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Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world, where travellers can find well-preserved colonial buildings, ancient pagodas, and unique museums within the city centre. A great place to explore on foot, this French-colonial city is also known for its delectable cuisine, vibrant nightlife, silks and handicrafts, as well as a multi-cultural community that’s made up of Chinese, French and Russian influences.

Hanoi Weather Overview

Hanoi weather is characterized as a subtropical climate with high humidity with four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter with two main season: dry and wet.

In wet season which is also summer, lasting from May to September, Hanoi receive rich and high temperature solar radiation while also is influenced by the ocean climate, making Hanoi to have high humidity and heavy rainfall.

During this season, the temperature can reach up to 40 degree Celsius and the rains can flood the streets but flooding happen not so often like in Ho Chi Minh city. In the hottest days (June-July), high temperature can remain until midnight. However, with the use of air-con in almost every building, you can always escape the heat.

The dry season lasts from December to around February, bringing a totally different weather patterns to the city. Temperature can drop low to 10 degree Celsius which can be a lot worse than you expect due to these factors: wind chill, humidity and lack of building insulation. Unlike in summer you can escape the heat easily, it’s almost futile to get away from the cold in winter.

However, rainfall in winter is much lesser than in summer, resulting in much safer weather to travel to higher areas.

Please check the below table to have the general idea of Hanoi weather throughout the year:

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 20.1 16.8 13.7
Feb 21.1 18.7 16.3
Mar 24.2 21.7 19.4
Apr 28.1 24.9 22.1
May 33.6 29.1 25.3
Jun 34.2 30 26.3
Jul 33 29.2 26
Aug 32.8 29 25.9
Sep 31.3 27.8 24.9
Oct 30.3 26.2 22.8
Nov 26.4 23.3 20.4
Dec 20.7 17.6 14.4

 

Best time to go to Hanoi

Spring from February to April and autumn from October-November is the best time to visit the city. Hanoi has a humid subtropical climate with lots of precipitation that is common in northern Vietnam. It means that the summers are scorching, coupled with rainfall and high humidity.

Hanoi’s summer months are also its monsoon months. Winters, on the other hand, are cold and dry. Try to plan your trip around Dong Nhan Temple Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Liberation day when things are bright and festive all around the city. However, one can experience the true cultural fiesta during the Tet festival and Co Loa festival in the month of February to get a taste of authentic Hanoi style.

However, a word of caution! Hanoi’s weather can get unpredictable, especially with the growing influence of Global warming. The weather can change anytime, yet there is an overall generalised understanding of its climatic conditions that can be kept in mind while travelling.

Seasonal Weather Guide

Hanoi in Peak Season 

The spring season, from February to April along with the fall season from October to November are considered to be the peak seasons and also the best time to visit Hanoi.

From February to April the city is not too hot and exploring the many beautiful tourist sites of the city can be undertaken with ease. By the end of February, the chill is beginning to give way to a mild, pleasant dry climate. The average temperature ranges from 15-20 degrees Celsius, and it is also the perfect time for the fields and plants to blossom, giving way to beautiful rural and natural landscapes.

Locals and tourists alike, wait for October. The constant rains during the summer months of May-September give way to one of the best seasons to travel to Hanoi. The average temperature is about 25 degrees, and the cold air and warm sun make for the ideal weather — the landscape changes to hues of yellow and golden that are splendidly scattered throughout the terrain. The fall also brings with it, bright blue skies.

Hanoi in Off Season 

The summer months from May-September, which are also the official monsoon months of Hanoi and the winter months from December-January, are considered off seasons for tourists. The summers are scorching with temperatures hovering around 33 degrees. Heavy rains are frequent during the summers, which may range from slight drizzles to thunderstorms. Due to the high humidity accompanied by the precipitation, the summers are not the best time to venture into the outdoors. However, it is an excellent time to stay in the air-conditioned malls, enrol in cooking classes or jump into the swimming pool.

The winter months of December and January witness temperature dropping to 10 degrees Celsius. The winter temperatures give way to sunny, warm weather that one relates to many Southeast Asian cities.

Hanoi is different in that sense because its winters can get cold. With high humidity and windy conditions, the cold only increases. The day temperature may max out at 20 degrees and getting outdoors with warm clothing is a must. Compared to summers, winters are far more manageable and do see an influx of more tourists in comparison. The winter holiday season is a busy time and making bookings in advance is advisable.

Hanoi in Spring (February – April) 

Weather

Cold temperatures and slight precipitation are the main highlights of the spring season of Hanoi. The temperatures begin to rise in February after a cold January. In February the temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius with clear skies, though the humidity may reach to 70%. March and April are the best months to visit Hanoi, with temperatures ranging between 20-24 degrees. The blue skies, as well as the mild temperature, are perfect for exploring Hanoi’s many attractions by foot too. Visit the Hoan Kiem Lake or the One Pillar Pagoda, besides whetting the appetite on some of the most sumptuous foods of Hanoi, such as Pho, Bun Cha and Xoi.

