25 Things to Do in Hanoi You Must Not Miss in 2021
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Hanoi Top Things to Do

Visit Hoa Lo Prison, Soak in the beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Visit Banh Mi 25, Visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi, Seek Blessings at Bach Ma Temple, Visit Lotte Tower Observation Deck, Try the egg coffee at Giang Cafe, Explore National Museum of Vietnamese History, Watch Puppet Show at Water Puppet Theatre, Tour the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and many more.

A truly underrated and unexplored gem, there are a multitude of things to Do in Hanoi, Vietnam. Offer prayers to the almighty and soak in harmony at auspicious places like Tran Quoc Pagoda and Bach Ma Temple. Voracious food lovers can opt for the Hanoi Food Tour which includes tasting of some of the best Vietnamese cuisines. Reserve your dates at Oriental Central Spa and indulge in exquisite massages to rejuvenate yourself.

National Museum of Vietnamese History and Vietnamese Women’s Museum are great sources for learning about the Vietnamese history, culture and lifestyle. Or catch  breathtaking views of Hanoi City from Lotte Tower Observation Deck. If you are in search of some thrill, go for the Sapa Trekking Tour. Other  Hanoi top things to do include gorging into sumptuous delicacies like Honey Glazed Chicken and Egg Coffee at Banh Mi 25 and Giang Cafe.

Here are some of the best things to do in Hanoi:

01

Soak in the Beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake

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Soak in the Beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake
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The English translation of the lake name means "Lake of the Returning Sword". It has a huge historical context and is one of the oldest places in the city. One can also easily spot some softshell turtles which swim in the lake and has been seen since years, they make a beautiful sight. The lake was also known as Luc Thuy which means Green water in English. This was the former name given to the lake because it has green water.

Location: It is located in Hanoi, which is the capital city of Vietnam and has many other tourists attractions nearby as well.

Highlights: Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most scenic spots in the city and is a major tourist attraction which is visited by hundreds of people daily.

Best time to visit
: During dusk and night, the lake looks stunning as it lights up and people mostly take this as an opportunity for photographs.
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02

Visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

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Visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is among the few museums which focus completely on showcasing the 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. The museum was built in the year 1997 and many new things have been added by the authority for making it better. The design of the museum was made by famous architect Ha Duc Linh who himself was a member of the ethnic group in Vietnam.

Location: 
Nguyen Van Huyen, Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: It is the best place for people who want to know about the ethnic culture of Vietnam. The museum showcases it brilliantly

Best time to visit: The museum stays close on Monday so you can't visit it then. On the other days, you can visit the museum between specified timings by the authority which is from 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. Make sure to plan your trip to the museum accordingly.
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03

Visit One Pillar Pagoda

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Visit One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda is a major tourist attraction in Hanoi and attracts a lot of visitors here. The place is quite peaceful and the pillar on which the temple is built is stunning.

Location: 
One Pillar Pagoda, Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam. Location of the place is a huge advantage as it is in close proximity to transportation facilities and other tourist attractions. 

Highlights: The temple is built on a wood which constitutes the single pillar which is of 1.25 in diameter. The whole design of the pillar is in such a way that it resembles a lotus blossom. This is also considered as a Buddhist symbol of purity.

History: The place is an ancient Buddhist temple and has existed since more than a millennium ago. It was built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong in around 1054. He made it as a gratitude for having a son and erected the pillar in between of a lotus pond.
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04

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

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Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved here so people visit to see that. There are many types of restrictions by the authority here such as you need to follow the dress code, be silent and walk in straight lines. Hands must be in pocket and arms should not be crossed. Apart from that no smoking, drinking or eating.

Location: 
Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: The place is protected by Military honour guards and is a high-security place. The architecture is nicely done and a lot of people visit here to pay their respects to Ho Chi Minh.

Best time to visit: One of the best things about the mausoleum is that it stays open for 24 hours so you can visit it anytime you want. Only you need to keep in mind that it stays closed on Monday and Friday so make sure to not visit it then.
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05

Visit St. Joseph's Cathedral

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Visit St. Joseph's Cathedral
Image Credit : Bonjin/凡人[ラナ]
Hanoi is famous for its churches so if you are in the city, you must definitely visit the St. Joseph's Cathedral. There is also a lake nearby which you can choose to visit.

Location: Na tho street, Hanoi. The church is right on the road and you wouldn't have any difficulties in finding it, the place is quite accessible. History: The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina and it was opened in the year 1886.

Highlights: The church serves as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese to almost 4 million people in the country. The church conducts mass several times in a day so you can be a part of it if you are there at the right time.

Best time to visit: Every Sunday, they organize a mass at sharp 6 in the evening, so this will be the best time for you to visit the church.
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06

Explore Vietnam Military History Museum

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Explore Vietnam Military History Museum
Vietnam Military History Museum is one of the 7 national museums in the country of Vietnam. For people who are quite interested in guns and arms, they will have a great time at the museum browsing through various different items.

Location: 
28A Dien Bien Phu, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in central Hanoi right opposite the Lenin Park and near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

History: The museum was set up on 17th July 1956.

Highlights: There are numerous items on display which you can check out and you will not find them anywhere else. You will also find many statues of soldiers with guns since this is a military museum.

Best time to visit: On most days, the museum opens up at 8 in the morning and is close by 4:30 in the evening so if you are planning a trip here, plan according to that.
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07

Visit the Temple of Literature

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Visit the Temple of Literature
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We all know about the famous philosopher Confucius and this temple is dedicated to him. There are various temples dedicated to Confucius in Vietnam but this is one of the best temples which also hosts the Imperial Academy. The temple has been renovated many times since its inception in order to keep it maintainable.

Location: 
Ho Chi Minh City, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi, Vietnam. The location is easy to access and you can get many transportation facilities around the temple to take you to different destinations.

History: The construction of this beautiful temple was started almost a millennium ago in the year 1070.

Highlights: The temple is also printed on the back side of an official banknote of Vietnam. The layout of the temple is quite similar to the birthplace of Confucius which is a tribute.

Best time to visit: Temple of literature is open 24 hours so you can visit it whenever you desire.
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08

Visit Opera House

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Visit Opera House
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Hanoi Opera House is an essential destination of the city. You can visit this place in order to enjoy a lovely show of opera singing. There is a large crowd that is pulled to observe the classic opera shows. The building is an excellent evidence of classic architecture. You will admire the whole setup of Hanoi Opera House that is very mesmerizing. The best part is that, Hanoi Opera House also hosts ballet performances that are very attractive. You need to book your tickets in advance for any show which is staged here. Western classics are mostly staged at Hanoi Opera House that is loved by the local crowd. You can easily reach this destination via public transport.

Location:
1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi, Vietnam

Highlights:
The stage setup of Hanoi Opera House is grand and is equipped with modern theatrical equipments.

Best time to visit:
Visit this place for evening shows.
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09

Explore Old Quarter

Explore Old Quarter
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The Hanoi Old quarter is among the first place which tourists visit when in Vietnam and also the last place which they go before leaving the country. It was previously a great place for merchants and artisans to sell the goods they create but now it has become a place of heritage for tourists. The place is quite lively and different from rest of the places in the city.

Highlights:
It is a great place to know about the culture and tradition of the people who live in Hanoi as well as the city itself. The old quarter has many old style narrow streets with brick houses. We all are used to see tall skyscrapers and buildings but this place will bring back you to where we used to live some hundred years ago.

History:
It was a place where traders used to trade goods they had.
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10

Stroll at The Lake of the Restored Sword

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Stroll at The Lake of the Restored Sword
Image Credit : David McKelvey
The English translation of the lake name means "Lake of the Returning Sword". It has a huge historical context and is one of the oldest places in the city. One can also easily spot some soft shell turtles which swim in the lake and has been seen since years, they make a beautiful sight. The lake was also known as Luc Thuy which means Green water in English. This was the former name given to the lake because it has green water.

Location:
It is located in Hanoi, which is the capital city of Vietnam and has many other tourists attractions nearby as well.

Highlights:
Lake of the restored Sword is one of the most scenic spots of the city and is a major tourist attraction which is visited by hundreds of people daily.

