I. Hanoi – The “Pearl of the Orient”

If you want a vivid example of Vietnam, look no further than elegant Hanoi, the capital of the S-shaped country. Hanoi is the best place for your two-day holiday because it is a beautiful city that upholds traditional legacy and embraces modernity. Unlike other large cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang or Da Nang, Hanoi shows us how seemingly contradictory features can coexist peacefully.

The Hanoi 2 days itinerary will give tourists invaluable experiences of the history, landscape, culture, cuisine and people of Hanoians and Vietnamese to some extent. That’s what Metta Voyage can promise you! So, make yourself a drink, choose a wonderful space and let’s go on a two-day online tour to Hanoi before you make a real one!

II. What to DO and SEE in Hanoi 2 Days Itinerary like a local?

1. Hanoi 2 days tour – Day 1 – Enjoy the lively lifestyle of Hanoi in the Old Quarter

a. Stroll around the Old Quarter 

  • Location: Located between Hoan Kiem Lake the Lake of the Restored Sword), the Long Bien Bridge, a former city rampart, and a citadel wall

The Old Quarter and the French Quarter are two main parts of Hanoi. Each destination offers a distinct ambiance. Visitors can start their itinerary by taking a stroll around the Old Quarter. It is an ideal place to observe how the capital of Vietnam wakes up from peaceful sleep and becomes so bustling in the blink of an eye.

Going around famous streets like Hang Tre, Hang Ma, Hang Lua, etc. is also an interesting experience.  The name of these streets is pretty special because it is associated with the name of famous craft guilds working busily here in the earlier time. For example, “Hang Lua” street (Silk Wares street) is named after a specialized guild that sells the most high-quality types of silks.

b. Explore the French Quarter 

Then visitors enter the neighboring French Quarter. Several French-inspired architectural buildings testify to the days when France colonized the Southeast Asian country.

Check out the stunning Hanoi Opera House and some embassy buildings to better understand French architecture during the 20th century and how Vietnamese people preserve them to evoke memories of a time when French people were in the area.

c. Learn about cultural history in the Temple of Literature

  • Location: 58 P. Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Ha Noi

The Temple of Literature is considered the first national university in Vietnam, which holds great historical and educational values. With an area of over 54000 square meters, the Temple of Literature has five courtyards, namely Dai Trung Mon, Khue Van Cac, Thien Quang Well, Dai Thanh Mon, and The Grounds of Imperial Academy.

The Grounds of the Imperial Academy attract tourists mostly with the statue of Chu Van An, the first rector of the Imperia Academy of Vietnam and artifacts of Confucian education in Vietnam in earlier times. Also, you can wish for prosperous and developed education like many Vietnamese students do.

d. Take a tour around Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake

  • Location: Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi

These two lakes are perfect locations for travelers to stay away from the fast pace of the city. The quiet atmosphere and peaceful landscape will take your breath away. The ancient turtle tower is the highlight of Hoan Kiem Lake. Besides, there are numerous beauty spots for you to admire, including Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, and But Tower. In the vicinity, tourists can head to Tran Quoc Pagoda (in West Lake) – the foremost symbol of Buddhism to catch a glimpse of this 1500 years landmark.

e. Attend a Water Puppet Show

  • Location: located on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, next to the ancient Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Ticket price: 60 000 VND/adult ($2.53) 
  • Timing: 8:00 – 18:00

Your memorable night of this Hanoi two-day tour will mark with an exquisite Vietnamese water puppet performance. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a must-visit. The puppet show retells many historical stories and legends of Vietnam, giving tourists a journey back to ancient Vietnam. With an admission fee of about 100 hundred VND, tourists can book a comfortable seat to experience the performance and film it if they wish.

2. Hanoi 2 days tour – Day 2:  Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum  and immerse in the values of some ancient places

a. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum 

  • Location: 25 Hung Vuong, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
  • Opening days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Opening hours:  Seasonal:

+ April 1st to October 31st: 7.30 a.m 10.30 a.m (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 7.30 a.m 11.00 a.m)

+ November 1st to March 31st of next year: 8.00 a.m 11.00 a.m

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Phone: 024 3845 5128

Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is the most sacred landmark of Vietnam in which the body of “Uncle Ho” is laid to rest in a glass case. Vietnamese people preserve his body at all costs so that generations can meet the beloved leader and pay tribute to him.

Another reason we recommend this place is that at 5 am every day, a flag-raising ceremony – the national ritual, is displayed in front of the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square.


b. Buy a ticket to Hoa Lo Prison Relic – Top five most frightening places in Southeast Asia

  • Location: No. 1 Hoa Lo, Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi
  • Phone number: 024.39342253/ 024.39342317
  • Email: [email protected]
  • OPENING TIMES: From 8h00 to 17h00 every day (Including festivals and holidays)

If you are keen on Vietnam historical relics, do not miss Hoa Lo Prison. Standing at the heart of Hanoi, Hoa Lo Prison is where Vietnamese political prisoners are kept captive and cruelly tortured during the French colonization. Locals dubbed Hoa Lo “fiery furnace” or “hell’s hole.” The entrance fee is 30.000 VND/ Adult and Hoa Lo Prison is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm.

c. Learn about the diversity of 54 ethnic groups at the  Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Now you can round up your two-day trip in Hanoi by strolling around the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, located in Cau Giay District and about 10km from downtown. Those who are keen to learn about the social-cultural diversity of Vietnam can go there to explore the distinct beauty of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Tourists are welcome to do some crafts or buy things as souvenirs or mementos.

