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As the oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam, Hanoi's Old Quarter has a history that spans 2,000 years and represents the eternal soul of the city. Located between the Lake of the Restored Sword, the Long Bien Bridge, a former city rampart, and a citadel wall, the Old Quarter started as a snake and alligator-infested swamp. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a destination that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Hanoi. Being here, you will have chance to know more about Hanoians’s typical lifestyle, culture, Hanoians. Moreover you also can try Hanoi cuisine with mouth – watering dishes. In this article, Vietnam Eco Travel will guide you how to travel around the old quarter in one day and explore tourist attractions in this old quarter.
Hanoi has 36 streets and guilds – Silver Street, Jam Street, Peach Street, etc. each bears the name of the goods that was specifically traded there such as Hang Bac (Silver Product), Hang Ma (Paper Product), Hang Go (Wood Product), just to name a few. Inside a modern and dynamic city, there appears an antique quarter, the Hanoi Old Quarter – the represented eternal soul of the city. These days, most Vietnamese and Westerners are familiar with the phrase “Ha Noi - Ba mươi sáu phố phường” (translated as “Hanoi – 36 Old Streets”), or “Phố cổ Hà Nội” (translated as “Hanoi’s Old Quarter”), the top special historical vestige and sight-seeing of the capital, luring international visitors thanks to their mostly original state. As a result, many of the streets were named after the crafts sold at that individual street. Pho Hang Bun (Rice noodles product), Pho Hang Ma (Paper Product), Pho Hang Bac (Silver), etc. are examples of the streets carrying the name of the products sold there. The old quarter is a highlight destination in Hanoi. So how to travel around the old quarter in one day, what should you eat and where to go?.
How to Get to Hanoi's Old Quarter
You can walk from your hotel or go by bus to go to there.
If you go there by foot, you can take a look in this map:
If you go there by bus, we will recommend for you some buses from other bus stops that will get you to a street in the old quarter:
- Take bus 09, 14, 36 to go to Hoan Kiem lake and then start to visit Hanoi old quarter from here
- Take bus 03, 11, 14, 22, 18, 34, 40 and stop in the bus stop in 81 Tran Nhat Duat. Starting to visit the old quarter from Quan Chuong gate.
- Take bus 31 and stop in the bus stop in 22C Comb street (Hang luoc).
Hotels and Hostels in the Old Quarter
There are many hotels and hostels in the old quarter from cheap hotel to luxury hotel. It depends on your requirement and your choice to choose a suitable hostel or hotel here. You should book online a hotel before visiting here in some trustful booking websites such as agoda.com or booking.com, etc to see the price or the quality of rooms in each hotel or hostel.
We will recommend for you some hostels and hotels in Hanoi old quarter:
- Highlight hostels in the old quarter:
• Hanoi Rock Hostel in 54-56, Hang Duong street (Sugar street), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 3,45 USD.
• Hanoi Youth Hostel in 05 Luong Ngoc Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 3,52 USD.
• Hanoi Blue Sky 2 hostel in 34 Hang Ga street (Chicken street), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 4,54 USD.
- Highlight cheap hotels in the old quarter:
• Camellia 5 Hotel in 81 Thuoc Bac street (Chinese medicine street), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 10,6 USD.
• Hotel du Centre ville in 47 Luong Ngoc Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 11,56 USD.
• Hanoi Hoa Duong hotel: 01 Hang Mam street (Fish sauce street), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 12,76 USD.
- Highlight luxury hotels in the old quarter:
• Apricot Hotel in 136 Hang Trong street (Drum street), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 113,45 USD.
• Hanoi Romance Hotel in 19 Trung Yen, Dinh Liet street, Hoan Kiem district Hanoi. The price from 87,38 USD.
• Centre Point Hanoi in 25 Hang Manh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. The price from 86,69 USD.
Tourist Attractions in Hanoi's Old Quarter
Ngoc Son Temple: Located in a small island in Hoan Kiem lake (Returned Sword Lake). To reach Ngoc Son temple, you have to go across a red bridge, its name’s The Huc bridge. Visiting Ngoc Son temple, you will know about Hoan Kiem Lake’s legend and see Hoan Kiem lake and Turtle Towel. They’re destinations which you shouldn’t miss when you travel to Hanoi old quarter.
