Where to go in Hanoi for 6 days?

Apart from spending time in Hanoi's capital, you can dedicate the next 6 days to exploring Vietnam's famous tourism gems. They are Halong's renowned Bay, the serene countryside of Ninh Binh, the vibrant ethnic cultures of Sapa, the rugged and majestic landscapes of Ha Giang, and off-the-beaten-track areas like Mai Chau and Pu Luong.


Hanoi stands as the cultural and historical hub of Vietnam. In this city, the imprints of different historical periods and a myriad of cultural shades seamlessly intertwine. In Hanoi, I suggest you:

  • City tour by USA jeep, minsk, double-decker bus, tram, or cyclo.

  • Countryside tour by bicycle or visit traditional pottery and incense villages.

  • Watch shows of Water Puppet performance or The Quintessence of Tonkin.

  • Food tour: Pho, Banh mi, Bun Cha, Bun Dau Mam Tom, Spring rolls, La Vong grilled fish, Coffee, etc.

  • Attractions: The Old Quarters, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, Museums, Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, etc.

  • Night-out: Rooftop Bars, Hoan Kiem Walking Street, Ta Hien Beer Street.

Halong Bay

6 Days in Hanoi

Halong Bay Kayaking

The journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay spans approximately 2 hours. In the proposed itineraries in part 2, I will recommend you allocate 2 out of your 6 days during your 6 days in Hanoi program. While one day allows you to capture the highlights of this UNESCO heritage site, extending to two days offers a leisurely, deeper connection with the beauty of the bay:

  • Visit Titop Island for a refreshing swim or trek to savor breathtaking bay views.

  • Discover Sung Sot Cave, one of Halong Bay's most striking marvels.

  • Engage in kayaking adventures in Luon Cave. Alternatively, opt for a serene bamboo boat ride or hire a private canoe.

  • Visit fishing villages nestled within the bay.

  • Embrace relaxation aboard the cruise: enjoy picturesque sunsets, attend afternoon tea parties and cocktail hours, relish delectable seafood and local cuisine, unwind on the sundeck, and participate in communal activities such as cooking classes, squid fishing (seasonal), and morning taichi sessions.

Ninh Binh

6 Days in Hanoi

Dinh - Le Temples in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh (1.5 hours from Hanoi by bus) is the ancient capital of Vietnam, renowned for its historical sites, temples, and picturesque natural landscapes. The city is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Trang An Scenic Area, where visitors often partake in boat tours. Additionally, other activities you can enjoy are:

  • Boat Trip: Explore either Trang An or Tam Coc by boat.

  • Cycling: Discover the countryside, villages, temples, and the local way of life.

  • Places to Visit: Dinh-Le Temples, Mua Cave, Hoa Lu Ancient Quarters, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Cuc Phuong National Park, and Phat Diem Cathedral.


Sapa is a prominent mountain town located 5 hours from Hanoi by bus or 8 hours by train. It attracts visitors with its rustic mountainous charm combined with the fascinating indigenous cultures of the local ethnic groups. Here are my recommendations for your visit to Sapa:

  • Fansipan: It's the highest peak in Indochina. You can trek, take a cable car, or use a mountain train to conquer this summit.

  • Trekking in Muong Hoa Valley: If you enjoy light trekking while admiring terraced fields and visiting local homes, try the Lao Chai - Ta Van route. The Y Linh Ho trail offers stunning high-altitude views that are moderately challenging. For a more challenging hike, explore the Xa Seng - Hau Thao route.

  • Exploring the Town: Sapa town itself is a delight. Its unique architecture includes buildings at different "levels." I once stayed in a hotel where the first floor led to the Muong Hoa Valley, while the fifteenth floor was the entrance to Sapa downtown. 

  • Make sure to indulge in the local cuisine: Sapa's traditional dishes are a delight to the senses, especially during chilly evenings.

  • Shopping: Local outlets offering handicrafts and mountain produce such as herbal leaves, essential oils, dried meats, plum wine, corn wine, and massage wines.

  • Places to visit: Stone Church, Sapa Lake, Cat Cat Village, and Silver Waterfall.

  • Cloud Hunting: After the rice harvest in September-October, Sapa enters the fog and cloud season. Sitting in cafes along the mountain road, observing the sea of clouds, is a favored pastime among many visitors.

