Walking Tours in Hanoi - Types, Operators, Cost & More

As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has a range of interesting places to offer. Unlike other capital cities, the sightseeing places are quite concentrated in the Old Quarter area. This region consists of 36 streets and it can be mind-boggling to figure out which ones to go to, which places have the best restaurants or cafes and which places have the cheapest shops!

Led by tour guides well-versed in Vietnamese and English, walking tours in Hanoi are a fun way to learn about the city, meet like-minded travellers and explore the streets of Hanoi while learning little secrets and seeing hidden gems all around. The best part is that these tours are usually free or affordable.

Types of Walking Tours in Hanoi

1. Hanoi Free Walking Tours


The most preferred choice for many tourists, city walking tours in Hanoi usually take up the entire day and give you a glimpse of the city's most popular attractions. For Hanoi, these include the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market, Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi Opera House, Bach Ma Temple and, if time permits, one or two spots in Old Quarter. If you're on a tight schedule this is the best option since you squeeze in a lot of interesting places in Hanoi in one day. This walking tour is perfect for those visiting the city only for a short period and wanting a quick tour of the city. This operator conducts multiple tours for free be it the Old quarter or for food, they have it all. What better way to see Hanoi in a day with the added benefit of it being completely free. 

Starting Time: Flexible
Duration: Half Day/Full Day

2. Hanoi Free Full City Private Tour

hanoi walkig tours

The most preferred choice for many tourists, city walking tours in Hanoi usually take up the entire day and give you a glimpse of the city's most popular attractions. For Hanoi, these include the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market, Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi Opera House, Bach Ma Temple and, if time permits, one or two spots in Old Quarter. If you're on a tight schedule this is the best option, since you squeeze in a lot of interesting places in Hanoi in one day. However, if you're spending a couple of days here and want a more in-depth city experience, choosing other kinds of tours is a good idea.

Starting time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Duration: Full Day

3. Hanoi Old Quarter Private Tours

Old Quater Hanoi

Often called the beating heart of the city, the Old Quarter of Hanoi is a one-stop-shop for everything you might possibly need: street food, gourmet food, souvenirs, clothing, textile, handicrafts, paintings, sculptures, cosmetics, groceries, even wine! The Hanoi Walking Tour of Old Quarter will take you through the delicacies in Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, known for its Xoi Xeo, into Dong Xuan Market and finally through Hang Gai street, famous for its silk scarves and regal evening gowns. You could even grab a bottle of beer and join some of the crowds to make new friends. Just remember to keep an eye on your bag and be wary of shops that seem shady!

Starting time: 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Duration: Half Day

4. Hanoi Street Food Tours

Street food walking tours in Hanoi

Street food in Hanoi is diverse, flavourful and absolutely delicious. There are specially curated walking tours in Hanoi meant for street food - usually lasting around three hours - that takes you through the city's best eateries to give you a taste of Hanoian specialities. The most famous dish, Bun Cha (Rice Noodle with Grilled Pork), became popular after former President Obama sat down with Anthony Bourdain while they were here. You can have the 'Obama combo' in the same room in Bun Cha Huong Lien at 24 Le Van Huu, which also includes a fried seafood roll and a bottle of local beer. Other dishes to try out are Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake) Mien Luon Xao (fried eel noodles with soup) and, wait for it, egg coffee! Don't worry, the coffee doesn't taste 'eggy' though. Many restaurants around Hoan Kiem Lake and Old Quarter attract foodies, but there are a lot of hidden gems in the alleys and bylanes of Hanoi as well- precisely why a local guide is a must.

Starting time: 6:00 PM
Duration: 3 hours

5. Hanoi French Quarter Tours

french quarter tours in hanoi

The French might have left the country themselves, but their influence on the architecture and culture of Vietnam have remained. Taking one of the walking tours in Hanoi of the French Quarter (that usually last for around 3 hours) allows you to experience the elegance and grandeur of French architecture, with its gothic windows and minimalist facades. These tours take you through St Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House, the State Bank of Vietnam, Government Guest House and the Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel. Shutterbugs will enjoy this tour particularly since it includes some of the most beautiful places in Hanoi. However, it's best to refrain from snapping inside the churches and be respectful of religious sentiments.

Starting time: 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Duration: Half Day

6. Hanoi War Sites Tours

War Sites Walking Tour in Hanoi, Vietnam Military History Museum
Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi (Source)

The War sites Walking tour of Hanoi allows you to get a closer look at some of the most tumultuous periods in Vietnam's history. The wars with the French and the American forces left their imprints all over the city's structures and people. These tours usually begin with a visit to Hoa Lo Prison, which gained fame for inhumane treatment of inmates by both French and North Vietnamese armies, as well as the conviction of drug smuggling tourists in 2009. The Vietnam Military History museum is the next stop, which displays thousands of artifacts and is a renowned historical attraction. You may also be taken through the French Quarter and to other majestic buildings for sightseeing. This one is a must for history buffs interested in learning about Vietnam's war-torn history.