Best time to visit:
During dusk and night, the lake looks stunning as it lights up and people mostly take this as an opportunity for photographs.
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11

Visit Hoa Lo Prison

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Visit Hoa Lo Prison
Image Credit : Raymond June
Hoa Lo Prison is not actually a prison but is a museum as of now. It was demolished in the 1990s and since then it exists as a tourist visiting spot and a museum. The gatehouse serves as the popular museum.

Highlights:
The display on the museum shows the original equipments used in the prison during the times of French era.

Best time to visit: The prison stays open from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening on all days so you can choose to visit it during the given timings.

History: This is the same prison which the French colonists used for the political prisoners of Vietnam. During the Vietnam war, this prison had a great importance and for the same reason, it is regarded as one of the most visited historical establishment in Vietnam.
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12

Tour the Fine Arts Museum of Vietnam

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Tour the Fine Arts Museum of Vietnam
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For those who love fine arts, this is probably the best place for them to checkout on some amazing art that exists in the city. All the arts that exist here showcase them from a range of historical periods. It is also the country's primary museum and thus attracts a lot of visitors.

Highlights:
You will find a wide variety of art by artists who are exploring abstractionism. The museum clearly gives great attention to an individual artist who is trying to establish himself.

Best time to visit: The museum is open from 8:30 in the morning to 5 in the evening on all days. Try to avoid the peak hours between 12 to 3 during the weekends.


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13

Go Boating at West Lake

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Go Boating at West Lake
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West lake is a fresh water lake located right in the center of Hanoi. This is the largest lake of the city and one of the most popular places for recreation activities as there are many kind of gardens, hotels and villas around the lake.

Location: The lake is in the center of city Hanoi and you can easily get around different places through here.

Highlights: You will be surprised to know that the shore length of this lake is around 17 KM. People like to chill out here on their vacation as the spot also has many entertainment facilities that keeps the tourists engaged.

History: The lake was created by taking a curved part of the Red river. There are many kinds of historical contexts that this lake carries and it was also said that the lake was shaped after a battle between some warriors many centuries ago.
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14

Capture Great Views From Long Bien Bridge

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Capture Great Views From Long Bien Bridge
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The Long Bien bridge is a historic cantilever bridge which connects the two famous districts in the city of Hanoi namely Hoan Kiem and Long Bien. It is around 1700 m in length and was opened long back in 1903 and is operational till now. There was some renovations conducted few years back to maintain the bridge for usage.

Location: C?u Long Biên, Phúc Tân, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam.

Highlights: The bridge was built by architect Gustave Eiffel who is a notable architect and has build the bridge in a beautiful way. Currently, only half of the bridge remains in the actual shape that it was created back then.

History: When the bridge was made, it was one of the longest bridges in Asia at that time. During the Vietnam war, the bridge was attacked a lot and had to go under heavy maintenance in order to become functional again.
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15

Stroll Around the Imperial Citadel

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Stroll Around the Imperial Citadel
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Imperial citadel of Thang Long is a cultural complex which comprises of the royal enclosure built during the Ly Dynasty. A lot of the structure has worn out now but it still is one of the most historical places to visit in Hanoi.

Location:
Quán Thánh, Ba ?ình, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Highlights: The place was declared as an UNESCO world heritage site in the year 2010 due to which it attracted a lot of tourists in the recent years.

Best time to visit: There are timings to visit the place and you must take a note of it in advance. The citadel opens at 8 in the morning and closes at 11:30 in the noon. It again reopens at 1:30 and then stays open till 5 in the evening. If you are a tourist, you must make sure to visit the place during these timings and plan your trip accordingly.
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16

Watch a Performance at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Watch a Performance at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
Image Credit : Dan Costin
For tourists who want to experience some great performing arts in the city of Hanoi, this is the best place where all kind of performances happen. The theatre is quite famous for its theatrical water puppetry show with accompanying music that sounds lovely. It is also sort of spiritual in nature as the event is according to their culture.

Location:
57b ?inh Tiên Hoàng, Hoàn Ki?m Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: It is an ideal cultural place for all kinds of visitors no matter which country or ethnicity they belong to. The water puppet show is the unique speciality of the place which you will find nowhere else. It is a popular tourist attraction and if you are ever in Hanoi, you must make it a point to visit the Water puppet theater.

