20 things everyone needs to do in hanoi


The Old Quarter in Hanoi is an intriguing neighbourhood, home to a set of vietnamaviation.vnese architecture, green spaces, ancient shops và fresh-as-it-gets street food — all of it easily explored on foot.

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At first look, these 36 streets can feel frenetic. Don"t worry: Constant motionis part of the Old Quarter"s charm. Grab a seat at a coffe and enjoy the kích hoạt from a safe distance. You"ll notice bicycle vendors selling fresh flowers and ripe fruit, old friends gathering for games of checkers, và cooksdoing a roaring trade in steaming phở and bún chả.The longer you wander, the more you’ll be rewarded with moments in hidden alleyways, secluded pagodas, và cosy coffee shops.

Here are some of the best ways to lớn appreciate the Old Quarter’s lively atmosphere và secret spots.

Discover ancient streets


Shops pouring into sidewalks, motorcycles navigating narrow streets, the smell of noodles và flowers —the Old Quarter can be a hectic place. Begin your foray by hopping on a cyclo for a guided tour through the chaos. Once the main size of transport in Hanoi, cyclos move at the perfect pace for you lớn take in interesting street scenes without having to worry about traffic & navigation. After this gentle introduction, pick a few streets to tackle on foot.

The 36 guild streets of the Old Quarter were named for 36 trades or craft that phối up in this area north of the lake, và created high-quality goods to lớn supply the royals in the Thang Long Citadel, just steps away. Today only a few streets sell the same products they once did. Some streets, however, have kept the traditions of the past; & these can be great fun to explore on foot, và with your camera in hand.


Hàng Bạc (Silver Street), where silversmiths once made money & jewellery for the palace, still houses jewellery stores và money changers. Hàng Mã is where Hanoians go lớn buy religious goods and festival decorations. sản phẩm Gai, now known as Silk Street, was named for the pinkish dye this street famously sold and used in clothing. Shops here now trade in fabrics & custom-made suits và dresses. Lãn Ôngis a fragrant street filled with traditional medicines and herbs.

TIP: For many locals, the Old Quarter is considered the "real" Hanoi. If you make friends with someone born in the Old Quarter, chances are they"ll tóm tắt with you fond memories of growing up on these atmospheric streets.

Encounter multiple civilizations


Ô quan Chưởng Gate is the only gateleft of the wall that once protected the area surroundingThang Long Citadel, not far away. The gate as you see itwas re-constructed in 1817, although originally it was built in 1749. The gate is named for the rank of avietnamaviation.vnese soldier who showed great courage in defending the gate & citadel against a French attackin 1873.Today, it"s an important marker & symbol of vietnamaviation.vnese spirit.

While you explore the historic centre, keep a lookout for the many pagodas built by ancient traders. The Old Quarter was partially settled by Chinese immigrants who also chose it as a location to bởi business. To lớn get a glimpse into the lives of these Chinese merchant families in the past, visit Mã Mây House, a UNESCO-protected heritage home.

For a little moment of peace amid the noise, duck down the alley off nhà thờ for a breather in the quiet courtyard of Bà Đá Pagoda. Here you’ll find an elaborate Phật Phật statue, regarded as one of Hanoi’s four treasures.


Standing proudly since 1886, St. Joseph Cathedral is a reminder of French colonial presence in vietnamaviation.vn. From street level, the cathedral’s bold, neo-gothic motifs create a powerful impression above surrounding the houses & streets.

Wherever you go, you’ll have a chance khổng lồ glimpse the tube houses that are typical of the Old Quarter. These houses have narrow facades, but are built deep & high, with multiple courtyards to allow light inside. Also interesting are the Soviet-influenced apartment blocks, which you can find up và downHàng Điếu st. If you have time, you can look into the Old Quarter"s most recent attraction: Train Street. Tiny cafes and stationery stores have moved into the buildings facing the tracks, & countless Instagrammers come every day to lớn have their pictures taken withthis colourful backdrop.

