10 Awesome things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter 2024

10 Awesome things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter 2024

When mentioning Hanoi, do you immediately think of the traditional old quarters preserving the unique cultural features of the Vietnamese people from the past? Hanoi Old Quarter, nestled peacefully in the heart of the bustling and vibrant capital, possesses a timeless charm, preserving the cultural richness throughout the years that visitors find unforgettable. Do you want to know what makes this charm so special? Join Jackfruit Adventure to explore it!

Notes about Hanoi Old Quarter

street of hanoi old quarter
A Corner of Hanoi Old Quarter

 

When you think of Hanoi, do you immediately think of the traditional old quarters preserving the unique cultural features of the Vietnamese people in the past? The tranquil Hanoi Old Quarter is nestled in the heart of the bustling and vibrant capital, boasting an ancient beauty that withstands the test of time, leaving a lasting impression on every visitor. Do you want to know what makes this beauty so captivating? Let’s explore with Jackfruit Adventure!

The Old Quarter of Hanoi seems to have become a must-visit destination for most tourists when traveling to the capital city of Hanoi. When you visit the Old Quarter, you will admire the beauty of architecture, the way of life, the profound culture of the scenery and people here.

Hanoi has many old streets, and when people mention Hanoi, they often refer to the phrase “Hanoi 36 streets” with traditional craft villages that bear the mark of time. And, the Old Quarter of Hanoi is the name for the old streets located in the central district of Hoan Kiem – one of the central districts of the capital. The limited scope of the Old Quarter is clearly defined as follows: To the East is Tran Nhat Duat and Tran Quang Khai streets, to the West is Phung Hung street, to the South are Hang Thung – Hang Gai, Hang Bong, and Cau Go streets, and to the North is Hang Dau street.

street night hanoi old quarter
street night hanoi old quarter

Every corner of Old Quarter presents various ancient traditional craft villages, such as Hang Bong street specializing in selling cotton blankets, Hang Ma street selling votive products, Hang Quat street selling costumes and stage props for traditional arts,….

History of the Formation of Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter with its enduring cultural features

Hanoi Old Quarter, with an area of approximately 100 hectares, 10 wards, and 76 streets, provides visitors with a nostalgic journey back to the centuries of ancient Hanoi, reflecting a glimpse of the life and culture of the land and its people in bygone eras. It is precisely for these reasons that the Old Quarter has become a precious heritage, diligently preserved and conserved by the local authorities.

hanoi old quarter building
an ancient building hanoi old quarter

The roots of Old Quarter trace back to the Ly and Tran dynasties, around the 11th century. It was once a vibrant trading hub of the ancient capital Thang Long. The residential areas in the Old Quarter were constructed in a classical architectural style, featuring sloping tiled roofs, small tube houses, and a prevalence of yellow paint.

Guide to Getting to Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is situated in the heart of the Hoan Kiem district, featuring 36 famous streets known for their diverse array of products, creating a unique cultural mosaic. The area is bounded by Hang Dau Street to the North, Phung Hung Street to the West, iconic streets like Hang Gai, Cau Go, Hang Bong, Hang Thung to the South, and Tran Nhat Duat, Tran Quang Khai Streets to the East.

 

Due to its central location and being open all day, Hanoi Old Quarter travel becomes incredibly convenient. Visitors can utilize various services such as taxis, motorbikes, electric vehicles, and more. For those eager to savor more cityscapes, opting for bus routes like 09, 14, 11, 34 is a particularly wise choice.

Explore and Experience 10 Wonderful Things When Visiting Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is a maze of narrow alleys where you can find everything you need, from street food, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes to sacred pagodas, grand opera houses, and the rustic Long Bien Bridge. You’ll be amazed as you explore the old streets of Hanoi. Here are 10 things I’d like to suggest for you to have a memorable journey when visiting Hanoi

1. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

In the morning, before exploring Old Quarter, take some time to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum – the final resting place of Vietnam’s beloved leader. Pay your respects and express gratitude at this solemn site. After visiting the mausoleum, you can explore nearby attractions such as the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Stilt House, gaining deeper insights into the revolutionary activities and life of Ho Chi Minh.

2. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

hoan kiem lake hanoi old quarter
The morning vibes at Hoan Kiem lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is considered the “heart” of Hanoi, a must-visit destination for anyone in the capital. Take a leisurely walk around the lake to experience the serene life of Hanoi. Stop by the Pen Tower to hear the legend associated with it, then head to the Huc Bridge to enter Ngoc Son Temple, a harmonious blend of three religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Don’t forget to visit 35 Trang Tien, near Hoan Kiem Lake, to enjoy the famous Trang Tien ice cream with a taste rooted in history since 1958.

3. Walking on the train street in Phung Hung

To better understand the old Hanoi, visit the mural street of Phung Hung, featuring a collection of 20 artworks depicting the life of Hanoi over the decades. Relax at a café, immerse yourself in the Old Quarter atmosphere, and “hunt for trains.” Choose a moment when the train is not approaching, take photos or walk along the 400-meter-long railway for the best pictures.

hanoi train street phung hung
A local man is sitting in middle of the train street

 

train street hanoi old quarter
Coffee shops are opening along the train track

4. Visiting Hang Ma Street

hang ma street hanoi old quarter
The local shop along Hang Ma street

 

Hang Ma is an unmissable destination when undertaking Hanoi Old Quarter travel. It is one of the busiest and most vibrant streets, offering a variety of handmade products in different colors. Hang Ma also carries the spiritual imprint of Eastern culture, making it a worthwhile experience. Here, you can find interesting and eye-catching items to purchase as souvenirs for friends and family.

5. Visit Ma May Ancient House

The Ma May Ancient House is indeed a traditional-style building.

