Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a small but elegant city. If you only have a chance to visit just one place in Northern Vietnam, that will likely be Hanoi. Its poetic and romantic beauty can charm you so effortlessly, even if your Hanoi Tour only lasts for a few days. Beside the famous attractions inside the city, there are so much more for you to discover around. Here’s a list of best places to visit around Hanoi.
I. Inside the city
Hanoi is packed with incredible must-visit attractions, such as The Temple of Literature, Long Bien Bridge or Hanoi Opera House. Take your time to discover the thousand years capital with many different tours, such as Hanoi bicycle tours, Hanoi walking tours, Hanoi street foods tours or Hanoi motorbike tours. If you want to understand and experience more about the life of locals, there are many activities for you to join, like Hanoi cooking class or Farm tour with a local family.
Booking those tours, you will have chances to visit the most attractive and popular destinations inside the city. There are a number of interesting places to get by in Hanoi.
1. Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Hồ Gươm, is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
2. Hanoi Old Quater
Inside a modern and dynamic city, there appears an antique quarter – Hanoi Old Quarter, which is the eternal soul of the city. It is said that nothing says Hanoi like its Old Quarter- the cultural heart of Hanoi. If you want to discover Vietnam’s historic and unique cultural delights, walk around and just take in the sites.
3. The Literature Temple
One of the most famous historical sites of the city is The Literature Temple which was built in 1070. Not only being the very first University of the nation, Van Mieu is also the place to worship Confucius. The Vietnamese always come here to pray for luck for school and working by touching the rock tortoises’ head, because it is believed to be a very sacred blessing for academic and occupational success.
4. National Museum of Vietnamese History
Another must-visit historical site in Hanoi is National Museum of Vietnamese History. Built between 1925 and 1932, it is a magnificent example of Indochinese architecture. The exhibits are all about Vietnam through times, from primitive period to present.
5. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Situated at the heart of Hanoi, the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an outstanding place of interest. The site was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2010. There’re two sections: the archaeological site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street and the central axis of the Nguyen Dynasty’s Citadel of Hanoi. This was the most important sector of Thang Long Citadel, the capital of Dai Viet under the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties from the 11th to the 18th centuries. It was also the headquarters of the North Vietnamese government and army during the Vietnam War.
6. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important historical attraction of Hanoi, known for honoring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh. The building is where visitors can express their admiration and gratitude towards the common father/uncle of Vietnamese who has led the country to independence and reunification. It is popularly known among Vietnamese as Uncles’ Mausoleum, for the intimate and familiar atmosphere, Ho Chi Minh always created when he was alive.
II. Outside the city
Beside the famous attractions in the city, there are so much more for you to discover outside Hanoi within only one or two days.
1. One day trip
1.1. Bat Trang ceramic village
Bat Trang, a small village in the north of Vietnam, is about 13 kilometers south-east of Hanoi center. Why is its name popular with most tourists to northern Vietnam? The answer is its ever famous ceramic and pottery products of high quality. If you have known about Vietnam, you may not be surprised that Bat Trang’s vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products have been exported worldwide. In Bat Trang one day trip, you can also design and create your own ceramic products by hand for souvenirs.
1.2. Van Phuc Silk Village
Situated on the bank of Nhue River, about 10km southwest of Hanoi Old Quarter, Van Phuc silk village is renowned for its traditional weaving and premium quality silk products. At the age of more than 1,200 years, Van Phuc is proud to be the most ancient silk village which provides the best silk in Vietnam.
1.3. Duong Lam ancient village
Some 60km to the west of Hanoi Capital, Duong Lam, in Son Tay town, Hanoi, is the first-recognized ancient village in Vietnam. It is a truly authentic Vietnam as it still retains most of the basic characteristics of a village with port village, trees, courtyard, temples, well, water fields and the ancient houses.
1.4. Bac Ninh Province
Located 30km from the center of Hanoi, Bac Ninh Province is an ideal place for your one day trip with many interesting attractions.
1.4.1 But Thap Pagoda
But Thap pagoda is considered one of the most common attractions near Hanoi. The pagoda is situated in But Thap village in Bac Ninh province; and very famous for having unique ancient architecture, which is the sophisticated combination of Vietnamese culture and Chinese culture.
1.4.2. Dong Ho Painting Village
Dong Ho Village with its famous paintings has become an aesthetic symbol in Vietnam culture. Located to the left side of Duong River in Bac Ninh Province, Dong Ho stood for centuries making their unique artwork. Dong Ho Village can easily be combined with But Thap Pagoda into a one day biking trip to Bac Ninh.
