Explore the Old Quarter

The Old Quarter in Hoan Kiem District is a historic urban area dating back to the 11th century. It covers an area of about 100 hectares with 76 unique streets. Each street is dedicated to making and trading specific traditional crafts such as silverware crafting, bamboo weaving, textile making, etc.

Hanoi Old Quarter - things to do in hanoi

Hanoi Old Quarter

Not only a hub for trading and small-scale handicrafts, the quarter is also the living space for many generations of locals. Residents have erected numerous tube houses and distinctive temples. Some suggestions for you to explore the Old Quarter are:

  • Visit historical sites at Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple (2 USD/ticket), O Quan Chuong Ancient Gate, Bach Ma Temple, etc.

  • Take an electric car ride (6 - 10 USD/car) or a double-decker bus ride (4 - 8 USD/ticket) to tour around the area.

  • Stay in a boutique accommodation (suggestion: Oriental Jade Hotel, La Siesta Hotel, Peridot, etc).

  • Shopping in Downtown Old Quarter (suggestion: Hang Gai, Hang Bac, Hang Da Streets) or Dong Xuan Market.

  • Watch a Water Puppet Show on 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street.

  • Enjoy the local cuisine: Pho, Noodle Soups, Banh Mi, desserts, etc. (1.5 - 4 USD/dish).

  • Immerse yourself in the nightlife at Beer Street, cafes, or bars.

Check Out 4000-year-old City Landmarks 

Hanoi is the longest-standing capital of Vietnam. It has been the political center of Vietnam for millennia and still preserves many heritage sites and artifacts worth exploring.

things to do in Hanoi

Visit city landmarks - things to do in Hanoi

The heritage of Hanoi extends through dynasties from prehistoric times to the feudal era and modern history. Here is a guide to attractions, opening hours, and ticket prices updated as of May 2024:



Opening time

Temple of Literature

70,000 VND (2,8 USD)

8 am - 5 pm

Hoa Lo Prison

50,000 VND (2 USD)

8 am - 5 pm

Thang Long Imperial Citadel

100,000 USD (4 USD)

8 am - 5 pm

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

40,000 VND (1,6 USD)

8 am - 12 pm

2 pm - 4:30 pm 

(Tue - Sun)

National Historical Museum

40,000 VND (1,6 USD)

8 am - 12 pm

1:30 pm - 5 pm 

(Tue - Sun)

Tran Quoc Pagoda


7:30 - 11:30 am

1:30 - 5:30 pm 

Quan Thanh Temple

10,000 VND (0,4 USD)

8 am - 5 pm

Co Loa Ancient Citadel

30,000 VND (1,2 USD)

7 am - 5 pm


Visit Train Streets

Train Street can be considered Hanoi’s most signature and famous street among foreign tourists. This street features railway tracks where trains will pass through small, old residential houses several times a day. 

Hanoi Train Street - things to do in hanoi

Hanoi Train Street

There are 2 famous train streets in Hanoi: Le Duan Train Street and Tran Phu Train Street. Both are located in the Hanoi Old Quarter. Less than 1 km long, Train Streets are filled with interesting sights. You can stop by the area both in the daytime and in the evening. Here are some recommendations for what to do on Train Street:

  • Stroll along the street to observe the daily life and businesses on both sides.

  • Take memorable photos when no trains are passing.

  • Choose a café to enjoy Hanoi’s drinks and food. 

  • Buy small souvenirs like keychains and magnets with Vietnam-themed designs.

  • Before the train passes through the street, quickly find shelter inside houses or on the second floors of cafés to safely watch the train go by. Train streets schedule:

Le Duan Train Street

6h10 am, 11h40 am, 3h30pm, 6 pm, 7h10 pm, 7h50 pm, and 9 pm

Tran Phu Train Street

Mon - Fri: 8h30 am, 9h30 am, 11h50 am, 3h15 pm, 7h50pm, 9h15 pm, 9h30 pm and 10 pm.

Sat and Sun: 6 am, 7h15 am, 9h30 am, 11h50 am, 3h30 pm, 5h30 pm, 7h30 pm, 7h50 pm, 9h15 pm, 9h30 pm, 10 pm.


Experience Cyclo

Another unique experience you should add to your list of things to do in Hanoi is trying out a cyclo ride. A cyclo is a three-wheeled vehicle where the driver pedals from behind. The front has a covered seat that can accommodate 1-2 people.

Hanoi Cyclo Ride

Hanoi Cyclo Ride

You can find cyclo service in the Hoan Kiem Lake - Old Quarter area. A one-hour ride costs about 6 - 12 USD. The cyclo will leisurely navigate the busy streets of the Old Quarter and provide a glimpse of roads, houses, and scenery steeped in years of history and local lives.

Visit Quang Phu Cau Incense Village

This century-old traditional incense village is captivating not just for its cultural heritage but also for its distinctly Vietnamese backdrop. The ticket to this village is 4 USD/person.

Hanoi Insence Village - things to do in hanoi

Hanoi Insence Village

Visitors to this place can learn about the incense-making craft. You can directly observe the handmade incense production process using natural ingredients, from mixing the powder and splitting the bamboo to dyeing and drying the incense.

You definitely shouldn’t miss taking photos with the beautiful background of incense bundles arranged in stunning shapes. The incense sticks are brightly colored, often red, so consider avoiding red clothing to make your photos pop. A traditional conical hat will make a perfect prop for capturing a memorable Vietnamese photo here.

Join a Coffee Workshop

Coffee is among the high-quality specialties of Vietnam. Besides enjoying coffee in local cafes, participating in a coffee brewing workshop can also be an exciting and meaningful immersion.

