Hanoi Old Quarter – a top destination in Vietnam capital

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has a thousand years of culture and history and is the first tourist destination when people mention Vietnam. Typically, Hanoi owns 36 ancient streets, which sets up Hanoi Old Quarter.

When visiting Hanoi, surely you do not miss taking a trip around the Old Quarter. And, here are the top famous attractions to visit in this area.

Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter | @hoag.phuc_

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter today locates in the centre of Hoan Kiem district, the North is Hang Dau street, the South is Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go, and Hang Thung streets, the East is Tran Nhat Duat Street, the West is Phung Hung Street.

All of the old town is in the east of Thang Long Citadel close to the Red River, concentrated mainly in Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.

This place was formed by many merchants and craftsmen living in Hanoi. They gather, live, and trade, creating an extremely crowded old town.

Each street sold one type of product that made this area unique. So, the people also call this quarter the 36 old streets.

Over time, the Old Quarter gradually becomes one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Hanoi that most visitor wants to visit. Thus, each street has the name of unique goods sold there.

Over the years, the old town is still crowded with buyers and sellers, although it has changed with the movement of time.

Inside the Old Quarter of Hanoi today, in addition to the typical products, you can also enjoy the Hanoi local food while walking on the streets beginning their name with “Hang…”: Hang Dao, Hag Bon, Hang Gai, Hang Ma, Hang This, etc.

The famous tourist destinations in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

1. Ta Hien Street

Ta Hien lights up is also the time when Hanoi nightlife comes up. Most of the locals are aware of the name of Ta Hien beer street. It situates in a corner of the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Ta Hien street is both peaceful and noisy. During the day time, this street has a peaceful look like many other streets in this old town. But, when the night comes, Ta Hien lights up with a series of restaurants opening their doors. The different face of life becomes busy and active.

Ta Hien Beer Street
Ta Hien Beer Street | @wendingsouls

And, the specialty here is beer, not luxury beer bars, just popular sidewalk restaurants. All restaurants establish a real beer corner, and you will see a lot of lines of chairs ranged on the pavements.

People coming to Ta Hien includes students, employees to foreign tourists, drinking beer on plastic chairs on the sidewalk. The snacks are simple, such as boiled peanuts, grilled quail, lemongrass chicken feet. All people come there to forget the hard work of the daytime.

>>> You may want to see the famous restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter for local food.

2. Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market in Old Quarter is one of the biggest markets in Hanoi.

Dong Xuan has a history of hundreds of years since the feudal era of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945). It sells all kinds of goods, including food, garments, and consumer goods.

This place is a wholesale market, so if you buy in bulk from a few dozen units or more, the price will be much lower when you buy in retail.

Right on the face of the Dong Xuan market is the vibrant Hanoi night market with all colours of food, baked goods, souvenirs, and everyday items. So, you can explore the Dong Xuan market at any time of day and the week.

3. Bach Ma Temple

As one of the four important buildings of the ancient Thang Long capital, Bach Ma Temple is now the oldest temple in Hanoi, which was built in the 9th century.

Bach Ma Temple
A ceremorny at Bach Ma Temple | @klaus_frankfurt

The whole area was meticulously constructed with large iron columns and sophisticated carvings. Currently, the temple still preserves a lot of antiques with historical value such as stone stele, ordained board, and wooden cranes. So, Bach Ma is also a rare resource to learn more about Thang Long – Hanoi.

Bach Ma Temple is crowded on public holidays in Vietnam. People from all over the country travel to the temple to pray for fortunes, sometimes causing to clog narrow roads into the old town. To explore Bach Ma Temple, you should come on weekdays, avoiding holidays.

4. Hoan Kiem Lake

Legend says that King Le Loi found the god sword in the lake, helping to win the Minh invaders in the short period. After winning, there was a giant turtle from the lake asking for the sword. Thus, the lake was named Hoan Kiem Lake (meaning the Lake of Returning Sword, also called Sword Lake).

Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart of the Vietnam capital and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hanoi.

To experience exciting activities at the lake, you should go on weekends. It is because, on the weekends’ nights, all vehicles are not allowed, so you can walk on the pedestrian street to see folk games, music performances right on the roads.

Coming to Hoan Kiem Lake, you do not miss visiting Turtle Tower, The Huc bridge leading to the ancient Ngoc Son temple in the lake, where there is a magnificent statue of God Turtle.

Typically, the local dish is Trang Tien ice cream, which is both delicious and cheap, sold along the lake. That is great when you visit the capital on hot days, don’t forget to buy some ice cream with you.

5. Old City Gate (Ô Quan Chưởng)

As the only remaining doorway of Thang Long citadel, the Old City Gate is like a historical proof standing with time.

O Quang Chuong
O Quang Chuong | @chriswood8713

Built from 1749 to 1817, the Old City Gate consists of 2 floors in the style of a penthouse, a typical architecture from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945). Ô Quan Chưởng on the street of the same name is a place where you can see a variety of goods.

This gate is an indelible historical mark, a witness to the indomitable spirit of Hanoi people in life.

>>> You can like to see Hanoi Cathedral that is also in the Old Quarter.

Although Hanoi Old Quarter has plenty of famous places to visit, if your trip is only a few days, these are the best attractions to explore.

Travel to Hanoi, Vietnam, you can see the old town covering both ancient and modern lifestyle, and the rich historical and cultural relics. All experiences will enrich memories in your life.