When you’re not soaking up the action of the Vietnam Grand Prix, we recommend getting to know this amazing city. As one of the most ancient capital cities in the world, Hanoi is rich in history, culture and legends. Full of incredible food and ancient temples, you will have plenty to see and do off the track. Here are some of our top destinations and activities to do when in Hanoi.
TAKE A STROLL AROUND THE OLD QUARTERS
As one of the most well-known districts in Hanoi, The Old Quarters is both the commercial centre and historic heart of the city. Bustling streets filled with markets, street vendors and scenes of crazy traffic, The Old Quarters also features plenty of history, French colonial architecture, pagodas, and Buddhist temples. With so much to see, you’ll be lost in its maze of streets in no time. Two popular attractions to see whilst you wander around are The Ancient House and St Joseph’s Cathedral.
EXPLORE HOAN KIEM LAKE AND NGOC SON PAGODA
Take a stroll or a bike ride around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Turtle Lake, located in the city centre. A popular place for locals to hang out and escape the noise of the city, this lake is a perfect spot to unwind and people watch. In the centre of the lake is the Ngoc Son Pagoda, a historical pagoda dedicated to the memory of Tran Hung Dao, a brave military leader. From the lake, you can find the iconic Huc Bridge (Rising Sun Bridge) which leads to Jade Island, the home of this famous Pagoda.
VISIT THE HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
Located near the Imperial Citadel in the Ba Dinh area, the mausoleum is the resting place of, the revolution leader Ho Chi Minh. As the first Communist Leader of Vietnam, he is a well-respected leader amongst the locals, who often refer to him as Uncle Ho. Modelled after Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow, visitors can see Ho Chi Minh’s preserved body in a glass case. After you’ve checked it all out, nearby popular attractions Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House and the One Pillar Pagoda should be on your hit list.
GO SHOPPING AT DONG XUAN MARKET
Vietnam is a fantastic shopping destination, with various markets around the town to explore. Dong Xuan Market is one of the most famous markets, with the building alone impressing visitors. Established in the late 19th century, markets are located in a charming four-story communist styled building on the edge of the Old Quarters. Our tip – bring your haggling skills to get the best bargains!
EXPERIENCE VIETNAMESE ARTS AND THEATRE
Experience Vietnamese Opera, Asian dance performances, ballet and musical concerts at the stunning Hanoi Opera House. As one of the most beautiful buildings in Hanoi, the Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 and modelled after the Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier. Located in the French Quarter, the building features Italian marble floors and beautifully decorated ceilings, making it one of the most famous architectural and cultural landmarks in Hanoi. Performances are affordable to attend and a unique cultural experience.
VISIT THE IMPERIAL CITADEL OF THANG LONG
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. A notable attraction in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the Hanoi Flag Tower, a renovated 40-metre-tall stone fortress offering expansive views of Ba Dinh Square and Hanoi City Centre.
TRY ALL THE LOCAL DISHES
Some of the most simple and delicious meals can be found throughout Vietnam, with many of their popular traditional dishes originating in Hanoi. Ensure you find the time to experience all of these incredible dishes. Read our must try dishes here.
TAKE IN THE VIEWS AND ENJOY A DRINK AT A ROOFTOP BAR
Hanoi is filled with rooftop bars offering amazing views of the city. A perfect place to watch the sunset, these bars have a great relaxed atmosphere to unwind and escape the craziness of the city. Some of our top recommendations include Diamond Sky Bar, Summit Lounge at Pan Pacific Hanoi, The Rooftop Hanoi and Top of Hanoi (Hanoi’s highest rooftop bar).
EXPERIENCE THE VIETNAM GRAND PRIX.