24 hours in Hanoi Itinerary: What you need to know

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Hanoi Itinerary: 24 Hours

If you only have 24 hours in Hanoi.. let’s make them count! There is something about Hanoi that captured my heart from the first time that I visited. Hanoi seems to possess a sense of organized chaos. If you’ve ever stood at an intersection here then you might understand the feeling that I’m trying to describe. There are hundreds of bikes, cars, and buses and yet without any real direction they somehow manage to ride (relatively) harmoniously. Not going to lie, I’ve stood at an intersection for at least 10 minutes before because I was too nervous to cross myself haha. This Hanoi itinerary will cover everything that you need to know if you only have 24 hours in this crazy city.

If you only have 24 hours in Hanoi there are a few stops and activities that you absolutely have to experience on your Hanoi itinerary in order to get a great first taste of the city!

Hanoi Itinerary – What to Do in 24 Hours

Visit the Train Street

Visiting the Train Street is probably my favorite thing to do in Hanoi. Where else can you see a train rattling through a residential road. Wander up and down the tracks, or grab a cup of local coffee to get a glimpse of family life in Hanoi. But please watch out for the train! Getting hit by a train is not a part of this Hanoi itinerary

24 hours in Hanoi, Vietnam - A Visit to Train Street
Train Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

24 Hours in Hanoi, Vietnam - Visiting the Train Street Visiting the Train Street - 24 hours in Hanoi Itinerary

Drink at Bia Hoi Corner (or any other corner)

At any given hour of the day you can find older men sitting on the side of the road drinking a beer. (Very) small plastic chairs and tables are set up to enjoy your freshly brewed glass. A typical glass sells for about $0.25 USD, so no breaking the bank on this one. A glass of fresh bia hoi is a must on any Hanoi itinerary, and one of the best things to do in Hanoi at night. 

 24 Hours in Hanoi - Drinking Cheap, Fresh Beer at Bia Hoi Corner 24 Hours in Hanoi - Drinking Cheap, Fresh Beer

Browse the Dong Xuan Market

This massive market is a must-see if you only have 24 hours in Hanoi. I swear you can buy anything at this indoor/outdoor market arena. We saw everything from dried fruit and livestock to underwear and Santa costumes. Definitely worth a browse!

24 Hours in Hanoi itinerary - Dong Xuan Market
Market, Hanoi, Vietnam

24 Hours in Hanoi - Shopping at Dong Xuan Market

Pay Your Respect at Bach Ma Temple

This central temple is definitely worth a stop on your Hanoi itinerary, especially as you’re exploring the city on foot. The temple is small, centrally located, and has no entrance fee. Pop in quickly and have a look around.

 24 Hours in Hanoi - Bach Ma Temple 24 Hours in Hanoi - Visiting Bach Ma Temple

Get a Glimpse of O Quan Chuong

This gate is located in the North East corner of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was originally built in the 1700s and was later renovated in the 1800s. A beautiful piece of Hanoi’s history and the perfect place to snap a few quick shots.

24 Hours in Hanoi - Visiting O Quan Chuong Gate

Wander and Take in the Local Scene of Hanoi’s Old Quarter

 24 Hours in Hanoi itinerary - Old Quarter - Woman Selling Pineapples 24 Hours in Hanoi - Old Quarter - Roadside Cooking 24 Hours in Hanoi - Old Quarter - Local Pho Stalls

Hanoi Itinerary: Where to Eat

Bun Cha: Bun Cha 34 Hang Than (a must on any Hanoi itinerary)

I don’t even usually eat pork and trust me when I say that this dish is truly magical! There was so much flavor and the meat was cooked to perfection! With only 24 hours I absolutely would NOT miss this amazing, local spot on your Hanoi itinerary.

24 Hours in Hanoi - Best Bun Cha in Hanoi

Bahn Mi: Bahn Mi Stand (corner of Hang Ca and Thuoc Bac)

Throughout my time in Hanoi I was constantly on the search for the best Bahn Mi in the city. Well if you only have 24 hours in Hanoi then this is your spot! Cooked up right on the side of the road, these Bahn Mi are both cheap and delicious! I think I ate 3 of them in the course of 24 hours once… no regrets!

 24 Hours in Hanoi - Best Bahn Mi in Hanoi 24 Hours in Hanoi - Bahn Mi Stalls in Hanoi

Pho: Pho Shop (on Quang Trung between Hai Ba Trung and Trang Thi)

I stumbled upon this local pho spot after an afternoon at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and was pleasantly surprised! Located just around the corner, this is a perfect post-museum stop! The pho is cheap, simple, and delicious!

24 Hours in Hanoi - Local Pho Spot

Heading to Hoi An next? Make sure to check out my post on this amazing city here! 

Pho: Quan Pho Gia Truyen

So I admittedly didn’t get a chance to eat here because the lines were insane! However, this pho spot has been recommended to me so many times that I felt the need to add it to my Hanoi itineray. Give it a try and let me know in the comments below what you think!

Quan Pho Gia Truyen - Best Pho in Hanoi - 24 Hours in Hanoi
Photo submitted by Manse K on Trip Advisor

Hanoi Itinerary: Where to Stay

Stay in a Dorm at Republik Backpacker’s Hostel

This hostel’s is one of my favorites in Vietnam! The beds come with a personal fan, outlet, light, and privacy curtain, which allow for a great night of sleep. The hostel is social without being a rowdy party hostel, which is great if you’re actually trying to get some sleep. One of favorite hostel perks is the 10 minutes of free beer at the start of every hour in the evening!

Click here for more information on booking a night at Republik Backpacker’s Hostel

Republik Backpacker's Hostel - 24 Hours in Hanoi
Photo from agoda.com

Book a Private Room at 3B Hanoi Homestay

My friend and I booked a night here when you arrived in Hanoi late. The private rooms are basic but come with all of the necessary amenities for a pleasant night. Rooms start at $25/night USD and include an excellent breakfast buffet.

Click here for more information on booking a night at 3B Hanoi Homestay

24 Hours in Hanoi - 3B Hanoi Homestay
Photo from hotels.jetstar.com

If you’re visiting Vietnam, here are some other articles that you should check out:

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 24 Hours in Hanoi Itinerary - Vietnam - Where to Eat, Sleep, and Explore 24 Hours in Hanoi Itinerary - Vietnam - Everything You Need to Know

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