Hanoi - The Capital of Vietnam is a well-known city for not only development but also culture and tourism. Even you are a Vietnamese or a foreigner when you visit Hanoi, you will be attracted by the cultures, the people, the food and the beauty here. Since Vietnam started to get more attention to our tourism, more and more people travel to Vietnam to know how beautiful, strong and developed we have become. Therefore, it would be a shame if you are a tourist but you leave this place without trying at least one of ten things below.
1. Enjoy the local food on the street
Vietnamese traditional and local food become more and more popular in the world, and we received a lot of compliments from experts. The food is not only cooking art but also the culture and tradition of Vietnam. Therefore, if you visit Hanoi, you must try to enjoy the local food on the street at least once. The food is not served in restaurants or in great serving manners, people enjoy Hanoi street food; eating and drink when sitting on the sidewalk is a hobby as well as habit. You will be fascinated by thousand kinds of popular dishes such as the legendary Pho, Bun Dau, Bun Oc, Banh Cuon, … or Bun Cha - the dish was famous for former President Obama’s favorite when he visited Vietnam. Do not forget to drink a cup of brown coffee ( coffee and milk ) or chatting with friends while drinking a glass of iced lemon tea. With only a taste, you will never forget Hanoi and dream of coming back here again. Therefore, when you arrive in Hanoi, drop your luggage at your hotel and start to enjoy the local food on the street as soon as possible please or you gonna regret it.
2. Visit the historical destinations and museums
Hanoi is also known as a city of history and memories of Vietnamese ancient civilization where there are still many ruins and historical arts and locations. If you never know Hanoi before or you are a foreigner, then you should pay these places a visit to Hanoi. Vietnam Museum Of Ethnology should be your first destination, which located at Number 1 Nguyen Van Huyen street, Cau Giay district. This proud museum is holding a lot of culture and ancient heritages. The woeful and majestic atmosphere at the same time will revive the histories of Vietnamese people in your mind. Next, you should drop by the famous Uncle Ho Mausoleum, where the greatest political leader of Vietnam rests in peace. The solemn feeling of this place will give you an unforgettable experience when you can travel and learn more about Vietnam's history and culture at the same time. If you visit Hoan Kiem Lake, please listen to the legendary story of this place. Briefly, the story tells us that the hero Le Loi borrowed the powerful sword of the turtle god to protect his kingdom from the cruel outlanders. When his kingdom was saved from the enemies; he returned the mighty sword to the turtle god at this lake. There, people built a tower to celebrate and remember this event and worship the turtle god who helps Vietnamese people to overcome the enemies in the past. Moreover, there are countless historical attractions for you to explore in Hanoi such as Long Bien Bridge, Ba Dinh Square, One-Pillar Pagoda, Jade Hill Temple... Each place not only reminds people of different stories in the past which will draw your attention and interests to the literature, traditional music and poems as well. Buddhism is a huge pride of Vietnamese people, and the evidence is thousands of pagodas, temples which are very attractive to tourists, and they come for a visit from all over the world to pray and wish for good fortunes.
3. Have a walk in the Antique Town of Hanoi
Located in the western and northern sides of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Antique Town of Hanoi includes Hoan Kiem Lake, Jade Hill Temple, Dong Xuan Market, ... and 36 busy and antique streets. Riding bikes or sitting on buses will not give you enough time to savor the beauty of these streets. Only by taking a walk, around the Hoan Kiem Lake, along the street , you can totally observe and admire the mysteriously beautiful appearances of the historical architectures. Therefore, you must have a walk in the Antique Town of Hanoi if you visit Hanoi. The Antique Town of Hanoi has become a great inspiration for artists to bring these antique images into paintings, pictures, poems, literature or even movies. Not only the landscapes impress you, but also you can meet a lot daily activities around the streets and corners. Watching these daily activities and how friendly people are, you will be free from your stresses. The atmosphere at The Antique Town of Hanoi is peaceful and calm. Therefore, people usually said, " You cannot rush in Hanoi, take it slow please!". Slow down and mix yourself with people and activities here to enjoy the art of daily life. Do not forget to visit our market to buy some souvenirs and specialties for your loved ones at Dong Xuan market, Hang Ngang street, Hang Dao street, Night market,... In addition, The Antique Town is also a land of traditional crafts which were preserved for generations. The craftsman will tell tourists more about tales and histories of traditional craft development. Just imagine, only having a walk in the Antique Town of Hanoi, you can travel and study at the same time.
4. Hire a bike and ride around the city
After walking around enough, you should hire a bike to start your journey around Hanoi. Just imagine, you are riding on a bike with your partners in the cold weather when winter is coming in Hanoi. Feeling cold on your skins but warm inside your heart are such very chilling and interesting experiences. By riding bikes at peak hours, you can also join the traffic jam in Hanoi, but do not take it negatively, because traffic jam is a special culture of Hanoi as well. This is an opportunity for you to see how developed and busy Hanoi has become in the modern era. When the sun goes down, you would stop your bikes by the river for a break and watch the beautiful sunset. Sometimes, you can encounter some street musician groups who play instruments and sing on the sidewalk. Listen to them, you will see how friendly, generous and passionate the Hanoi people are. Therefore, it is said that “Hanoi is romantic and poetic just like the city of love - Paris”. The experiences of riding bikes on the streets of Hanoi is something you will never find in any other cities. And also, the modern and antique feeling of this capital city will make you never forget.
