Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, is located in the north of the country. Hanoi has unique cultural and culinary features, green tree-lined streets, beautiful lakes, French architectural yellow houses, and old streets. All make up the typical beauty of an important city in Vietnam.

Referring to Hanoi, most of people mention Hanoi Old Quarter with the ancient roads that have kept the historical memories of the capital’s people. The old town is an attractive tourist destination in Ha Noi that visitors cannot ignore when traveling to this place. Visit the Old Quarter, you will have the opportunity to learn about Hanoi’s life, culture, people in history and nowadays. Also, you can enjoy and discover the rich cuisine of Hanoi.

Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter – Photo: @_haidinh_

Now let’s explore a Hanoi Old Quarter through the following article!

Everything to know about Hanoi Old Quarter

Old Quarter Attractions

Old Quarter in Hanoi is situated in the West and North of Hoan Kiem Lake including 36 streets, each street focuses on selling a different item. The limit of the old town north to Hang Dau street, the west is Phung Hung street, the south is the streets: Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go, and Hang Thung, the east is Tran Quang Khai and Tran Nhat Duat.

So, each street is also an attractive destination in which you can explore more about the ancient town. However, two streets are more popular, including:

  • Hang Ma Street is considered to be one of the most crowded and colorful streets in Hanoi. Especially on occasions such as Tet holidays or full moon festivals, the street is decorated with thousands of lanterns, toys, balloons that make this place not only flooded with sound, color, light but also imbued with a spiritual impression of the Southeast life.
  • Ta Hien Street: A small street in the heart of Hanoi is always crowded with people, this is a famous beer-drinking place which is loved by young people.
Ta Hien Beer Street
Ta Hien Beer Street – Photo: @imvanhh43

Besides, many famous sites in the old quarter that tourists can visit:

  • Old House at 87 Ma May: As one of the fascinating attractions in the old quarter, the old house in 87 Ma May is a traditional house that recreates the living space, typical features of Hanoi people. The house is open for tourists to visit with a small entrance fee.
  • O Quan Chuong (Old Gate): O Quan Chuong is one of the five remaining gates of the ancient Thang Long citadel. It is designed in the style of the gazebo, typical architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty. The name of the gate is given by the people to remember the merits and heroic sacrifices of the Grand Chancellor during the anti-French period.
  • Ngoc Son Temple: is located on the Jade Island of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is the place to worship Van Xuong and Duc Thanh Tran. To get into the temple, you have to cross The Huc bridge. Ngoc Son Temple complex is classified as a typical national monument in Vietnam. Here you will study the legend of returning sword and the history of Hanoi.
  • Dong Xuan Market is one of the biggest markets in Hanoi, and also the largest market in Hanoi’s old quarter. You will see the bustling trading activities of the local people. You can visit the Dong Xuan market to buy some gifts.

Old Quarter Dining

The cuisine is one of the typical highlights in the old quarter, which attracts most of the tourists and foodies. Hundreds of local food can make you more hungry, and want to come back here again and again.

Bun Cha Ca Hanoi
Fish cake with vermicelli – Photo: Vietnamdrive

When traveling to the Old Quarter of Hanoi, you surely will not ignore its food. Here are some of the best delicacies in the old town with the famous dining addresses.

  • The cuisine at Dong Xuan market with many kinds of local food
  • Pho Bat Dan (Bat Dan noodle soup) at 49 Bat Dan Street
  • Bun thang (Grilled pork vermicelli) at 32 Cau Go Street
  • La Vong grilled fish cake with vermicelli at 14 Cha Ca Street
  • Bun Cha (Meat Noodle) at 43 Hang Buom Steet
  • Sticky rice, floating cakes in Mrs. Mai tea shop at 93 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem district
  • Vermicelli with shrimp paste at 31 Lane, Hang Khay Street, Hoan Kiem district
  • Dried beef with papaya salad, filter-flour dumpling in Hoan Kiem street

Old Quarter Nightlife

From the time when the streets light up until falling asleep, the nightlife of Hanoi, as well as the old quarter, contains a series of interesting secrets. Walking around the famous streets, you feel Hanoi Old Quarter at night from peaceful life to bustling, vibrant with idyllic beauty that is unique and impressive.

You can find a quiet corner to sit and taste a cup of coffee and look the life gone. Or, you can join with the crowd at some bars to enjoy the active life at night in Hanoi. Also, many opening areas offer for the public to spend time at night in the old quarter.

Hanoi Walking Street
Hanoi Walking Street – Photo: @fuu______uu
  • Hanoi Walking Street includes an area covering many streets around Ho Guom or Hoan Kiem Lake, a fun place for people. So, if you come from other sites, you have to park your cars and walk into this place. The pedestrian streets are opened at the weekend, starts from 7:00 pm to 24:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Night Market of Hanoi Old Quarter is in the area of walking streets of Hanoi, from Hoan Kiem Lake and all the way along Hang Ngang and Dao streets to the gate of Dong Xuan market. This area is one of the busiest shopping places with many stalls. The items are very diverse from clothing to shoes, household appliances, crafts, souvenirs at affordable prices.
  • An interesting cultural and entertainment space for Hanoi residents and tourists are also organized during the time of walking streets. Open-air streets are suitable for recreating folk games. Not just for entertainment, this are is also a place for community connection. Regardless of whether you are old or young, boy or girl…, you can be ready to be a part of the game, laughter, and so on.
  • A must-see street at night is Ta Hien. As the most exciting street in Hanoi at night, Ta Hien has many names such as Western Quarter, International Crossroads, Beer Street, Sleepless Street… In addition to beer, there is also lemon tea in Ta Hien, iced tea, coffee… In the bustling atmosphere here, each group of young people comes to chat happily, drink beer, enjoy the bustling noise and songs.

Old Quarter Shopping

The old Quarter of Hanoi Capital offers colorful areas to go shopping. With 36 different streets supplying different products can make you get a headache to decide which goods to buy. Popular items that tourists can find for nice souvenirs, including lacquerware, silk products, embroidered bags, and paintings.

When shopping in Hanoi as well as in Vietnam, you may bargain at most of the shops, or at least you can ask them to discount the goods that you want to buy.

And, for normal gifts, you can come to Dong Xuan Market or visit the night market at the weekends.

Old Quarter Activities

  1. A must-do activity in the Old Quarter is to have look around the old streets while visitors can learn the daily culture of the local people, explore the old houses, and enjoy the active life here.
  2. The second must-do one is to taste Pho which is the traditional food in Hanoi and Vietnam. You will love it with the great soup and flavor, and it is a cheap one. Just one bowl of Pho can make you full for lunch or dinner.
  3. Must-do number three one is to sit at a café to look the life going up and down while tasting the flavor of the coffee. Do not miss a chance to try egg coffee.
  4. The last one is to enjoy the water puppet performance, visit historical sites, and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. These activities will enrich your experience of your time in the old quarter.

Hanoi Old Quarter Map

The area of the Old Quarter covers 36 streets with 100 ha. The main site selected to locate it is Hoan Kiem Lake although it is not in the center of the old town.

About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.