Festivals in Spring

Springtime is also Hanoi’s festival time. The city hosts many festivals and celebrations, the most important one being the Tet Festival. The Tet Nguyen Dan festival, called fondly as Tet festival, takes place usually during the end of January or early-mid February. The city is in frenzied favour with colourful cultural outpourings.

The streets are decorated and lit up and the locals are in their best dresses. There are also special celebrations by various hotels and resorts. However, the Tet holidays could also mean that most of the accommodations and modes of travel are booked out and some attractions, such as a few museums and shops may remain closed. Tet is the best time to witness the cultural intricacies of the nation that is in the mood of celebrations.

The Co Loa Festival in February takes place in the Co Loa Citadel and is known for wrestling and crossbow shootings, whereas, the Dong Festival in March in the Gia Lam district in Hanoi has special martial arts performances by famous masters.  Another popular festival, the Le Mat Festival is usually celebrated in March and takes place in the Le Mat Village in the Hanoi district. The Keo Pagoda Festival is held in spring and autumn and celebrated with palanquin procession, swimming race and traditional dances.

Hanoi in Summer/Monsoon (May-September) 

Weather 

The summer and monsoon seasons of Hanoi are hot, oppressive, and wet. There are thunderstorms and slight drizzles which continue for long hours. This makes it even more difficult to venture out and explore the city landscapes. May, however, is still not too hot as compared to the other summer months. The temperature in May is around 28 degrees Celsius, and the skies are still relatively clear.

However, with the onset of June, the summer begins in full force, with temperatures ranging from 29-33 degree Celsius. The highest temperatures in summer could also touch 40 degrees. June is usually the hottest month and also the month when the rainfall starts. July and August see the maximum rainfall that is usually as high as 200mm and more.

The average temperature in July and August averages around 29 degrees. In September there is a slight fall in temperature averaging at 27 degrees and rainfall dips to a little more than 150mm. However, throughout the summer months, the humidity remains high crossing 75%. The high temperatures coupled with rain are the main reasons why the summers are considered Hanoi’s offseason. However, this means that the tariffs are less and accommodations and bookings easier and more affordable.

Tips for Travellers

Armed with a raincoat and umbrella, one can catch a few hours of outdoors sunshine, yet the unpredictable climate can make planning sightseeing tours go off in minutes. However, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep one busy in Hanoi too. Enrol in a cooking class or watch the rain drizzle from the window of a café while reading your favourite book. Besides, there are also a few festivals during the monsoon and summer months that can excite travellers to take the sweaty plunge.

Festivals in Summer

The Chem Temple Festival in June which involves a water procession which consists of Dragon boats, the bullfighting festival of Do son Buffalo in August and the Dong Nhan Temple Festival are some of the monsoon festivals of the city.

However, the most popular festival of this season is the fun-filled Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated in September. The lakes of Hanoi are especially beautified and thronged by locals and tourists, as lanterns soar to the sky and puppet shows, lion dances and exciting food stalls get crowded on the ground.

Hanoi in Fall (October-November) 

Weather

The most visited months of Hanoi- October and November - have glorious weather and clear skies. The temperatures range from 24-27 degrees in the fall season with rainfall less than 100mm and clear blue skies. Although leaves wither in some parts, there are a different variety of flowers that bloom in Fall.

It is also the best time to venture out and explore the surrounding destinations of Hanoi. Visit the various city attractions, such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the West Lake, Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, Temple of Jade Mountain or Dong Xuan Market.

Shop at its many local shopping centres or dine at the popular restaurants. Better stroll along the hawker crowded streets of Old Quarter to discover the city’s past. Or enjoy the delicious platter of street food, hopping from one stall to another. The mild weather is the perfect way to explore the outdoors, shop and gobble the street food without caring much about the heat, sweat, rain or chill. There are also many events and festivals to look forward to in autumn.

The Liberation Day is celebrated on 10th October, the day when in 1954 Hanoi was liberated after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Keo Pagoda Festival is held usually in October at the pagoda in the Thai Binh province with boat races, drum and trumpet competitions.

Hanoi in Winter (December-January) 

It does get freezing during winter in Hanoi. Warm clothes, jackets are an essential part of the wardrobe if one wants to move out. The temperatures average at 17 degrees but can drop to less than 10 degrees too.

The low temperatures are further accompanied by winds and high humidity making it feel much colder than the actual temperatures. Also, many buildings lack heating and insulation. There is hardly any rainfall with the average precipitation less than 50mm. The skies are usually cloudy and the weather - foggy. The holiday season coupled with events and festivals is a reason enough to vacation in Hanoi during winters. It is also the time to enjoy the warm street foods while chilling in the cold.

A cup of hot coffee with noodles is just the right thing for a chilly evening. Pay a visit to the Hanoi Cathedral on Christmas Eve or shop at the Christmas market in Old Quarters. You can look forward to the Annual Flower Festival that takes place in the last week of December. The Tet Festival may fall at the end of January, depending on the dates of the lunar calendar. Thus, it is best to check the dates of the festival beforehand.

