look out for the way—the traffic can get crazy sometimes.

Now let’s move to…

Sightsee Sword Lake

What is the most popular attraction in hanoi—the one that everyone in Hanoi must know?

It’s impossible for you to visit Hanoi without knowing—or seeing the Sword Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake – Symbol of Hanoi

Things that you can do here:

  • Sit on the rock chair and sightsee Sword Lake
  • Take photos.

The scenery in Hoan Kiem Lake is always magnificent no matter the weather.

After that you can visit…

 Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son Temple on Sword Lake

Ngoc Son Temple is just a few steps away from Sword Lake. It’s on Sword Lake, once you cross the Red Bridge.

Hanoi French Quarter

Visit the Opera House, The Opera house is the feat of French architects.

Once you come here, you can learn a lot about the history—also observe the astounding construction inside.

Things that you can do here are:

  • Observe the magnificent architectural construction by the French.
  • Learn about history. You will learn about the reason behind the creation of the Opera House.
  • Watch the performance. Here in the Opera house—you can see one of the most amazing traditional performances—by the most talented people in the country.

Located on Trang Tien Street, it won’t take you a long time to get here from the Old Quarter:

  • Address: 01 Trang Tien Street
  • Price: 400,000 VND(~$18)/ticket

And now, you will…

Visit Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge is Vietnamese history’s witness for more than 100 years

If you love learning about history—then Long Bien Bridge is a must-see.

Things you can do here are:

  1. Learn about history.

Long Bien Bridge is the witness of a hundred years of history. Here you will learn about the amazing stories behind this attraction.

    2.Watch the sunset and take photos. Watching the sunset from the bridge is wonderful.

It crosses the most well-known river in Hanoi—the Red River.

From The Opera House, it’s only takes 10 minutes by Taxi:

  • Address: Next to Long Bien Station

At Night

Drink Beer In Ta Hien Street

It’s very exciting and fun during the day in the Old Quarter. You got it. What about the night?

Even better. At night, the street is full of people coming to all the bars in the Old Quarter to chill and relax.

Things that you can do:

Drink beer and cheer with the other

Ta Hien Street
Ta Hien Street – Hanoi’s best entertainment district

Drink some bia hoi (vietnamese craft beer) on Ta Hien or Luong Ngoc Quyen while sitting and chilling on the sidewalk with other people.

You can make some friends with other foreigners

  • Address: Ta Hien Street and Luong Ngoc Quyen Street or
  • Price: 50,000 VND (~$2.3)/bottle

Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing

After one exciting day. You just can’t get enough of Hanoi.

Want to experience more? Let’s go, shall we?

Visit Ho Chi Minh Complex

Interested in history, architecture and sightseeing? You have to visit Ho Chi Minh Complex—a must see in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Complex
Ho Chi Minh Complex
  1. See Flag Ritual.

If you arrive early then you can see the flag ritual here—at 6 am.

  1. Visit Ba Dinh Square

See 240 squares of grass. Learn about the glorious history of Vietnam.

  1. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Here, you can see the image of our great president Ho Chi Minh.

  1. Visit One Pillar Pagoda

One pillar Pagoda is the signature of Vietnamese Culture.  It has the best designs and scenery in Hanoi. An ancient and elegant pagoda on top of a lotus lake—it’s extremely beautiful.

Coming here, you can sight-see the wonderful view of the pagoda.

From Ho Chi Minh Complex—One Pillar Pagoda is only 4 minutes walking from there:

  • Address: Doi Can Street
  • Price: Free

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

If you like ancient history—you can not miss the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was recognized as UNESCO World Heritages in 2010.

To see Imperial Citadel of Thang Long:

  • Address: Quan Thanh Street
  • Time: 8AM-12:30PM, 13:30PM-17PM
  • Price: 30.000 VND (~$1.3)

Now it’s time to…

Visit Temple Of Literature

Temple of Literature is the first University of Vietnam. Therefore, needless to say the culture and historical beauty of this attraction.

Temple of literature
Temple of literature

Sightsee the historical and cultural beauty

Temple of Literature is only 7 minutes from Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: 

  • Address: Quoc Tu Giam Street
  • Time: 8:30-11:30 & 11:30-16:30
  • Price: 30,000 VND (~$1.3)/Ticket

At Night

Water puppet Theater Show

Interested in traditional Vietnamese art? Then you should go see a water puppet theater show. It’s Unique Vietnamese traditional art.

