21 Best Things To Do in Hanoi, Old Quarter, At Night, Around Hanoi [2018]

21 Best Things To Do in Hanoi, Old Quarter, At Night and Around Hanoi [2018]

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - Hanoi Where to go
2018| HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM|Hours-Inside-Dresscode-Transport
September 26, 2017
Temple of Literature Hanoi
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE HANOI | Opening Hours – Dress code – Entrance Fees – Introduction
December 15, 2017
Temple of literature

 University students taking a journalist voluntarily from Singapore around Hanoi as a the way to learn English and help travelers know more about Hanoi.

After surveying over 10,000 foreign tourists visiting Hanoi, as a local tour guide, I will now give you a list of the 21 best things to do in Hanoi.

Temple of literature

University students taking a journalist voluntarily from Singapore around Hanoi as a the way to learn English and help travelers know more about Hanoi.

The list is divided into 4 categories adapting to the best itinerary, time management.

  • In the Old Quarter (0,5 – 1 day)
  • French Quarter (0.5 – 1 day)
  • Around Hanoi (0.5 – 1 day)
  • Things to do at night
  • Things to do out of Hanoi (2-3 days or more)
  • Free Local Guides (Local University Students taking tourists around Hanoi as the way to learn English

Besdies Top 21 things to do in Hanoi, you can find these articles below useful

This article is well selected on The Best Travel Agency in Hanoi Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet especially by Local Tour Guide

I. The Old Quarter – Top 5 Things to do

The Old Quarter, the heart of Hanoi Capital, this could be the first thing that appears to everyone when thinking about visiting Hanoi. lots of small alley, together with Its is the streets that make up the uniqueness of Hanoi Old Quarter. Once selling or producing specific products ranging from drums to silk.

To help you discover Hanoi easier, we created a list of things to do in the old quarter and map for ones looking for the destinations or creating the itinerary. We also describe how interesting each destination is below.

  • Duration: 3-4 hours (For short time in Hanoi, this can be 3 hours)
  • Walking

5. Walking around Hoan Kiem Lake

Almost all travelers stay in the old quarter, this may take 10 minutes from your hotel to the first stop Hoan Kiem Lake (The Heart of Hanoi).

If your hotel is not in the old quarter, the best way to get the is taking a taxi (Uber or Grab are popular as well).

Activities: interesting cultural activities especially in the weekend – Walking Street (from Friday to Sunday)


  • Dress code: No shorts or miniskirts.
  • Other: Stay silent. No smoking, no arm cross. Only filming when allowed
things to do. Walking around Hoan Kiem lake.

A street vendor is going along the Hoan Kiem Lake area – A beautiful scene of Hanoi, Vietnam.


4. Shopping at Dong Xuan Market 

things to do - Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan market has many food stalls

If you are a shopaholic, you cannot miss Dong Xuan market – A paradise for shopping. Dong Xuan market is the busiest and most popular traditional market of Hanoi.


  • Address: Dong Xuan Street.
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 18:00

3. Sightseeing from Long Bien Bridge

things to do. Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge is a great place for sightseeing and taking photos

Interested in sightseeing?

Long Bien bridge becomes the usual spot for people to hang around at night. You might wonder what to do there?

Nothing could be better than seeing the Red River—while sitting in a small corner, eating some baked corns and potatoes by locals. It’s a cozy and relaxing experience.

2. A cup of special coffee

The top 1 drink in Hanoi, you should not miss

You can have the detailed information and get a free local guide to tell you information about Old Quarter Below.

1. Free Old Quarter Walking Tour

Provided by local university students seeking chance of improving their English skills, Free Old Quarter Walking Tours have been top things to do in Hanoi for many years.

Hanoi Free Walking Tours – Old Quarter

II. French Quarter  – 3 Best Things To Do

This Hanoi walk takes us through the colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quarter. The Opera House, The Metropole Hotel, the Vietnam History Museum and other important architectural and historical landmarks are located here. And there are plenty of other interesting street scenes as well.

