The capital city of Vietnam is one of the most visited travel destinations of the country. Be it its ambience, its temples, food scene or art, Hanoi is a city that has it all. With an enchanting history, one of a kind ambience, rich traditional culture, the city of Hanoi is loved by tourists of all kinds.
Hanoi is a vibrant lively city that has a deep-rooted sense of culture. The best part of a modern-day Hanoi is that it has held on to its culture and has kept its temples, pagodas, Buddhist shrines and other historical sites intact and well maintained. Along with all that, with changing times, it has allowed the development and growth of the modern aspects of a city. Several shopping malls, modern restaurants, cafes and lively nightclub call Hanoi its home. With the city of Hanoi promising you an entertaining vacation, let us help you take a look at some of its neighborhoods and help you decide where you can stay during your visit to the city.
If you are planning a vacation with your family, you prefer to stay in a neighborhood that is safe, not too noisy but has enough facilities to keep you entertained and enough sightseeing options close by to keep the trip interesting and make it a memorable one. Well, that’s exactly what Truc Bach is.
Located on the banks of the Truc Bach lake, this neighborhood is a quaint residential area on the southern side of the water body. Although it doesn’t have interesting landmarks for you to visit or bring out the history buff in you, Truc Bach is filled with various outdoor activities that can keep your family entertained. And like in every family trip, it helps you spend a quite lot of family time and interactive activities.
Staying in Truc Bach is suggested because of its ambience, which makes it perfect for families. Moreover, as the neighborhood is well connected with the other districts of Hanoi, moving around the city to explore the sightseeing option will not be a problem, especially since Truc Bach is located close to Tay Ho, Ba Dinh and Hoan Kiem.
Along with the ambience and transportation facilities, its food scene is what attracts families and foodies. With a large variety of restaurants, cafes and food stalls available in the district, you will have an excellent time trying out different cuisines every day. Of course, if you are looking to try out some of the authentic Hanoian dishes, this neighborhood is perfect for you. Several restaurants in this area exhibit an extravagant Hanoian menu for you to choose from. You can try out frog hotpot and Pho Cuon. Needless to say, as Truc Bach receives a large number of tourist’s footfall, there are cafes and restaurants that specialise in vegan dishes and other international cuisines, especially Vietnamese. Several chefs visit this neighborhood to pick up some of the Vietnamese dishes from the fair that is held at the Hanoi Cooking Center. You can also visit the Chau Long Market if you want to treat your taste buds with a wide range of tastes and treats.
Although there is not much of a sightseeing options here in this district, you can still go out to explore this neighborhood and have some peaceful experience. You can visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, It also happens to be Hanoi’s oldest pagoda. You can also pay a visit to the Quan Thanh Taoist Temple. If you want to explore Hanoi’s culture, heritage and architecture, Phan Dinh Phung Street should be one in your list of places to visit. You can spend a peaceful evening on the banks of Truc Bach Lake or rent a paddleboat and have a lovely experience.
During their trips, most people prefer to stay in the city centre to get most of their vacation. So, if you are visiting Hanoi, you can visit and stay at Hoan Kiem which happens to be Hanoi’s City Center. It also happens to be the commercial centre of Hanoi.
The best feature of Hoan Kiem is that you are someone who loves to explore a new city, you can explore the district by walking around and yet you will come across most of the landmarks and important sightseeing destinations present in the area. Along with several historic architectural works, structures, colonial buildings, art galleries, temples, malls, shops and boutiques, Hoan Kiem has lots of places to keep you entertained. This is the district with most of Hanoi’s major attractions of Hanoi Old Quarter like the Ngoc Son Temple, National Museum of Vietnamese History and Hanoi Opera House. On the other hand, if you visit the southern side of the district, you will approach the French Quarters. This is the part of the district where you will find the city’s government offices, embassies, official buildings, shopping malls and luxury hotels.
This district exhibits multiple personalities, making it perfect for all kinds of tourists. With an active and lively nightlife, the district is loved by the young crowd of the city. Travellers prefer staying in this district as Hoan Kiem is where you find all the action. It doesn’t matter what kind of a budget you are in, you can find accommodation options of your choice in Hoan Kiem, easily. If you are someone who is on a budget, you can look for hostels, backpacker hostels, and motels that are of reasonable prices in the Old Quarter. If you want to spend a comfortable lavish vacation, and prefer a sophisticated stay during your trip, you can look for high-end hotels and five-star accommodation options in the French Quarter.
Along with its touristy features like sightseeing options, landmarks and lavish accommodation options, Hoan Kiem is known for its food. This is where you will find restaurants and cafes serving delicious authentic Vietnamese food. You need not worry about the price here, as you can find various restaurants of a vast price range in this city. Along with restaurants and cafes, there are several bars and pubs in this district. If you are looking to buy souvenir, or gifts for your friends and family, this neighborhood has several souvenir shops, handicraft shops and boutiques for you to shop from. You can also go on a shopping spree here as there are several shopping malls, retail shops and branded shops in this area, especially the Dong Xuan Market.
