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Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hanoi: Street Food Walking Tour & Water Puppet Show

1. Hanoi: Street Food Walking Tour & Water Puppet Show

The tour guide will welcome you at your hotel lobby, then start the walking tour in the old quarter '36 streets' to visit some famous and specialized food stalls and local restaurants. Watch as it is made and taste some particular dishes (The company can customize vegetarian food or something for other special requirements). The old quarter in Hanoi is over one thousand years old and today retains much of the old flavor that made the area special in earlier times. Each street was the exclusive domain of one trade (guilds) so there are whole streets of blacksmiths, silver shops, paper shops, headstone makers and more. Originally there were just 36 streets in the old quarter but today there are more than 50. Although many of the streets are short and the area is rather compact. It can be very difficult to find local food on your own in the hidden alleys or sidewalks, certainly the best way to experience street food is with a local. In this special tour learn about Vietnamese cuisine, culture, people and language. You will have a unique experience trying the foods of the local Hanoi people; the food is handled hygienically and comfortable venues are provide for the tastings. The benefit also goes back to the vendors or restaurants / families as the food is bought directly from them. Later, the guide will bring you to enjoy a Water Puppet show which is a unique variation on the ancient Asia puppet tradition and is a Vietnamese tradition dating back to the 11th century. Supported by a large rod placed under the water and manipulated by experienced puppeteers, the wooden puppets appear to be dancing over the water, telling folk tales. It’s entertaining and suitable for all audiences. At the end of your Hanoi tour you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you with directions or a taxi back to your hotel.

Hanoi: Old Quarter Trishaw Cyclo Tour

2. Hanoi: Old Quarter Trishaw Cyclo Tour

Relax as your driver pedals you around the Old Quarter, home to many of Hanoi's highlights and unique architecture from the French colonial times. Enjoy an unobstructed view with your driver behind you so you can take plenty of photos. See the Opera House, Joseph Cathedral Church, and more. After departure from the meeting point or hotel pickup, depending on the option chosen, sit back and relax with your driver pedaling you from behind. Enjoy exploring the heart of Hanoi: the Old Quarter. See the Dong Xuan Wholesale Market, Joseph Cathedral Church, and the Opera House. Take in the beautiful view from Hoan Kiem Lake. Stop at each destination for a short visit or to take photos. Ride at the perfect pace to enjoy some of the 36 shaded streets of this historic district. Admire the products made and sold on each street, such as sugar, bamboo, leather, or silver.

Hanoi: Half-Day Guided City Tour on Vintage Minsk Motorbike

3. Hanoi: Half-Day Guided City Tour on Vintage Minsk Motorbike

The tour starts by picking up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter or the meeting point. Choose to have a private guide or go on a fun group tour. You will be greeted by the guide and driver for a safety briefing and introduction to your Soviet-era Minsk bike. Then, begin your urban adventure to the best sights, neighborhoods, and food spots in Hanoi. Dive into the real Hanoi and visit the more hidden parts of the city. Taste a slice of Hanoian life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, and markets, experiencing where and how locals live, work, and play. Next, move onto the second part of the tour, where you’ll pass by and stop at the must-see sights. You’ll see many places, including: Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (which is considered the Mecca of the Vietnamese), The 1000-year-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical training track, the enchanting French Quarter, the hustling and bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes of Hoan Kiem, West Lake, the Hanoi Opera House, and the famous Long Bien bridge. You will also visit the poetic and peaceful villages and floating community along the Red River. Enrich your experience with the harmonious contrast between the city and the countryside of Hanoi. While en route between stops, grab a bite to eat at authentic local restaurants, eateries, and food stalls. Savor the tastiest Hanoi’s dishes, including family heirloom and secret recipe dishes.

