What to do in Hanoi Vietnam for 3 Days

If you intend to spend three days in Hanoi but still have not yet determined exactly what to do, let’s refer to our 3-Day Itinerary in Hanoi. We give you everything you need to get to know Hanoi for a couple of days. Let’s take a look here at the best activities, eateries, accomodations and more!

As a recommendation for your trip, we’ve put up a variety of options, along with suggested times and routes to each Hanoi tourist spot. You can absolutely add your particular favorite attractions to the itinerary, or change it to suit your preferences. The following of our recommended itineraries, however, will help you save a lot of time making a travel plan and get the most effective approaches to discover Hanoi.

This is for you:

3 Main itineraries for a trip of 3 days in Hanoi

Don’t wait any longer; let’s start planning your own 3-day itinerary in Hanoi by checking out the recommendations below:

OPTION 1: Hanoi 3 Days Package – Only Visiting Hanoi

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
  • Day 3: Hanoi Departure

Who is it for:

  • This option was aimed at making it easier for tourists to visit historical sites and sample Hanoian cuisine.
  • With three days to discover the capital, visitors may gain an understanding of the culture, traditions, and people of Hanoi as well as the way of life of the locals.
  • A three-day itinerary in Hanoi would also offer a veritable heaven for foodies!


Day 1: Explore Hanoi Old Quarter

For thousands of years, the Old Quarter has served as the commercial and historical hub of the city. The old quarter of Hanoi is home to almost all of the city’s well-known tourist sites, some of which may be reached on foot. Therefore, you can save your moving time to learn more about Hanoi in one day. Here are some activities you should try:

Daily time (The Old Quarter)

  • Destinations: Visiting Bach Ma Temple, Ancient House, Dong Xuan Market, Long Bien Bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake.

You can opt to follow the routes to gain a quick overview of the area or visit each of the tourist attractions mentioned on the map. But make sure not to skip the main tourist sites mentioned above.

Hanoi old quarter map

At night

  • Exploring the Hanoi nightlife like a local
  • For nighttime activities, tourists can stop by Ta Hien street to have some fresh beer and socialize with locals and friends.This beer street is frequently open from the early afternoon until almost 2 a.m of the following day. In addition to sipping some beer with your friends and experiencing the local nightlife, tourists also can visit some crowded bars nearby.
  • Budget: Form 5 US$/Pax

>>> Read More: What to do at night in Hanoi 

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – A day of sight-seeing

On the second day of the 3-day itinerary in Hanoi, you may visit main tourist attractions and learn more about the capital through the stories behind each destination.

This itinerary will help you gain insights into the history, culture, tradition and people of Hanoi as well as the living way of Hanoians.

In the Morning

  • Visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex
  • Visiting Temple of Literature
  • Enjoy the unique structure of One Pillar Pagoda
  • Budget: From 5 US$/pax for visiting. From 4 US$ for a taxi ride

In the Afternoon

  • The Museum of Ethnology: Learn about the daily life of each ethnic group and participate in traditional games outside the museum. (Entrance fee is 2 USD per guest). This museum offers a sizable space with a variety of things to see. It opens even during lunch time and closes at 5.30 in the afternoon, so you can consider spending 2 hours or less exploring the customs of each minority in Vietnam.
  • West Lake – Tran Quoc Pagoda: Visit the oldest pagoda of Hanoi, featuring stunning Buddha statues and towers inside the main pagoda’s complex.

In the Evening

  • Thang Long water puppet theatre: Enjoy the water puppet show – a form of traditional performance of Vietnamese people. Ticket price ranges from 100.000 to 200.000 VND. Thang Long water puppet theater typically performs five shows per day at the following times: 3:00 pm, 4:10 pm, 5:20 pm, 6:30 pm and 8:00 pm.
  • Hanoi street food tour: Take part in a street food tour to explore Hanoi cuisine and sample some of the most delicious local food. Accompanying with local people on this culinary tour will allow you to truly enjoy Vietnamese cuisine.

==> More detail for Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour

beer street in hanoi

Day 3: Bat Trang Ceramics Village

On the last day of your itinerary, you can consider visiting Bat Trang ceramics village. This activity will take the whole morning or afternoon, depending on your departing time.

Bat Trang ceramics village is about 15 kilometers far from the city center, therefore, you should plan on departing early. If you prefer to travel by public transportation, let’s take bus number 47 from Long Bien station. You will be able to try your hand at making ceramic utensils at some local shops of Bat Trang village.