Coffee workshop in Hanoi

Coffee workshop in Hanoi

You can learn about different types of coffee, brewing tools, directly perform the brewing steps under guidance, and discover delicious and unique recipes. Workshops usually take about 2 hours and cost between 12 and 24 USD per person. Here are some addresses you can visit:

  • Su Quan Roastery: Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Ngoc Ho

  • Hanoi Coffee Station: 44 Hang Be, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem

  • Mono Coffee Lab: 19/55 Van Ho 2, Le Dai Hanh, Hai Ba Trung

Savor the Street Food

Hanoi is also known as the culinary capital of Vietnam. In early 2024, Hanoi was ranked among the world's best food destinations by Tripadvisor. You have probably heard of some of Vietnam's world-famous dishes like Pho, Banh Mi, Bun Cha, etc. Here are some more suggestions:

hanoi street food

Sample Hanoi cuisine


1,4 - 2,4 USD/bowl

Pho Thin Lo Duc: No 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su: No 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh Mi

1 - 1,6 USD/bread

Banh Mi Vui: No 7 Hang Da, Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem

Banh Mi Pho: 21 Pham Ngoc Thach

Bun Cha

1,4 - 1,9 USD/bowl

Bun Cha Obama: 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Bun Cha Dac Kim: No 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Cha Ca La Vong

6 - 12 USD/set

Lao Ngu Restaurant: 171 Thai Ha, Lang Ha, Dong Da

Bun Rieu Cua (Crab Noodle Soup)

1 - 2 USD/bowl

Bun rieu Hang Bo: 44 Hang Bo, Hanoi

Pho Cuon

2 - 4 USD/dish

Pho Cuon Huong Mai: 25 Ngu Xa, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh

Banh Xeo Nem Lui

1,2 - 2 USD/set

Loan Beo Restaurant: 153D Doi Can, Ba Dinh

Egg Coffee

1,4 - 2,4 USD/drink

Giang Coffee: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem


0,4 - 1,2 USD/dish

Che Thap Cam: 117 Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi


Watch Cultural Shows

Next on the list of top things to do in Hanoi is to catch some unique cultural shows. In Hanoi, you have the 3 options:

Water Puppet Show

  • Ticket: 4 - 8 USD/ticket/45 mins

  • Time: 1:45 pm - 9:15 pm (Mon-Sat) and 9:30 am - 9:15 pm (Sun)

  • Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem

  • About: The show employs water puppetry and traditional music to portray the life of Vietnamese countryside communities from centuries past.

The Quintessence of Tonkin

  • Ticket: 15,8 - 31,5 USD/ticket/1,15 hour

  • Time: 7:30 - 8:45 pm on Sat and Sun

  • Address: Da Phuc Communal House, Baara Land, Quoc Oai

  • About: The outdoor lake show is intricately staged with the participation of dozens of performers. It introduces the traditions and culture of the Vietnamese people.

Hanoi Circus

  • Ticket: 6 - 8 USD/ticket/2 hours

  • Time:  Check the latest program at rapxiectrunguong.com

  • Address:  67-69 Tran Nhan Tong, Nguyen Du, Hai Ba Trung

  • About:  The entertainment lineup features magic acts, acrobatics, and thrilling stunts performed by talented Vietnamese circus artists.


Get Lost in the Beer Street

Besides coffee, beer is another signature drink beloved by locals in Vietnam. In Hanoi, there is a whole street dedicated to gathering for beer every evening called Ta Hien Beer Street.

Hanoi beer street - things to do in hanoi

Hanoi Nightlife

Each night from 6 pm, the street comes alive with a bustling atmosphere. People gather and sit together in bars or on the sidewalks to enjoy refreshing glasses of beer priced from just 0.4 USD. Moreover, this area is a hotspot with numerous renowned local bars and sky bars like 1900 Le Theater, Northern Soul Rooftop Skybar, Zô 26, Hay Bar, Aoki Bar, etc.

Enjoy a Massage Session

Massage is a great way to unwind and pamper your body after a long day. A massage session from 30 minutes to 1 hour normally has steps like steaming, massaging, soaking in a tub, nail care, etc. Prices for a session can range from 8 to 40 USD depending on the package you choose.

Massage in Hanoi

Massage in Hanoi

There are plenty of massage parlors in the Old Quarter. If your hotel offers massage services, you can also experience it right there. Additionally, here are some other suggestions:

  • Serene Spa Hanoi: 68 Ma May, Hoan Kiem

  • La Spa: 94 Ma May, La Siesta Hotel & Spa

  • Lessence Spa: 36 Dinh Liet, Hanoi

Buy Local Souvenirs

Finally, on this list of things to do in Hanoi is shopping for memorable souvenirs. The price of souvenirs in Hanoi typically ranges from 2 - 8 USD per small item such as ceramics, handmade decorations, snacks, water puppets, lacquerware, bamboo dragonflies, etc. If you are looking for clothing, bags, medium to large-sized handicrafts, silver and bronze items, or paintings, prices can go higher, starting from 12 - 20 USD per item.

things to do in Hanoi

Suggestions for things to do in Hanoi 

Traditional souvenir items can be found at shops located in the downtown Old Quarter on streets such as Hang Ma, Hang Bong, Hang Bac, Ma May, Hang Bo, To Tich, Hang Dong, etc; Night Market Old Quarter; and Dong Xuan Market. Some well-known souvenir shops in Hanoi are:

  • Master Tan: 35 Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem

  • An Handmade: 17 Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem

  • Viettam Craft: 18/7 Thai Ha

Looking for more information? Our article on travel guide to Vietnam!

Above are 11 suggestions for things to do in Hanoi - covering everything you should try from day to night. You can note down or save this article for later reference for your trip. In case you are looking for Vietnam tour ideas, you can continue to visit the tour section on our website or message us.