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TIP: Stop at Phố Cổ Rooftop Cafe for a close-up look at Hanoi’s tube houses và special view of hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Take it easy at hoàn Kiếm lake


People in Hanoi have a favourite invitation that goes, “đi một vòng hồ” (let’s go for a ride around the lake.) The lake is, of course, Hoàn Kiếm. This green toàn thân of water is nestled in the bộ vi xử lý core of urban Hanoi, and is an ideal hangout spot throughout the day, but especially in the early morning và late afternoons.

In the hours just before sunrise, joggers collect around the lake’s leafy banks, men & women move slowly through tai chi routines, & friends gather in circles for games of hacky-sack. In the evenings the scene is much the same. Couples join the crowd & sit on benches around the water’s edge, nibbling on green mango & sipping tea.


Take a stroll around the lake to lớn encounter the famous red Húc Bridge, Ngọc sơn Temple and iconic Turtle Tower. On weekends trả Kiếm Lake is closed to lớn vehicles and becomes a prime spot for people-watching as young and old Hanoians come together to enjoy entertainment & exercise in the xuất hiện air.

TIP: vì chưng as the locals do and buy an ice-cream cone on Tràng Tiềnstreet.An evening walk around trả Kiếmwith an ice-cream in hand is an essential Hanoi experience.

Eat like a local


The Old Quarter is chock-full of speciality restaurants & popular stalls that have been around for years. On Hoàn tìm streetyou’ll find nộm bò khô, a dish of beef jerky and papaya topped with crunchy peanuts. There are many versions of chè (vietnamaviation.vnese dessert), but locals flock to Chè bốn Mùa restaurantfor its version of lotus seed & black jelly sweet soup.

If you’re hungry, grab a bowl of bún chả at Bún Chả hương Liên where President Obama dined, or go for a less crowded alternative at Hàng Quạt. Onething Hanoians love to vị is spend hours at coffee shops, just people-watching & sharing news. Don’t leave without sampling the original egg coffee at Cafe Giang. Apart from egg coffee, another original dish from the Old Quarter dish is chả cá lá vông. The dish originated in Lá Vông restaurant and is a magical blend of fish chunks marinated in turmeric và spices, grilled và served with soft rice noodles, dill and crunchy peanuts.


TIP: After dark on weekends, Hàng Đào street turns into a night market where you can taste unusual Hanoian street food, such as snail meatballs, grilled quail, & cured pork sausage.

Hunt for cool collectables


The Old Quarter may not have many malls, but shopping here happens at the street level. Hàng Dầu, Lý Quốc Sư, Tạ hiện and Hàng domain authority streets are lined with stores selling clothing, bags, shoes và sportswear targeted at tourists. For a more curated selection, try Vui Studio, the minimalist boutiques on Chân cố gắng street, or the small natural beauty shops on Hội Vũ street.


If you love embroidery & textiles, Tân Mỹ kiến thiết gathers fabulous fabrics from vietnamaviation.vnese designers in their airy boutique on sản phẩm Gai. For beautiful vietnamaviation.vnese souvenirs, visit Collective Memory on đơn vị Chung. A few doors down, the Craft House Cathedral offers accessories, stationery & candles khổng lồ take home. For all things lacquerware, visit Hanoia at the top of Hoan Kiem lake.

Sample Hanoian nightlife


After dark, the Old Quarter puts work to the side and gets down to the serious business of having fun. There’s something to lớn satisfy everyone within these 36 fascinating streets. Just before sundown, ride the elevator up to lớn Diamond Sky Bar, a breezy spot with panoramic views of the Old Quarter. For a well-mixed cocktail, try the menu at Polite Co., or snag a premium gin and tonic with a view of St. Joseph Cathedral at The Mad Botanist.


Back on the streets, vietnamaviation.vnese will regularly gather lớn eat & drink on sidewalk corners, with long meals & countless rounds of beers going late into the night. This ‘bia hoi’ tradition is a fun way to lớn experience local life và make new friends. The most famous beer corner in the Old Quarter is Bia Hoi Junction. The tiệc ngọt spills out onto Tạ hiện nay Street, where backpackers và locals sit on tiny plastic stools và drink fresh draft beer in the evening air. Be sure lớn toast your time in the Old Quarter with a cheerful shout of ‘một, hai, ba, dô!"

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