Things to do in
Hanoi

In Vietnam’s cultural capital you'll try shrimp pancakes, see the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, and cruise Ha Long Bay.

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended things to do in Hanoi

Ha Long Bay: 2-Day, 1-Night Cruise

1. Ha Long Bay: 2-Day, 1-Night Cruise

Discover, Ha Long Bay, known as the “Bay of Descending Dragons” an enchanting bay in the heart of Vietnam. Relax, soak in the scenery, and embrace the culture on this 2-day cruise. This cruise includes a visit to the Sung Sot Cave, the Biggest Cave in Halong Bay, learn about the UNESCO declared World Heritage area, and enjoy the stunning picturesque landscape. Day 1: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay Begin with a pickup from your hotel in the Hanoi Old Quarter between 8:00-8:30 AM. Set off towards Halong Bay on a 2.5-hour ride. Arrive at the Tuan Chau Harbor by noon, before checking in. Next, your captain will welcome you aboard the cruise with a complimentary drink. Meet the crew for a brief introduction and go through safety guidelines. Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch, cruise along the Emerald Sea, and admire the fascinating rock formations. Later in the afternoon, you will visit the Sung Sot Cave, swim on Titop Island and embrace the views from the mountain peak. Soak in the sun on a deck chair, sip a cocktail or read a book as you enjoy relaxation. In the evening, gaze at the night sky, as you join the ship’s sunset party. Take a cooking class and master making fresh noodle rolls. Enjoy a delicious set dinner packed full of vibrant flavors. Join in karaoke, play games, or go fishing for squid, before you enjoy a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi Wake up, enjoy the beautiful sunrise on the sundeck, have breakfast, and admire the stunning views. Help yourself to a cup of tea or coffee if you like to kick start your day. Set sail past the magnificent landscapes, visit the Halong Bay Pearl Farm, and learn the history of pearls. Next, you will return to the ship, enjoy an afternoon dip or explore the bay yourself by kayak, the choice is yours. In the afternoon, enjoy a spot of lunch, and relax as you cruise back to Tuan Chau Harbor. You will then head back to Hanoi or your hotel, arriving back by 3:30 PM.

From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

2. From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

Travel by air-conditioned bus from Hanoi to Tam Coc and ride a Sampan boat to impressive caves. Experience local life as you cycle through picturesque villages, explore ancient temples, and enjoy a Vietnamese lunch. Start your tour early with pickup at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter. Hop into the luxury van to visit Hoa Lu, an ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh king Temple and Le king Temple from the 10th century, and hear about the heroic histories of the two Kings during the Chinese Wars. At midday, sit down for lunch with Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant. Continue to Tam Coc and take the sampan go (traditional river boat) along the Ngo Dong river to visit Tam Coc's three caves. Head back to Tam Coc wharf, take your bicycle, and cycle around traditional villages and Tam Coc town. Visit Mua cave, which attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. In the evening, return Ha Noi.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

3. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

Book tickets in advance for the best seats for the show at your preferred timing. Skip the lines to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and experience one of Vietnam's most distinctive art forms live on stage.  See a unique art form that originates over 1,000 years ago in the Red River Delta. In the past, water puppetry showed the daily life of villagers such as farming, fishing and romance. Now, watch plays about ancient Vietnamese legends, myths and history. The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theater stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would create entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water. Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.

Hanoi: Islands, Caves, and Kayaking with Cruise in Halong

4. Hanoi: Islands, Caves, and Kayaking with Cruise in Halong

Discover the beauty of Ha Long Bay on a cruise and a guided Kayaking tour. Transfer from your hotel in Hanoi and stop to shop for souvenirs along the way. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on a cruise to the Thien Cung cave. Get closer to the islands on a leisurely kayaking tour. After you’re picked up at hotels located in Old Quarter of Hanoi, head out on the drive to Halong Bay, making a short stop half way to visit crafts workshops, where you’ll see marble stone sculptures, plaque paintings, and hand-embroidered items. On your full-day excursion continue on the scenic drive to Halong, reaching Tuan Chau Island pier from 12:00 PM to 12:15, and board the traditional cruise. You’ll be greeted on board and then enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. Have a chance to take in the tranquil beauty and breathtaking scenery from the deck of the boat. During the cruise you’ll enjoy views of tiny islands with their rock arches, sheer cliffs, innumerable white sand beaches, and peaceful coves. Like sculpted cartoon characters, these limestone islands have fanciful names, such as Incense Burner, Stone Dog, and Fighting Cock (which is the symbol of Halong Bay). You will then head on to Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Grotto). Explore its huge chambers adorned with stalactites and stalagmites of all kinds. Finally, enjoy 45-minutes of kayaking or paddling a bamboo boat around the islands and water tunnels at the World Natural Area recognized by UNESCO. Return to the Tuan Chau pier from 16:30 to 17:00 and board the bus that will take you back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi from 19:00 PM to 19:30 Menu for lunch: 1: Tomato/ cucumber salad 2: Fried potato 3: Steam shrimp 4: Fried eggs roll 5: Fried squid  6: Deep fried seafood spring rolls 7: Fried chicken with mushroom 8: Steamed fish with tomato sauce 9: Fried vegetable (available upon season) 10: Steamed rice 11: Fresh fruit 12: Afternoon fresh fruit and tea

