ShareHanoi is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Vietnam thanks to its historical and cultural values.How to spend two days in Hanoi?What to do if you only have two days to spend in Hanoi? Although it takes more than just two short days to experience the capital of Vietnam, you still can enjoy the best of Hanoi in 48 hours.I share below the detailed Hanoi itinerary for 2 days, to help you plan an awesome trip to Vietnam. 2-day Hanoi itineraryWhat to do in Hanoi in 2 days? Below is a suggestion for what to see and do in Hanoi in 48 hours.First day in HanoiGet from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi: 7 am – 8:30 amSuppose that you arrive in Hanoi in the early morning. Noi Bai Airport is the main airport serving Hanoi, and its location is outside Hanoi city center.It’s effortless to book a private transfer from Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi in advance. It takes approximately 1 hour to get from Hanoi to the city center.Book Noi Bai Airport transferEnjoy delicious Hanoi’s delicacy: 8:30 am – 10 amAfter checking in your hotel and dropping luggage, wander around Hanoi Old Quarter to get some delicious treats and explore the area.I would suggest trying Pho Bat Dan – a famous Pho shop on Bat Dan street.Address: 49 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà NộiThis tasty Pho soup will light up your day!If you’re a coffee lover, why not try Hanoi Egg Coffee – a traditional drink prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee.A great place to try Egg coffee in Hanoi is Giang Cafe.Address: 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà NộiWandering around Hoan Kiem Lake: 10:30 am – 12 pmLocated in the French Quarter, it just takes about 10 to 15 minutes on foot from Hanoi Old Quarter to Hoan Kiem Lake.Hoan Kiem Lake, or often known as Ho Guom, is famous for its an ancient turtle tower on a small island and exciting attractions such as Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, and But Tower.Also, it’s chill and relaxing to walk along the lake or sit on the benches and enjoy the nature.Hoan Kiem lake is a must visit place in HanoiHave lunch: 12 pm – 1:30 pmThere are many places to eat around Hoan Kiem Lake, but if you’re looking for a nice restaurant with a beautiful view, you can get to Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square.This building is located in the corner of Dinh Tien Hoang street, offering a stunning view of the capital. There are different restaurants in this building so that you will have plenty of choices.Address: 1 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, HanoiVisit Long Bien Bridge: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pmIf you’re not in a rush or tired after your flight, you should continue visiting Long Bien Bridge – a traditional symbol of Hanoi.Take a look at the train tracks: 2:30 pm – 4 pmHanoi train street is one of the unique places to visit in Hanoi, Vietnam.You can enjoy a coffee (yes! another one) while watching the train between blocks of the cafe and residential buildings.ScheduleAs the weekday schedule right now is 6 am, 7 pm and 7:20 pm, you may want to come back to see the train running pass and take excellent photos.On the weekend, the train comes at 3:30 pm and 7 pm daily, so you can arrive a bit earlier around 3 pm to catch it.Join Hanoi Cooking Class or Food tour: 4 pm – 7 pmTrying to find an interesting thing to do in Hanoi? How about joining Hanoi cooking class or a food tour in the late afternoon?a) Hanoi cooking classAvailable Timeslots:9:00 am – 12:00 pm11:30 am – 3:30 pm4:00 pm – 7:00 pm6:30 pm – 9:30 pmWith Hanoi cooking class, you will learn how to make delicious Vietnamese with a tour to the local market to pick up fresh ingredients.The sample menu is as below, with an option for a vegetarian menu.BBQ Pork with Noodles and Fish Sauce (Bún Chả)Fried Spring Rolls (Nem)Banana Flowers Salad with Chicken or Green Papaya Salad with Dried BeefVietnamese Egg CoffeeBook Cooking Classb) Hanoi food tourCrave for tasty Vietnamese food? Let the local take you to explore Hanoi Old Quarter in a yummy way!In Hanoi food tour, you will get a chance to try local delicacies while learning about the landmarks of Hanoi Old Quarter.You can choose to start your tour at any time of the day with the earliest timeslot at 8:00 am and the latest at 6:00 pm. Hanoi food tour ends after 3 hours in the Old QuarterBook Hanoi Food TourDrink beer on Ta Hien street: 8 pm – 11 pmWhat to do at night in Hanoi? Head to Ta Hien street!Ta Hien street is a favorite place to hang out and enjoy the nightlife in Hanoi.There is a famous fresh beer (Beer Hoi) that costs less than $1 per cup, and you can try different Vietnamese dishes while having a beer with friends. 