Hanoi: Culture and Sightseeing Tour in Vintage GAZ-69 Jeep

4. Hanoi: Culture and Sightseeing Tour in Vintage GAZ-69 Jeep

Tour Hanoi in a vintage GAZ-69, the classic Army jeep from the 50s and 60s during the Soviet Era. Go on a journey through the city’s many neighborhoods and get to know the Hanoi of the past and of today with a private or shared guide. Start off with pickup at your hotel or at a meeting point in Hanoi Old Quarter. Get a safety briefing from your guide before driving off on an adventure. Begin by diving straight into the labyrinth of backstreets and tiny alleyways to find out what everyday life in Hanoi is really like. Get an honest and authentic insight into the good, the bad, and the weird sides of the city. Next, drive past and visit the must-see sights, including Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the centuries-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical train-street, the enchanting French Quarter, the Old Quarter, the romantic West Lake and Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House and the famous Long Bien Bridge. On the final part of your Hanoi Jeep tour, escape the bustling city to the peaceful and alluring villages around West Lake and Truc Bach Lake. Experience first-hand how such contrasting lifestyles can co-exist between the city center and the outskirts. Find hidden tranquil spots beyond the thousands of skyscrapers. Along the way, stop at local restaurants, eateries and food stalls to savor the tastiest dishes Hanoi has to offer. Sample authentic dishes with secret recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour & Cyclo

5. Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour & Cyclo

This food tour includes half an hour cycling around the trading area in Hanoi Old Quarter, which is said to be a microcosm of the city. Dating back to the 11th century, the Old Quarter has 36 streets, each named after the commodity traditionally produced and sold on it, such as sugar, bamboo, leather or silver. Even though some of streets have had their name changed, many still retain their ancient attributes. Start walking though narrow streets to Dong Xuan. Along the edge of the market, dozens of street hawkers sell produce, from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your local English-speaking guide will give you an insight into traditional Vietnamese food culture, including details of ingredients and the historical background of popular northern dishes. Try seasonal fruits and sample a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart as you go. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, tickle your taste buds with famous Hanoi dish "Banh Cuon" at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate how the tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter and wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe 1000 years of local life. Your next 2 snack stops are at outdoor barbecue stalls. Sit down with Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties, flame-grilled over hot coals for extra flavor. For dessert, venture down a small alley to feast on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk. This is not one to be missed! Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best-kept secrets — a hidden café with stunning views over the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy that you will sample whilst admiring the hustle and bustle of the city center below. If coffee's not your thing, you can just as easily sample a cold beer! At the end, feel free to continue exploring the area on your own, or let your guide assist you with directions or a taxi back to your hotel.

Private Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Mausoleum, Temple & Pagoda

6. Private Half-Day Hanoi City Tour: Mausoleum, Temple & Pagoda

Explore Hanoi and see its highlights on a morning or afternoon city tour by van. See the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and more. Begin your tour at the Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter and wonder at one of the city's main architectural landmarks. Then head to the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam built in the 10th century under the Ly Dynasty and greatly influenced by Confucianism. Make your way to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for the Vietnamese. The complex is a traffic-free area full of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, and for at least 2 months (June 15-August 15) for annual maintenance but you can still take pictures of the Mausoleum and walk around the area) Go to Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, before concluding your tour at St. Joseph's Cathedral to learn about religion in Vietnam. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886. (The itinerary may change due to weather and operating conditions)

Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

7. Hanoi: Full-Day City Tour and Water Puppet Show

Get picked up by your friendly guide and start to explore Hanoi City. Arrive at Tran Quoc Pagoda located on Golden Fish IsLand in West Lake. It is the oldest pagoda in Ha Noi, built in the 6th century. Visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, where you'll have a chance to see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh then walk around the garden to see 2 houses where he lived and worked from 1954 to 1969. Then visit One Pillar Pagoda where people come to worship the Goddess of Mercy – it is the most unique padoga in the world. Visit Vietnam Ethnology Museum to learn about the culture of 54 ethnic groups living in the whole country of Vietnam. Have lunch at a restaurant. Enjoy Vietnamese cuisine with 8 delicious dishes. Continue to visit the Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, established in the 11th century. Head to Hoa Lo Prison Museum which was originally used by the French colonists in Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Get dropped off at the Water Puppet Theater and enjoy the show for about an hour.

Private Evening Cyclo Tour with Water Puppet Show

8. Private Evening Cyclo Tour with Water Puppet Show

The tour guide will pick you up at your hotel around 06:00 PM and then you'll get a cyclo to Hoan Kiem Lake, a hotspot for local life in Hanoi and also one of the major scenic spots in the city. Proceed to Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter, located in central Hanoi, and erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911. Just a few steps away is the legendary Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel, a Grand Dame of Southeast Asia, beckoning guests with its unmatched colonial grandeur and timeless elegance. Here, you'll get to experience the opulence of another era.  Around 06:30 PM, stop to enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show and after that, take a walk on the the streets of the Old Quarter and enjoy traditional Vietnamese food: Chicken noodle and Egg Coffee. At the end of Hanoi tour, you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you with directions or a taxi back to your hotel.

