Are you looking for things to do in Hanoi on a budget? We will cover a few of the places to see while in Hanoi in hopes of alleviating some of the stress.
Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River. It is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. Travelers can find well-preserved colonial buildings, ancient pagodas, and unique museums. All within the city center.
A great place to explore on foot. It is known for its delectable cuisine and vibrant nightlife. This French-colonial city is also famous for silks and handicrafts. A multi-cultural community that’s made up of Chinese, French and Russian influences.
At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse. Plus Dong Xuan Market, selling household goods and street food.
Its tranquil countryside is a short drive away. Featuring lush parks, verdant mountains, and traditional villages. And not forgetting, the iconic Ha Long Bay.
Are you flying into Hanoi, Vietnam soon? Looking for things to do in Hanoi? Have you picked out the places to see while in Hanoi? If not, relax!
Entertainment in Hanoi
1. Water Puppet Theater
This theater is a heaven for those who love entertainment. It has a rich history that is traced back to the eleventh century. Here you can watch puppet shows that are often accompanied by traditional music. Most of the puppet shows are about Vietnamese legends and are often humorous. What is surprising, is that the actors perform in a pool of water that acts as the stage.
2. Hanoi Opera House
The Opera House was built in 1911 by the French colonial government. It provides more about the culture and history of Vietnam during the colonial rule. The Opera House has hosted important historical events. Was renovated in 1997 to preserve it. It's situated near the Hoan Kiem Lake, and there is a little fee to view the inside of the Opera House.
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3. Temple of Literature
This beautiful temple was built back in 1070 as a university. Originally built for the Royals, the elite, and aristocrats. It wasn't until 1442 before it started taking brighter ordinary citizens. The Temple still stands today. It’s an excellent example of ancient Vietnamese architecture. Dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars. It's located near Ba Dinh Square, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, and Presidential Palace.
4. Hanoi Old Quarter
The Old Quarter is one of the most exciting places to visit in Hanoi. Reason being is that it's packed with bicycles, scooters, cars, and pedestrians. Synonymous with charming colonial architecture, many sidewalk vendors, pagodas, Buddhist temples, and parks.
Exploring this historic area is worth your time. The Quarter boasts of old commercial streets named more than a millennium ago.
Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi Opera House, and One Pillar Pagoda are some of the major attractions. (It is near Hoan Kiem Lake.)
Shopping in Hanoi
5. Dong Xuan Market
It is the largest indoor market in Hanoi, established in 1889. Home to beautiful Soviet architecture and located north of the Old Quarter. Here you will come across souvenirs, sunglasses, apparel, electrical appliances, and fresh produce. All at unbelievable prices.
Seeing how the traders go about their business will leave your mouth wide open. You can also have an opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine, coffee and much more. Even if you are not purchasing any items.
6. Ba Vi National Park
To help escape the hustle and bustle around Hanoi, there are a wealth of beautiful parks. Ba Vi National Park offers great scenery, fresh air, bird garden, orchid garden and much more. You can learn about Vietnamese medicinal plants, go for hikes, and strolls in the forest. Don't forget to visit the temple.
7. Hoan Kiem Lake
Also referred to as the Turtle Lake. In the middle of this lake exists a small island with a temple known as Ngoc Son. Built in the eighteenth century. To commemorate the brave military leader, Tran Hung Doa. He fought fiercely to defend his people from the Yuan Dynasty. We enjoyed a stroll over the bridge to the Ngoc Son Temple. Also got to see the turtles which are good luck!
We enjoyed the stroll around the lake before braving the manic little streets in the center of Hanoi. Then heading off towards the Mausoleum and Ho Truc Bach Lake and Chua Tran Quoc Temple. On our route back to the hotel we stopped for lunch. It was at a lovely local cafe on Truc Bach where we enjoyed some really fantastic local food for a tiny amount of money. We found plenty of things to do in Hanoi on a budget.