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Plan Your Hanoi Trip – Best Itinerary in Hanoi

September 29, 2023

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is a city that offers travelers an authentic experience of Vietnamese culture and history. From its ancient temples, bustling streets, traditional markets, and delicious cuisine, there is so much to see and do in this vibrant city. However, planning a trip to Hanoi can be overwhelming – from deciding when to visit, where to stay, what to eat, and what activities to do. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to plan your ultimate Hanoi trip.

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

How to Get to and Around Hanoi?

Getting to Hanoi

Hanoi has two airports: Noi Bai International Airport and Cat Bi International Airport. If you are flying internationally, you will likely arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, which is located about 35 kilometers from the city center. The airport is well-connected by public transportation, taxis, and private transfer services.

There are several airlines that fly into Noi Bai International Airport, including Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, AirAsia, and Cathay Pacific. You can also take a domestic flight from other cities in Vietnam such as Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, or Hue.

Getting Around Hanoi

The best way to get around Hanoi is on foot or by motorbike. Walking is a great way to explore the narrow streets of the Old Quarter and to discover hidden gems that you might miss if you were in a car or on a bus. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike to explore the city at your own pace.

If you prefer not to walk or ride a motorbike, you can take a taxi or use ride-hailing apps like Grab or Be. These apps make it easy to get around the city and avoid haggling with taxi drivers over prices.

Another popular way to get around Hanoi is by cyclo, a three-wheeled bicycle taxi. Cyclos are a fun way to explore the city, but they can be more expensive than other forms of transportation.

Things to Know Before Visiting Hanoi

Visa Requirements

Most visitors to Vietnam will need a visa to enter the country. Depending on your nationality, you may be able to obtain a visa on arrival or you may need to apply Vietnam e-Visa. You can check the visa requirements for your country on the Vietnamese embassy website.


The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). ATMs are widely available in Hanoi, and most hotels, restaurants, and shops accept credit cards. However, it’s always a good idea to carry cash with you, especially when shopping at street markets or eating at local eateries.


The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese, but many people in Hanoi speak English, especially in tourist areas. Learning a few basic phrases in Vietnamese can be helpful, especially when interacting with locals in non-touristy areas.


Hanoi is a relatively safe city, but like any big city, it’s important to take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and theft. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables with you, and be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking alone at night.

The Best Time to Visit Hanoi

Hanoi has a subtropical climate, which means that it experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The best time to visit Hanoi depends on your preferences and what you want to do while you’re there.

Spring (March – May)

Spring is an ideal time to visit Hanoi if you enjoy mild weather and beautiful natural scenery. This is the season when flowers bloom, and the city is covered in pink and white blossoms. Temperatures during this time range from 15°C to 25°C.

Summer (June – August)

Summer in Hanoi is hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching 35°C or higher. If you can handle the heat, this is a great time to visit if you want to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming and hiking.

Autumn (September – November)

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Hanoi, as the weather is mild and comfortable, and the city is full of color. This is also the season when many festivals take place in Hanoi, including the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Hanoi Craft Village Festival.

Winter (December – February)

Winter in Hanoi is cold and damp, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C. However, this is also the season when Hanoi celebrates the Lunar New Year, which is a fantastic cultural experience.

Advice on Accommodation in Hanoi

Hanoi offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. When choosing where to stay in Hanoi, consider the following factors:


The location of your accommodation will depend on what you want to do in H anoi. If you want to be in the heart of the action, choose a hotel or hostel in the Old Quarter. If you prefer a quieter area, look for accommodations in West Lake or Tay Ho.


Hanoi offers accommodation options for every budget. Backpacker hostels and budget hotels can be found in the Old Quarter, while luxury hotels are located around West Lake and the French Quarter.


When choosing your accommodation, consider what amenities are important to you. Do you need a swimming pool or gym? Do you want breakfast included? Make sure to check the amenities offered by each hotel before booking.

Recommended Accommodations

Here are some recommended accommodations in Hanoi:

  • La Siesta Trendy Hotel & Spa: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of the Old Quarter and offers luxurious rooms with modern amenities.
  • Hanoi Rocks Hostel: This budget-friendly hostel is located in the heart of the Old Quarter and offers dormitory-style accommodation.
  • InterContinental Hanoi Westlake: This luxury hotel is located on the shores of West Lake and offers stunning lake views and a range of amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and swimming pool.

