Hanoi, the second largest city in Vietnam - and also the country's capital - is in many ways different from its big-city cousin, Ho Chi Minh City.

More clean, consistent and picturesque than the rough architectural hodge-podge that is Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi's classical appearance is composed of colorful colonial buildings, lakes, abundant flora (fig trees grace the streets), and a more suburban air throughout.

The biggest testament to Hanoi's persona is The Old Quarter, a colorful district with narrow, twining streets that wind in all directions, packed back-to-back with commercial activity, an enormous variety of restaurants and cafes of all price levels, colonial architecture, and all shades of bars, bakeries and boutique shops. It is here that you will also find Hoan Kiem Lake, which many associate as the symbol of Hanoi.

Motorbikes still swarm in chaotic droves and every corner of more popular districts is packed with interesting regional cuisine. Do not expect a foreigner-friendly experience just because the city is relatively modernized and the streets are cleaner than in Saigon - this is through and through an old-school Vietnamese city with conservative ideals and few English speakers. Locals are kind, as they are in much of Vietnam, and petty crime is less prevalent than in the South, but still exists.

Hanoi's appeal lies in its charming presentation, great street food, beautiful surroundings and a classic appeal that comes from 1,000+ years of existence. Cuisine is a big indicator or the Northern city’s different style of life: food is exotic and many dishes are surprisingly new experiences even for those who have traveled extensively throughout central and southern Vietnam. Like much of Saigon and Dalat, Hanoi retains trace roots from the colonial era, employing French architecture and food and merging these with Northern Vietnam's age-old customs and traditions.

most popular articles in Hanoi

Set Lunch in Hanoi

"Travel does not become adventure until you leave yourself behind" Martin Rubin Which city would be the best destination to ...

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Planning your holidays in Vietnam, you might wonder when it is the best time to visit the country. The answer ...

Top Three Souvenir Shops in Hanoi

By Truong Tang Travellers often buy souvenirs as gifts and as mementos, and it can be hard to distinguish quality ...

Hanoi – A first timer’s primer

Pack lightly, but not too light lightly Am I boarding an airport bus in Ulan Bator or Vietnam’s capital? I ...

How to Get a Visa to Vietnam

Getting a Visa to Vietnam can be a draining and all around difficult process. From choosing the correct visa category, ...

Discover Vietnam: Hanoi

Walk the 36 Streets in Old Quarter From hidden cosy coffee shops in aging buildings and an emerging contemporary art ...

Hanoi: A History Through an Architectural Lens

Hanoi’s history can be separated into four eras: centuries of continual Chinese domination, a spell of French Colonialism, the Vietnam ...

How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam

How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam If you purchase expensive products during your travel in Vietnam, it is very ...

7 Reasons Why Foodies Love the Lotte Hotel Hanoi

A few months ago, the Lotte Hotel Hanoi opened its doors to public, only to witness an enormous amount of ...

Top 5 tips to rent a motorbike in Vietnam

Renting a motorbike is a great opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover Vietnam on your own. That ...

Hanoi’s Snake Village of Le Mat

Hanoi’s Snake Village of Le Mat The villagers of Le Mat, just 7 km northeast of central Hanoi, welcome many ...

Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 8: Water Puppets

Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during ...

Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 9: Time to Cha Cha with the Chả Cá

Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during ...

A Quick Guide to Hanoi Weather

Lo and behold! It’s not just exotic and tropical in Vietnam, at least not in the northern hemisphere. Saigon might ...

Rush Hour Traffic in Hanoi

Rush Hour Traffic in Hanoi Hanoi is the New York of rush hour traffic. If you can make it there, ...

Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 10: Honoring the Ancestor

Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during ...

Which Pho are you?

Pho Vietnam No dish is more synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine than humble bowl of pho. The concept of noodle, broth ...

Top 5 dishes to eat in Hanoi

Hanoi is a foodie’s paradise offering plenty of cheap yet delicious eats. Heartier and indicative of the cooler temperatures of the ...

Chill your weekend at the Lantern Neighborhood

Luong Nhu Hoc Street, District 5, HCMC Rising in the middle of China town, Luong Nhu Hoc street has been ...

Where To Stay

Sofitel Plaza Hanoi

With stunning views of Hanoi, the comfort of Sofitel 'MyBed', ...

The Hanoi Club Hotel & Lake Palais Residences

The Hanoi Club Hotel and Lake Palais Residences present unadulterated ...

Lotte Hotel Hanoi

Ideally located in the center of business district and surrounded ...

Maison d'Hanoi Hanova Hotel

Stay in the centre of Hanoi at the Maison d'Hanoi ...

Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi

Pan Pacific Hanoi, lying next to Hanoi’s famous West Lake, ...

See More >>

Where To Eat

Nam Phuong

Specialising in traditional Vietnamese cuisine since 1996, the 3-floor Nam ...

Don's - A Chef's Bistro

By famed Montreal-born Chef Don Berger, Don's - A Chef's ...

Quan Com Pho

Quan Com Pho has been serving home-style Northern dishes since ...

San Ho

Open since 1997, San Ho is a 3-floor traditional Vietnamese ...

Green Mango Restaurant

Spoil yourself with delicious northern Vietnamese fusion cuisine in this ...

See More >>

Where To Drink

Bar Déjà Vu

Those looking for a drink with a view should visit ...

Top of Hanoi

The highest open air brasserie & bar in Vietnam, Top ...

Savage

Located at the intersection of two busy streets in the ...

Tan My Design Café

Located inside Hanoi's Tan My Design store, Tan My Design ...

Arena Lounge

Located in Hanoi Club Hotel & Lake Palais Residences, Arena ...

See More >>

Promote Your Brand Here

Start Here

Premiere venues in Hanoi

Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi

Located in the bustling center of Hanoi city, the Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi is close to a variety of popular ...

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel

With its colonial facade and famed French restaurant Le Beaulieu, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel offers visitors a taste of ...

The Hanoi Club Hotel & Lake Palais Residences

The Hanoi Club Hotel and Lake Palais Residences present unadulterated luxury in a palatial setting; this is a unique experience ...

Tan My Design

The First Shop on Silk Street It was 1969, in the midst of wartime. Men were sent off to fight, ...

Fortuna Hotel Hanoi

Located a half-hour drive from the tourist attractions of Hanoi, right in the middle of the city’s business and financial ...

Green Tangerine

Located in a lovingly restored colonial house in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the Green Tangerine offers a menu of ingenious creative ...

Da Paolo West Lake

Have an authentic Italian meal at one of Hanoi's most beautiful and popular locations, West Lake. Da Paolo West Lake is ...

RockStore

Head to the largest live rock music venue in the heart of the Old Quarter for a paradise of cocktails ...

La Badiane Restaurant

La Badiane Restaurant is a chic Hanoi restaurant dedicated to the fusion of French cuisine with the herbs and spices ...

Mekong Plus Hanoi

Mekong+, incorporating Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations, is  a social enterprise specializing in high quality, hand crafted quilts  and accessories. ...

Minh Long Hanoi

Minh Long was founded in 1970 by Mr. Ly Ngoc Minh, a young man devoted to creating exquisite porcelain. A family ...

Subscribe

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe Archives
I'm already a member! click here
No thanks

Membership is free. No spam policy.