Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital lies in the North of the country and is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture và a long history (the đô thị celebrated its millennium in 2010.) The most well known & important districts in Hanoi are Ba Dinch District (aka the French Quarter) where the government offices are located & Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter) which is considered the city’s business hub và main tourist destination.

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One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed with scooters, bicycles và cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many sidewalk vendors and people simply out for a stroll and the popular Old Quarter is no exception so walking around this district is distinct from a leisurely stroll in the park. Visitors have sầu no choice but to lớn face the traffic in the local style but the experience of exploring the historical area is a must-bởi và truly well worth it.

Old Quarter

Packed with charming colonial architecture, Buddhist temples & pagodas, the Old Quarter, located near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hoan Kiem District, is Hanoi’s major commercial district. Its heart & soul is exposed in the ancient commercial streets which are named after their original businesses dating baông chồng about 1,000 years. Though most of the specialties (cotton, jewellery, herbs, và silk) have sầu changed over time & have sầu been replaced with a variety of modern-day commodities and services, visitors can still appreciate some of the original goods as well as get a feel of rich old Vietnamese customs.

The preserved shop-houses that lie along these roads were built a little over a century ago and were constructed in their long và narrow style lớn avoid being hit by high taxes. Each has a street-facing façade & multiple courtyards inside. The front part of the buildings is where trading takes place while the family occupies the rest. Though one shop-house was meant lớn be for one family (with many generations in it), nowadays it is more comtháng khổng lồ see quite a few families jammed in under one roof. Expect lớn find plenty of hip café, bars, a variety of restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops and art galleries in this historical area.

Old Quarter Shopping

The Old Quarter is a shopper’s delight & houses artistic products from around the country, fashioned by many top artists và craftsmen. Popular items that make fine souvenirs include lacquer ware, silk products, embroidered fabrics & bags, conical hats, coffee beans & paintings.


Remember to negotiate with a smile when shopping in Vietphái nam (though goods here are already quoted at cheap khổng lồ affordable prices) as shops và salespeople expect bargaining by customers. Don’t be shy.

Old Quarter Attractions

Many of Hanoi’s major attractions are within or nearby the Old Quarter, including Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, National Museum of Vietnamese History, Ba Dinch Square, a former Governor-General of French Indochina’s mansion, the One Pillar Pagodomain authority, Bach Ma Temple, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre & Dong Xuan, Hanoi’s largest market.

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Old Quarter Nightlife

Other parts of Hanoi might quiet down at night but the Old Quarter is where night owls head to lớn. Live music, discos, clubs and bars as well as decent karaoke joints are the norm here.

Though the numbers might be limited compared khổng lồ other large Asian cities, what’s on offer here is well enough to lớn keep people from all walks of life happy & university students, office staff and expats are among mỏi the friendly crowds.

Old Quarter Activities

Must-do number one in the Old Quarter is khổng lồ have a look around this, the oldest neighborhood in the thành phố. With a history dating back to lớn about the 13th century, the vibe và energy here is definitely quality. Must-bởi vì number two is to lớn stop by at any local tea and coffee café that provides chairs lớn sit outdoors (many times ‘outdoors’ here means sitting right on the sidewalk.) This is considered the best place lớn observe sầu the world go by in the Old Quarter.

For those who love sầu cooking & Vietnamese food, combine them together & learn from the professionals at one of the many culinary classes around.

Old Quarter Dining

In Vietphái nam, French baguettes và coffee have something very much in common with pho rice noodles as the locals consume them in massive amounts daily, so they’re sold everywhere. Food choices in general are good & dishes come at cheap to lớn affordable prices no matter where you prefer to dine.

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When in the mood for the real deal (thân phụ ca, banh goi & pho are aý muốn the top of the list) try out one of the many street stalls around the Old Quarter. You will be surprised by how delicious simple dishes taste.