Hanoi's current weather and 7-day forecast

HANOI WEATHER

Hanoi is actually over 1000 years old so the wealth of history here is mind boggling: temples, ancient citadels, unique theatre and stunning wilderness just outside the city all offer fun-filled days in Vietnam’s capital. Make sure to visit as many of these attractions in Hanoi as possible because they all offer entertainment, beauty and education at different turns.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and tourists. Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword), has a total area of 12 hectares with the north - south length of 700m and the east - west width of 200m. Hoan Kiem Lake is surrounded by streets in Hanoi Old Quarters including Le Thai To street and Dinh Tien Hoang street in the east, and Hang Khay street in the south. The Lake is a favorite destination of tourists as well because of the harmony among nature, architecture, and people. Visiting Hoan Kiem Lake at any time of year, tourists can experience the peaceful beauty in the vibrant and crowded city of Vietnam.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Located in Ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 meters high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the center of ancient Hanoi and served as the political Centre for eight centuries.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh has left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’ by locals, his preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction; it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The somber building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow.

Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House, set in the heart of the French Quarter, is arguably one of the most elegant buildings in all of Hanoi. Built in 1911 and modelled after the Paris Opera House, this historical landmark exudes Parisian charm from its ivory-toned columns, ornate balustrades and Gothic domes. Priced at VND 100,000 upwards, visitors can enjoy classical performances ranging from Vietnamese opera and dance performances to sketches and music concerts by world-renowned artists.

Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is a charming temple complex in the centre of Hanoi that was originally built to be a centre of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years many more buildings have been added and beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, and a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature and the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history.

Hoa Lo Prison

Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War. The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s. The prison is still a popular tourist attraction for those on the war history trail. Official records claim inmates numbered in their hundreds although it was not unknown for up to 2,000 prisoners to be crammed into a space reserved for 600 inmates. Around 200-300 inmates were captured American pilots brought to Maison Centrale for interrogation and torture, it was the American prisoners who sarcastically gave the jail its nickname ‘Hanoi Hilton’.

Vietnam Museum Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country. The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all the Vietnamese ethnic groups, providing a rich tapestry of the culture melting pot existing in Vietnam. The exhibition hall features everyday objects representing each group, a research centre, library and auditorium. The outdoor display area exhibits a variety of Vietnamese homes as full-scale replicas, with great attention paid to the varying architectural styles set within the authentic and tranquil gardens. In addition, there are also leisure pursuits on display including traditional water puppet theatre and calligraphy. Visitors are welcome to browse some of the vast research on offer at this public museum which is also a centre for ethnographic research.

West Lake – Tay Ho

Tay Ho District is known for housing Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake, called West Lake. It’s a huge body of water – it has a circumference of 17km – and there are plenty of historic places of interest, five-star hotels, stylish restaurants, cafes, and nightlife venues that are worth exploring along the shoreline. Accessible within a 15-minute drive from Hanoi Old Quarter, many locals and tourists seeking respite from the busy city make their way to this high-end district as it provides a sanctuary of great natural beauty with plenty of quiet spots in the sizeable botanical gardens. Known locally as Tay Ho Lake, the actual history of West Lake remains a mystery to this very day, though one legend claims that it was formed when the Dragon King Lac Long Quan drowned a wicked fox spirit with nine tails in his lair.

Temple of The Jade Mountain - Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple is located in Ngoc island right in the Hoan Kiem Lake. The temple was built in the nineteenth century. Formerly, this temple is the temple to oppose the evil. After this place was converted into a Buddhist temple, finally remodeled into a temple today. The architecture of Ngoc Son temple express quite religious harmony through thousand years of culture. It's a great example of space and architecture. Built in the Tam-shaped architecture, Ngoc Son Temple is the worshiping place of Van Xuong De Quan (literary master) and worshiping of Tran Hung Dao. In addition, this place also worship Buddha Amitabha, Lu Dongbin, Quan Van Truong. It is very clear that the concept of "the three religions" of the Vietnamese with the meaning of unity and harmony. The harmony of these religions is not only evident in the worship but also in the architecture, construction, the system of parallel sentences, lacquered and decorated in Ngoc Son Temple.

One Pillar Pagoda

Rising from one pillar in the centre of an elegantly square shaped lotus pond, The One Pillar Pagoda is said to represent a lotus flower growing up out of the water. Built between the years of 1028 and1054 during the reign of Emperor Ly Thai Tong of the Ly Dynasty, the One Pillar Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. The little temple is constructed from wood based on a single stone pillar crafted into the shape of a lotus blossom and has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1955 when the base was destroyed during the French evacuation. The pagoda is often used as a symbol for Hanoi and remains one of the city’s most revered sights in a beautifully tranquil garden setting with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The shrine inside the pagoda is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity Quan Am with her effigy nestled inside the tiny three square metres temple.

The best Hanoi dishes are inexpensive yet tasty treats that can be found within Hanoi Old Quarter’s narrow alleyways and bustling street markets. Compared to other cities in Vietnam, Hanoi food tends to be on the sweeter side and utilises freshwater ingredients such as prawns, squids, shrimps, crabs, clams, and mussels. You can also find familiar Vietnamese street food such as pho noodles, spring rolls, rolled cakes, and skewered meat.

