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Hanoi Itinerary

3 days in Hanoi | BEST things to do in Hanoi for 3 days 2 nights

3 days Hanoi itinerary – What to do in Hanoi for 3 days 2 nights

When my friends visit Hanoi, they show me their lists with long of tourist attractions, interesting things to do and asking me to suggest a Hanoi itinerary. Due to the short amount of time, it is challenging for them to get in local life and have fulfilling experience in Hanoi.

As a local and culture explorer in Hanoi for more than 20 years, I gave them my recommended  3 days Hanoi itinerary for unforgettable experience here.

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

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Hanoi itinerary 4 days (If you like)

Day 1: The Old Quarter

Feel the vibrant local lifestyle

Like other locals, I start my day with pho – a fresh bowl of noodle and beef or chicken that fill in my full energy to begin a busy working day!

Pho ha noi
Pho – Vietnam’s signature dish, comprising rice noodles in a flavourful soup with meat and various greens, plus a side of nuoc cham (fermented fish)

Pho can be found in every street of Hanoi, in a luxury restaurant or in a street food store. I usually begin my busy working day with a bowl in a restaurant nearby The Old Quarter.

Early morning is the best time for you to immerse yourself in local daily lifestyle. Take a seat in a street restaurant and let’s enjoy pho like a local in Hanoi!

Explore the traditional side

Then, be friend of Hanoi by taking a walk around The Old Quarter.

The Old Quarter is called “where all stories happen” for twenty-something locals like us. Much of Hanoi charm lies in the Old Quarter, but sometimes you need a little local knowledge to locate them.

Hanoi Old Quater
Old Quater – must visit destination when coming to Hanoi – capital of Vietnam

Nearby and around The Old Quarter is another local highly-recommended attractions. I will feature and steer you towards some of the historical, cultural destinations in Hanoi including Hoan Kiem Lake,  Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi Opera House, Bach Ma Temple…

If you want to save your time and visit as many as possible places, I suggest you to hire yourself a motorbike and transport like a local in Hanoi. Remember to wear helmet and bring your ID with you.

Or more convenient, you can explore Hanoi with a free local guide in motorbike.

It is double-benefit option because you can learn not only about destinations but also can listen to local stories and knowledge that only local can share.

Book a tour Hanoi Free Walking Tours

Never miss a cup of egg coffee

“What is egg coffee?”. I received a lot of the same questions about the “weird” coffee in Hanoi from my foreign friends. My answer for these questions is to take them to my favorite cafe that offer the best local taste of egg coffee.

Egg Coffee
A decadent blend of coffee, whipped egg, and butter have made this wartime invention a modern-day favorite.

It is enough for your fruitful day in Hanoi, relax and get ready for the second exciting day!

More detailed you can find in One Day in Hanoi

Day 2: Uncover the modern Hanoi

Bat Trang Pottery Village

In the second day, you can have a banh mi for your breakfast. With pho, banh mi (Vietnamese bread) is highlighted as Vietnam representatives on the world cuisine map.

Locals can eat banh mi for breakfast, for lunch or dinner. It is convenient and full of protein for your trip to Bat Trang Pottery Village.

However, Bat Trang Village is quite far from the center of Hanoi. You should get up early and know exactly how to get there. My suggestion for you is to use Bus 47 from Long Bien bus stop. If you have any question about this issue, you can contact us or book a free local tour.

Long Bien Bridge

After short trip to Bat Trang Village, you can visit Long Bien Bridge – our local pride on bravery and courage of Vietnam through country’s long history.

Long Bien Bridge is more than 100 years old bridge,  built by French during French war.  Whenever I walk across Long Bien Bridge, I feel proud of my hometown and appreciate what I have today.

This bridge means to us as a symbol of sacrifice for country freedom and history witness of Hanoi development.

Long Bien bride - The Historical Witness Of Hanoi
Long Bien Bridge – a witness to the resilience of Hanoi in the two resistance wars

Bat Trang pottery village and Long Bien bridge takes you a morning and a haft of afternoon, then what should you do next?

Enjoy tea in local style!

Fully participated in above activities, I must be very thusty! Why not try drink a cup of tea in local style!

Tea (tra), local tea is different from British tea or American tea. Such kind of tea is unable to be found in any place in this world.

Street ice tea
Iced tea is an essential but uncelebrated element of Vietnamese dining culture & social life of Vietnam

On Tripadvisor, many tourists are curious about preschool sized chair on the street. It might be pretty funny at the first time you see it and if you are tall, you might have issues sitting on.

If you want to have a travel local buddy to take seat, have a chat like a local, contact us!

Day 3: A full amazing day like a local

Watch Water Puppet Show

Water puppet show
Popular tourist spot in Hanoi, the most common performance in Vietnam

I have watched Water puppet show many times in some important festivals in Hanoi. If you want to watch this show, there are two theaters near the Old Quarter for you to choose.

Eat like a local

Vietnamese local food is highlighted on the top cuisine magazines in the world by Chef Gordon Ramsay, USA President Barack Obama…

The reason is not mainly about the local passion for food but also about the creativity of locals and our commitment to change, adapt new things, learn new techniques and put their heart on cooking!

Spend your afternoon in a street food tour, explore every hidden corners and taste a single unforgettable dish in Hanoi.

If you are too lazy to search about must-try foods in Hanoi but desire to taste all, contact for detailed guide and support! We are free local guide and also foodie, photographers that up-level your experience in Hanoi to the much more awesome!

Shopping like a local

If you are a passionate shopper, I must be your friend ^^ Whenever I visit different city and other country, I love to go shopping and buy myself, my family and friends local gifts. However, I normally was upset of buying fake products and overcharged local gifts. I do not ever want you to face the same problems and have bad experience in my city.

Listen to my local tips that I applied smartly in my trips:

  • Ask about the price before deciding to buy it. Ask them firstly to know how much it costs, then ask them again to make sure that they say the “reasonable” price for you!
  • Use Vietnam Dong (local currency). Local stores are rarely acceptable to card payment. You should convert your money into Vietnam Dong for more convenience.
  • Be accompanied by a free local guide. Why not? It is the best way to make sure you won’t be overcharged and have awesome local experience in Hanoi.

Capture the young spirit

You won’t ever know a city without exploring the young and nightlife here!

Hanoi is young city with rapid change everyday. The city offers no-where-the-same experience in this world with busy and exciting night life.

Street performance on street walking
Street performance on street walking are common activities on the weekend

Finally, I hope that my local tips and Hanoi Itinerary for 3-day-suggestions would give you useful information and support you to get prepared before you visit Hanoi. If you have any question, contact us!

We selected information on Wikitravel Hanoi, and our local tour guides working for at least 5 year experience for this article.

Many Thanks