One Day in Hanoi Itinerary – How to Spend a Perfect Day 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

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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.

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. See the best sights, enjoy the tastiest food and learn what to do in Hanoi if you only have one day in the city. Every step you take will bring you closer to some fascinating location!

Start your day with a nice stroll

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.

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

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

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!


Mid-range Accommodation

Hanoi Charm Hotel & Spa

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

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!


Budget Accommodation

Especen Hotel, Hanoi

Especen Hotel

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

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

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

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

Yogi and Suchna
Travel Bloggers at Iceland Tour From India

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.


  1. Thanks for the tips about scooter taxi I never thought that this kind of transportation is existing in Hanoi because we only encountered the scam taxi and we should be aware about that.

  2. Omg, I wish I had this itinerary when I went to Vietnam last year! We went to Hanoi which was incredible, we tried the local cuisine and celebrated Tet with them (their new year). I’m dying to go back so I can visit some more attractions.

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