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Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, buzzes with life, from the ancient chaos of the markets in the Old Quarter to the modern chaos of the traffic system. The Old Quarter is a wonderfully uninterrupted warren of colonial and pre-colonial architecture and there are few buildings that are over five storeys high. This is where you'll find some of the best places to stay in Hanoi.
There's a wonderful east meets west look to Hanoi. The gardens and riverside markets are quintessentially Asian, but the boulevards are positively Parisian. This makes sense considering the French made Hanoi the capital of French Indochina from the 1880s to the 1950s.
Hanoi also has a number of excellent museums, including one to Ho Chi Minh, an Army Museum and an Air Force Museum, several museums charting Vietnam's history - one specialising in the revolution and a Fine Arts Museum alongside a number of impressive temples.
What not to miss:
- One of the most famous of Hanoi's museums has to be Hoa Lo Prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton by American P.O.W.s and a relic of both the war with the US and the war of independence from France. Most of the exhibits tell of the period in the mid 1950s when American pilots were held here - including the future Senator John McCain. It does have a French guillotine too, though.
- The Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology is fascinating for a less grizzly reason, it houses a collection of art and artefacts collected from Vietnam’s different ethnic minorities, including a fantastic collection of traditional village houses.
- To get the full overview of Vietnams’s history you should also visit the National Museum of Vietnamese History, full of relics and treasures, and all housed in an architecturally impressive building.
- Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and his stilt house, are also fascinating places to visit. As is the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and Heritage House, one of the Old Quarter’s best restored properties.
- Beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake is a wonderful place for a stroll, and the nearby Hai Ba Trung Temple is also worth a look in. Both the lake and the temple have some fantastic stories associated with them.
- When it comes to the temples it’s equally hard to refine them to a shortlist, but the Confucian Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 and site of the country’s first university, is fantastic. The names of exceptional students have been recorded here, and it’s exciting to imagine what an honour it would be.
- Hanoi’s oldest temple is the Old Quarter’s tiny Bach Ma Temple, it was said to have been originally built in the 11th century by the Emperor who built this city, in monument to the white horse who is said to have guided him to this spot.
- And, of course, as many street markets as you can realistically fit in.
This vibrant city is a great jump off point to any Vietnamese adventure, due to this the best places to stay in Hanoi get booked up fast so be sure to make your reservations early.
The Best Places to Stay in Hanoi
For Great Value
- The Hotel Garden Queen is a charming little hotel full of character and antiques. Oriental throws adorn the beds, whilst exposed brickwork give rooms a vintage feel. An unbeatable location slap bang in the busy old quarter is a bonus as is the price tag.
For a boutique stay
- The Maison d'Orient is a small, and perfectly formed, boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter featuring chic rooms with hardwood floors, clean design and large double windows leading onto private balconies.
- The contemporary property, Maison d'Hanoi Boutique Hotel, is located in the heart of the Old Quarter and boasts well appointed rooms, minimal design, large windows and crisp white linen.
For a central location
- The Church Boutique Hotel is a calm, quiet escape in the charmingly chaotic old quarter of Hanoi.
- An elegant hotel situated in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Golden Silk Boutique Hotel offers chic rooms with rosewood floors, enormous beds and large works of Vietnamese art. The uber modern bathrooms complete with bathtub are an added treat.
For contemporary style
- The chic Anise Hotel has smartly designed rooms with crisp linen, local art and plush bathrooms and a fantastic restaurant located on the 11th floor boasting great city views.
For colonial charm
- The Hotel Metropole gives a luxurious French colonial welcome in a not particularly luxurious city. Close to the centre of town, this is a 360+ room hotel, so there's a number of dining options and an extensive spa menu with both Eastern and Western style therapies.
For a hotel with a spa
- The small hotel, Essence Hanoi, is packed full of charm and complete with fabulous spa that uses both ancient philosophies and modern techniques.
- A star on Hanoi’s hotel scene, the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake offers all the luxurious amenities you’d expect from the five-star hotel group.
- Just across from the Hanoi Opera House, the legendary Sofitel Legend Metropole is an historic hotel oozing colonial charm. The 360+ rooms have hardwood floors and French windows and the restaurant and bar are quite glamorous.
