The discovery of Hanoi is a must- try experience for all travelers on Vietnam tours! Immerse yourself in its overflowing atmosphere, the animation of streets, succulent cuisine and warm Vietnamese smiles. If you want to make the best of staying for 3 days in Hanoi, here are all our tips and advice for your good tourist inspirations and a wealth of practical information to fully enjoy the essential capital of Vietnam.

An ancient and poetic Hanoi

An ancient and poetic Hanoi

Introducing Hanoi

Hanoi, “the city beyond the river” in Vietnamese, is the capital of millennial Vietnam, established in the year 1010. As the major arrival point for international travelers, it is a true concentrate of authenticity that leaves no one indifferent! 3 days in Hanoi will allow you to immerse yourself in this amazing metropolis on your travel to Northern Vietnam.

Stroll in the middle of its busy streets, discover many curiosities in a narrow shop, be impressed by its waves of scooters. Get carried away by the intoxicating smells, negotiate fruit with smiling street vendors, that’s the 100% experience in Hanoi! The capital of Vietnam is the political and cultural center of Vietnam. It is endowed with a heritage of an infinite richness. They are numerous buildings and monuments dating from feudal and monarchical times, from French colonization and vestiges of the war. Get ready to have your eyes full!

Suggested Itinerary & Tour Program for 3 Days in Hanoi

Day 1: Discovery of the historic center of Hanoi

Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, the highlight of Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake, the highlight of Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake or “Lake of the Restored Sword”, just like the old quarter, is the central attraction of Hanoi. The romantic shores of the lake with its weeping trees, pretty flowers and the Tortoise islet in the middle of the lake are splendid. On 3 days in Hanoi, it is ideal to discover the temple of Mont Jade and cross a charming red wooden bridge. Every weekend, the boulevards around Hoan Kiem are pedestrianized and become a playground, parties and street shows. Do not miss it!

Vietnam Tours 2020

Admire French heritage heritage

Hanoi has gone through many historical events. What to see in Hanoi if you want to explore colonial Indochina? Saint-Joseph cathedral, built at the end of the 19th century, west of the old quarter, the remarkable Hanoi Opera House. It was built at the start of the 20th century, in the middle of the chic avenues of the French Quarter, Finally, the Long Bien bridge to the north of the old quarter, built by the French company Daydé and Pillé, under the leadership of Paul Doumer, former governor of Indochina. From the top of this “Eiffel bridge”, you can admire the red river, the banks filled with bananas and other cultures and the boats.

Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter

A couple wandering around Hanoi's Old Quarter

A couple wandering around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

It is the emblematic historic district of Hanoi not to be missed! Wondering what to visit in the old quarter? Quite simply the animation which reigns there with its scooters which cross rickshaws, merchants and street vendors. The old quarter has an astonishing architecture with its narrow historic houses and its Buddhist temples. Its streets are called 36 streets or corporations. They each bear the name of a corporation, a product or a material for or on which craftsmen once worked. The streets of iron and tin are still active. It’s up to you to discover them all on foot or by rickshaw on your 3 days in Hanoi!

Stroll through original markets

Do you want to soak up the city? Then stroll through its authentic markets! Walk the narrow street of Nguyen Thien Thuat located in the old quarter. Filled with fruits and vegetables, spices, condiments … this market will surprise you! Nearby is the large covered market of Dong Xuan, ideal for shopping for good souvenirs.

On your 3 days in Hanoi, if you have extra time, you can move to the bustling “Quang Ba” flower market, located near the Great West Lake. It is interesting in the evening or the early morning and allows you to admire a wide choice of beautiful flowers: lotus, roses, orchids … If you prefer to stay in the old quarter, stroll through the night market on Hang Dao street to soak up a friendly atmosphere.

Attend the Water Puppet Theater

A show at Water Puppet Theater

A show at Water Puppet Theater

Your 3 days in Hanoi can include a show at the iconic water puppet theater in Hanoi. It is a popular visual and musical art, born on the borders of the campaigns of the Red River Delta during the Middle Ages. The artists gracefully handle several wooden figures on the water. This representation tells the adventures of little Teu, the central character always optimistic. It is with humor and tenderness that he will tell you the bucolic and legendary stories of his country.

