best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter, or Hanoi 36 streets, is a familiar name referred to the old town with historical memories of this capital city. Over the years, Hanoi Old Quarter may have been changed, but this area is still a top tourist attraction to experience the remains of an old Hanoi. Read this Hanoi Travel Guide to know more about the capital of Vietnam.

In this article, you will know

  • The Old vs The Current Hanoi Old Town
  • The design of houses
  • Places to visit in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Best food to try in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • One-day itinerary to explore this area
  • Best places to stay in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • How to get from Hanoi airport to Old Quarter


The old

Hanoi Old Quarter is an urban area formed from the Ly – Tran dynasty and located from the east of Thang Long Royal Citadel to the Red River. This urban area focused on small-scale industrial and commercial activities.

In this old town, each street had different characteristics as craftsmen from the villages around Thang Long gathered here accordingly to the profession. The main products of each street became street names with the word “Hang” at the top. From there, Hang Trong, Hang Buom, Hang ga, etc. were born.


The current

Throughout the history, the old town of Hanoi still stands and remains as the bustling commodity market and as one of the busiest places in the capital. The society develops and changes, and the old town also gradually transformed, but the streets here still retain its inherent cultural values.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

However, some streets in Hanoi Old Quarter are no longer sell their specialties. Now the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter with names such as Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Luoc … don’t produce the goods as its name anymore.

For example, Hang Khoai does not sell potatoes anymore and selling plates instead. Hang Duong becomes famous for Ô Mai (salt/ sugared dry apricot), and Hang Ga is known for printing wedding cards.


Houses in Hanoi Old Quarter

Walking through the old town, visitors can observe the ancient architecture of houses in this area. The houses were built in the style of pipe houses with tiled roofs and small business shops in the facades. They were mainly built from the beginning of the twentieth century.

best things to do in Hanoi

Ancient signs are still present through the old houses of Hanoi with the roof tile roofs covered in moss. There are many generations of Hanoian living in these houses, preserving lifestyles and cultures of Hanoi.


Where is Hanoi Old Quarter?

The northern part of Hanoi Old Quarter is Hang Dau street, the west is Phung Hung street, the south street is Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go street and Hang Thung street, the east is Tran Quang Khai street and Tran Nhat Duat street.


Places to visit in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hoan Kiem Lake

Located in the historical center of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem lake is also known as Lake of the Restored Sword. This lake is a lovely place to go for a walk, jogging, or just simply sitting along the lake. You can also visit Ngoc Son Temple, But Tower, The Huc Bridge.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter


Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is a symbol and an interesting place for shopping in Hanoi. It is one of the biggest markets in Hanoi and the largest one in Hanoi Old Quarter. Market goods are diverse, ranging from everyday items to handicrafts.


Ta Hien street

While Saigon has Bui Vien street, Hanoi has Ta Hien street. This street has long become a great place to hang out for the locals and visitors.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

You cannot find fancy restaurants here, but instead experiencing a “Vietnamese style” while sitting on a plastic chair outside while drinking and eating. There are lots of bars along the street, and you can find clubs around the area.


What to eat in Hanoi Old Quarter?

Hanoi Old Quarter food is really diverse and tasty. There are many Hanoi food you should try on your trip to Hanoi, and here are some main ones.

  • Trang Tien ice-cream – Any place on Tràng Tiền street
  • Egg Coffee at Cafe Giảng – 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân
  • Bun Cha Hang Buom on 43 Hàng Buồm
  • Pho Bat Dan – 49 Bát Đàn
  • Bun Thang at Bun Thang Cau Go – 32 Cầu Gỗ
  • Bun Bo Nam Bo – 67 Hàng Điếu

what to eat it Hanoi


What to do in Hanoi Old Quarter – One-day itinerary

You can start the day by trying the famous Pho on Bat Dan street. Then, having an egg coffee before exploring Dong Xuan market. Trying some Hanoi’s specialties in this old

In the afternoon, have lunch and then take walk along Hoan Kiem lake and visit Ngoc Son temple. Don’t forget to try Trang Tien ice-cream and Papaya salad near Hoan Kiem lake.

At night, explore the night market before heading to Ta Hien street for a few beers and fun time.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter


Where to stay in Hanoi Old Quarter?

I recommend staying in Hanoi Old Quarter while visiting Hanoi because it’s easy to get around the main attractions. However, if you’d like to get some early sleep, you should avoid staying near Ta Hien street as that area is noisy and chaotic until midnight.

> Read here for tips to find the best accommodation!

Hanoi Old Quarter hotels

Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa

Just a few meters from Hoan Kiem Lake, Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa is situated in a perfect location where you can walk around and explore Hanoi during the day or night.  The staffs here are professional and nice, assisting customers from storing luggage to booking trips. You can also enjoy a sauna session after a long day at this hotel.

best Hanoi hotels

Hanoi Old Quarter Hostels

Hanoi Backpacker Hostel

Stay in the heart of Hanoi with Hanoi Backpacker Hostel – a budget hostel on Hang Muoi street. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower, and there is a common area to hang out. With around $5, you can get a bed and a decent breakfast. Staffs are friendly and welcoming too.


How to get from Hanoi Airport to Old Quarter by bus?

The easiest and cheapest option to get from Hanoi Airport to Old Quarter is by bus. From April 30, 2016, at the airport terminal T2, Ha Noi Transport Corporation launched high-quality bus route 86 from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi Railway Station and vice versa.

As there is a large luggage space for passengers, it’s convenient when you have big luggage. The bus is also equipped with Vietnamese and English audio systems, LGD screen system, LED display of service and route information. There’s surveillance camera system at the front and rear doors and translation services and free wifi service on the bus as well.

Price: 30.000 VND/route/passenger and one route takes 50-60 minutes. You can pay the driver when getting on the bus.

Bus Detail From Hanoi Center To Airport:

  • Hanoi Train Station -> bus stop opposite the Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Post Office (Buu Dien Bo Ho) -> 23 Hang Tre –> Long Bien Transpoint station (E11) -> bus stop at intersection Yen Phu – Cua Bac -> bus stop at intersection Au Co – Xuan Dieu -> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (468 Au Co) –> VAECO Company –> Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2.

Bus Detail Airport To Hanoi Center:

  • Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2 -> VAECO Company –> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (523 Au Co str)–> Au Co – Xuan Dieu stop -> bus stop at intersection Yen Phu – Cua Bac -> Long Bien Transpoint station -> 142 Tran Quang Khai –> Hanoi Opera House -> Hanoi Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Train Station


How to get to Hanoi Old Quarter from other places?

You can get to Hanoi Old Quarter easily by taxi or Grab. Also, renting a bike is a good option to get to the old town.
Going by bus is a cheap option, but it can be time-consuming and not convenient when you first visit Hanoi.

  • Bus number 09, 14, 36 to Hoan Kiem lake.
  • Bus No. 31 to Dong Xuan Market.
  • Bus number 03, 11, 18, 22, 34, 40 to the gate of Quan Chuong.


Read more to prepare for your trip to Vietnam

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