Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple

Hang out on the shores of the 'Lake of the Returned Sword' and bask in the full spectrum of Hanoians: from old women practising sunrise aerobics to teenage couples canoodling there's always something interesting going on. Hoan Kiem Lake is arguably Hanoi's public focal point and its surroundings are superb for a game of badminton, jogging or other exercise. Walk over the red bridge and get acquainted with Hoan Kiem Lake's legendary turtle at the 17th century Ngoc Son Temple (you can see its cousin mounted in a glass case).
 

A legendary tale tells how Emperor Le Loi's magic sword was swiped by a turtle while the ruler was enjoying a day out on the lake. Resigned to the loss of his sword and the disappearance of the crafty turtle, Le Loi concluded that Kim Qui _ The Golden Turtle God _ had reclaimed the sword given to Le Loi earlier when he led a revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Thus, Le Loi renamed the lake in reference to this event. (Hoan Kiem was formerly known as Luc Thuy _ 'Green Water'.) Today, Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake makes for the perfect spot for walking, jogging or shooting photos.

What's Nearby

Water Puppets

Originating in the rice paddies of the nearby Hong River Delta, traditional Vietnamese puppet theatre uses the water as a stage while the gliding p...

Le Spa du Metropole

Whether you’re searching for a luxury body treatment, top-quality pedicure or a Vietnamese massage, Le Spa du Metropole is one of the best pl...

Cinematheque

The coolest hidden cinema spot in Hanoi, Cinematheque is run by volunteer film lovers. The films screened here can hardly be found elsewhere in tow...

Ca Tru Thang Long Guildes

Outside the Ca Tru Thang Long Guilds life unfolds as usual in the busy Old Quarter; inside this beautifully restored ancient home, however, the mel...

Cheo

Cheo is a form of satirical musical theatre traditionally performed in the countryside of northern Vietnam by travelling touring companies, though ...

Amadora Wellness & Spa

The architectural and design themes of Amadora Wellness & Spa in Hanoi, showcase a combination of Champa artistry and Western modern styles. In...

CGV Cinemas Hanoi (Megastar Cinema)

Showing the newest Western and Vietnamese releases in a modern, well-furnished space, CGV Cinemas is a great spot to while away a few hours with pl...

Intrepid Travel Vietnam

Uncover Hanoi's back streets, hidden gems and fascinating sights with Intrepid Travel. Providing outings ranging from a half day to five days, the ...

Cooking Classes

Although there is a wealth of cooking classes in Hanoi to choose from, City Pass Guide's pick this time around is Hanoi Cooking Centre, cooking sch...

Ipa Nima Hanoi

Ipa-Nima Hanoi, now an international fashion label, originated in Vietnam. Their products feature eye-catching bags and accessories adorned with un...

Mekong Quilts

Specialising in high-quality, hand-stitched bed covers, baby quilts, accessories and giftware, Mekong Quilts' products are handmade by rural women ...

Kana

From simple silk dresses to brightly printed headbands, Kana in Hanoi has something for every size and taste. The line of flattering basics arrange...

Tan My Embroidery

A storied Hanoian tradition with roots in fashion, design and houseware, Tan My Embroidery is one of Hanoi's oldest shops that produce embroidered ...

Tan My Design

The First Shop on Silk Street It was 1969, in the midst of wartime. Men were sent off to fight, while women were left home. The wives, daughters...

Green Palm Gallery

Occupying prime real estate in Hanoi's Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem District, Green Palm Gallery houses one of the finest collections of art avail...

Metiseko Hanoi

Metiseko showcases a print collection and a selection of homeware and clothing made from organic cotton and natural silks. Each print is an origina...

Ginkgo T-Shirts Hanoi

Ginkgo has been producing and selling high-quality clothing from their fashion stores in Vietnam since 2007. Established in Ho Chi Minh City, they ...

Silk

Originating from the cocoon of the silk worm, this luxurious fabric was once reserved for those of noble blood. Luckily, nowadays anyone can pick u...

Mediterraneo Italian Restaurant

Mediterraneo's truly traditional Italian cuisine and ambience will im/mediately transport you to Italy. Just a few steps from St Joseph’s cat...

Khazaana Restaurant

Khazaana has been named best Indian restaurant by the Vietnam Economic Times for the last six years running. This capital city treasure trove of au...

The Kitchen

Looking for Australian beef or Norwegian salmon in Hanoi? Then head to The Kitchen, which specialises in these imported delicacies along with servi...

Thai Village

This luxuriously cozy restaurant specialises in traditional Thai Teochew cuisine. Dine on classic dishes in their classic dining room or in one of ...

The Little Hanoi

After a busy day out in Hanoi, this restaurant provides a nice respite from the maddening traffic and daytime buzzing. Located on the corner of Han...

