15 Best Outdoor Activities in Hanoi

Hanoi offers an array of outdoor activities that provide a perfect way to experience the city’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. Here’s a guide to some of the best outdoor activities to enjoy in Hanoi:

1. Have A Stroll at Hoan Kiem Lake

Ngoc Son Temple is an unmissable Hanoi tourist attraction (Source Collected)
Ngoc Son Temple is an unmissable Hanoi tourist attraction (Source Collected)
  • Description: Located in the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a scenic spot ideal for a leisurely walk. It’s surrounded by historical temples and pagodas and often hosts live performances and traditional activities.
  • Highlights: Cool air, beautiful scenery, and cultural performances.
  • One of the most iconic places in Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake, located in the heart of the city. This lake is often referred to as the heart of Hanoi and is steeped in legend. According to the tale, a magic sword given to King Le Loi helped him and his troops to drive out the invaders, and after the victory, the sword was returned to the Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) in the lake.Hoan Kiem Lake is an ideal destination for a leisurely walk. The area is known for its cool air and beautiful scenery, making it a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts. Surrounding the lake are historical temples and pagodas, providing a picturesque backdrop.In addition to its natural beauty, the lake is a cultural hotspot. Walking along Hoan Kiem Lake, tourists can witness live performances by young artists and engage in traditional Vietnamese activities. The lake is a vibrant part of Hanoi, offering both relaxation and a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage.

2. Ride A Boat in West LakeHanoi west lake

  • Description: West Lake is the largest lake in Hanoi and a great place for boating. Renting a pedalo boat offers a relaxing way to enjoy the lake’s views.
  • Highlights: Cool breeze, relaxing atmosphere, and family-friendly.
  • Believe it or not, West Lake is the largest lake in the capital of Vietnam. Its vast expanse provides ample space for a variety of outdoor activities. One of the most enjoyable and memorable activities you can experience here is boating. For a fun family outing, consider hiring a pedalo boat to take in the beautiful views of Hanoi from the lake. This relatively new form of entertainment at West Lake is both fun and safe, making it suitable for everyone, including children.The gentle breeze and cool air at West Lake offer a refreshing and relaxing experience, especially after a long day. It’s a great idea to bring along some water and snacks for a little picnic on the boat. However, it’s important to remember to dispose of your trash properly to help preserve the natural beauty of the lake and protect the environmen

3. Visit Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is the first university of Vietnam (Source: Collected)
Hanoi tour packages-https://vietnamdiscoverytours.com/
  • Description: As Vietnam’s first university, the Temple of Literature is a historical and cultural treasure. It features fine arts and architecture from the past.
  • Highlights: Khue Van pavilion, Thien Quang well, and over 80 doctors’ steles.
  • The Temple of Literature is renowned as the first university of Vietnam. Historically, it was an exclusive educational institution where only the most talented scholars were admitted. Today, the temple stands as a significant tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich educational and cultural heritage of Vietnam.The complex is divided into five distinct courtyards, each with its own unique features and historical significance:
    1. First Courtyard: This courtyard features a grand entrance gate that leads visitors into the serene and historic grounds of the temple.
    2. Second Courtyard: Here, visitors will find the Khue Van Pavilion, an iconic structure built as a symbol of present-day Hanoi. This pavilion is often regarded as a representation of the city’s scholarly and cultural achievements.
    3. Third Courtyard: In this area, one can see the Thien Quang Well, flanked by over 80 stone steles. These steles are engraved with the names of scholars who passed the royal examinations, serving as a testament to their academic excellence.
    4. Fourth Courtyard: This courtyard is dedicated to honoring Confucius and other esteemed scholars. Statues and altars are present, celebrating the contributions of these intellectual figures.
    5. Fifth Courtyard: The final courtyard continues to pay homage to scholars and sages, featuring additional altars and spaces for reflection and respect.

4. Visit Bat Trang Pottery Village

  • Description: A traditional village known for its ceramics, Bat Trang offers hands-on experiences in making pottery.
  • Highlights: Creating and decorating your own ceramic products.
  • If you have ever heard about Bat Trang Pottery Village, you may know it as a traditional village renowned for its ceramic production. This village is famous for creating a variety of ceramic items, including bowls, plates, and decorative pieces.One of the highlights of visiting Bat Trang Pottery Village is the opportunity to try your hand at making ceramics. The local artisans are usually very welcoming and happy to guide visitors through the process, starting with the simplest steps. This hands-on experience allows you to understand and appreciate the skill and artistry involved in ceramic making.If you create something you like, you can take your product home. Before doing so, you need to ask the artisans to fire your piece in the kiln, which is an essential step to harden and finish the ceramic. Once the firing process is complete, you can decorate your creation using your imagination and artistic flair.

