As the symbol of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake is indeed a focal point of the locals' life, filled with activities. Weekdays or weekends, there is always something in store for you to enjoy your time. Here are our picks for the top things to do around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi.
Walking Street Hanoi operates every weekend, starting from 7 PM Friday to 12 AM Sunday in the streets around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. You will find a lot of street performances, especially at nights, with many spots to take amazing pictures. If you're tired from walking, have a seat and watch as locals passing by to for a glimpse of Hanoi's nighttime spirit.
The iconic The Huc Bridge is located right in Hoan Kiem Lake, connecting people with Ngoc Son Temple. Choose a spot where you can make a clear view of the temple at night. It’s when the lights illuminate the surroundings, making it all so more magical to gaze at.
Visit Hanoi Old Houses on Ma May Street to learn more about the city's culture
The iconic The Huc Bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple
Vietnam is famous for its strong and robust coffee, and Hanoi proudly presents you with lots of phenomenal coffee shops. There's a ton of options to choose from around Hoan Kiem Lake, but if you are looking for a seat with a bird’s eye view of the lake as well as Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square, try those cafes high up on the 4th and 5th floor. A worthy mention would be Avalon Cafe Lounge, it's a beautifully designed shop with an open scheme for you to get a panoramic sight of the Hoan Kiem Lake area.
Avalon Cafe Lounge
Address: 73 Cau Go Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7 AM - 11 PM
Price range: VND 40,000 - 165,000
Enjoy a million-dollar view from Avalon Cafe Lounge
This is a historical building built back in 1886. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the church and required to dress appropriately to enter. However, photography outside St. Joseph's Cathedral is completely unprohibited. There's a wide range of small restaurants and coffee shops surrounding the area if you need a break from the weather.
A view of the cathedral
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There so much you can shop for in the Hoan Kiem Lake area, from apparel, snacks, to books and ornaments. You should mind that most of the well-known international brands' products on sale in small stalls and stores are not real. We only recommend buying souvenirs here, from credible vendors only. Others may try to overcharge or sell you goods of low quality. Take some time to read the shops' reviews on blogs or travel channels beforehand.
Colorful things sold on the streets
Read on about Scams and Annoyances in Vietnam
With all of these top things to do around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, the city still has a lot more to offer. It's a perfect travel destination, not only for the rich cultural heritage but also for the vibrant cuisine and warm locals. If you need help navigating through Hanoi in specific and Vietnam in general, check out our top-rated travel guides.
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