Awesome things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

By: Nofar Ronen

Hanoi is so awesome. It’s a city of chaos that works somehow and that has all the Vietnamese street food you can imagine. You can spend days after days just wandering around and trying as many dishes as you can.
The nightlife there is awesome because you can drink cheap beer and enjoy the cool atmosphere of the city.

Where to sleep in Hanoi?

If you are looking for a place that will cost you about $14 per night, then I recommend Hanoi Home Hotel.

If you’re traveling with a larger budget and can afford $50 per night, I recommend Romance Hotel.

Free tour in the old quarter

Hanoi Free Tours is a company that offers free tours (based on tips). The guides there are Vietnamese students who work in this company in order to practice their English and to earn some money.

Our guide was an 18-year-old guy that speaker English really well. The tour was for about 3 hours. We were the only ones in this tour (just me and Roman) so it was like a private tour and it was awesome.

Our guide told us about the history of Hanoi and Vietnam in general, he knew a lot of stuff. He shared with us stories about the way he lives. We asked him many questions and he was so nice and answered everything. He even took us to his favorite place to eat sandwiches and to a hidden gem to drink coffee with a view to the lake. He also gave us tips and recommendations.
I really recommend this type of tour. The company offers other tours too, like in the French quarter or a food tour.

Water park inside a mall – Vinpearl Water Park

Update from 2024 : the waterpark closed permanently

A great option for a rainy day. It’s a great way to spend your day. I wrote more about it in the post “Water Park Inside a Mall in Hanoi, Vietnam”. Also, in the mall there are other activities, like 3d movies and ice skating so those are also great options

A Snake meal in the Snake Village

An amazing, exotic, and tasty experience. If you are looking for an adventurous meal this is something you have to try. The whole experience is unforgettable. We went there with an Austrian couple we met in Tam Coc and we had an amazing time. You can read more about it in the post “Exotic and Unforgettable Snake Meal in the Snake Village Hanoi Vietnam

Wander around the old quarter and try local food

The streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi are magical. They’re so crowded and with so much noise and everywhere you look there is street food and local restaurants which are the charm of Hanoi. I can’t describe it in words. You have to be there to understand. Some people hate it and think it’s too noisy, but I fell in love with this city the moment my feet stepped on it.

If you love street food you will get lost with all the profusion of options. Just explore the city and try everything you see 🙂

Help the locals practice their English

Another cool thing about Hoan Kiem Lake, is if you sit there, there is a big chance that a local student will approach you and ask if they can practice their English with you. I met a cute girl in high school and we talked for about 20 minutes. I asked her about her life and she asked me about Israel and it was awesome. We took selfies 🙂 She was so nice and very shy and I really liked this opportunity to talk with a local and also to help her with her English.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

A really interesting museum about Vietnamese Women during the years. It’s about the women in the Vietnamese war, about the way they raised their kids, and much more. What we loved about this museum is that you get an audio headphone in the entrance and in each display you can hear in the headphones the story about it. It makes it more realistic and more detailed. Like with a tour guide.

Ticket price: about 2.5 usd including the audio headphones

Address: 36 Lý Thường Kiệt, Hang Bai ward, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Opening hours: every day 08:00-17:00

Phone: +84 4 3825 9129

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

The museum gives information about Vietnam and all its ethnic groups. It has really interesting displays including different houses and buildings in the gardens. The museum offers a real insight into the cultural and family aspects of the Vietnamese people.

Price ticket; about 2 usd

Address: Nguyễn Văn Huyên, Nghĩa Đô, Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 08:30-17:30. Closed on Monday

Phone: +84 4 3756 2192

Hoan Kiem Lake

This is the main lake in Hanoi. We really loved to buy cold coffee or a fruit shake for take-away and to go to sit near the lake. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. You can spend hours just sitting there

There are more things to do in Hanoi, many museums, many types of tours and many, many food options. I really recommend to come to this city with an open mind and to focus on the unique experience that you won’t have anywhere else in the world. Just one last tip, when you cross the road, walk fast, straight forward and don’t stop in the middle 🙂

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