One Day in Hanoi Itinerary – Top things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

Traveling internationally opens up many new destinations for us. People usually look for more popular and better known places, but there are many fascinating less known destinations. One of the best examples in this regard is Hanoi in Vietnam. Generally, when you hear the name Hanoi, you associate it with a place where travelers have to halt for a few hours or maybe for a day or two while visiting the mountainous Sapa, Ha Long Bay and Ho Chi Minh City. Some travelers like to spend their one day in Hanoi by resting and sleeping, while some of them like to explore the place and look around as much as possible. And interestingly, Hanoi has many impressive and fascinating sights which are sure to amaze you.

One day in Hanoi Itinerary

Guest post by Yogi and Suchna
Blog: Iceland Tour From India

What is the best time to visit Hanoi, Vietnam

The best time to visit Hanoi is during spring, which is in months of March and April, and during autumn, between September and November. Winters are quite cold in this Vietnamese city, and the summers are quite hot.

Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda, Author: Richard Mortel, Source: Flickr

A few facts about Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is beyond doubt one of the prettiest cities in Vietnam with a deeply rooted culture and heritage. There are a number of things here that are very fascinating and unique to the city. For instance, while the houses are colorful and well-designed, they are built narrow to avoid property tax! And, if you find that interesting, there are many more such facts that will amaze you! Dog meat is considered a great delicacy in Hanoi, and the city is also the hub of Vietnamese food, so you can savor various authentic dishes including the Hanoian Pho, Bun Cha and Baan Duc on a trip to the city.

Old Quarter
Old Quarter, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

One Day in Hanoi, VIetnam Itinerary

If you have just one day here and want to visit the important destinations of the place, read on to know how you can manage your time in the most efficient manner. Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Hanoi.

Head out sightseeing

Since you have just one day in Hanoi, you won’t want to waste any precious time. Wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning to get a feel of the early morning in the city. You will find innumerable people exercising by the Hoan Kiem Lake. About 10-15 minutes from the lake is Puku, the best place for a hearty and rich breakfast at the most reasonable rates. Once you are fueled with food, you can enjoy a slow walk along Phung Hung. There is a small market there, quite colorful and lively. Next, you can go down to Bat Dan, which is in the heart of the Old Quarter. It is recommended to pick up a bicycle for that. You can also walk to the Old Quarter, but since you don’t have much time, using a bike is a better option.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr
Old Quarter
Old Quarter, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

After roaming the old part of the town a little, try cycling towards Tran Quoc Pagoda on the West Lake. This is a beautiful place to visit. The main attraction is the temple and you can take a walk inside. A walk on Thanh Nien Street is also very interesting. The road is located between two lakes and presents a beautiful view. The Quan Thanh Temple lies towards the southern end of this street and is a beautiful place to visit.

The Quan Thanh Temple
The Quan Thanh Temple, Author: Richard Mortel, Source: Flickr

Visit the museum and the botanical garden

One destination you can visit is the botanical garden, just a 5-minute walk from the temple. You can also explore the back entrance area of the Ho Chi Minh Museum while here. The area around the museum and the mausoleum are equally beautiful, and if you are a lover of old and ancient architecture, you are surely going to enjoy this place. In fact, the museum and the mausoleum are so different from the rest of Hanoi that you might not be able to match the places to the city. Both structures have vast open spaces and are impeccably clean and tidy. If you want, you can spend quite some time here. Another attraction in this part are the tilted houses where it is said that Ho Chi Minh lived for a short period of time. Set in a calm and quiet setting, the place is away from the humdrum of the city. You can try to get a glimpse of the life that this great man led by exploring the area.

Ho Chi Minh Museum
Ho Chi Minh Museum, Author: dronepicr, Source: Flickr

Take a trip to the Temple of Literature

The next destination that you should go to is the Temple of Literature. For that, you can either get a taxi or catch a Xe om. Upon visiting the Temple of Literature, you might find a good amount of crowd and lots travelers and tourists at the destination, since this is one of the most popular places in Hanoi. Even with all that hustle and bustle, you will love the real flavor of the place, its ambience and beauty!

The Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature, Author: Richard Mortel, Source: Flickr

Try out the local cuisine

By now, it will be time for lunch and you will be looking for a decent place to eat. Koto is a famous restaurant located right next to the Temple of Literature. However, you could also look for a Bun Cha stall because you absolutely should try some when in Hanoi.

Lunch at Koto
Lunch at Koto, Author: Beyond Neon, Source: Flickr

Visit the opera house and the nearby attractions

After lunch, it is recommended to come back to Hoan Kiem. You can wander from the Opera House and pass the Sofitel Metropole Legend along Ngo Quyen. This part of the French Quarter has amazing architectural splendor and beauty and you shouldn’t miss it for the world. There are some excellent dessert spots in the area where you will get the yummiest of ice-creams and other items.