Madam Yen Restaurant

Opened at the end of 2013, Madam Yen Restaurant is the latest endeavor of the Maison D’Hanoi group, a noted name in Hanoian hospitality. Q...

Green Tangerine

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

Cafe Lautrec

This all-day dining restaurant, located at Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi, is situated in the heart of town and brings a dash of modern French gastro...

Satine

A sleek, contemporary architectural conversion, which artfully integrates the classic design features of one of Hanoi’s most beautiful buildi...

St. Joseph's Cathedral

This neo-gothic structure rising from Hanoi's Old Quarter's twisting streets was erected by the French in 1886 on the site of a former pago...

The Old Quarter

Once an alligator-infested swamp, Hanoi's Old Quarter's winding streets are the heart and soul of the capital. The Old Quarter began to garner ...

Old Quarter

Like the Minotaur's maze, the 36 streets that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter are famously difficult to navigate. This section of the city has ...

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Be they national heroes, mothers, intellectuals or fashion icons, women's contributions to the Vietnamese nation and society are told beautifully t...

Hanoi Opera House

One of the few places in Hanoi to catch a symphony, this century-old French colonial building is a major city landmark. While the interior could ...

Hoa Lo Prison

Referred to ironically as the 'Hanoi Hilton' by American POWs, Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 and used to house Vietnamese p...

Revolution Museum

This homage to Vietnam's independence movement offers the usual blurry photographs along with some more interesting artefacts such as the micro...

National Museum of History

The National Museum of History in Hanoi is one of the country's top museums. An extensive collection of over 7,000 artefacts that traces Vietnam's...

Quan Su Pagoda

The headquarters of the Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Quan Su Pagoda doesn't boast a long history or impressive architecture, but it is one of Hanoi'...

Coffee Club

An iconic bar with panoramic views of Hoan Kiem Lake. Unwind with a glass of beer or have a cocktail specially made by their charming bartenders wh...

Joma Bakery Cafe

Established in 2009 Joma offers a slice of North American cafe culture in Hanoi. The coffee bar is passionate about serving heavenly coffee and fre...

Tan My Design Café

Located inside Hanoi's Tan My Design store, Tan My Design Cafe features real espresso coffee and delicious snacks to be enjoyed while admiring artw...

La Fee Verte Bar

La Fee Verte Bar is the signature tavern of the Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi. Taking its title from the historical name for Absinthe, the infamous ...

Swing Lounge

Located among colonial gems and modern landmarks on trendy Trang Tien Street in the Old Quarter, Swing Lounge threw open its doors in 2013. Its lou...

The Hanoi Social Club

This eclectic bohemian cafe is a haven for Hanoi’s creative types. Order an I.P.A. beer or a craft cocktail and head to the green leafy beer ...

Fanny Ice Cream

This Vietnamese chain launched by an ice cream expert from France makes and serves European-style ice cream with Asian flavours. Grab a comfortable...

Starbucks Coffee

With 3 locations in central Hanoi, Starbucks offers a wide range of coffees, teas, Frappuccino® and juices. Each store also has freshly baked p...

Paris Deli

Located near the Opera House, Paris Deli is a slice of The City of Light in the heart of the capital. The bistro serves an extensive array of ...

Maison d'Hanoi Hanova Hotel

Stay in the centre of Hanoi at the Maison d'Hanoi Hanova, a comfortably modern boutique hotel with superior service. The understated, stunning desi...

Golden Lotus Hotels

With two properties in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and a short walk to Hoan Kiem Lake, these hotels have more than 90 elegant, spacious rooms and sui...

Zéphyr Hotel

The Zéphyr Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of Hanoi with the famous Hoan Kiem Lake just across the street. Its stylish d&e...

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

The Golden Silk Hotel is in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter on the famous Silk Road. This is a 55 room luxury hotel offering guests a high e...

May de Ville - Old Quarter

Set in Hanoi's scenic Old Quarter, May de Ville Old Quarter combines modern facilities and traditional charm. The hotel is only a short stroll...

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 white-gl...

Hotel de L'Opera Hanoi - MGallery

Only steps from the Opera House,  distils the best of Hanoi and features 107 rooms and suites. Colonial accents and theatrical interior des...

Maison D'Hanoi Boutique Hotel

This Maison D’Hanoi Boutique Hotel brings a new expression to the city with its seamless blend of Luxury, Sleep architecture and st...

Hilton Hanoi Opera

Situated next to the iconic Hanoi Opera House and a short stroll from the Old Quarter, this 5-star hotel is a Hanoi landmark. With 268 fully equipp...

Contact

Bordered by Le Thai To, Hang Khay and Dinh Tien Hoang Str., Hanoi, Vietnam

Tags

Subscribe

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

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

Membership is free. No spam policy.