Top reason to go
EMBARK ON A CULTURAL ODYSSEY Delve into the thriving art scene at one of the city’s contemporary galleries or at a museum highlighting Vietnam’s rich culture and history.
TAKE IT TO THE STREETS Wander the narrow streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where cafés, bars, shops, and street vendors spill onto the sidewalks.
GO ON A GASTRONOMIC ADVENTURE Appease your palate in a melting pot of meals, ranging from pho food carts with plastic stools to fancy French restaurants offering the ultimate in refined service.
SEEK OUT THE REVOLUTIONARY Eye-catching propaganda art displayed in public and in small galleries to banner attractions such as Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum brings Hanoi’s revolutionary past to life.
CHECK OUT HIP HANOI From arty bars, where intellectual discourse flows as freely as red wine, to cutting-edge live music venues, the capital continues to stake its claim to being Vietnam’s most febrile cultural hub.
When to go?
In terms of weather, the ideal time to visit Hanoi is between October (with temperatures averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and mid-December (with temperatures ranging from the upper 60s to mid-70s), when the heat and humidity are not so oppressive. But be prepared for cold snaps and chilly nights. The brief spring from March to April is also a pleasant time.
From January to March a layer of clammy mist—the infamous mua phun—hovers over Hanoi. The city begins its summer swelter in May and sweats through August, when the monsoons bring heavy downpours and sudden flooding. This continues until late September, so if you choose to brave the elements at this time, bring rubber footwear and rain pants or buy them in Hanoi because you could be in it up to your knees. Temperatures range from the mid-70s to the high 90s.