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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 29, 2019
Headline for 10 best things to do in Hanoi Vietnam –Delight the explorer in you in the ancient capital of Vietnam!
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 best things to do in Hanoi Vietnam –Delight the explorer in you in the ancient capital of Vietnam!

Hanoi is a city thousands of years old with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. You will never run out of things to see in this fascinating capital of Vietnam.


Imperial City Thang Long

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a history dating back to 1300 years. At 40 meters in height, the Imperial Citadel‘s central tower flag is a symbol of Vietnam and was part of ancient Hanoi as the centre of political activity for eight centuries.


Water Puppet Theatre

Water puppetry has an extensive history in Hanoi. There are quite a few theatres to enjoy the Vietnamese version of water puppetry. The most authentic and widely considered theatre is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Experience folk stories such as Sword of King Le and the tale of the lake and giant tortoise.


Perfume Pagoda

Built-in the 15th Century this dramatic Buddhist temple complex is built into a mountain range with a maze of alleys surrounding it. The area is exquisite with rich forests and streams surrounding the temple complex.


Ba Vi National Park

It is a nature reserve located two hours away from Hanoi. The many stunning landscapes include a three-peaked mountain peering from above the clouds. The range of wildlife is diverse and you can find natural hot springs in the park. The summit of the tallest mountain has a temple dating back to the 11th century overlooking fantastic views of Hanoi.


Hanoi old quarter

It is an interesting place with a vibrant atmosphere with great samples of colonial construction and architecture featured along its narrow streets. The streets are usually busy with motorbikes, scooters, cars and bicycles. There are vendors selling souvenirs local produce and fruits, with corner stop shops selling decadent Vietnamese food.


Temple of Literature

This temple was originally a centre of learning and devoted to the memory of Chinese sage Confucius. Over its thousand years of history, many buildings and structures have been constructed within its premises and a beautiful garden occupies the surroundings with many ornate pavilions and shrines.


Explore the coffee culture

Vietnam has delightful coffee treats to indulge in. Try their iconic ice coffee made with condensed milk and the local egg coffee which is a cross between a beverage and a dessert. If you are looking for a Hanoi hotel a good choice is Pan Pacific Hanoi, conveniently located close to most of these attractions.


Don Xuan Market

It is the largest market in Hanoi located inside a four-story Soviet styled building. The market has a wide range of goods to offer, apparel, jewellery, souvenirs, T-shirts and cheap sunglasses. The ground floor has an interesting space where you can see local traders go about their business and there is also a wide array of authentic local produce to browse through.


Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son

Also known as Turtle Lake it is an iconic attraction in Hanoi and a popular hang-out spot for locals and tourists. Ngoc Son is a temple that sits at the middle of the lake on a small island, the area is usually crowded early mornings and late evenings with joggers and those practising Tai Chi.


Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The former prime minister is a revered figure in Vietnam. Fondly nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’, his preserved body is open for viewing. The building is modelled after Lenin's tomb and worth a visit to experience as it is an important part of Vietnamese history.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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