West Lake Hanoi and the surrounding area

West Lake Hanoi and the surrounding area

West Lake, along with Sword Lake, has long become a special attraction in the capital city with its cool and picturesque landscape amidst the bustling streets. This is an ideal destination for a memorable and enriching Hanoi travel journey, offering unique experiences. Join us in exploring West Lake Hanoi fully with Jackfruit Adventure!

Introduction to West Lake Hanoi

discover hanoi west lake

West Lake is located in the northwest of Hanoi, in Tay Ho district, approximately 11km from the city center. With an area of up to 500 hectares and a circumference of about 20km, West Lake is the largest natural lake in Hanoi, surrounded by a lush green avenue stretching approximately 18km. Formerly part of the Red River, the area transformed into a vast freshwater lake after a redirection of the river.

West Lake has a history dating back to the time of the Hung Kings when it was known as Lam Ap Wharf, situated along the banks of the Red River. During the Ly-Tran period, West Lake evolved into a scenic spot exclusively reserved for kings and nobility to enjoy the cool atmosphere. The lake is surrounded by historical architectural structures such as Thuy Hoa Palace from the Ly dynasty (now the area of Trấn Quốc Pagoda), Tu Hoa Palace from the Ly dynasty (now Kim Lien Pagoda), and Thuy Chuong Palace from the Le dynasty (present-day Chu Van An School). Today, West Lake is one of the popular and beloved tourist destinations in Hanoi.

Throughout various periods and historical stages, West Lake has been known by different names, associated with legends and folk stories. Some alternative names for West Lake include Corpse Strainer Pond, Golden Buffalo Lake, Silver Stream, Sensual Pond, West Lake, and Doai Lake,..

Directions to West Lake

West Lake is situated in the northwest of Hanoi, in Tay Ho district, approximately 11km from the city center. Surrounded by its unique geographical location, the lake is encircled by roads including Thanh Nien – Thuy Khue – Au Co – Nghi Tam – Lac Long Quan.

To reach West Lake and its surrounding destinations, you can choose from various transportation options:

  • Motorbike or car rental: Opting for motorbike or car rental provides you with an easy and flexible means of transportation to carry out your travel itinerary.
  • Bus: Hanoi offers numerous bus routes passing through the West Lake area or with stops near the lakeside roads, such as bus numbers 13, 60, E09, 14, 45, 50, and more. These bus routes operate with a frequency of approximately 15 – 20 minutes per trip, ensuring convenience and significant cost savings.
  • Taxi: For the optimal travel experience to West Lake, you can choose the Xanh SM taxi service. This taxi company is known for its professional service, friendly drivers, smooth operation of vehicles, and spacious, pleasant interiors.
  • Bicycles or electric scooters: Upon reaching West Lake, you have the option to rent bicycles or electric scooters for convenient exploration of the scenic routes around the lake and its neighboring areas.

Review of West Lake – What to Do? 10 Exciting Experiences

West Lake Hanoi is known as one of the most captivating destinations in the capital city of Hanoi, offering fresh landscapes, a romantic atmosphere, and a variety of entertaining activities. Below is a description of 10 experiences you should consider when visiting West Lake.

1. West Lake flower valley 

  • Location: Intersection of Nhat Chieu Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Opening Hours: Monday: 09:00 – 22:00, Tuesday – Sunday: 07:00 – 22:00
  • Ticket Price: 80,000 – 120,000 VND/ticket

flower west lake hanoi

Situated just 600 meters from the water park, West Lake Flower Valley offers a convenient combination of sightseeing and enjoyment. Each season, the valley is adorned with a variety of flowers such as daisies, lavender, roses, creating a perfect backdrop for unique and picturesque check-in photos. You can visit throughout the year to witness different flowers in each season.

2. Duck Pedaling on West Lake:

duck pedaling hanoi west lake

  • Location: West Lake

Duck pedaling service on West Lake attracts many people due to its vast space and beautiful natural scenery. Enjoy the romantic view and have a relaxed conversation while pedaling the duck boats.

3. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) on West Lake is a popular water sport. If it’s your first time, instructors from the club will guide you on how to control the paddleboard on the water surface. Whether you choose to sit or stand while paddling, don’t forget to strike a pose for some amazing “check-in” photos.

4. Trinh Cong Son pedestrian street:

what to do in west lake ho tay hanoi

  • Location: Alley 431 Au Co Street, Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Opening Hours: Friday evening, Saturday & Sunday

Trinh Cong Son Pedestrian Street honors the musician Trinh Cong Son by displaying artworks related to him. The street, designed with ancient architecture, creates a unique space for visitors to stroll and explore. Despite being only about 900 meters long, this place offers various beautiful photo opportunities, including the ô-shaped road, fountain, and art paintings beneath the street.

5. Stroll and sunset watching on Thanh Nien street

Thanh Nien Street is a clean and green road along the West Lake, perfect for walking and inhaling the fresh air. Ideal for relaxing and relieving stress after long working hours. In the evening, find a peaceful spot, and you can enjoy a stunning sunset over West Lake.

6. Enjoy coffee with a dreamy Lake View

During your tour, don’t forget to stop by the coffee shops around West Lake, such as 6 Degrees, Maison de Blanc, LeMarz Coffee Roastery, Platform coffee & cake… Savor a cup of delicious coffee or a hot cup of West Lake lotus tea, chat with friends, and appreciate the serene and romantic lake view amid the bustling capital.

7. Cycling Around the Lake:

Cycling around West Lake is a fascinating experience, especially in the morning or evening. Explore the alleys around the lake in the cool, comfortable weather, combining exercise with enjoying the beautiful West Lake scenery. If you have time, discover our Ho Chi Minh city cycling when you travel down there. 

8. Visit ancient villages

Surprisingly, amidst the ever-changing and developing world, there are still many beautiful ancient villages around West Lake, preserving their original architecture and tranquil space. Visiting these villages allows you to explore the ancient architecture and enjoy the peaceful scenery, momentarily forgetting the hustle and bustle of the capital. Some ancient villages to consider are Xuan Tao, Nghi Tam Quang Ba, Trich, Nhat Tan…

9. Shopping in the surrounding streets:

Xuan Dieu, Yen Phu, To Ngoc Van are famous bustling streets around West Lake, where you can enjoy a unique shopping experience. Don’t miss the lively market every Saturday morning on To Ngoc Van Street.

10. Cool off in the summer at West Lake Water Park:

  • Location: 614 Lac Long Quan, Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 on weekdays, 09:00 – 19:30 on weekends
  • Ticket Price: From 100,000 – 190,000 VND/ticket

West Lake Water Park is the most famous amusement park in Tay Ho. Here, you can participate in various exciting and unique water games suitable for all ages, from gentle activities like swimming in the wave pool, floating on the lazy river to thrilling experiences like high-speed water slides, bungee jumping, sliding on mats, and cable swinging. In the scorching summer, West Lake Water Park is an excellent destination to escape the heat, allowing you to immerse yourself in cool, refreshing water and enjoy a delightful experience.

Famous tourist attractions Around West Lake

West Lake Hanoi, a historical and cultural landmark in Hanoi, is not only a large lake but also the center of many unique tourist spots. Here is a detailed list of tourist attractions around West Lake:

1. Tran Quoc Pagoda

Situated on an island in West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda takes visitors back in time with its unique architecture and a history of over 1500 years. It was the Thuý Hoa palace during the Lý Dynasty and has been recognized as one of the 16 most beautiful pagodas globally by the Daily Mail. The pagoda stands out with a 15m high Stupa located in front, offering visitors not only a place for spiritual contemplation but also a chance to admire beautiful Buddha statues and intricate towers.

what to do in hanoi west lake ho tay

  • Address: Thanh Nien Street, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

2. Han Quoc Embankment 

Han Quoc Embankment is essentially a long promenade of approximately 1km that provides a spacious, modern, and green landscape. From here, tourists can enjoy the vast and serene West Lake, the extensive water park, and, notably, the enchanting graffiti artworks along the path. The unique and vibrant street art, ranging from small to large paintings, adds a creative and artistic touch to the area.