    Bat Trang Pottery Village attracts both domestic and international tourists eager to experience the art of ceramics firsthand. It’s a unique and engaging activity that provides a deeper insight into Vietnamese culture and craftsmanship. Don’t miss the chance to visit this village and create your own ceramic masterpiece when you are in Hanoi.

5. Visit Perfume Pagoda

  • Description: Located 60 km southwest of Hanoi, the Perfume Pagoda is a complex of shrines and pagodas set in a beautiful landscape.
  • Highlights: Annual festival from January to March, religious and scenic beauty.
  • Perfume Pagoda is renowned as a significant religious site and a stunning sightseeing destination, not only in Hanoi but throughout Vietnam. Located 60 km southwest of Hanoi, this complex of shrines and pagodas is set amidst breathtaking natural scenery, making it a must-visit spot for tourists.One of the most notable times to visit Perfume Pagoda is during its annual festival, which runs from the middle of January to the middle of March. This festival attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the country, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere. However, if you prefer a more tranquil experience, it’s advisable to avoid visiting during this peak period due to the large crowds.The journey to Perfume Pagoda is part of the experience, often involving a scenic boat ride along the Yen Stream, followed by a hike or cable car ride up the mountain to the main pagoda. The site is not only a place of worship but also offers stunning views and a peaceful environment, perfect for reflection and appreciation of nature’s beauty.

    Visiting Perfume Pagoda outside of the festival period allows you to enjoy the serene atmosphere and explore the various temples and grottoes without the hustle and bustle of large crowds. Whether you are seeking spiritual solace or simply a beautiful place to visit, Perfume Pagoda offers an enriching experience.

6. See Animals at Thu Le Zoo

  • Description: Thu Le Zoo on Kim Ma Street houses a variety of animals and offers a shaded, relaxing environment for visitors.
  • Highlights: Wide range of animals and lush greenery.
  • If you love animals and enjoy comparing wildlife from different parts of the world, Thu Le Zoo on Kim Ma Street in Hanoi is a great place to visit. This zoo houses a wide variety of animals, including crocodiles, tigers, elephants, rhinos, birds, monkeys, and more. It offers a chance to see and learn about different species in a single location.The zoo is also filled with lush green trees, providing plenty of shaded areas where visitors can sit and relax. These spots are perfect for taking a break from exploring and watching the animals. The serene environment and natural surroundings make it a pleasant place for both adults and children to spend a day observing wildlife and enjoying the outdoors.Whether you’re an animal enthusiast or simply looking for a family-friendly activity in Hanoi, Thu Le Zoo provides an enjoyable and educational experience.

7. Visit One-Pillar Pagoda

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  • Description: This unique pagoda, built in the 11th century, is known for its distinctive architecture and historical significance.
  • Highlights: Vietnamese culture, rituals, and architecture.
  • Another unique attraction in the capital of Vietnam is the One Pillar Pagoda. This pagoda, constructed in the 11th century under the Ly dynasty, is steeped in legend and history. According to the story, King Ly Thanh Tong dreamed of the Buddha sitting on a lotus and handing him a baby son. Subsequently, he married and had a son, just as in his dream. In gratitude for this blessing, the King decided to build a temple in the middle of a lotus pond.The One Pillar Pagoda is an architectural marvel and a symbol of Vietnamese culture and spirituality. It is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a symbol of purity in Buddhism, rising from a single stone pillar in the middle of a lotus pond.Visiting the One Pillar Pagoda offers tourists an opportunity to learn more about Vietnamese architecture, culture, rituals, and beliefs. The serene environment and historical significance make it a must-visit spot for anyone exploring Hanoi.

    Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
    Location: Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ba Dinh District

    The pagoda is easily accessible and situated near other significant landmarks in Hanoi, making it a convenient addition to your sightseeing itinerary.

