Hanoi Travel Guide


One of the most important things that you should try to experience in Hanoi that is to taste delicious and traditional foods such as: Bun cha, Pho, Cha Ca La Vong, Banh cuon. By enjoying the specialties of Hanoi, you will get to know more about everything in Hanoi and get the deep impression from it.


Hanoi LocationNorthern Vietnam
Municipality Area3,358.6 km2 
Urban Area319.56 km2 
GDPUS$32.8 billion
Time Zone UTC+07:00 (ICT)
Phone Area Codes 24
Police EmergencyPhone No: 113
Fire Emergency Phone No: 114
Ambulance Phone No: 115


Hanoi , also spelled Ha Noi, is the capital of Vietnam. Known for its long history of over 1000 years old and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences, Hanoi   is one of the most fascinating capital in the world. This enchanting city is often the start or end point of a tour to Vietnam. 

Located in the Northwest of Red River Delta, Hanoi was founded as Thang Long, the capital of Imperial Vietnam, in 1010 by monarch Ly Thai To. Thang Long would remain the most important political and cultural centre of Vietnam until 1802, when the Nguyen dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of Vietnam, moved the capital to Hue. Thang Long renamed to its current name Hanoi in 1831. In 1873, Hanoi was conquered by the French, and from 1883 to 1945, the city was the capital of French Indochina. The French colonisation left a lasting impact on the city's architecture that is visible today, as showcased through the juxtaposition of traditional Vietnamese architecture and French-styled avenues and edifices in the city centre. 

From 1940 to 1945, Hanoi was occupied by the Japanese forces. On 6 January 1946, the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam designated Hanoi as the capital of the newly-independent country, which would last during the First Indochina War (1946–1954) and the Vietnam War (1955–1975). Following North Vietnamese victory in 1975, Hanoi has been the capital of a reunified Vietnam until today. 

Currently, Hanoi has an area of 3,358.6 square km and  an official population of 8,053,663 according to 2019 census. It becomes the second largest city in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City, and also the commercial, cultural, and educational centre of Northern Vietnam. Hanoi contains three basic kinds of terrain, which are the delta area, the midland area and mountainous zone. In general, the terrain is gradually lower from the north to the south and from the west to the east, with the average height ranging from 5 to 20 meters above the sea level. The hills and mountainous zones are located in the northern and western part of the city. The highest peak is at Ba Vi with 1281 m, located west of the city proper.


City Map


With four distinct seasons, Hanoi can be visited all year around as each season makes a new appearance for this city. The best time to visit Hanoi is Autumn from September to November, and spring from March to April. By these periods, the weather is pleasant with milder temperatures.
There are apparent changes and differences between the hot season and cold season in Hanoi. Usually, it is hot and rainy from May to September, with an average temperature of 29.2ºC. Heavy rains may happen sometimes, however, it is not consistent and does not affect your travel. The cold season in Hanoi is generally from November to March when the temperatures can fall below 10ºC (50ºF).

Hanoi Weather


The Noi Bai International Airport ( HAN) is just 45 kilometers from Hanoi City Center. Operated with two terminal buildings: Terminal 1 for domestic flights and Terminal 2 for international flights, this airport is considered as a gateway to northern Vietnam. Currently, you can fly with Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Dalat, Can Tho, and Ho Chi Minh City,... The local air carriers like Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways also serve some of these destinations. There are also flight connection between Hanoi and Bangkok, Siem Reap, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Daegu, Busan, Muan, Macau, Hong Kong, Beijing , Dalian, Nanning, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taipei, Taoyuan, Osaka, Tokyo,... At the time of writing, direct flights to Hanoi from Australia, Europe and North America are still limited, but it is improving. The direct flight from Paris, Frankfurt, London, Moscow or Istanbul to Hanoi will take you within 15 to 18 hours. There are more options for non direct flights from Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airlines. These airlines seem to have the shortest stopover times for flights heading to Hanoi.



vietnam train

The train journey is a genuine Vietnamese experience, an integral part of your trip as it is a good way to explore the real Vietnam. Linking with many cities such as Vinh, Dong Hoi, Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet and Ho Chi Minh City by the south –north railway line , Hanoi also has the connection by regular train with Lang Son, Thai Nguyen, Lao Cai and Halong. The northbound express trains are also named the Reunification Train that takes from 35 hours up to 42 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, with stops at key destinations of Vietnam. To save time and hotel bill, you can take an overnight train instead of using internal flights while travelling from Da Nang or Hue to Hanoi. The overnight train from Lao Cai to Hanoi is also a good choice. You can also take train ride from Bejing to Hanoi.