Best time to visit: You must check out the show timings on their website in order to know when to visit.
17

Visit The Perfume Pagoda

Visit The Perfume Pagoda
The perfume pagoda which is also known as the Huong pagoda is a huge complex of Buddhist temples which belong here. There are various shrines that are built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. You will find many pagodas here but the perfume pagoda is quite famous for the way it is built.

Location: H??ng S?n, M? ??c, Hà N?i, Vietnam Highlights: It is also a popular site of various religious festivals that are held here. This attracts a lot of pilgrims which are local as well as foreigners. At the center of this huge complex is the perfume temple which is also known as Chua Tong which translates to Inner temple in English.

History: It is said that this site was discovered more than 2000 years ago and has a vast amount of history associated with it.

Best time to visit: Visit here when some religious festivals are taking place, it is really worth it.
18

Banh Mi 25

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Banh Mi 25
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Among top things to do in Hanoi Vietnam, Banh Mi 25 is a must-have in your itinerary. It offers sumptuous delicacies like Avocado & Egg, Beef & Cheese, BBQ Pork, Honey Glazed Chicken, Smoothies and many more.

Other than their specialities, is also known for its pitch-perfect cleanliness and impeccable hospitality.

Location: 25 Hàng Cá, P, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 7 AM- 9 PM

Price: 20,000 VND – 40,000 VND
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19

Bach Ma Temple

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Bach Ma Temple
If you are in search of one of the auspicious things to do in Hanoi Vietnam, Bach Ma Temple is the place. It is Buddist Temple which was constructed in 1010 and was later restored in the 18th-19th centuries.

The interiors of the Bach Ma Temple is charmingly decorated and has lovely interiors. Every day, locals visit the Bach Ma Temple and offer their prayers by lighting incense stick whose aroma scatters all across its premise.

Location: 76 Hàng Bu?m, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 9 AM- 5:30 PM
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20

Lotte Tower Observation Deck

Lotte Tower Observation Deck
Nestled on the 65th floor, visiting Lotte Tower Observation Deck has made it to the list of top things to do in Vietnam. If it is a clear sunny day, visitors will be able to see the panoramic skyline of Hanoi from this spot.

Lotte  Observation Deck is dissected into 4 distinctive sections i.e. Welcome Zone, Experience Zone, Attraction Zone,  and Romantic Zone. Highlights in different zones include The Skywalk,  Welcome Theatre, Photo Zone, Bamboo Road, and Sky Gallery.

Location: 54 Li?u Giai, Ng?c Khánh, Ba ?ình, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 9 AM- 11 PM

Price: For 3-7 year and Over 65 Years-  VND 110,000-90,000, For 8-19 Years- VND 170,000-110,000, For 20-64 Years -VND 230,000-130,000
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21

Try the Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe

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Try the Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe
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Trying Egg Coffee or "Ca phe trúng," at Giang Cafe is considered one of the unique things to Do in Hanoi Vietnam. Egg Coffee or "Ca phe trúng comes in two versions i.e. hot and cold versions.

It is a Hanoi speciality consisting of creamy and soft egg white foam rested on Vietnamese Coffee.

Location: 39 Nguy?n H?u Huân, Lý Thái T?, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 7 AM- 10 PM

Price: VND 30,000
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22

National Museum of Vietnamese History

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National Museum of Vietnamese History
Located in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, the National Museum of Vietnamese History is all about  Vietnam's prehistory which dates back to 300,000–400,000 years ago.

The architecture of the National Museum is a beautiful blend of French colonial and traditional Vietnamese architecture. Exhibits in the museum include items from the Hung Era, Neolithic Age and Bronze Age.

Location: 216 ???ng Tr?n Quang Kh?i, Tràng Ti?n, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i 110000, Vietnam

Timings: 8 AM- 12 PM | 1:30 PM- 5 PM

Price: 40,000 VND
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23

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

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Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Solely dedicated to the Vietnamese women, an excursion to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is one of the excellent things to do in Hanoi Vietnam. It has more than 1000 exhibits showing the unrivalled role of Vietnamese women in history and contemporary society.

The main agenda of the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is to promote the role of gender equality and put Vietnamese women on a high pedestal.

