5 Things to do in Hanoi for a week – a must-do travel list

Hanoi is the captivating capital city of Vietnam, where ancient traditions blend harmoniously with modernity. If you’re fortunate enough to have a week to spend in this vibrant city, you’re in for a treat. Hanoi offers a multitude of experiences that will leave you enchanted and longing for more. With so much to do and so much to see, we present to you a list of 5 things to do in Hanoi for a week with activities and attractions that simply cannot be missed. Prepare to be captivated by the charm and beauty of Hanoi as we guide you through an extraordinary journey of exploration and discovery.

1. Explore the Old Quarter 

Hanoi in the night
Hanoi in the night
Exploring the Old Quarter of Hanoi is a must-do experience that captivates travelers both by day and by night. By day, Hanoi Old Quarter offers an array of sights to discover, from traditional pagodas and temples to hidden gems tucked away in its winding alleyways. Explore the local markets, sample delicious street food, and witness the lively energy of Hanoi’s residents going about their daily lives.As the sun sets and darkness falls, Hanoi Old Quarter transforms into a magical place. The streets come alive with colorful lanterns, creating an enchanting ambiance. Explore the night markets, where you can find a treasure trove of souvenirs and experience the vibrant street food scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to sip on a glass of Bia Hoi (fresh beer) at a street-side stall at Ta Hien Street, soaking in the lively atmosphere and mingling with locals and fellow travelers alike. Day or night, the Old Quarter of Hanoi beckons you to immerse yourself in its charm, providing an unforgettable experience that truly showcases the heart and soul of this vibrant city.

 2. Visit the most famous landmarks of the city

Ha Noi Hoa Lo Prison
Ha Noi Hoa Lo Prison
A visit to Hanoi wouldn’t be complete without exploring its famous landmarks that hold significant historical and cultural importance. Here are some of the most loved location that should be add on your list of things to do in Hanoi for a week:
  • Hoan Kiem Lake: Take a stroll around the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake, visit the Ngoc Son Temple, and witness locals practicing Tai Chi or playing traditional games.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Pay your respects at the final resting place of Vietnam’s beloved leader, Ho Chi Minh, and explore the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum and Presidential Palace.
  • Temple of Literature: Discover Vietnam’s first national university at the Temple of Literature, an architectural masterpiece that celebrates education and Confucianism.
  • Hoa Lo Prison: Gain insights into Vietnam’s history at Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” which was used during the French colonial period and the Vietnam War.
  • Vietnamese Women’s Museum: Learn about the vital role of women in Vietnam’s history and society through captivating exhibits showcasing their contributions and achievements.
  • Thang Long Imperial Citadel: Step back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a historical complex with ancient ruins and fascinating relics.
Visiting these landmarks in Hanoi will provide a profound appreciation for the country’s history, culture, and resilience.

3. Enjoy the Water Puppet Show

Ha Noi Water Puppet Theater
Ha Noi Water Puppet Theater
Enter the enchanting world of water puppetry, a captivating traditional art form that has been captivating audiences in Vietnam for centuries. The Water Puppet Show is a must-see cultural experience in Hanoi, where skillful puppeteers bring to life intricate wooden puppets on a water stage.As the puppets gracefully dance and glide across the water, accompanied by live music and storytelling, you’ll be transported into a realm of folklore, legends, and daily life in Vietnam. Watch as the puppets depict scenes of rural farming, mythical creatures, and traditional festivities, all with intricate movements and vivid colors.The combination of the skillful puppetry, live music, and vibrant storytelling creates a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe. The Water Puppet Show is not only entertaining but also provides a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. It’s a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the traditional arts and gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s history and traditions.

4. Joining in a Hanoi Food Tour 

Vietnamese Food Tour
Ha Noi street foods Banh Mi
Embark on a culinary adventure through the bustling streets of Hanoi by joining a street food tour. Hanoi is renowned for its vibrant food scene, and this tour allows you to indulge in the city’s mouthwatering culinary delights. Sample iconic dishes such as Pho – a flavorful noodle soup filled with aromatic herbs and tender meat, and Banh Mi – a delicious Vietnamese sandwich filled with various ingredients and bursting with flavors.But the street food experience doesn’t end there. One of the unique highlights of Hanoi is its famous Egg Coffee – a delightful concoction of rich Vietnamese coffee topped with a creamy, frothy egg mixture. It’s a must-try treat that will awaken your taste buds.As you navigate the narrow alleys and vibrant markets, your knowledgeable guide will introduce you to hidden local eateries and share fascinating stories behind each dish. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere, savoring the authentic flavors and experiencing the true essence of Hanoi’s culinary culture. A Hanoi street food tour is an unforgettable gastronomic journey that will leave you craving for more of the city’s delectable delights.
Learn more: Top 10 street foods you must try when in Vietnam

5. Take a day trip to nearby cities:

Ha Long Bay Tai Chi Class
Ha Long Bay Tai Chi Class
Escaping the bustling city of Hanoi and embarking on captivating day trips to nearby destinations that offer a wealth of cultural and natural treasures is another option that you can add to your list of things to do in Hanoi for a week. Below are some of the best suggestions to enhance your 7 days trip in the capital:
  • Bat Trang village is a traditional ceramic village just outside Hanoi. Explore the narrow streets lined with pottery workshops and witness the skilled artisans at work. Admire the intricate craftsmanship and even try your hand at creating your own ceramic masterpiece.
  • Duong Lam ancient village, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved architecture and charming rural atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the traditional way of life as you wander through ancient houses and temples, and learn about the village’s rich history.
  • For an awe-inspiring natural wonder, venture to Halong Bay, famous for its limestone karsts and emerald waters. Take a cruise through the bay, explore hidden caves, and revel in the breathtaking scenery that has made Halong Bay a must-visit destination.
  • Explore the enchanting landscapes of Ninh Binh, often referred to as “Halong Bay on land.” Cruise along the Trang An or Tam Coc rivers, marvel at towering limestone cliffs, and visit ancient temples nestled amidst rice paddies.
These day trips from Hanoi offer an incredible opportunity to delve into Vietnam’s cultural heritage and witness its stunning natural beauty, making your visit to Hanoi even more memorable and fulfilling.
See trip: Discover Hanoi, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay in 5 Days

Final thoughts

From exploring historical sites to indulging in mouthwatering street food, everyone can find things to do in Hanoi for a week that would make the vacation unforgettable. To make your trip even more convenient and hassle-free, consider booking your tours with Viland Travel. With our extensive range of curated tours and experienced guides, you can explore Hanoi’s highlights with ease and confidence. Whether you want to visit the iconic landmarks, venture into hidden alleys, or engage in local cultural activities, Viland Travel has the perfect tour for you. Embrace the spirit of adventure and let Viland Travel guide you through the enchanting wonders of Hanoi. Book your tour today and embark on a journey filled with discovery, enjoyment, and lifelong memories.