Old quarter in hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam"s capital city, is a rapidly modernising and bustling city. In amongst all this change is one constant - the Old Quarter, or Old Town, the historic heart và soul of Hanoi. With a history dating back 1000 years, the Old Quarter is the meeting point of past, present and future.

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Packed with charming, French colonial architecture và bustling streets, it is simply unmissable.

History Of The Old Quarter, Hanoi

Streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi during the day // Photo
mikecphoto / Shutterstock

The Old Quarter is a reflection of Vietnam"s storied past. Its history dates back to the 11th-century when, after independence from China, Emperor Ly Thai lớn decided to lớn move the capital from Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh lớn Hanoi. Today, the imperial citadel of Thang Long and the O quan tiền Chuong gate, which are located nearby the Old Quarter, stand as remnants of this storied past.

The Old Quarter soon established itself as a centre of arts & crafts, & this attracted skilled craftspeople khổng lồ live và work in the area. Migrants often came from the same village and operated in guilds, often settling in one street and specialising in one particular good or service. They also brought their religious beliefs with them, building temples và pagodas wherever they settled.

The Nguyen dynasty tax on the street frontage, which is maintained today, led people khổng lồ build "tube houses" - a narrow architectural style common across the Old Quarter & Vietnam. These traditional streets garnered the Old Quarter the nickname "36 Old Streets", and many are still named after the sản phẩm they specialised in, reflecting the craft traditions và history of the area.

Nowadays, you"ll also notice the 19th & 20th-century French influence, particularly in the yellow coloured exteriors of the old villas, houses, & buildings, as well as the wide tree-lined boulevards heading into the Old Quarter. All this history sits in & around the modern high-rises and buildings of a rapidly growing Hanoi, making the Old Quarter a fascinating travel destination.

Where Is The Old Quarter, Hanoi Located?

Tourist taxi bicycle at streetlife in the parth of old historical town // Photo
oOhyperblaster / Shutterstock

The Old Quarter is part of Hanoi"s Hoan Kiem district, which is situated west of the red river và Long Bien bridge & east of Ho đưa ra Minh"s mausoleum. Although the government has delineated the Old Quarter"s limits by the most historical parts, if you stray outside of the area, you"ll still find many streets worth visiting which were part of Hanoi"s historical urban centre.

If you are visiting Hanoi, the chances are you"ll be staying in one of the Old Quarter"s many hotels. If not, no worries! The best way to lớn get there is using one of the local taxi apps - we recommend Grab or Gojek - where you can put in your exact address before travelling and have a fixed price.

Old Quarter Attractions và Things lớn Do

Discover ancient streets
The 36 old streets of the old quarter are a major tourist attraction // Photo
Rolf_52 / Shutterstock

With its endless stream of motorbikes & hole-in-the-wall market stalls & restaurants, the Old Quarter can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Phối off on a cyclo, once a popular size of transport for Hanoian elites, & you can sit back and let your driver navigate all the hustle and bustle at a comfortable pace. You"ll also have the perfect vantage point khổng lồ explore và capture the chaotic streets, so have your camera ready!

If you want to lớn explore by yourself, getting lost in the Old Quarter can be a real pleasure. You"ll find yourself discovering quaint alleys, houses, & restaurants, và the only thing stopping you will be the tantalising smell of Vietnamese coffee - or the sizzling sun.

For a more structured way of seeing the Old Quarter, kiểm tra out Hanoi miễn phí Walking Tours. They offer a private walking tour of the Old Quarter from 9 am to 2 pm, & your guide will be able to answer all your questions & take you khổng lồ all the sites. Just don"t forget khổng lồ give them a tip or treat them to lunch!

Visit Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is the perfect relaxing thing to bởi vì in Hanoi // Photo
Panom / Shutterstock

Located right in the centre of the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem is one of Vietnam"s most iconic lakes. Its calming waters and natural beauty surround Turtle Tower, which sits elegantly in the middle of the lake. Towards the side is Ngoc Son Temple, an 18th-century pagoda accessible by Huc bridge, a beautiful red & wooden footbridge. The temple is dedicated lớn military leader Tran Hung Dao, who fought off the mighty Mongol invaders in the 13th century.

Take a stroll around the lake & find yourself a coffe where you can sit and watch the lake"s beautiful colours and the street performances. This is best enjoyed on weekends from 7 pm Friday lớn 12 pm Sunday when vehicles are banned, leaving pedestrians with the rare opportunity lớn rule the streets.

Hoan Kiem lake, also known as "restored sword" lake, is famed amongst Vietnamese people. Legend has it that a turtle gave Le Loi, an ancient warlord, a magical sword which he used to defeat the invading Chinese Ming dynasty, before returning it khổng lồ its rightful owner, the long king.

Go Shopping!

Shopping is an absolute must when in the Old Quarter.

