2-Day Local Experience: Sightseeing, Shopping & Cuisine in Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

2 days

Cau Giay park
Huong pagoda in autumn
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Rice fields on terraced of Mu Cang Chai
Fruit seller with bicycle

About Hanoi, Vietnam

Discover the enchanting city of Hanoi, the cultural heart of Vietnam. This bustling metropolis offers a blend of old-world charm and modern development. Explore the Old Quarter's narrow streets, filled with craft shops, boutiques, and divine street food. Visit the serene Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a significant historical site. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, the city's spiritual and geographical heart. Don't miss the traditional water puppet show, a unique Vietnamese art form. Hanoi also serves as a gateway to the stunning Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its rich history, vibrant nightlife, and warm locals, Hanoi promises an unforgettable travel experience.

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Historical Sites and Enjoying Local Cuisine


Start your day with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an important historical attraction of Hanoi, Vietnam. It's a great place to learn about Vietnam's history and culture.


Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Try Pho, a popular noodle soup, and Nem, Vietnamese spring rolls. These dishes are a must-try for food lovers.


Spend your afternoon exploring the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first national university. This is a popular tourist destination that offers a peek into Vietnam’s ancient architecture.


For dinner, indulge in some local street food. The streets of Hanoi are famous for their bustling food scene. Try Bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich that is a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese and French cuisines.


End your day with a traditional Water Puppet Show. This unique form of Vietnamese entertainment narrates the country's folklore using colourful wooden puppets.


Begin your second day with a visit to the One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam's most iconic temples. The pagoda is built in the style of a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity.


Have lunch at one of the local restaurants. Try Bún chả, a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles, an absolute delight for your taste buds.


Spend your afternoon shopping at the Dong Xuan Market. This is Hanoi's largest indoor market, offering a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories and clothing.


Enjoy your dinner at a local restaurant. Try Chả Cá, a flavorful fish dish that is a specialty of Hanoi.


End your day with a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake. The serene lake is a popular hangout place for locals and tourists alike. The lake is particularly beautiful in the evening with the lights reflecting on the water.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a large memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Ho Chi Minh, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1951 until his death in 1969, read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

Known as Quoc Tu Giam in Vietnamese, the Temple of Literature was Vietnam's first university, which functioned for an incredible 700 years. Its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

Cultural Experiences
Religious Sites
Water Puppet Show

Water Puppet Show

Water puppetry is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Today's Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition.

Cultural Experiences
One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda

One of Vietnam's most iconic temples, the One Pillar Pagoda is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples. The temple was built by Emperor Lý Thái Tông, who ruled from 1028 to 1054.

Religious Sites
Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is the largest covered market of Hanoi where the wholesale traders sell everything from clothes, household goods to foodstuffs. It is also a popular spot for experiencing local Vietnamese culture.

Cultural Experiences
Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A traditional Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, and meat, usually beef or chicken. Pho is a popular street food in Hanoi and is considered a staple in the local diet.

Bun Cha

Bun Cha

A Hanoi specialty, Bun Cha is a dish of grilled pork and noodle, served with a side of fresh herbs and a flavorful dipping sauce.

Cha Ca

Cha Ca

A distinctive Hanoi dish, Cha Ca is a flavorful dish of grilled fish seasoned with turmeric, dill, and other spices, typically served with rice noodles.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

A Vietnamese sandwich made with a baguette filled with a variety of ingredients, including meats, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. Banh Mi is a popular street food in Hanoi.

Bia Hoi

Bia Hoi

A type of draft beer that is popular in Hanoi. Bia Hoi is light, refreshing, and typically enjoyed in the evening at local beer corners.

Ca Phe Trung

Ca Phe Trung

A unique Hanoi coffee drink made with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee. Ca Phe Trung is often enjoyed as a dessert.

Banh Cuon

Banh Cuon

A traditional Hanoi dish, Banh Cuon are thin, steamed rice rolls filled with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms, often served with a dipping sauce.

Xoi Xeo

Xoi Xeo

A popular Hanoi street food, Xoi Xeo is a dish of sticky rice topped with mung bean paste, fried onions, and shredded chicken.

Nem Ran

Nem Ran

Also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, Nem Ran are crispy rolls filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables. They are a popular appetizer in Hanoi.



A traditional Vietnamese dessert beverage, Che is a sweet soup made with a variety of ingredients, including beans, tapioca, fruit, and coconut milk.

Bun Rieu

Bun Rieu

A traditional Hanoi dish, Bun Rieu is a flavorful soup made with rice vermicelli, fresh water crab, tomatoes, and tofu.

