Hoan Kiem Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hanoi: Food, Culture, Sightseeing and Fun – Army Jeep Tour

1. Hanoi: Food, Culture, Sightseeing and Fun – Army Jeep Tour

Tour Hanoi in a vintage GAZ-69, the classic Army jeep from the 50s and 60s during the Soviet Era. Go on a journey through the city’s many neighborhoods and get to know the Hanoi of the past and of today with a private or shared guide. Start off with pickup at your hotel or at a meeting point in Hanoi Old Quarter. Get a safety briefing from your guide before driving off on an adventure. Begin by diving straight into the labyrinth of backstreets and tiny alleyways to find out what everyday life in Hanoi is really like. Get an honest and authentic insight into the good, the bad, and the weird sides of the city. Next, drive past and visit the must-see sights, including Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the centuries-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical train-street, the enchanting French Quarter, the Old Quarter, the romantic West Lake and Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House and the famous Long Bien Bridge. On the final part of your Hanoi Jeep tour, escape the bustling city to the peaceful and alluring villages around West Lake and Truc Bach Lake. Experience first-hand how such contrasting lifestyles can co-exist between the city center and the outskirts. Find hidden tranquil spots beyond the thousands of skyscrapers. Along the way, stop at local restaurants, eateries and food stalls to savor the tastiest dishes Hanoi has to offer. Sample authentic dishes with secret recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Hanoi: Street Food Walking Tour & Water Puppet Show

2. Hanoi: Street Food Walking Tour & Water Puppet Show

The tour guide will welcome you at your hotel lobby, then start the walking tour in the old quarter '36 streets' to visit some famous and specialized food stalls and local restaurants. Watch as it is made and taste some particular dishes (The company can customize vegetarian food or something for other special requirements). The old quarter in Hanoi is over one thousand years old and today retains much of the old flavor that made the area special in earlier times. Each street was the exclusive domain of one trade (guilds) so there are whole streets of blacksmiths, silver shops, paper shops, headstone makers and more. Originally there were just 36 streets in the old quarter but today there are more than 50. Although many of the streets are short and the area is rather compact. It can be very difficult to find local food on your own in the hidden alleys or sidewalks, certainly the best way to experience street food is with a local. In this special tour learn about Vietnamese cuisine, culture, people and language. You will have a unique experience trying the foods of the local Hanoi people; the food is handled hygienically and comfortable venues are provide for the tastings. The benefit also goes back to the vendors or restaurants / families as the food is bought directly from them. Later, the guide will bring you to enjoy a Water Puppet show which is a unique variation on the ancient Asia puppet tradition and is a Vietnamese tradition dating back to the 11th century. Supported by a large rod placed under the water and manipulated by experienced puppeteers, the wooden puppets appear to be dancing over the water, telling folk tales. It’s entertaining and suitable for all audiences. At the end of your Hanoi tour you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you with directions or a taxi back to your hotel.

Hanoi: Old Quarter Trishaw Cyclo Tour

3. Hanoi: Old Quarter Trishaw Cyclo Tour

Relax as your driver pedals you around the Old Quarter, home to many of Hanoi's highlights and unique architecture from the French colonial times. Enjoy an unobstructed view with your driver behind you so you can take plenty of photos. See the Opera House, Joseph Cathedral Church, and more. Pass By: Dong Xuan Market - Hanoi's largest indoor market, offering a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories, household goods to foodstuffs and clothing... Pass By: St. Joseph's Cathedral is a Catholic church on Nha Chung Street, in the Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a late 19th-century Gothic Revival church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi. The cathedral is named after Joseph, the patron saint of Vietnam. The Church is an architectural marvel with its elegant neo-gothic architecture built during French colonization. Pass By: Hanoi Opera House is a project built by the French government in the early years of the 20th century. Its construction started in 1901 and completed in 1911. Hanoi Opera House proudly stands at the heart of central Hanoi as one of its most famous architectural and cultural symbol. Pass By: The Old Quarter in Hanoi is an intriguing neighbourhood, home to a mix of Vietnamese architecture, green spaces, ancient shops and fresh-as-it-gets street food — all of it easily explored on foot. At first look, these 36 streets can feel frenetic. Don't worry: Constant motion is part of the Old Quarter's charm. Grab a seat at a cafe and enjoy the action from a safe distance. You'll notice bicycle vendors selling fresh flowers and ripe fruit, old friends gathering for games of checkers, and cooks doing a roaring trade in steaming phở and bún chả. The longer you wander, the more you’ll be rewarded with moments in hidden alleyways, secluded pagodas, and cosy coffee shops. Here are some of the best ways to appreciate the Old Quarter’s lively atmosphere and secret spots. Pass By: Take in the beautiful view from Hoan Kiem Lake. Stop at each destination for a short visit or to take photos. Ride at the perfect pace to enjoy some of the 36 shaded streets of this historic district. Admire the products made and sold on each street, such as sugar, bamboo, leather, or silver.

Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

4. Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

Start with pickup by your guide and begin your exploration of Hanoi. Arrive at Tran Quoc Pagoda located on Golden Fish Island at West Lake. Then visit THE Ho Chi Minh complex, you have a chance to see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. Then visit One Pillar Pagoda where one worships the Goddess of Mercy. Visit the Vietnam Ethnology Museum to learn about the culture of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. Enjoy some Vietnamese cuisine for lunch Continue to visit the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam, established in the 11 century. Enjoy a final stop at the Water Puppet Theater where you will get to witness a 50-minute show. The puppet theater is right near the Sword Lake, in the center of the Old Quarter.

Hanoi Motorbike Tour: Hanoi FOOD, CULTURE, SIGHT & FUN Tour

5. Hanoi Motorbike Tour: Hanoi FOOD, CULTURE, SIGHT & FUN Tour

The tour starts by picking up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter or the meeting point. Choose to have a private guide or go on a fun group tour. You will be greeted by the guide and driver for a safety briefing and introduction to your Soviet-era Minsk bike. Then, begin your urban adventure to the best sights, neighborhoods, and food spots in Hanoi. Dive into the real Hanoi and visit the more hidden parts of the city. Taste a slice of Hanoian life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, and markets, experiencing where and how locals live, work, and play. Next, move onto the second part of the tour, where you’ll pass by and stop at the must-see sights. You’ll see many places, including: Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (which is considered the Mecca of the Vietnamese), The 1000-year-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical training track, the enchanting French Quarter, the hustling and bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes of Hoan Kiem, West Lake, the Hanoi Opera House, and the famous Long Bien bridge. You will also visit the poetic and peaceful villages and floating community along the Red River. Enrich your experience with the harmonious contrast between the city and the countryside of Hanoi. The last part of your Hanoi Motorbike Tours is all about food! We’ve got authentic, healthy and organic Hanoi Food at the Hidden Gem Cafe where we savor the tastiest dishes of Hanoi. And if you’re vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry – our menu has ample options for everybody.

Hanoi Old Quarter & Red River Delta Cycling Half Day Tour

6. Hanoi Old Quarter & Red River Delta Cycling Half Day Tour

The ultimate Hanoi Old Quarter & Red River Delta 1/2 day cycling tour. Morning tour commences at 8.00am till 12pm / Afternoon tour commences at 1.30pm am till 5.30pm Meet up at 7:45am or 13:15am at our office located at 24 Hang Buom Street for a brief introduction of the trip as well as safety instructions on how to navigate safely through Hanoi on a bicycle. We set off towards the famous Street Murals, along the Train Street and our journey starts. On this cycling tour we will take you through the most interesting parts and markets of the Old Quarter. Our ride will take us through some very old street so you can get a real feel of how life has been here for centuries. We continue along beautiful treelined streets and breath in the fresh air around the West Lake area, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Truc Bach lake. Experience how tranquil and peaceful it is just 15-minutes from the buzzling Old Quarter of Hanoi. We adventure on narrow paths through impressive banana plantations and vegetable gardens on Banana Island that cover the fertile grounds of the Red River Delta. The noisy city suddenly seems to be so far away. We will B52 lake and pass the Mausoleum of (former) President Ho Chi Minh and visit the North Gate. We admire the old train railway with impressive old heritage buildings Hanoi is so famous for. The trip winds down with a local home-made egg coffee at the popular Giang café and will end whilst cycling back through the Old Quarter. Should you wish to include and experience a local Hanoian food (pho) or lunch (bun cha), our guide can accommodate this at an additional cost (to be paid directly to the restaurant). Tour ends at 24 Hang Buom about 12.00 pm in the morning and 17.00 pm in the afternoon.

Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Train Street & Hidden Gems

7. Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Train Street & Hidden Gems

Explore Hanoi and see its highlights on a morning or afternoon city tour by van. Discover the famous destinations such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoa Lo Prison and also the hidden corners around Hanoi like Ma May Ancient House, Hang Buom Culture and Arts Center, and most especially the Train Street. Begin your tour at the Ancient House and wonder at the old style 19th century architecture. Then head to Hang Buom Culture and Arts Center, with variety series of exhibitions to honor Hanoi contemporary artists. A unique experience for those who loves art and beauty Next, we head to Hoa Lo Prison, a place held prisoners who were agitating for independence, often subject to torture and execution. On the way to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for the Vietnamese. The complex is a traffic-free area full of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, and for at least 2 months (June 15-August 15) for annual maintenance but you can still take pictures of the Mausoleum and walk around the area) Our last destination is the famous train street! Order yourself a cup of coffee while watching the train pass by right in front of your face! It's a life time experience that you will never forget that thrill rush feeling. Sometime the train schedule might be delayed so if you're lucky enough, you'll get to see the train. (The itinerary may change due to weather and operating conditions)