1.4.3. Dau Pagoda
Dau Pagoda, located in Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province, is considered the oldest Buddhist pagoda in Vietnam according to researchers. The pagoda is about 1 hour away from Hanoi Old Quarter, making it easy for a morning trip away from the city noise.
1.5. Ninh Binh Province
Ninh Binh is located only 90km from Hanoi. There are numerous famous attractions to get by in only one day trip.
1.5.1. Tam Coc – Hoa Lu
Often referred to as “Inland Ha Long Bay”, the area of Tam Coc and Hoa Lu is characterized by the limestone geology that gives rise to the towering karsts that make this picturesque area so unique. On this enjoyable one day trip, the atmosphere is relaxed as you casually pedal and paddle your way past green rice fields, along waterways, and through underground passages.
1.5.2. Trang An
Trang An is a scenic area near Ninh Binh, Vietnam renowned for its boat cave tours. At the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha, the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During Trang An one day tour, you can not only experience the natural beauty of Trang An but also visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the biggest pagoda in Vietnam and also of South East Asia with hundreds of statues.
1.5.3. Perfume Pagoda
Perfume pagoda has a long history of Vietnamese literature. Its name has been a theme of many songs, topic of poetry, used in literary works as well as backdrops for paintings. This location truly incorporates all the elements of beauty that is often used in Eastern philosophy and arts. Don’t hesitate to join Perfume pagoda one day tour to understand more about Vietnamese culture.
2. Two days trip
2.1. Hai Phong
Travel 102 km from the capital of Hanoi, Hai Phong is one of the most beautiful cities in the North of Vietnam with a lot of interesting places to see.
2.1.1. Do Son Beach
Stretching 22km wide between two rivers Cam and Van Uc, Do Son with its soft white sand has always been an ideal beach destination. Besides the luscious natural beauty of its three beaches, Do Son also processes many cultural and historical artifacts. Spending time in Do Son Beach for two days or more is a great idea to escape from the heat of the city.
2.1.2. Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba is the largest out of the nearly 2000 islands surrounding the Halong Bay area. Under the green canopy is a diverse ecosystem, with hundreds of valuable medicinal herbs and trees. Cat Ba is also home to the endangered Komodo iguana, which can way up to 100kg. Tourists visiting Cat Ba have plenty of choices between the island’s tropical beaches, caves and the Cat Ba National Park.
2.2. Ha Long
Halong Bay is one the iconic natural beauties of Vietnam and unsurprisingly one of the most popular destinations in the whole of the country. In 1994, it was designated Vietnam’s second World Heritage Site and attracts a steady stream of visitors year-round for the magnificent views of the bay and the relaxing boat trips. There are many options in Halong Bay tours in two or more days for you to choose. You can also combine visiting Halong Bay with Cat Ba Island into a 3-days tour.
2.3. Mai Chau
The distance from Hanoi to Mai Chau Valley is approximately 150km; therefore, it takes you more than 3 hours to reach a beautiful Mai Chau Valley. Coming to Mai Chau, tourists will be warmly welcomed by the picturesque scenery of Mai Chau lying in a green valley of paddy fields dotted with rows of stilt houses. Spending time on Mai Chau two days tour at one of the stilt houses in Mai Chau, tourists have a chance to enjoy the folk dances and songs that are accompanied by Gong music, as well as experience the feeling of drinking Can Wine – an important cultural symbol for ethnic minorities in Hoa Binh.
2.4. Ha Giang
Ha Giang is a unique place that is untouched by mass tourism. Traditional practices and habits of these ethnic groups are very diverse and interesting, and they attract many travelers who have a chance to explore these unique aspects. In Ha Giang tour, you have a chance to visit many popular attractions, such as Ma Pi Leng Pass – one of the most beautiful roads you can ride in Vietnam, or Meo Vac Town – one of the most beautiful parts of Ha Giang province.
2.5. Moc Chau
Moc Chau is a big plateau in Son La province, located 185km from Hanoi. It is well-known for poetic landscapes with endless grass fields, huge gardens of plum and apricot trees and various flowers, immense tea plantations and large herds of milk cows. Spending two days in Moc Chau is the perfect getaway from the crowded city.
There are many more interesting places to discover around Hanoi, as well as different kinds of one day or two days tour for you to choose. Don’t hesitate to book a trip from Vietnam Tours and enjoy your fascinating, enlightening holidays through this beautiful country.
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