Nom Hoa Chuoi

Nom Hoa Chuoi

A refreshing Hanoi salad, Nom Hoa Chuoi is made with banana flowers, green papaya, carrots, and herbs, dressed with a tangy fish sauce dressing.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Hanoi, Vietnam is during the cooler months from October to April. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant with lower humidity. The average temperature ranges from 17-22 degrees Celsius. However, if you want to experience the traditional Vietnamese New Year (Tet), you should plan your visit in late January or early February. Please note that during Tet, many shops and restaurants may be closed for the holidays.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


International New Year's Day

February 9


Vietnamese New Year's Eve

February 10


Vietnamese New Year

February 11


Tet holiday

February 12


Tet holiday

February 13


Tet holiday

February 14


Tet holiday

April 18


Hung Kings Festival

April 30


Liberation Day/Reunification Day

May 1


International Labor Day

September 2


Independence Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Hanoi's Old Quarter and many of its attractions are within walking distance. It's a great way to explore the city and soak in the local culture.

Bicycles are a popular mode of transport in Hanoi. They can be rented from various locations around the city. It's a great way to explore the city at your own pace.

Motorbikes are the most common mode of transport in Hanoi. You can rent one, but be aware that the traffic can be chaotic and driving rules are not always followed.

Taxis are readily available in Hanoi. Make sure to use a reputable company to avoid scams. Most taxis are metered.

Grab is a popular ride-hailing app in Hanoi, offering both car and motorbike rides. It's a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.

Hanoi has an extensive bus network that covers the city and its outskirts. It's a cheap way to get around, but can be crowded during peak hours.

For longer distances, such as trips to the suburbs or other cities, the train is a good option. Hanoi's main train station is located in the city center.

Xe Om, or motorbike taxis, are a common sight in Hanoi. They're a quick and cheap way to get around, but make sure to agree on a price before the ride.

For a more comfortable and convenient way to explore Hanoi, consider hiring a private car with a driver. This can be arranged through hotels or travel agencies.

Cyclos are a traditional mode of transport in Hanoi, often used for short trips around the Old Quarter. It's a unique way to see the city, but negotiate the price before you get in.

For a unique experience, take a boat ride to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. The boat departs from various locations around Hoan Kiem Lake.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency₫ VND

Time zoneUTC+7

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 05; Fire: 08; Police: 03

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type BPower socket type C

Voltage220 V

Things to know about Hanoi, Vietnam as a first time visitor


Vietnam's official currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Credit cards are accepted in many places but carrying some cash is advisable for smaller establishments.


The official language is Vietnamese. English is not widely spoken outside of tourist areas and major hotels.


Hanoi has a tropical monsoon climate. The summer (May to September) is hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 77°F to 104°F (25°C to 40°C), while the winter (November to March) is cooler and dry with temperatures ranging from 57°F to 68°F (14°C to 20°C).


Hanoi is generally safe for tourists but like any other city, petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur. Always keep an eye on your belongings.


Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. However, be aware of taxi scams. Always use reputable companies like Mai Linh or Vinasun.


Hanoi is famous for its street food. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, be cautious about where you eat. Stick to places that are busy with locals.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Always drink bottled water.


Vietnamese people are generally conservative. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.


Hanoi is in the Indochina Time Zone (ICT), which is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7).


Vietnam has a 220-240V power supply. The power sockets are of type A, C, and D. You may need a power plug adapter.


Hanoi's traffic is notoriously chaotic, especially during peak hours. Always be careful when crossing the road.


Bargaining is common in markets and some shops. Don't be afraid to negotiate the price.


Public displays of affection are not common in Vietnam. It's best to avoid it to respect local customs.


Vietnam has strict laws on drug use. Possession, trafficking, and use of drugs are serious offenses with severe penalties.


Tipping is not customary in Vietnam. However, in high-end restaurants and hotels, a service charge is often added to the bill.


The emergency numbers in Vietnam are: 113 for police, 115 for medical emergencies, and 114 for fire.


Hanoi has a vibrant nightlife. However, most establishments close by midnight due to local regulations.


Public Wi-Fi is widely available in Hanoi. However, for security reasons, avoid conducting sensitive transactions over public networks.


Avoid discussing sensitive topics such as politics and the Vietnam War. These topics can be seen as disrespectful.


Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas and of religious or military sites.

