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The Ultimate Local Experiences in Hanoi You Don't Want to Miss

local-experiences-in-hanoi Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi

Hanoi is a dynamic city with a uniquely vibrant culture that you can't get enough of. The sky is the limit in this city, including a whole rainbow of things to do. If you wish to take off the beaten path, take a look at our suggestions for the ultimate local experiences in Hanoi you don’t want to miss!

Local Experiences in Hanoi - Enjoy a Little Walk

Hanoi Old Quarter Area

  • Check-in at Hanoimoi Newspaper
  • Watch a water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
  • Have a walk around Hoan Kiem Walking Street early in the morning
  • Explore the life along Hanoi Train Street
  • Visit the Ceramic Mosaic Road

The West Lake Area

  • Go to Phan Dinh Phung Street and enjoy the fresh air
  • See the sunset on the shore of West Lake
  • Wandering around small valleys on Tu Hoa Street

local experiences in hanoi tu hoa street

This valley has a great ambiance to chill and take amazing Instagram photos

  • Have a view from Nhat Tan Bridge

Other Areas

  • Pay a visit to Hanoi Flag Tower
  • Experience one of Vietnam’s traditions - visiting pagodas or temples to wish for luck, health and fortune

ba dinh district in hanoi attractions 7

Quan Thanh Temple in Dong Da District is one of the most sacred institutions in all of Hanoi

local experiences in hanoi long bien bridge

Remember to bring a camera and capture the moments of sunrise or sunset on the bridge!

Local Experiences in Hanoi - Tasting Local’s Favorite Dishes

  • Try Bia Hoi on Ta Hien Street in the hot summer days along with green mangoes
  • Taste the Chinese flavor of “Mi Ga Tan” - noodles with braised chicken

local experiences in hanoi mi tim cat

Mi Ga Tan is not only tasty, but also healthy with all of the herbs used to braise the chicken

  • Vietnam’s signature sweet soup - “Xoi Che” at 1 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District
  • Take a sip of the legendary egg coffee at Cafe Giang, 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District

egg coffee 6

Cafe Giang was the first place to introduce egg coffee

  • Have a bowl of “Pho Ga Nguyet” at 5B Phu Doan, Hoan Kiem District
  • Gather with your friends around some cups of iced tea and sunflower seeds
  • Make sure to taste “My Van Than” at 54 Hang Chieu, Hoan Kiem District
  • Taste the combination of grilled fish with fermented shrimp paste - “Cha Ca La Vong”

local experiences in hanoi cha ca la vong

“Cha Ca La Vong” is the dish that features the most of Hanoi - dynamic, flavorful and elegant

  • Enjoy the refreshing beef jerky salad on 51 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District

IMG 7144

Get a serving of "Banh Bot Loc" also to taste the real flavor of Hanoi

  • Try authentic, freshly grilled, flavorful “Bun Cha” at 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem District
  • Want to eat something more unfamiliar? “Bun Ca Cham” is a great choice! Hot, fried fishes dipped in a spicy sauce with a bowl of delicious broth

local experiences in hanoi bun ca cham

The most famous “Bun Ca Cham” is at 30 Nguyen Thai Hoc, very crowded at lunchtime but it definitely worths the wait!

  • Try Hanoi’s special sweet soup - “Che Khuc Bach” at “Che 4 Mua” - 4 Hang Can, Hoan Kiem District

local experiences in hanoi che 4 mua

Besides “Che Khuc Bach”, there are many other dishes that worth trying at this shop such as “Banh Troi tau”, black bean sweet soup or jackfruit yogurt

  • Vietnamese Pizza - “Banh Trang Tron” on Hang Trong Street is a very familiar snack for the students
  • Eat breakfast with some “Banh Cuon”

local experiences in hanoi banh cuon

“Banh Cuon” - rice rolls stuffed with pork and mushrooms, is one of the most familiar breakfasts for Hanoians

  • Try a Southern flavor - “Com Tam” at “Com Tam 36” - 17 Ngo Gach, Hoan Kiem District
  • Have you ever heard of “Bun Dau Mam Tom” - a unique dish that can only be tasted authentically in Hanoi

local experiences in hanoi bun dau mam tom

Some of our favorite places to eat “Bun Dau Mam Tom” - 29 Hang Khay, 4 Ngo Gach, and 6 Ma May

  • Have a trip to Dong Xuan Market and try “Chao Suon” - Vietnamese pork gruel

what to have for breakfast in hanoi chao suon 1

Don't miss out on this filling treat!

  • Make sure you do not miss out the tasty “Bun Oc” at 2 Hoe Nhai, Ba Dinh District
  • Go to Hang Than Street and try coconut ice-cream with Vietnamese flan for some desserts

local experiences in hanoi coconut ice cream

This dessert brings a very tropical and fresh flavor

  • Visit “Xoi ban tho” (Alter sticky rice) at 544 De La Thanh for the midnight snack! Thee sell alter and worship items in the mornings and sticky rice at night, hence the name.
  • “Nem Nuong” at 40 Au Trieu is locally suggested for late-night snacks with friends
  • Get on a food hunt in Trung Yen Valley (“Mien Tron Muc”, “Bun ca”, “Mi van than”, …)
  • Have a cozy yet very local dinner with street hotpot at 1 Yen the

local experiences in hanoi hotpot

The restaurant is quite far from Hanoi center, but the food is to die for!

  • Try some pig utensil BBQ on Gam Cau Street

Local Experiences in Hanoi - Spend Your Time Like A Hanoian

  • Buy some good books on Dinh Le Street
  • Sit on the pavements on the shore of West Lake and taste grilled dried squid with fresh beer
  • Go to an acoustic lounge or pub in Tay Ho District, listen to some great music and enjoy the vibe
  • Celebrate the wins of Vietnam National Football Team

local experiences in hanoi celebrate vietnam winning

You can hardly find a Hanoian who has never gone out to the street and celebrated the wins of Vietnam National Team

  • Try smelling the milk flower on Nguyen Du Street
  • Grab a motorbike taxi

local experiences in hanoi motorbike taxi

Motorbike taxi was a common means of transport in Hanoi back when Grab had not appeared

  • Get on a BRT Bus
  • Pay a visit to Quang Ba Night Flower Market
  • Go to Ha Pagoda and pray for love and luck
  • Get on the Observation Deck in Lotte Center Hanoi to have a panoramic view of the city
  • Wear “Ao dai” on Tet Holidays
  • Get some “Quan Tho Cam” (pattern pant) in Hanoi Old Quarter and wear it. Perfect to cover your legs from the sun and insects!

local experiences in hanoi quan tho cam

This type of clothing is very favorable thanks to the light material and convenience

  • Have dinner at a fine dining restaurant on the rooftop of a building and appreciate the beauty of Hanoi 

local experiences in hanoi fine dining

On special occasions, the places at these rooftop restaurants are often booked out

  • Take yourself on a street food tour to taste all the must-try specialties of Hanoi
  • Drink Vietnamese coffee at a specialty coffee shop
  • Dance the night away at some local clubs around Hoan Kiem Lake

ba dinh district in hanoi activities 4

Experience the clubbing culture in Vietnam at top-rated addresses

Our Take on Local Experiences in Hanoi

There's so much more to do in Hanoi than just visiting the city's known attractions. Leave the tourist trail, and you find a completely different side of Hanoi: young, straight-forward and all-around exciting. So what you're waiting for, go make yourself a list and check off the local experiences in Hanoi!

Get a travel insurance plan to visit Hanoi:

 

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© Written by Giang Le for itourvn.com

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