Its here! The Ultimate travel guide to Hanoi. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, a city you are guaranteed to pass through at some point on your trip to this incredible country. The streets are lined with various vendors selling you the all types of knock off items around. Covered with hundreds of scooters, each street selling something different. Hanoi is often times considered the heart of Vietnam, and it’s easy to see why. There is so much to see and do, you could easily spend a solid week here alone! Don’t worry, our guide will give you all the necessary tips on things to do and places to eat, for your upcoming stay!
Ultimate Travel Guide To Hanoi
Things To Do
Hoan Kiem Lake
A gorgeous lake located in the middle of the city! It is surrounded by greenery and a path to walk around. It is best to visit in the evenings on both Fridays and Saturdays because they ban all traffic! This allows you to walk freely and enjoy the peacefulness of this lake and park situated in the middle of the hectic city! We recommend that you grab a delicious ice cream cone at one of the many vendors around to enjoy as you walk around in the Vietnamese heat!
St. Joseph Cathedral
A 19th century gothic Roman Catholic Church located in the middle of Hanoi. A really beautiful church to stroll by in the afternoon!
A very popular street to visit in Hanoi! It is a great place where you can quite literally watch a train come by just feet away from you. Cafes and restaurants line the tracks and serve as a great spot to grab a cup of coffee and watch the spectacle of the train pass by.
Also, If you’re heading to train street. Then you need to head to our favourite cafe, The RailWay Hanoi. Our recommendation would be the coconut coffee, this is the ultimate drink to have while watching the train drive past.
This is the base for most travellers. In Old Quarter you will find some of the best restaurants, bars and shopping in all of Hanoi. It comes to life at night and you can sit on the side of the street and enjoy 5,000 VND ($0.20) beers at the Bia Hoi (beer) from the beer ladies on the curb! Really fun atmosphere and place to check out.
Temple of Literature
This traditional Vietnamese structure honours some of Vietnam’s most renowned scholars. Inside you will find a variety of pagodas, gardens and ponds to admire. Be prepared to pay an entrance fee of 30,000 VND, (roughly $1), per person and be sure to read up on the appropriate dress code prior to your visit. It is definitely one of the most picturesque places within the city itself!
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
If you enjoy the arts, we recommend you visit the fine art museum! We decided to check it out on one of the rainy days we had in the city and it was a great way to escape the rain, whilst doing something interesting. The museum itself has a variety of art pieces dating back from the 11th-19th century AD. It is a wonderful museum that showcases a variety of Vietnam’s fine arts throughout the centuries.
Learning how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes is a once in a lifetime opportunity! There are dozens of cooking classes you can take in the city. Two of the most popular classes are run by Duong’s Restaurant and Blue Butterfly ($55 per class)! You can book your class Here.
If you want a chance to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter the local way, be sure you sign up for a city walking tour. With the walking tours you are walked through and shown to all of the essential sights in Hanoi. It is especially a great option for those travellers who are restricted due to time! You also get to try the infamous egg coffee on this tour! You can sign up for one Here.
If you are a major foodie, than this is the perfect tour for you! After spending a total of 2 weeks in Hanoi, we watched many street food tours walk around and eat at many of the restaurants we found and mention below! After 2 weeks, we were able to find those amazing hole in the wall restaurants ourselves. We were validated when we would see the food tours turn up! Nevertheless, if you want a guided tour to take you to all the best places to eat in the city, definitely sign up for this tour! The tour guide will make sure you order all the right things and that you get a well rounded culinary taste of Vietnam. Sign up Here.
Ultimate Travel Guide To Hanoi
Where To Eat
If you like Indian food, you must try this place out! Seriously some of the most delicious butter chicken around. In all of our years eating Indian food, we have never seen a garlic naan bread so huge. Probably the same size as Hanna! This is a really great place to eat with a large group of friends too!
Banh Mi 25
We ate here every. single. day. This is not an exaggeration! For 25,000 VND you can get a delicious Vietnamese classic sandwich. The queue here is always long, so make sure you go to their third location one block down (it has aircon)! Our favourites were, #4 BBQ Pork with pate, Chicken and cheese add avocado, Meatball, and the mushroom with avocado for the vegetarians out there! This is a must if you visit Hanoi!
Hanoi Coffee Station
We all know Vietnam is known for their coffee. An whilst generally it can be good it is also a bit strong. However, we had the chance to visit the Hanoi Coffee Station and were absolutely in awe of the quality of coffee and food! They brew coffee from local beans straight from Da Lat. The method of how they coffee is brewed allows it to have a smoother taste than most other Vietnamese coffees.
