Things to in Hanoi alone, with your partner or with friends
On first glance around Hanoi’s old quarter, one might see a river of slightly inebriated adolescents, young families and cute couples, mixed in with the ensemble of local folk. But you may be asking, what pastimes are open to lone travellers? Hanoi is an incredibly diverse city and offers something for practically every palette. Keep reading to get the low down on some of the most inspiring and interesting places to visit and things to do.
Keep your wits about you when travelling at night and use Grab rather than local taxi firms.
Sampling as many street food vendors as possible is one of the best ways of integrating yourself with local food customs. One of the most obvious places to indulge is in the Old Quarter, where an army of stalls is simply waiting to make your acquaintance. For a remarkable experience of that east-meets-west feeling, a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake will kill an hour or two. Another Hanoi-must is the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, something which is also great if you’re travelling with kids. The vogueish West Lake (Tay Ho) guarantees some ample walking space, with over 17km of tantalising shoreline. On Hang Dao Street, you will find a night market, which is the perfect place to get your hands on some local souvenirs for family and friends. If you have the chance to pop into the French Quarter, be sure to drop by the Opera House for some mesmerising snaps and stunning performances.
Best things to do with friends and family in Hanoi
When friends catch up after a long time, it can often mean one indisputable fact…carnage! The Old Quarter is the ideal place to spend the evening getting tanked up on cheap beer, before proceeding to dive into some of Hanoi’s best nightclubs. Well-known gems like Sidewalk, Birdcage and Bank are popular among the locals and expats, but for some of the finest electronic music in Hanoi, Savage has been at the top of the charts for several years. This remarkable establishment welcomes you with a classy, loungey warm-up area. Once you’ve got a few drinks down, make your way into the other room for an intimate, deep set provided by one of Hanoi’s finest. Although street food vendors are scattered around the city, one of the best places for western-style comfort food is Puku Cafe, open 24 hours a day.
Planet Laser Game Hanoi is also an exciting and adventurous day out with family or friends. Team up and indulge in a number of high-octane laser games as you battle to be the best. Aeon Mall and the Vincom Centres are also fantastic days out with family or friends. Whether you are looking to shop until you drop, watch a recent movie, play bowling or kill some time in a games arcade, these complexes have you covered.
Options for couples in Hanoi
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a beautiful, fresh bouquet of flowers. Quang Ba Flower Market is the best place to take a partner and is a cocktail of colours for as far as the eyes can see. If you have a Hanoi Bucket List, this item should most certainly be ticked off during your stay. Peak times are between 2 am and 4 am, so this would be a perfect detour after a night on the tiles with your better half. What’s more, this market is overrun by tourists, giving you that authentic Hanoi experience. While the appearance of Quang Ba Flower Market is somewhat gritty, the colours and smells offer a rustic, magical experience for lovers.
For more alluring leisure activities, check out our article ‘Things to do on weekdays in Hanoi’.