Hanoi Travel Guide – What is the best time to travel?
The best time to visit Hanoi is in the autumn, around August, September and October. Ideally, you should go to Hanoi in September or October. At this time, the rainy season in Hanoi usually ended, which made the weather dry and the sunlight not too strong. At the same time, the temperature is moderate and the air is cool. All of the above factors create the best conditions for travelers to book a Hanoi adventure.
For travelers who prefer cold weather, the last months of the year like November and December will be a not bad suggestion. Coming to Hanoi around this time, visitors can also enjoy many delicious winter specialties in Hanoi.
How to get there
If you are far from Ha Noi and have abundant funds, the airplane is the most suitable means of transportation to Hanoi. Or else, you can choose the train to save money as well as visit other tourist destinations on the road.
If you are in the neighboring provinces, not too far from Hanoi, you can choose to go by coach or motorbike. Motorbike is the most popular means because it is economical and brings many interesting feelings.
How to get around in Ha Noi
Visiting Hanoi, you can use some popular transportations:
Motorbike: You can explore the city on your own by renting a motorbike or calling grab. The renting fees range from 50k – 200k/day depending on the type of motorbike or scooter.
Taxi: If you go with others, you can choose a taxi. Although the price is quite high, it will help you get to any place you want safely and quickly.
Cyclo: You can move by cyclo to visit the old town. Most tourists come here to choose cyclo to move to tourist destinations in Hanoi. You can directly call one because there’s a lot cyclos in the area of the lake.
Bus: This type of public transport is extremely familiar to residents as well as visitors to Hanoi. Ticket price for each trip is quite cheap, only 7,000 – 9,000 VND.
Tram: is a new green tourist vehicle of Hanoi. You can also choose the tram to travel to the sights to fully explore a civilized, modern and serene Hanoi
Hanoi Travel Guide – Where to stay
If you are anxious to find a place to stay when traveling in Hanoi, the only worry is probably not knowing where to choose among the countless choices. Hotels in Hanoi have all segments, from space, to quality of service, in order to bring a most memorable trip for visitors.
In general, the price of rooms and hotels in Hanoi is usually not too high and quite diverse. If you choose the motel, the budget hotel will only cost about 150,000 – 300,000 VND for a day. If you choose the hotel from three stars or more, the amount will increase gradually, even millions. So travelers should consider choosing the space that suits your needs and conditions.
If you like an affordable price, you can learn about the 3-star hotel segment in Hanoi. Names like Church Legend Hotel Hanoi, Rising Dragon Palace Hotel, Atrium Hotel, May De Ville Legend Hotel … still ensure a comfortable resting place, quite close to the old town center, convenient for the discovery of friend. Selecting comfortable rooms and good prices will help travelers save a significant cost for the trip to Hanoi.
Places to visit in Hanoi
If anyone asks what is beautiful about Hanoi, it’s easy to answer. Hanoi is beautiful because there is an ancient Turtle tower, mossy roofs in the old town, a majestic Uncle Ho’s mausoleum, and a magnificent West Lake… Let’s review many interesting things to do in Ha Noi:
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is a famous landscape in Hanoi and recognized as the heart of Hanoi capital. Under the Le Dynasty, Hoan Kiem Lake was named Thuy Quan Lake. According to legend, at Thuy Quan Lake, King Le returned the sword of the golden turtle. Hence, Hoan Kiem Lake got its name. Its location is connected between the old quarters (Hang Ngang, Hang Dao…) with the Western Quarter planned by the French more than a century ago. This Western Quarter includes Bao Khanh, the Church, Trang Thi, Hang Bai, Hang Khay, and Ba Trieu… Hoan Kiem Lake is the central area of Hanoi capital, so you can get here easily by personal or public transport.
In the middle of the lake is the ancient Turtle Tower. The tower is surrounded by cultural and historical heritage such as Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge leading to Dac Nguyet, Dai Nghien… These are symbols that make up the beauty of a thousand years of civilized capital. With a fresh and pure space, this place is popular with young people and is chosen by couples to take wedding photos. Not only that, Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the attractions for domestic and foreign tourists. You can choose a hotel in Hoan Kiem district to facilitate sightseeing and hanging out near the lake.
Uncle Ho’s mausoleum
Uncle Ho’s mausoleum will definitely be a destination that you cannot ignore when visiting Ha Noi. Located on Hung Vuong – Dien Bien Street, this is the place to keep the remains of President Ho Chi Minh. In Hanoi, everyone wants to visit Uncle Ho’s mausoleum once. In addition, there is Ba Dinh Square where Uncle Ho read the declaration of independence giving birth to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Here you can also visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum to keep a lot of Uncle Ho’s memorabilia. It is a very interesting sightseeing spot for those who are first coming to Hanoi.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on a small peninsula east of West Lake. The 1,500-year-old pagoda is considered the oldest in Hanoi. Moreover, it has recently been named in the list of the 16 most beautiful temples in the world voted by the Daily Mail (UK). The temple is a place to keep the religious and historical values attracting many Buddhists and tourists to visit.
