How to spend 1 Amazing day in Hanoi

It seems that visitors cannot fully explore the capital in just one day in Hanoi. However, referring to our recommended 1-day itinerary in Hanoi, you can still gain plenty of interesting experiences from recommendations on things to do in Hanoi, a Hanoi city tour that you can do by your own, some of the most famous tourist attractions, as well as some of the finest restaurants and shops in the city.

Before concluding your first day in Hanoi, you can also visit some quaint temples and pagodas, large markets, and monuments.

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Top Tours and Experiences in Hanoi:

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Where to go in Hanoi in 24 hours: A complete 1-day itinerary

Best Hanoi 1 Day Itinerary
  • Average of 14 stops per day
  • Duration: One day. However, a two-day trip is recommended if you want to visit Ninh Binh or Halong Bay, two tourist destinations outside of Hanoi.
  • Specialties: Beef Pho, Bun Cha (rice noodles with grilled pork), La Vong Fish Ball, Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich),
  • Bun oc (rice noodles with snail)…
  • Tourist attractions: Famous tourist attractions in Hanoi such as Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hoan Kiem Lake, Long Bien Bridge…

Here is a suggested itinerary for a fun and incredibly affordable one-day trip to Hanoi.

Start your exploration now!

Morning Time

Morning Itinerary Route Map

In the early morning: Have breakfast a bowl of rice noodle soup with beef (Pho Bo), a delicacy of Hanoi to start your day in the capital. Pho Bo’s delicious flavor will make you fall in love with it from the first bite, and give you energy for your day in Hanoi.

Check out some delicious Pho restaurants:

  • Pho Thin (Phở Thìn) – No. 13 Lo Duc street,
  • Pho Gia Truyen (Phở gia truyền) – No. 49 Bat Dan street
  • Pho Suong (Phở Sướng) – No. 24B Trung Yen Alley
  • 6:00 a.m: Come to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, also known as Uncle Ho’s mausoleum. There will be a flag-raising ceremony at 6:00 a.m. every morning at Uncle Ho’s mausoleum. After watching, you can go inside Uncle Ho’s Mausoleum (closed on Mondays and Fridays), go to Tran Quoc Pagoda (2.5km away), and then visit the Temple of Literature.
  • 7:30 a.m: Another option that you can choose is to visit Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge and Turtle Tower. Hoan Kiem Lake is often not crowded at that time, so taking a stroll around the lake is one of the greatest things to do.
  • 9h00 a.m: Take check-in photos at the Hanoi Opera House and the French Old Quarter, then stop to have some delicious Trang Tien ice cream, which is extremely popular in the city.
  • 10:00 a.m: As the streets begin to fill up, head to Nha Chung Street to visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral. If you still have time, go to a nearby shop and have a cup of lemon tea to while away the time till lunch.

At noon

Have lunch: Visit one of the following locations to enjoy the delicious Bun Cha (rice noodles with grilled pork) in Hanoi:

  • Bun Cha Dac Kim – No. 1 Hang Manh street
  • Bun Cha – No. 43 Hang Buom street
  • Bun Cha Dong Cua – No. 41 Cua Dong street
Afternoon Itinerary Route Map

In the afternoon – Visit Long Bien Bridge and West Lake

If you travel with your kids, you can spend an afternoon visiting the Museum of Ethnology to learn about the culture of the ethnic groups in Vietnam. Otherwise, refer to the following schedule:

  • 1:30 p.m: Visit the Long Bien Bridge. Because it is typically very hot at that time, let’s go to Serein Cafe & Lounge nearby, one of Hanoi’s most picturesque view cafes, at No. 16 Tran Nhat Duat street. You can get a cup of delicious coffee and see the Long Bien bridge directly from here.
  • 3:00 p.m: Now that the weather is cooler, move to West Lake, which is regarded as the most romantic location in Hanoi.

In the evening: Have dinner – Explore the Old Quarter

A 1-day itinerary in Hanoi cannot be complete without evening activities.

