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Plan Your Trip to Hanoi: Best of Hanoi Tourism

About Hanoi
Despite centuries of French and Chinese influence, Hanoi is a city that’s wholly (and proudly) Vietnamese. But its layered history is everywhere you look—from the Old Quarter with its French colonial buildings to the more than 600 temples and pagodas around the city. You can get right to the history of the city at sites like Hoa Lo Prison or the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Take it all in by foot (or scooter), making time for detours at some of the city’s newer additions: independent art galleries, boutique shops, and trendy cafes. If you’re coming just for the food, you’re not alone. Banh mi and bun cha are obviously musts, but save room for other street food faves: crispy crepes, stir-fried eel, shrimp cakes, and a few frosty beers to wash it all down. For the best of what Hanoi has to offer, get even more recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Hanoi

How to do Hanoi in 2 days

Coconut coffee, lakeside walks, and rich history
Read on

Traveller Guides

The restaurants that made me fall in love with Hanoi

It took two trips for me to fall in love with Hanoi. More than a decade after my first visit, I returned and found myself charmed by its seriously delicious food, from the chewy noodles to the delicate catfish to the crispy snake skin (yes, that’s really a thing). I’m pretty sure that these places will charm you as well.
Chawadee N, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Backstage - Capella Hanoi
    54
    In the French Quarter, this opera-themed restaurant dials the drama all the way up to a “fever dream” level. A proscenium arch frames the open kitchen, where an army of chefs specialises in turning out “Nouveau Northern Vietnamese” cuisine. That means the traditional dishes have been gussied up with premium ingredients like French Bresse chicken in the chicken salad, Ban pork in the skewers, and Sapa trout in the spring rolls.
  • Era Restaurant
    2,406
    A culinary institution in Hanoi’s Old Town, Era has been churning out faithful renditions of Vietnamese standards like noodle soup with beef and fried spring rolls with minced pork for years. Overseen by its charming owners, Era is the place for Vietnamese food lovers who want their meal without fad-following bells and whistles. One of the most popular selections is the Vietnamese barbecue, featuring grilled beef and pork served with a yummy tamarind sauce.
  • The Hung Ha Noi Snake Restaurant
    1,530
    If you consider yourself an adventurous eater, then you have to try snake. In Northern Vietnam, the slithery reptile isn’t just a delicacy, it’s considered a cure for everything from migraines to back pain. Among the most popular eateries specialising in snake is Hung Hanoi Snake, helmed by a charismatic owner named Hung Dragon. He will happily explain what goes into dishes like fried snake skin and snake egg soup.
  • Bun Cha Huong Lien
    945
    It’s hard to talk about street food in Hanoi without mentioning this low-key eatery, where celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and President Barack Obama once famously shared a meal. Although the French Quarter restaurant might be too focussed on that one dinner—the table where the two men ate is now enshrined behind plexiglass—its namesake dish, featuring grilled pork and rice noodles, still gets raves.
  • Pho Bat Dan
    325
    A standby since the 1960s, this shophouse specialises in pho, a noodle soup that has become almost synonymous with Vietnam. The freshly made noodles, still cooked using the original recipe, continue to attract long lines thanks to the bone marrow-enriched broth. Because of the crowds at lunch and dinner, it’s probably best to visit early in the morning or at another less busy time. Note: the “half-done” option is the tastier of the two.
  • Cha Ca Thang Long
    1,180
    It’s a brave eatery that serves only one dish, but Cha Ca Thang Long is known for having one of the best versions of a Northern Vietnamese speciality called cha ca. Its grilled catfish with turmeric, cooked tableside in a saucepan, and garnished with fresh dill. This restaurant has three locations on the same street, but the one at 6B Duong Thanh Street gets high praise.

Browse collections

Find your peace

Ancient pagodas and temples to explore

Brush up on history

Spend a day at these cultural museums

For souvenir shopping

Artisan shops with handmade gifts to take home

Fill your plate

Where to find the best Vietnamese noodles

Just beyond Hanoi

Perfect day trips from the city