It describes daily life of Vietnamese farmers, entertainment with people (swimming contest, dragon dancing,…) or historical legends

It tells stories about:

  • Vietnamese farmers life
  • Communal entertainment of vietnamese (swimming contest, dragon dancing,…)
  • Historical legends (The Return of Sword on Sword Lake,…)
Thang Long Puppetry Show:
Thang Long Puppetry Show – Traditional Show in Vietnam

Thang Long Puppetry Show:

  • Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street
  • Price: 100,000 VND/pax ($4.5) + 30,000 VND ($1.4)/cup of coffee

Day 3: Halong Bay ( 2 days) 

You’ve made the most out of your time in Hanoi in those 2 days.

Now…. It’s time for a fresh experience. It’s time to taste the saltiness of the sea.

And no other place can beat Ha Long bay for its beauty.

HaLong Bay
HaLong Bay – Wonder of Vietnam

Go to Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is located in Quang Ninh, 160km in Hanoi so it would take 4 hours by bus.

On the way to Ha Long, you can sightsee and take pictures of the Red River.

Sightsee and eat lunch on Junk Boat

Get on a junk boat, a beautiful sun deck, lie in bed and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the bay.

Things you can do:

  1. Sunbathe
  2. Have lunch on Board.

Coming to HaLong Bay without tasting the fresh seafood would be a waste. Trust me. You wouldn’t want to miss it.

  • Note: If you visit HaLong Bay for 2 days, you will lose 1 day in Hanoi or 1 day in Ninh Binh.


Want to exercise a little bit? Try kayaking.

Kayaking and sightseeing the beautiful bay of a thousand year old island is a one of a kind experience you can’t forget.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a must visit destination in Vietnam

Things you can do:

  1. Kayak to Thien Son Cung Cave.

Thien Son Cung Cave is a must see. It has a magnificent view.

Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung Cave is the wonder of HaLong Bay
  1. Take some photos of the wonderful scenery.

Day 4: Go to Ninh Binh

Yesterday you had a great time in Ha Long Bay. And for today—we will visit Halong Bay again!?

Trang An Ninh Binh
Trang An Ninh Binh – A wonderland you will drop your jaw

Wait, but this time… It’s Halong Bay on land. It’s called Trang An Complex. Trang An was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014—needless to say the beauty of this place.

Trang An is located in Ninh Binh. It takes 3 hours by bus from Giap Bat bus station. You can totally arrive and leave at the same time.

A few tips:

  • Bring some extra clothing—going to the caves will be cold.
  • Sneaker and a little bit of food to snack on the way.
  • Best way to enjoy Ninh Binh is taking a day trip from Hanoi (Would love to recommend Ninh Binh one day tours by AZ Local Trip because of their careful recommendation before the tours)

You had a long day. It’s time for you to rest.

Day 5: Back to Hanoi

Visit Bat Trang Pottery Village

Bat Trang pottery village is one of the most well known traditional handicraft villages.

Local artisans who use both traditional and modern techniques to create beautiful porcelain artworks.

Bat Trang Pottery Village is 13km Southeast of Hanoi. To get there you can use a day tour or bus.

Things you can do here are:

  1. Purchase ceramic products

You can purchase the finest handmade ceramic products—vases, bowld, cups and plates.

Bat Trang Village
Bat Trang Village is famous for their pottery products
  • Address:  Bat Trang Village, Bat Trang commune
  • Price:100.000-200000 VND ($5-10)/piece
  1. Create your own ceramic products.

You can create your own product by  joining a workshop. It’s an amazing experience.

  • Address:  Bat Trang local workshop, Bat Trang Village, Bat Trang Commune
  • Price:25.000 VND (~$1)/session

In The Afternoon

Shop around

Want to keep some memories of this trip? Want to buy some gifts for friends and family?

This is the chance for you to do—buy shopping around Hanoi. Hanoi has a lot of things you can purchase including traditional food and products

At Night

It’s time for you to wrap it up and prepare for departing tomorrow. But if you still have some spare time then you can…

Let’s have a great time in Hanoi.

Cause time waits for no one.

Day 6 or day 7 (Hanoi, North Vietnam) in case you are going to Plan

Stay longer for Halong Bay for 2 days 1 night, some travelers even choose 3 days 2 nights for Halong Bay ( other time for Hanoi, and Ninh Binh), think about Bai Tu Long (less touristy), or Lan Hạ Bay, instead of Halong Bay (especially from November to February)

For Sapa in case of 7 days itinerary Hanoi

Around 3days – 2nights in Sapa is enough for your trip.

– Visit the local markets: Coc Ly on Tuesday, Lung Khau on Thursday, Can Cau on Saturday and Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday.

– 2 days trekking down to the villages nearby the Sapa town then overnight at the village to get the experience.

– Visit the waterfall or visit the dragon mountain.

Hope this information will help you a little bit.


Author: Quentin Nguyễn