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Top Best Things To Do In Hanoi For 3 Days

If you are traveling throughout the North and are looking for a destination that combines a rich exploration of Vietnamese history and culture with the opportunity to enjoy unique and delicious local cuisine, then don't hesitate to come to Hanoi and experience the top best things to do in Hanoi for 3 days.

1. Introduction about Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a vibrant metropolis of 8 million people, combining rich cultural heritage with the hustle and bustle of modern life. “Ha” is a river, “Noi” is inland, and Hanoi means “inland between rivers”. Bordered by the Red River in the north of the country, Hanoi is famous for its historical charm, characterized by ancient temples, colonial architecture, and the labyrinthine streets of the old quarter. Visitors to Hanoi cannot miss famous landscapes such as exploring places such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature,... Hanoi is also self-sufficient. Proud to be a culinary paradise with a strongly developed street food scene, offering many delicious dishes. With a unique blend of tradition and progress, Hanoi continues to be an attractive destination for tourists looking for the flavors of Vietnam past and present. In this guide, Autour Asia will introduce the top things to do in Hanoi for 3 days.
Hanoi in night

2. The best time to visit Hanoi

The best time to visit Hanoi is generally between the months of September and November, as well as between March and April. During these periods, the climate is generally more pleasant, with moderate temperatures and relatively low humidity. From September to November, you can enjoy mild temperatures, pleasant sunshine, and a generally comfortable atmosphere. This is also the time when the surrounding landscapes, such as Halong Bay, are particularly beautiful.
In March and April, it is spring in Hanoi. Temperatures gradually rise, making for pleasant days to explore the city. In addition, this period corresponds to the blossoming of cherry trees and the traditional festival of Tet (Vietnamese New Year), offering a festive and colorful atmosphere.
Autumn in Hanoi
However, it is important to note that the climate can be unpredictable in this region and there may be variations from year to year. It is recommended to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack clothing suitable for varying temperatures. By avoiding the summer months (June to August) which can be hot and humid, as well as the winter months (December to February) which can be cool and foggy, you will be able to make the most of your visit to Hanoi.

3. Tops best things to do in Hanoi for 3 days

If you have three days to explore Hanoi, here's a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your trip:

a. Day 1: Food tour & The Old Quarter

  • Morning: Explorer The Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake

Start your day by visiting Hoan Kiem Lake, a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is a freshwater lake in the heart of Hanoi, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hanoi, and it is also a sacred place for many Vietnamese people. The lake is based on the legend of Vietnam when King Le Loi was given a magical sword by the Golden Turtle God to help defeat the Chinese invaders. After the victory, he returned the sword to the lake, and it is said that the Golden Turtle God still guards the sword today. This is a wonderful and peaceful place to visit, a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the scenery, and is also a popular space for locals and tourists to go for a walk, run, or bike ride…... Don’t forget to visit Ngoc Son temple, located on Jade Islet in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, this magnificent temple is a historical and cultural treasure that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Hoan Kiem lake

After visiting the lake, head into the Old Town and start exploring the narrow streets and alleys. Famous for its narrow streets and traditional architecture, the Old Quarter is a beautiful place to visit and the perfect destination to experience Hanoi's culture. You will discover the ancient beauty of ancient Hanoi with many nooks and crannies. Small street, you will see that this quarter is very special because its names all start with the word “ Hang” which is an item that refers to commerce. Each street often sells products and items that correspond to its name...

The Old Quarter

  • Afternoon: Take a street food tour.

Hanoi is famous and considered such as a street food paradise. A trip around and exploring local cuisine will be an indispensable experience when you come to Vietnam. With a variety of genres, colors, and reasonable prices, you will enjoy the best Vietnamese dishes from pho, bun cha, fried spring rolls, and banh cuon to iced tea, and street cafes... For a more immersive culinary experience, you'll find a variety of street food tours to choose from, allowing you to tailor your selection to both your preferences and budget. This is a great moment for you to understand more about the vibrant daily life of the Hanoi people.

Tourists enjoy street food

  • Evening: Enjoy a beer in Ta Hien Street

For nighttime activities, tourists can stop in Ta Hien Street, a vibrant hub of food, drinks, and entertainment in the heart of Hanoi to have some fresh beer and socialize with locals and friends. This beer street is frequently open from the early afternoon until almost 2 a.m. the following day. In addition to sipping some beer with your friends and experiencing the local nightlife, tourists also can visit some crowded bars nearby. The unique experience offered by Ta Hien Beer Street is a must-try for anyone who wants to discover Hanoi in a colorful way.

Ta Hien Street

b. Day 2: Cultural attraction destinations

Trip itinerary:

The second schedule day

  • Morning: Paying respect at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and exploring the Thang Long Imperial Citadel

We’ll start the second day in Hanoi by visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This is a solemn and awe-inspiring place where the revered leader's embalmed body is on display. The mausoleum is an outstanding example of Soviet architecture, with its clean lines and its imposing silhouette. It’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and a stately structure that reflects the leader's austere lifestyle. It's essential to be respectful during your visit, as this is a place of deep significance for the Vietnamese people.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

After your visit to the mausoleum, head over to the nearby Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The citadel is a testament to Vietnam's rich history and was the seat of ancient Vietnamese emperors for over a thousand years. As you wander through the impressive gateways, walls, and historical artifacts, you'll be transported back in time to the era of emperors and dynasties. The vast courtyards and lush greenery are perfect for leisurely strolls and photo opportunities.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel

  • Afternoon: Explore the Temple of Literature & Street Train

One of the places must visit in Hanoi, Vietnam is the Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first national university. This historical gem is well-known for its beautiful gardens, tranquil atmosphere, and splendid architecture. As you explore the temple's various courtyards and pavilions, you'll learn about Vietnam's scholarly history and the Confucian principles that underpin its education system. The picturesque gardens offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city, making it an ideal place for contemplation and photography.

