Top Things To Do In Hanoi Old Quarter
La Sinfonía del Rey Hotel & Spa

Here are the top things we recommend doing in Hanoi Old Quarter, to help you fully immerse in the everyday local life and cultural fabric of this magnetic city. 

1. Enjoy sidewalk cafes

Vietnamese coffee has made a name for itself for its strong tastes and fragrant smells. Come to the old quarter of Hanoi, you can find the famous Vietnamese coffee in most amazing places – with just a plastic tool on the humble sidewalk, you can enjoy the very own Vietnamese coffee culture. Sidewalk cafes don’t have that kind of fancy design of a café house such as Starbucks, but it has something else – a sense of being a part of the everyday life of Hanoi.

Check out the Top 10 BEST Cafes in Hanoi to chill and hang out with friends

2. Old Quarter Walking / Cyclo Tour

Just get a map of Hanoi and you are good to go on a tour around the old quarter. A large number of libraries, bookstores, art galleries are located just a street away from Hoan Kiem Lake.

Starting from the fountain on Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square, go deep into the network of alleys and streets, you’ll be a part of a hectic kind of traffic only to be found in the city of Hanoi. Here and there, you might catch a glimpse of the old-styled houses – the evidence of the glorious days of the busiest, most prosperous trading area of Vietnam. Streets that worth visitiHang Gai: silk, tailor-made clothing

  • Hang Ma: traditional votive papers, the whole street became so colorful during Mid-Autumn festival

  • Hang Bac: stores of silverware, jewelry and all kinds of accessory

  • Hang Duong: stores of sugar, sweets and O mai (sweetened and spiced dried fruits)

  • Ta Hien: sidewalk cafés, beers and street foods – literally a travel hub for all nationals

3. Shopping at Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is a place worth visiting yet at the same time it can be a challenge for tourists for Dong Xuan market is the oldest traditional local market of Hanoi. It can be said as a paradise for shopping where you can find all the things you can imagine there. However, shopping at Dong Xuan market is only cheap for those who know how to bargain. Even if you’re not confident with your bargaining skill, Dong Xuan market is still the best place to buy food, clothing, and souvenirs.

4. Go for a walk around Sword Lake

The walking streets around Hoan Kiem Lake on weekends are also the safe, educational and exciting playgrounds for children and adults alike with traditional games and entertainments like O An Quan Game, Vietnam-style jumping rope game, a game of Jenga, chess games, etc. These streets host a significant number of street artists, traditional art performance like Cheo singing. Those who love to explore the local culture, visiting Hoan Kiem on weekends is a must-do thing.

5. Explore the Street Food scene

Virtually all food is street food in Hanoi. Whilst most major Asian cities are sky-scraper metropolises, Hanoi is a city that lives on the streets. Its food is no different. Whether from makeshift kitchens on the pavement, coffee shops and restaurants spilling onto the road or the relatively rare street vendors, Hanoians eat on the street every day.

And Old Quarter is THE place that gathers all the essence of street food Hanoi in one place. Don't hesitate to try as much as possible what you see on the streets, chances are they are all fantastic. 

If you are interested in what dishes and drinks to try, check out Top 10 must-try dishes in Hanoi and Top 7 Street Food in Hanoi. 

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