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Hanoi Culture & history

Our most recommended Hanoi Culture & history

From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

1. From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

Travel by air-conditioned bus from Hanoi to Tam Coc and ride a Sampan boat to impressive caves. Experience local life as you cycle through picturesque villages, explore ancient temples, and enjoy a Vietnamese lunch. Start your tour early with pickup at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter. Hop into the luxury van to visit Hoa Lu, an ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh king Temple and Le king Temple from the 10th century, and hear about the heroic histories of the two Kings during the Chinese Wars. At midday, sit down for lunch with Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant. Continue to Tam Coc and take the sampan go (traditional river boat) along the Ngo Dong river to visit Tam Coc's three caves. Head back to Tam Coc wharf, take your bicycle, and cycle around traditional villages and Tam Coc town. Visit Mua cave, which attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. In the evening, return Ha Noi.

From Hanoi: Ninh Binh Tour & Cruise with Lunch and Transfer

2. From Hanoi: Ninh Binh Tour & Cruise with Lunch and Transfer

Uncover the cultural and natural heritage of the Ninh Binh province on a guided day trip from Hanoi. Pay a visit to the Bai Dinh Temple Complex, float through the tranquil rivers of Trang An, and climb to the top of Mua Caves for striking panoramic views of rocky hills. Get picked up from your hotel in Hanoi and depart toward Ninh Binh. Stop at Bai Dinh, the biggest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam, to gaze at the imposing pagoda. See 500 Arhat Statues made out of blue stones, a 36-ton bronze bell, and a 100-ton Buddha statue, rising up to 10 meters. Take a lunch break in a local restaurant, with a Vietnamese buffet of goat meat, fish, chicken, and fried rice, as well as vegetarian food options. Continue to the Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featured in the 2017 movie Kong: Skull Island. Hop on a wooden boat to navigate through its quiet rivers, discover mysterious caves, and admire towering limestone karsts covered with tropical plants. Finally, climb up 500 steps to the viewpoint of Mua Caves to marvel at panoramic views of Tam Coc before returning to Hanoi.

Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu, Mua Cave, Tam Coc & Bich Dong Pagoda Tour

3. Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu, Mua Cave, Tam Coc & Bich Dong Pagoda Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Drive to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and then continue on to visit the King Dinh Temple. Next up, discover Mua Cave Cave and enjoy a mountainous overview from the top. Savor a set lunch with Vietnamese cuisine at a bungalow beside Tam Coc river. After lunch, enjoy a Sampan boat trip through the three emerald water caves on the beautiful river and admire the countryside landscape. Cycle through the peaceful country roads to Bich Dong Pagoda and spend some time here before you return to Hanoi.

Full-Day Perfume Pagoda Private or Small-Group Tour

4. Full-Day Perfume Pagoda Private or Small-Group Tour

Embark on a full-day tour to visit Perfume Pagoda – a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. Glide along scenic waterways and walk up steep mountain paths as you encounter the area's centuries-old pagodas and temples. Around 8:30 AM, the guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. After pickup, enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive to Perfume Pagoda. Upon arrival, hop aboard your 1-hour row boat trip on the Yen stream to Thien Tru harbor. Once you have arrived in Thien Tru, you will enjoy time for some trekking, visit the main cave where you’ll arrive at Huong Tich Cave on the top of the mountain. Then enjoy a 1-hour trekking back down or take optional cable car instead of trekking (optional). Next, enjoy lunch at the local restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. After lunchtime, you will see the Heaven Kitchen pagoda and learn about Buddhism ancient architectural at Le Dynasty. Re-board your boat and sit back and relax as you head back to the pier, enjoy 2-hour road trip back to Hanoi. Your tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel around 6:00 PM.

