Collected by Elizabeth Blanton
55 Bát Sứ, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Situated to the south and east of Lake Hoan Kiem, the French Quarter has a different feel from the rest of Hanoi—one characterized by a profusion of space. The French began shaping this part of the city in the late 1800s (in part by knocking...
Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam
A couple of blocks west of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake—meaning Lake of the Restored Sword—is one of Hanoi’s anchors. It contains a number of sites worth visiting, like Ngoc Soc Temple and the picturesque, red-lacquered Huc...
58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Don't skip Temple of Literature when you visit Hanoi, especially if it is during the time of the New Year Celebrations. This is when students and their families will come and pay a visit and calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and...
13 Lò Đúc, Ngô Thì Nhậm, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
You’ll need some sustenance for a busy day, so after observing the early morning action at Hoan Kiem Lake, head to nearby Pho Thin for a warming bowl of Vietnam’s de facto national dish. Hanoians like their beef noodle soup fairly austere and...
Hàng Nón, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
I stumbled into this authentic cafe in the French Quarter of Hanoi, where the coffee beans are extracted from the poop of the Asian palm civet. A strong distinctive cup of coffee for less than a dollar while enjoying the world pass by is a...
15 Phố Ngô Quyền, French Quarter, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi City 010000, Vietnam
A landmark in Hanoi’s French Quarter since opening in 1901, this colonial building with distinctive green shutters and gleaming vintage Citroën Traction cars out front has welcomed presidents, ambassadors, and literary and cinematic...
65 Huế, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
This was one of my favorite restaurants to visit for lunch. My partner and I liked it so much that we visited again and again. This restaurant offers rough and ready local dishes, all brilliantly done and super tasty. Flavors abound in each dish,...
73 Quán Sứ, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Now the official center of Buddhism in Hanoi, this stately pagoda once served the many ambassadors who called on the emperors of the Le dynasty. A hall was built in the 15th century to receive these guests, and a pagoda was built for them so they...
44 Chau Long St, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Owned by Hoang Van Truong, an avid reader, this is regarded by most as Hanoi's best bookshop. Truong and his team are enthusiastic and all speak excellent English and there are over 10,000 titles in stock.
Hồng Hà, Ấp Thạnh Vinh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Begun in 2007 as the brainchild of Nguyen Thu Thuy, who wanted to help create something truly memorable for Hanoi's millennial celebrations in 2009-2010, this incredible mural lines the famous "dyke" road that separates the bulk of the city from...
12 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
This is a reliable place to sample one of Hanoi's indigenous classics: banh cuon, steamed rice rolls stuffed with minced pork and chopped wood-ear mushrooms. Less a restaurant, more a hole-in-the-wall with a few tables and chairs strewn around,...
Cổ Loa, Đông Anh, Hà Nội, Vietnam
At over 1,000 years old, Hanoi is not exactly a spring chicken. For some truly ancient Vietnamese history, however, it is worth spending time at Co Loa, the country's first fortified citadel and a onetime capital of the nation dating back to the...
10 Nam Ngư, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
3 Hoàng Hoa Thám, Ngọc Hồ, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Hanoi's insatiable energy can be exhausting for even the most hyperactive of soul. Fortunately this sprawling garden near Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum offers some scope for recharging spent batteries. The well-landscaped area offers lakes and plentiful...
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