An independent selection of the best things to see and do in Hanoi. No paid placements, no advertorial.

Hanoi see and do guide

Introduction

Last updated 27 Jul 2017

Hanoi is one of Asia’s most visually exciting cities. It’s home to Vietnam’s best museums and some of its most important monuments. But the real draw is its street life - a frenetic clash of old and new set amidst the narrow lanes of the old quarter and tree lined boulevards peppered with fading relics of French empire. Walking Hanoi’s streets, camera in hand, is a highlight of travel in Vietnam.

Hanoi is also the gateway to some of Vietnam’s other highlights. Halong Bay is probably already in your plans. Ninh Binh, Duong Lam and the amazing churches of Nam Dinh province are all accessible as day trips from Hanoi too - though we’d recommend you spend a night in these places if possible.

Read more introduction

Walking Hanoi - Part 3 - Old Quarter to Ba Dinh Square

This self-guided Hanoi walking tour by Rusty Compass takes us along the edge of the Old Quarter, past stunning colonial villas... Read more

Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi

Vietnamʼs most important collection of painting, sculpture, lacquer and other objects is set in a French colonial building not... Read more

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Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Str., Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi
40,000VND

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Walking Hanoi - Part 2 - Old Quarter to the French Quarter

This Hanoi walk takes us from the Catholic centre of the Old Quarter through the French colonial architecture of the precinct... Read more
Walking Hanoi - Part 2 - Old Quarter to the French Quarter
Start - St Josephs Cathedral Hanoi

Ba Da Pagoda, Hanoi

Ba Da Pagoda is a delightful and historic pagoda on Nha Tho St a short walk from St Joseph’s Cathedral. Read more

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Ba Da Pagoda, Hanoi
3 Nhà Thờ, Hoan Kiem Hanoi

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Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi

Ba Dinh Square is where several of the Hanoi’s most historic sights are located - Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s house... Read more

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Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi
Ba Dinh District Hanoi

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Bach Ma Temple, Hanoi

11th century Bach Ma Temple is Hanoi’s oldest place of worship and is easily visited while strolling through the Old Quarter.... Read more

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Bach Ma Temple, Hanoi
76 Hang Buom St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi - in the Old Quarter
Free

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Bat Trang Pottery Village

More for those with a serious interest in purchasing pottery than for an experience of a traditional craft village.  There’s... Read more

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Bat Trang Pottery Village
16kms south east of Hanoi

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Ca Tru traditional music performance, Hanoi

Ca Tru is an ancient northern Vietnamese vocal music tradition performed Tuesday to Sunday nights in one of two old quarter... Read more

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Ca Tru traditional music performance, Hanoi
42 Hang Bac St Hoan Kiem District Hanoi
200,000VND

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Co Loa Citadel, Hanoi

Co Loa Citadel dates back to the 3rd century BC and ties in with some crucial milestones in the past 2 millenia of Vietnamese... Read more

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Co Loa Citadel, Hanoi
Co Loa, 16kms from Hanoi

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Duong Lam Village, outside Hanoi

Duong Lam is a surprisingly picturesque traditional village about 50kms from Hanoi. Read more

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Duong Lam Village, outside Hanoi
Duong Lam, Son Tay - 50kms from Hanoi
20,000VND

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Halong Bay day trip

The day trip to Halong Bay is the most popular day trip from Hanoi - and for good reason. The World Heritage listed site is... Read more

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Halong Bay day trip
3 hours east of Hanoi

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Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi

World Heritage listed Hanoi Citadel, also known as the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, is one of Vietnam’s most important... Read more

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Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi
Enter from Hoang Dieu St, Hanoi, nearby the Cot Co Tower.
30,000VND

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Hanoi Cooking Centre, Hanoi

A professional cooking centre on the fringe of the Old Quarter offering both cooking classes and tours of markets and street food. Read more

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Hanoi Cooking Centre, Hanoi
44 Chau Long St, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
+84 4 3715 0088

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Hanoi Museum, Hanoi

You’ll need to have a lot of time, patience and enthusiasm to make the journey out of town to Hanoi’s newest museum. Impressive... Read more

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Hanoi Museum, Hanoi
Pham Hung Street, Từ Liêm, Hanoi

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Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi

There may be museums dedicated to Ho Chi Minh in cities and towns across the country, but this is the definitive effort, set in... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
19 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, South of Ho Chi Minh
40,000VND

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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi

The simple timber house on stilts, in a lovely garden setting, from which Ho Chi Minh ruled wartime North Vietnam prior to his... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square behind Ho Chi Minh
40,000VND

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Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh's Mauloleum is the imposing Soviet style block in which President Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed corpse lies. Located at the... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi. Enter at Southern end near Ho Chi Minh Museum.
Free of charge. No cameras or bags. Modest dress required.