#1 – Bún Chả  – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli

Bún chả, is one northern Vietnamese food that quickly became our favorite. It is one of the best Hanoi food specialty not to be missed.

The dish consists of grilled pork strips and balls or chả served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún. It typically comes with a plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce.  Pickled vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs on the side.

The sauce is made of the famous Vietnamese fish sauce or Nuoc Mam combined with vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic and chili.

Where to Eat It

Most restaurants in Vietnam specialize in making just one dish. In Hanoi, there are several bún chả restaurants and vendors. While it is a popular meal for lunch, some restaurants serve it all-day long. For great bún chả local experiences, here are two exceptional places to check out in Hanoi.

+ Bún Chả Hương Liên

Already popular, this restaurant gained worldwide acclaim when President Obama and Anthony Bourdain ate Bún chả together.  To capitalize on this fame, Bún Chả Hương Liên restaurant added the name “Obama” to the link of their Facebook page.

Although the walls are now covered with Obama’s pictures, the cuisine remains the same – local, authentic and delicious. This is one of the best bún chả restaurants in Hanoi.

The pork balls are slightly fatty, incredibly juicy and tasty. Fresh herbs, noodles dipped into the special sauce, makes for an incredible harmony of flavors. A definite must eat in Hanoi dish!

  • Address: 24 Le Van Huu Street in Hai Ba Trung District
  • Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Prices: About 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND ($1.77 USD to $2.21 USD)

+ Hùng Lẩu

This is the place where you can find the perfect combination between the best local dish and local people. This place is packed with full of locals, so you need to come early to avoid the crowd during lunch time and enjoy the best flavor of Bun Cha.

  • Address: 6, Ngõ Trạm, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Prices: About 35,000 VND ($1.54 USD)

Pro Tip: Order your Bún Chả with Nem Cua Be (you find it next below)

 #2 – Nem Cua Bể – Crab Spring Rolls

Nem Cua Be, or crab spring rolls are the perfect complement to bún chả.  These are fried rolls filled with sea crab and vermicelli noodles. Fresh and lightly fried, these rolls melt in the mouth and are to be savored.

These crab spring rolls are sold by the roll, where one roll is cut into three smaller pieces. They are eaten as an appetizer while waiting for the bún chả meal or dipped into the savory bún chả soup.

The same restaurants mentioned above serve equally tasty and crispy fresh crab spring rolls.

Where to Eat It

+ Bún Chả Hương Liên

  • Address: 24 Le Van Huu Street in Hai Ba Trung District
  • Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Prices: 7,000 VND per piece (about $0.30 USD)

+ Hùng Lẩu

  • Address: 6, Ngõ Trạm, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Prices: About 10,000 VND per roll ($0.44 USD)

Bún Chả Hàng Mành – Đắc Kim

  • Address: 1 Hang Manh Street
  • Hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Prices: About 15,000 VND per roll ($0.66 USD)

Pro Tip: Check for the menus to combine the order of  Bún Chả and Nuem Cua Be at a lower price

 #3 – Chả Cá – Grilled Fish with Dill and Tumeric

Chả Cá is one of the unique specialties of the Hanoi people and definitely a must eat in Hanoi. So important is this local specialty, that it even has a street named after it – Cha Ca street.

We loved this dish so much and can absolutely say it is a Hanoi food worth flying for. World-renowned, The New York Times followed its history from Vietnam to the United State.  “Hanoians even have a saying that … “someone should try this once in their life before leaving this world.”

The special ingredient in Chả Cá is grilled fish, typically mudfish or snake-head fish. According to the restaurant, the best fish to use Hemibragus, because it has fewer bones and tasty flesh.

This dish is made table side and the experience of preparing the dish is almost as much fun as eating it.

A  server will set up a hot pot on your table and will bring everything you need to accompany your meal. Fresh herbs, vermicelli rice noodles, a bowl of roasted peanuts and a dipping fish sauce with sliced chilies. In the pot is the fish grilling with mounds of dill and turmeric.

Listening to the sizzling sounds of the Chả Cá cooking at Chả Cá Thảng Long Restaurant , surrounded by the aroma of fresh herbs, we were in foodie heaven.

Each bite of the buttery grilled fish, perfectly seasoned with turmeric and noodles soaked in fish sauce, combined with the fresh herbs, is a delicious explosion of flavors. This must eat in Hanoi was definitely one of our best meals in the city, and one you have to experience.

Where to Eat It

You will find several Chả Cá restaurants in Hanoi.  The one we went to was Chả Cá Thăng Long, which was recommended highly by the locals.

Chả Cá Thăng Long

  • Address: 19 – 21 – 31, Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Hours: Everyday from 11:00 am to 9:30 pm
  • Prices for Cha Ca: 120,000 VND per person, (approximately $5.29 USD)

Pro Tip: There are two Chả Cá Thăng Long restaurants, one is smoking, one non-smoking Make sure you eat this best food in Hanoi at the non-smoking restaurant!

 #4 – Bún Cá – Fish Noodle Soup

In northern Vietnam, fresh water fish is widely used in dishes. This Hanoi food Bún Cá,  is no exception.

