The 11th-century wooden shrine, revered for its fertility and healing properties, was burnt by the French in the 1950's and is now replaced by a concrete one and is still a popular destination. To honor the symbol of purity in Buddhism the pagoda is built to look like a lotus blossom.
Temple Of Literature, constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, can be found about ten minutes away from Hoan Kiem lake. The temple is one of the oldest sights in Hanoi and is dedicated to the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Khong Tu). Six year later, it was founded as Vietnam's first university. The building itself is extremely well preserved and is a beautiful example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture.
Located on an island at the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake, this peaceful temple site honouring scholars and war heroes is best known for its preserved turtle corpse which links to the lake’s mythology. There is a red-painted bridge, constructed in classical Vietnamese style that takes you to the island and is one of the most visited temples in Hanoi.
Known for honouring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh, this is the number one tourist attraction as well as an important historical sight in Hanoi. Inspired by the Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow it was built within two years from 1973 to 1975. It is only open on limited time so prepare for very long queues. If you are lucky you might catch the changing of the guard outside the mausoleum.
Ngu Xa villages are located in the Truc Bach Lake shore, west of Hanoi and consist of five villages. It is in Ngu Xa, also known as the bronze village where you will find Thien Quang Pagoda temple. This temple holds one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in Vietnam, weighing in at 10 tonnes and 3.95 meter tall.
This beautiful museum takes their visitors through around two thousand years of Vietnamese history. Well-presented objects (about 7,000 artefacts) from prehistoric days to the present day in two storeys, are displayed in this attractive colonial building.
With over 50 different ethnic groups in the country, this first class museum has a lot to show. Inside the museum you can watch all types of artefacts and exhibitions and on the outside, it offers an area showing different types of houses in various parts of Vietnam. Don´t miss the entertaining water puppet show hosted here.
To bring some of the Vietnamese culture with you home, a cooking class could be a good idea. At Hanoi Cooking Centre you can participate in one of their classes where you first make a visit to the market to buy your groceries and the get back to the kitchen to prepare your own mouth-watering meal.
Even if it takes almost three hours to get to this national park from Hanoi it is worth the effort. Here you can experience the nature and wildlife of the northern parts of Vietnam. The park offer different guided tours and there are also a few options for staying over night.
Old Quarter, is a charming gem in Hanoi packed with tourists from around the world as well as locals. Explore the old Vietnamese styled buildings in the area and try some traditional food from the roadside stalls or bargain some lovely Vietnamese souvenirs at one of the many shops around. This is an experience that should not miss, the sounds, the smells, the sights are just a thrill for the senses.
Housed in a 1930s French colonial structure, Fine Arts Museum displays not only contemporary art in the forms of paintings and sculptures, but also traditional arts, including religious sculptures, folk paintings and ceramics. With four floors and two separate buildings, make sure you have time on your side when vising this large museum.
With this tour, you will experience the true taste of Hanoi and discovered the most popular dishes in Vietnam. The knowledgeable guide will guide you through some yummy dishes and you will get the chance to sample Vietnamese cuisine just like the locals do - on the street.
A popular lake among countless locals and tourists where to find a rare breed of turtle and the perfect spot to observe the life in Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake is a dynamic place where to enjoy everything from morning walks, yoga or tai-chi exercises on the shore to jogging around the lake.
After a busy and enjoyable day sightseeing in Hanoi, pamper yourself with a spa treatment at La Siesta Spa where the attentive staff will take good care of you. The tranquil and exclusive environment in combination with the soothing treatments will only enhance the experience and will be the ultimate relaxation for your mind, body and spirit.
Seasons Of Hanoi is a restaurant with romantic colonial setting. They serve excellent, elegantly presented Vietnamese food and offering a great wine list. From the menu classic Vietnamese cuisine such as soft shell crab, banana flower salad and vegetarian spring rolls can be selected.