Advice on Food & Drink

Hanoi is known for its delicious cuisine, which includes pho (noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and more. Here are some tips on where to find the best food and drink in Hanoi:

Street Food

Some of the best food in Hanoi can be found on the streets. The Old Quarter is home to many street food vendors selling everything from banh mi to grilled meats. Look for stalls with long lines – they’re usually an indicator of good food.

Local Markets

Hanoi’s local markets, such as Dong Xuan Market and Cho Hom Market, offer a great opportunity to taste authentic Vietnamese cuisine. These markets sell everything from fresh produce to street food and are a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.


Hanoi has a range of restaurants offering Vietnamese and international cuisine. Some recommended restaurants in Hanoi include:

  • Bun Cha Huong Lien: This restaurant is famous for its bun cha, a traditional dish of grilled pork with noodles.
  • La Verticale: This upscale restaurant offers French-inspired cuisine and stunning views of the city.
  • The Note Coffee: This café is known for its unique décor – customers can leave messages on colorful sticky notes that cover the walls.


Vietnam is known for its coffee, and Hanoi has many cafés serving up delicious brews. Egg coffee is a must-try when in Hanoi – it’s made with egg yolk, sugar, condensed milk, and Robusta coffee. Bia hoi, a local beer, is also popular in Hanoi.

Things To Do In Hanoi

Hanoi has a rich history and culture, and there are many things to see and do in the city. Here are some must-visit attractions in Hanoi:

1. Old Quarter: Explore the narrow streets filled with shops, traditional houses, and local eateries.
2. Hoan Kiem Lake: Take a leisurely walk around the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple located on an islet.
3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Pay your respects to the late Vietnamese leader and learn about the country’s history.
4. Temple of Literature: Experience the tranquility of Vietnam’s oldest university and admire the traditional architecture.
5. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre: Enjoy a unique cultural performance showcasing traditional Vietnamese puppetry.
6. Hoa Lo Prison Museum: Discover the history of this former prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” which held political prisoners during the French occupation and the Vietnam War.
7. West Lake: Take a stroll or rent a bicycle to explore the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi.
8. Ba Dinh Square: Visit the site where Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam’s independence in 1945 and see the Presidential Palace and other important government buildings.
9. Hanoi Opera House: Admire the stunning French colonial architecture and catch a performance at this historic venue.
10. Dong Xuan Market: Shop for local handicrafts, clothing, and delicious street food at this bustling market.

Best Itinerary in Hanoi

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a three-day trip to Hanoi:

Day 1

  • Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
  • Explore the Old Quarter on foot
  • Have lunch at a street food vendor or local restaurant
  • Visit the Temple of Literature
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

Day 2

  • Take a day trip to Halong Bay or Ninh Binh
  • Return to Hanoi in the evening
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

Day 3

  • Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace
  • Explore the French Quarter and Hanoi Opera House
  • Have lunch at a local restaurant- Visit the Vietnamese Women’s Museum
  • Dinner at a local restaurant


What is the best way to get around Hanoi?

The best way to get around Hanoi is on foot or by motorbike. Walking is a great way to explore the narrow streets of the Old Quarter and to discover hidden gems that you might miss if you were in a car or on a bus. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike to explore the city at your own pace.

What should I wear in Hanoi?

Hanoi has a conservative culture, so it’s best to dress modestly when visiting temples and other cultural sites. It’s also a good idea to bring comfortable walking shoes, especially if you plan to explore the city on foot.

How much money should I bring to Hanoi?

The amount of money you’ll need depends on your travel style and budget. Backpackers can get by on as little as $20-$30 per day, while luxury travelers can expect to spend upwards of $100 per day. It’s always a good idea to have some cash with you, especially when shopping at street markets or eating at local eateries.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Hanoi?

It’s not recommended to drink tap water in Hanoi. Instead, stick to bottled water, which is widely available in convenience stores and supermarkets.

What should I do if I get sick in Hanoi?

If you get sick in Hanoi, there are several hospitals and clinics that cater to foreigners, including the French Hospital, International SOS Clinic, and Family Medical Practice.


Hanoi is a vibrant and exciting city that offers travelers a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich history and culture. From its ancient temples to its bustling streets and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone in Hanoi. By following this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to plan your ultimate Hanoi trip.Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Hanoi is a city that will capture your heart and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. With its unique blend of tradition and modernity, Hanoi is a city that is sure to surprise and delight you at every turn.

So why wait? Start planning your Hanoi trip today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in one of Asia’s most captivating cities.