Hanoi Old Quarter: The COMPLETE guide to your journey to discover the charm and antiquity of this vibrant city!

Hanoi Old Quarter is a historic quarter in the capital of Vietnam. It offers a fascinating cultural experience with vibrant streets, quaint shops, delicious street food and unique architecture.

The Hanoi Old Quarter is a not-to-be-missed destination when you visit to Hanoi – (Source: Collected)

Hanoi Old Quarter is always chosen as the first stop of many tourists when coming to this city. If ou’re unsure about where to go or what to do in this place, don’t worry – all of that information is available in this article.

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About Hanoi Old Quarter in Vietnam

The Old Quarter, also well-known for its 36 streets, is the historic center of Hanoi and a must-see destination for travelers looking for an authentic cultural experience. This little neighborhood, which spans only a few square kilometers, is famous for its narrow streets, busy marketplaces and traditional architecture. With vibrant shops and ancient temples, the Old Quarter gives you an excellent opportunity to learn about the local way of life and take in a wide range of beautiful sights.

The history of the Old Quarter dates back more than a thousand years ago – (Source: Collected)

The Highly of History and Significance of the Old Quarter

The history of the Old Quarter dates back more than a thousand years ago when Hanoi was chosen as the capital of Vietnam. At first, the Old Quarter was a thriving commercial neighborhood with each street specialized to a certain item. This neighborhood has changed over the years, mirroring the cultural, social, and economic shifts in Vietnam. The Old Quarter nowadays serves as a dynamic evidence of Hanoi’s rich history.

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Where is the Hanoi Old Quarter?

Hanoi Old Quarter is located in the center of Hoan Kiem district, near Hoan Kiem Lake, and defined according to the following scope:

  • To the north is Hang Dau street.
  • To the west is Phung Hung street.
  • To the south are Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go and Hang Thung streets.
  • To the east are Tran Quang Khai street and Tran Nhat Duat street.
Located of Hanoi Old Quarter in Vietnam – (Source: Collected)

Map of Hanoi Old Quarter

Orienting yourself with a helpful map of Hanoi Old Quarter before you go out to navigate the busy streets will make your exploration easier. The intricately designed map of Hanoi Old Quarter showcases the layout of Hanoi Old Quarter, with Hoan Kiem Lake serving as a prominent landmark to the East and South. The 36 streets that make up this old quarter can be followed from the northernmost Hang Dau Street to the westernmost Phung Hung Street.

Detailed Hanoi Old Quarter Map – (Source: Collected)

How to get to Old Quarter in Hanoi?

As Hanoi Old Quarter is located right in the center of the capital, you can travel there by common means of transportation such as motorbikes, cars, taxis and buses.

There are numerous bus routes that lead to the Hanoi Old Quarter. Bus numbers 36, 09, and 14 will take you to Hoan Kiem Lake, which is around 1.8 kilometers from the Old Quarter, or bus numbers 03, 14, 18, and 34 will take you to O Quan Chuong, which is approximately 2 kilometers from the Old Quarter.

In addition, you can also catch a taxi to get to your destination. The distance is not too far, so the taxi fee is not too expensive.

Explore Hanoi Old uarter by Cyclo is one of interesting activities – (Source: Collected)

Not only can you stroll through the Hanoi Old Quarter, but you can also rent a motorbike or cyclo to get around. The cost of renting a motorbike usually ranges from 150,000 – 200,000 VND/bike (depending on the bike and time) and the cost of a cyclo is not fixed, so don’t forget to negotiate the price before getting on the cyclo!

Should-not-miss attractions when traveling to Hanoi Old Quarter

In addition to walking around the Old Quarter, you can get to know each outstanding feature in our given routes.

Explore different streets of Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets, each with its own character.

Hang Gai: Silk Street

When walking on Hang Gai Street, also known as Silk Street, you can’t help but be enthralled with the vibrant assortment of silk products. This street is a haven for silk enthusiasts, offering everything from exquisite silk paintings to opulent clothing and accessories. Don’t miss the opportunity to buy some Vietnamese silk back home as a unique souvenir.