- If you like your decor modern, the Hotel de L'Opera might be for you, it’s a luxury property in Hanoi's Old Quarter with hip design and a classic Vietnamese restaurant. The furniture is a shade of dark pink and there are large, sometimes dramatic, paintings in the 107 rooms.
For a hotel with pool
- The Movenpick Hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms with all the mod cons you'd expect from a large chain. It also boasts a large pool and an enviable location in the Hoan Kiem District.
- The Hilton Hanoi Opera is perfectly located in the heart of Hanoi’s beautiful French quarter in Hoan Kiem. The hotel has 260+ rooms, which are simple, modern and charming, plus a choice of restaurants onsite and an outdoor pool. Rooms start from under £80 per night.
For an apartment or villa
- If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.
- Fly to Noi Bai International Airport located just 35km (45-60min) north of the city or take the train to Gia Lam Station (connections to China) or Hanoi Station.
- Best time to visit - Hanoi has a hot summer with high rainfall and a dry cold winter. Autumn is a beautiful time in the city when temperatures average around 25 degree and days are dry and sunny.
- If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Hanoi
Hotel Garden Queen 9 rooms from £35Hanoi (Hoan Kiem)
A charming little hotel full of character and antiques. Oriental throws adorn the beds, whilst exposed brickwork give rooms a vintage feel. Unbeatable location slap bang in the busy old quarter is a bonus whilst the tranquil roof terrace allows you to get away from it all. Delicious local cuisine.Local markets - Hang Ngang-Hang Dao Market is a bustling bounty of clothes, pottery and Banh mi.Sights nearby - The peaceful pagodas of Ngoc Son Temple are a must visit.Great walks - Perambulate the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake.Full of character
Maison d'Orient 12 rooms from £36Hanoi (Hoan Kiem)
A small, and perfectly formed, boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter. Chic rooms feature hardwood floors, clean design and large double windows leading onto private balconies. A real gem of a hotel, at an excellent price, to explore the city from.Value chic - A beautifully renovated property in the heart of the old town.Local exploring - Well positioned to access many of Hanoi's sights by foot.Sights nearby - Walking distance from St Joseph Cathedral and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Maison d'Hanoi Boutique Hotel 38 rooms from £38Hanoi (Hoan Kiem District)
A contemporary boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter. Well appointed rooms are minimal in design with large windows and crisp white linen. Vietnamese or international cuisine is served at the restaurant. Well located and with a very reasonable price tag. An ideal spot for city exploring.City Style - Slick, contemporary and in a great location to access Hanoi's best restaurants, nightlife and attractions.Sights nearby - Visit the impressive St Joseph's Cathedral.Great walks - Take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Church Boutique Hotel 44 rooms from £38Hanoi (Hoan Kiem District)
A calm, quiet escape in the charmingly chaotic old quarter of Hanoi. Unique Vietnamese architecture combined with expressive decor and artistry. Crisp clean comfy beds and spectacular service make this a memorable experience. The Piano Bar is a lovely spot to unwind with a cocktail.Value chic - It's unbeatable value in the heart of the city, with doubles from as little as £40 per night including breakfast.Local markets - Explore the the shops in the Old Quarter, each street specialises in a different product from coffee to silk scarves.Great walks - Take a break from the hectic streets and wander around around Hoan Kiem lake.Sights nearby - Just ten miniutes from the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum.Recommended by - I Escape
Golden Silk Boutique Hotel 55 rooms from £53Hanoi (Hoan Kiem District)
An elegant hotel situated in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Chic rooms feature rosewood floors, enormous beds and large works of Vietnamese art. Uber modern bathrooms complete with bathtub. A vietnamese fusion restaurant, rooftop bar and piano bar. Well priced and located. An excellent city joint.City Style - Contemporary Vietnamese design with gorgeous bathrooms and well located particularly for hitting the shops.Sights nearby - Visit the nearby Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum or One Pillar Pagoda.Great walks - Take an evening stroll around Hoan Kiem lake.Local markets - Shop for silk products on Hang Gai.
Essenced Hanoi 24 rooms from £56Hanoi (Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist.)
