Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a well-known tourist destination given its delectable cuisine, attractive architecture, hospitable people, and vibrant nightlife. Therefore, Hanoi is unquestionably on the list of must-visit destinations in Vietnam.
However, regarding how many days you should stay in Hanoi, you may have some uncertainty when making travel plans. In this article, we suggest 3 options with different travel lengths that can aid you make a wonderful plan with ease.
Hanoi is worth being visited ?
- From Hanoi, tourists can find it simple to reach some of the most amazing destinations in Vietnam, namely Sapa, a popular trekking destination and Halong Bay, a well-known destination with just a 4-hour drive. Moreover, the charming capital Hanoi offers a wide range of activities and fascinating tourist attractions to explore that are sure to please every visitor.
- The most interesting area of Hanoi is the Old Quarter, which is known for Sword Lake, its ancient streets, and vibrant nightlife.
- Hanoi cuisine with unique dishes is also a plus that makes the Vietnamese capital a popular destination for foreign tourists. In addition, tourists can enjoy an exceptional shopping experience that features a wonderful fusion of tradition and modernity.
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How many days you should stay in Hanoi
With such a wide variety of things to do, some people may wonder, “How long should tourists stay in Hanoi?” Or “how many days should be the minimum stay here?” And the answer should be from one to three days. Now, let’s look at our suggested itineraries with different stay lengths below, we hope to help you pick the best option for your trip!
This is more for you:
One Day Itinerary in Hanoi
Who for this:
- Itinerary for travelers with a limited amount of time
- Itinerary for travelers who plan to visit other destinations such as Halong Bay, Ninh Binh or Sapa
What to do:
The Old Quarter should be your first stop if you just have one day in Hanoi because it is where the majority of the tourist attractions are located and some are even accessible on foot. Therefore, you may travel much more quickly and visit more destinations in a single day. Here are some activities to try:
- Walk around Sword Lake and taste regional specialities
- Visit Long Bien Bridge and snap pictures there.
- Enjoy some coffee and Vietnamese cuisine in the Old Quarter
- Visit the Temple of Literature, the first natural university of Vietnam.
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- 20+ Best Things to Do in Hanoi Old Quarter | What to do, See & Eat
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Two Days Itinerary in Hanoi
What to do
A 2-day schedule in Hanoi will undoubtedly provide you the chance to visit more tourist attractions without worrying about your limited amount of time. If you’re still unsure about what to do in two days, check out the suggested itinerary we’ve provided below:
- Spend the first morning exploring the Old Quarter and enjoy a delicious bowl of Pho (the rice noodle hot soup with beef or chicken) at noon.
- Then, take a stroll around the Sword Lake, which is also known as Hoan Kiem Lake and take a seat to sip some cups of coffee that can hardly be found elsewhere.
- For dinner, it is recommended that you should try bun cha (rice noodle with grilled pork) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), both are famous dishes of Hanoi.
- In addition, tourists can enjoy a better night time in Ta Hien street. This “sleepless” street will offer you a chance to meet tourists from different countries while enjoying some cold beer glasses.
- On the second day of your itinerary, you can take in several historical sites such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the nearby stilt house where the former president Ho Chi Minh used to dwell.
- Then take a stroll to Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a massive ancient complex that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a ton of interesting stuff to explore.
- In the evening, you should not miss another intriguing pastime, which is watching a water puppet show.
Three Days Itinerary in Hanoi
What to do
- Because there are so many tourist attractions, vibrant clubs, beautiful restaurants, and fantastic coffee shops with city views, most visitors think one or two days here would be too short and they decide to stay an average of three days in Hanoi.
- A 3-day itinerary will give you the best chance to visit a variety of tourist attractions and sample many more delectable cuisines.
And if you’re still unsure about where to begin your exploration, let’s take into consideration our recommended Hanoi 3-day itinerary:
Day 1: Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake
- The first day of your trip should be dedicated to discovering the distinctive aspects of Hanoi Old Quarter which features 36 ancient streets with their names often beginning with the word “Hàng”. Wandering these streets, you will be impressed by the abundance of traditional handicrafts.
- In the evening, don’t forget to stop by the weekend night market in the bustling Old Quarter, you might pick up some souvenirs for your friends and family.
- Hoan Kiem Lake, right next to the Old Quarter, is a should-not-miss tourist destination, especially at the weekend. There will be a lot of street performances and interesting folk games there. And if you are a photographer, you will definitely be able to capture many amazing pictures of its beauty.
- In the afternoon, you can spend time wandering around the French Old Quarter, which is located on the other side of the lake. This area is quite famous for its typical French architecture. Even though it is not as crowded as the Hanoi Old Quarter, it still gives tourists great vibes of Hanoi in the past.
Day 2: West Lake & Most Famoust Museums
There are many museums in Hanoi, so if you are a history buff, don’t hesitate to add the names of some museums into your itinerary. Museums in Hanoi reflect different times, ranging from prehistory to war time, with some of which show the rich history and culture of Vietnam. Here are some museums that we truly advise you to visit:
- Vietnam National Museum of History – No. 1, Pham Ngu Lao Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
- Museum of History of Vietnamese Military – 28 Dien Bien Phu Str, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi.