The owner happened to be there whilst we were there and he gave us a free demonstration of how they brew the coffee and taught us all about the sourcing of beans! He told us that if you guys visit, he is happy to give you a lesson as well. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but the food is great too! They have homemade cakes, avocado toast, and yummy smoothie bowls. The shop is a bit hard to find as it is located upstairs through an alleyway, but just use google maps and you’ll find it!
4 P’s Pizza
There is nothing we miss more than quality pizza in Asia. Finally, we found the perfect place to add into out ultimate travel guide to Hanoi! 4 P’s Pizza is a fantastic Italian food restaurant located in Hanoi. They actually have multiple locations and require you to make a reservation at least a day in advance, but trust us it’s worth it. Since the prices are a bit higher than most other restaurants in Vietnam, we decided to go to celebrate George’s birthday. We ordered the burrata prosciutto margarita pizza, the four cheese pizza (which came with honey that was so divine), and spaghetti bolognese with smoked burrata! Overall, it was absolutely worth every penny and filled our pizza cravings for sure!
Duong Restaurant and Cooking School
Not only is this place a great spot to take a cooking class, but they also serve up some of the best traditional Vietnamese dishes around! We highly recommend you grab a dinner here if you are spending a few nights in the city.
If you are going to Vietnam, chances are you have heard about the infamous egg coffee. Turns out this cafe was the first to do it! A little coffee shop tucked away in a back alleyway, you will find this place full 24/7! They have so many varieties of egg coffee you won’t know which to choose. We went with the traditional one and we really enjoyed it. George also wanted to try the egg coffee with rum…maybe next time!
Craving a kebab? These kebabs are giant and super tasty. We ate here a number of times when we were in the mood for a proper fill up. For only 100,000 VND, you can get a kebab, fries and a coke! A killer deal for some tasty food.
If you like Mexican food, this place is super yummy! They have a wide variety of tacos, burritos and quesadillas on the menu. They also do buy two get one on all margaritas. We got three different tacos, one pork, one beef and one chicken!
Bun Cha (Hang Ma Number One)
This is one of the stops on the Hanoi food tours, so you know its got to be good! We ate here for dinner and we were pleasantly surprised by it. Even though it looks like a hole in the wall, this spot is always busy and charges a bit more than your typical street food. For 90,000 VND per person, you get a bowl of Bun Cha and spring rolls. Bun Cha is essentially, grilled pork noodle soup. On the table they serve you noodles, a sweet-ish soup with pears, a mix of spring vegetables and herbs, and pork patties submerged in the broth.
We happened upon this place while walking by in Old Quarter. The interior is straight Instagram goals! It reminded us a lot of some of the more western spots we would eat at in London, or Los Angeles. The menu is also more western focused!
Cong Cafe Hanoi
This is a popular coffee chain located all throughout Vietnam. They are known for their coconut coffees. We liked to spend a few afternoons here to grab a cool coffee drink and catch up on some work! If you see one around, be sure to pop your head in. All of them are designed to emulate how times were during the vietnam war.
Hanoi Social Club
A popular joint amongst fellow travellers and westerners. The restaurant has super chill vibes and even live music occasionally! This place is known for its healthy dishes. Mainly serving vegan and gluten free options. So if you are into clean eating, you should for sure check this restaurant out!
Ultimate Travel Guide To Hanoi
Where To Stay
One of the best 5-star hotels located in the centre of Hanoi, with easy access to all the main attractions. This French colonial style building is the perfect luxury escape. This has to be in the ultimate travel guide to Hanoi, Book your stay Here.
A peaceful and homely hotel that has an extraordinary spa and restaurant attached. Book your stay Here.
Air b n B
Hanoi is actually a really great city for Air B n’ B options. Many apartments offer up cute furnished rooms for a decent price. We actually opted to rent one for the entire week and fell in love with the interior.
A great budget option for couples looking to stay near the Old Quarter. A spacious room with breakfast included. Book your stay Here.
Also a great budget option for those looking to be centrally located. The rooms are a bit smaller than the Symphony Hotel, but the location is a bit better! They also have a pretty decent breakfast buffet included in the price. Book your stay Here.
This is a popular hostel chain all throughout Vietnam, and their Hanoi location lives up to its reputation! If you are looking to party and make friends this is for sure the best place to stay. Located right in the centre of all the action. It is found across the street from the infamous Bia Hoi stands. Book your stay Here.
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