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11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Discover the Vietnamese capital’s heart and soul with this list of the top things to do in Hanoi. Immerse yourself in this historic city’s beauty, where ancient traditions coexist with modern vibrancy. Deluxe Group Tours will help you create memorable memories in this dynamic and enchanting capital.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

1.Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

One of the top things to do in Hanoi is to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is not only a chance to see the ultimate burial place of Vietnam’s great leader, but it is also a profound and melancholy experience.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

The solemn ceremonies, especially the flag-raising and lowering ceremonies at 6:00 and 21:00 in Ba Dinh Square in front of the mausoleum, will allow you to deeply feel and appreciate the significance. As the red flag with a yellow star flutters in the air against the backdrop of the solemn atmosphere and the majestic national anthem, you almost become one with the surroundings, immersing yourself in the solemn atmosphere and showing respect for the historical and cultural heritage of Vietnam.

With enormous space and airy atmosphere, abundant greenery, and the iconic image of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the background, this location becomes a memorable check-in spot, keep your journey to visiting the Mausoleum.

As a Vietnamese citizen, witnessing the flag-raising ceremony with the red and yellow star flag flying in the sky gives me a sense of pride. At the same time, I am grateful for the contributions of the silent heroes who sacrificed for the country. Despite having to wake up early to witness this ceremony, seeing the national flag waving proudly along with the national anthem playing makes me feel that everything is worthwhile.

  • Location: 02 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh
  • Entrance fee: free of charge for Vietnamese visitors and foreigners are required to purchase tickets for 25,000 VND per person.
  • Opening hours:

From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (April-October)

From 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m (November-March)

Close on Mondays and Fridays.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh Complex

2.Explore Military History Museum

The Military History Museum is a treasure containing thousands of valuable artifacts and documents, making it an attractive destination and a meaningful journey that takes you back to Vietnam’s past.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

The exhibition area of the Military History Museum is impressive, with images and artifacts that bear the mark of resistance against colonialism and imperialism. Moreover, what is particularly noteworthy is the display of two aircraft that shot down 14 enemy planes in the skies over Vietnam. These are not only historical artifacts but also impressive attractions that help you better understand the historical achievements of the Vietnamese military.

For me, the Military History Museum in Hanoi is a moving experience, which leaves me with a strong sense of pride and appreciation. The exhibits give me a comprehensive journey through Vietnam’s military history, showcasing dedication through well-curated displays.

  • Location: 28A Dien Bien Phu, Ba Dinh, Dien Bien
  • Entrance fees:

For domestic tourists: 20,000 VND for domestic adults, 10,000 VND for children under 16 and seniors, and free admission for children under 6.

For International visitors: 40,000 VND/ person.

  • Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (close on Mondays and Fridays)

3.Admire Hanoi Opera House

Visit the Hanoi Opera House not only to admire its grand and luxurious European classical architecture but also to immerse yourself in impressive artistic performances.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Nicknamed the “Mini Opéra Garnier,” the Hanoi Opera House will treat you to a visually stunning experience with its interior decoration, stage design, and balconies reminiscent of European theaters from the early 20th century. The prominent frescoes, vibrant in color, coupled with lavish crystal chandeliers, contribute to an extravagant and opulent ambiance.

With a seating capacity of up to 870, the three tiers of plush red velvet seats, combined with skillfully adjusted elements of sound and lighting, promise you the finest artistic experiences.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Moreover, the Hanoi Opera House Square boasts numerous impressive photo spots. You also drop there in the evening, when you can dive into the peaceful atmosphere of locals, as it is a familiar destination for locals to enjoy iced tea and engage in conversations.

My visit to the Hanoi Opera House was a delightful immersion into Vietnam’s traditional art show. Attending a performance in this historic venue was a treat for my senses, with impeccable acoustics enhancing the music and captivating performances on stage. I highly recommend this destination for anyone wanting to appreciate the intersection of history and the arts in the heart of Hanoi.

  • Location: 01 Trang Tien, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem
  • Entrence fee: Ticket price for sightseeing combined with art shows is 400,000 VND per person (90 minutes per session), and ticket price to visit the Opera House is 120,000 VND per person (70 minutes per trip)
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (if you would like to watch art shows, please check the website for performance times)

Read more : Admire Hanoi Opera House

4.Visit the St. Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph Cathedral, known as a miniature version of Notre Dame Cathedral, has become a typical symbol of the Old Quarter. At first sight, the church will attract you with its rich history and ancient Gothic architecture. Through the ups and downs of time, the church still maintains the beauty of the most stunning architectural masterpiece of a cathedral in Hanoi.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Photos taken in front of Hanoi Cathedral have become a symbol of visiting the capital, creating a wonderful setting for photos. Coming here, don’t miss the opportunity to take impressive photos with the moss-tinged appearance of the cathedral.

This place is also famous for lemon tea and fragrant coffee, becoming specialties not to be missed. In the afternoon or late evening, you can see groups of friends sitting and chatting, enjoying lemon tea with sour rolls or fried spring rolls, creating a vibrant space.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

My visit to St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi was a serene and awe-inspiring experience. The Gothic architecture of this historic cathedral takes me back to explore the breathtaking architecture of the late 19th century. As I stepped inside, the tranquil atmosphere and the dimly lit interior gave me a sense of reverence. This is a place where I can admire both a spiritual sanctuary and a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage.

