Hanoi is the perfect city for an insight into Vietnamese culture. Filled with history museums, crumbling walls, and a chaotic atmosphere, Hanoi has it all. Whether you’re on a flying visit to Hanoi, or it’s on your backpacking Vietnam itinerary, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a shopping spree at the market. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Hanoi’s famous night market + essential tips and tricks for your visit.
- 1 Things to do at Hanoi Night Market
- 1.1 Shop until you drop
- 1.2 Eat until your stomach is about to burs
- 2 When is Hanoi Night Market open?
- 3 Where is Hanoi Night Market?
- 4 How to get to Hanoi Night Market
- 4.1 Walk
- 4.2 Taxi
- 5 Essential tips for visiting Hanoi Night Market
- 5.1 Haggling
- 5.2 Shop around
- 5.3 Buy more for a better deal
- 5.4 Be mindful of your personal belongings
- 5.5 Avoid driving there yourself
- 6 What else is there to do in the area?
- 7 Where to stay in Hanoi
- 8 Essential resources for travelling in Vietnam
Things to do at Hanoi Night Market
Shop until you drop
Hanoi Night Market is a bustlin’ market in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Fully equipped with endless Vietnamese souvenirs and cheap goods, it’s a shopper’s paradise! There are countless stalls selling everything from handicrafts, paintings, gimmicky souvenirs, jewellery, clothes, and electronics. If you’re looking for exotic gifts for your family and friends back home, you can easily pick up thoughtful items such as a non la (traditional cone hat), customised paintings, or even a simple handmade pop-up card of a lady carrying baskets of fruit.
Whilst travelling in Vietnam, travellers and backpackers should certainly take the opportunity to pick up any new items they need for their onward journey. There are plenty of vendors selling cheap as chips backpacks, money belts, North Face jackets, and more. If you find that your clothes have torn, or just become too worn and discoloured, there is a variety of shorts, t-shirts, skirts and dresses to replace them at a fraction of the cost you would spend at home. Just make sure to brush up on your haggling skills. Haggling is a way of life here, so there is no need to beat around the bush.
Eat until your stomach is about to burs
As you stroll through the night market, the familiar smell of grilled meat fills the air. After all that shopping, you may as well treat yourself to a bite to eat. From sausage on a stick, scrumptious spring rolls, to sweet potato fries sprinkled with a dusting of cheese powder, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. If you have more of a sweet tooth, the ice cream rolls are a must-try! Or you could even tuck into a 5,000 vnd ($0.21) ice-lolly on a stick made right in front of you by the portable spinning ice-cream maker.
When is Hanoi Night Market open?
Friday from 6 pm – 12 am
Saturday from 6 pm – 12 am
Sunday from 6 pm – 12 am
Whilst the night market opens at 6 pm, we recommend heading there a little later. By 8 pm, all of the stalls are in full swing and the atmosphere is buzzin’ with locals and tourists rummaging their way through for a bargain.
Where is Hanoi Night Market?
The night market is situated on one of Hanoi’s busiest streets and stretches a whopping 3 km long; from Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square (the famous roundabout by Hoan Kiem Lake) to Dong Xuan Market Gate. Whilst you can start at either end of the market, we recommend you start at Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square. This way you can start your evening with a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake before tackling the night market. If you get tired of shopping halfway, you can always branch off onto Hang Buom Street. Aka. Bia Hoi Street!
How to get to Hanoi Night Market
The Night Market is conveniently located in the tourist district, with plenty of hotels and hostels within walking distance. If you happen to stay in the area, we recommend you walk. You can download Maps.Me on your phone to help you navigate to the start of the market. Just be careful of your surroundings and avoid using your phone on the main road. If you need to check your phone for directions, turn away from the road and hold your phone firmly, to avoid opportunists on bikes swiping it out of your hands.
If you’re not within walking distance of the market, you can easily take a taxi. We recommend downloading the Grab app. Grab works just like Uber. You can order a taxi and see the price beforehand. There is no need to book in advance. Taxis generally arrive within 5 – 10 minutes of placing an order. With the Grab app, you can choose to ride comfortably in a car or opt for a scooter taxi.
Whether you take a street taxi or Grab taxi, we recommend you ask your driver to drop you off at 34 Hang Gai (the KingRoti Restaurant). This will make it easier for your driver to drop you off, as the roads around the night market are blocked for vehicles. Once you get out of the taxi, walk through the barriers and straight ahead. Here you will see the famous roundabout. To your left, you will find the entrance to Hanoi Night Market.
