Discover the Magic of Hanoi in 3 Days: A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to Hanoi, the bustling capital of Vietnam, where you can immerse yourself in a blend of rich culture, history, and mouthwatering cuisine. In this comprehensive guide, we provide valuable travel tips in Hanoi and cover what to see in Hanoi for a memorable 3-day trip. From the most important places to the best accommodation and dining options, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and start planning your dream vacation!

Day 1: Explore the Old Quarter and Its Environs

Begin your journey by exploring the charming Old Quarter, Hanoi’s vibrant heart, where you can experience a captivating mix of ancient and modern influences. Here are some must-visit places:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake – A tranquil oasis in the city, perfect for a leisurely walk and photos with the iconic red bridge.
  • Ngoc Son Temple – A picturesque temple located on a small island within Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral – A neo-Gothic church reminiscent of the Notre Dame in Paris.
  • Dong Xuan Market – A bustling local market where you can find souvenirs, clothing, and delicious street food.

Routes in Hanoi

To make the most of your time, consider following this walking route on your first day:

  1. Start at Hoan Kiem Lake and stroll around its perimeter.
  2. Cross the red bridge to visit Ngoc Son Temple.
  3. Head west to St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
  4. Finish the day with a shopping spree at Dong Xuan Market.


Day 2: Discover Hanoi’s Rich History and Culture

On your second day, dive into Hanoi’s fascinating history and culture with visits to these essential landmarks:

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – Pay your respects to Vietnam’s founding father, Ho Chi Minh, at his final resting place.
  • Temple of Literature – Admire the stunning architecture of Vietnam’s first national university, dedicated to Confucius.
  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, a testament to Hanoi’s thousand-year history.
  • Hanoi Opera House – Marvel at this French colonial-era gem, a prime example of neoclassical architecture.

Routes in Hanoi

Follow this itinerary for a smooth exploration of Hanoi’s historic sites:

  1. Begin your day at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
  2. Walk south to the Temple of Literature.
  3. Head east to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.
  4. End your day with a visit to the Hanoi Opera House.

Day 3: Embrace Hanoi’s Art Scene and Local Cuisine

On your final day, immerse yourself in Hanoi’s thriving art scene and indulge in its world-famous cuisine:

  • Hanoi Museum of Fine Arts – Browse an impressive collection of Vietnamese art spanning several centuries.
  • Train Street – Witness the unique spectacle of a train passing through a narrow residential street.
  • Ta Hien Street – Join locals and tourists alike for a cold beer and some tasty street food.

Routes in Hanoi

For your last day in Hanoi, follow this route to enjoy art and food:

  1. Start your day at the Hanoi Museum of Fine Arts.
  2. Head north to Train Street for a one-of-a-kind experience.
  3. Finish your trip with an unforgettable culinary adventure on Ta Hien Street.

Where to Sleep in Hanoi

Hanoi offers a wide range of accommodation options for every budget:

  • Luxury: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi or JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi
  • Mid-range: Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa or The Oriental Jade Hotel
  • Budget: Hanoi Backpackers Hostel or Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel

Where to Eat in Hanoi

Indulge in Hanoi’s mouthwatering cuisine at these highly recommended spots:

  • Bun Cha Ta Hanoi – Try the delicious bun cha, a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and rice noodles.
  • Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan – Sample Hanoi’s iconic pho, a flavorful noodle soup with beef or chicken.
  • Banh Mi 25 – Savor the famous Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, packed with fresh ingredients.

Free Tours in Hanoi

Maximize your Hanoi experience with these free walking tours:

  • Hanoi Free Walking Tours – Enjoy a guided tour led by knowledgeable local students.
  • Hanoi Free Local Tours – Discover Hanoi’s hidden gems with a friendly local guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Hanoi?

The best time to visit Hanoi is during spring (February to April) or autumn (October to November), when the weather is pleasant with mild temperatures and little rainfall.

How can I get around Hanoi?

There are several transportation options in Hanoi, including taxis, Grab (similar to Uber), motorbike taxis, public buses, and cyclos. You can also rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the city at your own pace.

Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam?

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. Some countries are eligible for a visa exemption, while others need to apply for an e-visa or visa-on-arrival. It’s essential to check the latest visa requirements before your trip.

Is Hanoi safe for tourists?

Hanoi is generally safe for tourists. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of common scams, pickpocketing, and traffic safety. Make sure to keep your belongings secure and be attentive when crossing streets.

What currency is used in Hanoi?

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). It’s recommended to carry cash, as not all establishments accept credit cards. You can find ATMs and currency exchange offices throughout the city.

Hanoi is a captivating city that offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. With our 3-day itinerary, you can explore the most important places, indulge in the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in Hanoi’s rich history and culture. Don’t forget to visit the official tourism website of the city of Hanoi for more information and travel tips. We hope this guide helps you create unforgettable memories in this enchanting city!

Other travel guides