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3 Days in Hanoi Things to Do Where to Stay and Must Sees

Travel Tips in Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a bustling city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. If you’re planning a trip to Hanoi, here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  1. Stay in the Old Quarter: The Old Quarter is the heart of Hanoi and is where you’ll find a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, and shops. It’s also conveniently located near many of the city’s top attractions.
  2. Try the street food: Hanoi is famous for its street food scene, so be sure to sample some local dishes like pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich).
  3. Visit the temples: Hanoi is home to several beautiful temples and pagodas, such as the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. Be sure to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting these sacred sites.
  4. Watch a water puppet show: Water puppetry is a traditional Vietnamese art form that dates back centuries. Don’t miss the chance to see a show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.
  5. Explore Hoan Kiem Lake: This picturesque lake is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, with its scenic walking paths and iconic red bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple.
  6. Bargain at the markets: Hanoi is a shopper’s paradise, with markets like Dong Xuan Market and Night Market offering a wide range of goods at bargain prices. Remember to haggle for the best deals!
  7. Take a cooking class: Learn how to make authentic Vietnamese dishes by taking a cooking class in Hanoi. You’ll visit a local market to shop for ingredients and then cook up a delicious meal with the help of a skilled chef.
  8. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Pay your respects to Vietnam’s founding father by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can see his preserved body on display.
  9. Explore the Museum of Ethnology: Learn about Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups and cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, which features exhibits on traditional crafts, customs, and rituals.
  10. Get out of the city: If you have time, consider taking a day trip to the surrounding countryside to visit attractions like the Perfume Pagoda or the ancient village of Duong Lam.

Top Things to do in Hanoi / Must See Sites and Monuments to Visit in Hanoi Vietnam

  1. Hoan Kiem Lake [] – A scenic lake in the heart of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. You can stroll along the lakeside paths, visit Ngoc Son Temple, or watch the locals practice tai chi in the mornings. Admission is free.
  2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum [] – Visit the final resting place of Vietnam’s revered leader, Ho Chi Minh. The mausoleum is open to the public for viewing Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body. Admission is free, but be sure to dress respectfully.
  3. Temple of Literature [] – This well-preserved temple complex is dedicated to Confucius and is Vietnam’s first national university. Explore the beautiful gardens, courtyards, and ancient pavilions. Admission is 30,000 VND ($1.30 USD).
  4. Hoa Lo Prison [] – Also known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” Hoa Lo Prison was used by the French colonialists and later by the North Vietnamese as a prisoner of war camp. Learn about its dark history and see the exhibits on display. Admission is 30,000 VND ($1.30 USD).
  5. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre [] – Experience the ancient art of water puppetry at this traditional theater. Watch as wooden puppets dance and perform on a water stage to live music. Tickets start at 100,000 VND ($4.30 USD).
  6. Dong Xuan Market [] – Explore this bustling market in the Old Quarter, where you can shop for everything from clothing and souvenirs to fresh produce and street food. Bargain hard for the best prices!
  7. Tran Quoc Pagoda [] – Located on the West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi. Admire its stupa and intricate carvings, as well as the serene surroundings of the lake. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
  8. Museum of Ethnology [] – Learn about Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups and cultures at this museum, which features exhibits on traditional clothing, tools, and artifacts. Admission is 40,000 VND ($1.70 USD).
  9. Ngoc Son Temple [] – Located on a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple is a picturesque temple dedicated to various deities. Cross the iconic red Huc Bridge to reach the temple. Admission is 30,000 VND ($1.30 USD).
  10. Ba Dinh Square [] – This historic square is where President Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence in 1945. Visit the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, and One Pillar Pagoda. Admission is free.

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Day by Day Visit Itinerary for 3 Days in Hanoi Vietnam

Day 1:

  • Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
  • Explore the Old Quarter and shop at Dong Xuan Market
  • Have a traditional water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Day 2:

  • Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace
  • Explore the Temple of Literature
  • Take a cooking class to learn how to make Vietnamese dishes
  • Relax at a local cafe and try egg coffee

Day 3:

  • Visit the Museum of Ethnology to learn about Vietnam’s diverse cultures
  • Explore Hoa Lo Prison and learn about its history
  • Take a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda or Duong Lam village
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant

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Where to Stay in Hanoi / Top Hotels Hanoi Vietnam

Best Hotels Hanoi priced over $200 per night:

Top Rated Hotels Hanoi priced between $100 to $200 per night:

Recommended Hotels in Hanoi priced between $50 to $100 per night:

Top Hanoi Hotels priced between $20 to $50 per night:

Best Hanoi Hostels and Budget Hotels priced below $20 per night:

Please note that ratings and prices may vary depending on the season and availability. Make sure to check the current rates and availability through the provided links.

You can read more about Hanoi and Ha Long Bay in this travel guide, and enjoy your stay in Hanoi and Vietnam!

For more about Vietnam, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and other travel destinations in Vietnam, read the travel tips and see all travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.

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