Ha Giang

6 Days in Hanoi

Boating on Nho Que River

I always remember Ha Giang for its majestic natural beauty that left me in awe and sent shivers down my spine as I traversed its steep and winding mountain roads. Ha Giang's charm lies in its ruggedness and pristine purity. This destination is approximately 6-8 hours away from Hanoi, depending on whether you choose to travel by bus or motorbike. Here, you can:

  • Places to Visit: Hoang Su Phi Terraced fields, Dong Van ancient town, Dong Van Karst Plateau, Lung Cu Flagpole, Yen Minh pine forest, Pao's house, Quan Ba Heaven's Gate, and Mong Kinh’s Palace.

  • Boating on the Nho Que River through Tu San Gorge.

  • Trekking through villages and meeting local people.

Mai Chau

6 Days in Hanoi

Unwind in Mai Chau homestay

Mai Chau is a preferred destination for a short escape among travelers spending 6 days in Hanoi, especially if you seek tranquil mountainous surroundings without lengthy journeys – just about 3 hours by bus. Here, you can:

  • Experience local culture by staying at a traditional stilt house homestay.

  • Biking or trekking through the valley, passing by lush rice fields and authentic villages.

  • Explore the vibrant highland market in Pa Co.

  • Places to visit: Mo Luong Cave, Hang Kia  - Pa Co Cave, Go Lao waterfall.

Pu Luong

Pu Luong can be regarded as the least bustling and touristic destination on this list. Despite this, it boasts beautiful terraced fields, intriguing local cultures, and, most importantly, stunning natural beauty. With about 4-5 hours of travel from Hanoi by bus, you can venture to Pu Luong to experience:

  • Trekking or biking through the picturesque rice terraces and indigenous villages.

  • Enjoy a refreshing swim in the stream.

  • Explore the Pu Luong Nature Reserve Center with rich biodiversity.

For a comprehensive look, don't miss our post on Travel guide to Vietnam!

4 suggested itineraries from Hanoi

Above are all the destinations I recommend for you to consider for your 6 days in Hanoi itinerary. Now, let's dive into the details of how to organize these destinations. Below are my 4 program suggestions. 

6 Days in Hanoi

Thang Long Imperial Citadel

Option 1:  Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay Discovery

This itinerary combines exploring 3 destinations: Hanoi, Sapa, and Halong. With an average of 2 days in each location, you'll have plenty of time to delve into each spot, travel around, and experience the attractions.

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival - Evening move to Sapa 

Day 2: Sapa day 1 - trekking

Day 3: Sapa Day 2 - Villages, mountains… Back Hanoi

Day 4: Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Day 5: Halong Bay Day 2

Day 6: Hanoi City tour - Flight home

Option 2: Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Ninh Binh Highlight

This itinerary focuses on the leisure and natural destinations of Sapa, Halong Bay, and Ninh Binh.

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival - Evening move to Sapa 

Day 2: Sapa day 1 - trekking

Day 3: Sapa Day 2 - Villages, mountains… Back Hanoi

Day 4: Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Day 5: Halong Bay Day 2

Day 6: Ninh Binh Day tour - Flight home

6 Days in Hanoi

6 days in Hanoi and Mai Chau

Option 3: Medium Discovery Off-the-beaten tracks

If you love outdoor exploration and immersing yourself in nature, consider this itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

Day 2: Mai Chau town overnight

Day 3: Pu Luong Nature Reserve overnight

Day 4: Ninh Binh Overnight

Day 5: Ninh Binh day 2 -> Hanoi

Day 6: Hanoi Relax / Half-day city tour

Option 4: High Discovery Off-the-beaten tracks

For travelers who adore mountainous terrain and seek the excitement of trekking and discovery, this 6 days in Hanoi itinerary is tailor-made for your adventurous spirit:

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival - Cyclo tour / Puppet show

Day 2: Ha Giang day 1

Day 3: Ha Giang: Ma Pi Leng - Dong Van - Lung Cu

Day 4: Ha Giang -> Sapa Day 1

Day 5: Sapa Day 2 - Back to Hanoi (evening)

Day 6: Hanoi City tour / Ninh Binh Day tour

You can participate in these itineraries either as part of a group tour or a private tour with your family, friends, or even solo. And, of course, you can customize different combinations that align perfectly with your specific needs.

Here, you have my recommendations for your 6 days in Hanoi. The article has encompassed essential places to visit, experiences to cherish, and four proposed itineraries. Should you need more detailed advice or wish for prestigious local friends to assist you on your journey, feel free to get in touch with New Asia Tours!