Hanoi old quarter walking tour

The main tourist district of Hanoi is the Old Quarter. This area has some wonderful colonial French architecture và is jam-packed with cafe’s, restaurants, shopping and a beautiful lake. This is the perfect place for a self-guided walking tour; just arm yourself with a Hanoi Old Quarter maps and go exploring!

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The Best Hanoi Old Quarter Map

When it comes to the best Hanoi activities, self-guided walking tours are at the very đứng đầu of our list. They are free, healthy, kid-friendly, và all done at your own pace. Stop wherever you want, for as long as you want. No tour guide is going khổng lồ push you around. All you need is a map and 2 feet.


Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour #1

Vietnam Onlinehas a terrific Hanoi walking tour map. This starts và ends at the famous Avalon Coffee Lounge at the northern over of Lake Hoan Kiem. Avalon Coffee Lounge is our favourite place to dine và chill out.

There are lots of other great dining options on multiple levels and amazing options on the rooftop with perfect views over Lake Hoan Kiem.

Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour #2

Frommers is one of the most trusted travel guides available và has been in publishing guides since 1957. They have over 100 travel guides for purchase & are a trusted name for online travel guides.

Frommers also have a fantastic Hanoi walking tour of the Old Quarter available online. You can download an interactive map of Old Quarter Hanoi using this Google Maps route,showing all the stops on the Frommers tour.

This Hanoi Self Guided Walking Tourtakes a leisurely 3 hours to complete và takes in many of the Hanoi đứng top attractions.

Best Hanoi Walking Street – Walking Tour #3

The Best Hanoi Walking Street is found on the northern end of Lake Hoan Kiem. Actually, it’s all the way around the lake, from Friday night through to Sunday night when they close the lake off to lớn traffic.

Barricades are placed on the roadway, stages are erected, and the lake scene becomes a bustling tourist scene. The walk around Lake Hoan Kiem is definitely on the Hanoi must-do activities list.

Here’s a short video clip of the best Hanoi Walking Street, outside the Avalon Coffee Lounge, along the northern edge of Lake Hoan Kiem.

Lake Hoan Kiem – Walking Tour #4

Lake Hoan Kiem is in the heart of the Old Quarter district và is the historical centre of Hanoi. It is also one of the major scenic attractions of the city and is at the đứng top of the danh mục of Hanoi walking tours.

Here’s a wonderful interactive map of Lake Hoan Kiem, & some information on the major attractions.

History of Lake Hoan Kiem

Apparently, in 1428, the Emperor was boating on Lake Hoan Kiemwhen a Golden Turtle God came up and asked him for his Magic Sword. The sword was given khổng lồ him earlier by the dragon King God.

So they gọi this “The lake of the Restored Sword” (Hoan Kiem Lake in Vietnamese).

Giant Turtle inside Jade Temple

At one over is a 300-year-old island temple, “The Temple of the Jade Mountain”. At the other kết thúc of the lake is “Turtle Island”, which has an ancient TURTLE TOWER built on it. That’s because the lake was inhabited by giant turtles.

Sadlythe very last turtledied in 2016. Our first tour of the lake was a day trip to the temple on Jade Island. To get to the Temple, youwalk across a fantasticred footbridge where you aregreeted by a toll booth charging 30,000 dong for adults (about $2).Free entry for children, yay!

We did not find the temple especially exciting, however, it isa great opportunity lớn hone your photography skills on the many bonsai and flower exhibitions. There is also one of the giant turtles on display (dead of course) in a giant glass display, about 1.5m in length.

Road Closure Around the Lake

The main road at Northern over with the stage phối up

Each Fridaymorning they erect barricades on all streets aroundthe lake lớn stop the maddeningroadtraffic. Và they also erect a large stage in the middle of the main road. They vì chưng this every Friday, Saturday và Sunday.

It attracts hordes of people, both local và tourist to lớn come & enjoy the lake for the entire weekend. We were advised by our khách sạn staff to do our walk around the lake during the week because the weekends get rather busy.

The lake is completely surrounded by shopping outlets và eateries so it is a food, shopping và entertainmentextravaganza.

The western side of Lake Hoan Kiem

View from the Western Side

To circumnavigate the lake by foot takes about 40 minutes if you walkfast, or 2-3hours at a leisurely pace. We started at the northern over of the lake, and the first stop was at the COFFEE CLUB overlooking the northern roundabout.

It fronts onto the stage where we were treated lớn a stringed orchestra on the stage reciting some Russian symphony orchestra hits. Very entertaining, with ample photo opportunities from the fourth floor of the Coffee Club.

As youset off on your walk you will seesidewalks lined with vendors selling ice creams và hordes of local kids devouring them by the truckload. This truly isa family affair.

Strolldown the western side & you will findthere are not many people & some medium-priced cafes dotted along the way. Very few shops but some large government looking buildings.

Southern Side of Lake Hoan Kiem

At thesouthern endof thelake, you will finda whole different scene.Branded cosmeticoutlets, expensive handbag shops, boutique hotelsanddesigner shopping malls.

This is undoubtedly the luxury kết thúc of the lake cateringfor the upper-class tourist. Whilst thenorthern kết thúc of the lake is dominated by ridiculously cheap market style shopping, the southern kết thúc of the lake is dominated by branded handbags và high-end outlets.

Upmarket Southern end of the lake

Western Side of Lake Hoan Kiem

Next, we phối off along thewestern side of the lake. As it turns out there is a large park area on thisside of the lake & the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra was in full swing performing a concert. Symphony orchestras are very popular in Vietnam.

View from the western side

There were literally tens of thousands jamming in lớn see the large screens and the magnificent sound systems which were set up. It was a pick-pockets heaven so we got through this area as quickly as we could hold on tightly to lớn wallets and phones.

Apparently, this is the artistic side of the lake.As well as the orchestral performance there were areasof ballroom dancing and street portrait artists everywhere.

Back khổng lồ the Start

Northern sidemeansNike factory outlet stores. Actually, all thebig name sports shoes were on sale for a measly 300,000 dong per pair ($17). You can probably bargain these down khổng lồ about $13 per pair and fill your suitcases!.

Buy yourself a hat!

Of course, there are all sorts of different product with factory outlets, as well as a variety of Vietnamese souvenir shops. Awesome shopping with variety và good prices. But they need khổng lồ be because big night markets are less than ten minutes work away with a mind-bogglingvariety.

The Best of the Hanoi Old Quarter Walks

We loved the walk around Lake Hoan Kiem the best. The lake walk on the weekend is a wonderful activity, và very cheap. Kids will love it because thereis an explosion of activity to lớn keeptheir senses aroused & remain thoroughlyentertained. It is safe from road traffic thanks khổng lồ the traffic barricades.

Very nationalistic monument on Northern Shore

But you vị need to hold your wallet tightly in the busy areas due lớn pickpocketers. You will find unlimited food và drink options, a variety of street entertainment và a huge variety of shopping options for all budgets.

You will also findsensational photo opportunities along the lake, especially at night. Definitely give the lake walk a go if you are in the Old Quarter of Hanoi!

Plan Ahead For Your Hanoi Trip

Going lớn Hanoi? If you would lượt thích to bởi some more research here are some great resources available.

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