  • Location: Nguyen Van Huyen, Quan Hoa, around 8km from the City Centre of Hanoi. 
  • Opening hours are 08:30-17:30, Tues-Sun. Closed on Mondays.

III. Other experiences not to be missed

1. Admire street food

Street vendors and street food are parts of Hanoi. It is normal to see ladies carrying heavy panniers with goods for sale or makeshift eateries dotted around the city.  This image has been etched into the mind of so many travelers. Here are the top 4 must-try foods that give you a perfect taste in Hanoi:


a. Pho – the “national soul” of Vietnam

This special gift from Hanoi is a harmonious combination of fresh rice noodles, tender beef or chicken, aromatic herbs and salty broth. Join the crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles at any food stall and you will see the magic of this delicacy.

b. Bun Cha 

Another top-choice street food is Bun Cha which is favored by many people.  President Barack Obama and an American celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain gave it a try when they visited Hanoi, Vietnam. Try a Bun cha set which includes fish sauce – heavy broth, rice noodles,  seasoned pork and different herbs like coriander, basil, etc. You can go to Hang Quat or Bat Dan streets to admire the most authentic Bun Cha.

c. Banh Mi

Serve yourself a Banh mi for breakfast to taste the crispy crust, marinated pork and pickled vegetables accompanying in harmony. Initially, the French brought baguettes to Vietnam and then Vietnamese people turned them into more satisfying food which suits local and international tastes well.

d. Ca phe trung (Egg coffee)

Coffee is deeply attached to the social and economic value of Vietnam. Egg coffee emerged after the Indochina war and gained popularity in an instant for its flavourful and healthy combination. Raw egg yolk rich in protein is mixed with roasted coffee beans, making it nutrition-wise. Following the alleys of the Old Quarter, tourists will see some most scenic coffee shops to crave egg coffee and get a panoramic view of Hoan Kiem Lake.

For more information about Vietnamese street food, click Culture & Street Food Tour in Hanoi – 4 Days

2. Take a Hanoi city Hop on Hop off Tour

Fortunately, most parts of Vietnam successfully contained the coronavirus and Hanoi’s Double-decker Hanoi City Hop-on Hop-off tour has resumed. This service offers 15 stops that take visitors to more than 20 prominent attractions in Hanoi such as Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square – Hoan Kiem Lake, The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi Opera House and everything in between. You can visit the official website of Hop-On Hop-Off Vietnam to book e-tickets. The ticket is valid for 4 hours. When you are on the buses, each people is provided with a conical hat, a city map, a local guide operator, a multi-languages audio guide, and so on. Both domestic and foreign visitors give positive feedback that it offers them fresh air to recharge their battery after a long period of staying outdoors or working hard. It’s pleasant to view Hanoi from above.

3. Enjoy nightlife in Hanoi on Ta Hien street

As night comes, back to the Hanoi Old Quarter and reach Ta Hien corner to treat yourself to some fresh “beers”. This street offers a lovely and chilling vibe for thirsty tourists to sit on red plastic stools and taste beers. Locals only serve tourists beers before midnight because it is better for tourists to keep alert for their second day in Hanoi.

IV. When is the best time to travel to Hanoi?

Tourists can go on a tour around Hanoi all year round. Vietnam’s capital city has four clear-cut seasons. In spring, it’s time for flowers to reach the peak of blooming and buds to appear on the trees. In summer, it is rainy and hot. Lotus, the so-called national flower of Vietnam and other types of flowers fully blossom.

Hanoi’s the most beautiful place in the autumn. This season steps into the city gracefully, bringing a crispy atmosphere, cool breezes, and crystalline blue. When autumn comes around, the landscape becomes much more photogenic. Visitors can photoshoot at any corner.

Winter comes in Hanoi with a festive mood. During this time, people can observe the gradual change in color of leaves in late autumn and fall off in winter.

V. Interesting culture shocks you will experience in Hanoi

1. Motorbikes are like swarms of bees

This a friendly reminder for tourists that in Hanoi, millions of motorbikes are in the traffic every day. Some may want to experience crossing the road, but be cautious on every step and obey the traffic rules and regulations since Vietnamese traffic is like a jungle with wild scooters ready to bounce you. Also, traffic jams are a nightmare. It’s like you are taking a test for your patience.

2. Friendliness of People

Vietnamese people are very hospitable and friendly. They welcome visitors with fine arts, elegant beauty and good food. They are eager to talk with visitors from all countries to experience Vietnamese culture and costumes while gaining more knowledge about foreign countries.

Metta Voyage hopes that this two-day Hanoi itinerary can help you enjoy Hanoi to your heart’s content. What are you waiting for? Fly to Hanoi and make two days of it!

If you stay in Hanoi for a longer time, check out Explore Stunning View On Hanoi – 3 Days to explore it more.

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