Basic Vietnamese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it


Xin chào

Sin chow

Greeting someone


Tạm biệt

Tam byet

Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you

Cảm ơn

Kam uhn

Showing gratitude



Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying


Làm ơn

Lam uhn

Making a request

Excuse me

Xin lỗi

Sin loy

Apologizing or getting attention

I don't understand

Tôi không hiểu

Toy khong hee-oo

When you don't understand what was said

Do you speak English?

Bạn có nói tiếng Anh không?

Ban koh noy thang anh khong?

Trying to find someone who speaks English

I'm sorry

Tôi xin lỗi

Toy sin loy


Where is the bathroom?

Nhà vệ sinh ở đâu?

Nha vay sin o dau?

Looking for the bathroom

How much does this cost?

Cái này giá bao nhiêu?

Cai nay gia bao nhieu?

Asking for the price

I would like to order

Tôi muốn đặt món

Toy moon dat mon

Ordering food


Giúp đỡ

Zoop doh

In case of emergency




Asking for water


Thức ăn

Thook an

Talking about food




Ordering a beer


Cà phê

Ca fe

Ordering coffee




Looking for transportation


Khách sạn

Khak san

Looking for a hotel

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Swimwear (if you plan to swim)

  • Light jacket or sweater (for cooler evenings)

  • Rain jacket or umbrella (for unexpected rain)

  • Hat and sunglasses

  • Sleepwear

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-sized body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel-sized first aid kit

  • Prescription medications (if applicable)

  • Contact lens solution and case (if applicable)

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa (if required)

  • Driver's license (for ID purposes)

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (in local currency)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Universal power adapter

  • Headphones

  • Camera (if not using phone camera)

  • Charger for camera

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook or map

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

Weather Conditions

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, experiences a tropical monsoon climate, which includes a hot, wet season and a cooler, dry season. From May to September, Hanoi experiences its summer monsoon season. During this time, the city can be quite hot and humid, with average temperatures ranging from 77°F to 95°F (25°C to 35°C). This period is also marked by heavy rainfall, especially in July and August. If you're planning to visit during these months, it's advisable to carry lightweight, breathable clothing, a good quality umbrella, and waterproof footwear. Despite the rain, this season can be a great time to visit Hanoi's indoor attractions like museums and galleries. The winter monsoon season, from November to March, brings cooler, drier weather. Temperatures during this time can range from 57°F to 68°F (14°C to 20°C). It's recommended to pack warmer clothing, especially for the evenings which can be quite chilly. This is a great time to explore outdoor attractions like the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. In between these two seasons, April and October offer relatively mild and pleasant weather, making them ideal months for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Regardless of when you visit, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before your trip to help you pack appropriately. Also, remember that the weather can change quickly in Hanoi, so it's wise to always carry an umbrella or raincoat with you. Lastly, Hanoi can experience occasional typhoons, especially during the summer monsoon season. While these are usually forecasted well in advance, it's important to stay updated with local news and weather updates during your visit.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


23° / 14°

January is the coldest month in Hanoi, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 23°C. It's also the driest month, so it's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler, drier weather.


24° / 15°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, with lows of 15°C and highs of 24°C. The weather remains dry, making it a comfortable time for sightseeing.


28° / 18°

In March, temperatures start to rise, ranging from 18°C to 28°C. The weather is generally pleasant, with occasional rain showers.


31° / 21°

April is the start of the warm season in Hanoi, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C. Expect occasional rain showers and high humidity.


34° / 24°

May is quite hot in Hanoi, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. It's also the start of the rainy season, so be prepared for sudden showers.


36° / 26°

June is one of the hottest months in Hanoi, with temperatures reaching up to 36°C. It's also part of the rainy season, so expect frequent showers and high humidity.


36° / 26°

July is similar to June, with high temperatures and frequent rain showers. Despite the heat and rain, it's a good time to experience Hanoi's vibrant summer festivals.


36° / 26°

August continues the trend of hot, rainy weather. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind the heat and want to experience the lush, green landscapes after the rain.


35° / 25°

In September, temperatures start to decrease slightly, ranging from 25°C to 35°C. The weather remains rainy, so pack accordingly.


32° / 22°

October sees a significant drop in temperature, with lows of 22°C and highs of 32°C. The weather is generally pleasant, with less rain compared to the summer months.


28° / 18°

November is the start of the cool season in Hanoi, with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 28°C. The weather is generally dry, making it a comfortable time for sightseeing.


25° / 15°

December is one of the coldest months in Hanoi, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. It's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler, drier weather.

Did you know?

Did you know that Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is over 1,000 years old?

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