COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



What to see in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions

The bustling nature of this city seamlessly synchronises with its old-world feel. This combination is the reason it is so attractive to backpackers and luxury holidaymakers alike. As if this wasn't enough, its rich history has been steeped in a mythic aura due to its relatively recent introduction to the tourist landscape.

Hanoi is as much a romantically charming city as Ho Chi Minh City is a hive of commercial interest and big-city living. Its lively merchant quarters and bar districts host tourists until first light, where cheap accommodation and drinks make the fun that much more enjoyable. During the day, museums, temples, memorials and the famous Old Quarter of Hanoi provide a myriad of cultural experiences unique to the city.

Within Hanoi's busy streets lie some of Vietnam's most tranquil cloisters and sanctuaries, tucked away from the daily flurry.

If the city lights become too bright, Sapa and Bac Ha are two nearby country getaways that offer an opportunity to experience rural Vietnam. In addition, no trip to Hanoi would be complete without a foray into Halong Bay, often accompanied by a stay at Cat Ba Island. These emerald waters are famous for their adventure activities, set in a bay littered with thousands of small islands and inlets, which are the product of a giant dragon who stormed through the bay aeons ago, according to legend.

Cat Ba island

For most, a trip in Halong Bay means at least a night on Cat Ba Island. Many enlist for a package tour of one night on the island and one on a boat, but Cat Ba is worth investing extra time in. This…

read more

Halong Bay

The natural wonder of Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for its spectacular scenery and limestone grottos and caves, the bay is peppered with over 1,600 inlets and…

read more

Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square was where Ho Chi Minh read out the Declaration of Independence in 1945, and is the site of annual national celebrations today. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum dominates the site's west side…

read more

Old Quarter

The ancient meandering streets of the Old Quarter are each named after the crafts and speciality trades traditionally practised by the original artisan's guilds in the 13th century. Each guild was…

read more

One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda was constructed to celebrate the tale of the heirless Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who dreamt about receiving a son from the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, seated on a lotus flower.…

read more

Sapa and Bac Ha

The old hill station of Sapa sits high on the edge of a plateau surrounded by spectacular scenery and the Hoang Lien Mountains, which boast Vietnam's highest peak, Fan Si Pan. Sapa functions as a market…

read more

Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)

The Temple of Literature is Vietnam's historical seat of learning and is the most sacred place for the disciples of Confucius. It is one of the few remaining buildings from the original city founded…

read more


Become our Hanoi Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Hanoi travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Hanoi or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.