5. Check in at local places
The young and dynamic people in Hanoi has developed a lot of great places in town, where thousands of people hang out and check-in every day. These local places are nice coffee shops, fashion stores, restaurants, or simply a place with a good view or decoration for photography. Check-in at the local places and showing nice photos on social networks are some of the young cultures of Vietnam especially Hanoi, so if you come here, drop by some local places like that and experience the culture “check-in at the local places” yourself. You gonna love it. Don't forget to ask the local people for some hidden interesting playgrounds such as The New District in Hanoi and many other weekend markets where you can satisfy your shopping passion and take part in many entertainment activities there. If you spend some time for taking part in the local groups on social networks, people will provide you with a lot of tips and lists of locations where you should check-in. Come to Hanoi and do not forget to check-in at Hanoi local places today.
6. Go shopping in Hanoi
Since Hanoi developed so fast, you can find all the shopping places here from the shopping malls to the local stores and market. Visiting the mall for shopping at high-fashion brands, watch movies, have dinner at restaurants, relax in spas, work out at luxurious gym clubs... or you can travel down the street and walk in some random fashion shops in Hanoi. It is promised that you will be surprised by our local fashion development. The local fashion stores are the best heaven for buying clothes and check-in with photos at the same time. Going shopping in Hanoi at the local fashion shops is an amazing experience. Don't forget to stop by our market, the street food here will make your stomach turns. Besides that, there are a lot of things such as souvenirs, specialties, winter clothes ... are waiting for you to choose and buy. The variety of products and food types will give you a lot of options. It is no doubt, that some people said that "Going shopping in Hanoi is like living in heaven " Furthermore, please remember to bargain for better prices when you buy something at the market because it is a kind of unwritten rule of our local market. If you are clever, charmful and smart enough in bargaining, maybe the store owners will sell something to you in a good price. A lot of people get lost, and they do not know what to do in the price bargain when they first go shopping in Hanoi, but once they know how to bargain in markets; they start to love it. Some foreigners even said that “Going to the markets and bargaining for something is more funny and interesting than going to a shopping mall.”
7. Experience the nightlife of Hanoi
At night, Hanoi dresses up for hanging out as well. All lights from streets and buildings seem like they are ready for parties. You should put on your fancy looks and start to experience the nightlife of Hanoi too. At night, Hoan Kiem Lake will turns on the colorful lights and people gather here to see how beautiful the light show is. In Hanoi, there are many streets for chilling with music and beers, and that will be the places you experience the nightlife of Hanoi. One of the nightlife places is the Beer Alley: Lost in Hong Kong. Come by and taste a cup of cold beer with your friends, you gonna be refreshed by the young and lively atmosphere here. In addition, there are many more places with music, food, and beer around the city, where you can talk and chill until the early morning. Hanoi wants to show you that Hanoi does not sleep at night as well due to a lot of great and interesting activities when the sun goes down. Now, nobody dares to say the capital is boring right !? Do not need to attend the bars, clubs or lounges, only sitting on the street and enjoy some beer bring you so much fun already. If you still feel bored, let’s experience the nightlife of Hanoi, and you gonna change your mind.
8. Get up early and go jogging around Hoan Kiem Lake
If Hanoi is busy and lively at night, it is calm and peaceful in the morning. Only when you get up early and go jogging around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can feel the cold breeze and fresh airs when all the vehicles are still as sleep. Put on your sneakers and go jogging around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can see some Hanoi people are doing aerobic or constitutional exercises, and some are taking their pets for walks. At some food stalls along the streets, the crowd is gathering for breakfast. The parents are taking their children to schools. Somewhere on the sidewalks, the workers are still cleaning the streets to keep the city clean for a new busy day.
The image is totally different from the noisy and crowded capital people usually see in daylight. You get up early and o jogging around Hoan Kiem Lake, and then stop at a stalls for some hot milk and breakfast will make you feel healthy and balanced. Believe us, it will be a very simple but good experience, and if you can keep it as your hobby or habit, it will be very great for your health. Therefore, you should not be lazy, get up earlier when you are in Hanoi and go jogging around Hoan Kiem Lake now.
9. Go sightseeing on a pedicab
It is very normal to go sightseeing, but it will be very strange and interesting if you go sightseeing on a pedicab. You can pay the riders some money, and they will take you around the city from the main streets to the narrow roads, around the roundabout, to the crossroads only on a pedicab. On the journey on a pedicab, you can sightsee and listen to the city tales told by the pedicab riders. You know that, this vehicle is an old-fashion one but also favorite option of tourists because they can slowly observe the city and landscapes without riding the bikes themselves. You are Vietnamese, and you think this feeling is too familiar, but you should give it a try because it will surprise you. Go sightseeing on a pedicab is great and still preferred as the best way for tourists to explore the city without getting lost. It will also a way to preserve and develop tourism in a little antique way of Hanoi.
10. Travel to the suburban areas of Hanoi
If you already explore a lot in the central of Hanoi, you can start to travel to the suburban areas of Hanoi. There are many famous and magnificent locations for you to visit. Halong Bay is an example. There are a lot of rock mountains and stalactite caves where you can visit and explore. It is sure that you will be shocked and admired by the gifts of beauty from nature. Halong Bay is crowded with tourists every day. This place is acknowledged as the natural wonder of the world. Therefore, the beauty of mother nature here will not make you disappoint. Visit this place at once and you will be enchanted for a long time. Moreover, there are many other tourist attractions are waiting for you in suburban areas of Hanoi such as Tram Mountain, Ba Vi National Garden, Duong Lam Ancient Village, Quan Son Lake… Each locations will have a lot of different stories and beauties for you to explore and experiences yourself.
Hanoi is not only the capital of Vietnam but also the city of beauty, art, culture and people. Each person come here will have different opinions, different memories as well as experiences, and when they leave Hanoi, they will also have different thoughts. However, we all know that, once they visit Hanoi, they gonna love this place and they will come back someday for more exciting journeys and passion. Do not worry! Hanoi and all the best things are ready here, if you come to Hanoi these are 10 things you must try.
Don't forget to check out Hanoi common scams & How to avoid Hanoi scams.