If Ho Chi Minh City is a young city at over 300 years of age, Hanoi has a thousand years of history. The capital of most feudal dynasties of Vietnam, Hanoi is a must-see for tourists who love history and culture. Check out the colourful city of Saigon with its archaic architecture and beautiful sceneries. Indeed, there is an interesting mix of modern and ancient in Hanoi that will captivate you. Moreover, you’ll certainly want to try authentic Vietnamese cuisine including pho, bun cha, and vermicelli.
Currency: Vietnamese dong
Noi Bai International Airport is one of the two airports with the largest passenger traffic in Vietnam, which is the destination of all domestic and international flights to Hanoi. From the airport, there are two means to get to the city centre: bus or taxi.
At the airport, there are currently four bus routes running into the city: No. 7 (Terminal T1 - Cau Giay), No. 17 (Terminal T1 - Long Bien), No. 90 (Kim Ma - Terminal T1 - Terminal T2), and No. 86 (Terminal Hanoi - Terminal T1 - Terminal T2).
Meanwhile, airlines including Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar and Vietjet Air all have mini-buses that can transfer passengers from the airport to the city, whether you’ve flown with the airline or not.
If you want to explore Hanoi, you can choose your means of transport depending on what’s comfortable for you. There are currently 114 bus routes running in the inner city if you plan to take the bus. Or you can catch a taxi, with many taxi companies operating daily like Mai Linh, Taxi Group, V20.
If you know how to ride a motorbike, you can easily ask for a motorbike rental service at any Hanoi hotels. With its nooks and crannies, Hanoi is a motorcyclist's paradise.
Meanwhile, Hanoi still allows cyclo to operate in the old town area to serve tourists. What better way to explore the city than to hear the pedicab driver enthusiastically tell you all the stories about the city. There is also a tram available, a private service for visiting the old town. You can consult the route schedule and buy tickets right at the lake.
Hanoi is always one of the top destinations of many tourists coming to Vietnam thanks to its rich history, cultural beauty, and breathtaking panorama. Known for its large lakes, see for yourself the soothing view of Hoan Kiem Lake (aka Ho Guom). Sword Lake, on the other hand, is located in the heart of the old town. There’s also West Lake, which is the largest lake in Hanoi. Here you can rent a yacht on the lake, or take the tram around the lake to visit the monuments.
The Hanoi Old Quarters is formerly the urban area outside the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. Going to the old town, you will see the old houses with its low tiles and moss-covered walls. Some notable landmarks include Ma May Old House, O Quan Chuong, Bach Ma Temple.
Built in the early 19th century, Dong Xuan Market remains the largest wholesale market in the North. You’ll find a number of retail items like clothes, bags, watches, and household items in this market.
Also, take the time to discover the beauty of the Hanoi Opera House. Modeled after the Garnier Opera House in Paris, the French wished it would become a large-scale cultural and artistic center of the city in the twentieth century. Currently, besides being the venue for important events, the Opera House has opened a tour to accompany the unique Vietnamese spirit art program.
Quoc Tu Giam Temple or The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 to worship saints and Confucian sages. After that, King Ly Nhan Tong continued to establish Quoc Tu Giam next to the Temple of Literature, which was considered the first university of our country. Today, the Temple of Literature is always a place for scholars to pray for luck before every important exam.
Another important historical place in Vietnam is Ba Dinh Square, where Uncle Ho read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945. This large square of over 30 hectares was also chosen as the location of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, so that the people of the capital and the country will always remember his thanks.
Of course, a city with a long history like Hanoi will not lack religious works, serving the religious life of the people. The most famous of which is One Pillar Pagoda.The temple is unique because of a small pavilion built on a stone pillar in the middle of a lotus pond. One Pillar Pagoda is located on the Dien Huu Tu campus, inside worshiping Quan Am Buddha.
Hotels in Hanoi are diverse, meeting all needs from luxury to affordable, from modern style to nostalgic design. Those accommodations located near the old town have a limited number of rooms. Since it’s a famous tourist destination, it’s best to book a room before your trip. If you are looking for a getaway with maximum care and professional service, you should choose to stop at luxury hotels in Hanoi such as JW Marriott, Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake, and Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
Homestays and hostels are also popular choices in Hanoi. Influenced by the ancient, peaceful capital, these are very invested in design, giving visitors not only a place to rest but also an artsy, classic atmosphere. If you want to get away from the crowded town, you can choose hostels near the West Lake or those located on the outskirts of the city.
Contrary to initial impression that Hanoi is a very conservative place, nightlife here is as energetic as with other destinations in Vietnam. An iconic way to experience Hanoi’s nightlife is to have a bottle or two of bia hoi (Vietnamese draft beer) while sitting on a plastic stool along the bustling streets.
The Old Quarter is a popular venue for local party goers with numerous nightclubs and bars. If you want to check out trendy bars with lots of expats and more sophisticated crowd, head over to West Lake and Historic City Center.