  • Budget: from 25 US$/pax/each choice
  • 2 US$ for a bus but it would be more complicated for first-time visitors
  • 2 US$ for making one pottery item
  • 5 US$ for souvenirs
  • 2 – 3 US$ for each food or drinks

That’s all for our 3 days in Hanoi for Option 1.

===> 20+ Best Things to Do in Hanoi Old Quarter | What to do, See & Eat

bat trang ceramic

OPTION 2: 2 Days in Hanoi, 1 day trip to Ninh Binh or Halong Bay

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave
  • Day 3: Departure

Who is it for

  • If you want to get away from the hustling and bustling of the city to the closest but still beautiful and tranquil destination, Ninh Binh will be your right choice because it just takes 2 hours to drive there.
  • Ninh Binh – Tam Coc is regarded as “Halong Bay on land” of Vietnam, featuring many verdant limestone mountains and serene countryside.
  • Additionally, you may walk around Hanoi’s Old Quarter and sample some really tasty and reasonably priced street food. This is also considered as a shopping haven with a wide range of items available, from budget-friendly to opulent.


  • With an itinerary of 3 days and 2 nights, choosing to stay in the capital enables you to learn more about the daily life and culture there.
  • The best choice, though, is undoubtedly a day trip to another location outside of Hanoi.

==> Explore more: Top 21 Incredible Day Trips from Hanoi 

ninh binh viet nam

Day 1: Explore Hanoi French Quarter

Day time

  • The French Quarter in Hanoi features green spaces, tree-lined streets, and a variety of delectable dining options. Government buildings, luxury hotels and restaurants, crowded shopping malls, bookstores, and other facilities can be found here.
  • Make sure to not miss the two attractions: Hoa Lo prison and Hanoi Opera House.
  • Let’s take a one-hour cyclo ride through the Old Quarter after exploring the French Quarter. It is undoubtedly a good way to discover more of Hanoi and experience the local life.
French Quarter Hanoi map for tourists

At night

  • To explore the nightlife in Hanoi, tourists can stop by Ta Hien Beer Street, stroll through the Old Quarter, or go shopping at weekend night markets.

Day 2: Out of Hanoi (Halong Bay or Ninh Binh)

  • As option 2 is designed for people who wish to visit a more distant destination outside of Hanoi, tourists will take a day trip to either Halong Bay or Ninh Binh on the second day of your itinerary.

Ninh Binh

If you choose, here are some routes for you:

In the morning, tourists will visit Hoa Lu ancient capital, the temples of King Le and King Dinh.

After lunch, move to the next destination, Tam Coc, which is regarded as “Halong Bay on land”. Tourists will be able to take in the majestic natural beauty by taking a boat along the Ngo Dong river. The boat will slowly pass through caves and enable you to admire magnificent limestone mountains. In addition, from the top of Mua Cave, you can take a view to the panorama of Tam Coc with the vast and lush rice fields.

Remember to bring a camera so that you can capture beautiful pictures in this stunning attraction.


  • Group tour: from 43 US$/pax
  • Private tour: from 68 US$/pax
Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh

In the morning, tourists will visit Bai Dinh, the largest pagoda in Vietnam which is holding numerous records.

During the afternoon, you can ride a boat around the Trang An complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take in the pristine natural beauty and serene ambiance.


  • Group tour: from 41 US$/pax
  • Private tour: from 70 US$/pax

Hanoi 3 Days Package with Halong Bay Day Trip

  • This itinerary is designed to explore Hanoi and Halong Bay if you only have a couple of days in Hanoi but yet want to see further out tourist destinations.
  • Even though you don’t have the chance to take an overnight Halong Bay cruise, you may still participate in most activities and visit most of the tourist sites included in an overnight cruise.
  • On the last day, after a wonderful trip to that stunning location, you will return to Hanoi.
  • If you prefer to visit Halong Bay, here are must-try tourist attractions and activities you should try:
  • Take a cruise to explore some magnificent caves such as Sung Sot Cave, Dau Go Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Thien Cung Cave and so on.
  • Visit some fishing villages: Cong Dam village, Cua Van village, Vung Vieng village, and Ba Hang village
  • Swim in the most beautiful beaches of Halong: Ti Top island, Three Peaches’ Islet, Monkey Island
  • Other activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Swimming…
  • The price for a day trip in Halong bay varies according to the itinerary category and the number of tour participants.


  • Group tour: from 50 US$/pax
  • Private tour: Depend on number of person


Note: If you don’t know how to carefully arrange your itinerary, especially for a day trip to some of the above-mentioned sites, you may suffer from disadvantage due to the limited amount of travel time. Therefore, in order to get the best day trip in Halong.

