Do you plan a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam? I am going to provide you with everything you need to know to build the perfect Hanoi itinerary from 3 days to 17 days, including things to do, suggested itinerary, accommodation, food, and transportation advice.
Hanoi Eco Tour team wrote it in this April during the Corona Virus outbreak in Vietnam. All itinerary options are based on my experiences after 10 years working as an English-speaking guide in Vietnam and 20 years living in Hanoi as a local.
I have combined all itinerary options to make it the ultimate version for itinerary planning, which provides you with rewarding experiences that you can expect
I know many people like you are looking for a detailed Hanoi itinerary to plan your own Hanoi trip. I don’t follow the suggestions from anyone because I have guided thousands of tourists in Hanoi for over 10 years so I know the city and its surroundings at its best.
I have spent hours writing this article with latest information and the best travel route. On the hand, we do offer FREE itinerary planning which helps you build a perfect Hanoi trip.
I hope this article is helpful to you
Table of Contents
Hanoi is a great place, known as the top place to visit in Vietnam, with beautiful French colonial buildings, great local food, friendly locals, safe and rich history to learn.
There is a lot of ways to get to the city center of Hanoi airport by shuttle bus, taxi or private car
The most affordable way to get to the city center is to take a bus. I recommend bus no 86 which costs around 35k per person and takes you to the Old Quarter of Hanoi. You’d better ask the staff which bus stop to get off in order to get to your hotel easily.
There are many taxi companies to choose from, I recommend Mai Linh, Airport Taxi and Taxi Group. The ride usually costs around 350k ($17 USD) per way.
If you are traveling in a group of 2 people, traveling by private, arranged by the hotel where you are staying in Hanoi, is the best way. Please keep in mind that all drivers have to wait outside the lobby. They hold a welcome board with your name on it.
In my opinion, the best time to visit Hanoi is either in the autumn from September to early November because it is not too hot or cold, and there is not much rain. On the other hand, Hanoi is pretty hot during the summertime from May to late July, the average temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius which makes you sweat whilst walking around the city. If you are fine with the high heat, travel to further places in the Northern Part od Vietnam such as Sapa, and Ha Giang, with more pleasant weather to escape from the heat of Hanoi.
From my personal experience, most of the visitors choose to visit Hanoi during the wintertime from November to February or March and April is considered as the spring because they want to stay away from their cold winter because Hanoi is still much warmer than their home country. If I have a choice, March and April will be preferable because the spring is less cold than the winter
Riding a bike or scooter maybe not be a good idea due to the high traffic volume in a city like Hanoi. You find it difficult to cross the street, even ride around, especially during the rush hour from 6 am to 9 am or 4 pm to 7 pm, the traffic is crazy with millions of scooters, cars, and electric bikes on the road
Most of the tourist hot spots in Hanoi are within walking distance. You can easily get around the city by walking. A walking tour with a slow pace of travel is an ideal thing to do. But taking a GRAB taxi is more enjoyable and affordable for further attractions or in bad weather conditions such as rain, hot and humid.
The main public transport in Hanoi is the local bus but I don’t think it is convenient for you to get to these tourist attractions because you may have to walk long distances to the bus stop. Alternatively, the HOP ON and HOP OFF buses take you to city landmarks. The ticket costs around $15 USD per person.
If you want a unique experience, taking a rickshaw ride is another good idea. With $25 USD per day, including tips, you can get to most of the well-known tourist places in the city except further sites such as the Museum of Ethnology, B52 lake etc…
Wifi is available almost everywhere with a good signal: in the cafe, restaurants, hotels, and guest houses except on the street. On the other hand, you can also buy a local Simcard with unlimited internet access values at $10 USD.
There are a few options with different duration of time provided in this itinerary
I also include some travel tips and FAQs before showing you the day-to-day itinerary. To reach the place, you’ll see the top things to do, accommodation, and transport advice. On the other hand, you can also see other day trips to extend your stay in Hanoi.