8. Play Golf

  • Description: Hanoi offers several golf clubs catering to all skill levels, with modern facilities and beautiful settings.
  • Highlights: King’s Island Golf Resort, Hanoi Golf Club, and additional amenities like spas and restaurants.
  • For golf enthusiasts, Hanoi offers an ideal destination with a variety of golf clubs catering to players of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, you can enjoy a memorable golfing experience amidst stunning landscapes and top-notch facilities.Some of the notable golf clubs in Hanoi include:
    1. Country Club: Known for its modern amenities and high-quality equipment, Country Club provides a picturesque setting for golfers. Situated amidst lush greenery, it offers a serene environment for a relaxing game of golf.
    2. King’s Island Golf Resort: This resort boasts a stunning mountainous site, offering golfers breathtaking views while they play. With its well-designed courses and luxurious amenities, King’s Island Golf Resort provides an unforgettable golfing experience.
    3. Hanoi Golf Club: Another popular choice among golfers, Hanoi Golf Club features spacious grounds and attractive designs. In addition to its excellent golf services, the club offers accommodation, spas, swimming pools, and restaurants, ensuring that every customer is treated to a memorable experience.

    These golf clubs in Hanoi not only provide top-notch golfing facilities but also offer a range of amenities to help golfers unwind and relax after a game. Whether you’re looking to improve your skills, enjoy a leisurely round of golf, or simply soak in the tranquil surroundings, Hanoi’s golf clubs have something for every golfer to enjoy.

9. Go Shopping

  • Description: The Old Quarter’s markets are a must-visit for shopping enthusiasts, offering everything from food to souvenirs.
  • Highlights: Hang Bac Street (Silver Street), Hang Gai Street (Silk Street), and traditional souvenirs like Áo Dài and Nón Lá.
  • When visiting Hanoi, Vietnam, one of the must-not-skip experiences is exploring the vibrant outdoor markets on foot. Hanoi boasts a plethora of day and night markets that cater to tourists, offering a wide array of goods including food, clothing, and souvenirs.In the historic Old Quarter, you’ll find streets named after the products they specialize in, a unique feature not found in other parts of the country. For example, Hang Bac Street, also known as Silver Street, is the place to go for silver bracelets and necklaces. If you’re in search of clothing, head to Hang Gai Street, also known as Silk Street.Navigating the Old Quarter’s bustling streets may seem daunting, but fear not—locals are friendly and willing to help guide you to your desired destination. Alternatively, you can prepare yourself with a map to avoid getting lost in the labyrinthine alleys.

    Among the most popular souvenirs for tourists visiting Vietnam are Áo Dài (traditional Vietnamese dresses) and Nón Lá (palm-leaf conical hats). These items can be easily found in the Old Quarter, and the prices are typically reasonable, making them ideal gifts for friends and family back home.

    Exploring Hanoi’s outdoor markets offers not only a chance to shop for unique goods but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and bustling atmosphere.

10. Have A Massage

  • Description: After a day of exploration, a massage is a perfect way to unwind. Many 4 and 5-star hotels and standalone spas offer diverse treatments.
  • Highlights: Anam-QT Spa Hanoi, Bellissima Salon and Spa.
  • After a long day of exploring the bustling streets and vibrant attractions of Hanoi, treating yourself to a massage is a true delight for visitors. Many 4 or 5-star hotels in the city offer massage services to their guests, providing a luxurious way to unwind and rejuvenate.At these hotels, you can choose from a variety of massage therapies tailored to your preferences. Whether you prefer a traditional Vietnamese massage, a soothing Thai massage, or a relaxing Swedish massage, there’s something to suit every taste. Additionally, guests can indulge in other spa treatments such as facial masks, oil treatments, or body wraps, enhancing the overall relaxation experience.For those who prefer to explore beyond their hotel’s offerings, Hanoi is home to a number of reputable spas such as Anam-QT Spa Hanoi and Bellissima Salon and Spa. These spas offer a diverse range of treatments in addition to massages, ensuring that visitors have plenty of options to choose from. With their excellent services and easily accessible locations, these spas provide a convenient and enjoyable way to unwind and pamper yourself during your stay in Hanoi.

    Whether you opt for a massage at your hotel or venture out to a nearby spa, taking the time to relax and rejuvenate is an essential part of any visit to Hanoi. Treat yourself to a massage and experience the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence amidst the bustling energy of the city.

