Planning a trip to Hanoi but only have a day to explore? Don’t worry, in this bustling city, even 24 hours is enough time to experience the rich culture and vibrant atmosphere. This blog post will guide you through an action-packed day in Hanoi, ensuring you hit all the must-see attractions and try unforgettable local cuisine.
Ready for the adventure of lifetime? Let’s dive into your perfect one-day itinerary!
- Hanoi offers a vibrant and cultural experience, even if you only have 24 hours to explore.
- Must – see attractions include Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, street art murals in the Old Quarter, Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, Union Park, Vietnam Military History Museum, and Binh Minh Jazz Club.
- Don’t miss trying local foods like egg coffee at Cafe Đinh or pho at local restaurants. Also try bun cha at Obama and Bourdain’s favorite spot and traditional Vietnamese sandwiches at King Roti.
- If you have two days in Hanoi, additional activities include visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda, exploring the Presidential Palace Historical Site and Thang Long Imperial Citadel, experiencing Hanoi Train Street and Dong Xuan Market, visiting Bach Ma Temple and shopping at Hanoi Night Market.
Getting to Hanoi
Getting to Hanoi is easy with various transportation options available, including airport transfers and a range of accommodations to suit your preferences.
Getting from Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport to the city center is easy. It is about a 40-minute drive. You can take a city bus or shuttle at the airport. Also, taxis are there for you to use.
If you already booked your stay, they can arrange transport for you too.
Hanoi has places to stay for all budgets. You can pick from many backpacker hostels and high-end hotels. A lot of people like to stay in the Old Quarter or by Hoan Kiem Lake. These areas are near big sights to see.
If you want something cheap but still good, there is a lot to choose from too. The city offers value for your money so you only spend what you want to. Enjoying your one day in Hanoi starts with picking the right place to rest.
Recommended hostels and hotels
Finding a good place to stay is key for your one day in Hanoi. Here are some top picks:
- Hanoi Amazing Hostel – This hostel is great for your 24-hour trip to Hanoi. It is in the city center and does not cost a lot.
- Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel – Located in the lively Old Quarter area, this hostel puts you close to many fun attractions.
- Apricot Hotel – If you want something fancy, this hotel is a good choice. It overlooks the popular Hoan Kiem Lake.
- Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel – This high-end hotel offers a mix of old-world charm and modern comfort.
- Hilton Hanoi Opera – Another upscale option, it sits near the famous Hanoi Night Market.
Top Activities and Entertainment in Hanoi
Experience the rich history and vibrant culture of Hanoi by visiting Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, admiring street art murals in the Old Quarter, exploring the intriguing Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, escaping the chaos at Union Park, learning about Vietnamese history at the Vietnam Military History Museum, and enjoying live music at the Binh Minh Jazz Club.
Visiting Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is a popular attraction in Hanoi that you shouldn’t miss. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square and offers visitors a chance to learn about Vietnam’s history, values, and culture.
Ho Chi Minh, also known as Uncle Ho, played an important role in Vietnamese history. When you visit the mausoleum, it is recommended to spend about half an hour to one hour sightseeing.
Viewing street art murals in the Old Quarter
The Old Quarter in Hanoi is a must-visit if you want to see amazing street art murals. One of the best places to go is Phung Hung street, where beautiful murals can be found under the train tracks.
These murals tell stories about Hanoi and add vibrant colors to the area. If you’re interested in exploring the unique street art scene in Hanoi, make sure to include viewing these murals on your one-day itinerary!
Exploring Hoa Lo Prison Memorial
Explore the Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” This former prison is now a museum that showcases the history and conditions of prisoners. During the Vietnam War, it gained its nickname from U.S. prisoners of war.
Today, visitors can tour a small preserved section of the original prison. You’ll have the chance to explore prison cells and see exhibits depicting the harsh living conditions and treatment of prisoners.
It’s a fascinating place to learn about Vietnam’s history and gain insight into what prisoners endured during that time period.
Escaping the chaos at Union Park
Union Park in Hanoi is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This serene park offers a peaceful oasis where you can relax and unwind. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined pathways, or find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy nature.
Union Park also features beautiful gardens and fountains, providing a tranquil atmosphere for visitors. Whether you want to have a picnic, read a book, or simply soak up some sun, Union Park offers an idyllic setting away from the chaos of Hanoi’s busy streets.
Learning about Vietnamese history at the Vietnam Military History Museum
The Vietnam Military History Museum is a fascinating place to learn about Vietnamese history, particularly the American War in Vietnam and its impact on the country. You can explore exhibits showcasing old cars, planes, weapons, and other military artifacts.
It’s not just about war though—the museum also provides an overview of Vietnam’s entire history. You’ll see displays highlighting the struggle for independence and the wars fought against colonial powers.
