Vietnam's capital - Hanoi, fits perfectly for independent travelers who seek to explore the Far Eastern world. However, it can be a challenging destination for families with kids, for which the busy and winding streets of Hanoi weren't designed. To ease your visit, we've come up with the following pro tips for traveling with kids in Hanoi!
Hanoi's environment isn't exactly cut out for kids. It's noisy and crowded, which small children may not enjoy. Still, if your little ones come, these tips may help make a more delightful trip:
1. Choose your accommodation. Find your family a quiet place to rest. Traveling is tiring, even more for parents who have to keep up with their children. Therefore, it's crucial to get a good night's sleep. Check out our recommendation for the best hotels in Hanoi or find more on Agoda:
2. Take an electric bus tour. For VND 300,000 (about US$ 13), you'll get a private one-hour electric bus tour. The driver will stop at destinations of your choice around the Hanoi Old Quarter. Strolling around the city in this vehicle entertains children while also being a perfect sightseeing opportunity.
You can find a great number of electric buses at the north shore of Hoan Kiem Lake on weekdays. At weekends, you'll have to walk to Cau Go street.
Electric Buses in Hanoi
3. Find a tour guide. To get an in-depth insight into Hanoi, what's better than having a knowledgeable guide? You can ask your friends who live here or hire local tour guides to show your family around, saving more time, and having a better understanding of Vietnam!
4. Have a well-planned trip. You would not want to be a foreign country with your kids and loads of luggage, while not knowing what to do. Map out where you want to go and what you want to try beforehand will ensure a smooth-sailing getaway.
5. Bring all the necessary things. Since Hanoi has four seasons, check the weather first to pack suitable clothing, and don't forget your children's medications and other essential accessories like hats, sunglasses, etc.
Planning fun activities for the whole family is never an easy task, especially when there's a curious little member. With insider's knowledge, we've listed the best kid-friendly things to do in Hanoi down below.
Toddlers are having a great time in front of Quan Thanh Temple
1. Wander around lakes
Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake are two famous lakes that you should visit when traveling with kids in Hanoi. They are popular attractions that have everything kids love: fresh air, plenty of room to run around, and snack vendors!
- Hoan Kiem Lake: Cross the iconic Huc Bridge, visit Ngoc Son Temple for a beautiful family photo spot. During weekends, the surrounding streets will become walking streets, which is ideal for a stroll.
- West Lake: It's the biggest freshwater lake in Hanoi with a vibrant culinary scene and top-notched hotels. It is quieter and excellent for watching the sunset.
Kids are playing on Hanoi walking streets.
Sunset on West Lake.
2. Visit Ba Dinh Square
Here's another destination that your kids can run around. Come in the morning to admire the impressive ground of the nearby Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, or visit here from 5 PM - 9 PM to join in fun local activities.
Ba Dinh Square and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
3. Visit the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology
Address: 1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Tuesday to Thursday
Though the drive is quite long, this is a highly recommended activity when traveling with kids in Hanoi. Children can explore traditional houses, while parents can learn about Vietnamese ethnic minorities at the same time.
4. Visit the Temple of Literature
Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM daily
The first Vietnamese university now stands to honor the country's greatest scholars. Visit this place for stunning traditional architecture, ancient artifacts, and a deeper understanding of Vietnam's traditional beliefs.
5. Enjoy local food
There's no better way to teach your children about a new culture than exposing them to its cuisine. Join locals for a steaming bowl of Pho, freshly made spring rolls, or a serving of Hanoi Banh Gio to explore the city's dynamic culinary identity. It's affordable, super healthy, and mouth-wateringly delicious.
Hanoian cuisine suits the whole family
6. See the Water Puppet show
The Water Puppet Show is a traditional performance where puppeteers use puppets to tell myths and legends. Combined with dramatic music and splashing water, it makes an experience that you can not miss.
Locations for the water puppet show in Hanoi:
- Thang Long Water Puppet Theater (57B Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District)
The legend of the returned sword presented by puppets
7. Making pottery at Bat Trang Village
Bat Trang is a famed handicraft village near Hanoi that specializes in ceramic products. Here you'll find how local artisans create their famous works and can try making one yourself for VND 10,000 - VND 20,000 (and another VND 30,000 to take it home)!
With research and smart planning, Hanoi is absolutely a fantastic place to travel with your kids. There are endless possibilities to play, learn, and create lasting memories for the whole family.
To plan better, see other guides below:
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© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com