Explore Hang Gai Street to buy some Vietnamese silk

Hang Bac: Silver Street

Hang Bac Street, also known as Silver Street, is a must-visit location for jewelry enthusiasts. The silver jewelry businesses on this street are well-known for stocking an exquisite assortment of elegant and sophisticated jewelry.

Hang Ma: Festive Decoration Street

Get ready to be amazed by the vibrant atmosphere of Hang Ma Street, especially during the festival season.This street is an almost endless supply of decorations, particularly during the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, when it comes alive with vibrant lanterns, paper offerings, and festive decorations. A stroll along Hang Ma Street can make you feel like stepping into a strange festive wonderland.

Visit Hang Ma Str – (Source: Collected)

Hang Quat: Fan Street

A variety of exquisitely crafted Vietnamese fans may be found at Hang Quat. This street offers a large variety of styles, colors, and materials, from delicate hand fans to elaborate wall fans. A traditional Vietnamese fan is definitely a unique and practical souvenir to remember your visit.

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Hang Thiec: Street of Tin Products

This is a street in Hanoi that hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. The street specializes in the processing of metal, casting iron and tin into household appliances. When strolling around the Old Quarter, just listen to the echoing sound of hammers and you will know you are in Hang Thiec street.

Visit Hang Thiec Str in Old Quarter – (Source: Collected)

Historical Attractions in The Old Quarter

In addition to being a bustling commercial area, the Old Quarter is home to numerous historical sites that serve as reminders of Hanoi’s past and its cultural heritage.

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple

  • Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem district.
  • Price/Entrance fee to visitNgoc Son + The Huc Bridge: 30.000 VND.

Hoan Kiem Lake will be the first place visitors think of when they arrive in Hanoi. Situated at the heart of Hanoi, the lake is a significant landmark of the city and a hub for public activities.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, which is associated with Vietnamese history legends in which King Le Loi is said to have returned the sword to the Turtle God, draws a lot of visitors each day who come to experience local culture and take in Hanoi’s daytime and nighttime ambiance!

Coming here, you will be immediately impressed with the unique Asian architecture of The Huc Bridge to enter Ngoc Son Temple. – (Source: Collected)

You also can visit Ngoc Son temple and The Huc Brigde – (Source: Collected)

St. Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph Cathedral, a well-known landmark in the center of the Old Quarter, is a representation of French colonial architecture. Modeled after the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, this Gothic-style church is a must-see location for architecture enthusiasts. You can attend Sunday mass or simply admire the beautiful exterior of the cathedral and enjoy the atmosphere there.

St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi Old Quarter – (Source: Collected)

Bach Ma Temple in Old Quarter

  • Address: No.76 Hang Buom street, Old Quarter Hanoi, Hoan Kiem district
  • Entrance fee ticket: FREE

Located in the middle of Hang Buom street, Bach Ma Temple is one of the four guarding temples of the former Thang Long citadel. Out of all the ancient temples of Thang Long citadel that have survived to this day, this one is the oldest historical and cultural relic dating back thousands of years

Bach Ma Temple in Hanoi Old Quarter – (Source: Collected)

Dong Xuan Market

  • Address: Hang Dao street, Hoan Kiem district
  • Price/Entrance fee: FREE

Dong Xuan Market is not just the biggest market in Hanoi Old Quarter, but also one of the capital’s biggest markets. Coming here, you will witness a busy, bustling shopping area with a variety of goods. The Dong Xuan market is an excellent place to purchase souvenirs to take home

Dong Xuan market

O Quan Chuong Gate

  • Address: O Quan Chuong street
  • Price/Entrance fee: FREE

O Quan Chuong Gate is one of the five famous gates of the ancient Thang Long Citadel. The Quan Chuong gate was formerly known as Dong Ha gate. However, it was renamed O Quan Chuong Gate in honor of the valor and sacrifices made by the army chief, Quan Chuong, and the Nguyen Dynasty soldiers who were willing to battle the French army in order to safeguard the aforementioned relic.