It is a light broth made from fish bones with golden fresh white fish lightly fried. At the bottom of the soup, is a bed of rice vermicelli noodles. On the top covering the broth, is a delicate combination of spring onions and bean sprouts mixed with dill herbs.

Where to Eat it

Bún cá Sâm Cây Si

  • Adress: 5 Ngõ Trung Yên, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm
  • Prices: About 35,000 VND per person, (approximately $1.54 USD).

Pro Tip: Order a side of Cá Cuốn Thịt with your soup. These are deep fried spring rolls, with a mixture of pork and herbs wrapped in fresh fish. Add another 10,000 VND ($0.44 USD) to your meal and your taste buds will thank you!

 #5 – Bánh Cuốn – Steamed Rice Rolls

Bánh cuốn is another local specialty from Northern Vietnam that you don’t want to miss.

It is a delicate and light dish usually eaten for breakfast in Vietnam. However, you can find it all day long.

Bánh cuốn is made of a thin rice sheet rolled and filled with ground pork meat and minced mushrooms. It is served with fried shallots and cilantro herbs on top.

The secret flavor of this Hanoi food resides in its dipping sauce.

As with most Vietnamese dishes, Nuoc Mam of fish sauce is used in the dipping sauce. The magic comes with the additional drop of cà cuống, the essence of a giant water bug common in Southeast Asia.

This drop in the sauce adds an extra flavor which gives off a taste similar to scallops or shrimps. Today, this natural essence is becoming scarce and many restaurants are now using an imitation essence.

The rice sheet is made by steaming fermented rice batter on a cloth stretched over a pot of boiling water. 

The bánh cuốn is light and flavorful. It is a very unique and delicate Hanoi food best eaten as an appetizer.

Although this dish was delicious, we missed having more attention from the staff and being able to talk about this Hanoi food specialty and the unique essence used.

Where to Eat It

+ Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyen

  • Address: 12 Hàng Gà, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and 5pm to 11pm
  • Prices: About 35,000 VND per person, (approximately $1.54 USD)

Check this video on Youtube to see how Banh Cuon is prepared on spot

Pro Tip: Order a couple portions of this best Hanoi food as it is very light.

 #6 – Lau – Hot Pot

In the cooler months, Lau is one of the most popular food you will find in Hanoi. Sitting on the sidewalks, in the evenings, you will see groups of locals huddled together over a large pot of simmering soup, cooking beef, chicken, fish, noodles, veggies and so on.

Next to the tables, you will find vendors with a display filled with different vegetables and protein to be added to the hot pot.

There are many different kinds of hot pots. Frog, is one of the most popular ones that we saw followed by chicken and seafood.

As this is a large dish that is meant for sharing with several people, we did not order it. Though it is one of the authentic Vietnamese dishes you must eat in Hanoi. This article from WheretoVn.com goes into more detail about the different types of hot pots you can find in Hanoi.

 #7 – Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Pho is the CLASSIC Hanoi food, and possibly one of the best food Hanoi offers. Our previous article, the best pho in Vietnam, goes into detail about the soup and where to eat it, including in Hanoi.

Let’s just say you don’t want to miss this aromatic soup, filled with slices of beef, rice noodles and a plateful of fresh herbs.

There are many places that sell this Hanoi food. One of the best place to eat Pho in Hanoi is Pho Gia Truyen. Be sure to go early, as there is usually a long line!

Where to Have it

+ Pho Gia Truyen

  • Address: 49 Bát Đàn, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 6:00 am to 10:30 am and 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Prices: About 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND per person, approximately $1.75 USD to $2.20 USD.

Pro Tip: For 5,000 VND ($0.20USD) Add a side of trung ga (eggs) to your order. It is a banh mi style bread lightly fried and used to dip into the soup.

 #8 – Bánh Mì – Vietnamese Sandwich

The bánh mì sandwich is truly the best Vietnamese sandwich to fall in love with. While its origins are French, the Vietnamese have made it distinctively their own. Generally speaking it is an airy Vietnamese baguette made with a combination of wheat and rice flours with a thin crispy crust.

It is stuffed with pork, pâté, cured ham, a mélange of Vietnamese herbs and vegetables like coriander, cucumber, carrot, slices, radish and more depending on what part of the country you are in. A wealth of textures and flavors, you will savor spicy, salty, savory, sweet, and aromatic tastes in each bite.

Where to Eat It

+ Bánh Mì Ngon

  • Address: 49 Đường Thành, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 8 am until 10 pm.
  • Prices: About 15,000 VND to 25,000 VND ($0.66 USD to $1.10 USD)

Pro Tip: Order your Bánh Mì sandwich to eat in and enjoy the local experience of eating at the small tables

 #9 – Chè – Vietnamese Sweet Soup

Chè is the perfect end to your meal, especially if you had a light Hanoi food like Bánh Cuốn. Chè basically means dessert in Vietnamese.

In Hanoi, you will find chè vendors on the streets. Delight in warm chè in the cooler evenings and refresh with crushed ice added to the dessert in the hot months. 

Chè is a sweet soup typically made of several ingredients mixed together and served in a large beer glass.

In the vendor’s cart, you will find different ingredients in large bowls displayed in the cart. When you order your chè, simply point to the ingredients you want.

