Hanoi is a beautiful city and as the capital of Vietnam, it holds acclaim to hiding many of the countries secrets all waiting to be explored. Nestled away in Southeast Vietnam, with a population of 7.5 million it has quickly become the ‘go to’ destination for many tourists looking for excitement and history on their tour around Vietnam.
A city known for its incredible architecture and a rich culture, it is blessed with both Chinese and French influences. At the heart of the city you can explore the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are flecked with street food vendors and shops.
We have put together our top 10 things to do so you can make the most of your time in the city of Hanoi.
1. Visit the Old Quarter - Picture colourful, cobbled narrow streets decorated with hanging lights and lanterns and graced with coffee shops, street food vendors and arts and crafts. At night the streets come alive and you can watch the world go passed whilst drinking a traditional Vietnamese coffee or eating local delicacies.
2. Walk the Imperial City - A recognised UNESCO world heritage site the impressive and mystical imperial city ruins are not to be missed. The city was the hub of political decisions for over 13 centuries. Wonder its impressive buildings, breath in the fresh air in the perfectly manicured gardens and just generally make the most of being part of its elaborate history.
3. Shop at Night Markets - Vietnam is known for its fantastic display of markets and no more is this true than in Hanoi. The impressive Dong Xuan Market covers an impressive four stories and you can buy anything from clothing to locally crafted jewellery, handbags and sunglasses! Walk around and breath in the heady scents of food and watch the locals haggle.
4. Drink Local coffee - Vietnam is one of the biggest producers of coffee and they certainly know how to serve it too. Giang Cafe has a fantastic reputation with both locals and tourists, situated in the old quarter you will be able to drink a traditional Vietnamese ‘egg coffee’ (egg yolks replaces the milk) while watching the world go by. Coffee in Vietnam is much stronger so be prepared to add sugar and feel the buzz!
5. Watch a Water puppet show - Water puppet shows have been part of Vietnamese tradition for over 1000 years. The Thang Long Water Puppet theatre puts on the most amazing shows for tourists and locals. A very popular way to spend an afternoon.
6. Gourmet food shopping at L'Epicerie du Metropole - If you are craving a little taste of western food head to this fantastic gourmet food shop. Treat yourself to a tasty pastry or even indulge in afternoon tea and feast on delicate macaroons and coconut fancies. A wonderful place for gourmet food indulgence.
7. Jump on a scooter tour - Taking a scooter tour around the city is one of the most popular ways to experience Hanoi. Zoom around the streets, experience the hustle and bustle and be taken to all the wonderful sites this city has to offer. Exhilarating and fun.
8. Learn to Cook - Vietnamese food is amongst some of the healthiest in the world. Cookery classes are a fantastic way to learn more about the local cuisine. Take time shopping for your ingredients at a local market then learn how to create your own fantastic Vietnamese banquet. Cookery classes are affordable and great fun.
9. Indulge in street food - Street food in Hanoi is one of the best ways to experience true Vietnamese cuisine. As you wonder the old quarter you will be greeted with so many sights and smells of the local food. You can indulge in Pho, rice and noodles. All freshly cooked and utterly delicious.
10. Shopping - How can we forget this favourite past time of the modern world. There are so many chances to indulge and treat yourself in Hanoi. From classic traditional shops where you can have clothing made to measure or designer shops where you can treat yourself to something a little more special. Shopping in Hanoi is always a pleasure.
Hanoi offer so many opportunities to see the best of what Vietnam has to offer you will not fail to fall in love with its spectacular Capital.