Free Things to Do In Hanoi

Each year, millions of tourists would visit the beautiful city of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. The city is known for its interesting architectures, vibrant culture, and delicious local foods. Traveling to Hanoi does not really cost a lot, which is great for travelers on a budget. And the good news is that there are lots of free things to do in Hanoi that cater to all kinds of travelers.

Applying for a Vietnam Visa

If you’re a budget traveller, you’re probably looking for a cheaper and more convenient way to apply for your visa to Vietnam. When it comes to this, you can simply go to The website would process your pre-approval visa to Vietnam for a minimal fee. All you need is to fill out the form with your information and wait for an email from them. After a few days, you will receive the pre-approval letter through email and all you will do is to print it out. Bring the letter with you so when you arrive at the airport in Hanoi, you just need to present the letter and you’ll be good to go!

Once you have your Vietnam visa, you can start planning for your trip. If you’re trying to find ways on how you can save money on your trip, then check out these free things to do in Hanoi.

1. Stroll Around Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi

The Hoan Kiem Lake is one the most popular attractions in Hanoi and strolling by the lakeside is a popular activity by both locals and tourists. You can visit early in the morning where you’ll see locals doing their morning rituals, exercising, jogging, or practicing Tai Chi. This is also a great way to meet and interact with locals. The lake surrounds the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple, which sits right in the middle of a small island. You can choose to visit the temple for a minimal entrance fee.

2. Visit the Local Parks


Thong Nhat Park Hanoi

Hanoi is home to some of Vietnam’s most beautiful parks, such as the Thong Nhat Park. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists. Just like in the Hoan Kiem Lake, you’ll find lots of people in this park doing their morning rituals. This is also a great spot for picnics and a perfect place to visit if you’re traveling with the kids. Aside from the Thong Nhat Park, there are several other parks in Hanoi that are free for you to visit. If you want to relax and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter, then visiting these parks would be a great idea.

3. Cross the Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge Hanoi

The Long Bien bridge is a 100-year old bridge made from wrought iron and is one of the most iconic sites in Hanoi, having endured the Vietnam American war. Time your visit in the afternoon, as this is a perfect spot to witness the most scenic sunset views in the city. Trains are still crossing the bridge and you can walk along it by the side, which makes for a more incredible experience. Plus, the bridge is already looking a bit run down so it may not be for the faint of heart!

4. Explore the Old Quarter

Night life of Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is perhaps the busiest area in Hanoi and exploring this place is such a wonderful experience. Walking along the streets, you’ll encounter a lot of activities along the way, and you’ll get to pass by many food vendors selling the most delicious local foods, including a piping hot bowl of Pho! If you want to avoid the crowd, time your visit early in the morning when most tourists are still in bed and only a few local vendors can be seen setting up their shop.

5. Watch the Changing of the Guards

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi

If you wake up early in the morning, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the changing of the guards at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Every morning, immaculately dressed guards can be seen performing an impressive change of the guard routine, which is truly entertaining to watch! After the performance, take time to visit the mausoleum where the remains of Uncle Ho (Former President Ho Chi Minh) are kept. It comes with an entrance fee but it’s definitely worth it!

Indeed, there are so many free things to do in Hanoi. So if you’re someone who travels on a budget, you’ll surely have a great time in the city without going beyond your travel budget!