In an open-air atmosphere, Ngon Restaurant offer a selection of traditional and fusion Vietnamese food. Here you can order fresh spring rolls and different kinds of noodles at very reasonable prices. Highly popular among tourists and locals alike so be aware it can get quite busy but definitely worth a try.
This fine dining restaurant is located on the 12th floor of the Elegance Diamond hotel where to enjoy a memorable dinner accompanied by the beautiful view over Hanoi. A selected menu of authentic Vietnamese food cooked by the experienced 5-star chef is served by efficient and professional waiters. This is truly a delightful dining experience!
When dining at Red Bean Restaurant, you will get the chance to try some modern Vietnamese cuisine cooked with high quality and with innovative ideas without losing the true and authentic Vietnamese roots. The professional staff serves the delicious food with a smile in a warm and cosy ambiance and it is very popular among tourist and locals alike. If you would like to learn more about Vietnamese cooking, Red Bean Restaurant provides cooking classes. (more information on the website)
If you need a break from the tasty local food, then Jacksons Steakhouse is a good option if you are into meat. They serve the best cuts of beef from USA, Australia and New Zealand which you will need to pay more for but definitely worth it. An extensive wine list if offered to match the top quality dishes, all served by the impeccable staff.
The owner Mr. Gopi is truly passionate about Indian cooking which is so clearly shown on the menu and on the quality of every dish. Everything from mouth-watering curries of the north to hot and spicy soups of the south is served by the attentive staff, and you will leave the restaurant with anything less than complete amazement.
An exciting destination for Latin-Vietnamese fusion cuisine where to relish high quality and well-balanced dishes in the city's Old Quarter. Each dish is cooked to perfection, combining the Mexican influences with Vietnamese. Fantastic cocktails are also served by the attentive and friendly staff.
Dig in your sweet tooth into these mouth-watering waffles with your favourite toppings and flavours. All of the waffles which are served here by the energetic team since opening in June 2013 is freshly made with the best ingredients possible. You will for sure leave this place delighted since the company policy is customer satisfaction.
Located in a small alley in the city’s old quarter, Giang Cafe is the coffee shop to head for if you would like to taste some great Vietnamese egg coffee. Egg coffee is mainly made of egg yolk, Vietnamese coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese. Although this simple café has been relocated twice, the egg coffee recipe is practically the same as in its early days.
Tucked away in a corner of West Lake in Hanoi, you will find this delightful hidden gem. This charming French villa with a serene atmosphere offers an outstanding range of organic and gluten free Vietnamese and European food and delicious house roasted coffee. Most of the products comes from organic farms and is well prepared in the open-plan kitchen by the skilful chefs.
When visiting this little gem, one should not miss the coconut coffee which is highly appreciated by the tourists and locals alike. Cong Caphe is a very popular café chain that's taken Hanoi by storm with its rustic, military chic decor and the high quality of the beverages is just amazing.
Joma is an America style café with several locations in Hanoi. If you have a sweet tooth then head over to this place and satisfy your cravings with desserts like brownie, banana bread or why not a delicious carrot cake? Also on the menu are sandwiches, wraps, bagels and soups, all for a reasonable price.
Everything cooked here is 100% natural and the food is cooked with joy, passion and love with a creative touch. The menu offers a great selection of veggie and vegan options. Zenith Café is a small café in the French quarter, down a small alley and for sure worth a visit. While you are here, why not attend to a yoga class to release all your stress?
Cafe Pho Co is one of Hanoi´s best-kept secrets, a hidden gem with an amazing view over Hoan Kiem Lake. This is if you can find it! It is tucked away at the back of a silk shop and is for sure worth to find. Once you are here try something deliciously different, the iced egg coffee (coffee topped with a beaten egg white.) which you can enjoy on the rooftop of the café while gazing at the beautiful view.
A must-visit when in Hanoi, an area widely-regarded as a typical spot in Hanoi where locals, expats and tourists are gathering. In the daytime the area is great for shopping and when the evening falls you will see hundreds of people sitting on colourful plastic stools on the streets with a pint of bia hoi (beer) in their hand.
