Hanoi guide Vietnam

Sights and Monuments - In this article, you will learn about famous landmarks in Hanoi such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, various temples and more.

Accommodation - Here you will find recommendations for different types of accommodation in Hanoi, from luxury hotels to pleasant 3* hotels or cheap hostels.

Food and drink - What should you try in Hanoi?

Practical travel advice - What to visit, how to travel around the city, local customs, weather...

Celebrities - Information not only about the most famous politician Ho Chi Minh.

Weather - When does it rain here, air temperatures, humidity... When can a typhoon come?

Poem AI - What did artificial intelligence think about Hanoi?


Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and one of the most important cultural, historical and political centers in the country, is located in the north of Vietnam. The Red River (Sông Hồng) flows through the city. Over 8 million people live in this second largest city of Vietnam.

The rich history of the city goes back thousands of years. It was the capital of Vietnam during the Lý, Trần and Le dynasties. During the colonial era, the French Indochina administration was based here. That is why you will find many historical monuments and traditional architecture here. Old districts such as Hoàn Kiếm and Ba Đình offer breathtaking alleys, temples, pagodas and colonial buildings. The Thang Long Fortress and the Temple Complex of Literature are on the UNESCO list of monuments.

In the middle of the historic district of Hoàn Kiếm stretches the lake of the same name. On an island in the lake, there is the Ngọc Sơn Temple and the Huc Bridge connecting the shore to the island.

Bridge Huc
Huc bridge

In the modern district of Ba Đình, you will find the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace and the Meeting House, which was an important site during the Vietnam War.
As the center of Vietnamese culture and art, Hanoi hosts many theaters, museums, traditional music performances and art galleries.

Hanoi is also famous for its delicious cuisine. The streets of the city are full of food stalls offering phở (soups), bún chả (grilled pork with noodles) and other specialties.

You can buy traditional Vietnamese products and souvenirs in one of the many markets and shops.

The city celebrates several traditional festivals, including Tết (New Year) and many cultural events throughout the year.

Street in Hanoi
Street in Hanoi

Sights and attractions

Hanoi, as the historical and cultural center of Vietnam, offers many interesting monuments and historical sites:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - the mausoleum where the body of the founder of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, is kept. This monumental building in the style of Soviet architecture was built in the center on Ba Đình Square, opposite the Parliament Building.

The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum

Ba Đình Square - a square in the center of the city, important for Vietnamese history. It is home to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace and the Meeting House where Vietnam's independence was declared.

Temple Complex of Literature (Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám) - the oldest university complex in Vietnam. It served to educate Chinese officials. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site of peaceful pagodas, statues and beautiful gardens.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Ngọc Sơn Island - an iconic place of Hanoi. The Huc Bridge connects the shore with the island on which Ngọc Sơn Temple stands. The name of the lake translates as the Lake of the Returned Sword according to a legend from the 15th century. Giant tortoises used to live in the lake.

Huc Bridge to Ngoc Son Island
Huc Bridge to Ngoc Son Island

Thang Long Fortress (Hồ Citadel) - Built in the 11th century, Thang Long Fortress served as an imperial palace and a center of political power. Archaeological excavations are currently underway in this historical monument, which are trying to reveal as much as possible of the rich history of the "City of the Flying Dragon".

Thang Long fortress
Thang Long Fortress

Old Quarter (Old Quarter) – in this historic part of Hanoi, you can walk through the old streets, shop at local markets or stalls. Here you will enjoy both walking and discovering traditional architecture and tasting Vietnamese cuisine.

Quán Thánh Temple (Place of the Gods) – one of the oldest Taoist temples in Hanoi. It is among the four sacred temples of the capital. They founded it at the beginning of the 11th century.

Tran Quoc Pagoda - the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, built as early as the 6th century. You can find it on the southeast shore of West Lake.

Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda

St. Joseph's Cathedral - you can also find Catholic churches in Hanoi. The Neo-Gothic cathedral was built after the famous Notre Dame and some parts of the cathedral were imported from France. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi is located here. They opened it in 1886 on Christmas Day, but in the 20th century they closed it for 35 years due to the communist regime.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology - the museum of ethnology represents the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Vietnam. It includes exhibits that document the traditions and lives of all 54 ethnic communities in the country. You can find it about 8 km from the city center.

Long Biên Bridge – historical cantilever bridge over the Red River. One of the oldest bridges in Vietnam was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It measures almost 2.5 km.

Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge


In Hanoi, you can choose from nearly 3,000 accommodation facilities, which include apartments, hotels, guesthouses, villas and hostels. Almost all accommodations have air conditioning, but beware! Not all are non-smoking.

If you are going to Hanoi for work, you might be interested in the 4* Solaria Hanoi Hotel, which offers a business center in addition to beautiful views from the terrace. The local restaurant will prepare both local and international dishes for you. Among the places of interest, you can find St. Joseph's Cathedral nearby.

If you are looking for mid-range accommodation in the city center, SWORD LAKE Hotel might interest you. This allergy-free accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk. In all rooms you will find a seating area, air conditioning and even a safe. You can enjoy a view of the city from the terrace.

You can enjoy true luxury in the elegant 5* hotel Elegant Mansion 88, which is located on the shore of Ho Tay Lake (West Lake). You can relax in the garden or by the seasonal outdoor pool. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake and the city from the terrace. In winter you can use the sauna.

View of West Lake
View of West Lake

A pleasant 3* hotel at a good price near the center, that is Hanoi La Cascada House & Travel. In addition to luggage storage, tourist information and currency exchange, you will also find a reception open 24 hours a day. Some rooms have a view of the city, some have a terrace.

Cheap accommodation in the center is offered, for example, by TrangTien Hostel. You can stay here either in shared capsule rooms or in a private double room. The hostel offers a shared kitchen or exchange services.

For a complete offer of accommodation in Hanoi, we recommend using A-HOTEL.com. You can also use Booking.com offer for Hanoi.

Food and drink

In Hanoi, you can taste a wide variety of delicious Vietnamese food and drinks. Here are some of the typical dishes and drinks worth trying:

Phở – traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with beef or chicken, flavored with herbs, lime and chili pepper. It can also be shrimp, fish or vegetarian. One of the most famous Vietnamese dishes was originally prepared for breakfast, but today you can have it at any time of the day.

Traditional soup Pho
Traditional soup Pho

Bún Chả - a dish consisting of grilled pork belly, served with rice noodles. It can also be served with a refreshing fish oil, sugar, lime and chilli sauce, with pickled vegetables or fresh herbs.

Bánh Mì - Vietnamese baguette filled with various ingredients, such as grilled meat (usually pork, sometimes also chicken or fish), sausage, vegetables, herbs and mayonnaise. They add rice flour to the baguette, otherwise it resembles a French baguette.

Bún Bò Nam Bộ - a mixture of rice noodles, beef, herbs, lettuce and peanuts, served with fish oil sauce and lime.

Nem (Vietnamese rolls) - thin rice papers filled with a mixture of grilled meat, shrimp, herbs and vegetables. They are usually served with a fish oil-based sauce.

Nem rolls
Nem rolls

Traditional Vietnamese coffee - strong and sweet, often served with condensed milk. The most popular is "cà phê sữa đá", iced coffee with condensed milk.

Bia Hơi - cheap refreshing beer, available in many restaurants and stalls around the city. Both locals and tourists like to drink it. It is one of the cheapest beers in the world. It contains no preservatives and must be drunk on the first day after production.

Traditional Vietnamese tea - a popular drink in Vietnam. Here you can taste different types of tea, such as green, jasmine or lotus, which are most often offered in restaurants and cafes.

Sinh Tố (fruit shake) - fruit shake mixed with milk, yogurt or ice. It is a refreshing drink suitable for hot days.