Location: 36 Lý Th??ng Ki?t, Hàng Bài, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 8 AM - 5 PM

Price: 30,000 VND
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24

Memorial House

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Memorial House
A classic example of old Hanoi architecture, Memorial House is an ideal place to get enlightened about the life and culture of Hanoi's locals during the previous era. It is filled with antiques and objects which are centuries old.

The entire Memorial House is set up according to the tradition of Feng Shui, which allows good energy flow into the house.

Location: 48 Hàng Ngang, Hàng ?ào, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Timings: 8:30 AM -11:30 AM | 1:30 PM- 4:30 PM
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25

Tran Quoc Pagoda

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Tran Quoc Pagoda
Near the southeastern shore of Hanoi's Westlake, sits one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Hanoi - Tran Quoc Pagoda. Admiring its beauty is one of the peaceful things to do in Hanoi Vietnam. It was constructed in the 6th century and is thus, more than 1,450 years old.

The walls of the Pagoda have Lotus flowers carved on them which symbolizes the beauty of nature in Vietnam. Every year, during the Tet and Buddha's Birthday, Tran Quoc Pagoda attracts devotees from all across the globe.

Location: ?. Thanh Niên, Yên Ph?, Tây H?, Hà N?i 100000, Vietnam

Timings: 8 AM - 4 PM
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People Also Ask About Hanoi

  1. How can I spend 2 days in Hanoi?

    1. Offering Prayers at Bach Ma Temple: Offering your prayers to the Almighty straight from the heart at Bach Ma Temple is one of the pious things to do in Hanoi Vietnam. It is said to be the oldest temple in the city and was built by the King Ly Thai To, the legendary founder of the great Vietnamese Ly Dynasty.

    2. Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe: Tasting the frothy  Egg Coffee at Giang Cafe is one of the unique things to do in Hanoi. As you take the first sip, get ready to feel the sweet froth in your mouth which rests above the murky Vietnamese coffee.

    3. Spend Time at National Museum of Vietnamese History: Take out a day and spend time at the National Museum of Vietnamese History. It is one of the prime Hanoi top things to do when in Vietnam. It is the perfect place for history enthusiasts who are willing to know more about the episodes from Vietnam’s prehistory up to the August 1945 Revolution.

    4. Visit Lotte Tower: Lotte  Observation Deck is perched on the 65th floor of Lotte Tower, and is a great spot for viewing the urban landscape of Hanoi. Undoubtedly, it is one of the finest things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam. One needs to reach the 65th floor in a speedy elevator that travels at 360m/minute. Besides, there is also a small shop at the Observation Deck where you can purchase snacks and drinks.
  2. What are the best things to buy in Hanoi?

    - Vietnamese Silk Products
    - Vietnamese Hand Embroidery
    - ‘Do’ Paper Products
    - Lotus Tea
    - O Mai (Sweetened Fruits)
    - Ao Dai -Traditional Vietnamese Dress
    - Lacquerware and Ceramics
    - Bamboo Products
    - Magnet Dolls
    - Vietnamese Coffee
    - Non-La-Traditional Vietnamese Conical Hat
    - Dried Seafood
    - Vietnamese Green Bean Cake
  3. What is the best time to visit Hanoi?

    The best time to visit Hanoi is during Autumn Season and  Spring Season. Autumn falls between  September-November and Spring falls between March- April. During these periods, the weather in Hanoi remains pleasant and provides a good opportunity to explore the outdoors at its best.
  4. How to reach Hanoi?

    Hanoi can be reached via Flight. Hanoi is connected to all the major cities in the world via N?i Bài International Airport. Airlines like Asiana Airlines, Qatar Airways, China Airlines, Dragon Air, Hong Kong Airlines, and Korean Air operate on this route.
  5. Is Hanoi worth visiting?

    Beginning with its ancient vibe to unique delicacies, Hanoi is brimming with unexplored charm and is worth your every hard penny. Visiting religious places like Bach Ma Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda will enable a spiritual retreat for people. The Museums are a storehouse of Vietnam's history. The Food Tours are wonderful to get the authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisines.
  6. How many days should I spend in Hanoi?

    A 4 Day 3 Night trip to Hanoi is ideal to cover all the major destinations. One must include spots like Banh Mi 25, Bach Ma Temple, Lotte Tower Observation Deck and Tran Quoc Pagoda in their itinerary.