72 hours in Hanoi – What an US traveller should do

Hanoi is one of the most famous and charming destination in Vietnam. Let’s find out some interesting things to do in Hanoi if you have 72 hours here.

Explore destinations in Hanoi

  • Old Quarter: Hanoi’s Old Quarter or 36 streets has a history that spans 2,000 years and represents the eternal soul of the city. Each street was named according to the type of products or services it used to be famous for.
  • Ngoc Son Temple: It is located on a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake. To enter the Temple, you will have to go through Huc Bridge, which is a scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. There are 4 buildings in the Temple including Thap But, Dai Nghien, Dac Nguyet, and Dinh Tran Ba, all of which have symbolic meaning.
  • Hoa Lo Prison aka ‘The Hanoi Hilton’: This Prison was built and used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War.
  • Temple of Literature: It is Vietnam’s first national university. The courtyard of this temple of literature is divided into five parts and each of them has their own historical meaning.
  • Vietnam Military History Museum: The Museum was set up in 1956. There are both indoors and outdoors sections with the display of military-related artifacts in the Museum.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Located in Ba Dinh Square, this is the final rest place of President Ho Chi Minh. Its architecture is the combination of Lenin’s Mausoleum structure in Moscow and incorporates distinct Vietnamese elements.
  • Saint Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi: This is the oldest church in Hanoi. It is one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina and opened in 1886.



Ta Hien street – a famous place in Hanoi Old Quarters

Try specialties

The cuisine is one of the most delightful things that draw a large number of people coming to Hanoi every year. Like other destinations in Vietnam, Hanoi also has its own specialties such as Xoi Xeo, Cha Ca La Vong, Bun Thang, and Pho. If you have traveled to Southern Vietnam and try Pho in Ho Chi Minh before, you should try Pho in Hanoi too as the flavor is totally different.

Hanoi is also well-known for street food. There are street food vendors all over the city, with a large concentration in the Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake. You can easily find the dishes with the price is under US$ 1 or US$ 2 but very tasty and typical for the destination.

There is one more thing that you should try if you have a chance to visit Hanoi. It is egg coffee – one of the most famous specialties in this place. This kind of coffee is a mixture of egg blended dense Vietnamese coffee. It has soothing, aroma, sweet flavor of Vietnamese coffee and the yolk foam layer on top, which bring a new experience of tasting coffee in Vietnam.



Tasty Vietnamese egg coffee with cacao

Go shopping

Hanoi is most famous for its traditional markets and narrow shopping houses, but there are a lot of boutiques and shopping malls offering a wide range of international brands. It is also a great destination to purchase specialized products such as silk, silver, lacquer, embroidered goods, and ethnic-minority crafts.

The best shops in Hanoi Old Quarter can be found along narrow alleyways close to Hoan Kiem Lake, where you can find retailers that still retain their particular trades for generations. You can many traditional goods to buy as souvenirs for your trip to Hanoi. Also, the price here is quite affordable.

If you are looking for the place to buy brand-name product, modern boutiques and art galleries housing breathtaking paintings and shopping mall are suggested. You may find all the things you need there, and of course, the price is always higher.

Watch cultural and traditional show – Water Puppet

Drop in Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, tourists can enjoy the unique traditional shows of Vietnam – Warter Puppet Shows. Water Puppetry appeared several centuries ago and is still popular nowadays.

The show is actually the dancing forms of puppets manipulated by their puppeteers in a shallow water pool. To make the puppets move, puppeteers will hide behind the screen and use a large bamboo rod with precision and skill controlling the puppets. Moreover, Vietnamese folk music cannot be missed in any shows. It is an integral part of the performance and sung as well as played on the traditional instrumentalists.



Interesting water puppet show in Hanoi


The content of water puppet shows often describes the daily life of Vietnamese farmers, communal entertainment, and historical legends.

If you want to go to Thang Long Theater for a show between October and April, you should book tickets in advance as the theater is crowded at this time. There is an extra charge if you wish to bring a camera to the performance.

These are some activities to help you enjoy your time in Hanoi thoroughly. We hope you can have the best experience in our capital with 72 hours.

Don’t forget to get a legitimate Vietnam Visa for US citizen.  For any further detailed support about visa to Vietnam from United States, feel free to contact https://www.vietnam-visa.com/