Visiting Hanoi - A City Guide
Beside the Red River, Hanoi is the second-largest city in Vietnam, and a multicultural hub due to its Chinese, Vietnamese and French heritage. Ancient temples and pagodas stand alongside modern shopping malls, and Hoan Kiem Lake offers a tranquil sanctuary from the busy streets.
Hanoi - City Layout and Top Attractions
Hanoi has four main areas: Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung and Dong Da. The streets around Hoan Kiem are lined with shops and restaurants, and lead to the bustling Old Quarter
South of Hoan Kiem is Ba Dinh (French Quarter), with French colonial buildings, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & Presidential Palace, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi
and Hanoi Opera House
Eating Out in Hanoi
Food in Hanoi has been influenced by its former rulers, and combines traditional Vietnamese, French and Chinese dishes. The Old Quarter is a great area to sample fresh Vietnamese banh mi
sandwiches at lively street markets like the Hanoi Night Market.
Acclaimed restaurants at luxury hotels in Hanoi serve Asian and European cuisine, often complemented by city or lake views. You’ll also find a wealth of fine-dining options in restored colonial buildings in the Old Quarter and near Hoan Kiem Lake.
Shopping in Hanoi
Many Hanoi hotels are within walking distance of traditional markets, stylish boutiques and modern malls. Numerous streets are dedicated to specific products, from clothing to fresh food and spices.
On Hang Gai Street (Silk Street), you’ll find shops selling high-quality silk scarves and dresses. Trang Tien Plaza mall features designer brands, including Cartier and Louis Vuitton. Nha Tho and Nha Chung streets are lined with fashion boutiques.
Art lovers can visit galleries on Hang Gai and Hang Bong streets. Shops on Hang Bac Street, one of Hanoi’s oldest streets, sell authentic silver jewelry.
For a totally different experience, try Dong Xuan Market, an indoor market with hundreds of stalls. Savvy shoppers can find plenty of bargains, and haggling is part of the fun.
Culture & Nightlife in Hanoi
Hanoi is one of Vietnam’s cultural hubs, with numerous museums, theaters and ancient temples.
You can learn about Vietnam’s historic struggle against foreign rulers at the Vietnam National Museum of History
. The Temple of Literature
in Dong Da was Vietnam’s first university, dedicated to Confucius and attended by royals.
Booking your Hanoi hotel by making reservations directly gives you the best rates, and you can use the money you save to enjoy Hanoi’s cultural treasures. Hanoi Opera House hosts ballets, operas, symphonies and pop concerts.Minh's Jazz Club
in the French Quarter offers live music. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre near Hoan Kiem Lake features traditional performances accompanied by music.
Leisure in Hanoi
Need a break from sightseeing or business meetings? Hanoi has many places where you can unwind. Hoan Kiem Lake is a peaceful oasis for a stroll along the shore, and a footbridge leads to Ngoc Son Temple on an islet in the lake. Hanoi luxury hotels and stylish shops overlook a walking path around West Lake.
You can use your IHG Rewards® Club points to earn an extra night’s stay, giving you more time to explore. No visit to Hanoi is complete without visiting Ha Long Bay
, where you can kayak or sail on jade lagoons beneath soaring limestone cliffs and emerald-forested isles.