Founded in 2010, Hanoi Rock City (HRC) is a independent live music venue, where to listen to original music or simply enjoy a drink in the friendly and dynamic bar. Every weekend events are hosted here while during the week it has more of a quiet vibe. For upcoming events check the website below.
Dance the night away at this industrial-style nightclub with party-loving locals and expats to the tunes of deep house to hip-hop and R&B. International DJs are regularly visiting Hero Club Hanoi to keep up the loud and fun party atmosphere. The club is located ten-minute taxi ride from downtown Hanoi.
This is a local favourite in Hanoi´s vibrant clubbing scene where the city’s stylish party-goers head for to have a fun night out. With a spacious dance floor, impressive lighting, affordably-priced alcohol, local Dj spinning hip-hop, house, trance and electro, you cannot just go wrong here.
Set within a heritage building along Old Quarter’s, Mojito Bar & Lounge speciality are innovative cocktails such as wasabi shot, a definitely must-try when here. This cosy nightlife venue is decorated with unique artwork and locally-made furniture and plays music like indie rock to house tunes.
A Swedish franchise chain with a American sports bar concept, O’Leary’s in Hanoi spans over two floors, offers comfortable seating, sports memorabilia, 50 screens showing the latest sport events and a breezy terrace where to have an ice cold beer. Beside serving beverage they also have food menu that include pastas, hamburgers, pizzas and salads.
Originally started in 1995 on Lo Su, R & R Tavern is one of the longest serving music bars in Hanoi and is now located Nghi Tam Street. A great place where to catch up with friends in a laid-back and hippie-influenced atmosphere. Every Friday they host live music and Sunday is open mic night.
A lively music bar in Old Quarter, Rockstore Hanoi provides a spacious dance floor and where the walls are painted with big music icons. The themed nights are very popular here and attracts a good mix of locals, expats and tourists. You can also play a game of pool or watch the latest sport matches or just listen to some live music.
Sunset Bar is the place to head for when it comes to cocktails and for its stunning lakeside setting. Sip a cocktail at this cosy outdoor terrace with plush daybeds where you can chill out and admire the amazing sunset with West Lake as a backdrop. This is a beautiful designer spot where to enjoy a cool afternoon in a serene atmosphere.
With a relaxing laid back atmosphere, King Pirates Pub is a charming place where to enjoy reasonably priced cocktails and other beverages, all served by the friendly crew. If you are looking for a fun night out, then come aboard at this themed pub with lots of personality and walk out as a pirate.
One of the biggest nightclubs in Hanoi, boasting three venues that play different tunes of music until late. The Bank Hanoi truly attracts a well-dressed crowd of locals, expats and tourists who are looking for a fun night out and dance to hip-hop, house or lounge music while sipping a tasty cocktail.
Clothes lovers should stroll along to upscale Hang Gai which is one of the longer streets in Hanoi. Many of the stores here are focusing on silk and silk products but be aware the quality of products can be very different from store to store. Silver and souvenirs are other products that draw tourists to this popular street.
Located right next to Van Mieu (Temple of literature), Craft-Link is a fair trade organisation who helps traditional craft producers. So if you are looking for sustainable and handmade products such as scarfs and cloths made of soft cotton or silk or other stunning items that would make perfect as gifts, then head over to this authentic Vietnamese shop.
A street known for its shops selling jewelries, Hang Bac street is a very busy and lively street, packed with restaurants, bars, people and motorcycles. Beside silver, Hang Bac street is also a good place to pick up other souvenirs such as Hanoi T-shirts, DVDs, CDs, posters and other items.
Hoan Kiem is truly one of the most popular areas in Hanoi and attracts a huge number of travellers every day, and the result are, numerous souvenir and present shops are popping up in area. When the sun goes down, tourists and locals are gathered at the popular shopping streets like Hang Ngang and Hang Dao to do some late-night shopping.