The Cathedral is located at 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. In general, the building is the European Gothic style, but still has a combination with Vietnamese architecture. This indigenous style is shown in the terracotta tile roof system and the traditional Vietnamese interior decoration. Therefore, it is the product of an extremely unique East-West cultural exchange.
St.Joseph’s Cathedral is considered the typical church architecture. Moreover, it is also one of the most beautiful Catholic churches of the capital and the whole country. Traveling to Hanoi, visitors will surely not to miss this attractive place.
West Lake is located in the Northwest of Hanoi inner city with an area of about 500ha. The road around the lake is nearly 20 km long. This is the most romantic corner in the colorful picture of Hanoi. It is the world of clear winds, liberal and poetic. West Lake is not only a fun place in Hanoi that attracts visitors but it also contains national cultural values. So choosing a West Lake view hotel to fully view the lake landscape is something that visitors cannot miss when arriving in the capital. Around the lake are now more than 20 temples and pagodas that have been ranked with many famous monuments.
Interesting tourist attractions near Hanoi
Besides the famous scenic spots in the city, do not miss the interesting suburban places to visit in Ha Noi that I suggest:
Bat Trang pottery village
Bat Trang pottery village is located along the Red River in Gia Lam district, suburban Hanoi. It produces a wide variety of products including types and designs. It also includes fine art items such as statues and reliefs, high technology, breeding animals, flower pots, wall-mounted plates, etc. The most interesting thing when visiting Bat Trang pottery village is directly visiting artisans who make extremely delicate products. Especially, you can mold your favorite products by yourself.
Duong Lam Ancient Village
Located more than 50 km from the capital, Duong Lam ancient village is a popular tourist destination near Hanoi. This is the first ancient village in Vietnam awarded by the State with the National Historical and Cultural Heritage in 2006. Until now, this is the only village in the country that still preserves the ancient architecture and routine of an ancient Vietnamese village 300 years ago. In addition, Duong Lam also has many valuable historical sites such as Phung Hung communal house, Ngo Quyen temple,…
Tourists can take a bus from the center of Hanoi to Son Tay, then continue by taxi to the village gate. Entrance ticket: 20,000 – 25,000 VND / person.
Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism
This national village in Dong Mo – Ngai Son (Son Tay town) is a place to recreate the unique cultural values of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. It is an ideal destination for locals as well as foreigners to understand the ethnic policy of Vietnam.
Tram mountain is in Phung Chau commune, Chuong My district. It is located about 30 km from Hanoi center. To get here, you drive along Highway 6 toward Hoa Binh, Chuc Son town, Chuong My district. Then there will have signs turn right to Tram Pagoda. This is a beautiful spot and great for day picnics or overnight camping. If you stay at Tram Mountain overnight, you will be immersed in the magical scenery at sunset or watch the white mist at dawn.
There are still many famous tourist attractions in Ha Noi that should not be missed, including Temple of Literature, Hanoi Opera House, Hanoi Old Quarter, Ba Vi National Park, etc… You can find more interesting places in our Top 10 places to visit in Hanoi.
Hanoi Travel Guide – What to eat
Pho is the first dish that you should enjoy when coming to Hanoi. Famous pho shops such as Pho burden in Hang Trong. The shop is a small street vendor, located on the sidewalk. with only a small chair. The shop is only opened in the afternoon. This is a long-standing restaurant. Although there is no comfortable dining place, but many people come to the shop. They have to queue and wait for a long time.
Some delicious pho addresses in Hanoi:
- Pho Ly Quoc Su: No. 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
- Pho Bat Dan: No. 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
- Pho Thin Lo Duc: 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi.
Bun cha (Vietnamese Meatballs)
The dish is made from grounded meat, grilled and seasoned. Then it is shaped into round pieces and put on the grill on embers until the yellow patties are riddled and smell good. The dipping sauce is a sweet and sour fish sauce with vinegar, garlic, chili, pepper mixed with thin and sweet green papaya. This dish comes with vermicelli and raw vegetables and perilla leaves.
List of delicious places you can visit to enjoy:
- Huong Lien: 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi.
- Dac Kim: No.1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
La Vong grilled fish
La Vong grilled fish is a famous specialty of Hanoi, present in almost everywhere. This dish is prepared as follows: Fish is fried in a small oil pan. Serve with baked pies, vermicelli, roasted peanuts, cilantro, basil, dill, freshly chopped onions with shrimp sauce.