Hanoi : City Tour | Free Private Tour Guide

8. Hanoi : City Tour | Free Private Tour Guide

Embark on an enriching journey that captures the essence of Hanoi's vibrant past and dynamic present. Our Hanoi City Exploration Tour is a carefully curated adventure that blends history, culture, and local life, allowing you to experience the heart and soul of the city in a single day. ***Tour Highlights: - Ho Chi Minh Complex Immersion: Explore the revered Ho Chi Minh complex, delving into the life and legacy of the great president. Witness the Mausoleum, Museum, and Presidential Palace that pay homage to his remarkable journey. - Cultural Epiphany at Temple of Literature: Step into Vietnam's educational roots at Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, the country's first university. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings that once nurtured scholars and gain insights into Vietnam's intellectual history. - Hoa Lo Prison Insights: Uncover the haunting stories of Hoa Lo Prison, famously known as the "Hanoi Hilton." Walk in the footsteps of history and learn about the prison's past, bridging the gap between different eras. ***Flexibility to Choose: Our tour offers the flexibility to choose additional experiences, ensuring your journey resonates with your interests. You can opt to explore the serene Sword Lake, wander through the enchanting Old Quarter, or delve deeper into the National History Museum . ***Join us on this captivating expedition that encapsulates Hanoi's captivating history, intellectual heritage, and contemporary vibrancy. Book now to seize the opportunity to connect with the heart of Vietnam's capital city.

Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour & Cyclo Ride

9. Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour & Cyclo Ride

Explore Hanoi's historic Old Quarter alongside a knowledgeable local guide, immersing yourself in Vietnam's rich culinary traditions. Savor an array of delectable local specialties, including iconic Vietnamese sandwiches, traditional desserts, and the renowned egg coffee. Begin your culinary adventure by visiting a local eatery where you can indulge in a delightful assortment of spring rolls, pillow cakes and Bun Cha. These mouthwatering delights are accompanied by a plate of fresh vegetables and fish sauce, providing a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Continue your journey through the bustling streets to savor Vietnam's quintessential dish, Phở. This flavorful soup, composed of fragrant broth, noodles, aromatic herbs, and succulent meat, will surely tantalize your taste buds, especially when enhanced with a special sauce that elevates its taste to new heights. Next, visit a local restaurant renowned for its Bánh Mì, the iconic Vietnamese sandwich featuring a sumptuous pate filling. As you savor this delightful creation, you'll experience the perfect fusion of textures and flavors that make Bánh Mì an enduring favorite. No culinary tour of Vietnam would be complete without sampling Chè, a traditional dessert that varies with the seasons, you'll discover the delightful diversity of Vietnamese sweets. Lastly, make sure to indulge in the infamous egg coffee, an absolute must-try in Vietnam. This tour will introduce you to the unique and enticing flavors of approximately five distinct Vietnamese dishes, leaving your palate enriched and your senses delighted. After the tour, your stomach must have been full. It's the perfect time for a relaxing ride on the cyclo around the Old Quarter for about 40 mins. Kindly note that the order of the food places and the ride can change according to the tour guide arrangement!

Hanoi: Traditional Ao Dai Dress and Non La Hat Rental

10. Hanoi: Traditional Ao Dai Dress and Non La Hat Rental

If you are looking for an authentic experience in Hanoi, don't miss out on this Ao Dai rental service. Immerse yourself in the Vietnamese culture wearing a beautiful Ao Dai of your choice strolling through the scenic streets of Hanoi. Wear your Ao Dai along with a Non La conical hat and get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience. The Ao Dai is a deeply ingrained part of Vietnamese culture and mind. Seize the opportunity to wear an Ao Dai that has carried its national identity and spirit since its creation. An outstanding work of art, the Ao Dai is also popular in modern culture and worn by flight attendants, teachers, bankers, and students. Embark on a self-guided photo tour in your Ao Dai and take stunning pictures in front of famous monuments such as the Hoan Kiem Lake, Opera House, Cathedral or the Long Bien Bridge. Make your stay in Vietnam unique and memorable.

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What people are saying about Hoan Kiem Lake

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 450 reviews

If you only do one tour in Hanoi this your should be the one. Our guide Tam communicated well before the tour, he and the riders arrived to our hotel early. We were a family of seven and every single one of us rate this as the best thing we did in a busy tour schedule in Hanoi. The tour started with all guides introducing themselves to their passenger and making them feel safe. The bikes are old and very cool, the helmets that you are given are unique. it takes a few minutes to grasp the flow of traffic once settled in we all got the groove of how this chaos works. The stops we made were excellent with a great explanation from Tam our fantastic guide. We went over the oldest bridge in Hanoi with a stop on the middle, then for the next few hours covered so much of the city , food and drinks were plentiful and our dinner stop we would never have found, great food with a social responsibility and sustainability story, celebrating re-use. This is a tour with a difference. Do it

I forgot our guide's name, but he was very knowledgeable. He's the kind of guide that beyond just the tour, if you have extra questions related to the tour or Hanoi in general, will be able to answer.

Best tour we did in Vietnam. Our guide Finn was brilliant. We took the 8am tour which was great timing as we got to see the morning train come through train street.

Phong, our tour guide is great! He's not hesitant to serve our small requests. This is a good tour. It is on time and as planned.

Alex was very knowledgeable about the local food scene. His picks for 6 best restaurants was spot on