Some of the typical ingredients are: mung beans, black beans, corn, taro, tapioca, jelly, and more!

In Hanoi, due to the Chinese influence, you will also find Chè trôi nước. This is a sweet soup made with mung bean balls wrapped in a glutinous rice flour dipped in a warm ginger sauce.

Finding a chè place, should not be an issue in Hanoi. Approach any street vendor with a chè sign, sit on the small stools, join the locals and place your order.

Where to Have It

+ Bánh Trôi Tầu – Diep Beo

  • Address: 52 Hàng Điếu, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 8pm until 11pm.
  • Prices: About 10,000 VND to 25,000 VND ($0.44 USD to $1.10 USD)

Pro Tip: In the summer, order your Chè with ice, while in the winter have it warmed up.

 #10 – Cà Phê Trứng- Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Although it is not a food, it is like food. Egg coffee or Cà Phê Trung is the most famous coffee in the north of Vietnam. It is a thick dark coffee topped with egg yolk whipped with condensed milk into an airy froth. Rich in taste, it can be likened to tiramisu dessert.

Where to Drink It

There are several coffee shops and places to enjoy a silky Vietnamese egg coffee. One place that offers the best view in Hanoi is a hidden and difficult to find coffee shop called Café Phố Cổ.

Café Phố Cổ

  • Address: 11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hà Nội
  • Hours: Everyday from 8am until 11pm.
  • Prices: About 30,000 VND for a cup of egg coffee ($1.34 USD)

Even though the city is quite large, the tourist areas are usually close to one another (you won’t even need a taxi ride!). So, what is the best area to stay at in Hanoi? Let us tell you everything you need to know about the 4 top neighborhoods to stay in Hanoi:

1. THE OLD QUARTER / HOAN KIEM 

The Old Quarter is also called Hoan Kiem and it’s the historical heart and soul of the city! This is also the part where I recommend you stay if you’re visiting the city for the very first time. Why? Because lots of interesting attractions are located here, including Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and Bach Ma Temple, among others.

In terms of accommodation, you can find everything your heart desires here, from upscale hotels that offer an impeccable service to super budget hostels and guest houses! Here are the best hotels I have selected for you:

Luxury options

  • Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi: Would you like to enjoy an elegant French hotel right in the heart of the Old Quarter? This is probably the most sophisticated 5-star hotel in Hanoi! This is truly one of the best places to stay in the entire city and among the most luxurious hotels in the Hanoi Old Quarter (in the South – called the French Quarter).
  • Hanoi La Siesta Central Hotel & Spa: Considered one of the best hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter, and another great luxury choice; the location is fantastic as it is right next to Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi in the Old Quarter and it has a wide selection of restaurants and bars nearby! I truly recommend it for the best stay in Hoan Kiem (the Old Quarter), close to Hoan Kiem Lake!

Mid-range options

Due to the hard competition in Hanoi’s hotel scene, middle-priced hotels are often as good as luxury hotels in Vietnam, especially in the Old Quarter (Hoan Kiem)! So, have a look at the hotels below, you will find really high-quality accommodation for an unbelievable price and crazy good reviews.

  • Hanoi Marvellous Hotel Spa: For a great Hanoi boutique hotel option in the Old Quarter (Hoan Kiem) you can head to Hanoi Marvellous Hotel Spa! You can enjoy panoramic city views from their top floor and get some delicious room service from their Vietnamese and European cuisine on-site restaurant!
  • Hanoi Pearl Hotel: Very tastefully decorated, this one is the most affordable out of this middle-price list! Just walking distance from Hanoi’s most famous landmarks in the Old Quarter, its location is one of its highlights. Also, why not check out their night views from The Lounge & Café Terrace?

Budget options

Even though this neighborhood is one of the most popular out there and it’s also the heart of the city, you will be surprised to find out that there are literally TONS of amazing budget hotels in the Old Quarter!

  • Golden Sun Villa Hotel: One of the best 3-star hotels is this family Hanoi hotel! Their rooms are spacious and perfectly clean, and their location is just perfect right in the middle of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, very close to Ngoc Son Temple as well!
  • Hanoi Esplendor Hotel and Spa: Here’s another wonderful choice in Old Quarter Hanoi if you only have a very tight budget for this trip! This nice 3-star hotel awaits with free WiFi, an ATM, comfy rooms, while also being super close to St. Joseph Cathedral and the lake! It’s also a great place to meet other international travellers!

2. WEST LAKE / TAY HO 

West Lake or Tay Ho is the place where expats in Hanoi hang out! You can enjoy a wide range of upscale accommodation and fine dining restaurants here and – you guessed right: many luxurious hotels are located in the West Lake area, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t some amazing places for budget travelers as well!

This district is called Tay Ho because it is located right near Tay Ho Lake. This is also an amazing area to stay if you’re interested in trying the best gastronomy in Hanoi, as you’ll find tons of amazing food places here!