This 3-day Hanoi itinerary is suitable for those who have limited time to explore Hanoi, especially for Asian tourists from nearby countries like Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Laos for the weekend trip. It is a rushed itinerary I have to say and the shortest itinerary for Hanoi
Day-to-day itinerary as followings
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, an awesome place to start your North Vietnam Adventure. You’ll see all aspects that the city has to offer: history, culture, food, architecture, and local living. Some of the attractions that I recommend you see
There is a wide range of day trips to Halong bay, only $45 USD including English speaking guide, transport by shuttle bus, lunch with seafood, and an entrance fee. The tour covers a 3.5-hour cruise in Halong Bay, which takes you to visit the famous Heavenly Palace cave, a sampan boat ride around the floating village or kayaking for half an hour.
Alternatively, there is another option for 6 hours of cruising includes a visit to Surprising cave, hiking to the peak of Titov island to see a panoramic view of Halong Bay
If you are a big fan of the off-the-beaten-track, I do recommend the Bai Tu Long cruise day trip with Hanoi Eco Tours from Van Don. You are the only international tourists on the bay, which give you a WOW experience away from crowded places like Hanoi.
Explore the land of King Kong or Halong Bay on land in a day trip, a classic itinerary includes
Related: The perfect Ninh Binh itinerary
Looking for highlights of the Hanoi area, this itinerary is just perfect for you. It covers the top-rated attractions with enough time for a glimpse but less flexible.
To make it more efficient, this itinerary starts and ends in Hanoi.
For a detailed day-to-day itinerary, I only focus on Halong Bay overnight cruise because you have seen the itinerary for Hanoi and Ninh Binh in 3 days itinerary above
Tung Sau Pearl Farm or Kayaking
Tai Chi morning class
Sung Sot (Surprising cave)
This 7 days Hanoi itinerary is perfect for a short break in Northern Vietnam, which covers the best tourist attractions in Northern Vietnam including Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa. You’ll start and finish in Hanoi
Day 1 : Arrive in Hanoi. Free and easy
Day 2 : Hanoi city tour
Day 3 : Halong Bay on an overnight cruise
Day 4 : Halong Bay cruise and back to Hanoi. Take a night train to Sapa
Day 5 : Trekking Sapa : Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van. Overnight in Ta Van
Day 6 : Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan. Taking a limousine Dcar back to Hanoi.
Day 7 : Wet rice culture tour and half day then airport transfer
Wet rice growing tour is a unique tour that takes you to rural Hanoi to experience authentic local living through hands-on farming, cycling the hidden village paths, and having homecooked lunch in a local home. This tour is 100% tourist-free. If you are looking for something different from any other popular tours out there, this tour is right for you
For those who want to explore and experience all the must-see places in Northern Vietnam. This is the top Hanoi Itinerary for 9 days. The trip starts and finishes in Hanoi. Those places below I suggest checking out with a suitable amount of time to spend in each destination
Welcome to Hanoi. Today, you’ll check out some of the historical sites of the capital of Vietnam over 1000 years old, includes
Ready to eat all local food in Hanoi in a walking street food tour around Hanoi Old Quarter and enjoy 7 best dishes with desserts
You’ll see tourist hotspots which Hanoi has to offer includes
Tonight, having dinner with authentic Vietnamese food in a local restaurant near the remote Hanoi Westlake, 15-minute drive from Hanoi Old Quarter. What I suggest you to try
Expect to pay 400,000VND for two
This is a choice of Ninh Binh itinerary which is different from 3 days itinerary above. This trip is good for all type of travellers who want to taste the peaceful countryside of Ninh Binh
Boat ride in the UNESCO site of Trang An
Check out the massive Buddist temple of Bai Dinh
Staying overnight in Tam Coc which is an interesting town surrounded by rural villages
Related: Ninh Binh Travel guide
Taking a bus from Ninh Binh to Halong departs at 7.30 am for an overnight cruise around noon. There are lots of things to do with interesting activities, includes
After the cruising trip, you’ll head back Hanoi before taking an overnight train to Sapa
You’ll stunning view of the valley in the Sapa area with impressive terraced paddy fields, meet locals along the way. This is a hard trek I have to say with 17 kilometres or 5.5 to 6 hour trekking. Having lunch in some local restaurants in Lao Chai village. Tonight, staying overnight in a homestay in Ta Van village. +
You can also take a bath in the nearby stream in the village during the summer time to cool off.