Let’s contact us for a FREE itinerary planned by local experts.


Day 3: Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature

Even on your last day in Hanoi, let’s make it meaningful by visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Here you can learn more about Vietnam’s history through the stories of the president Ho Chi Minh

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (for visiting inside): ~ 2 US$/pax
  • Ho Chi Minh Museum: ~ 2 US$/pax
  • House on stilts: ~ 2 US$/pax
  • One Pillar Pagoda: free
  • Taxi ride (between destinations): ~ 2 US$
  • Temple of Literature: ~ 1.5 US$/pax
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Must-try dishes in Hanoi

best food in hanoi old quarter

Pho Bo (Rice noodle soup with beef)

Hanoi is renowned for having the best pho. This dish consists of beef, rice noodles, spring onion and special broth that is simmered from pork bones. Some of the best places to try Pho in Hanoi can be listed as below:

  • Phở Lý Quốc Sư: Address: 10 Ly Quoc Su Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Phở Bát Đàn: Address: 49 Bat Dan Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Phở Mạnh Cường: Address: 23 Hang Muoi Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Phở Thìn Lò Đúc: Address: 13 Lo Duc Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi

Bun Cha (Rice noodles with grilled pork)

This dish is the combination of rice noodles with grilled pork over charcoal, served with sweet and sour dipping sauce and veggies. Bun cha has been around for a long time and is regarded as one of the culinary quintessence of Hanoi.

  • Bún chả Hàng Quạt: Address: 74 Hang Quat Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Bún chả Cửa Đông: Address: 41 Cua Dong Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Bún chả Đắc Kim: Address: 01 Hang Manh Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Bún chả Hàng Buồm: Address: 43 Hang Buom Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi

Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches)

The French baguette has influenced banh mi, but it has been somewhat altered to suit Vietnamese tastes as well as give it its own distinctive element for banh mi in Hanoi. The banh mi is extremely tasty. Let’s look at one of the top locations in Hanoi to sample the delectable and renowned banh mi below:

  • Banh Mi 25 – 25 Hang Ca Str, Hoan Kiem Dist
  • Banh Mi Pho: 57 C Dinh Tien Hoang Street (In front of the Hoan Kiem Lake) + 61 E Hang Ma street + 64 Hang Bong Street
  • Bami Bread – Banh Mi Hoi An – 88B Tran Hung Dao Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Pate Banh Mi at 11 Hang Ga Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Banh Mi Lan Ong – 20 Cha Ca Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
  • Bạn Mi Ba Dan – 34 Lo Su Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
Best Bami in Hanoi

For the drinks

  • Egg coffee: Even if you are not a coffee holic, it is sure that you won’t want to miss this delicious drink. Up to now, this unique drink hasn’t made anyone disappointed. Don’t forget to stop at Giang coffee at No.39, Nguyen Huu Huan street. This cafe shop is the birthplace of this unique drink as well as where tourists can find the best egg coffee in Hanoi.
  • Ta Hien Beer: Ta Hien street is the paradise for those who love drinking beer. So, if you really want to have some cool fresh beer, you shouldn’t miss this location.
Egg coffee in Hanoi

Hanoi Tourist Scams

  • Even though Hanoi is a quite safe and tourist-friendly destination, there is still the possibility of scams for travelers. Here are some common scams that you need to watch out:
  • When exchanging money, be aware of scams of exchange rate. You don’t need to worry about exchanging money at the bank. However, at jewelry stores, you should carefully check the current exchange rate before taking this activity.
  • In addition, tourists may encounter fake travel agencies. They tend to use names that sound like those of legitimate travel organizations to deceive tourists. So, watch out for this kind of scam!
  • Make sure you have done some research or checked the information on Google Maps or Tripadvisor to get to the legitimate travel agency in order to prevent this fraud.
  • Finally, be careful with pickpockets. Leave your valuables in the hotel or if you have to carry it, you should pay attention to it, especially when visiting crowded places like markets.

Taxi Scam

  • Another common scam is taxi scam. This occurs when a taxi driver asks you for a price much higher than the actual sum after reaching the target location.
  • Therefore, before the taxi departs, be certain that you and the driver have agreed on the payment based on the meter, or pick one of the reputable taxi services as mentioned below: Mai Linh Taxi, ACB Taxi, Hanoi Grou Taxi, Thanh Cong Taxi, Thanh Nga Taxi…

If you unluckily fall victim to one of the aforementioned scams, you can seek help at one of the travel support offices. They can assist you in informing the involved authorities, including the embassy, the immigration department, the police station, and others.

We hope that our 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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