Needless to say, all these features make it a perfect neighborhood for a first-timer to stay here to get the most of Hanoi. Its location acts a bonus, as it is centrally located and is also the heart and soul of the city. If you are looking for entertainment you can visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. People often visit the Hoa Lo Prison Museum to get to know the history of the Vietnam war, stories of Vietnamese revolutionaries and American Prisoner of Wars.
Hai Ba Trung
If you are looking to stay in a trendy, lively neighborhood during your vacation at Hanoi, Hai Ba Trung would be your best option in every way. Being located close to the heart of the city, Hai Ba Trung is a well-connected part of the city with a lot of places to explore and a great ambience for you to enjoy your stay. People often visit this neighborhood to shop, as there are several shopping complexes, malls and shops in this neighborhood, making this one of the coolest districts of the city.
Shopping is one of the specialities of this district and shopaholics love this neighborhood for this specific reason. With tourists and locals coming into this neighborhood, Hai Ba Trung is where you will find shops selling a wide variety of items in the local shops, retail shops, branded shops as well as boutiques. Fabric is one of the specialities of this neighborhood as you can find a popular fabric market along with famous designer and tailor shops where they customize traditional dresses according to the wishes of their customers.
People often come here to party and spend an energetic nightlife at The Bank Hanoi, which happens to be Hanoi’s largest nightclub. This neighborhood is all about active energy, which you will realize once you step into the lively, busy Hai Ba Trung Street. If you want to take a break from all the noise and bustling, you can spend a relaxing afternoon at the banks of Thien Quang Lake.
Most travellers look for a quiet retreat during their vacation. They hope to have a lovely, nice and quiet time, that takes them away from the city rush. If you are one of those people, a neighborhood like Tay Ho, also known as Hanoi West Lake is perfect for you.
Exhibiting a peaceful ambience that is home to several mid-range hotels, lakeside cafes and restaurants, Tay Ho is a heaven to those who want to stay in a neighborhood that is away from the city rush. Tay Ho is where you will find several Buddhist architectural structures and heritage, like the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. If you want to get a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, you can visit the Tay Ho Weekend Market. With all these features, Tay Ho has an added benefit of just a 25-minute car ride away from Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi. You can also avail the city’s taxi to reach the neighborhood.
What was once a cluster of fishing communities, in present-day Tay Ho is where you will find a wide range of restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines. Tay Ho isn’t exactly your luxurious posh neighborhood or a budget-friendly one either. Known for accommodating moderately wealthy tourists, Tay Ho is perfect for the mid-ranged expenses. Tay Ho is loved by the tourists and gets visited by the tourists because of its cultural and spiritual importance as it is home to several Buddhist temples and pagodas. The restaurants, lakeside cafes and food stalls make this district a complete package.
Tay Ho isn’t all about food and Buddhist temples. If you would like to have a bit of active nightlife in the silence of the neighborhood, you can visit the Savage Club Hanoi, where you can enjoy and dance to the techno music. If you are into the active lifestyle, lively music and drinks, you can visit the Sidewalk Bar & Grill. You can also enjoy the view from the Sunset Bar. Even with modern shops and malls slowly rising up in this neighborhood, places like Betterday or Tay Ho Weekend Market are coming up in Hanoi’s map for the shopping experience.
If you want to explore Hanoi’s historical structures, buildings and monuments, a neighborhood like Ba Dinh should be your choice of stay during your vacation in this city. In this district, you will be able to explore most of Hanoi’s historical sites, that too in one place, making this district a heaven for history buffs. With buildings like the Hanoi Flag Tower, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Presidential Palace being present in the district, makes the neighborhood quite touristy and hence is a great place for travellers.
Even with such important sightseeing locations, Ba Dinh isn’t exactly an overcrowded neighborhood as one might think. Home to moderately priced hotels, restaurants, quaint cafes, bars and pubs, Ba Dinh is a beautiful place to stay in. The Botanical Gardens located in this neighborhood adds on to the tranquil feel that this locality exhibits.
Perfect for those who are visiting Hanoi for its sightseeing options, the suburb district of Ba Dinh is located quite close to the city centre and has a laid back relaxed attitude that is loved by the tourists.
With so many sightseeing options and places to visit in this district, it is only fair to list some of them for you. You can visit the important historical landmark of Hanoi- Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, as it holds a cultural significance in the city’s history and tradition and has been marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. History lovers often visit the Museum of Artillery and spend hours looking through the several thousands of original artefacts that are kept here. The Ho Chi Minh Museum also is important as it is where you can find several records and important details about the life of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese Revolutionary leader.
The Ba Dinh Square also stands important because in 1945, at the centre of the square the Proclamation of Independence was read. You can also explore the Presidential Palace. If you are looking for a different kind of ambience, you can visit the Hanoi Botanical Garden or treat your taste buds with dishes like Banhxeo pancakes and rice noodle rolls, which happens to be a famous local dish.