Walking Tours of Hanoi: Experience Vietnam's Capital by Foot

As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has a range of interesting places to offer. Unlike other capital cities, the sight-seeing 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 cafés 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 at very affordable prices.

Here is a list of walking tours in Hanoi that promise to deliver the best services for your memorable vacation:

1. Hanoi Free Walking Tours

Hanoi Free Walking Tours
Source

The most preferred choice for a lot of tourists, city walking tours in Hanoi usually take up the entire day and give you a glimpse of the most popular attractions of the city. 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 who're visiting the city only for a short period and want 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. 

The free tours they conduct are as follows:

a) Free Full City Private Tour  

The Red Bridge over Hoan Kiem Lake, one of Hanoi's iconic landmarks
Source

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

The most preferred choice for a lot of tourists, city walking tours in Hanoi usually take up the entire day and give you a glimpse of the most popular attractions of the city. 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 experience of the city, choosing other kinds of tours is a good idea.

b) Old Quarter Private Tours

Old Quater Hanoi
Source

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

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!

c) Street Food Tours

Street food walking tours in Hanoi
Source

Starting time: 6:00 PM
Duration: 3 hours

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.

d) French Quarter Tours

french quarter tours in hanoi
Source

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

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.

2. Hanoi Food On Foot Tour

Walking Tours of Hanoi
Source 

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
Timings: 11:30 AM and 6:00 PM 

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 you are touring around, don't forget to taste Bia Han Noi which is their local brew.

What to expect:
  • Small group
  • Variety of Vietnamese food and drinks
  • English speaking guide

3. Hanoi Cyclo and Walking Small Group Tour 

Walking Tours of Hanoi
Cyclos in Hanoi (Source)

Meeting point:
St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi or your hotel at Hanoi Old Quarter
The Tour Price:  USD 36
Timings: 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM

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 which allows you to shop at the street-sides with the right knowledge of the guide.

What to expect:
  • Small group tour
  • Street food tasting
  • Cyclo rides
  • English speaking guide

4. GoAsiaDayTrip- Vietnam War Walking Tour

Walking Tours of Hanoi
Source

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.)
Timings: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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 general questions you might have about Vietnam to the guide.

What to expect:
  • An English speaking tour guide
  • Free services
  • Tour to only historical places of Hanoi

5. Hanoi: Private Special Night Out Tour 

Walking Tours of Hanoi
Source

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
Timings: 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM

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.

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

Share this post on social media
Google +

Related Articles

Travel Tips

Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City: What to Pick When Travelling to Vietnam

Experiences

Free Things to do in Hanoi: Priceless Experiences in Vietnam's Capital

Shopping

14 Shopping Malls in Hanoi for Perfect Retail Therapy in Vietnam

Experiences

What to Buy in Hanoi: 14 Souvenirs to Mark Your Vietnamese Tour

Nightlife

Night Markets in Hanoi - Shop at Hanoi's Bustling Night Markets

Food & Drink

Treat Your Palate to these 10 Delightful Street Food in Hanoi!

Nightlife

Casinos in Hanoi- List of Best Casinos in Vietnam’s Capital City

Experiences

Visit These 3 Water Parks in Hanoi for a Refreshing Weekend

Experiences

Shopping in Hanoi - 17 Must Buy Items on Your Hanoi Tour

Nightlife

Nightlife in Hanoi - 18 Things to Do in Hanoi at Night

Art & Culture

13 Interesting Hanoi Facts You Probably Didn't Know!

Free Things to Do in Hanoi: A Priceless Experience

Travel Tips

Renting a Car in Hanoi - 5 Best Car Rentals in Hanoi For A Smooth Trip

Art & Culture

Museums in Hanoi

Transport

Airports in Hanoi: An overview of Hanoi International Airport

Art & Culture

Walking Tours in Hanoi

Beaches & Islands

Beaches in Hanoi

Adventure

Day Trips From Hanoi

Shopping

Shopping in Vietnam: A Useful Guide for Every Shopaholic

Fairs & Festivals

10 Festivals In Vietnam to Experience the Colour and Culture

Food & Drink

Street Food in Vietnam: A Guide to a Delicious and Un(pho)gettable Trip

Transport

Transportation in Vietnam - A Guide to Getting Around in Vietnam

History of Vietnam

Food & Drink

Vietnamese Food: The Pho-Nomenal World of Vietnamese Cuisine

Religious

Churches of Vietnam

Art & Culture

Architecture of Vietnam: From Wooden Stilts to Colonial French

Transport

Train Travel in Vietnam: What to Know When You Travel Vietnam By Train

Religious

10 Temples in Vietnam to Showcase the Religious Diversity of the Country

Transport

Renting a Vehicle in Vietnam: How to Rent a Car or Bike in Vietnam

Travel Tips

Common Vietnamese Phrases - English To Vietnamese

Art & Culture

7 War Museums in Vietnam To Witness the Turmoil of the Country

Art & Culture

History of Vietnam: From 3rd BC to 21st Century

Wildlife & Nature

6 Lakes in Hanoi For a Peaceful Escape From the City's Bustle

Adventure

Scuba Diving in Vietnam: 8 Best Spots For Exploring The Underwater World

Adventure

Bikini Airline Vietjet Launching In India Soon

Comments on this post