  • Location: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Opening hours:
    • From 8:00 a.m to 8:00 m. (Monday to Saturday)
    • From 7:00 m. to 9:00 p.m. (Sundays)

5.Discover Hoa Lo Prison Relic

Hoa Lo Prison is a clear testament to a period of hardship, which symbolizes the unbeatable and resilient spirit of patriotic Vietnamese people.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Built by the French in 1896 and known as hell on Earth during its time of operation, Hoa Lo prison has become a place of detention for many generations of Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers and activists. The prison architecture is designed with extremely barbaric and cruel forms of torture and forced confessions.

Visiting Hoa Lo prison, you will see firsthand what a colonial prison looks like, as well as the barbaric weapons of the French colonialists. Images of prison with whippings, trials, and cruel and brutal torture are clearly and honestly portrayed in every corner of Hoa Lo prison, helping you easily feel the hardship and suffering of our ancestors during Vietnam war.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

I think that exploring the Hoa Lo Prison relic in Hanoi will be a compelling experience for those who are enthusiastic about history. Roaming through the confined passageways and discovering the challenges faced by political detainees offers me a reflective perspective. The artifacts and vivid images told stories of sacrifice and perseverance, making me understand the spirit of solidarity and patriotism that the prisoners showed in that difficult context.

  • Location: 1 Hoa Lo Ward, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem
  • Admission: 30,000 VND/person.
  • Opening hours: 8:00–17:00

Read more : UPDATE NEW Hoa Lo Prison Museum 2023

6.Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake early in the morning

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

When coming to Hanoi, if you want to experience a different feeling from the bustling and noisy sounds, Hanoi in the early morning will be a compelling choice. Many people have fallen in love with Hanoi at the moment of the misty dawn when the city is still immersed in deep, quiet sleep. Not only can you see the gentle and charming beauty of nature, but also the daily habits of locals, who engage in exercise regardless of whether it’s winter or summer. Strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake to enjoy the fresh air of the new day or resting on a stone bench to observe and even join in the groups of people practicing tai chi or aerobics will make your heart flutter.

As the sun rises, the first rays of light penetrate through each leaf, pouring down onto the sparkling and enchanting surface of Hoan Kiem Lake. The golden, fragrant rays of sunlight are like a cool stream, making you immerse yourself in it endlessly.

My most serene experience in Hanoi is walking around Hoan Kiem Lake early in the morning. Although I was in the most bustling city, the tranquil atmosphere, combined with the soft glow of the rising sun, created a peaceful setting that made me feel like a departure from the bustling city. This will be a refreshing start to the day if you want to explore the tranquil aspects of Hanoi that I would like to suggest.

Location: 1–8 Le Thai To Ward, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem.

7.Stroll around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024 source : kenh14

Hanoi-36 Old streets have long been included in Vietnamese poetry, creating inspiration for many poets. With a checkerboard design, the streets are parallel and at right angles to each other, but not everyone can easily find the way out when lost in this “maze.” Walking around the bustling small streets or visiting souvenir shops hidden deep in small alleys will be interesting experiences for you when you come here. If you feel tired, find a coffee shop located on the balcony of an old house to observe the bustling life below while sipping a cup of Hanoi-flavored coffee.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

source: kenh14

You can also visit the old town early in the morning, sit and have breakfast with local people at small roadside shops, and enjoy the peaceful and quiet atmosphere unique to the old town.

Strolling around Hanoi’s Old Quarter, I felt like I stepped into a living, breathing history and culture in Hanoi. I sipped a cup of coffee at a rooftop coffee shop and watched the daily life in the bustling, narrow, and alive streets, where street vendors peddle their wares. This made me overwhelmed with the ordinary beauty of Hanoi. Discovering hidden alleyways and stumbling upon vibrant markets is an attractive adventure.

8.Admire the sunset at West Lake

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Not only for those coming from afar but also for those who live, study, and work in the capital, West Lake is considered a nostalgic and very familiar meeting point. Many people often come here, sometimes just to enjoy the sidewalk’s specialty iced tea and leisurely nibble on sunflower seeds, but many come to immerse themselves in the vast and tranquil space. Especially in the late afternoon, without the need to find the most beautiful spot, just a spacious and airy location, you can comfortably immerse yourself in the breathtaking sunset scene of West Lake, magical in the orange and golden hues that dye the sky towards the horizon. Whether you stop here to pour out your thoughts on the lake, the twilight, the breeze, and the clouds, or to capture impressive memory photos, the West Lake sunset can fulfill your desires.

Watching the sunset at West Lake in Hanoi is a mesmerizing experience for me. The colorful sky reflects on the tranquil waters, creating a serene atmosphere. Silhouettes of pagodas and trees add to the beauty, offering a peaceful escape from the city. It’s the perfect spot to slow my heartbeat after a long, engaged day exploring Hanoi.