Luxury options

  • InterContinental Hanoi West Lake – This super hotel is located in the West Lake area and it awaits with an amazing service! During your stay, you will also enjoy a view of the lake and you can rest assured that this property is comfortable and it has all the luxurious facilities included!
  • Sheraton Hanoi Hotel – Looking for the best places to stay in this part of the city? Then this wonderful accommodation is for you! One of the best things about staying here are the comfy rooms, the delicious breakfast and the tons of authentic Vietnamese food places that are located nearby!

Mid-range options

  • Parosand Hanoi Hotel – In case value is what you’re looking for, then I recommend checking out these awesome places. It has some amazing facilities and amenities that will help you have a comfortable stay; plus, you will be a short walk from all the interesting attractions in this area!
  • Elegant Suites Westlake – Here’s the best place to stay in Hanoi if you want to enjoy a great value for the money you’ll be paying! This is actually a superb 5-star hotel that comes with some very good rates.

Budget options

  • RedDoorz Plus near Westlake Tay Ho – Are you looking for the best places to stay in the city on a tight budget? No worries, I got you! It awaits with a 3-star service, room service, luggage storage, a 24-hour front desk and more!
  • Tuna Homestay – Here’s another ideal property where you can book a room if you want to enjoy some very affordable prices! The staff is super friendly and always willing to help and you’ll also get to enjoy a shared kitchen and currency exchange!

3. BA DINH 

If you’d like to stay next to the biggest landmarks such as the Temple of Literature or Thang Long Imperial Citadel, this is your area! Some interesting and unmissable sights in this neighborhood include Truc Bach Lake and Hanoi Botanical Garden, for example, so make sure to add them to your itinerary!

Luxury options

  • Lotte Hotel Hanoi – In case you’re looking for the ultimate luxurious stay in Hanoi Ba Dinh district, then you should check out this place! Staying here means you’ll enjoy a spoiled stay and you’ll also be close to Truc Bach and Tran Quoc Pagoda as well!
  • Hanoi Le Jardin Hotel & Spa – Here’s another superb accommodation in Ba Dinh close toTruc Bach Lake where you will enjoy a full luxury service! This 4-star hotel awaits with free Wi-Fi, a great breakfast, bike hire and car hire – and more!

Mid-range options

  • Hanoi Anise Hotel & Spa – In case you want to stay close to Tran Quoc Pagoda and Truc Bach Lake while also enjoying a great value hotel, then I recommend checking out this place! This cool 4-star hotel has modern rooms and everything else you might need.
  • Hanoi 3B Premier Hotel – Here’s another good value hotel in Ba Dinh area that has some unbeatable rates considering the quality of its service! This accommodation has some top facilities; plus, you will be close to Truc Bach Lake and other cool attractions!

Budget options

  • Dragon Pearl Hotel –  Are you traveling on a very tight budget with your family and want to stay in the Ba Dinh area? No worries! This superb hotel located close to Truc Bach Lake awaits with all the things you’ll ever need for the best comfortable stay!
  • Chip’s House – Still didn’t find the best budget place in Ba Dinh for you? No worries! This is the perfect choice if you want to save some money during your Vietnam trip and maybe visit some other cool cities such as Ho Chi Minh, for example! Plus, you’ll be super close to Truc Bach Lake.

4. HAI BA TRUNG

This is a very cool place, perfect for youngsters looking for a wild atmosphere! One of the best things about this neighborhood is that it’s located right next to the Old Quarter, so you will be super close to the center of the action at all times!

Hai Ba Trung is a great base if you want to be surrounded by tons of shops (for all tastes and budgets), restaurants and cafes. That being said, here are the best hotels in this neighborhood to choose from:

Luxury options

  • La Casa Hanoi Hotel – Looking for the most luxurious stay in Hanoi? Then this place is definitely worth checking out, trust me! It awaits with a 4-star service, an outdoor pool, a spa, a sauna and other amazing facilities!
  • Nesta Hanoi – Here’s another luxurious option for the best experience in Hai Ba Trung district! This 4-star accommodation has plenty of advantages, including an international restaurant and free Wi-Fi. 

Mid-range options

  • Emerald Hotel – In case you’re on the hunt for a hotel that offers a super value in Hai Ba Trung, this one’s for you! Staying in this 4-star hotel means you’ll get to enjoy free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour front desk, modern rooms and more. Plus, you’ll only be 1 km away from Hoan Kiem!
  • Canary Hanoi Hotel – In case you’re still looking for amazing Hanoi hotels in this part of the city, then I suggest you check out this property! It awaits with a 4-star service, free on-site parking, free Wi-Fi and it’s only 15 minutes by foot from Hoan Kiem!

Budget options

  • Tonkin Homestay – Looking for the ultimate budget experience in Hai Ba Trung? I got you! This superb homestay is very comfortable and super affordable, so it’s perfect in case you want to save some money during your trip! Plus, you can also use the shared kitchen or the cute garden on the 6th floor – a nice bonus!
  • Golden Hotel 2 – Free Wi-Fi, free private parking, a 24-hour front desk, concierge service, currency exchange, flat screen TVs – these are just some of the advantages of staying in this superb hotel with super cheap prices! By the way, all the rooms here have a super interesting decor!

By flight

As the capital and the tourist hub of Vietnam, there are plenty of daily flight to Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport), both international and domestic.

