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How to Spend 1 Day in Hanoi

How to Spend 1 Day in Hanoi

With a history dating back over 1,000 years, Vietnam’s capital is a city of contrasts: Bustling street-food eateries with low plastic chairs nudge up against serene temples, while skyscrapers are reflected in ancient lakes. One day in Hanoi gives you enough time to see the highlights, sample street food, and take in a show. Here’s how.

Morning: City Sights

Start the day right by orienting yourself on the city’s culture and geography. Begin at the ancient Temple of Literature—half-temple, half-university—and be sure to stroll the park where locals take their exercise and practice hobbies. Explore the Old Quarter, the historic district around the Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem), on foot, by motorbike, or by “cyclo” rickshaw. Then head farther afield to absorb a little of Vietnam’s more recent history, perhaps following in the footsteps of onetime supreme leader Ho Chi Minh or exploring Vietnam War–era sites such as the notorious Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo Prison).

Afternoon: Feeding Frenzy

Long before Bourdain brought Obama here, Hanoi was a mecca for street-food aficionados, and no visit to the city is complete without feasting at one of its deceptively simple eateries. Gorge on delights from pho noodle soup to banh mi sandwiches, barbecued pork, and even steamboat (hot pot) as you stroll the 36 Streets of the Old Quarter, or check out the weird and wonderful ingredients on sale at a wet (produce) market such as Dong Xuan. Take a street-food tour to help you break the language barrier, or take a cooking class and bring home a new set of skills.

Evening: Watery Wonders

Hanoi was built on water, particularly the water that floods the scenic rice terraces outside the city, and a sunset stroll around the Lake of the Restored Sword is a great way to appreciate its charms. Cap it off with a show of a uniquely Vietnamese art form: water puppets. Evolved in the rice fields of northern Vietnam, this art form involves colorful puppets submerged in water telling tall tales from Vietnamese folklore, typically accompanied by a live orchestra and spectacular special effects. If you’re not already full to bursting, some water puppet shows include a buffet dinner.

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11 Tours and Activities | All Hanoi Tours

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Small Group Hanoi Street Food Tour with a Real Foodie

Small Group Hanoi Street Food Tour with a Real Foodie

star-5
Navigating Hanoi’s busy streets on your own can be challenging, but on this food walking tour, you just need to follow your guide to tasty spots. Although the itinerary may change, possible tastings on include rice noodle soup with beef, snails, steamed pancakes, Vietnamese sandwiches and various kinds of donuts. You’ll also enjoy lunch or dinner at a restaurant, depending on the departure time you choose.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$28.21
From
US$28.21

Small-Group Cooking Class and Market Tour in Hanoi with Pickup

Small-Group Cooking Class and Market Tour in Hanoi with Pickup

star-5
Eating Vietnamese dishes is temporary, but learning to cook local specialities lasts for a lifetime. Opt for an insider experience during a cooking class in a local home, a great choice for food lovers and families. As well as receiving personalized attention in a small group limited to 10, you’ll explore a local market and enjoy the convenient of hotel pickup and drop-off, an added benefit not usually included with cooking classes.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$39.75
From
US$39.75

Skip the Line: Water Puppet Entrance Tickets with Hanoi Hotel Ticket Delivery

Skip the Line: Water Puppet Entrance Tickets with Hanoi Hotel Ticket Delivery

star-4
Skip the lines and the hassle with this book ahead service that includes Water Puppet entrance tickets and delivery to your Hanoi hotel. Choose from several showtimes to fit your travel schedule and wait for tickets to be delivered to you! Arrive at the theater 15 minutes before showtime and prepare to experience one of Vietnam's most memorable traditional art forms live on stage.
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  • 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$11.00
From
US$11.00