Hanoi: Morning or Afternoon City Highlights Tour

5. Hanoi: Morning or Afternoon City Highlights Tour

Explore Hanoi and see its highlights on a morning or afternoon city tour by van. See the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and more. Begin your tour at the Hanoi Opera House in the French Quarter and wonder at one of the city's main architectural landmarks. Then head to the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam built in the 10th century under the Ly Dynasty and greatly influenced by Confucianism. Make your way to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an important place for the Vietnamese. The complex is a traffic-free area full of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. Stop outside Ba Dinh Square and take a look outside the mausoleum, then continue to explore the One Pillar Pagoda. Go to Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, before concluding your tour at St. Joseph's Cathedral to learn about religion in Vietnam. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886.

Hanoi Food Tour with Train Street visit

6. Hanoi Food Tour with Train Street visit

First, starting from our supplier's office at No.47 Hàng Bông street, we go to an old and traditional restaurant specializing in entrees such as pillow cake, shrimp cake, Pho rolls, spring rolls... Have a taste of some of our popular dishes. St. Joseph’s is right nearby, so we stop by there for some pics of the late colonial French architecture. Stop at a local restaurant to try banh cuon (filled rice noodles) and watch as skilled chefs demonstrate how this tasty dish is created. Next, enjoy pho (noodle soup), which is Vietnam’s most famous dish. Try both the beef and chicken versions. And we definitely can't miss out on a Vietnamese traditional dessert called Chè. They have both hot and cold versions for each season. After several dishes, you must be full right now. We'll catch a taxi and go straight to the train street. Although train schedules show them to come daily, sometimes they do and sometimes not, sometimes they get delayed too. So if you're lucky enough, you may catch one and experience the huge train passing right in front of your face. Place your bets. We also get egg coffees at a nice shop trackside to enjoy the ambiance. When you’re done with the drinks, we’ll hop on a taxi again to go back to our office. This is where the tour ends. For the disabled and those who simply have sore feet, we have the cyclo option where you can sit back and tour in quiet comfort.

Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An Caves, & Mua Cave Day Trip and Lunch

7. Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An Caves, & Mua Cave Day Trip and Lunch

Travel in an air-conditioned van from Hanoi to Hoa Lu on this day trip to uncover the ancient temples of Dinh King and Le King. Savor local flavors with a buffet lunch and travel by boat on the Trang An river admire stunning natural scenery and visit the Trang An cave complex. Start your tour with hotel pickup in the early morning and depart for Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit the Dinh King Temple and Le King Temple from the 10th century, and hear about the heroic histories of these two Kings during the Chinese Wars. At around midday, sit down for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant, before you head to Trang An Wharf to take a boat trip along Trang An Stream. Visit Trang An cave complex, including Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, Nau Ruou, and marvel at the scenery of mountains and rivers.  Then, head back to Trang An wharf to board the luxury limousine, and visit Mua Cave. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. Finally, hop back onto the bus to return to Hanoi, arriving back in the early evening.

From Hanoi: Bai Dinh, Trang An, and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

8. From Hanoi: Bai Dinh, Trang An, and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM and drive by bus to Bai Dinh Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam. Explore this beautiful Buddhist place of worship, with 500 La Han statues and the largest bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam, 10 meters tall. Enjoy some free time with your guide to visit the pagoda and learn more about Buddhism.   Enjoy a lunch of Vietnamese cuisine after you've seen the pagoda. Then hop back on the bus and continue to Trang An wharf. From here, take a boat trip to visit Trang An cave complex. After the boat trip, you'll take a bike to visit traditional villages around the Trang An area.   The tour continues to Mua Cave. Listen to interesting stories about this place from your guide. After climbing 500 stone steps, you'll be able to see all the way to Tam Coc. Enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. At the end of the day you'll get back on the bus and drive back to Hanoi, where you'll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Old Quarter.