- Hoa Lo Museum: the remains of once Prison where Vietnamese revolutionary martyrs were captured by the US soldiers. It was ironically dubbed as the “Hanoi Hilton”.
- Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum: The museum is a treasure trove of religious, traditional, modern and contemporary Vietnamese art. Here, you can find many ancient Champa carvings, modern folk paintings as well as abstract artworks.
- Vietnamese Women’s Museum: This gem shows the role of women in wartime, their subject of maternity, and also the display of ethnic minorities’ vivid costume
You can plan to visit one or two suggested museums above in the morning and go to West Lake in the afternoon because it may take you half a day to visit West Lake and several nearby attractions. In detail, you can visit Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest one in Hanoi, Quan Thanh temple nearby or even rent a bicycle to ride around the lake with 15 kilometers in shore line. In addition, stop at a coffee shop or eatery here and enjoy some specialities such as shrimp cake, rice noodles with snail and coconut ice-cream.
Day 3: Other interesting destinations in Hanoi
Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind, tourists can head to the countryside to seek an interesting experience. Due to being relatively far from the city center, it might take you almost a day to visit a place. Therefore, it is preferable to choose just 1 of the below-listed amazing locations.
- Van Phuc Silk Village
Van Phuc Silk Village is located on the banks of Nhue river and just 10 kilometers from the Hanoi Old Quarter. This area is well-known for its fine silk goods and traditional weaving methods. As a village more than 1200 year old, it impresses visitors with its daily routine and representations of traditional Vietnamese villages, such as banyan trees, community houses, wells, and the constant sound of looms.
- Bat Trang and Le Mat traditional craft villages
About 13 kilometers from the city center, Bat Trang is a long-standing craft village famous for its high-class ceramic products. Tourists coming here can experience making some ceramics as souvenirs on hand.
If you are looking for a more exciting experience, just visit Le Mat village. Come here, you will be able to learn about the famous snake farming or witness firsthand how to catch and process snakes into specialty dishes.
What to do after 3 Days in Hanoi
After 3 days in Hanoi, it’s time to visit Halong Bay, a place that you should spend at least 2 days.
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2 Day Itinerary Hanoi to Halong Bay
- In the early morning, depart from Hanoi. The all-inclusive Halong Bay Cruise will be waiting for tourists when the bus arrives in Halong around lunchtime.
- After having lunch on board, tourists can visit one of the well-known caverns by kayak and stop at a local floating fishing village for some exploration time. Then, visit a lovely beach on Titop island before returning to the cruise for dinner.
- Visitors can go squid fishing or simply enjoy the fresh and quiet atmosphere on the deck after supper and return to the cruise for an overnight.
- Get up early and do Tai Chi exercises on the deck. After breakfast, go kayaking to another mysterious cave.
- Have lunch while the cruise is returning to the port
- The car will then drive you back to Hanoi.
- After setting up your bags, and taking a shower at your hotel, you can explore the Old Quarter at night again.
Top Best Areas To Stay for Any Budget In Hanoi
Hanoi Old Quarter
It’s best for
- First-time visitors: Hanoi is famous for its ancient beauty blended in the modern rhythm of life. It is home to many ancient temples and pagodas, local specialities, busy streets, vibrant nightlife, which makes it an ideal destination for first-time visitors.
- Budgets: In Hanoi Old Quarter, there are a variety of accommodations to suit every budget, ranging from budget hostels to luxury and upscale hotels. If you are a budget traveler, there is no better place than Hanoi Old Quarter.
- Backpackers: Being right downtown can be extremely expensive, but it’s not true for the Old Quarter. For backpackers who are most interested in an affordable trip, it is worth considering this destination first.
Where to stay in the Hanoi Old Quarter?
Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 5-star hotel in Hanoi
- Location: 15 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price from 180USD
Built in 1901, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is the first 5-star hotel in the capital as well as the oldest hotel here
Hilton Hanoi Opera
- Location: 01 Le Thanh Tong, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: From 165USD
Melia Hanoi Hotel
- Location: Quan Su, Cua Nam, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: From 145USD
Let’s choose a hostel in the Old Quarter instead if you find the cost of a hotel in the city center to be out of your affordability. Here, you may experience the services and amenities at a reasonable price.
Little Charm Hanoi Hostel
Little Charm offers a wide variety of accommodations, from dorm rooms to private rooms at very affordable rates. Furthermore, the on-site Italian bar and restaurant will undoubtedly provide wonderful experiences for you right in the center of the Old Quarter.
- Location: 44 Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: From 10USD
Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel
- Location: 03 Noi Mieu Alley, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: From 8USD
With its prime location, tourists staying in Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel can reach many attractions in Hanoi such as Hoan Kiem Lake, night market, Thang Long water puppet show within just 7 minutes walking. At the first floor of the hostel, there is a restaurant serving many Hanoi specialties with food hygiene and safety.
What to see and do in Hanoi Old Quarter
- Visit some historical places of Hanoi such as Long Bien Bridge, St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi, Ngoc Son Temple and Hanoi Opera House.