Opera house
Opera house, Author: Richard Mortel, Source: Flickr

Shop till you drop

No travel is complete without a bit of shopping. The most popular shopping areas in Hanoi include Hang Trong, Hang Gai, Hang Manh and Hang Hom. Various kinds of shops can be found there displaying and selling wide varieties of items including clothes, art pieces, souvenirs etc. The best thing about these shopping areas is that you will find things within different budgets, so literally anyone can shop there.

Shopping street
Shopping street, Author: Richard Mortel, Source: Flickr

Go for a massage

When in Hanoi, you should not miss out on getting a great body massage. There are some very popular places for that – you can go down to St. Josephs Cathedral and then also explore Dinh Lite. There you can visit Placencare or Emperor Foot Massage, with the former being a fancy and a slightly more expensive option.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, Author: Keith Yahl, Source: Flickr

Enjoy the city at dusk

The evening can be spent at Avalon café lounge. Views from the place are excellent, but the place is not very cheap. If that doesn’t suit you, there are numerous places for dinner in Hanoi, and you can choose the destination as per your wish and budget. After dinner, you can hang out at the pubs in the city or take a stroll through the streets to enjoy the vibrant night life that the city offers.

Hanoi at dusk
Hanoi at dusk
Avalon Cafe Lounge
Avalon Cafe Lounge, Author: Toshihiro Matsui, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Hanoi, vietnam

There are many places to stay in Hanoi. From luxurious accommodation to cheap and budget hotels, Hanoi has facilities for all kinds of travelers. Decide which one you want depending on your budget.

Premium Accommodation

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Address: 15 Ngo Quyen St.;

Phone: +84 (0)4 3826 6919

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Room
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Room
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

Address: 1A Nghi Tam, Tay Ho

Phone:  +84 (0)4 6270 8888

InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Room
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Room

Mid-range Accommodation

Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa

Address: 3 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem;

Phone: +84 24 3926 3111

Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa
Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa
Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa Room
Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa Room
Hanoi E Central Hotel

Address: 18 Lo Su St., Hoan Kiem;

Phone: +84 24 3938 0175

Hanoi E Central Hotel
Hanoi E Central Hotel
Hanoi E Central Hotel Room
Hanoi E Central Hotel Room

Budget Accommodation

Especen Hotel

Address: 28-38 Tho Xuong St. and 41 Ngo Huyen St., Hoan Kiem;

Phone: +84 (0)4 3824 4401

Hanoi Backpackers Hostel

Address: 48 Ngo Huyen St., Hoan Kiem;

Phone: +84 (0)4 3828 5372

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Hanoi

Day Trips from Hanoi, Vietnam

TIP: Find most reliable transportation while staying in Hanoi . Book your tickets with Bookaway now to enjoy safe and careless trip!

There is also a number of interesting attractions that you can visit on a day trip from Hanoi. The ones worthy of a mention include the Ba Vi National Park, Trang An and Tam Coc. While Trang An and Tam Coc is a great getaway for nature lovers, history lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to Hoa Lu, an ancient capital that can be visited after Tam Coc. If time permits, tourists may also visit the Mai Chau Valley and the Bat Trang village which is just 30 minutes from the old quarters of Hanoi.

Extra tips for visiting Hanoi, Vietnam

A visit to Hanoi is an enriching and fulfilling experience. Bear these simple pointers in mind to make the very best of your Hanoi trip.

Take a shuttle bus from the airport to your hotel, but do not let your driver talk you into checking into a hotel they recommend.

You can hire a scooter taxi to go around the city, but be sure to also hire a helmet.

Use a Vietnamese handbook to understand the locals, or hire a personal tour guide.

If you need to withdraw money, head to the ANZ ATM located near Hoan Keim Lake that has a limit of a whopping VND 9.9 million.

The weather is pleasant all year round, so you can carry light cotton clothes.

Be sure to get a Hepatitis B and tetanus shot before you catch your flight to Hanoi.


How to see Hanoi, Vietnam in one dayBest of Hanoi, Vietnam - What to do and where to stay

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Hanoi Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!


Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.

Yogi and Suchna
Travel Blogger at

Yogi and Suchna believe in taking the roads less travelled and stumbling upon some hidden gems along the way! For over a decade, they’ve been mapping their journeys across various continents, sniffing out unusual routes, discovering new flavours and staying at quirky hostels. TheVillaEscape is their expression of soul travel. To check Iceland Tour From India you can catch up with them at TheVillaEscape.

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