Hanoi: Small-Group Street Food Walking Tour

5. Hanoi: Small-Group Street Food Walking Tour

Take a 3-hour guided walk through Hanoi's old quarter with a local guide. Get an insight into the traditions of Vietnam’s food culture. Stop at a local restaurant to try banh cuon (filled rice noodles) and watch as skilled chefs demonstrate how this tasty dish is created. Next, enjoy pho (noodle soup), which is Vietnam’s most famous dish. Try both the beef and chicken versions. Other food specialties you’ll sample include crab rolls, pillow cakes, fried rice balls, and fresh rolls – served with a dish of raw vegetables and a special sauce. Visit a hidden street food restaurant to taste banh my (a Vietnamese sandwich) and the famous Vietnamese egg coffee.

Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An Caves, & Mua Cave Day Trip and Lunch

6. Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An Caves, & Mua Cave Day Trip and Lunch

Travel in an air-conditioned van from Hanoi to Hoa Lu on this day trip to uncover the ancient temples of Dinh King and Le King. Savor local flavors with a buffet lunch and travel by boat on the Trang An river admire stunning natural scenery and visit the Trang An cave complex. Start your tour with hotel pickup in the early morning and depart for Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit the Dinh King Temple and Le King Temple from the 10th century, and hear about the heroic histories of these two Kings during the Chinese Wars. At around midday, sit down for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant, before you head to Trang An Wharf to take a boat trip along Trang An Stream. Visit Trang An cave complex, including Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, Nau Ruou, and marvel at the scenery of mountains and rivers.  Then, head back to Trang An wharf to board the luxury limousine, and visit Mua Cave. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. Finally, hop back onto the bus to return to Hanoi, arriving back in the early evening.

Hanoi: Guided Street Food Tour

7. Hanoi: Guided Street Food Tour

Benefit from pick-up in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and get an introduction on how to greet someone in Vietnamese! Then, experience everyday life as you brave the traffic and walk the streets. Learn about the history and culture of Vietnam as you sample 10 or more dishes at some of the city's best eateries and small restaurants. Try a variety of foods, such as nộm bò khô (papaya with dried beef salad) bún chả (grilled pork with rice noodles) and an authentic pho (rice noodle soup). Try some nem phở cuốn (fried and fresh spring rolls), bánh cuốn (steamed rice pancake rolls) and bánh mì (sandwich). Indulge your sweet tooth with bánh gối (fried pillow-shaped cake) and bánh rán (donuts). Wash it down with trà đá (ice tea) or bia hơi (beer), and end with dessert tastings such as chè (sweet soup). End at Hoan Kiem Lake or get dropped off at a location suitable to you.  

Hanoi: 2-Day Ha Long Bay 5-Star Cruise With All Activities

8. Hanoi: 2-Day Ha Long Bay 5-Star Cruise With All Activities

Day 1: Ha Long Bay and Kayaking Start with pickup from your hotel in Hanoi. From there you will drive through the green fields on the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Once having arrived at the harbor, you will check-in for your cruise on the Ha Long, which will begin with a welcome drink and cruise briefing. Enjoy lunch while cruising to Ha Long Bay. Explore the Eo Ech area where you can do some kayaking around limestone islets or some swimming in the sea. Enjoy a picturesque sunset on the sundeck for watching the sunset. Enjoy Happy Hour onboard with some cakes and fruit. Watch a cooking demonstration, and have the chef help you prepare Vietnamese spring rolls. Enjoy a seafood set menu onboard. Then make your way to the bar with a large selection of cocktails. Or choose to take part in some onboard activities: squid fishing, a spa treatment service, or simply relax in your cabin for the night. Day 2: Dark Cave and Bright Cave Watch the sunrise with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Enjoy a Light breakfast before setting off exploring. Visit the beautiful Bright Cave on a local bamboo boat. Arrive at the picturesque lagoon, surrounded by magnificent mountains. Upon return to the boat, tuck into a buffet brunch. Return to shore, and be transferred back to Hanoi.

