Hanoi is the capital and second-largest city in Vietnam. Located in the Red River Delta of Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is an ancient city with a long and illustrious history. It is the cultural, political, and economic center of the country, and it offers tourists a unique cultural experience unlike any other city in the world.
In this travel guide, we’ll explore some of the best sights and attractions in Hanoi, and tell you more about the amazing food culture. We’ll even reveal some unique places that many people don’t know about. And lastly, we’ll tell you how to get to Hanoi and offer some help with planning your travel itinerary. So let’s dive right in.
History of Hanoi
The area that is now Hanoi was first settled over 1000 years ago. It was part of the ancient kingdom of Âu Lạc, and in the 10th century, it was the seat of the powerful Dai Co Viet Kingdom. During this time, Hanoi was known as Thăng Long and was home to several imperial dynasties.
In 1802, the Nguyen Dynasty rose to power and continued to rule Vietnam until 1945. During this time, Thăng Long was renamed Hanoi, which means “the hinterland between the rivers.” In 1954, when the country was divided, Hanoi became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the North).
7 Sights and Attractions in Hanoi
Hanoi is a city full of culture, history, and unique sights and attractions. Here are the top 7 you need to check out:
- Hoan Kiem Lake: The heart and soul of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. The lake is said to be the site of a legendary sword of a legendary Vietnamese king.
- Temple of Literature: This temple is dedicated to Confucius and was built in 1070. It houses Vietnam’s first university and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and culture.
- Hoa Lo Prison: This former prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton”, was used by the Vietnamese to detain American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.
- Ngoc Son Temple: This is an ancient temple located in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. It is a popular tourist destination, and it offers stunning views of the water and the city.
- The Old Quarter: The Old Quarter is a bustling area full of shops, restaurants, and cafés. Here you can explore the small alleys, try some delicious food, and soak in the unique atmosphere.
- Dong Xuan Market: This is one of the oldest markets in Hanoi and is a great place to buy souvenirs as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local goods.
- Hanoi Opera House: Built in 1911 by the French, the Hanoi Opera House is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. It is a great place to experience some of the city’s best classical music performances.
The Food Culture of Hanoi
One of the best things about Hanoi is its amazing food culture. The city is full of street food stalls, local restaurants, and fusion eateries that offer a wide variety of dishes. Some of the must-try dishes include phở (Vietnamese noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork and noodles), and bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich).
For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on bánh gối (fried dumplings). These little bites of heaven are filled with sweet bean paste and topped with coconut and sesame. It’s a great way to end a meal in Hanoi.
Unique Experiences in Hanoi
If you’re looking for something unique, then here are some of the best experiences you can have in Hanoi:
- Visit the Maison Centrale, the former prison that is now open to visitors.
- Catch a water puppet show, a traditional form of entertainment in Vietnam.
- Go on a cycling tour around the city and explore its streets without worrying about traffic.
These unique experiences will give you an insight into the culture and history of Hanoi.
How to Get to Hanoi
Hanoi is well-connected to other cities in Vietnam, and there are several ways to get to the city. The most popular way to get to Hanoi is by plane. The Noi Bai International Airport is located just outside the city and offers flights to and from major cities in the region.
Alternatively, you can take the train or bus to Hanoi from other cities in Vietnam. There are daily trains and buses from cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue.
Where to Go in the Province
Hanoi is located in the province of Hanoi and there are many charming towns and villages in the area. For more information, check out the Hanoi Province page on Tripfany.
Tailored Travel Itinerary
At Tripfany, we understand that planning a trip can be a daunting task. That’s why we offer a free tailored travel itinerary service. We can help you plan your trip to Hanoi, so you can make the most of your time and enjoy the best of the city.