Hanoi syline

City Guide

Hanoi

In Hanoi, centuries-old buildings and mahogany trees peacefully gaze upon blustering frenzies of motorbikes and peddler-occupied sidewalks. While the capital of Vietnam holds on to its thousand-year history by preserving labyrinths of old alleyways and secret temples, it also races to break away from its war-torn past. More than four decades after the Vietnam War – or the American War, as it is locally known – Hanoi now electrifies locals and visitors alike with a nascent contemporary art scene, idiosyncratic boutiques and a boisterous nightlife that invites culture- and history-loving souls to come and explore.

When to go
Hanoi’s summer is scorching hot with high rainfall. But from November to April, breezy and cooler weather not only makes the chaotic traffic and blaring horns much more bearable, it also blows a charming breath into the timeworn city.

How to get around
Motorbikes are the soul of Hanoi. There’s no better way to dive right into the exuberant city life than sitting on the back seat of a motorbike. Two-wheeled taxis, or xe om in Vietnamese, are omnipresent and affordable with prices starting from S$0.6 per kilometre, although booking a scooter tour in advance always ensures a safer and more pleasant ride. The Old Quarter is best explored on foot, as streets are narrow and it is more enjoyable to browse the exciting array of artisanal goods on display. Metred taxis cost about S$0.6 per kilometre, while ride-sharing apps Grab and Go-Viet also operate in the city.

Where To Stay In Hanoi

Where To Eat In Hanoi

Bánh Mì 25

An unassuming bánh mì stall with a devoted following of locals

S'Patisserie

Take a break from your Hanoi adventures and stop by this cute café for artisanal bakes and a fortifying cup of coffee

Pizza 4P’s

An innovative Japanese-Italian restaurant specialising in wood-fired pizza

Pho Thin

A hole-in-the-wall pho spot that's popular with locals

Where To Drink In Hanoi

Tadioto

A unique bar concept that pairs fine cocktails with cultural events

What To Do In Hanoi

Hoa Lo Prison

Now a museum, Hoa Lo now houses an array of artefacts from its sombre past

Where To Shop In Hanoi

LP Club

A specialty vinyl store with a great selection of jazz records

Manzi

A gallery with a café and bar that hosts art workshops and more