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Hoa Lo - Hanoi Hilton Prison, Hanoi

Most of the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, aka Hanoi Hilton, was demolished to make way for an office and apartment complex in the... Read more

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Hoa Lo - Hanoi Hilton Prison, Hanoi
1 Hoa Lo St, Hanoi, Vietnam
20,000VND

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Hoa Lu and Tam Coc day trip

In classic tourist parlance, brochures describe the mystical Hoa Lu and Tam Coc  landscape as “Halong Bay on land” on account of... Read more

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Hoa Lu and Tam Coc day trip
Ninh Binh Province - around 2 hours from Hanoi

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Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

An early morning spent wandering around legendary Hoan Kiem Lake is a perfect way to start any Hanoi day. If you’re feeling... Read more

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Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Central Hanoi

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Long Bien Bridge

A Hanoi icon in all senses, the Long Bien Bridge - formerly known as the Paul Doumer Bridge - was one of the greatest... Read more

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Long Bien Bridge
Up the ramp from Hang Khoai in the Old Quarter

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Military History Museum, Hanoi

The ultimate museum tribute to Vietnam’s twentieth century struggles against larger and better equipped enemies - the French... Read more

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Military History Museum, Hanoi
28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi
20,000VND

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Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi

Hanoi's Museum of Ethnology explores Vietnam's 54 ethnic minority groups looking at costumes, rituals and traditions. A very... Read more

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Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi
Nguyen Van Huyen Rd, Cau Giay District, Hanoi

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Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi

Vietnam’s best account of its thousands of years of history is set in one of Hanoi’s finest buildings. A refreshing break from... Read more

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Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi
1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi - in the French Quarter
20,000VND - more for cameras

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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi

If you’ve been travelling in Vietnam a while, you’ll recognise the pattern here - a huge collection of photos peppered with some... Read more

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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi
25 Tong Dan St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (there's another entrance on the opposite side)
Free

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Old Quarter, Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a warren of bustling lanes that have been the commercial heart of the capital for centuries. The 36... Read more

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Old Quarter, Hanoi
From the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake

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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi

One of Hanoi’s most revered sights, the One Pillar Pagoda dates back to Hanoi’s founding and is a commonly used symbol of the... Read more

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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square Hanoi, nearby the Ho Chi Minh Museum
Free

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Perfume Pagoda, Ha Tay

The Perfume Pagoda is a complex of pagodas located in limestone mountains 60 kilometres from Hanoi. It's a popular day trip from... Read more

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Perfume Pagoda, Ha Tay
Ha Tay province around 60kms from Hanoi

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St Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

Hanoi’s main Catholic cathedral, the beautifully faded St Joseph’s, sits at the head of one the city’s most attractive streets. Read more

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St Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi
40 Nha Chung St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

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Street Food tours, Hanoi

If all those Hanoi outdoor eateries of low tables, plastic stools and unrecognisable culinary concoctions, spark your curiosity,... Read more
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What's On At Morin Hotel, Hue

Triển lãm "Điêu đắp hang ổ" - "Sculpting The Burrows"

Goethe-Institut Hanoi

56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc | Map
Mon Sep 18 till Mon Oct 09, 2017
Triển lãm "Điêu đắp hang ổ" - "Sculpting The Burrows" Của Laurent Goldring Khai mạc:... Read more

Monday Drawing Sessions

The Creative Artillery

27/52 To Ngoc Van | Map
Mon Sep 25, 2017
7PM
MONDAY 25th September, The Creative Artillery, Downstairs at Hanoi Rock City. Drawing session... Read more

Stanford Reid at Tiny Music Club

The Hanoi Social Club

6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hoàn Kiếm | Map
Tue Sep 26, 2017
8PM
September 26 \\ 8.30PM \\ rooftop The Hanoi Social Club Tiny Music Club this week... Read more

Residence with Quan, Min8, TrungD (Every Wednesday)

Savage

112 xuan dieu | Map
Wed Sep 27, 2017
9PM
Residence là một đêm nhạc của Min8, TrungD và Quan, với những âm thanh vừa cổ điển nhưng cũng... Read more