Essential tips for visiting Hanoi Night Market
As mentioned previously, haggling is a way of life in Vietnam. You will notice that most items on the market do not have price tags attached. Here is your chance to grab a great deal. Get a feel for the seller’s prices and use your common sense of how much things are worth. You can expect up to a 300% mark-up on prices. Haggle your way down and be prepared to walk away if the price is still too high. You will be surprised at how quickly vendors retract their initial offer.
Don’t just jump at the first offer. There are plenty of stalls selling the same items. Shop around for deals. You can always go back to the start if the first deal was the best.
Buy more for a better deal
If you’re planning to buy a few items or souvenirs, or a non la (cone hat) ready for your basket boat trip in Hoi An, try to source them at the same stall. The more you buy, the better deal you will be able to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts if you’re purchasing more than one item. 9 times out of 10, the vendors will jump at the chance of a sale.
Be mindful of your personal belongings
Hanoi Night Market can get super crowded and busy. Be mindful of your personal property. Thieves and pickpockets operate in the area and can take the opportunity to brush past you whilst dipping their hands into your handbag. Keep your handbag close and make sure it is fastened at all times.
Avoid driving there yourself
The night market and the surrounding area are particularly busy during the weekend. Furthermore, police and security guards patrol the area. No vehicles are allowed to drive through the night market or around Hoan Kiem Lake on the weekends, including Friday. Whilst you can park your bike at the entrance, it’s better to take a taxi or walk there to eliminate the risk of your bike “going missing”.
Like these tips? Make sure to check out these 31 essential Vietnam travel tips!
What else is there to do in the area?
After a hectic time of shopping at the Night Market, there are ample other things to do at night in Hanoi. If you fancy kickin’ back and relaxing with a majestic water puppet show, just head over to the famous Thang Long Theatre. Tickets are just 100,000 vnd ($4.28) and shows take place every evening of the week. Furthermore, Hoan Kiem Lake is right at the start of the night market, so you can opt for a leisurely walk around the romantic lake. Or, if you’re in the party mood head on over to Bia Hoi junction for an evening of socialising and clashing beers with locals and tourists.
Where to stay in Hanoi
Acoustic Hotel & Spa – A stunning modern hotel in the heart of Hanoi. This hotel is perfect for those who want a relaxing stay in Hanoi to either start or end a Vietnam adventure. The hotel boasts large comfy beds, TVs, spa services, and a lovely rooftop bar for you to kick back and relax at the end of the day.
Nexy Hostel – A relatively new funky hostel that is in an excellent location; just 500 meters from Hoan Kiem Lake. The rooms are modern, clean and cosy. The hostel has both dorm rooms and private rooms, making it perfect for couples on a budget and for solo travellers who want to meet other people in the bar area.
For more deals on properties in Hanoi CLICK HERE!
Essential resources for travelling in Vietnam
Travel Insurance – It’s a good idea to have insurance, particularly if you’re going to be riding a motorbike. Our personal choice is Safteywing. You can opt for automatic monthly payments, just like a subscription. It can be purchased whilst already travelling and there is no cap on the duration of travel.
Visa – You are highly likely to need a visa for Vietnam. iVisa is a fantastic website that is super easy and quick to use. You can quickly make a visa application online.
Accommodation – Booking.com is our go-to when looking to pre-book accommodation online. Booking.com tend to almost always have the best rates and a FREE cancellation policy for most properties.
Overland transport – Our go-to website for overland transport is Bookaway. They have routes all over Vietnam and host a range of transport modes and companies. It is easy to book online and have your ticket sent to your phone.
Tours & activities – If you want to book tours and activities for Vietnam online, make sure to check out Get Your Guide. Get Your Guide takes the stress out of booking activities abroad. You will also find a range of benefits, such as skip the line passes, lunch included in your tours, and so much more.
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What time does Hanoi night market open? ›
Highlights of Hanoi Weekend Night Market
Taking place from 6 pm until midnight in the last three days of the week, this special “fair” attracts not only locals but also foreigners.
