Hanoi Solo traveller guide

Hanoi is known as the capital of Vietnam. This city is a must for traveller in Vietnam. This Hanoi Solo traveller guide by Hanoi Eco Tour is everything you need to know as a solo traveller in Hanoi Vietnam includes what to do in Hanoi for solo traveller, where to eat, how to get around.

Hanoi is a great city to explore as a solo traveller because it is safe and easy to get round. Hanoi has everything for a solo traveller such as great local food supply, rich history, fascinating culture, interesting nightlife and many more. 

Why is Hanoi good for solo travellers?

Hanoi is a pretty safe

It is very safe to get around Hanoi, even walk in the Old Quarter on your own in the evening. On the other hand, Hanoi is busy all the time so there is always someone around you. 

Easy to get around

As a tourists, you can you BEE or Grab to get around the city either by motorbike or car. They offer English interface so it is very easy to use. If you departs from the hotels, ask the reception to order a taxi for you which is also reliable. Be aware that there is taxi scam you should avoid when going on your own outside the hotel. 

What to do in Hanoi for solo traveller

If you have time, take 2 days to explore the city. Wandering around busting Old Quarter of Hanoi with tons of restaurants, shops, cafes and so on. Don’t forget to check out Dong Xuan market which is known as the biggest whole sale market in Hanoi and a food market with fresh meat, seafood, spices and so on is great to check out in the afternoon. 

For nightlife, walk around the famous Hoan Kiem lake and check out Beer coner at Ta Hien street. If you are staying during the weekend from Friday to Sunday evening, visit night market and experience chaos of busting Old Quarter where family with kids hanging out, music performance, dancing and many more. 

If you like countryside, book Wet rice tour in rural Hanoi to learn hands-on farming experience such as plowing with cow, planting rice, cooking with locals, biking rural path and more 

Things to do near Hanoi in one day for solo travellers

  • Duong Lam ancient village day trip 
  • Ninh Binh day trip from Hanoi
  • Perfume Pagoda
  • Handicraft villages day trip : Van Phuc silk village, Bat Trang ceramic village, Kim Lan pottery village..
  • Mai Chau valley

Great attractions to see in Hanoi 

Women museum 

Hanoi Women Museum - hanoi solo traveller guide

Hanoi Women museum – a fascinating museum about Vietnamese women

Located in 36 Ly Thuong Kiet street, 20 minutes walk from Hanoi Old Quarter, a great museum showcase what Vietnamese women has contributed for this country during two resistance war against French and America

Infamous Hanoi Hilton 

Hanoi Hilton

Infamous Hanoi Hilton – The place captured Prison of War

Built in 1896 by French colonial to capture Vietnamese political prisoners and later used by Viet Cong for POW (prison of war) who were American pilots including famous American John Mccain. This is a great museum to check out during your stay in Hanoi

Temple of Literature 

Temple of Literature Hanoi

Students in Hanoi Temple of Literature

Founded in 1070 as a tribute to Confucius and his disciples  and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and also known as the first national university of Vietnam built in 1076 at the same complex.

The temple offers beautiful gardens with tons of bonsai trees and flowers. You can also see students take photos before their graduation sometime. Of course, it’s a great spots for photographers. 

Tips : If you want to avoid the big crowd, visit the temple at 8.20am or 5.00pm.

Ho Chi Minh complex

The world renowned mausoleum for the famous Vietnam leader, a very impressive building. You can also check out Presidential Palace, his maintained garden and house on still

Tips : The mausoleum closes on Monday and Friday. Short shorts, mini-skirts, sleeveless shirts, tank tops and so on are not allowed. It sometime takes time for a long queue to see the mausoleum. 

Museum of Ethnology

Museum of Ethnology

Museum of Ethnology – A great museum to learn about overview of Ethnic group in Vietnam

No trip in Hanoi could be completed without a visit to this fascinating museum of Museum of Ethnology, which showcases local life, culture and history of 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. Take a walk among traditional houses of different tribes is a great way to learn about their way of life.

Tips : Before taking a trip to mountainous region like Mai Chau, Sapa, Bac Son valley, Ha Giang, you should check out this museum. 

The museum closed on Monday. There is also an outdoor water puppet show at the museum, if you don’t have time to see the one near Hoan Kiem lake then it is an alternative choice. 

