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Hoan Kiem Lake

Wander around the banks of this peaceful lake and discover an historic temple, observe locals going about their daily life or enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake is a popular meeting spot in Hanoi and the location of one of the city’s most picturesque temples. Just a short walk from the old town, the lake provides a leafy escape from the city crowds and heat. Join the locals for a game of chess, stroll around the lake or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy beneath the trees. 

Hồ Hoàn Kiếm means “Lake of the Returned Sword” and the name is derived from an ancient myth. Legend states that the Vietnamese emperor Le Loi returned a sword, which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam, to a magic turtle at this very spot. 

In the middle of the lake lies Jade Island and the majestic Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain). Cross the bright red Huc Bridge (Bridge of the Rising Sun) to reach the temple. Peer down into the water and see if you can spot the large soft-shell turtles that inhabit the lake. Unfortunately, due to pollution and destruction of their habitat, the turtles are almost extinct. 

Throw down a rug on the grass and relax with a picnic. Hoàn Kiếm Lake is just a short walk from a number of markets and stores selling fresh produce so you can easily pick up supplies. Watch as locals run laps around the lake or join in if you are feeling energetic. 

A kiosk serving fresh Vietnamese coffee can be found on the eastern edge of the lake. For something more substantial, you can find restaurants serving local delicacies in the streets of the French Quarter to the south.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake is located between Hanoi’s old town and French Quarter and can easily be reached on foot from most central locations. Bus routes serve the area and some street parking is available. The lake is open daily and is free of charge. 


Guide to Exploring around Hoan Kiem Lake


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Map

Lodging Near Hoan Kiem Lake

See all 694 Hotels near Hoan Kiem Lake
$104
Melia Hanoi

Melia Hanoi

44b Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi
4.3
of 5, from 339 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$34
Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel

Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel

2 Hoi Vu Street, Hanoi
4.5
of 5, from 775 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hang Da Market, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$81
Hilton Hanoi Opera

Hilton Hanoi Opera

1 Le Thanh Tong Street, Hanoi
4.2
of 5, from 583 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Hanoi Opera House, Ngoc Son Temple, and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Old City Gate are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$68
Tirant Hotel

Tirant Hotel

38 Gia Ngu Str., Hanoi
4.3
of 5, from 561 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Hoan Kiem Lake and Temple of Literature are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$60
Oriental Suite Hotel & Spa

Oriental Suite Hotel & Spa

58 Hang Dao St., Hanoi
4.8
of 5, from 475 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$232
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
4.8
of 5, from 750 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the historical district, within a 15-minute walk of Hanoi Opera House, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$100
Pan Pacific Hanoi

Pan Pacific Hanoi

1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
4.3
of 5, from 441 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Tran Quoc Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Hoan Kiem Lake are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$50
Serene Boutique Hotel & Spa

Serene Boutique Hotel & Spa

16-18 Bat Su, Hanoi
4.9
of 5, from 17 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Vietnamese National Tuong Theatre, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Temple of Literature are also within 2 mi (3 km).