  • Address: Tay Ho District, Hanoi

3. Tay Ho Palace

Tay Ho Palace on the West Lake peninsula is a renowned spiritual destination. It houses the Liễu Hạnh Princess temple, one of the four immortal saints in folk beliefs. The palace showcases distinctive triple gates and becomes even more captivating during the beginning of the year or festivals, attracting a large number of pilgrims who come to enjoy the scenery, pray for peace, and seek blessings for their families.

what to do in west lake honoi ho tay

  • Address: 52 Dang Thai Mai Street, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

4. West Lake Lotus Pond

The West Lake Lotus Pond, located near the West Lake water park, is a must-visit famous destination. In June, the pond attracts many tourists who come to enjoy the peaceful and cool atmosphere. Amidst the serene surroundings, visitors can witness the lively scenes as tourists don traditional Vietnamese dresses such as Ao Dai, Ba Ba, or traditional clothing for photographs.

  • Address: 431 Au Co Alley, Tay Ho, Hanoi

5. Van Nien Pagoda

Van Nien Pagoda, with its Nguyen Dynasty architectural style, is located by West Lake and has been a spiritual attraction for thousands of years. Besides being a place of worship for Buddha and honoring Lady Lieu Hanh, the pagoda houses numerous precious artifacts, including over 40 Buddha statues and 10 precious scrolls from the Le and Tay Son periods. The tranquil and peaceful surroundings offer visitors a gentle, relaxed, and peaceful feeling.

  • Address: 364 Lac Long Quan Street, Xuan La Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

6. Quan Thanh Temple

what to do in west lake hanoi

As one of the four Thang Long citadels, Quan Thanh Temple is a sacred temple, symbolizing the spiritual culture of Hanoi’s residents. It worships Huyen Thien Tran Vu, the god guarding the North of Thang Long Citadel. The temple impresses with its unique architecture, blending Chinese style, and numerous beautiful structures such as triple gates, pre-altar, central hall, rear palace, and a flower garden. The temple also preserves many valuable artistic artifacts like bronze statues representing the distinctive features of Taoism.

  • Address: 190 Quan Thanh Street, Quan Thanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

7. Tao Sach Pagoda

If you have the opportunity to visit West Lake, don’t miss Tao Sach Pagoda, which is over 600 years old. It is one of the few ancient pagodas in the capital that retains its ancient and solemn appearance. Built during the reign of King Tran Thanh Tong, the pagoda was dedicated to Prince Linh Lang, who played a significant role in repelling the Mongol invasions. Today, the pagoda remains a famous attraction, featuring unique folk architecture and numerous valuable artifacts.

  • Address: 386 Lac Long Quan Street, Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

8. Quang Ba Flower Market

what to do in hanoi west lake

Known as a famous market specializing in wholesale and retailing a variety of decorative flowers, Quang Ba Flower Market is an ideal destination for flower enthusiasts. Visitors can explore hundreds of stalls located close to each other, creating a vibrant, colorful space with flowers such as sunflowers, roses, and daisies. Especially during Tet (Lunar New Year), the market becomes bustling from early morning until late at night. At the market, you can freely purchase bouquets or potted flowers to decorate your home and don’t forget to capture some beautiful moments in this charming space.

  • Address: 236 Au Co Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

What to eat around West Lake?

Not only renowned for its captivating attractions, West Lake Hanoi also captivates visitors with its diverse culinary culture. Below are some distinctive and delicious dishes around West Lake that promise to offer you an exceptional culinary journey.