The sauce is prepared with lemon juice, chili pepper, Ca Cuong oil, a few drops of white wine, a spoon of fat and sugar, and then beat to foam. This dish has a sweet taste, fleshy and fat leopard.
To enjoy La Vong grilled fish with the “standard” taste, you should go to No. 14 Cha Ca, Hoan Kiem.
Bun Thang (Hanoi combo noodle soup)
Bun Thang is a dish containing many quintessential features of Hanoi cuisine. Ingredients for making bun thang include shredded chicken, fried egg, shredded pork rolls. The broth is cooked from bones and prawns. To have delicious broth, it must be clear water, with a slight aroma and the smell of shrimp sauce.
I want to suggest some delicious that many people like:
- Cau Go: 48 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
- Hang Hom: 11 Hang Hom Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Banh com (Young rice cake)
Up to now, only Nguyen Ninh restaurant at 11 Hang Than is still able to keep the traditional manual rice cake making. The young rice cake has the green outside and innermost layer iss yellow green bean paste. The cake has the greasy smell of coconut and green beans. Coming to Hanoi, you should remember to buy young rice cakes as a gift.
Banh cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice rolls)
Banh cuon is a popular dish of Hanoi people. The ingredients include rice milled into flour, then mixed with water. After that, it is coated on the stove into thin pieces of sticky cake. The filling is made from pork, shiitake mushrooms. When the bread is rolled over, sprinkle with an additional shrimp paste. This dish is served with fish sauce, ca cuong and roasted cinnamon pork.
The best places to eat banh cuon are:
- Ba Hoanh: 66 To Hien Thanh.
- Thanh Van: 81 Le Van Huu.
Bun dau mam tom (Vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste)
A food that everyone who comes to Hanoi wants to enjoy once. The way to make this dish delicious is in the way of preparing shrimp paste. The chef must choose a good type of sauce,add chili, squeeze and whip until the sauce is fluffy. A bowl of rich shrimp sauce, dotted with a steaming medium-sized tofu, a greasy sticky rice ball or a hot pork will melt your taste buds.
The most famous places to eat Bun dau mam tom:
- Bun dau Hang Khay: 31 Hang Khay.
- Bun dau Phan Huy Ich: 54 Phan Huy Ích.
Pho cuon (Rolled Pho)
The fresh and delicious Pho with beef and herbs inside, dipped with fish sauce is a Hanoi snack that is hard to resist. To enjoy this delicacy, you can go to the Pho restaurant in Ngu Xa or on Quan Thanh street. In addition to pho, these restaurants also sell delicious fried pho, egg fried pho etc.
Ha Noi Travel Expense
Cost may be different based on the time you visit Hanoi but here is our suggestion as Hanoi travel guide expense in 2020.
For a large room with 10 – 16 people, the price for dorm beds start from 120,000VND (5$). This price for a smaller dorm with 6 – 8 people is from 140,000VND to 200,000VND (7$ – 9$). A private room is also available with the price of 350,000 VND/night (15$) for a single room and 470,000 VND (20$) for a double room. Most hostels in Ha Noi offer free breakfast and self-catering facilities. If you require a kitchen, make sure to double-check your kitchen.
Budget hotel prices
The price for a two-star hotel starts from 350,000 VND (15$) and increases slightly depending on the location of the hotel and the amenities included. Most hotels provide free Wifi and free breakfast. For a hotel with a pool, the price will be around 400,000 VND (17$)per night.
You can also choose Airbnb. Visitors are expected to pay around 300,000 VND (13$) per night for a shared room or around 450,000 VND (20$) for an entire house or apartment.
Average cost of food
Food in Hanoi is delicious and extremely cheap, especially at the street vendors. The local vendors around the city are an important part of the culture and serve the best food. A good bowl of pho shouldn’t cost more than 50,000 VND (22$). And for Banh mi, the price is about 25,000 VND (1$). If you choose a sit-down restaurant for your meals, it might cost around 50,000 VND to 90,000VND (2-4$).
Suggested Budgets for Hanoi Backpackers
For a backpacker, you can enjoy Hanoi for as little as 550,000 VND (23$) per day. This budget covers a stay in a large hostel dorm, eating street food for all of your meals, limiting your drinking, and using the public bus system. A higher budget of about 1,300,000 VND (56$) per day will provide you more. It can cover a private two-star hotel room, food at street vendors and sometimes at a restaurant, and a few Grabs around town.
Above is the essential information that you cannot ignore in your Hanoi backpackers guide. Hopefully this information will help you have a good trip to discover the beautiful of the capital!