Explore the cultural side of Hanoi at the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum or see a performance of traditional music or opera. Shop for crafts and souvenirs in the Old Quarter where streets are arranged by trade, or in one of the fifty or so markets throughout the city. Experience the city’s food scene with a dish of pho bo (beef noodle soup) from a street food stall.
- The Temple of Literature is a Confucian temple founded in 1070 and was Vietnam’s first university.
- Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest temples in Hanoi. Built in the 6th century BC, the temple is more than 1400 years old.
- Hanoi’s Old Quarter is home to artisan workshops and is the perfect place to shop for unique gifts. Be prepared to haggle.
- The Museum of Ethnology tells the story of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities with exhibitions of art, textiles and architecture (including life-size traditional homes).
- Hoa Lo Prison is a notorious French prison used during colonial times and later to hold US prisoners of war when it was famously referred to as the 'Hanoi Hilton.'
- Visit Hanoi in Spring (February to April) or Autumn (September to November). Summer (May to August) is the rainy season, and you can expect daily rain showers around this time.
- Be cautious of counterfeit goods for sale. Fake silk, pearls and designer clothes are all commonly sold in Hanoi.
- Exchange currency in the gold and jewelry shops of the Old Quarter rather than in the banks – you’ll get a better rate.