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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem
This luxury five-star hotel has been around for more than a century (since 1901, no less), and is everything you want a classy hotel to be. The rooms are absolutely incredible and retain a classic look, although with a modern twist. There is even a gift shop here! Located in the city center, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is an incredible stay.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
1A Nghi Tam Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
This is another exquisite place where you can spend your visit to Hanoi. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake is close to the Golden Lotus Pagoda and features rooms furnished in accordance with Vietnamese tradition, which means wooden floors and a secluded balcony. The location on Hanoi Westlake itself is quite magical, so you simply can’t go wrong with this hotel!
Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa
1B To Tich, Hang Gai Commune, Hoan Kiem District
Comfortable, well designed and very conveniently located, Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa will help you relax in the city’s Old Quarter. With many other services also available here, like a car or bike rental, dry cleaning etc., and a very nice view, you will be able to recharge your batteries and enjoy Hanoi without any problems.
Hanoi E Central Hotel
18 Lo Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Another hotel in the Old Quarter, Hanoi E Central Hotel serves an excellent buffet breakfast. Every room here has a laptop, which can be very useful, and they are all exceptionally well designed. The staff is immensely friendly, and the view of the nearby lake is something quite special. Another great option!
28 Tho Xuong Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Especen Hotel is an excellent choice if you’re traveling on a budget. Clean, neat, air-conditioned and with very helpful people running the place, you will get a lot of value for your money here. The location in the Old Quarter is great, plus you can rent out vehicles if you want to go and explore the city.
Hanoi Backpackers Hostel
13 Hàng Muối, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Another budget option here is Hanoi Backpackers Hostel. It has a bar and a restaurant, a shared kitchen and free WiFi. Full English breakfast is also included, and even room service is available. Hang out with other guests over a game of billiards or darts and meet some new friends.
Day Trips from Hanoi, Vietnam
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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.
PIN FOR LATER!
If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Hanoi Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!
Logistical Tips and Tricks
Organize your trip in five easy steps!
BOOK A FLIGHT!
Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!
BOOK A ROOM!
To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.
GET A CAR!
If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.
INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!
Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.
FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!
Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.