What to Do in Hanoi? (2023)
Among the many exciting places in Vietnam, Hanoi is one of the most popular sites for Craziest experiences among tourists. Being the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is always much crowded and most visited at all times of the year. The most beautiful activities take place on the streets, making Hanoi almost always packed and happening. Tourists are recommended to spend at least 4 to 5 days to make the most out of their trip. Living like locals, getting familiar with the culture, and exploring Hanoi’s life with its best offerings of food and architecture are exciting and thrilling activities you can include in your itinerary. If you are confused about where to go and what to do in Hanoi, this list of things-to-do is for you!
What to Do in Hanoi?
1. Join a Cooking Class in Hanoi
A great way to get familiar with a country’s culture is to know its food, in and out. The best thing one can do in Hanoi is to explore the menu and how it is prepared. Luckily Hanoi has numerous cooking classes for tourists at the local market. Tourists can enroll themselves according to their itinerary and scheduled days of the trip. Fresh ingredients are available at the market as well, so you can take the recipes with you and enjoy them.
2. Take a Wandering Walk Near Hoan Kiem Lake
Believed to be a mystical body of water, Lake Hoan Kiem is a famous lake in Hanoi. Tourists and locals enjoy wandering around here, taking long, soothing walks in the absence of noise as there are no vehicles here. The place is well-known as Turtle Lake as it is believed that a Vietnamese legend Turtle swims here.
3. Take A View At The Beautiful Tran Quoc Pagoda
Worried about what to do in Hanoi? Take a view at the beautifully designed Tran Quoc Temple. This place was founded in the sixth century and claimed to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi. There’s a historic wooden stela that reveals how the pagoda came into being and goes all the way back to 1639 when Emperor Ly Nam De designed it. One of the iconic spots of the pagoda is the 11-floor stupa, full of sparkling stones idols.
4. Capture a Performance is the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre
Without stopping by, a show of the world’s famous ancient water puppet show art will not be sufficient, and the perfect location for seeing a performance is the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre in the very heart of the town of Hanoi. Capture a puppet performance in a flooded paddy full of fireworks, music, and a very few imaginary creatures. The shows tell you the folk tales and farming tales and Vietnamese myths. In rural Vietnam, these performances started when rice grounds flooded in the monsoons, and local people used to dance to amuse themselves with puppets on the mud.
5. Thrill Yourself at Train Street
There is a fascinating transitway called “Train Street,” hidden in the Old City’s narrow alleys. Situated in the Old Quarter between Duan and Kham Tien Lane, on a narrow passageway through residential houses, the area is surrounded by several connecting train lines. The unpretentious train routes are almost lost underneath the layers of regular activities of the people living around there. Twice a day, tracks are cleared, and the kids are pushed into the houses for the bullet train to pass through the narrow alleyway. You will be thrilled when you click on the wall to create only inches of space between you and the fast train if you are fortunate enough to get around during that time.
6. Treat Yourself With A Night on Halong Cruise from Hanoi
While it is tough to get a spot on the cruise without reservation, tourists must have a prior booking for a night on the boat, delicious food, incredible drinks, and even a cooking class (occasionally found). The Halong Bay is the beautiful tourist destination in Vietnam, so grab tickets and hop on the Fun-Cruise! Tourists are often concerned about the high rates, but for such luxurious amenities and meals on the boat are definitely worth it. The number of cruises offers a chance for kayaking as well (Charges added on). If it doesn’t seem like you, just sit on the deck, get some food, and relax!
7. Night Market at Weekend in Hanoi
Your answer to what to do in Hanoi is spending your weekend at a Night Market. Weekends are not done without street food and shopping; Hanoi can never disappoint tourists in terms of these activities. You must spend a weekend night at the market, exploring the crazy collection of food and street vendors selling articles worth flaunting. Anything and everything can be purchased from here, and you will not be disappointed.
8. Try Egg Coffee in Hanoi
The general perception of Coffee will be wiped out from your mind once you try this great recipe, Egg Coffee. To make this Coffee, egg yolks are beaten mixed with condensed milk, and a fluffy texture comes out. This mixture is placed over a shot of Vietnamese Coffee and served hot. This beautiful and crazy experience can be explored at Giang Café. It would be best if you took a snapshot of this lovely cup of heavenly delicacy.
9. Grab Yourself Bia Hoi on the Streets
The best thing about Hanoi is that most of the beautiful activities happen on crowded streets. Bia Hoi is one of them. It is a local beer that is freshly brewed before serving. Locals often regularly have this drink, and it is something tourists must give a try. The beer is not very hard; it’s the lightest drink and is very inexpensive.
10. Learn How to Cross a Road
It is quite a challenge to walk around in Hanoi amidst all the chaotic traffic of vehicles moving on the streets and through the narrow passageways near the shops. Going down the road and not getting hit by a car is one lucky thing that can happen. Luckily, people have a trick for this chaos. Here, if you want to survive the traffic, just keep going, don’t stop! You won’t be able to cross the street if you wait, just watch out and pay attention to the warning horns.
11. Visit the Temple of Literature
Whether or not you are a fan of classical architecture, you must visit this fascinating place. The temple was founded in 1070, dedicated to Confucius. It then became a college for the students of Mandarin. The temple is surrounded by stelae dedicated to the students. Capture some moments spent here, if not in the camera, in your heart.
12. Take a Trip to Perfume Pagoda
One of Hanoi’s most beautiful stuff is to get out and leave the city and see another part of the country. Head to the Perfume Pagoda if you’re looking for a genuine local experience. The Pagoda Perfume is a collection of Buddhist temples constructed along with the Houng Tich mountain range. Chua Trong, which is situated within a cave, is here the most visited and relevant temple. As beautiful the place is, the journey to get there is even better. It would be best to take a boat (approx. one-hour ride) to the temple, which is usually ridden by women. When you’re on the site, it’s full of street food stalls and shops like a large shopping center and packed with people – but there are hardly any foreign visitors. Continue on the steps, or take the transport, to get to the top.
This list is designed to offer tourists some suggestions about unmissable experiences and crazy fun activities in Hanoi, the most happening capital city of Vietnam.