Situated on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. The city features ancient pagodas, unique museums, and colonial buildings. Take a foot tour to dive into the city's multicultural community with a Chinese, French, and Russian influence. The French Quarter and Old Quarter are the two prime neighbourhoods that divide this city, and these areas house some of the major tourist attractions. So, plan your trip to Hanoi to enjoy its delicious cuisine, vivacious nightlife and the must-see highlights of the city.
Best time to visit Hanoi:
The months of September through November and March-April are the best time to visit Hanoi. The weather is pleasant during this time, making it perfect for sightseeing. Let us take a look at the various seasons round the year to help you plan your trip better.
Spoken languages in Hanoi:
Visa and immigration requirements for Hanoi:
If you're an Indian passport holder travelling to Hanoi, then you can either apply for a visa on arrival online or through the Vietnamese Embassy in India.
To apply for a visa on arrival, fill in the online form and submit the application form. The confirmation letter with the visa status is generally processed between 4-8 working hours or maximum in 3 business days. You will need the confirmation letter along with your passport, two passport-size photos and cash payment for the stamping fee to get your passport stamped with the Vietnamese visa at the airport.
If you wish to apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in India, then you are required to download and complete a form and submit it along with the required documents at the embassy.
How to reach Hanoi:
Head to Bun Cha Ta Hanoi to enjoy the best authentic Vietnamese street food in the city. The restaurant is famous for its grilled meat, noodles, and herbs with a side dipping sauce. This is a must visit place if you crave for some street food.
Based on the 9th floor of the JM Marvel Hotel, the Marvel Restaurant is a rooftop bar that is well-known for its Vietnamese and Asian cuisine. The restaurant's unique attraction includes its magnificent design along with delicious items on the menu. If you love heights and want to enjoy the panoramic view of the city, then you must explore the Marvel Restaurant.
Located in the Old Quarter, Xoi Yen is a restaurant for meat lovers. This three-story restaurant based on the famous Nguyen Huu Huan Street offers a variety of different dishes prepared using meat. One of its favourite delicacies include a bowl of xoi xeo which is a bowl of rice topped with delectable meats, shallots and shaved bean curd.
If you are looking for a combination of great food and a mesmerizing view, then the Gourmet Corner restaurant is the perfect place to head to. Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, this award-winning restaurant offers delectable cuisine prepared from experienced chefs. Enjoy your day relishing their European, Asian, and Vietnamese cuisine options.
Hanoi is famous for silk products, ceramics, traditional Vietnamese dress, and souvenirs made from bamboo. Here is a list of all the market places you can shop from.
Hanoi Weekend Night Market
Check out this weekend night market that is organised every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the Hang Dao Street. This bustling gathering of stalls feature a range of offerings, such as fashion items, inexpensive t-shirts, souvenirs, handicrafts, sunglasses, shoes, and accessories. Along with shopping, you can also indulge in exotic food at the nearby stalls.
Dong Xuan Market
One of the largest markets of Hanoi city is the Dong Xuan Market. This four-floored market features a variety of fabrics, printed t-shirts, school uniforms, and bags. Take a stroll around the market and enjoy its lively ambience.
Lotte Center Hanoi
If you are looking to shop for branded products, then Lotte Center Hanoi shopping mall is the place for you. This one-stop shopping hub houses restaurants, a gym, a spa, a hypermarket, residential apartments, and the city's most exceptional observation deck. Located near to the Hoan Kiem Lake, the mall can be reached within 20 minutes. From watches, jewellery, shoes, handbags, and jeans, the mall offers everything you need under one roof.
Nightlife in Hanoi is no less exciting than any other capital in Southeast Asia. From nightclubs to the theatre, the city has a mix of everything you are looking for. Plan your night from a choice of best bars, clubs and live music joints available in the city.
The Bia Hoi Junction
Your visit to the city is incomplete without spending a few hours soaking up in the city's lively atmosphere. Grab the best spot outside this restaurant with your choice of beer along with a variety of exotic snacks, such as steamed peanuts, beef jerk, etc.
The Water Puppet Theatre
A must-visit place in Hanoi is the Water Puppet Theatre. The theatre is known to organise the ancient form of water puppetry. Its puppet dance show depicts stories based on ancient myths and is performed over water. The puppet show is the major attraction among the for foreign guests and hence booking tickets is highly recommended.
The Minh's Jazz Club
If you are looking for live entertainment options, then the Minh's Jazz Club won't disappoint you. The club's dark interior along with a performance by the finest Jazz musicians, will leave you awe-struck. Owned by the best Vietnamese jazz artist Minh, the crowd may at times get a chance to witness his performance. Though the drinks are not that cheap but being here is all worth it.
The Hanoi La Storia Hotel Situated in the Hoan Kiem district, the Hanoi La Storia Hotel offers spacious rooms equipped with a flat-screen TV, a kettle, and free Wi-Fi access. The hotel is at a walking distance from the Hoan Kiem Lake and is the first choice for individuals looking for street food and shopping options.
The Hanoi Cristina Hotel & Travel The Hanoi Cristina Hotel & Travel is a property that is located at a distance of less than 1 km from the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. The hotel's in-house restaurant offers Argentinian cuisine along with food options for vegans. The hotel also gives you the chance to explore the city through its bicycle rental service.
The Nova Luxury Hotel Situated at a walking distance from the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Nova Luxury Hotel is a pet-friendly property. Its air-conditioned rooms are equipped with all modern facilities offering you a luxurious stay.
The Hanoi Golden Holiday Hotel Situated at a distance of 20 km from the airport, the Hanoi Golden Holiday Hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms for your lavish vacation. The property is well-equipped with air-conditioner, fitted flat-screen TV, mini-bar, hairdryer, and an electric kettle. Its 24-hour front desk service offers assistance with luggage storage, tour arrangements, and currency exchange.
Here are some of the other places to explore in Hanoi on your trip.
The West Lake
Located in the north-western centre of Hanoi, the West Lake is a freshwater lake that is spread over an area of 500 hectares. It is the largest lake with manicured gardens, hotels, and villas surrounding it. Popularly called as the Tay Ho Lake, it is a well-liked spot among the locals and tourists. A part of the lake is divided forming another lake, called as the Truc Bach Lake. As per legends, a Chinese buffalo mistook the ringing of the pagoda’s temple bell to be its mothers call, and ran ferociously into the hollow to form the lake.
The Temple of the Jade Mountain
The Temple of the Jade Mountain is based on a small island, which is located in the Hoan Kiem Lake. Constructed in Vietnamese style, the temple is devoted to General Tran Hung Dao, who conquered the Mongols in the 13th century. The temple features prehistoric artefacts of a giant turtle weighing almost 250 kg. Visit this place to take a stroll into the city's ancient past.
The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is the city's national museum which exhibits an extensive collection of religious sculptures, folk paintings, ceramics and artwork created by well-known artists. It displays the artistic accomplishments and historical attractions. The museum's contents date back to the prehistoric times.
From ancient pagodas to distinct museums and colonial buildings, the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi has unending attractions. While in Hanoi, remember to take a walking tour of the city's hidden spot, the Train Street – a narrow street where a speeding train passes twice a day only inches from the homes in this residential neighbourhood. Also plan a visit to the Ceramic Mosaic Wall, adorned with colourful murals along the walls of the Red River dike system. The wall was set up to celebrate the 1,000th birthday of Hanoi and holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest ceramic mosaic on the planet. Exploring these hidden spots will let you experience the history and culture of Hanoi.