Hanoi is a magical city, and as soon as you step foot in it you’ll understand why! It is a unique place where you can immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and embrace everything it has to offer. There is plenty to do in Hanoi, and we would definitely recommend spending more than one day there. However, we have put together a guide on how to spend just one day in the city to help with your itinerary!
Wake up Early and Grab a Vietnamese Ice Coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee will be the best iced coffee you’ll ever try. Made with strong dark roast coffee, ice and condensed milk, this sweet treat is the ideal way to kickstart a day of exploring. Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam in the mid 1850’s, however because of their limited dairy farming, condensed milk was used instead of fresh milk. This gives it a deliciously creamy and sweet taste, however, the strong dark coffee cuts through it, balancing the flavours perfectly. Watch the city go by as you sip and have a nice slow morning.
Take a Stroll Around Hoan Kiem Lake
A morning stroll around the lake is a fantastic way to get to know the city. Learn all about the myths that surround this famous lake and try to spot the turtle at the centre of them! If you take a seat on one of the many benches, you may even be in for a conversation with some Vietnamese school children trying to practice their English. Morning is the perfect time for this walk, before the midday heat gets too much!
We take all of our Dragon’s to explore the Lake and see the temple at its centre on our Vietnam to Cambodia tour, check out the full itinerary HERE!
Visit the Vietnamese Women’s Museum
This is one of the best museums in South East Asia. It is an inspiring and fascinating insight into the lives of Women in Vietnam and celebrating all they do for their country and their families. A moving and emotional exhibition of their role during the Vietnam War is well worth the visit. The museum offers a beautiful collection of women’s stories from everyday simple accounts to heroic fairy tales. You can easily spend an hour or two visiting this incredible museum.
Make this your free time activity on our Thailand to Laos Tour, check out the full itinerary HERE!
Go Shopping in the Old Quarter
Every street in the Old Quarter is conveniently named after what it sells, expect to see the Street of Silk, the Street of Sugar, the Street of Fish Sauce, and even the Street of Chickens. This makes for an interesting and humorous shopping trip as you wander down the hectic and busy streets of Hanoi!
After your shopping trip join the rest of our Dragons on a free bar crawl through the old quarter on our 31 day South East Asia tour, check it out HERE!
Eat a Banh Mi on the Railway Tracks
The railway tracks that run through the city are a key sight to see. When a train hurtles through you won’t understand how it fits through the cobbled streets. One of the best ways to experience this is to sit in a cafe on the tracks. As the locals get the warning of a train coming through they’ll quickly tell you to get up, move the tables and chairs and stand well out of the way, it’s an exciting way to eat your lunch! Try and find a Banh Mi vendor, as it’s the best sandwich you’ll ever try! It is rich in incredible South East Asian flavours, and available on every street corner. It is a baguette filled with meat or egg, and crunchy flavour-filled vegetables and a special sauce.
Spend an Evening at a Late Night Showing at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
This traditional performance is a must-see in Hanoi. The show tells the story of rural farmers and Vietnamese myths as the puppets dance on water. It is a truly unique performance, and combined with the beautiful music and lights, it is one you’ll never forget!
Spend your free evening visiting this theatre on the 31 day South East Asia Tour, check out the full itinerary HERE!