3. St.Joseph’s Cathedral

An Neo-Gothic Cathedral located in the heart of Hanoi Capital, Saint Joseph Cathedral is the representative evidence of the French colonial architecture.

Want to see some European construction?

You must go to St.Joseph’s Cathedral!

The church was built by the French in December 1886. It is the oldest church in Hanoi.


  • Address: No.40 Nha Chung Street
  • Opening hours: Usually closed by noon

2. Hoa Lo Prison

Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison or the ‘Hanoi Hilton’, housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POWs during the Vietnam War.

The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 11:30 and 13:30 – 17:00
  • Address: 1 Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Tel: +84 43 824 6358 Price Range: VND 30,000

1.Visiting Hanoi Opera House 

Things to do in Hanoi - opera House

Inspired by the famous Opéra Garnier Theater in Paris, the Hanoi Opera House is actually a massive architectural work of its time

If you want to see the landmark of Hanoi—then you must check out The Opera House. The place is located in the French Quarter in Hanoi.

To get more about the Opera House


  • Address: No.01 Trang Tien Street
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:00
  • Ticket Price: VND 400.000 (~$20)

Or you can book a free tour for French Quarter Free French Quarter Walking Tour

II. Things to do Around the Old Quarter (5 Destinations)

Starting from Hoan Kiem Lake – the heart of Hanoi, we would like to take you to the following places arranged in order.

Take a look at the map first:

things to do in Hanoi. Hanoi Free Local Tour

The guideline for exploring places around the Old Quarter by Hanoi Free Local Tour

1. Temple of Literature 

If you want to the cultural signature of Vietnam then you have to go to Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature in Hanoi is not only a historical place representing the long progress of Vietnamese culture. It made a big contribution on both Confucian civilization in Vietnam and human culture in the world also. Temple of literature was ranked as the cultural and historical site on 28th April, 1962.


  • Address: No.58 Quoc Tu Giam Street
  • Opening hours:  7:30 – 18:00 from Monday to Friday and  8:00 – 21:00 from Saturday to Sunday
  • Ticket Price: VND 30.000 (~$ 1.3)

2.Visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh is considered as the great father of Vietnam, who dedicated his life to save the country from invaders.
The construction project started on the 2nd  of September 1973 and completed on the 21st  of August 1975.

When you come to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum at night , you will see a pretty and peaceful night space which attracts a lot of people’s eyes. It is Ba Dinh square that taking off and raising flag ceremonies are hold every morning and evening.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum


  • Address: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hung Vuong Street, Ba Dinh District
  • Opening days : Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Opening hours : 07:30 -11:00
  • Ticket Price: VND 25.000 (~$1)


  • Dress code: No shorts or miniskirts.
  • Other: Stay silent. No smoking, no arm cross. Only filming when allowed.

3. Visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda

If you love religious places then you should go to Tran Quoc pagoda.

Located on a small peninsula on West Lake, Tran Quoc is extremely magnificent. The pagoda is considered as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years. In 1962, Tran Quoc pagoda was listed as historical heritage of Vietnam.


  • Address: Thanh Niên Street
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00


  • Dress code: No shorts or miniskirts.
  • Other: Stay silent. No smoking, no arm cross. Only filming when allowed.

All things above are cover by Hanoi Free Tours with locals

Hanoi City Tours for Free

4. Visiting Museum of Ethnology

things to do in Hanoi - ethnology museum

Unique wooden sculptures at the museum

Are you interested in different cultures of vietnam?

If so then go to Museum of  Ethnology .

Coming to Museum of Ethnology you get to see the traditional features of 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. You will learn about how different ethnics group carry out their marry, funeral, their clothing and their entertainment.


  • Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Street
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00
  • Ticket Price: VND 40.000 (~$2)

5.Visiting Bat Trang Village

things to do around Hanoi: Bat Trang village

An excitement of a tourist when trying to do a vase himself in Bat Trang Village

Interested in Vietnam traditional porcelain?

Come and join pottery class—have an interesting experience in how to make pottery product by yourself.

Bat Trang Pottery Village has the longest tradition of making pottery in Vietnam. The pottery here is diverse in their styles and shapes. One of the best thing here is you can see for real the artisans making pottery. You can also create your own pottery products by joining a workshop.


  • Address: Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District.
  • Distance: 10km or 30 minutes by car/motorbike.
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00

III. Hanoi at night – 4 Things to do

-things-to-do-at-night. Hanoi Free Local Tour

The common scene of crowded Ta Hien street

4. Drinking cold beer

Drinking cool beer is a common thing to do in Hanoi at night, it can also be considered  the best thing to do in Hanoi at night.

Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen Street are the most popular places to grab some beer. It’s always crowded at night when a lot of locals and foreigners enjoy beer together. Now it has become a gathering destination for party lovers. Grabbing some beer, feeling the music and having fun with locals and foreigners would be great to spend your night.


  • Address: Ta Hien Street, Luong Ngoc Quyen Street
  • Price: 20.000 VND (~$1)/glass or 80.000 VND (~$4) for a bottle

3. Watching Water Puppet Show in Hanoi 

 things to do. Watching water puppet show

The traditional puppets in a Water Puppet Show in Thang Long theatre

Interested in traditional cultural art?

You should see Water puppet show in Hanoi.

This traditional performing art has been existing for more than a thousand year. And now it has become the symbol of art of Vietnam. Water puppet show is a Vietnamese folk culture performing the life of  Vietnamese farmers (catching fishes, tending buffalo, cultivating …) or historical legends.


  • Address:  No.57b Dinh Tien Hoang Street
  • Opening hours:  15:30, 17:00, 18:30, 20:00, 21:15 and Sunday at 09:30
  • Ticket Price: Around VND 60.000-100.000 (~$3- 5)

2. Visiting Skyline Observation Deck

Want to explore a different view of Hanoi?

Go to Hanoi Lotte observation deck, which is near by Skywalk. Standing on the 65th floor of Lotte center, at that height, you can clearly see the beautiful and sparkling view of Hanoi.


  • Address: 54 Lieu Giai Street (Lotte Center buiding), Ba Dinh district.
  • Ticket Price: 200.000 VND (~$9)

1. Eating Street food

things to do in Hanoi - Grilled Pork

Grilled Pork on Charcoal

If you are a true foodie then you must go to Hang Buom Street at night. You could not imagine how many things you could do and could eat there.

At night, there are many kinds of tasty Street food being served in every single corners. There are so many kinds of food for you to try including: barbecued beef, Che, Banh Troi Tau, hot pot and so on. Nothing could be better than having some food while walking on the Street enjoying your night.


  • Address: Hang Buom Street
  • Ticket Price: VND 20.000-30.000/dish (~$1,5)

IV. Things to do outside Hanoi (3 Trips)

1. Visiting Ninh Binh Province 

Trang An complex in Ninh Binh is the best choice for busy travelers. Just one day tour package includes dozens of must-see sites.

Trang An now draws more and more attention to its tourism activities. The tour covers religious worship, history, boating, excavation learning, and an optional cycling choice for those who loves biking.

Things to do in Hanoi - Trang An Complex

The poetic and charming beauty of Trang An complex

  • Address: Ninh Binh Province
  • Distance: 100km from Hanoi, 2.5 hours by car/bus
  • Ticket Price: VND 200.000/pax (~$8) for boating.

2. Visiting Ha Long Bay 

As one of the top things to do in the northe Vietnam, recommended by Tripadvisor Halong Bay is totally worthy

Designated a World Heritage site in 1994, Halong Bay is a vision of ethereal beauty and, unsurprisingly, northern Vietnam’s number one tourism hub.