From Hanoi: Halong Bay Deluxe Full-Day Trip by Boat

9. From Hanoi: Halong Bay Deluxe Full-Day Trip by Boat

Enjoy a full-day cruise on board a classic junk boat and get a unique Vietnamese experience among the stunning limestone karst mountains of legendary Halong Bay. 8:45 AM-9:15 AM: Pick-up from hotel/accommodation in Hanoi Old Quarter Area - Hoan Kiem District and depart for Halong Bay or at the tour provider's office, if your accommodation is outside Hanoi. 12:15 PM: Arrive Tuan Chau Harbor, welcome aboard, and safety briefing – you'll set out on a 5 hour journey via 2 day-sleeper boat cruise route which is renowned for its striking passages. 1:45 PM: Arrive at Bo Hon archipelago, where you will visit Surprising Cave to see a many stalagmites and stalactites in different shapes. Enjoy kayaking or a bamboo boat ride in Luon Cave. Then visit Titov Island with its sandy beaches adjacent to a towering limestone mountain and the excellent backdrop of the bay. Climb up to Titov Peak for a panoramic view of the bay. 4:30 PM: Return to your cruise boat for a traditional cup of tea and then cruise back toward Tuan Chau harbor. Enjoy free time for sunbathing on the upper deck with music or just enjoy the picturesque views.  5:45 PM: Disembark and return to Hanoi via the new highway. 8:30 PM: Arrive at your hotel, other accommodations or meeting point in Hanoi.

Hanoi: Halong Bay 2-Day Tour with Lodging and Luxury Cruise

10. Hanoi: Halong Bay 2-Day Tour with Lodging and Luxury Cruise

Experience Ha Long Bay on a 2-day cruise, with a sea view or balcony room, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of entertainment onboard. Swim and kayak in the bay's emerald waters and explore its limestone islands and quaint villages. Day 1: Hanoi Pickup and Ha Long Bay The first day of your cruise begins with a hotel pickup from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Meet with fellow cruise guests and get to know travelers from all around the world. On your way to Ha Long Bay stop at a humanity center to check out local specialties and products. Arrive at your cruise boat and receive a warm welcome from your captain. Afterward, sit for lunch and savor a delicious meal as the cruise passes through thousands of islands and islets of different shapes. Stop near the floating villages and have the opportunity to kayak in the middle of the bay to admire its fascinating rock formations a bit closer. If possible that day, visit Titop Island. Return to the boat for the evening and watch a cooking demonstration of Vietnamese spring rolls. Then delight in an idyllic dinner on board. Spend the rest of the night with free time to participate in activities such as squid fishing, karaoke, or star-gazing on the deck. Day 2: Ha Long Bay and Hanoi Drop-off Have an early start to your day with morning exercises and photos. Sip your coffee or tea as you have breakfast. Relax and take in the breathtaking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. Check out of your cabin and then spend the rest of the morning exploring Ha Long Ba's Surprise Cave. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to impressive rock formations, incredibly tall ceilings, and an interesting legend. From Surprise Cave, head back to the cruise boat's restaurant and eat lunch. Disembark for your transfer back to Hanoi.

Frequently asked questions about Hanoi

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in Hanoi?

    Three to five days is a perfect length of time to visit the city and see all the main attractions and sights, while still having time to relax and soak up some of the local culture and cuisine!

  • Where to stay?

    The Old Quarter and and Cathedral District are two of the most interesting parts of the city to stay during your visit. They also allow you easy access to tourist sites and good local bars and restaurants.

Good to know

  • Language
    Vietnamese
  • Currency
    Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+07:00)
  • Country Code
    +84
  • Best time to visit
    To avoid the colder winter, hot summer, and rainy season, Hanoi is best experienced in April and May, but be prepared for occasional drizzle!

Other Sightseeing Options in Hanoi

Want to discover all there is to do in Hanoi? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Hanoi

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,906 reviews

Honestly the only thought I have after the last 2 days is: I wish it didn’t end. It’s been such a great experience, off the beaten track with a small group of people on board (~8 guests), a fantastic tour guide in Nam and deliciously made food along the way from the fantastic crew. We did some kayaking and swimming, made spring rolls together, caught squid, discovered a cave on an island and overall just had a fabulous time. The thing that makes me think that this is the best one is that I’m a solo Traveller and this is the only provider that offered me my own (gorgeous) cabin without me having to pay the price for 2. Must book - must go - try to find out if you can stay 2 nights, it’s definitely worth it!!!

It’s our first time in Vietnam and booking this cruise was the best decision ever. Was a little bit disappointed at first coz the boat I initially book was full but then the staff of the local partner guide was able to compensate by giving us free limo pick up. During our cruise, the staff were amazing. Food was great and the experience was superb. Thank u to all for a great job. Kudos to the staff.

Pick up at hotel, transfer to Halong Bay and return trip were on time and smooth. We very much enjoyed our cruise ship “Renea” and would have liked to spend more time in our suite and on deck. The scenery, well known from countless pictures and videos, remains unbelievable when you sail there for real.

We were extremly lucke to have the guide ryan with us. He showed us the little secrer spots of Hanoi and we enjoyed many little, delicious meals. Be prepared to get full by the end of the experience. Ryan was realy nice and well habbited. I would recommend it to everyone who travels to Hanoi.

One of the best day trips I’ve done. The area was spectacular.