Read more about Wars in Vietnam

Top Walking Tour Operators in Hanoi

1. Hanoi Food On Foot Tour

Walking Tours of Hanoi
As a tourist in the city, it is understandable that it can get a little confusing about what food to eat. Vietnam has a lot of delicious food to offer from pho to shrimp rolls (and even snakes!). But it is important to know which food you must try first and Hanoi Food on Foot Tour will help you find the right taste, especially if you're visiting the city for a short trip. Also known as Street Food Walking Tour you will get a chance to experience the taste of local food at restaurants of the Old Quarter and local cafes. In this tour, you will get to experience the ancient streets of the area each known for its history of trades where you fill find blacksmiths, carpenters, etc. and also famous for local cuisines.

The tour consists of small groups with not more than 8 people and a guide explaining the culinary aspects of the Old Quarter and the culture. You will get to taste a range of Vietnamese traditional food including meals, desserts and drinks. While touring around, don't forget to taste Bia Han Noi, their local brew.
Meeting point: Booking office- 03 Gia Ngu Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi (In the centre of Old Quarter of Hanoi, close to the Water Puppet Theater)
The Tour price:
USD 25
11:30 AM and 6:00 PM 
What to expect:
Small group, Variety of Vietnamese food and drinks, English speaking guide

2. Hanoi Cyclo and Walking Small Group Tour 

Walking Tours of Hanoi
Cyclos in Hanoi (Source)
When you visit Vietnam, you will see an unusual form of transportation where the driver's seat is behind the passenger's carriage! These vehicles are known as cyclos where the drivers pedal from behind. In Hanoi Cyclo and Walking Small Group Tour, you will get the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture of the Old Quarter by travelling in the cyclos. There is also an option for enjoying the tour by foot if you prefer walking.

The tour includes visiting the famous 36 Old Streets that have a range of shops over a thousand years old. Visiting the places in a cyclo is the authentic way to get the most of the experience. The entire visit is mostly explorative, allowing you to shop at the street-sides with the right knowledge of the guide.
Meeting point: St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi or your hotel at Hanoi Old Quarter
The Tour Price: 
USD 36
8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM
What to expect:
Small group tour, Street food tasting, Cyclo rides, English speaking guide

3. GoAsiaDayTrip- Vietnam War Walking Tour

Walking Tours of Hanoi
A visit to Vietnam is incomplete without knowing its significant past right from the French colonial days to the infamous Vietnam War. If you are keen to learn about Vietnamese history, there is no better way to know about it than from a local. To decide which museums to go to around the city can be a hassle but with the Vietnam War Walking Tour, you are promised a one-day trip around the museums and historical sites of Hanoi. The tour is organized by GoAsiaDayTrip which provides tour guides free of services but other fees such as, admission fees, meals and drinks are to be paid by you. It is a group tour which is quite interactive. In fact, at the end of the tour you can even ask the guide general questions about Vietnam.
Meeting point: Your hotel (or wherever you're staying)
Tour price:
Free services (but other fees are to be paid by you like admission fees, meals, etc.)
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM 
What to expect:
An English speaking tour guide, Free services, Tour to only historical places of Hanoi

4. Hanoi: Private Special Night Out Tour 

Walking Tours of Hanoi
They say that Hanoi is the most beautiful at night time. If you are looking for a perfect way to spend your night here look no further than this Private Special Night Out Tour organized by Crossing Vietnamese Tour. It will give you a unique tour at the Old Quarter. In this three hour tour, you will get to experience the famous Water Puppet Show, a special puppet show originating from Northern Vietnam. Enjoy your night by witnessing puppets dancing on waters with beautiful music being played in the background.

After the show, indulge yourself in a special Hanoian dinner at Cha Cha restaurant, very famous for its ancient Vietnamese speciality dish that is infused with white fish in saffron oils paired with a glass of classic Bia Ha Noi. End the night with special Vietnamese filtered coffee or milk tea. While you're on the trip, make sure you ask all the questions you may have about Vietnam and its culture to the guide to make your experience wholesome.
Meeting point: Hotel pick-up and drop-off available from the Old Quarter only
Tour price:
USD 48. Children aged 0-4 are allowed free of cost
4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM
What to expect: 
An English speaking guide, Water puppet show, Dinner, Coffee or tea
Now you know that a lot of places can be reached on foot, and a walking tour of Hanoi is a wonderful way to experience the city. With these exciting tours, you will surely get to have one of the best times of your life. So pack your bags and get ready to explore!

This post was published by Antara Mandal

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