A very busy and popular market among tourists and locals, Hanoi nigh market is 3 km long, starting from Hang Dao street in the heart of the old quarter. Most of the stalls sells similar items such as postcards, handicrafts, accessories and other souvenirs, but the main attraction is the endless rows of food vendors serving exotic Vietnamese street food. Make sure you bargain for lower prices when shopping here.
Even if you are not planning to buy any flowers, Quang Ba Flower Market is an experience that should not be missed, especially if you are a flower enthusiast. Stroll around at this vibrant market and enjoy the beautiful sight of fresh and colourful flowers from all across Vietnam.
Spread over five floors with international designer goods, Trang Tien Plaza is a high-end shopping mall located southern end of hoan Kien lake. Leading fashion brands such as Burberry, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Dior, GAP, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton can be found in the ground floor, whereas the second floor features electronics and home furnishings. When feeling hungry, head over to the fifth floor, where you can dine at any of the international restaurants located here.
Nha Tho street runs right up to the entrance of St. Joseph's Cathedral and is jammed with small fashion stores as well as superb restaurants. Even though it is a small street, it is very popular among the middleclass foreign expats. When the evening falls the restaurants and bars attracts in hungry and thirsty tourists, creating a more of a laid-back vibe in the area.
One of the largest shopping malls in Vietnam can be found in Hanoi and it is called Savico Megamall. Here you will find a great mix of local and international brands as well as dining outlets, beauty services and even an ice-skating rink and a game centre. Familiar shops like Adidas, Giovanni, Lego, Nike, Triumph, Chloe Wear are all located here.
Hanoi’s sparkling new Noi Bai International Airport is being built right next to the old airport, which lies 45km north of Hanoi, and there are lots of ways of getting between it and the city. Hanoi city bus numbers 07 and 17 leave from the right side of the terminal exit and take an hour, running from 5.00 to 22.00. The buses run every 15-20 minutes. Airport minibuses congregate outside the arrival hall - the Vietnam Airlines minibus takes about 40 minutes and drops you outside their Hoan Kiem Lake office (south end). Tickets are sold inside the terminal building. However, many travellers opt for a taxi - there are hundreds outside the terminal exit gate. Unlike the minibuses, which run only intermittently at night, taxis are present 24 hours a day. Taxi ride to the city center takes about 30 minutes.
Hanoi train station is conveniently located in the city center, with Gate A serving mainly guests traveling South to Danang, Hue, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City and Gate B serving guests travelling up north to Sapa. It takes about 10 minutes by taxi from either gate to Hanoi Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. Train departs punctually with a variety of seat option: hard seat, soft seat, hard berth, soft berth. Despite many shortcomings, train is a safe and reliable means of transportation, and the essential way for guest to visit places such as Sapa. To purchase train tickets, you can buy directly at the train station or book in advance with an online booking agent and have the ticket delivered to your hotel on your arrival.
Public transport plays an essential part in Hanoi's transportation scene but it can be hard for first-timers to use. Unlike metros in big cities, Hanoi's bus system is rather confusing due to its many route covering the hundreds of streets with many different name. Bus are numbered from 1 to 55 and runs as far as Bac Ninh province which is just by the airport. Fare starts from about VND 7,000.
Taxis are plentiful in the city and charge by distance only (there is no surcharge for rush hour or late evening). Make sure that the taxi rid is charged according to taxi meter. Many tourist have been complaining about taxis been cheating with the price, so be aware of it and only use reliable taxi companies. Try to have the right change as taxi drivers often don’t have change. Also remember to have your destination written down as pronunciation is often difficult. Taxi station are located at the airport and the train station. Reliable taxi companies are Taxi CP and Taxi Hanoi who are two brands of Taxi Group. Taxi CP: 0438 26 26 26 Hanoi Taxi 0438 53 53 53