If you visit Ho Chi Minh city, you should not miss Ben Thanh Night Market (plus with Ben Thanh day market), one of the most famous Vietnam night markets. Ben Thanh Night Market is the biggest bustling wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City.What is Hanoi city known for? ›
Hanoi is Vietnam's art capital. The elegant Fine Arts Museum houses the country's foremost collection, such as ancient Cham artifacts and impressionist pieces. For something more contemporary, head for Manzi or the Vietnam Art Gallery.Can I wear shorts in Hanoi? ›
Any kind of T-shirt, tank tops, and shorts will be fine. However, if you want to walk for a long time, try to wear long cotton pants and a light long-sleeve jacket to avoid the sun.Can you have ice in Hanoi? ›
Yes, ice outside may not be safe because it may have been made with contaminated water. However, many restaurants buy ice from companies rather than manufacture it themselves, in which case it is quite safe. Many people, both locals, and foreigners, are able to enjoy drinks with ice in them without consequence.Is red light area legal in Vietnam? ›
Prostitution in Vietnam is illegal and considered a serious crime. Nonetheless, Vietnam's Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has estimated that there were 71,936 prostitutes in the country in 2013. Other estimates puts the number at up to 200,000.What time do Vietnamese go to sleep? ›
Vietnamese average time to go to bed on weekday = 11:15 PM. Vietnamese average time to go to bed on weekend = 11:30 PM. Vietnamese average length of sleeping on weekday = 7 hours. Vietnamese average length of sleeping on weekend = 8 hours.Which city in Vietnam has the best nightlife? ›
Ho Chi Minh City is the best city for experiencing the electrifying nightlife of Vietnam. What can you do in Vietnam at night? There are a plethora of clubs, bars, night markets, and chic restaurants in Vietnam. You can try the local delicacies or dance the night away at these places.What things are not allowed in Vietnam? ›
In addition, there is also a prohibition on items packed in your cabin luggage such as sharp objects (knife, sword, box cutter, dart, scissors, etc.); firearms and other weapons (all types of firearms, parts of firearms, ammunition, stun guns, imitation firearms, toy guns, etc.); other dangerous items (crowbar, shovels ...What can you not bring to Vietnam? ›
- Bearer Documents.
- Advertising, all types.
- Airline tickets, blank stock (NI)
- Animal skins.
- Bearer Documents.
- Bio Products, Haz.
- Chemicals, Haz and Non-Haz.
Where do the rich live in Hanoi? ›
Distinguished by masses of French colonial architecture, Hoan Kiem district is home to Hanoi's Old Quarter, a rich entourage of fun-lovers, enticing restaurants, attractions and more. Property here is amongst the most expensive in the city, due to its proximity to all the most important amenities.Do they speak English in Hanoi? ›
The short answer is absolute yes. Many people in Vietnam can speak English, most of them work in tourism sectors in almost big cities in Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Hoi An, Ninh Binh…Is Hanoi tap water safe to drink? ›
It is not safe to drink tap water in Vietnam. For tourists, it is recommended to buy and drink bottled water which is cheap and easy to find in the country. A 0.5-liter bottle of water is portable, 1.5-liter and 5-liter bottles of water save your money.What things are considered rude in Vietnam? ›
The Vietnamese people value humility, restraint, and modesty. Avoid being boastful or showing off wealth. Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon so try to avoid touching people of the opposite sex. Dress conservatively and keep your body covered.Can I show my knees in Vietnam? ›
Dress standards can be more conservative outside of major cities in Vietnam. To respect this, and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend wearing modest clothing. This means clothes that cover your shoulders and knees, particularly in pagodas and religious sites.Can you brush your teeth with tap water in Vietnam? ›
Yes, you can brush your teeth with the water in Vietnam. You can be sure that the tap water in urban areas is safe to brush your teeth and bathe. In most rural areas, the water is going to be safe as well for bathing and brushing your teeth.Can you wear jeans in Vietnam? ›
For men, casual jeans and shirts are the normal dress code, but they are advised not to take off their shirts in public places if it gets too hot. Especially in cities like Ho Chi Minh can be very hot in summer. You should be properly covered up and wear appropriate clothes. This is applicable to both women and men.Do and don'ts in Vietnam culture? ›
The Vietnamese people value humility, restraint, and modesty. Avoid being boastful or showing off wealth. Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon so try to avoid touching people of the opposite sex. Dress conservatively and keep your body covered.Can you cross your fingers in Vietnam? ›
Never cross your fingers in Vietnam
In most cultures, crossing your fingers means you're hoping for good luck. But not in Vietnam. There, the gesture is thought to resemble female genitals, and making it is similar to giving the middle finger.