Ngoc Son temple

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple at night is really amazing

Situated on an island the middle of Hoan Kiem lake, connected to the main land by a Red bridge. The temple is dedicated to three Chinese Gods : Scholar Van Xuong, La To (patron saint of physicians) and Quan Cong (a Chinese general). Also the temple is delicated to General Tran Hung Dao who defeated Mongolians in 13rd century and known as Napoleon in Vietnam.

This temple offers some of great spots for taking cool photos with lake view. It is also walking distance from Hanoi Old Quarter

Railway hamlet

It is off the beaten path, away from the famous train street with hundred of tourists, at the end of Kham Thien street near Le Duan street. 

It is very unique that people live in such a dangerous spots due to accident’s thereat but lots of families have been living here for years. Within 500 meters long, but it is great to see a mixture in term of architecture : old, new design of houses.

Hanoi Creative City

Hanoi Creative city

A place for the young in hanoi

Fed up with temples and pagodas, Hanoi Creative city is the perfect choice for the young, a complex consist of all type of entertainment such as fashion stores, game center and restaurants…This is a great place for cool photo shoot among creative design.

Where to eat for solo traveller in Hanoi

Vietnamese cuisine is amazing with various type of yummy dishes. Here is the list of must-try Hanoi cuisine

World famous Pho – Vietnamese noodle soup 

Where to try Pho in Hanoi

Pho Thin 13 Lo Duc street : Known as the best beef pho in Hanoi. Pay first, get your seat and they will bring it to you.

Pho Thin Hanoi

Pho Thin – A well-known Pho in Hanoi for years

Pho Suong at Trung Yen alley way : Located in a tiny alleyway, it sometime hard to find. Tasty broth and good noodle. Don’t forget to add some rice vinegar and pickled garlic

Pho Suong in Trung Yen Alleyway

Pho Suong – A good noodle pho soup in the alleyway of Old Quarter

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su : If you are looking a good, clean place with tourist standrad to eat beef Pho then it is a good choice. The restaurant is quite busy, you sometime have to stay in a few for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Pho Ly Quoc Su – Best noodle soup for those who like eating in a clean place

A bowl of Pho soup ranges from $2.5 to $3.5 USD

Banh Mi – Vietnamese baguette

Where to try Banh Mi in Hanoi

Chain of Bami Bread at 98 Hang Bac st : One the best Bami in Hanoi Old Quarter with special sauce. A chicken sandwich is recommended to try

Banh Mi 25 at 25 Hang Ca st : What makes it special is outdoor bench for people to sit and watch the traffic. On the other hand, beer, smoothies, juice. They do have option for vegan and vegetarian.

Banh Mi 25

Banh Mi 25 – The most famous Banh Mi shop in Hanoi Old town

A Banh Mi costs around $1 to $2 USD

Bun Cha – Vietnamese grilled pork with rice noodle

Where to try Bun Cha in Hanoi

Bun Cha Dac Kim at 01 Hang Manh st : Another place not to missed if you want to try Bun Cha. Grilled pork is served with rice noodle and fresh herb. It is a bit of oily but flavorful. You are recommended to order some sea crab spring roll

Bun Cha Dac Kim

A place not to missed for Bun Cha in Hanoi. Bun Cha Dac Kim

Bun Cha at Lane 74 Hang Quat street : If you want to try an authentic Bun Cha, then it is your choice. This place is only famous among locals

Bun Cha at 41 Cua Dong street : Another choice for Bun Cha lover, the portion is big but dipping sauce is a bit sweet.

A portion of Bun Cha is from $2.5 to $3.5 USD

Cha Ca – Grilled fish with tumeric and dill

Where to try Cha Ca in Hanoi

Cha Ca Thang Long

Cha Ca Thang Long for must-try Cha Ca dish in Hanoi

Cha Ca Thang Long : 21 Duong Thanh : Good service, awesome food! Only $7 per portion. There are also lots of Vietnamese eating here. Weekend nights seems to be busy.

Banh Cuon – Vietnamse steamed rice roll with pork and wood ear mushroom

Where to try Banh Cuon in Hanoi

Banh Cuon - Vietnamese  steamed rice roll

Banh Cuon – A very yummy street food in Hanoi

Banh Cuon Thanh Van at 14 Hang Ga : Known as the best Banh Cuon in town, it is tasty when enjoying with a bowl of dipping sauce

Where to drink in Hanoi

Here is some of the best cafes in Hanoi

+ Cafe Dinh at 13 Dinh Tien Hoang : Located in a hidden alleyway, on the second floor, the Dinh cafe is a great to try famous egg coffee with nice decoratic. You are sitting on a small chair like a baby.

