Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a showcase of the East blends with the West. Rich in history, here you can find traits of Chinese influence in the city while surrounding by French colonial architecture, such as the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Temple of Literature and pagodas. Today, this ancient city has transformed into a vibrant and modern city with fancy cafes and restaurants, hustling street markets and cool art galleries.
If you plan to travel to other cities in Vietnam, Hanoi serves as the perfect base with a range of domestic flight options available at the Noi Bai International Airport in addition to international flights.
Cheap flights to Hanoi, Vietnam: HK Express currently operates flights between Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), and service to other popular cities in Vietnam. Please use our search feature above to find the cheapest flights for your date of travel!
The attractions in Hanoi are generally grouped into two main areas - the Old Quarter and the French Quarter.
Located at the northern half of Hoàn Kiếm District, the Old Quarter is the heart of the city with many colonial architecture packed within the small street blocks and alleys. Each street has its own specialties, such as silk, jewellery or herbal medicines. The Hoan Kiem Lake, also named as the ‘Lake of the Returned Sword’, refers to the legend that an emperor once received a sword from a magical turtle in this lake. Take a stroll along the lake with the locals and enjoy the stunning sunset view. Some other famous attractions such as the Ngoc Son Temple and the Dong Xuan Market are also located in the Old Quarter.
The Ba Đình District and the south of Hoàn Kiếm District makes up the French Quarter, another busy hub of the city. There are traits of French colonial rule in the area with impressive French-style architecture. The Ba Đình District acts as the political centre of Vietnam with buildings such as the Presidential Palace, National Assembly Building, several ministries and embassies. The south of Hoàn Kiếm District meanwhile consists of French-Colonial landmarks including Hanoi Opera House, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, the National Museum of Vietnamese History, and the St. Joseph's Cathedral.
There are also many suburbs nearby Hanoi located with spiritual attractions or natural wonders worth paying a visit. Around 25 km away from Hanoi city centre lies the Thầy Pagoda in Quốc Oai District, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam. Thầy Pagoda Festival is held annually, attracting the pilgrims and tourists to pay a visit to this spiritual place. Located in the Hoa Bihn province is the Perfume Pagoda - a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. It is considered as one of the most important complexes of temples in Vietnam.
Stroll along the Old Quarter to learn about the rich culture of Vietnam. Drop by various specialty stores for some nice souvenirs or taste some popular street food at the busy local eateries such as spicy noodle soups, fried meats, pancakes, and sweet desserts like tapioca. Try taking a ride on a Vietnamese cycle to get around the neighbourhood for a unique experience!
Discover Hanoi’s history by taking a tour to the must-see historic attractions like the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long with over 1,000 years of history and listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is another important historic site in Hanoi which pays tributes to the legendary revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. There are also museums which display comprehensive information if you wish to learn more.
Experience the rich Vietnamese culture and history by watching the Water Puppet Show at the Thang Long Theatre. You can listen to the traditional Vietnamese folk music and watch the ancient Vietnamese folk tales and legends coming to life with the movements of the puppets.
The Bia Hoi Junction is packed with small bars, street food carts and shops. Located at the corner of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets in the Hanoi Old Quarter, it’s the perfect place if you are looking for some ice-cold beers and making friends with the locals.
Hanoi is filled with all kinds of authentic Vietnamese cuisines. Get your stomach prepared to fill up with the signature food such as Bun Cha, a noodle soup with pork pie, shrimp pancakes, Vietnamese Pho, spring rolls and the Vietnamese bread Bánh Mì. Be sure not to miss the unique egg coffee drink! Want to bring the Vietnamese dishes back home after the trip? Sign up for a cooking class for a unique experience of the traditional culture and Vietnamese food!
Halong Bay is a well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site and the top tourist spot in northern Vietnam. Spend a day, or even go on an overnight tour during your trip to explore this natural wonder! You will see the picturesque landscape of this beautiful bay of many small limestone islands. You can even tour on a kayak to take a closer look at the majestic caves and rock formations.
Ninh Binh province has a rich heritage and sights as it locates one of the biggest pagodas in Southeast Asia - the Bai Dinh Pagoda. You can also travel to the Ngoa Long Mountain at the famous Mua Cave for a stunning view of the Tam Coc Valley. Admire the beauty of Trang An on a relaxing ride on the sampan board along the river. Definitely a good option if you want some tranquillity beyond the busy streets of Hanoi.
Most visitors choose to stay at the Old Quarter where the top attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, Opera House and night markets are within walking distance. Another neighbourhood to consider is the French Quarter where you can experience staying at some old French architecture. Some may choose to stay in West Lake where you can rest in a serene environment, away from the hectic city centre.
Accommodation choices in Hanoi range from budget to luxury hotels. If you love a luxurious hotel experience, then you must not miss staying at the Sofitel Legend Metropole, the most iconic hotel in Hanoi and also a historic landmark. Hostels and boutique hotels are also available if you are on a budget.
Taxis, buses, and motorbikes are available for getting around Hanoi. The extensive bus network in Hanoi brings you to various locations around the city with low-cost fare. You can also take the classic cyclo to tour around the Old Quarter along with the city’s unique scenery.
The best time to visit Hanoi is from February to April when rainfall is at its lowest and most days are warm and sunny. In late September to November, the fall weather in Hanoi is beautiful with clear skies and the temperature is not too hot.
Vietnamese Dong (VND)
The average flight time between Hong Kong and Hanoi is around 2 hours.
The best time to visit is from late September to April, with lowest rainfall and before the weather becomes too hot for travel in Summer.
Popular attractions include Old Quarter, French Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.