top of page

20+ Best Things to Do in Hanoi to Start your Vietnam Adventure on a High

Updated: 6 days ago

Hanoi, one of our favorite cities in Northern Vietnam, is filled with many amazing experiences so you can start your journey to the north on a high! But being spoiled for choice can be overwhelming; enter another Bong Hostel Survival Guide, this time with a breakdown of the best things to do in Hanoi.


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi

1. Stay at Bong Hostel


Okay, first and foremost you need somewhere to stay, right?! And what better way to kickstart your Hanoi adventure than by staying at the best hostel in town.


Situated in the Old Quarter, Bong Hanoi Hostel has super friendly staff, comfortable beds with privacy curtains and TWO PILLOWS people, as well as hot showers, free breakfast, good WIFI, and a communal area.


It's really the perfect base for exploring Hanoi and the rest of Northern Vietnam, since you can get lots of information and book onward tours here with our staff. Click to find out more about the types of tours we offer!


Address: 2 Phố Thanh Hà Hanoi

Opening Hours: 24/7

Estimated Price: From 200,000 VND per night (prices may vary)



Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi

2. Join a Bong Hostel Hanoi City Tour


Bong Hostel offers a variety of city tours tailored to your interests. Whether it's a street food tour, a walking tour, or a motorbike adventure, you're guaranteed to see the best of Hanoi.


City Tour Details



Duration: 3 hours, includes English guide, 5-8 dishes & drinks.

Start Times: 10:30 AM / 10:45 AM, 05:10 PM / 05:25 PM

Price: 750,000 VND/pax  (1–2 people), 600,000 VND/pax (3–5 people)

Tour Type: Walking group tour



Duration: 3 hours, includes English guide, 5-8 dishes & drinks.

Start Times: 10:30 AM / 10:45 AM, 05:10 PM / 05:25 PM

Price: 1,300,000 VND/pax (1–2 people), 1,200,000 VND/pax (3-5 people)

Tour Type: Motorbike private tour



Duration: 4 hours, includes English guide, bike, driver, 1 meal.

Price: 1,350,000 VND/pax (1–2 people), 1,250,000 VND/pax (3–5 people)

Tour Type: Motorbike private tour



Duration: 4 hours, includes English guide, bicycle, 1 meal, entrance fee.

Price: 1,450,000 VND/pax (1–2 people), 1,250,000 VND/pax (2–5 people)

Tour Type: Private tour



Duration: 4 hours, includes English guide, bicycle, 1 meal, entrance fee.

Price: 1,350,000 VND/pax (1–2 people), 1,250,000 VND/pax (2–5 people)

Tour Type: Private tour


All tours include pick up from Bong Hanoi Hostel. 



Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Enjoy a Bong Hostel Tour

3. Take a Cooking Class 


Learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes by taking a cooking class in Hanoi. Many classes include a visit to a local market to buy fresh ingredients.


Address: Various locations in Hanoi

Opening Hours: Varies by provider

Estimated Price: 800,000 – 1,200,000 VND


4. Discover the Temple of Literature


Founded in 1070, the Temple of Literature is dedicated to Confucius and was Vietnam’s first national university. The beautiful courtyards and pavilions are a testament to Vietnamese architecture. 


Address: 58 Phố Quốc Tử Giám Hanoi 11508

Opening Hours: Summer (April to October): 07:30 AM – 05:30 PM | Winter (October to April): 08:00AM – 05:00 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


5. Visit the Note Coffee Hanoi


A visit to the Note Coffee has become a highlight of any traveler's Hanoi bucket list. Go in the late afternoon for a quiet coffee, delicious slice of cake, and find out for yourself exactly why it's called the Note Coffee!


Address: 64 Luong Van Can Hanoi 10000 Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 AM until late

Estimated Price: Prices vary


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Leave a Memento at The Note Coffee

6. Explore the Perfume Pagoda (Chùa Hương)


A complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains, the Perfume Pagoda is a popular pilgrimage site. The journey includes a scenic boat ride beginning from Ben Duc, which is around 2 hours from Hanoi, and a hike.  


Address: Tỉnh Lộ 425 Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


7. Enjoy a Night on Beer Street


Beer Street, also known as Ta Hien Street, is THE place to go for a night out in Hanoi. Enjoy an overpriced beer, fun music, and socialize with both locals and fellow travelers. There is always a lively atmosphere on Beer Street even when the tables and chairs get moved inside periodically as the police pass by—a harmless and intriguing aspect of the night!


Address: Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 PM – late

Estimated Price: 50,000 VND per beer


8. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple


Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Lake of the Restored Sword, is a lively spot in the heart of the city. There is always something happening by the lake. Sit and enjoy a drink, get a caricature picture done by a local artist, or head there at 5 AM for some incredible people watching opportunities! 


The lake is also home to the picturesque Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a small island connected by the iconic red Huc Bridge


Address: 82 Pho Hang Trong Hanoi 11006 Hanoi

Temple Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Walk around Hoan Kien Lake

9. Experience the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater


Water puppetry is a traditional Vietnamese art form performed in a pool of water with wooden puppets. Visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater where performances depict different stories from Vietnamese folklore and legends. 


Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hang Bac ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily performances at various times.

Estimated Price: 100,000 – 200,000 VND


10. Visit the Hoa Lo Prison


Known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War, this prison now serves as a museum offering a glimpse into the harsh conditions experienced by prisoners. Visitors say it is a humbling highlight of their trip to Hanoi.