Day 2: Hanoi cultural tour

Discover the most beautiful temples and pagoda

This  Temple of Literature in Hanoi, built in the 11th century, is symbolic because it was the first university in Vietnam. Prestigious, only the children of aristocrats could study there and the practices of Confucianism were practiced there. We take advantage of the temple by sinking into a series of courtyards and harmonious porticoes while admiring its gardens, steles, and engravings. A walk to the Tran Quoc pagoda will enchant you. Built-in the middle of the 6th century AD, its particularities are that it is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi, that it has several towers and statues of Buddha pointing to the sky and that it is one of the best panoramas of the immense West Lake.

Getting to the places of power in Vietnam

What to see in Hanoi apart from its feudal riches? The places of power of the city! Hanoi is indeed the political capital of the country and many buildings bear witness to this. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a place of worship for any patriotic Vietnamese. The beloved Uncle Ho, the initiator, and orchestrator of Vietnam’s independence, rests there. The colorful Presidential Palace where the Governor of Indochina once sat catches the eye with its mustard yellow color! It is located near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, as is the Ho Chi Minh Botanical Garden and its house on stilts.

Visit one of the best museums in Hanoi

Impressive exhibits of Hanoi Capital in Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

Impressive exhibits of Hanoi Capital in Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

How to discover Vietnamese culture in depth? Discover more: Top 4 Must-see Cultural Museums in Hanoi

Day 3: Bucolic getaway near Hanoi

We recommend spending a day outside the capital and we suggest you choose between 3 excursions:

Visit the craft villages and their crafts

Visiting Hanoi in 3 days gives you time to enjoy its surroundings. It is a boon since the Vietnamese capital is surrounded by old craft villages still inactive. Bat Trang is renowned for its beautiful ceramics, pottery, and earthenware. It is even possible to create your ceramic in one of the many workshops. We also recommend the village of Dong Ho, famous for its paintings and woodcuts. The same goes for Van Phuc, known for its workshops for the production of silk fabrics, its craftsmen and looms.

Explore the Perfume Pagoda (Huong Pagoda)

Perfume Pagoda - Hanoi

Perfume Pagoda – Hanoi

3 days in Hanoi makes it easy to combine an excursion to the Perfume Pagoda. It is a huge religious complex, built in the middle of nature and an unmissable Buddhist pilgrimage place where the faithful go massively in February-March. To discover this site, you first let yourself be carried along the Yen river by boat while observing magnificent karst peaks. We then start on foot or in the cable car ascent of the Perfume Mountain to access the Thien Tru pagoda and the huge Huong Tich Cave.

Discover the ancestral village of Duong Lam

Here is another ideal getaway, the ancient village of Duong Lam. It is the only village in the Red River Delta region to have kept its buildings of yesteryear. There are architectural treasures there dating back 400 years: the front door, the town hall, religious sites … This is the perfect opportunity to escape the bustle of Hanoi and enjoy the peaceful countryside while strolling, walking or biking along with rice fields and fields of cassava and corn.

What to Eat for 3 Days in Hanoi?

The Discovery of the city cannot be done without tasting the fine Vietnamese gastronomy! Try the essential Bun Cha with its strips, pork meatballs, and vermicelli in the sauce. The delicious Banh My is perfect for snacking. Also taste the Bun Thang: rice noodles, chicken, omelet, shrimp and pork bones, a treat! As well as Cha Ca, a dish of fried or grilled fish, vermicelli and aromatic herbs. Finally, what would a trip to Vietnam be without eating a famous Vietnamese Pho? You can taste it either with beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga).

Cha ca, one of top must-try specialties of Hanoi

Cha ca, one of top must-try specialties of Hanoi

When to Go to Hanoi?

Wondering when to go to Hanoi? Rest assured, there is no season advised against to get there. However, it is more pleasant to visit the city in spring, from late March to mid-May and in the fall, from October to November. Temperatures in Hanoi are mild and range between 20 and 27 degrees during the day.

Read more:

Start planning your tailor-made Vietnam tour by contacting one of our specialists…

Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published