In the Red Light area Known as “De Wallen” (pronounced Day Vaw-len) to the Dutch, you'll find prostitutes offering their “services”, from behind a window. Along with that, the area is known for its many live sex shows, sex shops, brothels, and strip clubs.
Is tinder allowed in Vietnam? ›
A go-to dating app for singles living all over the world, Tinder is popular in Vietnam - especially with the 35-and-under crowd. But you'll likely find eligible singles of all ages seeking a wide assortment of relationships.Is there a red light district in Hanoi? ›
Quoc Oai District
However, there are some well-known red light dtricts in the capital. Quoc Oai District is one of these and it features a number of so-called “red light cafes”.
- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1am — 7am)
- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30pm — 4:30am)
- Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12am — 7am)
- Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group: 5–6 hours (12–5/6am)
|Belgium||8h : 1m|
|Canada||7h : 58m|
|United Kingdom||7h : 54m|
|United States||7h : 52m|
Come 5pm, Vietnam's restaurants and stalls begin spreading their stools on the sidewalk for the dinner crowd. The hours between 6pm and 8pm are your sweet spot for flaming hotpots, grilled seafood and barbecue sessions in the balmy evening air.Is Vietnam safer than Thailand? ›
Both countries are roughly the same in terms of safety, with Vietnam having a slight advantage. Scams are a greater risk than violent crime, which isn't really an issue. Thailand is slightly more prone to fraud and petty thefts, but only because it's more popular with tourists.Where do rich live in Vietnam? ›
Where Do the Wealthy Live in Vietnam? The wealthiest city in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City. While it does not have the highest cost of living on the list, many people spend more to live a comfortable lifestyle.Is Vietnam as cheap as Thailand? ›
Although Southeast Asia is generally affordable and good value, by comparison, Thailand will cost more than Vietnam. Thailand can not only meet the backpackers' on-a-budget requirements, but can also satisfy those who are looking for a luxury experience.What is the weirdest law in Vietnam? ›
It's illegal to have more than two people on a motorbike at the same time. Believe it or not, topping this list of weird laws in Vietnam is having more than two people on a motorbike. Vietnam is flooded with motorbikes across the country.When should I avoid Vietnam? ›
Summer: Unless sunning yourself on the central coast beaches is the only thing on your Vietnam itinerary, we'd suggest avoiding visiting the country during the summer months of June – August as you'll have a much harder time with the weather.
Where should you not go in Vietnam? ›
Sexual assaults are common in Vietnam, especially in the following cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Sapa, and Cat Ba Island. Avoid overnight trains and buses, and parts of cities that are filled with bars and clubs, since there is a higher chance of running into intoxicated people.Should I bring cash to Vietnam? ›
Credit cards are widely accepted but, in rural areas particularly, you should carry cash as a back-up. It may be difficult to cash travellers' cheques. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.How much cash should I bring to Vietnam? ›
For a more comfortable backpacker experience in Vietnam, it's best to budget around $50 per day. This way, you'll have more money to spend on things like food, drinks, activities and hotel rooms. For a comfortable mid-range experience in Vietnam, it's best to budget $60 to $100 per day for your entire costs.How much cash can I carry into Vietnam? ›
But how much cash are you supposed to bring for your trip to Vietnam? While there's technically no legal limit on the amount of money you're allowed to bring into the country, you are required to declare your money if you are carrying an amount that's equivalent to 5,000 US dollars and above.Is iPhone cheap in Vietnam? ›
The only market where the iPhone 12 is cheaper than in Vietnam is Japan, where it is 86,800 JPY ($645). Vietnam now has the price of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 among the cheapest worldwide, on par with the US, Canada and Japan.What items are cheaper in Vietnam? ›
- Electronics. Simple electronics – things like electric razors and curling irons – are much cheaper in Vietnam. ...
- Silk. Vietnam produces a lot of quality silk, and even if you're unsure of what you want to make, you can buy a roll to bring home with you. ...
It's usually cheaper because of the low labour costs. Gold in Vietnam is more expensive than the world price but jewellery work is usually cheaper for the reason as in #1 above.What is a high salary in Vietnam? ›
Which city pays the highest salaries in Vietnam? The median salary is highest in Ho Chi Minh City at ~10 million VND/month (~$440 USD/month).What is the poorest place in Vietnam? ›
In 2021, the poverty rate in Vietnam was the highest in northern midlands and mountain areas, reaching 13.4 percent.Who is the wealthiest person in Vietnam right now? ›
The founder and chairman of the giant conglomerate Vingroup, Pham Nhat Vuong is Vietnam's first and richest billionaire. In 2013, Forbes named Vuong the first Vietnamese billionaire with a net worth of US$1.5 billion. His current net worth, according to Forbes, is a whopping US$4.2 billion.