11. Take A Cyclo Tour

  • Description: Cyclo tours provide a unique way to explore Hanoi’s streets at a leisurely pace, allowing for great photo opportunities.
  • Highlights: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, and Red River.
  • One of the most iconic and distinctive features of Hanoi is the cyclo, a traditional mode of transportation that is rarely found in other parts of Vietnam. Despite the bustling energy of the city, tourists can still enjoy a leisurely and pleasant tour aboard a cyclo, allowing them to explore every corner of the streets at a relaxed pace.A cyclo tour offers a unique perspective of Hanoi, allowing visitors to see everything that unfolds on the roads and streets of the city. As you leisurely traverse through the bustling streets, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the sights, sounds, and vibrant atmosphere of Hanoi up close. From the historic landmarks and architectural gems to the bustling markets and lively street scenes, a cyclo tour provides a comprehensive overview of the city’s rich culture and heritage.One of the highlights of a cyclo tour is the opportunity to capture memorable moments through photography. With the slow pace of the cyclo, you’ll have ample time to snap photos of the picturesque streetscapes, colorful buildings, and bustling activities unfolding around you.

    Overall, a cyclo tour offers a delightful and immersive way to experience the charm and character of Hanoi. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, hopping aboard a cyclo is an unforgettable way to explore the unique sights and sounds of this vibrant city.

12. Swim at West Lake Water Park

  • Description: The water park features numerous slides, pools, and water-based activities for all ages.
  • Highlights: High-speed slides, wave machine, and hydrotherapy pool.
  • Hanoi’s West Lake Water Park offers a fantastic destination for both adults and children seeking water-based activities and entertainment. With a range of attractions and facilities, it promises a thrilling day out for all ages.Attractions:
    • Slides and Tubes: The water park boasts 12 slides and tubes of various shapes and sizes, providing endless fun and excitement for visitors.
    • Hydrotherapy Pool: For those seeking relaxation, the hydrotherapy pool offers a soothing experience to unwind and rejuvenate.
    • Wave Machine: Experience the thrill of riding waves in the wave pool, creating an exciting atmosphere reminiscent of the beach.
    • Diving Pool: Dive into adventure in the diving pool, perfect for those looking to practice their diving skills or simply enjoy a refreshing plunge.
    • Lazy River: Children can delight in floating along the lazy river, soaking up the sun and enjoying the leisurely pace of the water.

    Sliding Lanes:

    • Test your courage and speed on the sliding lanes, one of the most exhilarating activities at the water park.
    • Choose from a variety of lanes suited to different preferences and levels of bravery, from high-speed lanes for solo adventurers to thrilling black lanes for couples.
    • Don’t miss the ultimate challenge: the 14.5-meter carpet sliding lanes, guaranteed to provide an adrenaline rush like no other.

    Location: 614 Lac Long Quan Street
    Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm

    Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping thrills or relaxing aquatic fun, Hanoi’s West Lake Water Park has something for everyone. Plan your visit and dive into an unforgettable water adventure in the heart of the city.

13. Ride A Bike

  • Description: Cycling offers a fantastic way to explore both urban and rural areas around Hanoi, including scenic countryside routes.
  • Highlights: Long Bien bridge, Bat Trang pottery village, and traditional gardens.
  • For those who are not comfortable navigating the bustling streets of Hanoi on a motorbike, riding a bicycle offers a more relaxed and immersive way to experience the city. Cycling allows you to seamlessly blend into the flow of traffic while enjoying the sights and sounds of Hanoi’s vibrant streets.

    Benefits of Cycling:

    • Ease of Transportation: Riding a bicycle provides a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around Hanoi without the stress of motorbike traffic.
    • Exploration: With a bicycle, you have the freedom to explore various parts of the city, including its rural outskirts. Venture beyond the urban center to discover picturesque rice paddies, stunning flower and vegetable gardens, and ancient temples and pagodas dating back to the 12th century.
    • Immersive Experience: Cycling allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life. Interact with friendly locals, sample delicious street food, and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.
    • Exercise: Cycling is not only a fun way to explore Hanoi, but it also provides a great form of exercise. Enjoy the fresh air and scenic views as you pedal your way through the city and its surrounding countryside.

    Tips for Cycling in Hanoi:

    • Safety First: Always wear a helmet and follow traffic rules to ensure a safe cycling experience.
    • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water, especially during hot weather, to stay hydrated while cycling.
    • Plan Your Route: Before setting out, plan your route and familiarize yourself with Hanoi’s cycling lanes and bike-friendly paths.
    • Take Breaks: Don’t forget to take breaks and rest whenever needed, especially during longer rides.
    • Enjoy the Journey: Take your time and enjoy the journey. Cycling in Hanoi offers a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings, so soak in the sights and sounds as you pedal along.

    Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Hanoi or venturing into its tranquil countryside, cycling offers a rewarding and unforgettable way to experience the beauty and charm of this vibrant city. Gear up, hop on a bike, and embark on an adventure-filled journey through the heart of Hanoi.