2nd day in Hanoi – Option 1: Hanoi city tourOn your second day in Hanoi, I would suggest taking a Hanoi one-day tour.Why should you take Hanoi day tour?Hanoi day tour will take you to explore the most famous attractions in Hanoi without worrying about transportation so that it will be more convenient for your trip.Also, you will learn more about the attractions thanks to the explanation of the tour guide. Hanoi day tour is especially useful if you travel solo to Hanoi.Book Hanoi Day TourThe tour includesHotel pick up and drop off in Hanoi Old QuarterBus during the tripEntrance ticketsLunchEnglish GuideInsuranceItinerary:On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the tour will take you toTran Quoc Pagoda (the ancient pagoda built in the 6th century)Ho Chi Minh ComplexTemple of LiteratureNgoc Son templeBat Trang ceramic and pottery villageOn Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, you will be able to visitTran Quoc PagodaHo Chi Minh ComplexVietnam Museum of EthnologyTemple of LiteratureNgoc Son templeThe bus will pick you up from 7:50 am to 8:30 am if you stay within Hanoi Old Quarter, and Hanoi day tour ends at 4:15 pm with a drop off at a hotel or original meeting point.However, at the end of the Hanoi day tour, you will have two option:Cyclo around the Old Quarter (1 hour) after the tour at an additional 100,000 VND per personWater Puppet Show (5:30 pm – 6:15 pm) at an additional 100,000 VND per person. You will need to get back to your hotel on your own after the show.Book Hanoi Day Tour 2nd day in Hanoi – Option 2: DIY Hanoi TourBreakfast: 7 am – 8 amStart your day with breakfast at your hotel or a local eatery nearby, then prepare to go out and explore Hanoi by yourself.Ho Chi Minh Complex: 8 am – 12:00 pmHo Chi Minh Complex is a must-visit place on your trip to Hanoi.Please note that Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum only opens five days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.As there’s usually a long line waiting to get inside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you should arrive there as early as possible.See alsoTraveling in Vietnam10 Best Things To Do In Phong Nha Ke Bang VietnamOtherwise, it’s also lovely to walk around Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside of the Mausoleum.If you’d like to know more about Ho Chi Minh and his activities, you should not miss the Ho Chi Minh Museum nearby. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must-visit attraction in Hanoi.While walking around Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you should also visit One Pillar Pagoda. With the lotus-shaped architecture, this pagoda is said to be unique in Vietnam.Have lunch: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pmAfter a visit to Ho Chi Minh Complex and One Pillar Pagoda, it’s time for lunch.You can find several eateries around the area, so choose your favorite Vietnamese food and head to one.Bun dau mam tom is a favorite dish in Hanoi that you should try!Visit the Temple of Literature: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pmAddress: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Ba Dinh, HanoiOpening hours: 8 am – 6 pmLocated in the south of Thang Long citadel, the Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, is the first university in Vietnam and a place to worship Confucius.Besides being the witness of the thousand-year history of Hanoi capital, the Temple of Literature is also the “birth school” of many talented people in the past.Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: 3 pm – 5 pmAddress: Nguyen Van Huyen, Cau Giay, HanoiOpening time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pmMuseum of Ethnology is my favorite place to visit in Hanoi. Although this museum is located a bit far away from Hanoi Old Quarter, it’s definitely worth your trip here.Vietnam Museum of Ethnology displays several exhibitions with artifacts such as clothing, jewelry, weapons, musical instruments, and many other spiritual activities.Enjoy Water Puppet Show: 6:30 pm – 7:15 pmAddress: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, HanoiWatching the water puppet show is an exciting thing to do in Hanoi.You can skip the lines to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and enjoy one of the unique art forms live on stage when booking your Water puppet ticket in advance.Book Water Puppet ticketGet back to your Hotel and have dinner: 7:30 – 9 pmWell done for the day. It’s time to relax and get some yummy food!Enjoy a drink on Ta Hien street or near Ho Tay lake: 9 pm – 11 pmIf you already drink Bia Hoi (fresh beer) on Ta Hien street the earlier night, why not try a new location near Ho Tay Lake?There are several bars along the lake, and you can have a good view while enjoying the nightlife in Hanoi. Best day trips from HanoiIf you have more than two days in the capital, here are some ideas for fantastic day trips from Hanoi.Get on Trang An boat tourDiscover Tam Coc and Hoa Lu ancient capitalCruise around Lan Ha Bay near Cat Ba islandJoin Sapa trekking tour Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. Booking from the links will bring no extra cost for you (mostly it comes with great discounts), and it may give me a tiny commission that helps me running Expatolife.