- Check-in at Phung Hung mural street
- Wander around Hoan Kiem lake and the Walking street at the weekend
- Go shopping at Dong Xuan Market and Old Quarter Night Market
- Have some draft beer on Ta Hien street
- Have some Hanoi street coffee and enjoy local specialties on Hang Buom street.
- Watch a water puppet show at Thang Long water puppet theater
Ba Dinh District
It’s best for
Relaxation: With some of Hanoi’s greenest and prettiest streets, Ba Dinh district will undoubtedly provide you with peaceful moments of relaxation even in the heart of the city.
Though Ba Dinh is one district in the city center, it appears to keep some unique features of a peaceful Hanoi, making it ideal for those looking to find tranquility amid the rush of daily life. Coming here, tourists can also easily locate historical sites associated with Hanoi’s long history.
Where to stay in Ba Dinh District?
Lotte Hotel Hanoi
- Location: 54 Lieu Giai, Cong Vi, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Price: From 155USD
Lotte Hotel Hanoi is an integration between Hanoi Old Quarter with new developing urban areas. This hotel provides tourists with the most wonderful experiences thanks to its top-notch services. Moreover, there is an observation deck on the 65th floor, giving you a great chance to take in the stunning view of modern Hanoi at night.
- Location: 360 Ngoc Khanh, Kim Ma, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Price: From 95USD
With its services that meet international standards, Hanoi Daewoo Hotel is a well-known destination for international meetings and conferences. Moreover, many attractive tourist sites in Hanoi can be easily accessible from the hotel.
Hanoian Backpack Hostel
- Location: 60 Pho Duc Chinh, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Price: From 12USD
This hostel has a combination of traditional features with modern amenities. Tourists staying here can enjoy numerous Hanoi specialties in the on-site restaurant.
What to see and do in Ba Dinh District?
- Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and watch the flag-raising ceremony at Ba Dinh square in the early morning.
- Explore Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Hanoi Flagpole
- Visit some famous museums in Ba Dinh district: Ho Chi Minh Museum, Vietnam Military History Museum, Vietnam
- National Museum of Fine Arts and B52 Victory Museum.
- Visit Mot Cot pagoda (one-pillar pagoda), one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi
- Enjoy peaceful moments in Bach Thao and Thu Le park
- Wander on Hoang Dieu and Phan Dinh Phung streets, the two most beautiful streets in Hanoi
- Go shopping at Lotte Center in Lieu Giai street and enjoy the panoramic view of Hanoi from its 65th floor
Tay Ho District (Hanoi West Lake)
It’s best for
- Cuisine: West Lake is home to many local specialties, one of which is Pho roll. Tourists coming here can stop at one of many restaurants or eateries and have some snacks during your visit.
- If you want to explore the nightlife in Hanoi, West Lake is surely the best choice. A variety of entertainment activities, bars, nightclubs, are available for you to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Hanoi after the sun falls.
Where to stay
Inter Continental Hanoi Hotel
- Location: Location: 05 Tu Hoa street, Quang An ward, Tay Ho district, Hanoi.
- Price: From 200USD
InterContinental is served not only as a hotel but also as a 5-star luxury resort with top-notch amenities such as seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar and magnificent rooms with a nice view to
Westlake Home Hotel
- Location: 156 Yen Phu Str, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
- Price: From 650,000 VND
You can expect convenient services at Westlake Home Hotel in addition to accommodations with all the comforts. Additionally, guests at this hotel are welcome to take out one of its free bicycles for a spin around the lake. The hotel staff would also be happy to help you with transportation needs.
Pan Pacific Hanoi
- Location: 1 Thanh Nien Street, Truc Bach Ward, Ba Binh District, Hanoi
- Price: From 100USD
Located on a serene oasis in the midst of bustling Hanoi, Pan Pacific Hanoi offers you the best view of Truc Bach Lake and West Lake. Along with its excellent service, this 5-star hotel with amenities and cutting-edge facilities will guarantee the satisfaction of any traveler who chooses to stay there. Due to a quite close distance to the city center, Pan Pacific Hanoi is an ideal accommodation choice for your Hanoi itinerary.
Tony House Hostel
- Location: 209 Ve Ho Street, Xuan La, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
- Price: From 17USD
Tony House Hostel is an ideal choice for international tourists who are seeking a comfortable accommodation with a hospitable atmosphere. The on-site cafe and bar often has events to help you socialize with other travelers and locals. Moreover, by going to the rooftop of Tony House Hostel, tourists will be able to have a great view of West Lake.
What to see and do in Tay Ho District
- Experience the most exciting entertainment and adventure games at West Lake Water Park
- Take a tour around West Lake and watch the sunset here
- Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi
- Stop by bars or nightclubs to enjoy the bustle of nightlife in Hanoi
- Explore the bustling life at Quang Ba Night Flower Market
Here are 3 options of the Hanoi itinerary with different stay lengths. If you are wondering how many days is enough to explore Hanoi, the answer must be 3 days. This period is neither too long nor too short because you can visit almost all the famous tourist attractions in Hanoi and even to some places further away from the city.