Top things to do in Hanoi
Vietnam’s capital city, founded over 1000 years ago, is steeped in history, with streets dating back to the 14th century in its rambling Old Quarter. Walking down these tree-lined streets past crumbling colonial exteriors transports you backwards in time. Today’s Hanoi, on the other hand, is about much more than the old days. If you’re short on time, check out this must-do list in Hanoi.
Take a stroll through the Old Quarter
The Old Quarter of Hanoi is a sensory overload. The hammer clatter of blacksmiths mingles with the call of mobile fruit merchants. From ancient temples, wisps of incense float out onto the streets. And there are many more. Take a cyclo tour through this enthralling maze.
Join the locals at Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is situated at the heart of Hanoi. Every morning, it gets going with pedestrians, aerobics groups, and even a laughing yoga group; and at sunset, it comes alive again, thronged with locals enjoying the evening air.
Try some of the street food
Head to the Old Quarter’s street cooks for a real experience of Hanoi. Every day, the aroma of bun cha fills the air as grilled pork sizzles over hot coals, while steaming pots of its star anise-infused Pho broth simmer upon each corner.
Explore the art scene
Hanoi is Vietnam’s cultural capital. The opulent Fine Arts Museum houses the country’s most important collection, which includes ancient Cham artifacts and impressionist works. Manzi or the Vietnam Art Gallery are good places to go for something more modern.
Investigate the cafe culture of Hanoi
On the exterior, Hanoi life appears to be fast-paced, but the real beat of Hanoi life seems far from hasty, as evidenced by its leisurely coffee hours. Along with traditional coffee houses, an ever-expanding number of unique cafes serve new brews in hip caffeine dens.