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How to Visit Hanoi on a Budget


Besides being one of the most must-visited destinations in Vietnam, Hanoi is a city that can be easily fit to any of your wallets. Read on to know more about some local tips to visit Hanoi on a budget.

Check out our 3-day Travel Guide in Hanoi

Go Sight-seeing at Free Attractions

There is a wide variety of tourist attractions in Hanoi that cost very little to nothing that you can pay a visit. Take in all the sights and sounds of Hanoi without putting a dent in your wallet.

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is the most favorite destination, situating right in the heart of the city. The area embodies both the tradition and the modernity of the capital of Vietnam with a distinctive riotous vibe.

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Hanoi Old Quarter is a bustling gathering place of many attractions

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On weekends, if you go to the Walking Street along Hoan Kiem Lake, it is familiar to catch sight of live bands or dancing crew performing

West Lake

West Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in Hanoi, and it bears such a different vibe from Hoan Kiem Lake. Since it is isolated from the busy side of the city and surrounded by a long row of green trees and villas, spending a day around West Lake is more peaceful and relaxing.

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The Hanoians often take exercises such as walking, running or cycling along West Lake in the early mornings as a habit

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West Lake is rather a place to chill than a place to have fun

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

You cannot complete a trip to Hanoi without visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This historical landmark is where President Ho’s body is embalmed, and the locals and tourists can have golden chances to show gratitude to the significant contribution of Ho Chi Minh to the freedom of Vietnam.

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There are always long queues to get into the Mausoleum to see President Ho

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Visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is not only an amazing visit but also a history exploration

Buddhist Pagodas

Since Vietnam is known as a Buddhism country, there are various Buddhism attractions where you can acquire a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese’s spiritual life. Some prominent Temples and Pagodas in Hanoi include One Pillar Pagoda, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Ngoc Son Temple, etc.

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Ngoc Son Temple in Hoan Kiem Lake

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Tran Quoc Pagoda

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One Pillar Pagoda is very famous for its unique architecture

Saint Joseph Cathedral

Saint Joseph Cathedral is a famous spot among the pilgrim community and is also a place at which many religious activities take place. The church stands out because of the significant French architecture and its significant historical values. Nowadays, many young couples choose to take their wedding photos in front of this church.

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Due to the nostalgic and distinctive architecture, the church attracts attentions of many tourists

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It is located right in Hanoi Old Quarter and very easy to find

Try Some Tasty Street Food

Hanoi is famous for the diversity of food, from high-end, expensive meals in 5-star restaurants, to cheap and popular street food along the roads. If you plan to visit Hanoi on a budget, street food in Hanoi is a perfect choice to experience Hanoi's authentic cuisine and street culture.

Banh Mi

You cannot say you visited Vietnam if you have not tried Banh Mi. This national dish in Vietnam has a diverse variation can be easily found anywhere on the street. The food is light, nutritious, and portable, Banh Mi is the perfect choice for a quick bite.

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The price for a standard Banh Mi is very affordable, from VND 20,000 to VND 25,000

Sticky Rice (“Xoi”)

Sticky rice is a very familiar dish with a lot of Hanoians and often served as a breakfast for the locals. The most special kind is Xoi Xeo, in which the rice is soaked with turmeric powder to give off a signature yellow color, then served with soft green beans, fried shallot, and sometimes, meat floss.

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Xoi Xeo is only widely sold in Hanoi

Porridge with Pork Rib (“Chao Suon”)

Chao Suon is a distinctive dish that only belongs to Hanoi. The porridge has and extremely soft and smooth texture often served with pig tender pork ribs and topped with flavorful toppings such as bagel twists and meat floss.

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The taste of a bowl of Chao Suon is very simple yet flavorful and unforgettable

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Chao Suon can be easily found at any street vendors in Hanoi

Banh Gio

If you want to look for something affordable and light to go for a snack, Banh Gio is a great choice. It is a combination of glutinous rice and minced meat, and it is often enjoyed with Vietnamese sausages, grilled pork or chili paste, …

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This snack is appetizing from inside out.

Do Some Shopping at Local Markets

Forget the fancy shopping malls and head to local markets to experience a different shopping vibe. Local markets in Hanoi cover a wide range of products at incredibly affordable prices and where you can have a closer look at the local lifestyle.

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Many tourists come to these markets for Hanoi souvenirs or just to experience a cultural market

If you prefer to buy some clothes, cloth or silk as souvenirs, Dong Xuan market is recommended. If you would rather enjoy the local wet-market culture and appreciate the beauty of fresh-cut flowers, take the Quang Ba night flower market into consideration. There will definitely be a choice for anyone, keep in mind that the security is not tight, so be careful with your belongings!

Check out Top 7 Night Markets in Hanoi


Besides luxury and extravagant business hotels, there are plenty of economical options in case you wish to visit Hanoi on a budget. Check out our blog on Budget-friendly Hotels in Hanoi to find the most comfortable accommodation at the best deal!

Find an affordable stay on Agoda


Local Tips to Visit Hanoi on A Budget

-  Look for the reviews for everything on the Internet beforehand such as locations, restaurants, services, food, transportation, …
-  Always ask for prices first before using any services and try to look for 2-3 other options before deciding to choose one
-   Try to ask for some discounts at street vendors, but bargaining in wholesale markets such as Dong Xuan and Quang Ba can be a bit intimidating. Check out our tips on How to Bargain in Vietnam.
 -  Join in a free walking tour, if you want to explore Hanoi in-depth, think about finding a free walking tour to be helped with local professional guides.

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Our Summary on Visit Hanoi on A Budget

You can always have precious experiences strolling around Hanoi without having to pay such a large amount of money, from exploring all the attractions, tasting local food to doing shopping. Take our guide into consideration if you plan to visit Hanoi on a budget.

Check out Top 9 Free Things to Do in Hanoi
And if you plan to visit Saigon, check out How to Visit Saigon on A Budget


© Written by Giang Le for

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Wednesday, 31 May 2023

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