+ Tranquil book and cafe at 05 Nguyen Quang Bich street: Tranquil settings with good cafe, a good place for readers. 

+ Hanoi cafe house at 47A Ly Quoc Su street : A nice quiet local place. Central and full of history

Costs : $1 to $3 USD

+ The note coffee: Right along the shore of well-known Hoan Kiem lake, near the water fountain. It is famous for colorful, customers written notes lining on the wall

Where to stay in Hanoi

There is tons of choice for hotels in Hanoi based on your budget. Here is some of the best hotels based on catalogue

Luxury hotels in Hanoi French Quarter

Room rate : $180 to $260 per room per night

  • Sofitel Metropole Legend
  • Hanoi Hilton 
  • Hotel de l’opera hanoi

Luxury hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter

Room rate : $155 per room per night

Apricot hotel

Luxury hotels in West Lake area

Room rate : $115 to $180 USD per room per night. Diamond Suite is the cheapest among them 

  • Sheraton hotel
  • Intercontinental Hanoi hotel
  • Diamond suite West Lake near Chabad house (good for travellers who eat Kosher food)

Deluxe hotels in Hanoi

Room rate : $85 to 140 USD per room per night

  • Lapis hotel
  • Movenpick
  • Sitlk path
  • Rex hotel
  • Silk queen hotel
  • Pearl hotel
  • The Chi boutique hotel
  • The Jade hotel Hanoi

Superior hotels in Hanoi

Room rate : $60 to $95 USD per room per night 

  • Noble boutique hotel 
  • Boss Legend hotel
  • Essense hotel Hanoi
  • Oriental central hotel Hanoi

Budget for travelling Hanoi for solo traveller

ItemsExpenses in American Dollar
Food (street food)6
Drink (casual place)3
Activities (Entrance fee) 10
Transport (Taxi, Grab)12
Accommodation (Budget hotel)40
Total amount 71

Rate for tours in and around Hanoi (All rate in American Dollar)

ItemSeat in coach tour Private tour
Hanoi city tour3590
Street food tour2035
Ninh binh tour40120
Halong Bay cruise 2 days (Standard)150N/A
Sapa tour by bus (3 days)124480
Duong Lam village4598
Handicraft village tours40105
Hanoi Motorbike city tour5073
Hanoi biking tour (half day)4295
Lan Ha bay day cruise tour50170
Mai Chau 2 days80185

Included : English speaking guide, lunch, transfer, entrance fee

Good tour companies for a private tour

My advice: Contact a private local guide to take you around which helps you save money, time and travel flexibility. A walking tour with your guide is a good choice, too

Hanoi itinerary – How to spend 3 days in Hanoi 

This is good itinerary plan by a local guide who has been working 10 years in tourism industry

Day 1 : Hanoi highlights (DIY or guided tour)

  • Ho Chi Minh complex
  • Temple of Literature
  • West Lake and Tran Quoc pagoda
  • Museum of Ethnology 
  • Walking tour around Hanoi Old Quarter

Day 2 : Hanoi History (DIY or guided tour)

  • Hanoi Opera House
  • Women Museum
  • Hanoi Hilton
  • Train street (from outside)
  • Long Bien bridge

Day 3 : Hanoi Off the tourist trail (Guided tour) 

  • Banana island under Long Bien bridge
  • Kim Lan pottery village
  • Shopping at Aeon mall

Top cool things to do for first-time travelling solo in Hanoi

1. Do morning exercises with locals near Hoan Kiem lake

Wake up early in the morning around 5.40 am and walk to Ly Thai To flower garden to see locals doing morning exercises and you are welcome to join them with cool activities: Tai Chi, laughing yoga, dancing and more. Please note : If it rains, there is no one show up at the flower garden

2. Having a glass of Bia Hoi at Ta Hien beer conner

It’s fun to have a bottle of Bia Hoi among locals, especially it is SUPER busy on Friday to Sunday night: people watch, street vendors, music and more 

3. Walking along the Hoan Kiem lake at weekends

Traffic-free around Hoan Kiem lake from Friday night to Sunday night, you can easily walk around the lake without worrying about traffics. It’s so fun to see lots of stuff : singing, dancing, family with kids playing, people walking the dog. It is really amazing to check out!

4. Shopping at Hanoi weekend night market

Roadside stalls, street vendor selling food gathering at the night market in 3 nights : Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. You can find almost everything : clothes, hats, souvenirs, shoes, glasses and more.

