Top attractions in Hanoi
Top 10 things to do in Hanoi
With so much to see and do in the Vietnamese capital, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are our top tips to help make sure you find the best things to do in the city when you visit.
1. Cat Ba National Park
Interested in the local wildlife? Then take a trip to Cat Ba National Park. And a tour will certainly help you see more of the animal and plant life in detail.
2. Trấn Quốc Pagode
High on the list of city sightseeing is the oldest Buddhist temple Trấn Quốc Pagode in Hanoi. A visit at sunset is advised for a view you'll remember for the rest for your life.
3. Hoan Kiem Lake
Shrouded in mystery and legend, "the lake of the returned sword" is a tourist hotspot on any visit to the city. You can sometimes also spot turtles swimming in the water!
4. West Lake
An idyllic spot to stop for a a rest while sightseeing, West Lake is the largest lake in Hanoi and its shores and surrounding gardens provide a blissful recreation spot.
5. One Pillar Pagoda
Built to embody the image of a lotus blossom, even the sight of this Buddhist temple may bring you inner peace. One Pillar Pagoda is definitely one of the top things to see in the city.
6. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a popular tourist attraction in Hanoi and widely regarded as the finest modern museum in Vietnam, make sure you allow time to stop by for a tour when you visit the city.
7. Ho Chi Minh Museum
If you're looking to learn more about Vietnam's past and its revolutionary struggle against foreign powers, then a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Museum will satisfy your needs.
8. Vietnam Military History Museum
Like guns and tanks? Look no further. Come and explore the wide range of historic weaponry on display at the Vietnam Military History Museum or take a tour to learn more.
9. Huong Tich Cave
Just seeing this magical spot is worth a trip to Hanoi. The cave is the inner temple of the Perfume Pagoda and the Huong Tich Cave entrance is wonderfully carved to resemble a dragons mouth.
10. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an impressive monument in the center of Ba Dinh Square. The towering stone building is essential on any sightseeing tour for its important role in the country's history.
Planning Your Visit
How many days to spend in Hanoi?
Three to five days is a perfect length of time to visit the city and see all the main attractions and sights, while still having time to relax and soak up some of the local culture and cuisine!
Where to stay?
The Old Quarter and and Cathedral District are two of the most interesting parts of the city to stay during your visit. They also allow you easy access to tourist sites and good local bars and restaurants.
Good to know
- Vietnamese Dong (VND)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+07:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- To avoid the colder winter, hot summer, and rainy season, Hanoi is best experienced in April and May, but be prepared for occasional drizzle!
Other Sightseeing Options in Hanoi
Want to discover all there is to do in Hanoi? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Hanoi
The bus ride to Sapa was great, very comfortable way of traveling. Our guide was excellent - she was a local girl with very good English and knowledge about the area. The length of the hike in Sapa should be specified in the tour description. We didn't have any problems with this approx 11 kilometers long track, but other people did. Some needed to get picked up in the middle of the trip simply because it was physically too exhausting for them. Our return bus from Sapa was for some reason changed for 2 hours earlier (no communication about it from the company) and there was no one to pick us up to get back to our hotel in Hanoi. In the tour description it clearly says that the pick up and drop off to hotel are included. The tour organizer did not pick up her phone nor replied in WhatsApp. Luckily the Sapa Sleeping bus guide helped us out and we got a free taxi ride back to our hotel.
Booked for tight schedule collecting from Hanoi train station after taking overnight train from SaPa , collecting luggage from previous Hanoi hotel and going straight to the airport for an internal flight. All confirmed on email , including the addition of the luggage collection , with contact numbers you never know will work until you need them. Arranged collection point turned out to be the wrong exit from Hanoi station and with our schedule so tight I rang Anna on one of those numbers . This was 5.30am ..and she answered immediately and sorted it within 1 minute !
Enjoyed the biking and the steep hike (view was worth it)! The boat ride, not so much - around 1.30hrs sitting under the sun. It was pretty hot so make sure you bring a hat and sunblock. Overall, it was good. Our tour guide Zuy (Frank) was knowledgable and fun. He adjusted the itinerary that fit to our liking :)
This is a must do activity when in Hanoi! Do not miss it! The view after climbing 500 steps is just unparalleled and beautiful!! The 1 hour boat ride though the green fields surrounding by hills is just splendid! Highly highly recommended activity!! Our guide Mr Kay (Mr K?) is just awesome!
The overall experience was great but the fact several people didnt care about punctuality compromised to enjoy with better time each location. We felt the guide was afraid to call attention to everybody as he worried the lack of tourism due to Covid-19 in the past few months.