1. West Lake Shrimp Cakes at Thanh Nien Street

The West Lake shrimp cakes are the most famous delicacy here, epitomized by the saying, “Visit Tay Ho Palace and enjoy shrimp cakes.” These cakes are enveloped in a crispy golden layer of fried flour, containing succulent and flavorful shrimp inside. Enjoyed with a side of pickled vegetables, fresh greens, and a harmonious sweet and sour dipping sauce.

  • Address: 1 Thanh Nien Street, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 90,000 VND per portion

2. Savory Donuts at Lac Long Quan Street

To savor the savory donuts on Lac Long Quan Street, you may have to endure long queues, but it’s worth the wait. These large-sized savory donuts are generously filled and come with a rich, flavorful sauce.

  • Address: Alley 242 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 3,000 – 10,000 VND per piece

3. “Tan Lon” Chicken at An Duong Alley

An ideal choice for your evening meal around West Lake, “Tan Lon” chicken is a nutritious and flavorful dish served in An Duong Alley. The dish features mugwort, offering a unique aroma and taste. The chicken is cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and succulent meat that is both delicious and satisfying.

  • Address: 31, Alley 115 An Duong, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 25,000 – 30,000 VND per portion

4. Spicy Snails at 107 Thuy Khue

107 Thuy Khue Spicy Snails will be an intriguing option for exploring West Lake’s nightlife cuisine. The restaurant serves hot and delicious boiled snails with a well-balanced sweet and sour dipping sauce. In addition to snails, you can also order various other dishes such as deep-fried quail, fried fermented pork roll, and more.

  • Address: 107 Thuy Khue, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 15,000 – 50,000 VND per portion

5. Grilled Lemongrass Skewers at 161 Yen Phu

161 Yen Phu Grilled Lemongrass Skewers win diners over with charred, fragrant, and tender meat, complemented by a variety of fresh and tasty accompanying vegetables.

  • Address: 161 Yen Phu, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 14,000 – 23,000 VND per portion

6. Quang Ba Grilled Skewers

Quang Ba Grilled Skewers always attract a large crowd with their affordable price of just 5,000 VND, offering an irresistible aroma and flavor. The meat is meticulously seasoned, grilled to perfection, and served with a flavorful chili sauce.

  • Address: Next to Quang Ba Flower Garden, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Price Range: 5,000 VND per skewer

5.7. Sen Tay Ho Buffet

Sen Tay Ho Buffet promises an unforgettable culinary experience in an elegant setting within the scenic Thu Dinh area, surrounded by lakes and lotus ponds. The restaurant offers three main buffet areas: International, Hanoi, and Star Palace, featuring a diverse menu of grilled dishes, seafood, Asian-European cuisine, and specialties from all three regions of Vietnam.

  • Address: 614 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Buffet Serving Hours: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Monday – Sunday)
  • Price Range: 260,000 – 430,000 VND per ticket

Travel tips for West Lake exploration

When planning your visit to West Lake Hanoi, consider the following tips for a safe and enjoyable journey:

  • Always keep an eye on young children and ensure they wear life jackets when engaging in activities such as paddle boating and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) to prioritize safety.
  • Early morning, late afternoon, and evening are the perfect times to stroll around West Lake, savoring the fresh air and admiring the picturesque scenery.
  • Opting for bike rental provides the freedom to explore West Lake and its surrounding areas independently. This allows you to discover hidden gems beyond the usual tourist spots.
  • Choose comfortable clothing for easy mobility. However, if you plan to visit temples or pagodas, remember to dress modestly and respectfully to honor the spiritual ambiance.

These tips will enhance the smoothness and memorability of your journey around West Lake.


Above are the details about West Lake – a famous landmark that you shouldn’t miss when visiting the capital city of Hanoi. This destination will undoubtedly leave a mark in your memories with its serene atmosphere, picturesque scenery featuring lush green trees, and the tranquil lake. We hope that the information shared in this article will assist you in having a truly fulfilling and memorable trip to West Lake. If you want to experience West Lake Hanoi on a bicycle, consider checking out the cycling tours offered by Jackfruit Adventure!


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