Hoan Kiem Lake (Returned Sword Lake): Located in the center of Hanoi capital. In the middle of Hoan Kiem lake, there is Turtle Tower which stands on a small island and be a sacred symbol of Hanoi. Nearby Hoan Kiem lake, there is Pen Tower, Ink Slab, The Huc bridge, etc.
Dong Xuan market: Dong Xuan Market, or Cho Dong Xuan, is the oldest and largest market in Hanoi. It is located at Dong Xuan Street, at the end of Hang Dao Street, on the northern part of the Old Quarters. This large multi- storied market sells anything and everything. From fresh foods to home appliances, you will have it all here. But, what is more fascinating about this market is its historical significance which you still can experience if you visit this place. It witnessed fierce battle between the Vietnamese resistance units and the French. Dong Xuan Market is also a historical place where there was a combat of soldiers of “Quyết tử quân” (“Deciding to die”) against the French attack to the heroic zone I, in February 1947. Being the biggest market and locating in the downtown, Dong Xuan Market is a crowded and bustling exchanging, tracsaction, business place of the capital.
The Vietnamese Traditional House on Ma May street: Located within Hanoi Old Quarter, the ancient house at 87 Ma May street which was built at the late of the 20th century, is quite intact with typical architecture of ancient houses. The house consists of two main blocks linked together by a square yard in the middle on the ground floor, and a small balcony on the 1st floor. The yard is included at the centre of the building to moderate the air, provide the house with sunlight and cool winds. The balcony above is an ideal place to put small plants, flower pots for the owner’s interest and relaxation. All of the walls in this house were painted with typical yellow color like other ancient Hanoi houses, and all furniture, decoration items are reserved in good condition. Though being restored in 1999, this house still remains real and ancient beauty of itself. The price is 20.000 VND per person.
There are other historical sites, too, such as Quan Chuong gate, Bach Ma temple, etc.
Hanoi Cuisine in the Old Quarter
Besides tourist attractions, Hanoi old quarter is considered as the heaven of Hanoi cuisine. Tourists shouldn’t miss delicious feature dishes and addresses for food here.
• Dong Xuan alley cuisine: Enjoy famous and good dishes here such as musk duck noodles soup, snail noodles soup, crab noodles soup, “Che” (Vietnamese dessert), etc.
• Beef noodles soup: Pho Bat Dan in 49 Bat Dan street, Pho Suong in Trung Yen, Dinh Liet street, Pho Ly Quoc Su in Ly Quoc Su street,etc
• Grilled pork with rice noodles in Hang Buom street, Dac Kim restaurant in No.1 Hang Manh street, Hang Quat street
• Lemon Tea in Cho Gao street, Nha Tho street near St.Joseph’s Cathedral, “Che” (Vietnamese dessert) in Dong Thai street
• Egg coffee: Giang coffee (39 Nguyen Huu Huan street), Ca phe pho co (old quarter coffee) in 11 Hang Gia street
• Beer in Luong Ngoc Quyen street, Ta Hien street
• Salted dry apricot and sugared dry apricot in Hong Lam shop, no.1 Hang Duong street
• Bolted snails in Dinh Liet street
• Stir fried noodles and crab noodles soup in Nguyen Sieu street
• Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich): Banh mi 25 in 25 Cha Ca street, Banh mi Pi in 12 Hang Buom street, banh mi pho co in Dinh Liet street, etc
How to Travel around Hanoi's Old Quarter
You can walk or take a cyclo or an electric car to travel around here.
Recommendation on how to visit Hanoi's old quarter in one day by foot or a vehicle.
• Walk to Dong Xuan area to have breakfast
• Visit Dong Xuan market and Quan Chuong gate
• Visit Bach Ma temple and have grilled pork and rice noodles in Hang Buom street
• Visit a Vietnamese traditional house at 87 Ma May street
• Visit Kim Ngan dinh in 42-44 Hang Bac street
• Enjoy local food such as fried tofu with rice noodles and shrimp sauce in Phat Loc street.
• Take a rest in Giang Coffee to try egg coffee
• Visit Ngoc Son temple and Hoan Kiem lake
• Watch Water Puppet Show in Thang Long water puppet theatre in 57B Dinh Tien Hoan street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
• Buying some souvenirs, eat boil snail in Dinh Liet street or drink beer in Luong Ngoc Quyen street or Ta Hien street
• Try stir-fried noodles on Nguyen Sieu Street
• Drink lemon tea on Cho Gao street or Nha Tho Street near St.Joseph’s Cathedral.