North of Hoan Kiem Lake, you’ll find Ma May Ancient House at 87 Ma May. This is an attractive destination in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Built in the late 19th century, covering an area of about 150 square meters, the house follows traditional architecture, portraying the image of wealthy houses of the past. With a ticket price starting from 10,000 VND, you can experience the living space and distinctive culture of old Hanoi.

6. Explore Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan market hanoi old quarter
The entrance of Dong Xuan market Hanoi Old Quarter

Dong Xuan Market’s alley is a large market located in the center of the Old Quarter. Throughout history, Dong Xuan Market has been a bustling trading place, introducing Western culture to Hanoi. After surviving various historical ups and downs, Dong Xuan Market now has three remaining rows, each with three floors. Despite undergoing renovation after a fire in 1995, the market retains its ancient charm while incorporating a bit of modern, dynamic culture. Visit Dong Xuan Market to buy various items such as clothes, shoes, accessories, and enjoy the famous hot rib porridge.

7. Enjoy Beer at Ta Hien Street

In the evening, invite friends to sit on the sidewalk and enjoy beer at Ta Hien Street to experience the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. Besides the ancient beauty of Hanoi, Ta Hien Street at night is lively and crowded, with a somewhat liberal atmosphere, making it worth experiencing. In addition to being a tourist attraction, Ta Hien Beer Street is also a gathering place for young people in the capital on weekends.

8. Participate in Street Games in the Evening

If you explore Hanoi Old Quarter on the weekend, be sure to go to the pedestrian street in the evening to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of many interesting games. Along the pedestrian street, you can watch or participate in traditional folk games such as O An Quan, to he molding, jumping rope, tug-of-war, or modern games. Additionally, enjoy street music with young people or showcase your talents. The people here are friendly and welcoming, ensuring you unforgettable memories.

9. Taste Old Quarter Cuisine

street food hanoi old quarter

Besides visiting, checking in, and capturing images of Hanoi Old Quarter, fill your stomach with delicious dishes unique to the Old Quarter. Below is a list of must-try dishes when in the Old Quarter:

  • Bun cha Hanoi at Hang Manh – a famous traditional dish in Hanoi.
  • Eating around Dong Xuan Market
  • Gao market lemon tea to quench your thirst.
  • Ly Quoc Su Pho – the unforgettable flavor of Hanoi.
  • Visit Dinh Liet Street to enjoy hot boiled snails.
  • Cha Ca La Vong – 14 Cha Ca
  • Snack on fruit salad at To Lich Street, dry beef salad on Ham Long Street, or try fried fermented pork rolls at Tam Thuong Alley.
  • Sitting down to enjoy a cup of Giang coffee, chatting with friends, and admiring the panoramic view of the Old Quarter.

10. Buy Souvenirs

Before leaving Hanoi, visit the following places to buy some gifts for friends, relatives, or simply to preserve the characteristics of the capital:

  • Visit Hang Bac Street to buy jewelry such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc.
  • Buy handmade silk on Hang Gai Street.
  • Buy shoes; you can go to Hang Dao or Hang Dau Streets.
  • Hang Trong is also an ancient street with many unique souvenirs at reasonable prices.
  • If you want to buy scarves, you can go to Dinh Liet Street.
  • Finally, visit To Lich Street if you want to buy personalized wood carvings.

Where to Stay in Hanoi Old Quarter: Our Top Picks

The Old Quarter of Hanoi has many hotels and hostels, making it a popular choice for tourists due to its good location and many services. Here are some good mid-range and high-range boutique hotels that we think are great in the Old Quarter:

1. Somerset Grand Hanoi

  • Address: 49 Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Price from: USD 106
  • Somerset Grand Hanoi is a top hotel in the Old Quarter. It has 185 rooms, 3 restaurants, a pool, and a tennis court. It’s a 7-minute walk from St. Joseph’s Cathedral and 11 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake.

2. Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy

  • Address: 12 Nguyen Quang Bich, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Price from: USD 76
  • La Siesta Hotel Trendy is a 17-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. It offers 42 modern rooms and good restaurant and spa services.

3. Oriental Suite Hotel & Spa

  • Address: 58 Hang Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Price from: USD 70
  • Oriental Suite Hotel & Spa has an Asian style with dark colors and wood. It has a bar, spa, sauna, and safe locker.

4. The Light Hotel

  • Address: 128-130 Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Price from: USD 69
  • The Light Hotel is reliable with a pool, free breakfast, and a nice restaurant and bar. It’s an 18-minute walk to Hoan Kiem Lake.

5. Little Hanoi Deluxe Hotel

  • Address: 1 Yen Thai
  • Price from: USD 52
  • Little Hanoi Deluxe is known for friendly staff and good services. It has 15 rooms but no restaurant, only a minibar.

6. Silk Queen Hotel

  • Address: 100 Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem
  • Price from: USD 48
  • Silk Queen Hotel is convenient for a tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It has a free breakfast buffet and child caretaker services, good for low-budget travelers.

7. Helios Legend Hotel

  • Address: 2D Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Price from: USD 27
  • Helios Legend Hotel’s rooms have western styles with gold and silver colors. It has restaurants, free breakfast, and a safe locker, but no child caretaker services.

5. Conclusion

Hanoi Old Quarter stands as one of the most attractive destinations in the capital city, promising unique experiences for visitors. It is not only a beautiful historical site but also a place to enjoy tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

To not miss out on the fascinating aspects of Hanoi Old Quarter, choose Jackfruit Adventure – a reliable companion that takes you to explore every corner of the ancient city through Vietnam cycling tours. Start your adventure and discover the wonders that the Old Quarter of Hanoi  has to offer with Jackfruit Adventure.

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