See & Do Guide to Hanoi (A Full Two Day Itinerary!)

Small alleys full of food stalls,best restaurant and bar near me delicious smells filling the air of the picturesque streets of the old city and imposing monuments commemorating the rich and tumultuous history of Vietnam, all this and much more, it's Hanoi . If you are planning a short break here and want to see all the main attractions, this two day tour of the capital is perfect for you. And while you're here,best restaurant and bar near me why not spoil your stay with delicious local specialties, street food and Vietnamese coffee? After all, eating local food is the only way to really know a place!

Let's start!

what to see and do hanoi

Day 1 in Hanoi - The Old Quarter
A trip to Hanoi would be incomplete without a leisurely stroll through the city's famous old quarter. It is the historic and commercial center of the city and dates back to its founding, about 1,000 years ago.

It is also an ideal place to stay if you want to be close to all the great sights, restaurants and cafes that we highlight here. To find out more about where to stay in Hanoi, check out our article listing the 10 accommodation choices for accommodation or check out Christina's recently opened apartments in the modern and convenient Lancaster building in Hanoi.
Get up early (around six or seven o'clock) to get a glimpse of the people who do their daily chores, as their parents and perhaps even their grandparents did before them. When you're there early in the morning, you'll see street vendors preparing their booths and getting ready for the day,best restaurant and bar near me as well as people on their way to work stopping for a quick breakfast or a cup of strong, aromatic tea. . Vietnamese coffee. Perhaps you will need it yourself if you arrive at the hotel at 6am.

Although officially the Old Quarter is composed of only 16 streets, the endless number of tiny alleyways and alleys adds countless nooks to this place. The streets carry the name of the goods or services offered. Try to guess what it is.

The best way to explore all these little streets? Take a walk, lose yourself and admire the endless flow of sounds and images,best restaurant and bar near me the beautiful colonial architecture, the small shops for mothers and daughters and the picturesque Buddhist pagodas that make this region so incomparable.

Breakfast: Start with Xoi Xeo and Banh Goi
As you walk through the labyrinth of the old quarter, you will probably be overwhelmed by the choice of delicious food. The best thing to do is to try a bit of everything to make sure you taste the wide variety of Hanoi street food.

Are you a beginner on the street? Here's what to watch for:

Pro Tips:

make sure the water boils when you buy soups or cooked vegetables
check that fries are freshly prepared in front of you
head to the stalls or restaurants that welcome a lot of guests, if the locals like it, chances are it's good
opt for bottled water to be sure
Read more: Beginner's Guide to Street Food in Hanoi

But back to today's breakfast ... A real specialty in Hanoi is Xoi Xeo. This staple is sweet glutinous rice and a variety of toppings such as green mung bean paste, crispy shallots and soy sauce. If you're really hungry, you can add pie, boiled chicken, pork belly or eggs to make it tastier and more hearty.
Head towards Xoi Yen at 35B Nguyen Huu Huan st. for your morning portion of Xoi Xeo and wash yourself with Tra Da (homemade iced tea) or a strong Vietnamese coffee mug. Where to have a coffee? You're lucky, there is a great place called Cong Cafe next door, at 35A Nguyen Huu Huan st.

Although Xoi Xeo is absolutely delicious, try not to overdo it, because there are so many other things to try. Banh Goi for example. This fried dumpling is made of light rice paper stuffed with a mixture of vermicelli, minced pork, mushrooms and a mixture of spices. Banh Goi is served with a sweet and sour dip that is often a homemade blend of fish sauce, garlic, chili, sugar and lime juice. It is delicious with this sauce or even wrapped in a leaf of lettuce and fresh coriander for more flavor.

There are several good places to go to Banh Goi in the Old Quarter, for example at Xoi Yen and especially at 52 Ly Quoc Su for the best. It opens around 10 am, so you have plenty of time to whet your appetite before going there.

Shop at Dong Xuan Market
North of the Old City, you will meet the Dong Xuan Market. Here you can find just about anything