Hanoi travel guide

Hanoi is a city of tradition and progress, where the vestiges of French and Chinese occupation linger amongst all the frenetic activity of 21st century life. Markets, scooters, street food, more scooters… Hanoi has its bustling areas, like the popular Old Quarter, as well as its tranquil spaces, like the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Hanoi to immerse yourself in modern Vietnamese life, discover more about Vietnam’s fascinating history, make the most of the incredible bahn mi and pho, and more . If you’re planning a trip, explore our Hanoi travel guide. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have top suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel to Hanoi, where to stay, getting around and more.

Where to stay

Choosing where to stay in Hanoi can be a challenge as this city has many character-filled districts. Stay in the historic Old Quarter with its French Colonial buildings and street-side cafes for a European flavour. Alternatively, you can relax around the Tay Ho district where five-star hotels line the shoreline. Flight Centre can help you find the best places to stay in Hanoi. You can choose from small bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels and everything in between. All you'll need to do is to pack your bags and hop on your flight.

Things to do

As a busy, bustling city where bikes, scooters and tuk-tuks weave through crowded streets, there are certainly lots of things to do in Hanoi. Use your days to explore the Old Quarter. This is where you’ll find the city’s many museums and, when the sun sets, fabulous night markets. When you need a breather from the city's bustle, retreat to Hanoi Botanical Garden.

Travel tips

Gathering Hanoi travel tips should be an important part of your holiday preparation. For instance, did you know that although you can't drink the tap water, the ice in your drink should be fine because it’s been frozen at a central plant where the water is treated?  Getting vaccinated is not a requirement for entry into the country. However, it's best to get the all clear from your doctor. You should also know to dial 113 for the police and 115 for medical emergencies. Here are some other key pieces of Hanoi travel advice to keep in mind.

Getting Around

Getting around using Hanoi transport can be an adventure. The traffic consists of bicycles, scooters, tuk-tuks, buses and taxis, all racing as fast as they can to get to their destinations. Some drivers will even use the footpath as an extra lane to cut a few seconds off their travel time! However, don't let this intimidate you. Use your phone to find the best routes to get you to your destination. Be alert when travelling on public transport, walking around the city, or hiring your own vehicle. Also, just enjoy the adventure that is getting around Hanoi.

Where to eat

Discovering where to eat in Hanoi is an exercise for the senses. Listen for crowds at popular eateries serving local favourites. Inhale the scent of fresh ingredients combined with well-rounded flavours. Bun Cha is a popular pork dish, but whatever you order, expect plenty of noodles. In need of a coffee fix? Hanoi won’t disappoint as Vietnamese coffee is everywhere. ...


Venture out on a Hanoi shopping spree and you’ll come home with everything from traditional clothing to handmade home decor and luxury goods. Vietnam's capital has streets dedicated to specific items, boutiques inside French Colonial buildings, open-air markets, and multi-storey shopping centres....

Best time to travel

The weather in Vietnam is quite varied, so it’s important to consider the best time to travel to Hanoi. Unlike Australia, the city experiences summer in June and winter in December.  As Hanoi is in the northern part of Vietnam, it experiences the humidity, heat, and typical yearly patterns of a tropical country. During monsoon season, heavy downpours arrive in the afternoon but leave after a few hours.  The winter months also have a chill in the air. If you visit Ha Long Bay on a day trip, you'll find it's often covered in mist, giving it a more ethereal appearance.


Hanoi's parks and gardens are a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam's capital. A highlight of your trip will be Hoan Kiem Lake. During the morning hours you’ll find locals practising tai chi in the gardens, close to the shore.  There’s also the beautiful Bach Thao Botanical Park – home to exotic plants – as well as the open space of Thong Nhat Park. Take time to stroll through the green spaces, enjoying the everyday of Hanoi life.