Visit O Quan Chuong Gate

Quan Chuong Gate was constructed in the gazebo style, which is a common Nguyen Dynasty architectural design, with one main door in the center and two side doors on either side. The curved dome creates graceful beauty and charm for this historical monument.

Ma May Ancient House

  • Address: 87 Ma May Str, Hoan Kiem Dist
  • Price/Entrance fee: 10.000VND/Pax

Ma May ancient house is a unique cultural space in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter. This house is one of 14 ancient houses in Hanoi that were constructed in the 19th century, clearly showing the living space of Hanoi people at that time.

Ma May Ancient House – (Source: Collected)

This location frequently hosts “ca tru” singing sessions and other folk art performances every evening. Ma May ancient house is also often chosen as a place to organize major cultural events of the capital.

Ta Hien street – Bia Hoi street

Known as the “street that never sleeps,” Ta Hien Street is an approximately 270-meter stretch in the center of Hanoi that serves as a gathering spot for a large number of tourists every time they get there. This street was used to be known for the Quang Lac theater and once-famous opera plays during the French colonial era.

Come to Ta Hien str to explore a real locallife – (Source: Collected)

Ta Hien Street is a popular tourist destination today due to its modern beauty and hint of nostalgia of old Hanoi.. Ta Hien Street is especially beautiful and bustling in the evening, when the street lights up, shops start to open and many tourists from all over flock to gather here.

Long Bien Bridge – A symbol of courageousness during war

Constructed between 1899 and 1902, Long Bien Bridge first opened for traffic in 1903 with the original name “Paul-Doumer Bridge”. Although heavily bombed by the US military, some of the original parts of the bridge remain intact to this day.

Long Bien Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the Red River in Hanoi (Source: Collected) – (Source: Collected)

With a length of 2290 meters spanning the river, Long Bien Bridge is the first bridge in Hanoi to witness all the events of Hanoi. The bridge has 3 lanes for railways and roads for cars, not only intended for use but also to preserve historical memories.

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What to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

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Hanoi Walking Street

Hanoi Walking Street is open on weekends and is a popular hangout for tourists and locals alike.
Coming here, you can participate in many traditional Vietnamese games, enjoy street music performances or simply take beautiful photos.

You can enjoy street music performances or simply take beautiful photos. – (Source: Collected)

The street has brought joy and satisfaction to visitors and there seems to be no difference in language, culture, etc. between locals and tourists. This is truly a great location for everyone to take in the ambience of Hanoi!

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

  • Price: 100.000VND/Adult – 60.000VND/Children
  • Address: No. 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater has been an ideal cultural destination where tourists can enjoy a unique spirit puppet performance. Open 365 days a year, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater has drawn a lot of tourists

Traditional legends and historical tales are among the enchanting puppet plays performed at the popular theatre, – (Source: Collected)

Ta Hien Str

Coming to Ta Hien street in the evening, you will be surprised by the number of people coming here every day, mainly young people. There are lots of bars and restaurants here that serve both European and Vietnamese food to all people. This is a perfect place to gather and chat with friends at night in Hanoi.

Visit Ta Hien Str

Night market on Hang Dao street

  • Address: Hang Dao street
  • Opening time: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night

With a length of 3 kilometers, Hanoi night market is home to around 4,000 shops selling hundreds of reasonably priced goods, including clothing, shoes, souvenirs, and handicrafts.
Visitors coming here also can find many delicious Vietnamese street dishes as well as enjoy unique street music performances

Night market is one of busiest and most famous places to go. (Source: Collected)

Ta Hien street – Explore Locel nightlife

Coming to Ta Hien street in the evening, you will be surprised by the number of people coming here every day, mainly young people. There are lots of bars and restaurants here that serve both European and Vietnamese food to all people. This is a perfect place to gather and chat with friends at night in Hanoi.

