Hanoi’s several scenic lakes have led it to be called the "city of lakes." These are the five largest and most significant lakes of Hanoi:
1. Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword LakeHoan Kiem Lake is a picturesque waterbody in Hanoi, perfect for a relaxing morning or evening stroll. Legend says that a golden turtle god appeared to claim back his sword from the 15th-century emperor Leloi, thus the name that translates to “Lake of the Restored Sword”. On the northern side is an island on which the Ngoc Son temple is found.
Just as the locals and tourists are regular visitors to the beautiful Hoan Kiem lake, a rare species of turtle has made it it's home too. If you can reach in the early hours, around 6 AM, you can see locals practising tai chi by the shore. On Fridays and Saturdays, the surrounding traffic is stopped from 7 PM until midnight which creates a relaxing atmosphere over the entire lake area. The lake spans an area of 12 hectares wherein - the length reaches up to 700 meters and width up to 200 meters and is bordered by Dinh Tien Hoang street and Le Thai To street on the east and by Hang Khay street on the south. The Hoan Kiem Lake also contains the splendid Cau The Huc and Thap Rua, two of Hanoi's most famous landmarks. Visit the lake on a moonlit night for a truly magical experience.
Opening Hours: 08:00 AM - 5:00 PM on all days
Entry fees: There is no Lake entrance fee for the lake and the surrounding area. But to enter the Ngoc Son Temple, you must get a ticket from the post office in the old quarters of Hanoi. Tickets to the temple cost VND 30,000.
Location: Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, Hang Trong, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi
2. West LakeWest Lake, known as Tay Ho Lake, provides a refreshing retreat from the bustling main city. West Lake is located in the northwest of Hanoi. There's a path encircling the lake that is a popular cycling track for both tourists and locals alike. A portion of this expansive lake is split in two by the Thanh Nien road to form Truc Bach Lake. This stunning lake in Hanoi is lined by luxurious hotels, cosy cafes and a variety of restaurants, lush gardens and densely lined with trees. With an area of around 15km, this attractive lake is best explored while pedalling a bicycle. Explore this lake at a leisurely pace and take home some great pictures and memories.
You can dine on the floating restaurants or hire a boat for a leisurely sail through the calm lake water. Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple are some of the must-visit sites nearby.
Opening Hours: 8:00 am - 6:00 p.m.
Entry fees: No entry fee
Location: West Lake, Hồ Tây, Tây Hồ. Hanoi
3. Truc Bach LakeThe Truc Bach Lake is one of the most visually stunning lakes in Hanoi. It is a perfect getaway if you are looking for a picturesque green landscape dotted with historic sites and classical architecture. Near the lake, you can pay a visit to the ancient pagoda and statue of Amida, the Quan Thanh temple or the Chau Long pagoda. There are numerous small eateries offering coffee, beer and delicious snacks on the go.
Truc Bach Lake, located in Ba Dinh district of Hanoi, is an unmissable spot on your Vietnam journey. Thanh Nien Street divides Truc Bach Lake from West Lake, which is the largest lake in the city. Situated near Hanoi's Old Quarter right across the bustle of markets and shopping complexes, Truc Bach Lake is a popular hang-out renowned for its winding pathways and gorgeous sunset views.
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Entry fees: No entry fee
Location: Trúc Bạch Lake, hồ Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hanoi
4. Bay Mau LakeBay Mau Lake is a renowned freshwater lake in Hanoi in Thong Nhat Park with a surface area of around 28 hectares. In the centre of the lake, there are two islands, each of which spans about 600 square metres wide.
Thong Nhat Park is a floral garden enjoined by the gate of Le Duan Street. The serene and tranquil spot is the ideal place for unwinding on your Vietnamese holiday. Bay Mau Lake is encircled by the expansive green park. Therefore, when visiting Bay Mau Lake, tourists are able to not only admire the beauty of the lake but also participate in the many fun activities in Thong Nhat Park as they stroll on the green lawn and watch Hanoi's bustling cityscapes.
Location: Bay Mau Lake, Le Dai Hanh, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hanoi
5. Thien Quang LakeThien Quang Lake spreads across an area of 5.6 hectares, located in Hai Ba Trung District and it is surrounded by 4 streets: Nguyen Du, Tran Binh Trong, Tran Nhan Tong and Quang Trung. The name of Thien Quang means "light"- the light of meditation, which is named after Thien Quang village. The lake is part of a system of underground canals with Bay Mau Lake which serves the function of regulating water and beautifying landscapes for the city. With massive trees that are several decades old, Thien Quang Lake is an attractive spot to visit on hot summer days. Lounging around the lake and chatting with co-travellers in Thien Quang Lake is one thing this lake in Hanoi is perfect for.
Location: Thien Quang Lake, Hồ Thiền Quang, Nguyen Du, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hanoi
6. Lake Thu LeA replica of the famous Park of the Retiro in Madrid, this peaceful 29-hectare park and lake in Hanoi also has a zoo. So a trip here wouldn't suffice just for a simple stroll. You can also visit the Voi Phuc temple which is an ancient temple that holds remnants of Vietnam's rich past culture. Located just 5 kms away from Hanoi's city centre, spend a day here with family or friends with the other locals who come here for a nice weekend stroll. The park also has many outdoor activities available as well as park rides that are sure to give the kids a fantastic day out.
Location: Kim Ma Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh HanoiA relaxing stroll along the shores of the picturesque lakes in Hanoi should definitely be at the top of your Vietnam travel wish-list.
Entry Fee: VND 5000
Timings: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM