If Saigon is the frenetic, commercial heartbeat of Vietnam then gentle, verdant, historic Hanoi is the sedate, intellectual soul of the country. Its leafy boulevards, serene lakes and sweeping white French colonial architecture set the scene as tourists and locals alike seem to go about their business at a pleasingly civilised pace. The city is the administrative capital of the country and its political metronome still beats to communist time, but with a distinctly modern nod towards welcoming tourists from all over the world to enjoy its rich and varied heritage.

Facts

Population

6,451,909 (in 2009)

Currency

Dong (VND)

Opening hours

Shops are generally open from 8-8.30 to 21.00, 22.00, but can close for lunch for one or two hours. Banks are open Monday-Friday from 7.30-8.00 to 11.30 and from 13.00-16.00, and are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Governmental offices are open 7.30-16.30, excluding a one-hour lunch, Monday-Friday and closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Newspapers

Nhan Dan (State newspaper, also available online in English) Vietnam News (English daily) The Vietnam Investment Review (English business publication)

Tourist information

7 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem Opening hours: 8.00-21.00 +84 4 9263366

Travel to Hanoi

Book your flights to Hanoi with Etihad Airways and get ready to become entranced by the natural beauty, friendly people and spectacular history of this alluring city.

Top 5 Things To Do in Hanoi

  • Take a stunning boat ride around the natural wonders and floating villages of Ha Long bay
  • Visit the Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s historical centre of learning since 1070 AD
  • Marvel at the ancient Tran Quoc Pagoda with its blossoming lotus silhouette
  • Spend a day looking for that perfect Vietnamese craft while bartering with the locals in the old quarter, the open air markets have been a staple of the area since the 15th century
  • Catch a mesmerizing water puppet show on Hoan Kiem Lake a tradition in Hanoi for thousands of years

Plan Your Hanoi Holiday

Hanoi is a beautiful and mesmerizing city. Surrounded by dozens of lakes and Ha Long bay, the natural landscape in the area is just stunning. The floating villages of Ha long Bay are definitely a must see when in Hanoi. When you have had your fill of the natural splendours, why not tour the man-made ones in this fabulous city? The One Pillar Pagoda is a great place to start. The imposing outline of the Presidential Palace is another great sight as is the spectacular Opera house; both of these buildings have a distinctive French style to them.

The peak time to visit this enchanting city is between September and April as tourist flock to Hanoi in the nice weather. Buy your tickets to Hanoi early if you plan on coming around this time. Cheap hotels in Hanoi are more plentiful in the months of January and March. Flight deals to Hanoi are always available with Etihad Airways.