  • 17h-18h: Hanoi is considered as a “heaven” for its delectable, healthful, and affordable food.
  • 20h – 21h: Hanoi, especially the Old Quarter, is most beautiful at night, when the streets are well-lit. Here is a well-known street named Ta Hien Beer Street where you can experience the nightlife, sip some draft beer, enjoy hot, fried spring rolls and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of the shops nearby. You can also explore other great locations, such as Nha Tho Street and Phung Hung Mural Street.

Additionally, you can choose from a variety of extra activities, including:

  • Cyclo Tour in Hanoi Old Quarter

The highlight of this exploration comes at the end of the day. When you stroll around the Old Quarter at night, take a seat to relax and feel the sounds and smells of an old Hanoi.

  • Enjoy the water puppet show at Thang Long Puppet Theatre

The water puppet show, a traditional Vietnamese art form that dates back to the tenth century, offers tourists a wonderful performance by underwater artisans controlling puppets. Through the show, you can learn more about the rich culture and history of Vietnam.

>>> Check out our detailed itinerary in Hanoi with the best price:

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Water puppet show

Cyclo Tour in Old Quarter

The most popular tourist destinations nearby the city center that may be visited in a day

Bat Trang pottery village

Bat Trang ceramic village is a famous traditional pottery village. Coming to Bat Trang Pottery Village, you’ll see where ceramic artisans work and the pottery market. In particular, you will be able to create pottery products on your own, one of the most intriguing activities at this place.

Duong Lam ancient village

Due to its architectural characteristics and symbolic images of an old Vietnamese village in the Red River Delta, including banyan trees, wharves, water, communal courtyards, brothels, wells, fields, mounds, hills, temples, and pagodas, Duong Lam Ancient Village is one of the most fascinating suburban tourist attractions in Hanoi. This is a place you shouldn’t miss if you’re interested in ancient architecture and want to learn about historical and cultural treasures.

Co Loa Citadel

As one of the 21 officially recognized national tourist attractions, Co Loa Citadel is both the largest and most distinctively designed historic citadel in Vietnam. Many relics of the former Au Lac country’s capital (now is Vietnam) may be found in the Co Loa citadel, including the Thuong Temple, Ngoc Well, and Co Loa Communal House.

Perfume Pagoda

Perfume Pagoda, also known as Huong Pagoda, is a popular day trip from Hanoi for those who enjoy nature. It is situated 60 kilometers southwest of the capital city and is surrounded by verdant rice fields, limestone mountains, and picturesque villages.


In Hanoi, there are a lot of markets and attractions that are accessible on foot due to their proximity to each other. Additionally, you can take cars, buses, taxis or rent bikes and motorbikes to move.

You can also take a cyclo in some places, such as the Old Quarter or around Hoan Kiem Lake. The cyclo driver can drive two passengers in the seat in front through many of Hanoi’s streets to explore the capital. Make sure you already confirm the price before getting on the cyclo because many cyclo drivers often ask visitors to pay more after the ride has ended.


A motorcycle or bicycle can be rented for only approximately $6 per day. However, be cautious when moving on the crowded and narrow roadways in Hanoi.


In Hanoi, taxis can be found easily, however if you want to take one off the street, be sure to deal with the price first. Grab Taxi has online apps offering affordable charges, thus I highly suggest using it.

Motorbike taxis, or “Xe om”, also a good option that offers affordable rates. However, these motorbikes are not metered, so you should deal with the price clearly with the driver in advance.

The ideal time to visit Hanoi

  • The best months to visit Hanoi are between September and November or March and April. At that time, the season transition happens, so the weather is not very hot or dry, but comfortable and pleasant.
  • Autumn, especially October, is the best time to visit Hanoi because it is cool yet still nice and sunny. Autumn is also when the capital becomes the most beautiful and romantic of the year.

We hope that our 1Day Hanoi itinerary guide will give you enough details to assist you get ready for your exploration in Hanoi. And if you need any help from us, please contact Hanoi Explore Travel right now!



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