If you’re interested in military history or want to gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s past, this is definitely a must-visit attraction in Hanoi.
Checking out live music at the Binh Minh Jazz Club
Located behind the Hilton Opera Hanoi, the Binh Minh Jazz Club is a popular spot for live music in Hanoi. Since 2007, this club has been providing fantastic live performances that start at 9pm.
Whether you’re a jazz lover or simply enjoy good music, this venue won’t disappoint. Not only does the Binh Minh Jazz Club offer great wine selection, but their friendly service adds to the overall experience.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind and enjoy some quality live music, make sure to check out the Binh Minh Jazz Club during your one-day itinerary in Hanoi.
Must-Try Hanoi Foods and Drinks
Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering egg coffee at Cafe Đinh, the delectable pho at local restaurants, Obama and Anthony Bourdain’s famous bun cha, and King Roti’s traditional Vietnamese sandwiches.
Hungry yet? Read more to discover the perfect one day itinerary in Hanoi!
Trying egg coffee at Cafe Đinh
One must-try beverage when visiting Hanoi is egg coffee, and Cafe Đinh is a popular spot for it. Egg coffee is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, and Robusta coffee.
It was invented in the 1940s as a solution to a milk shortage. While Cafe Đinh is known for its egg coffee, there are other cafes like Cafe Giang that also serve this unique drink.
So why not give it a try and experience the rich and creamy taste of Hanoi’s famous egg coffee?.
Eating pho at any local restaurant
Pho is a popular traditional food in Vietnam, and when you’re in Hanoi, you must try it at a local restaurant. Pho is a steaming bowl of pho noodle soup that is never hard to find in Hanoi.
It’s a dish that you’ll consume frequently during your trip to Vietnam because Hanoi is known for its delicious Pho Bo, which is beef pho. This savory and fragrant soup filled with tender noodles and flavorful broth will give you a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
So make sure to stop by any local restaurant in Hanoi and savor the flavors of this iconic dish.
Indulging in bun cha at Obama and Anthony Bourdain’s famous spot
At the popular restaurant Bun Cha Obama, also known as Bún Chả Hương Liên, you can experience a famous dish that was enjoyed by Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain. This restaurant gained fame after these two influential figures had dinner there during their visit to Hanoi.
The meal they had only cost $6 and included bun cha, a traditional Vietnamese dish made up of grilled pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce. In addition to bun cha, the restaurant also offers other delicious dishes such as banana flower salad.
If you want to try a variety of flavors at once, you can opt for their “Combo Obama” which includes bun cha, a seafood spring roll, and a bottle of Hanoi beer.
Trying King Roti’s traditional Vietnamese sandwiches
King Roti is a popular place to try traditional Vietnamese sandwiches in Hanoi. They offer a variety of flavors to choose from, so you can find one that suits your taste. The author visited several bahn mi spots in Hanoi and included King Roti on their list of the best ones.
If you’re on a street food tour and craving something sweet, the author recommends trying King Roti’s dessert for a little bit of chocolate goodness.
Itinerary for a Busy 24 Hours in Hanoi
If you only have 24 hours in Hanoi, here’s a busy itinerary to make the most of your time:
- Start your day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum.
- Explore the colorful street art murals in the Old Quarter.
- Learn about Vietnam’s history at the Hoa Lo Prison Memorial.
- Take a break from the hustle and bustle at Union Park.
- Dive into Vietnamese military history at the Vietnam Military History Museum.
- Enjoy live music at Binh Minh Jazz Club.
Day 1: A Jam-Packed 24-Hour Itinerary
Start your day early with a hearty breakfast at a local café.
- Explore the bustling streets of the Old Quarter and admire its vibrant street art murals.
- Visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum to pay respects to Vietnam’s beloved leader.
- Take a break from the city chaos and unwind at Union Park.
- Dive into Vietnamese history at the Vietnam Military History Museum.
- Enjoy live jazz music at the Binh Minh Jazz Club in the evening.
- Indulge in a traditional Vietnamese dinner at one of Hanoi’s local restaurants.
- End your day with a leisurely stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, soaking in the beautiful scenery.
Day 2: Another Full Day in Hanoi
On your second day in Hanoi, you can explore more of the city and experience its vibrant culture. Here are some activities you can do:
- Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, a beautiful Buddhist temple located on an island in West Lake.
- Explore the Presidential Palace Historical Site, where you can learn about Vietnam’s political history and see the traditional Vietnamese architecture.
- Discover the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore its ruins and exhibitions.
- Take a stroll along Hanoi Train Street, a unique street where trains pass just inches away from houses and shops.
- Experience the bustling atmosphere of Dong Xuan Market, one of the largest covered markets in Hanoi.
