We visited Vietnam for the first time in December 2019 and the first city of our visit was Hanoi.
Hanoi surprised on the positive. Within the organized chaos of motorbikes everywhere, the city has an excellent energy.
Walk through the streets of Hanoi, lose yourself in the old quarter, the area where the main attractions are located, but the streets are a real maze, full of shops, people and once again motorbikes.
Yes, there are many motorbikes and crossing the street is an authentic adventure. Also pay attention to the street walk for people: motorbikes also use them! But after a short time you got used to everything and you already know how to pass the street.
The trick? See how people pass the road and then, stick to whoever is going to pass. The bikes deviate from us, but be careful, never run or go back suddenly.
Hanoi is the 2nd largest city in Vietnam, and everywhere you'll find French colonial remains, temples and pagodas, all mixed with the greatest modernity you can find in the world.
We traveled with Turkish Airlines. It was a very long flight but very comfortable. Once we already had our entry visa (see tips on how to get the visa and enter the country faster) everything was very fast: just leaving the airport, taking the transfer that we had already reserved on Zip Transfer and we arrived at our accommodation.
We stayed at the Hanoi Buffalo Hostel, despite being a hostel it has private rooms as well. It was an excellent choice, right in the center of everything, in the old quarter, with swimming pool and close to the main nightlife area and beer street (visit the tab HANOI by NIGHT).
What we visited and recommend:
Since we spent 6 days in the city we had a lot of time to see everything calmly and we divided the tours by areas. You can divide our ideas by days.
- CERAMIC MOSAIC MURAL
- DONG XUAN MARKET - Very old market and the largest in Hanoi and it's divided into sections. You have, for example, areas where you see the vegetables and fruits sellers, others meat and fish. It' also a great place to buy gifts. You'll find very low prices on clothes, some of which are fake, but the variety is so great that you are tempted to buy everything. Around the market you have lots of shops and cafes where you can rest and watch the city go by.
- ST. JOSEPHS CATHEDRAL
- TEMPLE OF THE JADE MOUNTAIN
- FRENCH QUARTER - Visit Trang Tien, which is a street full of shops and then if you want you can visit the Trang Tien Plaza, an excellent shopping.
- HANOI OPERA HOUSE
- HANOI CREATIVE CITY - Is a modern complex full of young people and with various types of entertainment, such as a game center, fashion stores, super colorful restaurants, among others.
- OLD QUARTER NIGHT MARKET - As the name says is a giant Asian night market, where you can find clothes, souvenirs, all kinds of street food and is very close to the hostel where we were staying. The market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- In the Old Quarter we can highlight the Hang Gai street (silk stores street) and the Hang Dao street (shoe stores street)
- Also every weekend, from Friday to Sunday, you have the walking streets: some streets beside the lake are closed to traffic and open only to people. Tou'll find a huge crowd of people by the lake to see the various exhibitions, vendors and various concerts scattered around the streets.
- TEMPLE OF LITERATURE
- IMPERIAL CIDADEL OF THANG LONG
- TRAN QUOC PAGODA
- PRESIDENT MEMORIAL SITE
- HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
- THANG LONG PUPPET THEATER
- LOTTE OBSERVATION DECK
Here you have the possibility to see Hanoi as if you were in the sky: it has 65 floors high.
If you can don't miss this visit and view. It was the first time that we climbed so high and we loved the experience. We advised to go around 10am, we were the only people at the top and it was awesome.
HANOI IS AN AMAZING CITY THAT EVERYONE MUST VISIT!