Being the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi links many provinces in northern, central and southern Vietnam. Thanks to the large volume of investment, the road system is rather developed. You can travel from major cities of Vietnam to Hanoi in good pace.


The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is an interesting mix of the East and the West with noticeable traces of the communist influence. With many things to choose from, ranging from mouthwatering street food to traditional entertainment, plus the fascinating history and culture, planning the first time trip in Hanoi can be challenging for many travellers. This quick travel guide of Hanoi can help you to make the right choice of what to do during your stay in Hanoi, getting the most out of your time.


1.Explore Hanoi Old Quarter
The most recommended area is Hanoi’s Old Quarter in Hoan Kiem District. This quarter used to be the residential, manufacturing and commercial center, where each street was specialized in one specific type of manufacturing or commerce. The narrow streets are often packed with scooters, bicycles and cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish, and  many sidewalk vendors as well as  people are simply out for a stroll. The  old quarter of Hanoi captivates you from dawn to midnight with a tone of attractions. The ideal way for your depth exploration  is a walking tour through the bustling streets, which gives plenty of stops to see  the bustling Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem Lake, Heritage House in Ma May Street, O Quan Trung Old Gate, Hang Be and Dinh Liet Streets  with many  food stands and open bars.


2.Check Out The History of Hanoi
If you prefer to explore the history of Vietnam, why not spend a half or full day  to visit the complex of Ho Chi Minh with its mausoleum and peaceful house, one pillared pagoda,  Imperial Citadel of Thang Long , and Temple of Literature. Hanoi also has many museums, some of which are the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, National Museum of Vietnamese History, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Vietnamese Women's Museum and Hoa Lo Prison. They give you an interesting look into the history of not only Hanoi but also Vietnam.


3.Admire Colonial Structures in Hanoi
Despite the turbulent history, Hanoi still preserves many structures built under the French Colonial Time. The famous  iconic examples of colonial architecture are mostly standing in the  districts of Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh. Within a short  distance  from the old quarter of Hanoi, you  catch a look at the Saint Joseph Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, Hotel Metropole, Tonkin Palace, Grand Palais, State Bank Indochina, and enjoy a walk along the famous Long Biên Bridge. Combining with a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, it takes you past various colonial style  buildings in Ba Dinh Districts. You can see as much as possible   colonial structures in Dien Bien Phu, Hoang Dieu and  Phan Dinh Phung Streets  and dig out the history of colonial time at the  Presidential Palace,  Chu Van An School (the High School of the Protectorate) ,  offices of the Vietnamese Communist Party and  Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


4.Go Shopping In Hanoi
Shopping is one of the primary things that people usually include in their to-do list while travelling or visiting any place. The remarkable shopping streets in Hanoi are Hang Gai and Hang Dao Streets which sell a large array of local handicrafts and fashionable silk items at high quality. If you are looking for some cheap souvenirs, go to the  night market where busy, bustling gathering of stalls and vendors brings crowds in droves. Opened every Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 19:00, the market runs  from Hang Dao Street to the edge of Dong Xuan Market. The whole sale market of Dong Xuan is also a good place to shop from ingredients to handbags.  There are also many markets and shopping malls around Hanoi, some of which are Hang Da Market, Trang Tien Plaza, Nha Tho and Hang Bac Streets.


5.Taste Authentic Hanoi Foods
Hanoi is also the culinary capital of Vietnam since many iconic Vietnamese dishes like Pho, Banh Cuon and Bun Cha  originate in Northern Vietnam. You can now find them around the country, but many people still believe that the best version is still found in Hanoi. Here is the list of famous dishes you should try when being in Hanoi,  including Bun Cha  – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli,  Nem Cua Be – Crab Spring Rolls, Cha Ca – Grilled Fish with Dill and Tumeric,  Bun Ca – Fish Noodle Soup, Banh Cuon – Steamed Rice Rolls,  Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup, Banh Mi – Vietnamese Sandwich,  Che – Vietnamese Sweet Soup  and  Café Trung- Vietnamese Egg Coffee.
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