Temple of Literature

For a unique and unforgettable experience, hop on a street train in Hanoi. These charming, retro trains navigate through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, providing an immersive and novel way to see the city. The train's slow pace allows you to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Hanoi while interacting with friendly locals. It's a delightful way to get a different perspective on the city's daily life.

The train passes through the heart of Hanoi

  • Evening: Enjoy the Traditional Water Puppet Show

To conclude your day in Hanoi, immerse yourself in a traditional water puppet show - a unique Vietnamese art form that has been entertaining audiences for centuries. Water puppetry combines storytelling, music, and puppetry, with the puppets appearing to float on water, controlled by skilled puppeteers hidden behind a screen. The stories often depict scenes from rural life, legends, and historical events, offering a glimpse into Vietnam's rich folklore and culture. The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi is one of the best places to enjoy this mesmerizing performance.

Traditional water puppet show

c. Day 3: Explore Vietnam's History

Trip itinerary:

The third schedule day

  • Morning: Explorer Vietnam’s history

Top things to do in Hanoi on the 3rd day start by visiting the Vietnam Museum of Ethnography, a must-see for anyone interested in Vietnamese culture. The museum showcases the diverse traditions and lifestyles of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups in a captivating and informative way. As soon as you walk through the doors of this serene place, you will be immersed in a relaxed and warm atmosphere, which highlights authenticity and ethnic treasures. Through carefully curated exhibits, the museum invites you to explore the many facets of Vietnamese culture: religion, customs, architecture, clothing, folklore, and more. Every corner of this place will reveal a fabulous Vietnam from every angle, awakening your curiosity and nourishing your spirit of discovery. This is the best opportunity for you to learn more about the culture of Vietnamese ethnic groups.

The space inside of Vietnam Museum of Ethnography

The next place of our trip is Maison Centrale, also known as Hoa Lo Prison or Hanoi Hilton Hotel, which is a former French colonial prison used to detain Vietnamese political prisoners. The prison is now a museum and it provides insight into the country's history. During the war, the prison was used as a place to detain Vietnamese political prisoners. The prison is famous for its harsh conditions and brutal treatment of prisoners. Maison Centrale is a museum that tells the story of the prison and its prisoners. It also contains a number of artifacts about the Vietnam War. Maison Centrale is a famous tourist destination and also a sacred place for many Vietnamese people. It is a reminder of the country's struggle for independence and the sacrifices that were endured. If you are a history lover, this is a destination worth experiencing.

Maison Centrale

  • Afternoon: Visit Vietnam's Spiritual places

After lunch, we will visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, which is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam, dating back to the 6th century. Located on a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake and offering stunning views of the lake and the city skyline, the pagoda is a popular tourist destination and a sacred place for many Vietnamese people. The pagoda is dedicated to Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The main hall of the pagoda houses a statue of Avalokitesvara, as well as a number of other Buddhist statues and artifacts. The pagoda also has a bell tower, a library, and a number of other buildings. From the moment you walk through its doors, you are greeted by an atmosphere of calm and serenity. It is a great place to learn about Vietnamese Buddhism and culture.

Tran Quoc pagoda

The ultimate destination that cannot be missed is Quan Thanh Temple (also known as Tran Vu Temple) a Taoist temple in Hanoi, is one of the Four Sacred Temples of the capital, and it is located on the shores of West Lake. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and its collection of bronze statues. The temple has a number of bronze statues, including statues of the four marshals of Xuan Wu and statues of the twenty-eight constellations. Whether you are a traveler in search of spirituality, an art lover, or simply curious to discover the history of Vietnam, Quan Thanh Temple invites you to immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere and feel its magic.

Quan Thanh temple

4. Some tips for your trip to Hanoi

  • Currency Exchange: The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong. Look for Currency Exchange stations in tourist areas or city centers to exchange your money. Doing so within Vietnam usually provides better rates compared to exchanging abroad.

  • Crossing the road: Because Hanoi's streets are very bustling and there are many vehicles, no run & just walk slowly, keep your eyes to the left and right and walk slowly. No run or you will be hit by motorbikes and cars.

  • Respect the locals and their culture & environment. This includes dressing appropriately asking permission before taking photos, and not littering or damaging the property of the locals.

In short, Hanoi is a city worth experiencing, a very special city because of the combination of traditional and modern culture and architecture, creating a worthy experience for visitors. Immerse yourself in the local culture and experiences while being mindful of these helpful tips for a memorable trip to the ancient city of Hanoi. By reading our post “Top things to do in Hanoi for 3 days”, we hope that you will be able to create your own itinerary before visiting Hanoi.
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