Hanoi: Full-Day Pilgrimage to Perfume Pagoda

9. Hanoi: Full-Day Pilgrimage to Perfume Pagoda

Your shared or private tour begins when you depart from your hotel in Hanoi at 8:00AM, at which point you will drive for 2 hours through the picturesque countryside. You’ll then enjoy a 1.5-hour boat trip along the scenic Yen Stream to Perfume Pagoda, a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the Limestone Mountains. It’s the site of a religious festival which draws large numbers of pilgrims from across Vietnam. The many pagodas that make up the Perfume Pagoda are spread out among the limestone hills and tropical forests in the area of Huong Mountain. Following this fascinating experience, you’ll board another boat for an approximately 1 hour on a journey to Thien Tru Harbor. From there, you’ll take a cable car up to the spectacular Huong Tich Cave on the top of the mountain. At Huong Tich, you’ll admire statues of deities and learn how many pilgrims travel there to receive blessings from the stalactites and stalagmites, many of which have special purposes. The "Golden Tree" and the "Silver Tree" stalactites are considered especially lucky. Upon your return journey, you’ll visit the Giai Oan Spring and Tuyet Son Pagoda, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant before finally heading back to your hotel in Hanoi.

Ha Long: Lan Ha Bay 2-Day 5 Star Cruise With Luxury Cabin

10. Ha Long: Lan Ha Bay 2-Day 5 Star Cruise With Luxury Cabin

Explore Lan Ha Bay on a 2-day cruise. Sail past Con Vit islet, sunbathe on the deck, and enjoy a sunrise Tai Chi session as your cruise like a VIP. Day 1: Start with pickup from a meeting point in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Travel by highway to Tuan Chau marina. Hop onboard the boat and enjoy a welcome drink. Sit for a typical lunch in the luxury dining room with an indoor or outdoor dining area. Continue cruising through Con Vit islet, Thumb islet, and Gia Luan harbor. Discover the natural lagoon of Lan Ha Bay. Discover the beautiful Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay. Select the between the options of visiting the Dark and Bright Cave of Lan Ha Bay, after about an hour by kayaking, or visit the Ba Trai Dao beaches to kayak and swim. Head back to the cruise for swimming at Lan Ha Bay and jump in the water. After swimming, enjoy a sunset party and watch the sunset over Halong Bay. Join a short cooking class demonstration. Dinner is then served with a fresh food menu featuring western foods as well. After dinner, enjoy some cocktails at a panoramic bar with a pool view or take part in one of the onboard activities like board games, movies, and squid fishing. Day 2: Take part in a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. A local light breakfast is served. Enjoy the stunning views of the Bay and its dramatic limestone islets as the boat sails through the calm emerald waters. Visit the famous Frog Pond. Here you can freely kayak and explore the landscape and then also swim for about an hour. Check out of your room and enjoy a lunch of Vietnamese cuisine. Disembark from the cruise as the crew says farewell. Travel back to Tuan Chau Marina for the transfer back to Hanoi Old Quarter.

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Frequently asked questions about Hanoi

What are the best day trips and excursions from Hanoi?

The best day trips and excursions from Hanoi are:

Ha Long Bay

Other Sightseeing Options in Hanoi

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What people are saying about Hanoi

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 2,246 reviews

The day out was great. Our guide was funny, kind and informative. He answered our questions and shared interesting stories. The bike ride was nice and the boat ride was peaceful- cool in January so if you feel the cold take an extra layer. The lunch was filling but simple- probably a good idea to take some snacks with you during the day. The hike was a good end to the long drive day- challenging enough without being hard and great views.

What a great day! Austin was funny and friendly, showing me unique places and answer my many many questions. He shared his personal favourites and made sure I got to see the train street. He was excellent. The tour was great value for money- I ate so much food and it was all delicious.

It is a very fulfilling tour. However, please be careful as the rower woman of the boat tour attacks the tip and the man who sells the photos taken without permission is persistent.

Absolutely amazing experience and the guide and driver were so sweet, patient and helpful. I've visited 30 countries and have been on countless tours, this tour was special.

Great trip with beautiful views. Great Hop Guide (if I spelled it right) in English Gary. Very friendly, nice guy with great knowledge about Vietnam!