Please note : Be aware of pick pockets whist walking along the night weekend market and always put your bag in the front of you

5. Joining a  walking food tour around Hanoi Old Quarter

You’re not alone. If you worry about eating alone. Then join a walking food tour is a great choice to see enjoy the typical Hanoi foods with others in hawker stalls on the street. The tour often includes 6 to 7 dishes with dessert. 

Tip : Skip lunch or eat light to make sure that you have lots of room for food. An evening food tour is better than the noon one

8. Common questions about travelling solo in Hanoi

Is it safe to walk around Hanoi Old Quarter at night?

Yes, it is. No matter to walk around at night, there’s a lots of people around you.

Is Hanoi safe for solo female traveller? 

It is very safe, I can tell. The man smiles at you and turn around fast. THey are respectful. Just be aware of some pick pockets whist walking along Hanoi Old town or the night market. On the other hand, you don’t see “prevalent” prostitution in Hanoi

Scams in Hanoi

  • Pineapple ladies with bamboo carrying pole
  • Shoe shine scam 
  • Donuts lady : giving one to you and ask you to buy more.
  • Richsaw ride : They may overcharge if you go your own without going with a tour guide
  • Taxi scam : Taxi metter offer a ride at overcharged price. Look for some reliable taxi like Taxi group or Mai Linh or Grab is a great choice with an app. 

Short break for female solo traveller in 2 days

Ninh Binh, Mai Chau

What is a good itinerary for female solo traveller in Northern Vietnam?

Day 1 : Hanoi arrival. Walking street food tour around Hanoi Old Quarter

Day 2 : Hanoi walking city tour to see its highlights

Day 3 : Day trip to Ninh Binh : Tam Coc, Hoa Lu ancient capital

Day 4 -5 : Bai Tu Long 2 days 1 night with an overnight stay onboard

Back to Hanoi and take a night train to Sapa

Day 6-7 : Sapa Tour

Trekking tour to local villages around Sapa. If you like local living, staying overnight in a local family homestay

Day 8: Sapa to Hanoi

Wonder around Sapa and do some shopping. 

3.30pm : Taking a Dcar limousine back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 8.30pm.

Local walking tour around Hanoi for solo traveller?

Hanoi Kids and Free Hanoi walking tour offers free walking tour to solo traveller. It is a good choice if you want to see highlights of the city

If you would like to look for an exclusive walking tour which takes you well off the beaten track. See the tour below for the experiences which you can’t do it on your own

Hanoi walking day tour off the beaten track

What are the TOURIST FREE places around Hanoi 

Nam Dinh and Xuan Thuy national park day trip or an overnight stay in a homestay: 3.5 hours drive from Hanoi

Dong Ngac village to see ancient houses and Tay Tuu flower village nearby, 10 kilometres from Hanoi

Kim Lan Pottery village: 12 kilometres from Hanoi

Chuong conical hat making village in Hanoi outskirts

Can I get a discount on a Halong or Bai Tu Long Bay tour?

Please contact the cruise operator for details. As far as I know, most of them offer rates for single supplement for solo travellers. However, you may contact them directly and ask if they offer a discount or reduced Vietnamese or expat rate

Can I meet English speaking visitors in Hanoi?

Yes, you can. You can see them everywhere in the city  

Are group tour in Hanoi and its surroundings a good ideal for travelling ?

If you worry about your safety of being alone then group tour is a great idea, especially a destination which you consider a challenge 

Is Grab taxi good?

It is the best choice to get around the city. They are like UBER in Vietnam. They offer both car and motorbike taxi

How long can I stay in Hanoi without getting bored ?

2 to 3 days is more than enough

What is the budget accommodation in Hanoi?

Spring Flower Hotel

Angel Palace Hotel

Vision Premier hotel\

In there any good places for money exchanges in Hanoi?

Kim Linh jewellery shop at 67 Hang Bac (8am to 5pm)

Anh Quang jewellery shop at  17 Ha Trung (8am to 5pm)

Giang Son jewellery shop at 137 Hang Bac (7.30am to 9.30pm)

9. Common search keywords about travelling solo

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traveling in vietnam as an american

solo travel in north vietnam

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We hope this Hanoi solo traveller guide by Hanoi Eco Tour will help you some ways to plan a trip when travelling solo in Hanoi

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davidcoi

David Nguyen : Freelancer tour guide as well as a passionate writer for Hanoi Eco Tour, who has been working over 10 years in the tourism industry. All articles are written by him from his REAL travel experiences, down to earth and unique.

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