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City Guide Hanoi – Everything You Can Do in 2 Days

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City Guide Hanoi – Everything You Can Do in 2 Days

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City guide Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is one of the less discovered treasures in Southeast Asia. The bustling city, known for its French architecture, vibrant lakes, historical monuments, rich culture and luxury hotels, is one of the top tourist attractions in the region. 

A 2-day trip is the perfect amount of time to experience all the attractions that the city of Hanoi has to offer. If you visit Hanoi for the first time, all you need is 48 hours to visit the top tourist spots and fall in love with the city. If you don’t get enough, you can always use it as an excuse to come back for more!

Let us take you through the city guide Hanoi and a 2-day itinerary, which includes the best experiences the city has to offer!

Let’s get started! 

How to Spend Two Days in Hanoi, Vietnam: An Itinerary

Day 1:

Grab Breakfast at Note Coffee

Kick-off Day 1 in Hanoi by heading over to Note Coffee, the colorful, Instagram famous breakfast place in Hanoi where you can sip the most delicious coconut coffee and enjoy one-of-a-kind pastries. The cute café’s walls are covered with post-it notes with messages from visitors and tourists from all over the world. Remember to leave a message behind and take a picture in the backdrop! 

Soak in Nature at Hoan Kiem Lake

Take a short 13-minute walk after your morning grub and head over to Hoan Kiem Lake – the Lake of the Returned Sword. Legend says that a giant turtle appeared in the lake while emperor Le Loi was boating and asked him to return the sword he used to fight Chinese invaders. 

The lake is situated in the heart of the old town and is an excellent place to take a morning stroll. You can also practice Tai Chi and line dancing out in the open near the lake. The Hoan Kiem Lake Park is a great spot to take some stunning pictures of the scenic views. 

Visit the Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple, also known as Temple of the Jade Mountain, is located on a small island in the middle of the Hoan Kiem Lake. This 18th century picturesque Temple is accessible via an elegant wooden bridge. The Temple is home to large bronze and ceramic artifacts, chantries dedicated to noble military leader Tran Hung Dao, and the preserved specimen of a giant turtle weighing 250 kilograms. The charming Temple is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM and costs only $1.30 to enter. Our city guide Hanoi ranks this spot as a must-visit on your trip to Vietnam! 

Visit Duong Thanh Street for Authentic Vietnamese Lunch

After enjoying the great outdoors, head over to Duong Thanh Street to try authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The street is at a 4-minute drive from the Ngoc Son Temple and is home to some of the best local eateries. Here you will find crabmeat rolls (nem chua be), grilled pork noodles (bun cha), white fish seasoned fillet (cha ca) and many other Vietnamese dishes made of freshwater prawns, shrimps, mussels, crabs and clams. 

Take a Walk Around the Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is a 6-minute drive from Duong Thanh Street and is home to historical landmarks, colonial buildings, war memorials and museums. Some notable spots to visit at the Old Quarter include Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison and Saint Joseph Cathedral. The Old Quarter is famous for its tiny streets and incredible architecture that depicts both French and Vietnamese cultures. 

Shop at Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is located at a 6-minute walk from the Old Quarter. The Market bustles with street-side stalls and local vendors selling a variety of things. Here you can find inexpensive t-shirts, souvenirs, handicrafts, accessories like sunglasses and shoes. The shoppers love to bargain, and bargaining can get you a whopping 50{1144d01390815a03c526b8b417d8abe95d9339510fc1a5ec8bf81b93a797f0df} discount! The streets of the Market are illuminated with decorative lights, making it the perfect spot for photographers. 

Head to Quan Bia Minh for a Delicious Dinner

Walking 8 minutes southeast from the Dong Xuan Market will bring you to Quan Bia Minh, a famous pub where you can have a complete meal with drinks just for $4.33 (100,000 VND)! Try their beef pho. Trust us; you won’t regret it! 

Day 2:

Try Hanoi Egg Coffee at Giang Café

Start your second day by trying the famous Vietnamese Egg Coffee at Giang Café. The drink is prepared from egg yolks, sugar, Robusta coffee and condensed milk. This small landmark café is popular amongst tourists and a must-visit for coffee lovers!

Take the Ha Long Bay Full-Day Cruise Tour

After you have had your egg coffee, prepare for a long journey towards Ha Long Bay, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northeast Vietnam. One of the most recommended spots in the city guide Hanoi, the bay is known for its emerald blue waters, limestone cliffs and islands with rainforests. You can take a cruise tour or go kayaking, passing Stone Dog and Teapot islets on your route. The Ha Long Bay region is a popular spot for scuba diving, hiking and rock climbing. 

Enjoy Lunch at Hong Hanh Restaurant

Take a break from all the fun activities at Ha Long Bay and head over to Hong Hanh Restaurant for lunch. This fine-dining restaurant is famous for its seafood menu. It also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet with a variety of dishes! 

Watch Traditional Theater at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

After you head back to the city, catch a traditional puppet theater show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater before you call it a night. One of the most popular tourist attractions, the Theater offers 17 short sketches using traditional puppets. A Vietnamese orchestra is also a part of the show, with musicians playing wooden bells, flutes, horns, drums, and cymbals. The Theater’s ticket costs $4.33 (100,000 VND) and sells out really fast, so make sure to book yours in advance! 

Take a Street Food Tour with a City Guide, Hanoi

If you haven’t gotten enough of Hanoi’s street food, you should hit the streets one last time. A local guide can help direct you to places you to the best places to enjoy street food and show you the right way to eat each dish. A guide can also introduce you to Vietnamese culture! Click here for more information about Hanoi’s Street Food Tour.

There’s Lots More to Do!

The magnificent capital city of Vietnam has a lot more to offer than the places mentioned in this city guide Hanoi. Don’t be afraid to extend your trip as there is so much more for you to cover! We guarantee you will have an unforgettable time!

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