Hanoi at Night: Street Food Small Group Walking Tour

Hanoi at Night: Street Food Small Group Walking Tour

star-5
Discover the historical sights and delectable bites of Hanoi’s Old Quarter on a food walking tour of the city. Accompanied by a passionate gastronomic guide, feast your senses on the exotic flavors of Vietnam; sample fresh fruit, sumptuous street food, and local delicacies as you stroll amid the antique charm of the Old Quarter. Explore hidden alleyways and visit the city's local market, Hang Be. Enjoy an intimate experience on this small-group tour, which operates with a maximum of 12 food-lovers.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$29.00
From
US$29.00
Taking safety measures

Hanoi City Sightseeing and Street Food Tour

Hanoi City Sightseeing and Street Food Tour

star-5
Kick off your Hanoi stay with a half-day motorbike tour of the city. Sit bak and relax as local drivers transport you through the main streets and back alleys of this Vietnamese destination. Cruise past iconic landmarks, sample local cuisine and choose from one of three tour options to meet your interests and needs. This is the perfect way to get acclimated to the city and begin to explore with the wind in your hair!
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$51.29
From
US$51.29

Half-Day Morning Tour of the Highlights in Hanoi with Lunch

Half-Day Morning Tour of the Highlights in Hanoi with Lunch

star-4.5
Follow in the footsteps of one of Vietnam’s most famous men as you explore the streets of Hanoi on this small-group adventure tour. Pay a visit to the Temple of Literature and the notorious Hanoi Hilton prison. Follow your expert guide on a walking tour of the Old-Quarter and enjoy the expertise and knowledge that comes from being led by a local.
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  • 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$39.00
From
US$39.00
Taking safety measures

Hanoi’s Outskirts Half-Day Tour by Bike

Hanoi’s Outskirts Half-Day Tour by Bike

star-5
Swap bustling Hanoi for the Vietnamese countryside on an easy half-day bike ride, departing the capital in the afternoon. Cross over the Long Bien Bridge and pedal alongside the Red River for a look at village life. You’ll taste fruit from plantations on Red River Island, learn about contemporary art at a local estate, view ceramics in the pottery village of Quang Ba, and stop at West Lake for coffee or tea at sunset. Numbers are limited to 12 people for a small-group experience with your informative guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$36.00
From
US$36.00
Taking safety measures

Private Hanoi City Half-Day Tour

Private Hanoi City Half-Day Tour

star-5
Get a feel for Hanoi on a private sightseeing tour. Your own personal guide shares the city’s highlights and local culture, with your choice of itineraries that both include the Old Quarter. Choose a morning departure and see the Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. Depart in the afternoon for the Museum of History, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$28.00
From
US$28.00

Small-Group Street Food Bike Tour of Hanoi Old Quarter

Small-Group Street Food Bike Tour of Hanoi Old Quarter

star-5
See local life on a small-group cyclo and walking tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, aka 36 Old Streets. Stop by countless street-side shops, food stalls and family-owned eateries to sample regional specialties. You can relax while your cyclo driver does the pedaling on this ubiquitous form of transport. Select from several departure times for a tour with personalized commentary from an informative guide.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$34.00
From
US$34.00

4-Hour Vietnamese Cooking Class at Hanoi Cooking Centre

4-Hour Vietnamese Cooking Class at Hanoi Cooking Centre

star-5
Vietnam is renowned for its unique cuisine and this 4-hour cooking class at the Hanoi Cooking Centre will let you in on the secrets of Vietnamese cooking. Shop for ingredients at a traditional wet market with your guide, learn to make an array of Vietnamese dishes including street food favorites and seasonal specialties, then sit down to enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch or dinner.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$60.52
From
US$60.52

Water Puppet Show with Buffet Dinner from Hanoi

Water Puppet Show with Buffet Dinner from Hanoi

star-4
Experience the magic of a water puppet show at a traditional theater in Hanoi on this exciting 4-hour cultural excursion. Catch a glimpse of Vietnam’s colorful past as you marvel at expertly wielded puppets performing on the water’s surface. Pleasure your palate with an array of delectable dishes during a traditional buffet dinner and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling market during a brief stop prior to the puppet show. Enjoy an intimate atmosphere on this enriching small-group tour, on which numbers are limited to eight people. 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$49.00
From
US$49.00


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