Is eye contact rude in Vietnam? ›
Vietnamese people typically avoid direct eye contact and may gaze downward when talking. Avoiding eye contact demonstrates respect to elders, people of higher status or of the opposite sex. Speaking in a loud tone with excessive gestures is considered rude, especially when done by women.Are Vietnamese friendly to foreigners? ›
Generally, Vietnamese attitude towards foreigners is hospitable and warm-hearted. A random question in Quora was “are Vietnamese people friendly?” This question garnered positive answers from people saying they are hospitable and helpful.Is it rude to point in Vietnam? ›
As in many places, it's rude to point with your index finger in Vietnam. To be polite, use your pinky finger when you want to point to something. Pointing with an open hand, palm facing down, is even more polite, but it's a bit overboard for most situations.Is Hanoi safe at night? ›
Is Hanoi safe at night? Hanoi is generally a safe city to explore, and serious crimes against tourists are extremely rare, but it's pertinent to exercise some caution. While it's generally safe to walk around the streets of the Old Quarter at night, it's best to avoid the darker lanes after around 10pm.Is it safe to drink coffee in Vietnam? ›
Follow the locals, if you see locals sitting and drinking coffee at a vendor, you will usually be okay. Avoid purchasing anything from street vendors if you are in poorer areas of Vietnam, meaning very rural areas that lack education or proper hygiene.Are there mosquitoes in Hanoi? ›
The location's weather patterns over the past several months can determine how many mosquitoes emerge. The risk for mosquito activity is extremely high. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when spending time outdoors to prevent bites. The risk for mosquito activity is high.What city in Vietnam has the best nightlife? ›
Ho Chi Minh City is the best city for experiencing the electrifying nightlife of Vietnam. What can you do in Vietnam at night? There are a plethora of clubs, bars, night markets, and chic restaurants in Vietnam. You can try the local delicacies or dance the night away at these places.Is the nightlife good in Vietnam? ›
One of the best things to do in Vietnam is to experience its nightlife. Saigon is one of the most happening districts in the country to enjoy leisure. Bui Vien Street and District 1 are quite popular in the city among families and group travelers.Where is the nightlife in Vietnam? ›
Nightlife in Vietnam is becoming more and more active with loads of bars and pubs in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc. Tourists can't help but immersing themselves in one of the lively pubs, best rooftop bars, secrets bars, and hidden alleys in Vietnam.What are business hours in Vietnam? ›
A normal working day in Vietnam starts from 7am to 8.30am and finish between 4pm to 6pm, from Monday to Friday and until noon on Saturday, leave the afternoon (most) and Sunday off. Lunch is taken very seriously and virtually. Everything shuts down between noon and 1.30pm.
Is alcohol cheap in Vietnam? ›
The cost per 0.33 jar starts from 8200 VND (approximately 0.33 USD, see currency of Vietnam and its exchange rate) for the cheapest grade when buying in an economy supermarket. In street stores, the price is rounded to 10 000 – 12 000 dongs. The margin in the cafe for beer is small, and sometimes it is not at all.How much is a Coke in Vietnam? ›
|Meal in a cheap restaurant||50,000 VND (25,000-100,000)|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)||11,000 VND (9,600-20,000)|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||7,000 VND (5,000-15,000)|
|Cappuccino (regular)||39,000 VND (20,000-60,000)|
|Espresso Coffee||27,000 VND (14,000-42,000)|
Yes, you'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Vietnam, although remote and mountainous areas may have limited network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Vietnam.Does Vietnam have a curfew? ›
Going out is only allowed for work and necessary errands (grocery shopping, medical check-up, vaccination), while all passenger transport, including taxis and grab-bikes, remains suspended. In Ho Chi Minh City, there is also a night curfew from 06:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. (local time).When can you drink alcohol in Vietnam? ›
In Vietnam, the legal age to buy alcohol is 18. According to a 2013 students' health survey conducted by the health ministry, nearly 44 percent of grades 8-12 students who were polled said they had had their first taste of alcohol before the age of 14.