Should You Visit Hanoi?

Is Hanoi worth visiting?

Yes, you'll find numerous reasons to visit Hanoi, and it's a city that everyone should see. We had an amazing time here. We first visited in the fall of 2009 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with its history and culture-filled old quarter.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the terrific museums and great historical sights.

It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in U.S. News Best Places to Visit in Asia.

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and it offers a unique glimpse into the northern Vietnamese culture. The city is filled with interesting architecture, local foods, and bustling street markets. At the heart of the city's energy is the Old Quarter, which is where you'll find backpackers, locals, and tourists all intermingling.

Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

6 Reasons to Visit Hanoi

1. Museums

The city is rich in history and culture, which you can experience through its many museums and temples. Notable sights include the Temple of Literature, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hoa Lo Prison Museum, and the Imperial Citadel.

2. Historical Sights

This compact and energetic area is filled with history, Vietnamese architecture, traditional food stalls, and some of the city's most interesting streets. It's also at the heart of the city's backpacker scene, and you'll find many hostels in the area.

3. Shopping

Explore the Old Quarter where you'll find narrow shophouses and traditional markets. It's best to explore on foot and pop in to the places that look interesting. Silk Street and Silver Street are particularly fascinating.

4. Food

Northern Vietnamese cuisine is fresh and delicious. There are some Chinese influences, but it still has a distinct flavor that's all its own. Most notably, Hanoi is the birthplace of the famous soup, Pho. There are also many dishes that use freshwater fish and seafood. Street food and food stalls are a part of the culture, and you'll find some of the best dishes prepared right on the street.

5. Nightlife

There are night markets, nightclubs, and bars that are popular with backpackers and other young travelers. Some of the best streets for nightlife include Ta Hien Street, Hang Buom Street, Trang Tien Street, and Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street.

6. The Costs

Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Hanoi might be a very affordable destination for you. Check out the travel costs for Hanoi here or see if Hanoi is expensive here.




Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Hanoi.

Why would you recommend Hanoi to budget travelers? Or, why not?

We booked a few tours from Hanoi. It's easy to organize trips to Halong Bay or Sapa from town, but prices can vary widely so shop around.

Gail
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Jul 1 2023

What makes Hanoi a budget-friendly destination? Or not?

Hanoi is super affordable if you stay at a local hotel and stay flexible with your plans. The things you book after you arrive with be cheaper than anything you book in advance.

matt_l_2019
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Oct 5 2023

How can you save money during your time in Hanoi?

We stayed in the Old Quarter where there were plenty of cheap hostels and local restaurants where you can grab a bite without spending to much. Pull up a plastic chair and enjoy a meal cooked right outside.

travel_for_life
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Apr 7 2024

There are so many cheap places to stay and eat in Hanoi. It's really not hard to get by on a budget.

Scott_482
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Sep 17 2023

We found most things around town to be pretty cheap, especially if you negotiate. Our hotel was modern and clean, and we shopped around for a good deal in a good location. The restaurants are amazing if you look for the local spots and avoid the tourist crowds. We also ended up walking a lot to avoid taxis and took the buses when possible. Learning to negotiate with taxi drivers really saved our budget in the end.

on_a_budget
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Jun 11 2023

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Is Hanoi worth visiting in the Summer?

The weather here is somewhat warm for most of the season, with average temperatures around 29°C (84°F). However, this time of year it's also rainy, so it might not be ideal for many activities.

The low season for travel in Hanoi is during the summer. This destination is quite touristy, but in the low season you'll see fewer crowds and much better prices.

The activities of the city are numerous, and this is a great time of year to explore all of them. From family-friendly attractions to romantic getaways, as well as budget-friendly things to do, there's something for everyone. Famous landmarks, museums, tours, and more are all available. This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, enjoy the city's energy, and admire the historic sights. Also, you'll be able to enjoy the evening activities.


Summer Weather in Hanoi
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 29°C (84°F) 210 mm (8.3 in)
August 29°C (84°F) 200 mm (7.9 in)
September 28°C (82°F) 160 mm (6.3 in)

Is Hanoi worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Hanoi. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

The weather here is somewhat warm for most of the season, with average temperatures around 25°C (77°F). However, this time of year it's also rainy, so it might not be ideal for many activities.

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to browse around the old town, browse through museums, and discover the big city activities.


Autumn Weather in Hanoi
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 25°C (77°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
November 22°C (72°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
December 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)

Is Hanoi worth visiting in the Winter?

The high season for travel in Hanoi is the winter, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is quite popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect crowds to be large, and prices to be a bit higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too.

The weather this time of year is terrific, and averages around 17°C (63°F) through the season. This is one of the main reasons that travelers come, because they are looking for beautiful weather and a fun escape.

During this season it's fun to experience the famous sights and museums, the cuisine, and the historic old town. Also, you can enjoy an evening out and soak up the big city atmosphere.


Winter Weather in Hanoi
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 17°C (63°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
February 17°C (63°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
March 21°C (70°F) 50 mm (2 in)

Is Hanoi worth visiting in the Spring?

The weather here is somewhat warm for most of the season, with average temperatures around 24°C (75°F). However, this time of year it's also rainy, so it might not be ideal for many activities.

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Hanoi, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. This is a great time of year to browse the shops, browse the museums, and admire the historic sights. Also, you can check out the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Hanoi
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 24°C (75°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
June 29°C (84°F) 190 mm (7.5 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Hanoi

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

Getting Around
The area is not very walkable, and public transit is not great here, so it might be difficult to get around without arranging your own transportation.

Related

What is Hanoi most famous for?

Hanoi is most famous for its impressive street food, historical museums, and bustling energy. The city is very popular for its museums, historical sights, and shopping. It's also known for food and nightlife. It is often described as cultural, historical, fascinating, high energy, and colorful.


What is the most famous sight in Hanoi?

The most popular sight in Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Hanoi on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Hoan Kiem Lake and other attractions here.

How touristy is Hanoi? Is it a popular city to visit?

Hanoi is a popular city for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Hanoi Jeep Tour: Red River Countryside Culture & Daily Life: $55
    • Hanoi Motorbike Tour: Hanoi HIGHTLIGHTS & HIDDEN GEMS: $55
    • Hanoi Jeep Tours: Hanoi City Jeep Tours Half Day: $59
    • Halong Bay Day Trip 5star Amethyst Cruise Small Group-Pool-Limo: $69
    • Army Jeep Countryside Tour Half Days - See Rural Village, Rice Paddies...: $85
    • The Original Craft Beer tour of Hanoi: $115
    • Hanoi Jeep Tours: Hanoi Countryside Jeep Tours Half Day: $59
    • Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour: $32

    How long should I spend in Hanoi?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Hanoi is at least three or as many as five days. Since Hanoi has a variety of activities such as museums, historical sights, and shopping, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Hanoi?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Hanoi?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Hanoi?.