Practical advice

Don't forget to check the validity of your passport before you go and see if you need a visa to enter Vietnam. If so, secure it in time.

It pays to have travel insurance to protect you in the event of health problems, lost luggage or trip cancellation.

Buses and taxis operate as public transport in Hanoi. It is recommended to use the services of trusted taxi companies. You can also use mototaxi services, which are cheap and often used by locals. You can also use a bicycle taxi in Hanoi. The cyclist will comfortably take you where you need to go and at the same time allow you to tour the surrounding monuments and streets. It's a slower but more fun mode of transportation.

Bicycle taxi
Bicycle taxi

Hanoi has a humid subtropical climate with warm summers and cold winters. Check the weather forecast in advance and adjust your clothing according to the current conditions. In summer, clothes made of light, airy materials, in winter, warmer clothes.

Hanoi is generally a safe city, but as in any big city, be careful with your valuables and be careful when dealing on the streets. Be careful when crossing the road - the traffic tends to be heavy and varied.

Respect local culture and customs. Keep in mind that asking questions about politics can be a sensitive topic. If you visit temples or holy places, follow the appropriate rules of dress and behavior.

Keep a first aid kit with painkillers, diarrhea and the like. Jaundice A+B, typhoid and tetanus vaccinations are also recommended.

A basic knowledge of English will help you especially in areas frequented by tourists. However, the locals often only speak basic English, so you'd better get an English-Vietnamese dictionary or a translation app as well.

The local currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Most shops and restaurants only accept cash. Keep small bills and coins with you.

Drink only bottled water and avoid ice in water unless you are sure of its purity. As for food, try to eat in busy places with freshly prepared dishes to minimize the risk of intestinal problems.

Local street restaurant
Eating in the street is not for turists


The climate in Hanoi is divided into 2 seasons - dry and rainy. The most precipitation falls in July and spring, up to 500 mm, the least in December and February.
In the rainy season (from May to October) temperatures rise up to 35°C. It is humid and stuffy during this period. A typhoon may come in September and October.
In the dry season (from November to April) it cools down to a pleasant 15-25°C. However, most of the day is cloudy with light drizzle.


Ho Chi Minh (1890 - 1969) – statesman, president, founder of modern Vietnam and leader of the Vietnamese liberation movement. In Hanoi, you can find his commemoration in various monuments and institutions, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Guards in front of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum
Guards in front of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum

Tran Hung Dao (1228 – 1300) - an important warlord in Vietnamese history. It played an important role in the defense of the country against the invasion of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. His memory is revered in Hanoi and throughout Vietnam.

Phan Đình Phùng (1847 – 1895) - a prominent political and military leader in the 19th century who led resistance against French colonial rule. His birth house has been converted into a museum and you can visit it in Hanoi.

Đặng Thùy Trâm (1942 – 1970) - a young Vietnamese doctor who kept a diary during the Vietnam War. Her diaries published in 2005 under the title "Last Night I Dreamed of Peace" gained great popularity around the world.

Lý Thái Tổ (974 – 1028) - founder of the Lý dynasty, one of the most important dynasties in Vietnamese history. His memory is revered in Hanoi and throughout Vietnam.

A poem by AI

In the ancient streets of old Hanoi,
Traces of the past through the windy corridors.
The sound of temple bells and the smell of incense,
Stories of past illustrious destinies.

In Hoàn Kiếm's glistening lake,
Clouds dance over its surface, reconciled.
The Huc Bridge, which connects the old with the new,
Ngọc Sơn Island where they pray with bells.

In the streets of the Old Town full of life,
The sounds of markets and the smell of fresh food.
Traditional coffee and cyclo-taxi in a breeze,
Similar to entering the ancient world.

Hanoi, the city of heart and soul,
Where the past and the present meet.
In stories of sounds, smells and sights,
The magic of an ancient city where nights of calm rage.

Colourful street of Hanoi
Colourful street of Hanoi