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Things to Do in Hanoi | 9x must sees and fun day tours

Hanoi, you will love it or hate it.. If you like cities and a bit of hustle and bustle, I can guarantee you will love Hanoi! The traffic is a big chaos, you can find it on every corner of the street streetfood, shops that all offer the same thing, street art, rooftop bars and restaurants, markets and so much more! Hanoi is a very lively city where you can really see your eyes everywhere. Hanoi is in my opinion a must see attraction in itself! A must to at least 2 days to spend during you travel route through Vietnam.

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Things to Do in Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. So enough to see! As I said, Hanoi is an experience in itself. I spent more than a whole day just wandering through the city center, you come across all kinds of things. Outside of 'Hanoi itself' there are not many sights, but I have a few for you that I can definitely recommend!

Also read: Singapore | 10 must-sees in the cleanest city in the world

Hanoi Landmarks
Hanoi Landmarks

1.Hanoi Old Quarter

Old Quarter is the must see historic center of Hanoi. This district used to be the residential, production and trade center, where every street specialized was in a specific type of production or trade. This is very nice to see. When you walk into a street you immediately know which 'street' you are on. For example, you have a street where ALL shops sell everything for the kitchen and, for example, a street with only cleaning products. Literally every shop sells the same thing. How do you choose then I always wonder?! I personally liked Hanoi Old Quarter de nicest neighborhood in Hanoi† Here is the most to see and when you walk through here you really experience the local life of Vietnam. Be careful where you walk, here too the traffic is chaos, a organized chaos, yes!

Tip:: when you want to cross the street, check a good moment first and then walk calmly across the street, even if there is traffic coming from all sides. You will notice the traffic moving around you. During your first days in Vietnam this will be exciting, but after a few days you don't know any better.

A typical photo for Hanoi | The normal life
A typical photo for Hanoi | The normal life
You will find these kind of mini shops everywhere
You will find these kind of mini shops everywhere

2.Hanoi Trompe L'Oeil Murals

The famous works of art can be found on the Phung Hung Street, not far from Hanoi Old Quarter. You will find a dozen works of art here, all of which are located in the same street. All works of art show something of the daily life of the Vietnamese. Because of the 3d elements you can take nice pictures with it and thus 'blend' with the locals! This is both a fun must see and must do!

Street art in Hanoi - Beautiful paintings
Street art in Hanoi | Beautiful paintings
Every wall a new work of art | Phung Hung Street
Every wall a new work of art | Phung Hung Streett
Another beautiful painting in Phung Hung Street
Another beautiful painting in Phung Hung Street

3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the Most Visited Attractions in Hanoi† It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's most iconic and popular leader. In Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, his body is kept in a glass coffin. It is prohibited to take photos or videos during your visit. You can leave your camera in the lobby in the mausoleum. Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is free.

Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minha
Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minha

4. Train Street of Hanoi

It's unbelievable (and especially for us Dutch) how the train races past between the narrow street "train street". Along the track you will find several shops and cafes that all have to take into account that the train twice a day will come by. Unfortunately, these cafes have been closed for some time to ensure the safety of tourists. You can still walk across the track (provided no train arrives, of course). Check the current train times in your accommodation in advance.

Hanoi Train Street
Hanoi Train Street
Hanoi Train Street
Hanoi Train Street

5. Tran Quoc Pagoda & Hoan Kiem Lake

The Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on Hoan Kiem Lake. another must see sight in Hanoi. It is located a bit outside the Old Quarter city center, but walkable. Also whenever you want escape the crowds from the Old Quarter then Hoan Kiem Lake is a nice place to relax. If you don't have enough time in Hanoi, I would skip this attraction, because unlike the other activities it is further away.

Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Things to Do in Hanoi

6. Drink Vietnamese Egg Coffee

You wouldn't say it, but Vietnam is, na Brazil, the biggest coffee producer of the world. A real coffee country, and you can see that everywhere in daily life when you are in Vietnam. Vietnam is known for its Egg coffee (cà phê trung), or egg coffee. In short, coffee with egg. Now you're probably thinking: 'he bah', but believe me it is surprisingly tasty, a must taste! Your Vietnam trip isn't complete if you haven't tried Egg Coffee.

Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Vietnamese Egg Coffee

7. The note coffee

The best cafe in Hanoi was The Note Coffee. Why? Because it's really different and really a nice experience† The cafe is literally and figuratively covered from top to bottom with colored sticky notes† You'll find inspiring messages from travelers that they want to leave to other travelers, as well as messages that travelers leave to their loved ones. In addition to coffee and juices, the cafe offers delicious pastries that you will not find everywhere in Vietnam and of course you get a sticky note with a personal message.

Very nice to read all those notes | The Note Coffee
Very nice to read all those notes | The Note Coffee

8. Day Tour to Halong Bay

Are you short on time during your travel itinerary through Vietnam? Then you can also choose to take a day tour from Hanoi to the must-see Halong Bay. You will then leave in the morning and you will travel approximately 2 to 3 hours before arriving at the port. Keep in mind that a day tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay can be very crowded. A better and cheaper alternative is to visit Halong Bay from Cat Ba Island.

Tip:: Find a provider that visits Lan Ha Bay instead of Halong Bay. This bay looks the same but is less touristy.

Day Tour to Halong Bay
Day Tour to Halong Bay
Day Tour to Halong Bay
Day Tour to Halong Bay

9. Continue your journey to Tam Coc

Another must-see on your Vietnam itinerary: Tam Coc. This gem and perhaps the most beautiful thing you will see in Vietnam. Tam Coc is also called Halong Bay on land named. Check out the photos below and you'll immediately understand why!

Also read: The 12 Most Beautiful National Parks in Vietnam | From Jungle to Beach

Tam Coco
Tam Coco

Where to Stay in Hanoi

Hanoi has a lot to offer when it comes to hostels or hotels. The accommodations are cheap and have a good rating. Something that doesn't often go together. Make sure you find a nice accommodation in it old quarter† Everything can be seen from here on walking distance and besides, this is the nicest and coziest place to be.

Also read: 10x what to do in Hoi An, the coziest city in Vietnam

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Ilse & Nick

ILSE & NICK - OUR TRAVEL LIFE
♥️ Travel addicts from #netherlands
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