Hanoi Old Quarter – 8 Amazing Things To Do in 2024

hanoi old quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter, renowned for its impressive attractions, distinctive architecture, and delectable cuisines, stands as a quintessential must-visit destination in Hanoi, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives and enduring culture of the locals.

In this article, Vietnamtour.in will provide recommendations for 8 activities to indulge in within the charming confines of Hanoi Old Quarter, ensuring you make the most of your time here. Stay with us till the end for an enriching read!

Hanoi Old Quarter’s History

Hanoi Old Quarter is situated to the North and West of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is in the center of Hanoi. Today, it is known as the remains of Hanoi’s 36 Guild Streets in the past. These streets appeared during the 17 century when Emperor Ly Thai To moved the Vietnamese capital to Hanoi, naming it as “Thang Long”. Thus, when visiting here, you will witness the old citadel’s cultural beauty and some traditional activities of local craft villages. 

The name of 36 ancient streets represents 36 guilds here, each specializing in different products. Most street names begin with “Hang”, meaning “shopping street” in Vietnam, and end with the name of the ware type sold. For example, a street of chicken-selling stores is “Hang Ga” as “ga” means chicken.

Things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

Wander Through The Ancient Streets 

Hanoi Old Quarter

During your journey to Hanoi Old Quarter, don’t forget to take a wander through 36 ancient guilds. It is a great chance for travelers to explore more about the daily activities of locals, as well as Vietnamese traditional products.

You can visit Hang Gai or Hang Dao streets to visit famous shops selling high-quality silk or Vietnamese garments. Or else, let’s drop in Hang Ma to buy decoration goods as souvenirs, or even take some magnificent pictures with colorful street corners here. With every street in Hanoi Old Quarter, you will surely get a distinctive and interesting experience.  

We also recommend you visit popular street corners, such as Luong Ngoc Quyen, Luong Van Can, and Ma May. They are ideal spots to experience a chilled-out night with freshly brewed beer and some Vietnamese street food.  

  • Cau Go street: The street is considered a commercial hub, where you can find most of the things, especially exploring Vietnamese street food. 
  • Hang Gai street, Hang Dao street: The streets are well-known for a range of shops selling high-quality silk, and traditional Vietnamese garments.
  • Ta Hien street: The street is an ideal spot to experience a chilled-out night with freshly brewed beer and some Vietnamese street food.         

Discovering Historical Sites

There are a lot of historical places to visit in the Old Quarter of Hanoi that travelers shouldn’t miss, including:

O Quan Chuong Gate: This is a must-visit ancient landmark in Hanoi, offering you the magnificent architecture of wooden mallet layers, together with a graceful pavilion curving roof.   

Hanoi Old Quarter

Ma May House: It is situated at No.87, Ma May Street in the old town, boasting an impressive design with a place of business and a residence. The house is honored as an important historical treasure in Hanoi, expressing the beauty of Vietnamese classic architecture.   

Ba Da Pagoda: It is a must-visit place for any Buddhist tourists during their trips to Hanoi. The pagoda was built to express religious and belief roles in the lives of Vietnamese people. Nowadays, it is the headquarters of the Municipal Buddhist Association.     

Hanoi Old Quarter

St. Joseph’s Cathedral: Besides the French Quarter Hanoi, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is one of the most well-known works constructed by the French colonial government. Visiting here, you will be impressed by its Gothic architecture, featuring high domes and colorful glass windows. However, the cathedral still honors some features of the Vietnamese style with worship altars, red tiles, and clay bricks.    

Strolling Around and Relax By Hoan Kiem Lake

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hoan Kiem Lake is popular with foreign visitors because of its ancient beauty and airy landscape. Surrounding the lake, there are also a lot of magnificent sites like Turtle Tower, Thue Huc Bridge, Ngoc Son Temple, and so forth. Thus, this place is ideal for visitors to have strolling time with friends or relatives. During your visit, don’t forget to enjoy Trang Tien ice cream – a renowned local specialty in Hanoi.    

Trying Local Foods 

Hanoi Old Quarter

In Hanoi Old Quarter, you can easily catch sight of restaurants and food stalls offering a broad range of Vietnamese special cuisine. If so, which is the best spot you should try? For a wonderful culinary experience, we highly recommend you drop in some well-known stalls, like Pho Ga Nguyet (5B Phu Doan) or Cha Ca Thang Long (6B Duong Thanh). However, you can refer to our reviews in “What dish to try” on the Hanoi Travel blog to discover more about local dishes.  

Shopping At Handicraft Stores 

Along the streets in Hanoi Old Quarter, there are many handicraft stores, with a variety of Vietnamese traditional products. Some well-known stores with visitors can be listed as Craftlink, Marena Hanoi Lacquerware & Ceramics, and Vietnamese Craft Guild. Here, you can buy some Vietnamese souvenirs, such as picture frames, ethnic wear, bags, or ceramics at affordable prices. Sometimes, you will also be told about interesting relevant stories, which is a great chance to have a deeper understanding of craft villages in Vietnam.       

Visiting Dong Xuan Market

Hanoi Old Quarter

Being located in downtown Hanoi, Dong Xuan Market is known as one of the largest local markets in Hanoi. When visiting the market, travelers can find a multitude of items, ranging from traditional to modern products. It is a wonderful shopping place for you to buy meaningful souvenirs for your relatives after your holiday.

If you have a trip to Dong Xuan Market on weekends, don’t forget to drop in Hanoi Old Quarter Night Market nearby. You will be surely impressed by the bustling atmosphere, together with a lot of unique shopping sections.    

Drinking Draft Beer At Ta Hien Street

Hanoi Old Quarter

Ta Hien Street is a paradise for beer lovers and anyone who prefers a hustling city ambiance. Most visitors come here to immerse themselves in Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife, which brings an unforgettable experience. If you are having a Hanoi trip with friends and relatives, let’s drop in Ta Hien for a cool beer and say “cheer” with each other!

Having Fun At Some Bars And Clubs

hanoi old quarter 1

Besides Ta Hien Street, visitors can experience the nightlife of Hanoi with a wide selection of pubs and bars. These places are perfect for you for relaxation with signature drinks, impressive vibes, and community experiences. Below are 3 highly recommended destinations for you: 

NameOpening timeAddress
1900 Le Theater Bar8.30 PM – 3 AMNo. 8, Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Prague Pub11 AM – 3 AMNo. 38, Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Funky B8.30 AM – 11.30 PMNo. 2B, Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

Final thoughts

With the detailed reviews above, we hope you will have a wonderful time when visiting Hanoi Old Quarter. You can discover all 36 guild streets, stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, go to Dong Xuan Market, or even do anything you like. To know more about other tours in Hanoi, don’t forget to refer to our Vietnam tour packages for further information.  

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]