What to do in Hanoi

Activities, attractions and tours
Hanoi showing cycling as well as an individual femail

Hanoi Attractions

Nestled into Vietnam's northern corner, Hanoi is a jumping off point for many backpackers and holiday-seekers looking to explore the stunning bays and cliffs of Ha Long Bay and the terraced and misty mountains of Sapa to the west. But this capital city isn't just a hub for adventures elsewhere, it's a destination all its own. From historic landmarks that offer looks at the effects of French colonization and the Vietnam War to cultural sites that hint at the area's deep-rooted traditions that pull back centuries of old dynasties, there's plenty to check out inside the city limits. Whether you want to discover ancient architecture and heritage in the Old Quarter, indulge in a day of shopping at Vincom Times City Megamall or the silk street of Hang Gai Street, or simply stroll around the lakes and rivers that divide up the city's ever-growing grid of streets, there's no end to the things to do in Hanoi.

Explore thousands of experiences from activities and attractions to day tours and transfer.

Skip the line- book tickets online in minutes to top attractions with free cancellation on many activities.

Members get extra discounts on thousands of experiences and hotels. Sign up today.

Most fun & popular experiences in Hanoi

What to do in Hanoi

Free Things to Do in Hanoi

They say the best things in life are free. Check out the following around Hanoi:

Historical Military Museum - Old or young, this place will inspire your imagination and capture your attention.

Nhat Tan Bridge - Admire the design and creativity of this impressive example of modernistic architecture.

Thang Long Citadel - If you're thinking of exploring the history of the region through its landmarks, include this one on your travel itinerary.

Ba Dinh Square - This is a vibrant place where you can soak in the ambiance and feel the rhythm of the local way of life.

Huu Tiep Lake and the Downed B-52 - Take things at a slower pace and enjoy a bit of time out close to the water.

Embassy of China - If you'd like to explore some of the more important or interesting places in the community, this place is worth a visit.

One Pillar Pagoda - Stop for some quiet reflection and discover a few things about this site's religious importance.

Lenin Park - Prepare a picnic and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the beautiful plants.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Hanoi

Hanoi's many districts are peppered with cultural landmarks and historic monuments. Take the time to seek them out between the skyscrapers, bustling markets, and green spaces that make up the modern city.

Old Quarter - Hanoi's Old Quarter is characterized by its original French colonial architecture and the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. On weekends, the area comes alive with the intoxicating smell of street vendors serving up everything from barbecue to bowls of steaming noodles at Dong Xuan Market. Historic landmarks in the Old Quarter include the Confucian Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda, both built during the Ly Dynasty.

Tay Ho - The urban district of Tay Ho is a mix of modern and ancient Hanoi. Wrapped around the large West Lake, or Ho Tay, the district is dotted with cultural sites like the 6th-century Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple, one of Vietnam's Four Sacred Temples. Tay Ho is also a retreat from the rest of the city, with scenic botanical gardens and a paved path that winds around the lake.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the former residence of Vietnamese royalty. The complex dates back to the Ly Dynasty and served as the political center of the country through the Nguyen Dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam. See the formidable Hanoi Flag Tower and artifacts dating from the 6th to the 20th centuries.

What to See in Hanoi

French colonial architecture dominates much of Hanoi, with wide, tree-lined boulevards like Phan Dinh Phung street flanked by mansions and villas. See elegant examples of the architectural style at the Hanoi Opera House, Presidential Palace, or beautiful Saint Joseph's Cathedral. Hanoi is also home to a number of museums, including the National Museum of Vietnamese History and Vietnam Military History Museum. And, don't forget to take in a water puppet show, where skilled artists present traditional Vietnamese folk stories using water puppetry, found at the aptly named Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.

Sightseeing in Hanoi

The list of places to explore and activities to try in Hanoi is endless, with the city offering both modern and historic experiences. Hanoi food is a must-do during your stay, with the city offering rare cuisine like snake dishes, insect-inspired menus, and local bia hoi (fresh beer), along with the city's signature dish, bun cha (vermicelli noodles with barbecue pork and fresh herbs). Night owls can check out the scene at Bia Hoi Junction, where locals gather to drink the Vietnamese beer at cozy bars that spill out onto the street, and shopaholics can browse the name brands at Dong Xuan Market, the largest indoor market in the city where you can find everything from produce to electronics and handcrafted goods. Get some exercise in with a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, where you can soak in local culture and discover a piece of history at the 18th-century Ngoc Son Temple, or consider getting out of the city for a day. Plenty of operators offer service to reach Halong Bay and its incredible collection of picture-perfect beaches surrounded by soaring limestone karsts. Need to cool down? A trip to mountain-toppin Sapa is an ideal place to beat the heat while exploring remote villages on stunning trekking trips.

Things to Do in Hanoi with Kids

There are plenty of amazing experiences in Hanoi that the entire gang will love. These are a few of the best family friendly experiences in the area.


Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Hanoi? Search event tickets to see what's happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!



Frequently asked questions

What to do in Hanoi on a sunny day?
What to do in Hanoi on a rainy day?
What should I not miss in Hanoi?
If you want to see the best of this destination, slot these attractions into your schedule:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Temple of Literature

Are there cheap things to do in Hanoi?
What can you do in Hanoi for free?
Your trip to Hanoi doesn’t have to cost a fortune with free things like these to enjoy:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Dong Xuan Market
  • Ba Vi National Park

Popular places to visit

Explore areas of Hanoi