Losts of travelers do not know How many days they should spend in Halong Bay

things to do in Hanoi. Visiting Halong Bay

A breathtaking view in Halong Bay

Activities to do in Ha Long bay includes: Floating on the boat, visiting caves, sun set party, cooking class, enjoying kayaking to discover Halong Bay…


  • Address: Quang Ninh Province
  • Distance: 180 km from Hanoi or 4 hours by bus.


3. Visiting Sapa

The natural landscape of Sa Pa is combined with people’s creativity along with the terrain of the mountains, the green of the forest.

The picture of Sa Pa is arranged in a harmonious arrangement to create a region with many romantic poetry and attractive scenes

things to do in Hanoi. Visiting Sapa

The enchanted landscape of Sapa – the most famous mountainous traveling area of Vietnam


  • Address: Lao Cai Province
  • Distance: 317km from Hanoi or 5 hours by bus.

Travel with Hanoi Free Local Tours to get the best local experience ever!

You’ve seen all 21 things to do in Hanoi and around.

With this list – from now on – you won’t be run out of things to do in Hanoi.

And other 8 best Hanoi Travel Agencies

Let’s grab your belongings and start your journey.


  1. Tommy LaCroix says:

    walking around lakes is a great thing to do for any tourist overwhelmed by Hanoi’s famously insane traffic. it affords one less direction of motos coming at you constantly, lol. also the People’s Republic Museum of Airdefense is super cool for kids. tons of wrecked fighter jets and giant helicopters all shot full of bullet holes and captured by the undefeatable People’s Military during the many wars. Great for kids esp. little boys. I would have lost my mind with glee seeing this ~ age 10 years old. Also has space mission stuff. rất đẹp!

  2. Hanoi tour package: Interesting task of a thousand years – Sligoseashore says:

    […] its very name suggests What to do in Hanoi integrated in honor of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese leader who was in charge of the rebellion versus […]

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  4. Mary Pongkhamsing says:

    Very good written post. It will be supportive to anyone who usess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  5. Ventori says:

    Hanoi Old Quarter is the hallmark of Hanoi city. I’m a guy who loves going for walks. So, every time traveling Hanoi, I always take time to walk on Old Quarter. Photographing and exploring Hanoi Old Quarter probably gives you understand more people and Hanoi city.

  6. trekking sapa says:

    Sapa tours are one of the most fantastic things to do
    when coming to Vietnam, something can leave tourists peace in the soul, deep impressions, and unforgettable memories.” – that’s what most of the tourists who have just come back from a trip to Vietnam said.

    Even though Halong Bay, Nha Trang or Hoi An are the most tourist attractions of Vietnam
    which have brought thousands of tourists to Vietnam each
    year, there’s a destination that’s known as the paradise for bikers and especially trekkers,
    that’s Sapa.

    You can easily fall in love with the friendliness of the ethnic people if experiencing the homestay Sapa tours, can feel the warmth right in the
    middle of this cold region if seeing the lovely smile of the children as well as the
    women here, their smile always brightens up all the mist-wrapped
    scenery here. If there’s any chance, you can try experiencing their daily works as real farmers of Sapa.
    It’ll be very hard but relaxing, which can help you forget all the worry that you still keep in mind before starting this
    trip, help you know that the people in Sapa are very optimistic even though they
    have to work a lot and save every penny.

    Thanks to those experiences, Sapa tours are no more
    just a trip to a mountainous region but also a journey full of memories
    and lessons that you can learn from the lovely locals.

    For any time in a year, making the Sapa tours in Vietnam will leave you a deep impression and
    wonderful experience. But to most of tourists who used to
    been in the Sapa trekking tours, they all say that the best Sapa tours Vietnam is
    a tour which is made in September to October, which means in the Autumn of this
    land, when Sapa is covered with stunning golden terraced fields which looks like a magical yellow ribbon of the Mother Earth.

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