Address: 1 Phố Hỏa Lò Trần Hưng Đạo 11019 Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


11. Visit the Vietnam Women’s Museum


The Vietnam Women's Museum highlights the role of women in Vietnamese society and history through various exhibits and artefacts on marriage, family, fashion, and war. 


Address: 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hang Bai ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Estimated Price: 40,000 VND


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Visit the Vietnam Women's Museum

12. Visit the Vietnam Ethnology Museum


The Vietnam Ethnology Museum showcases the diverse cultures of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. To date, the Museum has collected 15,000 artefacts, 2,190 slides, 42,000 photographs, 237 audiotapes, 373 videotapes and 25 CD-ROMs, to be displayed for all visitors. 


Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM

Estimated Price: 40,000 VND


13. Attend a Traditional Music Performance


Experience the rich musical heritage of Vietnam by attending a traditional music performance. Various venues in Hanoi offer live shows featuring traditional instruments and songs. The Vietnam National Tuong Theatre offers performances of Tuong, a traditional form of Vietnamese opera.


Address: Various locations in Hanoi

Opening Hours: Varies by performance

Estimated Price: 200,000 — 500,000 VND


14. Take a Cyclo Tour


A cyclo is a three-wheeled bicycle taxi that is peddled by a tour guide. It is a popular mode of transportation in Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Taking a cyclo tour is a fantastic way to get a close-up view of Hanoi’s streets. You can book a cyclo tour in advance or ask someone passing by on the street—there are plenty of them about!


Address: Old Quarter, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily, times vary

Estimated Price: Prices vary


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Cyclo Tours in Hanoi

15. Explore Ba Vi National Park


Ba Vi National Park is an isolated soil-limestone mountainous area located in the outskirts of Hanoi. Top tip: Milk in Ba Vi is very famous in Vietnam. So once you get to this area, you should buy some on the way back to Hanoi to taste the special flavors.


Address: Ba Vi, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 AM – 07:00 PM

Estimated Price: 60,000 VND (but prices may vary)


16. Visit the Vietnam Military History Museum


The Vietnam Military History Museum is one of the seven national museums in Hanoi, where visitors can go to learn about Vietnamese military history from the founding of the country to the Ho Chi Minh era. Exhibits include weapons, artefacts, and military vehicles.


Address: No. 28A, Dien Bien Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 08:00 AM – 04:30 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


17. Enjoy a Coffee at a Local Café


Hanoi is famous for its unique coffee culture. Try an egg coffee, coconut coffee or salt coffee, all local specialties, at one of the city’s many charming cafes, such as Dream Beans Coffeeour go-to coffee shop in the city!


Address: 79 Ly Nam De Street, Hoan Kiem District Hanoi 100000

Opening Hours: Daily 07:45 AM – 05:30 PM

Estimated Price: Prices vary


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Try an Egg Coffee in Hanoi

18. Explore the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an ancient citadel complex of historic imperial buildings dating back to the 11th century. Exploring the site offers an insight into the history of Vietnam’s rulers


Address: 19C Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Estimated Price: 30,000 VND


19. Go Souvenir Shopping


Hanoi offers a wide range of souvenirs, from traditional items crafted by mountain tribes to modern art from up-and-coming artists. Head to Hang Gai Street for silk products or visit markets and shops in the Old Quarter to buy magnets, postcards, pottery, notebooks, and more.


Address: Various locations in Hanoi

Opening Hours: Varies by shop

Estimated Price: Varies


20. Have a Local Meal on Tiny Chairs 


Experience authentic Hanoi street food by dining on those tiny blue plastic chairs you see throughout the Old Quarter. Try local favorites like Pho, Bun Cha, Banh Cuon, and Banh Mi. 


Address: Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening Hours: Varies by vendor

Estimated Price: 30,000 – 60,000 VND per dish


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Hanoi Street Food

21. Wander Through the Hanoi Opera House


The Hanoi Opera House, built in 1911, is an elegant French colonial building hosting a variety of performances, including opera, ballet, and classical music concerts. Catching a performance here is one of the best things you can do in Hanoi.


Address: No.01 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening Hours: 10:30 AM every Monday and Friday.

Estimated Price: 400,000 VND / person


22. Drink a Bia Hoi in the Old Quarter


Bia Hoi, or fresh beer, is a local specialty that you must try. These low-alcohol beers are brewed daily and served in local Bia Hoi joints. Bia Hoi is a popular local beer in Hanoi. Visit a Bia Hoi corner, such as Bia Hoi Junction in the Old Quarter, to enjoy this refreshing drink with the locals.


Address: Various locations in Hanoi

Opening Hours: Varies by location

Estimated Price: 5,000 – 10,000 VND per glass


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi
Mot Hai Ba Zo with a Bia Hoi in Hanoi

Our Thoughts on the Best Things to do in Hanoi


Vietnam’s capital city never ceases to amaze with its history, culture, coffees, and art. Honestly we could probably list a hundred more things considered “the best thing to do in Hanoi” but our hands are aching from typing, so we think you would be best to come and find out for yourself! Just don’t forget to stay at Bong Hostel to make the most of your trip, and join one of our city tours for an unforgettable experience.


And if you’re wondering what could make visiting Hanoi even better, check out our article: A Budget Backpacker's Dream: 15+ Free Things to do in Hanoi.


For more information and bookings, visit Bong Hostel's website.


Our Bong Hostel survival guide on the best things to do in Hanoi





155 views0 comments

Opmerkingen


bottom of page