Just a short trek for 6 kilometres through the bamboo forest to arrive Giang Ta Chai village. Keep walking to Su Pan. There are a few local restaurants to have simple Vietnamese lunch. Later, taking a taxi to Sapa, expect to pay 150k for two.
Spending the night to walk around the town, having a cup of coffee at Cong Café and having authentic Vietnamese food in some local restaurant in Thach Son street or a delight dinner at Good Morning view restaurant
Fansipan is really busy at the weekend. So I suggest leaving the hotel around 7.30 am for the cable car ride, spending 3.5 hour for the trip. And take another 1 hour to check out Silver Waterfall before heading the town for lunch and taking a shower. If you still have some free time, do some shopping in the town, and properly buy some FAKE North Face Jacket. Be ready to take the bus back to Hanoi at 3.30 pm
Alternatively, you can also see the amazing Bac Ha Sunday market which is 3 hour’s drive from Sapa on a group guided tour departing from Sapa. After the tour, ask the guide to drop you off in Lao Cai for taking a bus back to Hanoi. Don’t forget to check out in the morning and bring all of your luggage on the bus. I do think this tour is suitable for those who travel on a private guided tour with a private transfer.
If your flight out in the evening, then I suggest a half-day trip to see Kim Lan pottery village which is an off-the-beaten-path destination to learn the art of making pottery by visiting local workshops unexplored by tourists. For sure, not many locals, even hotel staff know this village. You can only do it by taking a guided tour. I often have some Bia Hoi in a local restaurant in Kim Lan village.
This itinerary for those who like adventure travel and off travel beaten track to explore remote regions in North Vietnam and check out its highlights. A motorbike ride is a perfect way to follow this itinerary
Ba Be lake is my favorite place in North East region to start your adventure.
Spend 2 days exploring beautiful nature, eating authentic Tay ethnic’s food, and cruise along Ba Ba lake is worth doing
Heading further North Eastern Vietnam, Cao Bang and Ban Gioc waterfalls offer amazing natural beauty, historical sites, and hearty local food.
Ha Giang loop is getting famous among travellers in Vietnam who love adventure travel. Honestly, Ha Giang is one of the poorest provinces in North Eastern region of Vietnam because the locals don’t have much land to plant rice due to most of the areas cover with rocks
What I think, is Sapa one of the most awesome mountain regions in Vietnam. In Sapa, you could trek to remote villages and enjoy the break-taking view of terraced rice paddy fields, and meet local tribes of Hmong, Red Dzao and Dzay who has been living here from generation to generation.
There is a wide range of accommodations in Hanoi to choose from, from homestays, and guest houses to hotels; based on your budget.
I only list 3 to 5 stars hotels as followings
Is there wifi available in Hanoi?
You can easily access wifi in the restaurant, coffee shops, bars, pubs and hotel. There is no wifi whilst walking on the street
Is this easy to cross the street in Hanoi?
Not for the first time. My advice is to keep walking slowly, don’t run or suddenly stop and keep your eyes on the road, you’ll be fine
What type of scams in Hanoi?
Shoeshine, doughnut lady or pineapple lady
In conclusion, What is your best places in Northern Vietnam? If you have any concerns or questions about travel planning for a perfect Hanoi itinerary, please leave a comment in the box below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Hanoi Eco Tour will try my best to assist