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8 Exciting Things to Do In Hanoi

8 mins. read

Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, has everything an energetic soul would want, from bustling marketplaces to picture-perfect maze-like streets. This place might be overwhelming for some, but there is such a wide variety of things to do in Hanoi that anyone who visits this city will become an admirer. You will find a blend of foreign influences from countries including China, France, Portugal, the United States, and more that you can discover while on a Hanoi sightseeing tour. The rich heritage and cultural traditions tell us that there is still so much left undiscovered in this beautiful city.

Being a French colony from 1877 to 1954, you will find a lot of French colonial architecture here. Locally called the city of love, Hanoi will delight the romantic in you with its cutesy French aesthetics and cobbled alleyways. Additionally, it is one of the ancient capitals of the world, which keeps every history buff entertained in Hanoi. It is best to spare a few days to take a trip to this fantastic city, as there are so many places to visit in Hanoi that a day or two won’t be enough!

Top Things To Do in Hanoi

Here are 8 exciting things to do in Hanoi that you can do on your next trip to Vietnam: -

  • Enjoy Water Sports at Ha Long Bay
  • Relish the Flavours of Vietnam
  • Admire the Beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Stop by the St. Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Book a Show at the Opera House
  • Revel in the Water Puppet Show
  • Take a Stroll at the Old Quarter
  • Click Insta-Worthy Pictures of the Hanoi Train Street

1.    Enjoy Water Sports at Ha Long Bay

One of Hanoi’s most famous attractions is Ha Long Bay, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you are done with things to do in Hanoi, you can take a day trip to this destination which is located almost 2.5 hours away from the capital city. There are numerous water activities, such as kayaking, swimming, cruising, and much more, that tourists love enjoying. This world-famous bay boasts limestone cliffs that offer great views under the clear skies of Vietnam. You will find a lot of cruises in Ha Long Bay that take you through protected areas where you can relax and listen to the sound of the waters.

2.    Relish the Flavours of Vietnam

Trying the street food of Vietnam should be on your things to do in Hanoi list! Southeast Asia is known for its street food around the world, and one cannot miss the most popular dish in Vietnam, Bun Cha. It is a delectable soup-based dish in which you will find grilled pork, herbs, and noodles that will bring the utmost comfort to your soul in just one bite. If you are on the hunt for the best-tasting bun cha, you can visit Lotte Centre Hanoi in Ba Dinh or Bún Chả Ba Duc in Quan Ba Dinh. Enrolling yourself in a walking food tour with a local is a great way to try out other local dishes as well.

3.    Admire the Beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

If you are in the mood for Hanoi sightseeing, then you cannot miss seeing Hoan Kiem Lake. Its mystical tales and enchanting beauty make it one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Hanoi. Known as the ‘Lake of the Returned Sword’, it has a legend that states that during the Ming Dynasty, a man named Lê Lợi was presented with a golden sword. He defeated the army with that sword and was named emperor. One day, while on a ride out on this lake, a giant golden turtle took the magic sword from his hand and returned to the water. Isn't it fascinating? You can ponder over this astounding tale with a cup of coffee at a lakeside cafe or enjoy other fun activities across the lake.

4.    Stop by the St. Joseph’s Cathedral

If you are confused about the things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam, you can start by visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It is located right outside the French Quarter and gives you much-needed calm after witnessing all the chaos of the city. This neo-Gothic church takes inspiration from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, giving you the impression of French architecture in this Asian city. It is among the most popular tourist places in Hanoi, as you can also find many hotels and fancy boutique stores nearby.

5.    Book a Show at the Opera House

The Opera House is not just an elegant building; it offers so much more to visitors, making it one of the must-visit Hanoi tourist attractions. Just like St. Joseph’s Cathedral, it also takes inspiration from Paris’ Palais Garnier. Featuring Italian marble floors, French murals, and copper chandeliers, the Opera House exudes nothing but grandeur. Other than visiting the Opera House, the best thing to do in Hanoi is to book a show for music concerts, dance performances, art shows, etc. at the Opera House. It is open on weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., but it is also recommended to check the timings before you visit.

6.    Revel in the Water Puppet Show

If you are someone who enjoys local performing arts and is wondering about things to do in Hanoi at night, then the water puppet show is for you! This originated in the 11th century when the paddy fields of the Red River Delta used to get flooded by the monsoon rains. Wooden puppets are placed in the water, and unlike traditional puppet shows, no strings are attached to the puppeteer’s hands. It has become one of the most popular Hanoi attractions because the shows are based on Vietnamese folklore and historical stories. People of all age groups enjoy the water puppet show but is one of the most recommended things to do in Hanoi for those travelling with the little ones.

7.    Take a Stroll at the Old Quarter

If you want to experience the vibrant nightlife of Vietnam, then taking a stroll in the Old Quarter is one of the best things to do in Hanoi at night. The Old Quarter is among the most well-known districts and tourist places in Hanoi where you can spot the local crowd. Boasting French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples, this place has lots of options for you. Here, you can find centuries-old shops that sell Vietnamese handcrafted products that you can take as souvenirs and many bars and cafes where you can enjoy a drink or two.

8.    Click Insta-Worthy Pictures of the Hanoi Train Street


One cannot miss the famous Hanoi Train Street when travelling to Vietnam. Viral videos of trains going from a close distance from local homes and shops have made it one of the most visited tourist places in Hanoi. The Hanoi Train Street is crowded with cute cafes, street arts, local homes, and shops that will keep you busy for hours. When the trains are not running, the best things to do in Hanoi Train Street would be to take multiple photos or grab a cup of delicious Vietnamese coffee.

From sightseeing to eating, Hanoi has a lot to offer. The never-ending list of things to see in Hanoi will surely confuse a person who comes to this lovely city. In the end, one cannot help but fall in love with this amazing city. You can plan a trip to Hanoi and visit all its tourist places for a fun-filled time on your vacation.

July 18, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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