How to spend 2 Days in Hanoi Itinerary?

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is an ideal destination for anyone seeking to experience the finest of what this nation has to offer. There are numerous activities and sights to explore in Hanoi, ranging from wandering around the lively old quarter to visiting stunning temples and noteworthy historical sites. If you’re planning a two-day trip to Hanoi, you’ve come to the right place! The following itinerary will provide you with a fantastic introduction to Hanoi and its top attractions. So, let’s take a look!

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

Day 1:


  1. Start your day with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the surrounding Ba Dinh Square. Take a guided tour to learn about the life of Vietnam’s revolutionary leader.
  2. Explore the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum, which provides further insight into the leader’s life and the history of Vietnam.
  3. Walk to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university. Admire the traditional architecture and tranquil gardens.


  1. Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at one of the local street food stalls or restaurants in the Old Quarter. Try popular dishes like pho or banh mi.
  2. Take a cyclo ride through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter. Explore the maze-like lanes filled with shops, markets, and traditional houses.
  3. Visit the Ngoc Son Temple, located on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Cross the iconic red Huc Bridge to reach the temple.
  4. Indulge in a traditional water puppet show, a unique and entertaining art form originating from the northern Vietnamese countryside.


  1. Experience the vibrant nightlife of Hanoi at the Bia Hoi Junction in the Old Quarter. Enjoy inexpensive and freshly brewed local beer while mingling with locals and fellow travelers.
  2. Savor a delicious dinner of Vietnamese cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the Old Quarter. Don’t forget to try specialties like cha ca (grilled fish) or bun cha (grilled pork with noodles).

Day 2:


  1. Take an early morning visit to the Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” Explore the museum to learn about the history of the prison during the French colonial period and the Vietnam War.
  2. Visit the Hoan Kiem Lake again in the morning to witness the locals practicing tai chi, jogging, or participating in group exercises. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
  3. Explore the French Quarter, known for its colonial architecture and wide, tree-lined streets. Visit landmarks such as the Hanoi Opera House and the St. Joseph’s Cathedral.


  1. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant in the French Quarter. Try traditional dishes like bun cha gio (noodle salad with spring rolls) or bo ne (sizzling steak with eggs).
  2. Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to learn about the diverse ethnic groups in Vietnam. Explore the extensive exhibits showcasing traditional clothing, customs, and artifacts.
  3. Take a cyclo ride or hop on a traditional Vietnamese egg coffee at one of the iconic cafes in the city, such as Cafe Giang or Cafe Pho Co.


  1. Indulge in a traditional Vietnamese dinner at one of the upscale restaurants in Hanoi. Try unique culinary creations like grilled pigeon, crispy fried shrimp, or grilled scallops.
  2. Enjoy the bustling night markets in the Old Quarter, where you can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and clothing. Bargaining is common, so be prepared to negotiate for the best prices.
  3. End your day with a visit to the Train Street. Watch as residents quickly move their belongings off the tracks just seconds before the passing train. It’s a unique and thrilling experience.

Note: Make sure to allocate enough time for transportation, as Hanoi’s traffic can be busy.

Frequently asked questions

1. Do I need a visa to visit Hanoi?
Yes, most visitors to Vietnam, including Hanoi, will need a visa. However, there are a few exceptions such as citizens of certain countries who are eligible for visa-free entry or e-visa. It is recommended to check with your local embassy or consulate for the latest visa requirements.

2. What is the best time to visit Hanoi?
The best time to visit Hanoi is during the spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is milder and the city is less crowded. However, Hanoi can be visited throughout the year, and each season has its own charm.

3. How do I get from the airport to the city center?
Hanoi has Noi Bai International Airport, which is about 45 minutes away from the city center. The most convenient way to reach the city center is by taxi or ride-hailing services like Grab. There are also airport shuttles or public buses available.

4. What are the must-visit attractions in Hanoi?
Some of the must-visit attractions in Hanoi include Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, West Lake, and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. These are just a few examples, as Hanoi has numerous historical sites, temples, museums, and parks to explore.

5. Is it safe to drink tap water in Hanoi?
It is generally not advisable to drink tap water in Hanoi. It is best to stick to bottled water, which is readily available at convenience stores and supermarkets. Also, be cautious when consuming raw fruits, salads, or street food that may have been washed with tap water.

6. What is the local currency in Hanoi, and can I use credit cards?
The local currency in Hanoi is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While cash is widely used and accepted, especially in smaller establishments, many hotels, restaurants, and shops in tourist areas also accept credit cards. It is recommended to carry some cash for smaller transactions or when visiting local markets.

7. What is the local transportation like in Hanoi?
Hanoi has a range of transportation options, including taxis, ride-hailing services, cyclos (tricycle rickshaws), buses, and motorbike taxis (xe om). The city also has a well-connected public bus system. However, the traffic in Hanoi can be quite chaotic, so it is advisable to plan your routes and consider the time of day and traffic conditions.

8. What are some popular local dishes to try in Hanoi?
Hanoi is known for its flavorful and diverse cuisine. Some popular local dishes include pho (beef or chicken noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles), banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich), nem ran (fried spring rolls), and cha ca (grilled fish). Don’t forget to try the famous Vietnamese coffee, either hot or iced.

9. Are there any day trips or nearby attractions worth visiting from Hanoi?
Yes, there are several day trip options and nearby attractions worth visiting from Hanoi. Some popular choices include Halong Bay, Trang An Grottoes, Perfume Pagoda, Tam Coc, and the ancient capital city of Hoa Lu. These destinations offer beautiful landscapes, cultural experiences, and historical sites.

10. Is it customary to tip in Hanoi?
Tipping is not mandatory in Hanoi, but it is appreciated for good service. Small amounts, such as rounding up the bill or leaving loose change, are common. In upscale restaurants and hotels, a service charge may be included in the bill.

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