Location: Tay Ho District, Hanoi

9.Drinking sidewalk coffee

The sidewalk coffee always has a captivating charm. Whether you are a celebrity or just a tourist, it’s not the large coffee shop, but the sidewalk coffee itself that has the power to captivate you and make you linger for a cup.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Choose any sidewalk coffee shop, sit and immerse yourself in nature, and slowly sip a cup of coffee to observe the hustle and bustle is always a chill thing to do. That’s why sidewalk coffee shops always attract enormous customers, of various ages and working fields. Moreover, Sidewalk Coffee is reasonably priced and offers a comfortable space, meeting most of your needs for rest, relaxation, and enjoying your coffee. Experiencing a sidewalk coffee shop with an open space will help you fully enjoy the poetic atmosphere of Hanoi and forget the hurried pace of life around you.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Seated on tiny plastic stools, surrounded by the lively hum of the city, I enjoyed the rich aroma of robust Hanoi coffee brewing nearby. The simplicity of the setup, with locals engaged in animated conversations, gives me a genuine and welcoming atmosphere. For me, this experience is more than just a drink; it’s a vibrant slice of Hanoi life, where every sip connects you to the local rhythm and warmth of the city.

10.Explore Dong Xuan Market

Visit Dong Xuan Market to explore the classical and vibrant aspects of the old capital, which will be an exciting experience for your Hanoi trip.

When touring Dong Xuan Market, you can freely shop for charming and unique items and indulge in Hanoi’s incredibly enticing street food, along with indelible experiences.

11 Top Things To Do In Hanoi 2024

Dong Xuan Market is also famous for its food section at the entrance lane, known as the “super culinary lane in the heart of the old quarter.” Despite being only about 200 meters long, this lane hosts hundreds of eateries operating until the early morning, offering delicious Hanoi specialties. Some noteworthy and affordable dishes include shrimp cakes, grilled pork on sticks with bamboo, small noodle soup, snail noodle soup, gio cake, rice cake, mango cake, various sweet soups, etc.

The bustling atmosphere, vibrant colors, and diverse array of goods make my experiences more appealing. From local handicrafts to fresh produce, the market offers me an authentic glimpse into Hanoi’s daily life. Navigating through the narrow aisles, I found myself captivated by the energetic spirit of both vendors and shoppers. Sampling street food delights and bargaining with friendly vendors increased my impression of the visit.

Location: 117-119 Bach Dang, Ward 15, Binh Thanh District

11.Taste Hanoi specialties

Hanoi, the capital with a thousand years of cultural history, is the cradle of countless Vietnamese dishes that delight the hearts of diners.

Renowned not only in Vietnam but also internationally, bún chả will satisfy your senses with its aroma and flavor. This famous specialty even led former U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Bun Cha Huong Lien on Le Van Huu’s quarter, a longstanding bún chả
eatery, to taste it.

Not just bún chả, Pho Hanoi also captivates many foreign celebrities. With its sweet and clear broth, simmered from the bones of buffalo or beef, along with chewy rice noodles and a touch of scallions, vinegar, chili, and fresh herbs, pho Hanoi boasts a perfect beef noodle soup flavor that is unmatched anywhere else. Names like Phở Thìn at 61 Dinh Tien Hoang or Phở Bát Đàn at 49 Bat Đan always mentioned names when mentioned to Pho Hanoi.

Top 11 things to don in hanoi
Top 11 things to don in hanoi

If you happen to visit Hanoi in the fall, make sure to visit Vong village to savor “cốm” (green rice flakes) with over a thousand years of history. Each grain of green rice flakes is soft, carrying the fresh sweetness of young milk and exuding a fragrant aroma along the winding paths. The wandering stalls of green rice flakes are the natural gifts bestowed upon farmers, a quintessence of the flavors of the land, sky, and early morning dew.

Read more:Hue Cuisine – Exploring the Capital of Vietnam Gastronomy

Read more: Top 10 first-rate Pho restaurants in Sai Gon of 2023

Hanoi not only offers bún chả, pho, and green rice flakes but also has many other dishes to delight you, such as vermicelli and chicken soup (bun thang), Escargot vermicelli soup (bun oc) and more.

Indulging in Hanoi’s specialties was a culinary journey that left my taste buds dancing with delight. From the savory allure of pho on bustling street corners to the crispy banh mi filled with flavorful delights, every bite was a celebration of Hanoi cuisine. Exploring the vibrant markets and hidden alleyways, I discovered the rich tapestry of flavors that make up Hanoi’s gastronomic identity, leaving me with a newfound appreciation for the artistry of Hanoi flavors.

Let’s make your journey delightful with these top 11 things to do in Hanoi.


Kris Goetghebeur

Kris Goetghebeur

With over 20 years of work experience, ranging from seasonal to full-time assignments in different sectors of the Travel, Recreation, Hostelry, and Service Industry, I have a strong background. I have been based in Saigon, Vietnam, since 1999. My educational qualifications include a degree in Management in Tourism and Recreation Studies as well as a degree in Accountancy. I am proficient in French, Dutch, English, and German. I have extensive experience in crafting tailor-made tours and incentive packages, boasting a nearly 100% satisfaction record from my customers.

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