The tourist season has returned to Hanoi. To the people who is having plan to travel Hanoi, or who came but has not had opportunity to enjoy the city, I hope this summary of things to do in Hanoi will give you some ideas for the traveling days.

Below are the top things that every Hanoian love doing for relaxation specially only in this city.

1. Ride motorbike around West Lake no matter how the weather is sunny or rainy.

Just kidding! In the summer, the daytime outdoor temperature is close to 40 degrees Celsius. So you should only do this in the evening. In winter, do the opposite.

Recently in Hanoi, there is also a trend of cycling around West Lake. Cycling combined with enjoying the cool breeze, sometimes stopping by the roadside to make a bottle of beer or a glass of sugarcane juice is great.

2. Come to Ngu Xa street to have a meal of Steamed “Pho” paper rolls.

Pho is widely known as a specialty of Hanoi. But in Hanoi, we also have another specialty: Pho paper rolls. You can have Pho in almost everywhere in Hanoi. About Pho paper rolls, Ngu Xa street is the place that all Hanoian want to come to have in case of going out for lunch or for dinner.

Besides, Pho is not the only wonderful dish you can have in Hanoi. You can check out for more in here: Top 5 must-try dishes of Hanoi cuisine.

A bowl of Pho in Hanoi

3. Go to school or go to work through the “super-jammed streets” like Cau Giay, Giai Phong, De La Thanh…

Just kidding, too! I know that no one wants to stuck in traffic jam. This is actually the most horrible thing to do in Hanoi. Have you ever imagined that it can take one hour to drive the whole distance 5km? Sometimes in Hanoi, the speed of a car is only equal to that of a pedestrian.

If you have stayed at home for too long, you may love this thing.

4. Enjoy a panoramic view of Hanoi from the observation deck of the Keangnam building.

Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower is the tallest building in the city and the second tallest building in Vietnam. So you can try this if you are not afraid of heights.

5. Play jumping and climbing indoors at Jump Arena (Tang Bat Ho Street).

Hanoi has not only outdoor activities but also many places to play indoor games. Jump Arena is an example. Honestly, I’ve never been here before, but many of my friends come here and say it’s quite ok.

6. Take a set of Hanoi photos with street vendors selling full of flowers.

This thing must be done in the fall or in the winter because only these seasons have a lot of street vendors selling flowers. In case you are in Hanoi in the spring or summer, here are my suggestions: Places to have great photoshoots for days trip in Hanoi.

7. Come to Nghia Tan Market to have a full set of vermicelli with fried tofu & shrimp paste, add dozen of grilled meat skewers and finish by a bowl of bean curd.

Wow another things to do in Hanoi relating to food.

Summer is coming. Don’t forget to try Top 4 must-try desserts for summer in Hanoi.

8. Enjoy coffee at Đinh Cafe to watch the crowded streets of normal days.

Dinh Cafe is near Hoan Kiem Lake. Coffee here are great. From the balcony of this cafe, you can watch the crowded streets of normal days, specially in the fall. I’m pretty sure that you will feel peace.

The owner sometimes also plays rock music from the 70s-80s. I really like this feature of the Dinh cafe.

Having a cup of coffe in Hanoi

9. Enjoy whatever kinds of milk tea including but not limited to Phuc Long, Gongcha, Dingtea, Koi Thé,  The Alley…

I’m not a fan of milk tea but most of my friends are. If you are like my friends, above are the list of the famous milk tea brands in Hanoi that you may be interested in.

10. Eat hot pot and BBQ in Gam Cau Street and watch the train run by.

Actually you can have hot pot and BBQ in many places but having such dinner under a railway bridge is such an amazing experience.

11. Ask for calligraphy in the Temple of Literature.

During Tet Holiday, calligraphy is one of traditional meaningful customs which are practiced in Vietnamese culture. The meaningful characters written on special papers have become the symbol of good luck, worshipping objects for thousands years in Vietnam. Temple of Literature is where you can ask for calligraphy.

Mural art about calligraphy

12. Drink beer in Ta Hien Street.

Draft beer on the pavement is what you can find in almost every districts of Hanoi. But in the Old Quarters, you will find a street with full of restaurants serving draft beer, which is quite close to the Walking Streets system. The most famous street to drink beer is Ta Hien.

Near Ta Hien street, you can find Ma May street with the specialties named Vietnamese barbecue.

Besides, there are also some bars or pubs on Ta Hien and Ma May street.

13. Watch the sunset on Long Bien Bridge.

Long Bien Bridge was built in 1899-1902 by the architects Daydé & Pillé of Paris, and opened in 1903. Long Bien Bridge across the Red River has played a large role in Hanoi’s self-image and is often extolled in poetry and song. Watching the sunset here with your lover is quite romantic.

14. Sit by the West Lake, spread mats, eat melon seeds and drink with friends.

If you want to have a picnic right in the center of the city, West Lake is not a bad idea. You can not only cycling or riding around West Lake, you can also be with your friends gathering by the West Lake and drinking together.

15. Wander around Hoan Kiem Lake, enjoy Hanoi Walking Street and buy some books on Dinh Le Street – the book street of Hanoi in the Old Quarter.

In relation to this section, you can find out more in this post which I have written: 6 things you may not know about Hanoi Walking Streets.

Above are the list of 15 things to do in Hanoi if you come here. I hope that you will love this city.

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