Hanoi Old Quarter tour itinerary for your reference

  • In the morning, visit Dong Xuan market alley to enjoy many delicious dishes here such as Bun Oc (rice vermicelli with snail), Bun rieu (rice vermicelli with crab)… After breakfast, go into the market to visit various stalls there. Then, continue your journey to places such as O Quan Chuong Gate, Ma May ancient house, Bach Ma temple
  • At noon, you can choose to eat Bun Cha (rice vermicelli with grilled pork) at Hang Manh street, Bun Dau (rice vermicelli with fried tofu) in Phat Loc alley or fried rice with chicken on Ma May street.
  • After lunch, visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
    In the evening, if it’s on the weekend, you can stroll around the walking street and explore the night market. Or you can go to Ta Hien street to eat and see the bustle of the city.

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What to eat in Hanoi Old Quarter?

Hanoi Old Quarter, which preserves the traditional beauty of the capital of thousands of years of civilization, is not only famous for its narrow streets and ancient houses but is also a culinary paradise with a variety of delicious and attractive dishes.

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An unique experiences food in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Sticky rice: Vietnamese sticky rice is a popular, simple dish with perfectly cooked sticky rice, creating a special texture that is both delicious, sticky and chewy.
  • Banh mi: Vietnamese banh mi features crispy bread filled with a combination of meat (such as grilled pork, chicken or pate), pickled vegetables, herbs and sauce.
  • Banh Cuon – Steamed rice pancake rolls: If you like something light and delicate, Vietnamese Banh Cuon is a must-try dish. These soft rice rolls are filled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms, topped with crispy fried shallots.
  • Bun dau mam tom – Vermicelli with tofu and shrimp paste: For adventurous eaters, Bun dau mam tom is a must-try. This dish consists of rice vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, boiled pork and a rich fermented shrimp paste dipping sauce.
There are many local foods that can be found in many small alleys and eateries
  • Bun thang: Bun thang is a delicate and beautiful rice noodle soup made with rice vermicelli noodles, shredded chicken, sliced omelet, herbs and a delicious broth.
  • Pho: A visit to Vietnam would not be complete without trying Pho, Vietnam’s iconic noodle dish. Made with a rich broth, rice vermicelli noodles and tender slices of beef or chicken, Pho is a favorite of many tourists.

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Where to eat: Best restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter

  • Cha Ca Thang Long (no.6B Duong Thanh Street): Enjoy the legendary Cha Ca, a Hanoi specialty of grilled fish marinated in turmeric, served with rice vermicelli and a mixture of fresh herbs and peanuts.
  • Bun Cha Dac Kim (no.1 Hang Manh street): Enjoy the authentic flavor of Bun Cha with spring rolls, grilled succulent pork belly/patties, rice vermicelli noodles, served with fresh herbs and sweet and sour dipping sauce.
  • Pho Gia Truyen (no.49 Bat Dan street): Savor the quintessential Pho in Vietnam. This humble but well-liked eatery offers bowls of rich broth, tender beef pieces, and aromatic herbs for a very delightful meal.
  • Quan An Ngon (no.18 Phan Boi Chau street): Quan An Ngon offers a gourmet tour of Vietnam’s varied cuisine. They provide a wide selection of items on their menu, including authentically flavorful Vietnamese staples like Pho, Banh Mi, and fresh spring rolls.
  • Bun Bo Nam Bo (no.67 Hang Dieu street): Enjoy the delicious flavors of Bun bo Nam Bo, a delicious beef noodle salad dish with the perfect balance between tender beef, pickles, fresh herbs and a zesty dressing.
  • Various cuisine at Dong Xuan market Alley
  • Bun cha Hang Buom – no.43 Hang Buom street
  • Bun thang at Bun thang Cau Go – no.32 Cau Go street
  • Sticky rice with ice cream and sweet soups – no.93 Hang Bac street, Hoan Kiem district
  • Cha Ca La Vong – no.14 Cha Ca street
  • Nom thit bo kho (green papaya salad with beef jerky) – Hoan Kiem street

We hope with our local experience sharing above, you will have a better understanding of Hanoi Old Quarter and be able to select destinations and activities that best fit your needs. You can use this guide to travel with friends, family, couples, or even on your own. Contact us if you have any questions. The Hanoi Explore Travel Team is always here to assist you!

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