International flight: There are the daily direct flights to Hanoi from many countries all over the world such as France, German, Australia, UK, Japan, or Korea. If you start from USA or Canada, at the moment, you need to make a stopover somewhere, but the direct flight will come very soon. It is even much easier if you want to combine Vietnam with the regional countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, or China.  There are countless flights connecting Hanoi with these countries.

Domestic flight: Most of the airports in Vietnam have daily flights to Hanoi especially from the tourist hubs such as Da Nang, Da Lat, Nha Trang, or Can Tho.

To check the flight schedule, we recommend SkyScanner or Kayak

You can check our guide to book the cheapest flight to Vietnam here.

By bus

 

You can have the the direct bus from any cities in Vietnam to Hanoi especially from the other tourist hubs such as Sapa, Ha Long, Ninh Binh, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, or Ho Chi Minh city.

Depending on where you start, you will be likely arriving at one of the below bus stations:

Gia Lam Bus Station

  • Address: 9 Ngo Gia Kham, Long Bien,Hanoi
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Destinations: from northeast, including Ha Long Bay, Lang Son, Haiphong, and Lao Cai/Sapa

Luong Yen Bus Station

  • Address: 1 Nguyen Khoai, Hanoi
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Destinations: from Hai Phong, Saigon, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, among others

Kim Ma Bus Station

  • Address: 1 Kim Ma, Dong Da, Hanoi
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Destinations: from northwestern Vietnam, including Dien Bien Phu and Hoa Binh

My Dinh Bus Station

  • Address: 20 Pham Hung, My Dinh, Tu Liem, Hanoi
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Destinations: from Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Bai Chay (near Ha Long Bay), Bac Kan (near Ba Be National Park), and Nho Quan (near Cuc Phuong National Park), among others

Southern Bus Terminal - Phia Nam

  • Address: Km 5, Duong Giai Phong
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Destinations: from Hue/Da Nang (first-class sleeper bus), Saigon, Da Lat, among others

You can either get to Hanoi from the neighbor countries such as China (from Nanning), or Laos (from Vientiane or Luang Prabang)

To find the schedule and book the bus ticket, we recommend to check with baolau.com

By train

The national railway runs through Vietnam from north to south, hence, you can get to Hanoi via train from the other tourist hubs such as Sapa, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, or Ho Chi Minh city.

To find the schedule and book the train ticket, we recommend to check with baolau.com

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Family / 16 days / fr. $1,739

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Unseen / 28 days / fr. $2,990

Vietnam is the perfect adventure destination with colorful culture and various landscapes. The spicy nightlife spills into the morning, the sweet scenes of green peaks and rice paddies burst out of... More

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Trek & Hike / 24 days / fr. $2,590

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Must-see / 18 days / fr. $1,960

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Family / 12 days / fr. $2,590

Discovering the wonders of the diverse cities of Vietnam, meet with passionate craftsman who create joyful performances and traditional crafts. Suitable for children between 6 and 12 years old, thi... More

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Trek & Hike / 7 days / fr. $699

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Trek & Hike / 10 days / fr. $1,099

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Luxury / 12 days / fr. $2,560

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Culinary Delights of Vietnam Culinary Delights of Vietnam

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Honeymoon / 15 days / fr. $3,750

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Wellness & Leisure / 14 days / fr. $1,949

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OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN Vietnam
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Vietnam BLOG ARTICLES

Vietnam would scrap the Covid-19 testing requirement for all arrivals starting Sunday, May 15th 2022, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed.

In a document issued Friday, the Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Health to closely follow the coronavirus situation and provide proper guidance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should direct Vietnamese authorities outside the country to inform people who wish to enter Vietnam to follow appropriate disease prevention measures, he said.

The latest decision has been made as the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths drops both in Vietnam and around the world. Several countries have been taking steps to relax coronavirus restrictions, including scrapping testing before entry.

Current policies issued by the health ministry require entrants to have negative results from PCR tests done within the previous 72 hours, or a negative result from a rapid test done within the last 24 hours.

Those who don’t have a negative test result must refrain from making contact with others during the first 24 hours after entry. They will be able to move freely once they test negative after arrival.

Children under two don’t need to be tested.

Vietnam stopped requiring medical declarations from those arriving from abroad starting April 27, and for domestic travel starting April 30.

...more

The “Colorful Hanoi” hot air balloon festival is one of the attractive activities within the framework of the program “Hanoi tourism welcomes 2022” taking place from March 25-27, 2022.

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The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, foreigners entering Vietnam only need to furnish a negative Covid-19 test certificate and are not required to quarantine.

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Vietnam is determined to fully reopen its tourism industry and will adopt measures to treat foreign and domestic tourists alike, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

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The government on Tuesday agreed to resume its unilateral visa exemption policy for citizens from 13 countries as Vietnam seeks to reopen inbound tourism after nearly two years of closure.

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Vietnam currently approves 9 COVID-19 vaccines, and everyone 12 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travelling to the country, while rules differ for those under 12 years. Here’s an update to our guide to COVID-19 vaccines for international travelers to Vietnam.

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