Hanoi Highlights: Full-Day Small Group City Tour with Lunch

9. Hanoi Highlights: Full-Day Small Group City Tour with Lunch

Enjoy a full-day tour of Hanoi with Tour guide and get a local's insight into Vietnam’s mythology, traditions and customs. Visit cultural and historical sites, such as the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, as well as everyday locales such as the houses of the Old Quarter. Following a pick-up at your hotel by your guide and driver, go to the Ho Chi Minh Complex to discover the heart of Viernam at “Uncle Ho’s” Mausoleum. Standing before the mausoleum are 79 cycad trees, symbolizing Ho Chi Minh’s 79 springs of life, while 2 bamboo ranges whistle in the wind to commemorate the former president and Father of the Nation. See the nearby house-on-stilts and quaint One-Pillar Pagoda, built out of wood for the 11th-century Emperor Lý Thái Tông. Continue to the Enthnology Museum - a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. The mission of the Museum is scientific research, collection, documentation, conservation, exhibition and preserving the cultural and historic patrimony of the nation’s different ethnic groups Next visit would be the Galary of Lacque Paiting Collection. The best of handicraft of the north of Vietnam. Then you would have lunch at Local restarant with the deep touch of the art of Hanoi Cuisine. You will then visit the Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070 and originally built as a temple to Confucius. Inside you can see the stone steles mounted on the backs of turtles, which have the names of Vietnam’s best scholars inscribed. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society place on education both now and in the past. After the lunch. In the afternoon, explore the vibrant eastern sector of Hanoi, including Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, and Huc Bridge. Walking around the Old Quarter and mingle with the locals as they go about their hectic lives. End with a 30-minute Cyclo Tour around the Old Quater of Hanoi to have the best view of life of Hanoian.

Hanoi City: Full-day Charming Cultural Tour

10. Hanoi City: Full-day Charming Cultural Tour

Your shared or private tour will begin as you are picked up from your hotel before being to the historic complex of Ba Dinh. You will visit Ba Dinh Square, where the former President Ho Chi Minh read Vietnam’s Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945. You will visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and One-Pillar Pagoda, a must-see monument in Ha Noi. The One-Pillar Pagoda is an ancient Buddhist pagoda which is supported by only one pillar and resembles a lotus blossom. You will also visit Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), the first imperial school in Vietnam. Lunch will later be served at a local restaurant, after which you will pay a visit to the Women’s Museum (which is listed among Asia’s top 25 museums (closed on Mondays). The museum honors Vietnamese women throughout history, and includes displays of the country's recent history as well. Exhibits include: “Women and Ethnicity”, “Women and the National Struggle”, "Vietnam Women’s Association and Feminism”, “Women and Traditional Costumes” and “Women’s Cultural Traits Expressed Through Handicrafts”. Following the museum, you will take a cyclo (pedicab) ride around the “the 36 meandering streets” of Ha Noi’s historic Old Quarter and visit Tran Quoc Pagoda as well as Quan Thanh Temple. At the conclusion of your cultural experience, you will be returned to your point of origin.

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What people are saying about Hoan Kiem Lake

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 336 reviews

Can't recommend this trip enough. The guide and the rest of the drivers were absolutely superb. We were brought to places you'd either never know about or would have a hard time finding. Saw a lot of the local culture as well as experienced their culinary culture. Just superb.

Best part of my trip in Hanoi! Motorcycles are fun and Lucas was a safe and so nice! Mary gave great history and explanations for all our stops. I saw so many I didn’t know about - banana island and going through the very narrow residential streets were highlights. Amazing!

Leo is a good guide. He speaks fluent English and was knowledgeable about the history of Hanoi and surroundings. Will use GetYourGuide again soon in other countries.

Phong, our tour guide is great! He's not hesitant to serve our small requests. This is a good tour. It is on time and as planned.

Alex was very knowledgeable about the local food scene. His picks for 6 best restaurants was spot on