14. Try Trang Tien Ice-cream

  • Description: Known for its unique flavors, Trang Tien ice-cream is a beloved treat among locals and tourists alike.
  • Highlights: Flavors like vanilla, green tea, and chocolate.
  • When visiting Hanoi, one culinary delight that you absolutely must try is Trang Tien ice cream. This delectable treat is beloved by locals and tourists alike for its unique flavors and affordable price, making it a favorite among people of all ages.Why Trang Tien Ice Cream?
    • Special Flavors: Trang Tien ice cream offers a wide variety of flavors that cater to different tastes and preferences. From classic options like vanilla and chocolate to more adventurous choices like green tea, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
    • Popular Among Locals and Tourists: The popularity of Trang Tien ice cream is evident from the long lines and crowded shops. Whether you’re strolling through the streets of Hanoi or exploring its bustling markets, you’re bound to come across shops selling this beloved treat.
    • Affordable: Despite its popularity, Trang Tien ice cream remains affordable, allowing you to indulge in as many cones as you like without breaking the bank.

    Flavor Options:

    • Vanilla: A timeless classic that never disappoints, vanilla ice cream is creamy, smooth, and perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
    • Green Tea: For those craving a more unique flavor, green tea ice cream offers a subtle yet refreshing taste that is sure to delight your taste buds.
    • Chocolate: Indulge your chocolate cravings with rich and decadent chocolate ice cream, perfect for chocolate lovers of all ages.

    Price and Accessibility:

    • Despite its popularity, Trang Tien ice cream remains affordable, making it accessible to everyone. Whether you’re exploring the streets of Hanoi or visiting popular tourist attractions, you’re likely to find shops selling this delicious treat at reasonable prices.

    Conclusion: Trang Tien ice cream is more than just a sweet treat – it’s a culinary experience that embodies the essence of Hanoi’s vibrant food scene. With its wide range of flavors, affordability, and popularity among locals and tourists alike, Trang Tien ice cream is a must-try for anyone visiting the charming city of Hanoi. So be sure to indulge in this delightful treat and savor the flavors of Hanoi’s culinary heritage.

15. Visit Ta Hien Street to Try Some Beer

Discover Hanoi Bia Hoi - A specialty not to be missed when coming to the capital
Discover Hanoi Bia Hoi – A specialty not to be missed when coming to the capital
  • Description: Ta Hien Street, or Bia Hoi Corner, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and beer culture.
  • Highlights: Lively atmosphere, street performances, and local beer.
  • Ta Hien Street, also known as Bia Hoi Corner, holds a special place in the hearts of tourists, particularly foreign visitors, as it offers a quintessential experience of Hanoi’s vibrant beer culture. Here, you’ll find a lively atmosphere filled with laughter, conversation, and the clinking of glasses as people gather to enjoy cold beers and good company.The Heart of Hanoi’s Beer Scene:
    • Popular Tourist Destination: Ta Hien Street is often the first stop for tourists when they arrive in Hanoi. Its reputation as the hub of Hanoi’s beer culture draws visitors from around the world who are eager to experience its unique charm.
    • Bia Hoi Corner: At Bia Hoi Corner, you’ll find a cluster of sidewalk bars and eateries where locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy Bia Hoi, a light and refreshing draft beer that is a staple of Vietnamese drinking culture.
    • Vibrant Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Ta Hien Street is electric, with people spilling out onto the pavement, chatting animatedly, and sharing stories over glasses of beer. It’s a place where strangers quickly become friends as they bond over their love of good beer and lively conversation.
    • Live Entertainment: To add to the festive atmosphere, you’ll often find live music performances at Ta Hien Street. From traditional Vietnamese tunes to Western classics, the music adds an extra layer of excitement to the bustling street scene.

    Immersive Cultural Experience:

    • Visiting Ta Hien Street isn’t just about drinking beer – it’s about immersing yourself in Hanoi’s rich cultural tapestry. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with locals, learn about Vietnamese beer culture, and experience the warmth and hospitality for which the city is renowned.

    Conclusion: Ta Hien Street and Bia Hoi Corner are more than just places to enjoy a cold beer – they’re vibrant hubs of social activity where locals and tourists come together to celebrate life, friendship, and the spirit of Hanoi. So, if you’re looking to experience the true essence of Vietnamese beer culture, be sure to make a stop at Ta Hien Street during your visit to Hanoi.