- Visit Bach Ma Temple, an ancient temple known for its stunning architecture and historical significance.
- Enjoy shopping at Hanoi Night Market, where you can find souvenirs, clothing, accessories, and local street food.
- Watch a traditional water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.
Must-See Attractions in Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda, an ancient Buddhist temple located on a small island in West Lake, is a must-see attraction in Hanoi.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located on a small peninsula on the East side of Hanoi West Lake. Dating back to the 6th century, during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De Dynasty, it holds great historical significance.
The pagoda is a popular tourist attraction known for its sacred sanctuary and beautiful surroundings. Many kings of Vietnam used to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda for sightseeing, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Hanoi.
Presidential Palace Historical Site
The Presidential Palace Historical Site in Hanoi is a place where you can learn about Vietnam’s revolutionary history. Built by the French colonial authorities in 1900, the palace has beautiful gardens, fruit orchards, and even a carp pond.
The architecture has a European-style with elegant design elements like wrought-iron gates. Located near Ba Dinh Square and the Ho Chi Minh Tomb, this historical site is worth visiting to immerse yourself in Vietnamese history.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a historical site located in the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam. It holds great significance as it showcases the rich history and continuous development of the city.
The complex consists of various buildings, exhibitions displaying archaeological artifacts, and Vietnamese artwork. For centuries, it served as the center of political power for different dynasties in Vietnam.
With over 10 centuries of history, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. Its cultural and historical importance makes it a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring Hanoi.
Hanoi Train Street
Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Hanoi Train Street is a must-visit attraction for tourists. This unique street offers a surreal experience as it is known for its active train track.
Visitors can walk along the narrow path and witness trains passing just inches away from them. Despite efforts by Vietnamese authorities to shut down Hanoi Train Street due to safety concerns, tourists continue to flock to this popular spot.
It’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings when visiting this one-of-a-kind destination in Hanoi.
Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market is the oldest and largest market in Hanoi. Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, it’s a bustling trade center that sells all kinds of products. From clothes and accessories to household goods and local food, you can find a wide variety of items here at affordable prices.
People from all over the city come to Dong Xuan Market for their shopping needs. With its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings, this market is definitely worth exploring during your one day in Hanoi itinerary.
Bach Ma Temple
Bach Ma Temple is a very special place in Hanoi. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the city and has a lot of history. The temple protects one side of Hanoi and is dedicated to an important horse that helped build it.
When you visit Bach Ma Temple, you can see the beautiful traditional Vietnamese architecture. It’s really interesting because it’s different from other buildings in the city. Many tourists come to see this unique temple and learn about its historical significance.
Hanoi Night Market
The Hanoi Night Market is a popular attraction located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It spans several main streets and features almost 4000 stalls. This bustling market offers visitors a glimpse into the cultural life and history of the city.
Here, you can find a wide range of items including souvenirs, handicrafts, clothing, accessories, and delicious street food. If you’re looking for unique gifts or simply want to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Hanoi at night, a visit to the Hanoi Night Market is definitely worth it.
Plus, don’t forget to check out Dong Xuan Market nearby, which is one of the largest markets in Hanoi.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is a popular attraction in Hanoi that offers traditional Vietnamese water puppet shows. Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, this theatre showcases over 500 shows featuring the country’s art forms and traditions.
The performances last for approximately 50 minutes, captivating audiences of all ages, including families with young children. It’s a must-visit destination to experience the unique cultural heritage of Vietnam through these mesmerizing water puppet shows.
Best Hotels for a One-Day Stay in Hanoi
In conclusion, with this one-day itinerary, you can experience the best of Hanoi’s attractions and flavors. From visiting historical sites like Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison Memorial to indulging in local delicacies like pho and egg coffee, there is something for everyone.
Make the most of your time in Hanoi and create unforgettable memories in this vibrant city.
1. What are the top attractions to visit in Hanoi in one day?
In one day, you can visit popular attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and Ngoc Son Temple.
2. How do I get around Hanoi to see all these attractions in one day?
The best way to get around Hanoi is by walking or using a combination of taxis and cyclos (cycle rickshaws). It’s also helpful to have a map or use GPS navigation on your phone.
3. Can I explore Hanoi’s food scene during my one-day itinerary?
Absolutely! You can try local delicacies like pho (noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and egg coffee at authentic street food stalls and restaurants in the Old Quarter.
4. Are there any tips for making the most out of my one day in Hanoi?
To make the most out of your one day in Hanoi, start early in the morning, plan your itinerary ahead of time, wear comfortable shoes for walking, and be prepared for crowded streets.
5. Is it possible to see everything mentioned in the itinerary within just one day?
While it might not be possible to see every single attraction mentioned within just one day due to time constraints, you can prioritize based on your interests or come back another time for further exploration.