A well designed hotel in Hanoi's Old Quarter. White rooms with dark furniture and luxurious bathrooms. Delicious Vietnamese cuisine is served in the restaurant alongside western fare. An indulgent spa mixes ancient philosophies and modern techniques. Well located and priced for city exploring.Local exploring - A stylish hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter ideally placed for accessing the best street life and shopping.Great walks - Take a meander around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake.Local markets - Delve into the bustling Dong Xuan market.Spa
Anise Hotel 42 rooms from £61Hanoi (Ba Dinh)
A contemporary hotel at the bottom end of Hoan Kiem lake. Smartly designed rooms with crisp linen, local art and plush bathrooms. A restaurant located on the 11th floor boasts great city views. A gym, bar and business centre. A chic choice.City Style - A chic hotel in a lovely part of the city.Local markets - Get a taste of the real Hanoin life at the bustling Dong Xuan Market.Sights nearby - Walking distance from the Hochiminh mausoleum.Great walks - Take an evening stroll around Hoan Kiem lake.
Movenpick Hanoi 154 rooms from £77Hanoi (Hoan Kiem District)
Modern and convenient business hotel a short walk from Hanoi's major attractions including Hoan Kiem Lake and the bustling Old Quarter. A great choice for those travelling on business, but who are keen to experience some of the city too!Sights nearby - 5 mins to city centre and Old Quarter
Hilton Hanoi Opera 268 rooms from £78Hanoi
Brilliantly located in the heart of Hanoi’s French quarter, at the centre of the elegant Hoan Kiem district. Simple rooms with modern conveniences and an outdoor pool. The on site restaurants serve a mix of Vietnamese and European dishes. Within walking distance of the bustling old quarter.Local markets - Explore the streets of the famous Old Quarter, where you will find everything from great food to silk scarves.Sights nearby - Right next to the French-colonial Hanoi Opera House.Great walks - Take a stroll down to Hoan Kiem LakeLively - Hip and happening.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake 318 rooms from £111Hanoi (Nghi Tam)
A star on Hanoi’s hotel scene, the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake offers all the luxurious amenities you’d expect from the five-star hotel group. Boasting three restaurants serving modern Vietnamese fare and fine Italian, as well as an atmospheric roof top bar. Rooms are chic and classic.Cooking classes - Hanoi is all about the food and you can take home those flavours at the Hanoi Cooking Centre.Sights nearby - The 800 year old Kim Lien (Golden Lotus) Pagoda is just around the corner.Great walks - Embark on a walking food tour of Hanoi.Spa
Hotel Metropole, Hanoi 364 rooms from £120Hanoi (Hoan Kiem District)
This hotel puts a genuine smile on your face – a dollop of pure luxury and welcome in a not-very-luxurious city. The original Hanoi "Grand Dame" with French Colonial style throughout. Various dining options and pampering spa. An oasis in the centre of frenetic Hanoi.Sights nearby - In the centre of Hanoi just 160m from the famous Hanoi Opera House and close to Hoan Kiem Lake.Spa - Offering a range of Eastern and Western therapiesCooking classes - Learn Vietnamese cuisineTraditional - French colonial styleRecommended by - Tablet
Sofitel Legend Metropole 364 rooms from £120Hanoi (Hoàn Kiếm)
An iconic and historic hotel nestled in the French Quarter across from the Hanoi Opera House. The rooms ooze colonial charm with French windows, hardwood floors and effortless style. Some of the finest food in Hanoi, and plenty of glamour.Great walks - Stroll round Hoan Kiem Lake and check out the famous red bridge and the temple in the centre of itCooking classes - Check out the cookery class at the hotel, half-day and full-day courses are availableLocal markets - Get lost and find some great deals at Dong Xuan market, Hanoi’s largest.Sights nearby - Just around the corner find the famed and historic Hanoi Opera House.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection, Tablet, Fodors, I Escape
Hotel de L'Opera 107 rooms from £155Hanoi (Hoan Kiem district)
A luxury property in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Hip contemporary design runs throughout. Dramatic paintings reside above the bed that features an impossibly thick mattress. Dark pink furniture brings splashes of colour. An elegant bar and classic Vietnamese restaurant. One of Hanoi's finest.City Style - A truly elegant hotel merging French colonial style with modern Vietnamese vibrancy.Sights nearby - Visit the Cathedral of St Joseph and the Temple of Literature.Great walks - Take a walk around the serene Hoan Kiem Lake.Swimming Pool - Indoor Pool.Recommended by - Tablet