9 Must Do’s When You Visit Hanoi


There’s a thousand and one things to do in Hanoi. When you’re pressed for time, however, you want to make sure you get to strike the most important ones off your bucket list. Whether you book tours with travel agencies or build your own itinerary, there are absolute ‘must-do’ activities you have to try.

Paintings for Sale at the Old Quarter
Paintings for Sale at the Old Quarter

Here are a few activities you wouldn’t want to miss out on:

Ho Chi Minh Complex
Ho Chi Minh Complex

1. Explore Ho Chi Minh Complex

Go sight-seeing within the city! Wander around the Ho Chi Minh Complex and all its multiple offerings that will tell you more about Vietnam and its people. There’s the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Ba Dinh Square and many others.

Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature

2. Visit the Temple of Literature

If you want a sampling of traditional Vietnamese architecture, the Temple of Literature is the place to be. It’s a beautiful structure with a huge garden, but also full of history and fascinating facts. You can explore and walk the same steps as Vietnam royalty thousands of years ago.

One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda

3. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda

Another historical and religious site is the One Pillar Pagoda. A Buddhist structure, it is built of wood on a single stone pillar and it resembles like a lotus blossoms over the water.

Vietnamese Lady standing in the middle of the Red Bridge
Vietnamese Lady standing in the middle of the Red Bridge / Hoan Kiem Lake

4. Walk Around Hoan Kiem Lake

You can also walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and take pictures of scenic trees, flowers, and structures built around it. Hoan Kiem Lake is now a popular spot for photo shoots and people who loves jogging every morning and afternoon. Dont forget to take a selfie shot at The Huc Bridge (The Huc, meaning Morning Sunlight Bridge) – its a red painted bridge that leads you to the Ngoc Son Temple.

Street Food in Hanoi
Street Food in Hanoi

5. Try Authentic Vietnamese Coffee and Hanoi’s Street Food

Vietnam’s coffee is unique in the world. It’s not just the beans that people rave about, it’s how it is prepared. If you’ve had enough of the pho and want a new gastronomic experience, Hanoi is also famous for its street food. The huge and fluffy breads sold on the streets of Hanoi shows how French People influenced the local food landscape. In Hanoi, the street food scene is so diverse that there are tours dedicated to giving tourists a taste of what the City can offer.

Bun Cha
Bun Cha

6. Eat Bun Cha and Nem Cua Be

Exploring a new country is not complete without having these local meals at least once. Traditional crab squares, or Nem Cua Be, is perfect for a big meal after a long day of touring. For meat lovers, there’s the famous Bun Cha or pork and noodles. After one serving, you’ll realize why Vietnamese cuisine is so famous worldwide.

Ha Long Bay Cruise
Halong Bay Vietnam Cruise

7. Go on the Ha Long Bay Cruise

When in Hanoi, you can’t leave without experiencing Vietnam’s most beautiful natural wonder. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and that means it’s the best the world has to offer! Have lunch on a traditional junk boat, go kayaking, or explore some caves.

The Water Puppet Show
The Water Puppet Show

8. Watch a Water Puppet Show

For a unique sampling of Vietnamese culture, you can also catch a water puppet show. The puppets perform on water, retelling Vietnam’s popular folklores and stories in the rural setting. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family or even with your friends!

Native Handicraft Vendor at Hanois Old District
Native Handicraft Vendor at Hanoi’s Old District

9. Explore the Old Quarter District

You can also go around the Old Quarter District where modern meets traditional. The hustle and bustle of Old Quarter makes it a fun place from morning to night. This is also the place to go to for restaurants, and stalls to buy souvenirs to take home to friends and family.

Don’t miss out on the very best experiences Hanoi has to offer. Fortunately, you can do all these awesome activities in just three to four days, and even on a strict budget! With these activities, you can experience the food, the culture, and see Vietnam’s famous natural sceneries.

Our Hanoi Vietnam Bloggers Familiarization Tour was sponsored by Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific flies from Manila to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam twice weekly every Tuesday and Saturday, leaving Manila at 10:30PM and arriving in Hanoi at 12:30am. Return flights will leave Hanoi at 1am every Wednesday and Sunday, and arrive in Manila at 5am.

For bookings and inquiries, guests can go to www.cebupacificair.com, or call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020-888 or (032) 230-8888. The latest seat sales and promos can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter and Facebook pages.