What to Do If You Only Have 2 Days in Hanoi

If you are running short of time and still want to explore the beauty of Hanoi within 2 days, then you reached the right post. It might seem hard to get a piece of the beautiful capital city within 48 hours but when you are running on a time limit and financial budget, you will make things happen without a doubt. Hanoi offers some of the popular tourist destinations like the Buddhist pagodas, lakes, colonial French architecture, and upmarket shopping destinations. The city is always overflowing with the motorcycle, but you can still get the essence of Vietnam through this strategic itinerary for 2 days in Hanoi.

This itinerary is for travelers on a tight schedule and limited time to explore the capital of Vietnam, and we made sure to include interesting spots and fun activities so that you do not miss out on anything when you are in Hanoi.

Day 1

Morning: Visit Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral

To start the 2-day trip, the first few places that you should begin with are the Hoan Kiem Lake, where people also go for jogging in the morning, the refreshing morning will be even better when you explore the Ngoc Son Temple, which is in close proximity to the lake. The temple is said to be there since the 18th century. After you are done exploring the temple, move towards other destinations, another place that you must visit in the surrounding area is St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It’s the symbol of excellence and you will be able to have a great time due to the stunning interior and interesting exterior.

Afternoon: Explore Hanoi Museums, Temples & Colonial Structures

Save the best for later, the daylight is to explore the beauty of the colonial architecture, there are many temples, museums and other colonial building that will astonish you in Hanoi. Some of the places that you can explore in the afternoon are the Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh District, Temple of Literature, and another popular hotspot in the surrounding area.

Evening: Relish the Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine in Old Quarter

If you did not enjoy enough Vietnamese cuisine yet, then evening time is the perfect snack time to enjoy some of the delicious dishes that are the specialty of Vietnam. The Old Quarters is the perfect place to start your food journey; this place has delicious seafood made with mussels, clams, squids, prawns, crabs. If you are confused, then head to the Duong Thanh Street, the eateries here have a specialty for crabmeat rolls, grilled pork with noodles, and some delicious white fish fillet. You can make another stop at the Xoi Yen located in the Nguyen Huu Hua Street, they serve the best sticky rice dishes.

See also Hanoi Street Foods

Night: Hanoi Weekend Night Market

You must have heard a lot about the weekend night market in Hanoi, well, do not miss the opportunity to explore this market when you are in Hanoi, plan your 2 days in Hanoi around the weekend. Not just shopping, but the night market is also an amazing place to eat some delicious street food. The Night Market is always oozing with tourists and locals buying and selling items like sunglasses, garments, decorative lights, handicrafts, popular souvenirs. The best part about the market is that you will get all the items in almost 50% discount.

See also 7 Markets in Hanoi     Best Souvenirs from Hanoi

Day 2

Morning: Let Us Take You to Halong Bay

People who left Hanoi without exploring Halong bay still regret it. Halong Bay is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Vietnam and people who know the magic of this place wouldn’t miss it for the world. The location is just 170 km (106 mi) away from the capital and you can easily travel by any means of transportation.

See also 10 Fascinating Things to Do in Halong Bay

Evening: The Traditional Water Puppet Theatre

If you have heard about the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and wanted to visit, then don’t hesitate to include the water puppet show in your days in Hanoi trip. The artists perform 17 sketches with the help of beautiful puppets. The show also has background music with the help of wooden bells, bamboo flutes, horns, drums and other traditional instruments. The entry fee is around VND 100,000 ($0.000043), and make sure you do the booking in advance.

Night: Club Hopping

The Capital city comes to life after sundown and Old Quarter is a perfect place for club hopping. Hanoi has some decent pubs and bars and you will love the food, music and company in these places. If you are worried about money, then do not because the entry begins at USD 0.5. The nightlife in Hanoi is worth exploring and you should definitely include club hopping in your 2 days in Hanoi trip.

Modes of Transportation: You can use any mode of transportation to move about, however, if you want to choose public transportation over car, then you can travel by motorbikes, trains, even local buses. The price depends on the distance you are covering, but you will easily travel within $1-$5 from downtown.

Optional Day Trips

• Trang An boat tour
• Join Sapa trekking tour
• Explore Tam Coc and Hoa Lu ancient capital
• cruise around Lan Ha Bay
• Visit the French Quarters

Your 2 days in Hanoi will be memorable if you stick to this itinerary. The chance of missing out is slip and exploring the most is high. Do not forget to carry the essential when you are rushing your 2 days in Hanoi. Explore the most in Hanoi at a decent price that is the goal of our itinerary.

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- Last updated on Jan. 27, 2021 -
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