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Here is a mini-guide on which markets and streets specialise in what:

Hang Bac street: here you"ll find all the precious stones, jewelry and jade you could wish for.Hang sợi (silk) street: from scarves khổng lồ suits, this is the best place to find clothes & garments. The tailors here will have you measured up và suited and booted in 24 hours;Luong Van Can street: offers colourful souvenirs & toys for children;Hang Ma street: packed with toys, decorations và paper lanterns, this colourful street comes into its own during festivals like Tet and Christmas;Lan Ong: named after a famous Vietnamese doctor, this is the spot for all your traditional medicine needs;
Go shopping at Dong Xuan market // Photo
Nonnakrit / Shutterstock

If you"re looking for a market, look no further than Dong Xuan Market. This is Hanoi"s answer khổng lồ the Ben Thanh market in Saigon, & it is the oldest traditional market in the capital.

Like most markets in Southeast Asia, the ground floor hosts a wet market selling mostly meat, fish và flowers. Upstairs is where you"ll find any number of products - from t-shirts và handbags to electronic goods & handicrafts - và you can get great value wholesale prices.

Opening Hours: Daily 6 am - 7 pmAddress: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, HanoiVisit The Weekend Night Market Hanoi
Make the most of Hanoi’s Nightlife // Photo
Michal Stipek / Shutterstock

Every weekend the Old Quarter plays host lớn a night market, one of the busiest in the capital. Fortunately, motorbikes are also banned, so you can walk freely without fear of being mowed down.

Starting at Hang Dao street khổng lồ the edge of Dong Xuan market, you"ll find yourself immersed in an electric atmosphere full of colourful lights and stalls, which sell everything from t-shirts and souvenirs khổng lồ local street food và snacks. Remember to lớn put your bargaining skills to the test!

This is also a great spot to kiểm tra out the local street artists và singers, whose performances attract flocks of viewers. As you walk, you"ll likely see cultural shows featuring traditional performances, which will give you great insight into traditional Vietnamese culture.

After a stroll through the night market, you may feel charged up and ready for a beer! For the freshest và one of the most affordable prices on earth let alone the Old Quarter, get down khổng lồ the Bia Hoi near Ta Hien street, where a glass costs only 5-6,000 VND. To lớn learn more about Vietnam"s Bia Hoi drinking culture - và how it"s so cheap - kiểm tra out our guide.

Opening hours: 7 pm – 11 pm Friday, Saturday và Sunday in the old townTaste The Local Street Food

The Old Quarter is home to some of the best food in Vietnam. Và whilst foreign tourists usually know Vietnamese food such as banh mi and pho - amazing dishes in their own right - there are a whole load more foods waiting for you lớn discover!

The sauce is a perfect balance of flavour & accompanies your vermicelli noodles, coriander, thai basil and barbecued meat to mix together // Photo
cha Tung Huynh / Shutterstock

Here are 3 classic Hanoian dishes and 1 chất lượng style of coffee worth trying:

Bun Cha: Originating in Hanoi, this vermicelli noodle dish is topped with BBQ pork belly slices và meatballs in a delicious broth, served with fresh herbs.Bun Thang: Thin strips of chicken và pork accompany eggs, mushrooms, green onions, fried shallots, chilli, & coriander that sit on top of the delicious broth & noodles.Cha Ca La Vong: Grilled turmeric fish mixed with dill and scallions, roasted peanuts, dipping sauce và a side of noodles.Egg coffee (cà phê trứng): A meringue-like mixture, which is made from beaten egg yolk and condensed milk, mixed with a rich robusta coffee. It"s more similar khổng lồ a dessert than a coffee. Not one khổng lồ be missed!Visit Bach Ma Temple
As you enter, the charming & ancient wooden doors invite you into a red và gold decorated interior // Photo
Salajean / Shutterstock

Bach Ma temple, the oldest temple in Hanoi, is a Buddhist temple that dates back to lớn the 9th century. It was built khổng lồ honour Bach Ma, or white horse, which supposedly helped Emperor Ly Thai khổng lồ - whose attempts to construct a new citadel had been failing - khổng lồ trace the best area khổng lồ build using his hooves.

As you enter, the charming và ancient wooden doors invite you into a red and gold decorated interior, filled with ancient Vietnamese characters & beautiful carvings và artwork. There are shrines lớn the white horse, Confucius, as well as an altar dedicated to lớn the phoenix - one of the four holiest animals in Vietnamese culture.

Typically, worshippers burn incense and pray here quietly, giving it a solemn atmosphere. But if you come here during any big festival you"re likely to see a range of cultural celebrations and festivities, folk games, human chess and tuy nhiên competitions.

Address: 76 Hang Buom, trả Kiếm, Hà NộiOpening hours: 9 am khổng lồ 5:30 pmAn Unforgettable Place
The Hanoi Train Street is a popular attraction // Photo
Bule Sky Studio / Shutterstock

Wherever you go in the Old Quarter, its charming but chaotic streets are sure to lớn mesmerise you. Blessed with a unique blend of historical sites và architecture, shops, cafes, and food, it is unsurprisingly one of Vietnam"s most popular tourist destinations. Và whether it"s your first trip or your 10th, the Old Quarter will always surprise you with something new.

Chuyên mục: Du lịch