Weekday activities in Hanoi

Things to do on weekdays in Hanoi
Updated 2023-11-17 18:25

Hanoi has an attraction to suit every taste and budget. From bustling marketplaces to beautiful murals, Hanoi qualifies as both a shopper's paradise and a cultural kaleidoscope. Keep reading to find out what's in store within this intriguing city!

Good to know:

Hanoi traffic starts to become really crowded by 7 am and doesn't die down until around 9 pm.

Tour the city

During the summer months, the combination of the heat, humidity and clutter of vehicles can create an incredibly stuffy atmosphere. Hanoi is ranked in the top 20 for air pollution, so be vigilant by wearing a mask or limiting walking to a certain extent at midday. Local companies like Footprint Travel offer a selection of truly unique tours to show you a different side of Vietnam's marvelous capital. If you can muster the spirit to wake up at 4 am, you will be treated to the ceremonial changing of the honor guards, nocturnal animal gazing, early morning snacks at the thriving markets, and Tai Chi with locals at Hoàn Kiếm Lake. All this can be crammed into the hours before breakfast, giving you the rest of the day to take it easy.

If you are adamant about cramming as much into your day as possible, consider using Grab taxis as a means of commuting from one place to another in Hanoi. All the main attractions open from around 8 am, but the traffic is hectic. A nice air-conditioned vehicle will alleviate most of the stress of getting around the city, and it is even possible to hire a driver for the full day.

Hanoi markets

Long Bien Market is the go-to place for wholesale fruit and vegetables, perfect for the health-conscious expat. It is open from 6 am to 11 pm every day, and if you go regularly, you'll likely make friends with the vendors and begin to bargain on pricing. While this isn't necessarily a weekday or weekend activity, visit the market any time you need fresh produce or a snack and a quick souvenir shop.

Playing in a sports team in Hanoi

If health and fitness are your thing, you will never need to wander too far to find a game of badminton or volleyball. Hanoians are very warm people, and many love the opportunity to practice their English, so chances are you will always be welcome to participate. There are also several sports teams that meet regularly in Hanoi, including American flag football, AFL, ice hockey, and Gaelic football.

Visit the cultural sites in Hanoi

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Ancient House, St Joseph's Cathedral, Hoa Lo Prison, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and Ngoc Son Pagoda offer fantastic insights into the architectural, cultural, and political history of Hanoi.

Unique activities in Hanoi

If you are an adrenaline fiend and driving in Hanoi traffic isn't scratching your itch, consider a game of laser tag or paintball to get the juices going. Planet Laser in the Tây Hồ district will get the blood pumping. For a slower pace, many of the shopping malls include a cinema, often showing at least one English film, and a few have bowling alleys or arcades.

Finish any night with a drink on Tạ Hiện Street for cheap beverages and fantastic eats. As there is still a curfew for most of Hanoi, these nighttime activities won't impact you getting a good night's sleep, and you can rinse and repeat the cycle the following day. For night owls, there are a few 24-hour coffee shops or a selection of after-hours night clubs that require getting an invite.

Environment-friendly activities in Hanoi

Although Hanoi is a labyrinth populated with rushing, overcrowded motorbikes, a great way to explore the city is with Hanoi Free Walking Tours. Quarterbacked by local students, this is a truly unique and unforgettable way of familiarising yourself with some of the most iconic parts of the Vietnamese capital. Should you wish to do your part for the local environment, check out Keep Hanoi Clean.

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