Top 3 most interesting walking tours in Hanoi

Like many great cities, Hanoi is best seen on foot. Narrow alleys, tree-lined boulevards and pretty lakes are just the beginning of the capital’s charms. Set your own pace and get lost in the city’s hidden treasures — old and new — with any of these three do-it-yourself walking tours.

Hoan Kiem and the French Quarter

Just south of the Old Quarter are spacious streets, verdant parks and French colonial architecture. With restored cathedrals and villas, insightful museums, and lovely lakes, this walk with show you the heart of the Hanoi.

Top 3 most interesting walking tours in Hanoi
Photo by Daderot
Begin at Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi. The lake is an attraction in itself, ringed with trees and home to a legendary tower. Head to St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Ly Quoc Su where you’ll have a snapshot of local life: street side bustle, kids playing, and women selling fruits from bamboo baskets. The picturesque yellow villa at Hang Trong Gardens on the same street is worth a look, before you stroll on to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum — one of the best in the country.

Feeling peckish? Walk a block to 29 Ba Trieu, a street-side restaurant that serves a near-perfect cơm rang gà (quarter roasted chicken with fried rice.) Continue down Ba Trieu st., hanging a right on Nguyen Du street to reach the lovely Thien Quang Lake. Stroll beneath rows of centuries-old trees, observing the action on the sidewalk, until you reach a quaint temple and old banyan tree on your left.

Walk down and cross Tran Nhan Tong st. and enter Reunification Park. Hanoi’s largest green space will show you paved paths where locals love to exercise. Sip a coconut by the water, or pedal out in a swan boat. Afterward, exit on the eastern side of the park on Tue Tinh st. Take in the variety of buildings and business along the road, before turning left on Lo Duc st. and heading toward the ornate Hanoi Opera House.

This part of Hanoi is known for high-end stores and French architecture, a fascinating contrast from the crumbling and colourful buildings you passed earlier. Finish your stroll with a well-earned coffee on the terrace of the Metropole Hotel.

Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Street Food Tours and Cyclo

This food tour includes half an hour cycling around the trading area in Hanoi Old Quarter, which is said to be a microcosm of the city. Dating back to the 11th century, the Old Quarter has 36 streets, each named after the commodity traditionally produced and sold on it, such as sugar, bamboo, leather or silver. Even though some of streets have had their name changed, many still retain their ancient attributes.

Top 3 most interesting walking tours in Hanoi 1
Photo by Huy Phan
Start walking though narrow streets to Dong Xuan. Along the edge of the market, dozens of street hawkers sell produce, from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your local English-speaking guide will give you an insight into traditional Vietnamese food culture, including details of ingredients and the historical background of popular northern dishes. Try seasonal fruits and sample a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart as you go.

Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, tickle your taste buds with famous Hanoi dish "Banh Cuon" at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate how the tasty dish is put together.

Water puppet show and old quarter walking tour of hanoi

The tour start the walking in the old quarter '36 streets' to visit some famous and specialized food stalls and local restaurants. Watch as it is made and taste some particular dishes.

Top 3 most interesting walking tours in Hanoi 2
Photo by Steven C. Price
The old quarter in Hanoi is over one thousand years old and today retains much of the old flavor that made the area special in earlier times. Each street was the exclusive domain of one trade (guilds) so there are whole streets of blacksmiths, silver shops, paper shops, headstone makers and more. Originally there were just 36 streets in the old quarter but today there are more than 50. Although many of the streets are short and the area is rather compact.

It can be very difficult to find local food on your own in the hidden alleys or sidewalks, certainly the best way to experience street food is with a local. In this special tour learn about Vietnamese cuisine, culture, people and language.

You will have a unique experience trying the foods of the local Hanoi people; the food is handled hygienically and comfortable venues are provide for the tastings. The benefit also goes back to the vendors or restaurants / families as the food is bought directly from them.

Later, the guide will bring you to enjoy a Water Puppet show which is a unique variation on the ancient Asia puppet tradition and is a Vietnamese tradition dating back to the 11th century. Supported by a large rod placed under the water and manipulated by experienced puppeteers, the wooden puppets appear to be dancing over the water, telling folk tales. It’s entertaining and suitable for all audiences.
With such a detailed travel guide, hope that you will have a perfect and exciting Hanoi walking tour. If you need any support, please contact us.

Vietnam Typical Tours

Head Office: Trai Alley, My Noi, Bac Hong, Dong Anh, Hanoi, Vietnam 
Hotline / Whatsapp: (+84) 974.861.652