Hanoi Tours & Holidays
Join us on a holiday to Hanoi
Trendy, lively and romantic, Hanoi has plenty to offer visitors.
As the capital of Vietnam, the city is rich in history and culture, with centuries-old buildings and a burgeoning arts scene. There are influences from France and China across the city, serving as a reminder of its colonial past. The Old Quarter is the first stop on many Hanoi tours, and is home to narrow, atmospheric streets lined with historic shops arranged by trade.
While Hanoi is often visited solely as the gateway to cruises on the beguiling Ha Long Bay, the city has plenty of landmarks and attractions for all to enjoy. Hoa Lo Prison is where captured American soldiers were held during the Vietnam War, while Ba Dinh Square was where former Vietnam president Ho Chi Minh declared independence in 1945. Take a stroll along Hoan Kiem Lake for a tranquil escape in the centre of the city, or explore the 11th-century Thang Long Imperial Citadel. For an evening of traditional performance, enjoy a water puppet show as you dine on local delicacies. Experience all of this and more of stunning Southeast Asia on our package holidays to Hanoi.
Things to do in Hanoi
Whether you are planning to stop by on a Hanoi day tour or staying for a while, the city can offer you an itinerary brimming with interesting and unique experiences. Go for a wander around its bustling streets and you'll soon find something to draw you in, be it a temple, a quirky old shop or a world-class attraction.
Visit the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel
This imposing complex served as the headquarters of the Vietnamese rulers for more than 1,000 years. The site is home to a number of buildings, including the residence of the royal concubines, command bunkers dating back to the Vietnam War, and a more recently established museum.
Learn the history of Hoa Lo Prison
Originally built by French colonists to house political prisoners, the prison was more recently used to incarcerate American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War, who dubbed it the "Hanoi Hilton". The main building was destroyed in the 1990s, but today the gatehouse serves as a museum full of fascinating and sometimes morbid artefacts.
Watch a Water Puppet Show
Water puppetry has been performed in Vietnam for around 1,000 years, having originally been used to celebrate special events such as the end of the harvest. Today, the art is performed by professional puppeteers, with wooden puppets weighing up to 15 kg used to act out scenes in a pool of water.
Things to see in Hanoi
From elegant colonial architecture to buzzing street scenes encompassing a mass of motorbikes and colourful street vendors, Hanoi is a real feast for the eyes. Being a dynamic and diverse city, there is always something new to see, as well as a plethora of fascinating historical landmarks. Here are just some of our highlights for things to see on Hanoi (Vietnam) holidays.
Food and drink in Hanoi
Vietnamese food is fresh, flavoursome and diverse, and what better place to sample it than the country's capital? This bustling city is home to a thriving food scene, and offers the chance to enjoy mouthwatering street food as well as fine dining in swanky rooftop restaurants.
As the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi is home to a fantastic culinary scene with a rich history. A number of the country's most familiar dishes, including banh mi (a thin, crispy baguette) and bun cha (barbecued pork with rice noodles), are said to have originated in the city. Its most famous dish is undoubtedly pho, a rice noodle soup that is often eaten for breakfast. There are two main varieties in Hanoi; pho bo, which is made with beef, and pho ga, which contains chicken.
Other local specialities to try on your Hanoi holiday include bun ngan (duck noodle soup), lau (Vietnamese hotpot), and bún ốc (snail soup). Bánh trôi is a popular dessert and consists of rice balls stuffed with a sweet filling and dipped in syrup. Coffee lovers may like to try Hanoi egg coffee; a coffee made with egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk.
If you're looking for a smaller meal on-the-go, or perhaps wanting to sample the cuisine amongst the locals, you're in luck - Hanoi is something of a street food paradise, with vendors serving up delicious delicacies all over the city. Each one specialises in one or two specific dishes, perfecting it through years of tweaking. Typical street food options include bánh cuốn (stuffed rice rolls made with pork or mushrooms) and cha ca (grilled fish in a turmeric sauce).