How To Spend 2 Days In Hanoi For The Most Promising Experiences

Just spending 2 days in Hanoi, 48 hours of exploring is enough for you to fall in love with this ancient, quiet but also bustling capital of Vietnam. Traveling in Hanoi in 2 days, you can explore the Old Quarter with mossy houses, historical and unique architectural works, and stunning natural landscapes,… and have the opportunity to stop at interesting entertainment sites and enjoy delicious street food and local specialties.

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2 days in hanoi
Source: dfa.hanoi

Hanoi has always been an attractive destination for worldwide tourists with countless famous landmarks, bringing a different beauty nowhere else in Vietnam. Referring to this ancient capital of Vietnam, people would think of spending time exploring every corner, but also don’t forget to enjoy the unique cuisine here. There are just so many things to do in Hanoi in 2 days, and the itinerary below might help if you feel overwhelmed:

I - 2 days in Hanoi itinerary: Explore the inner city on day 1

Coming to Hanoi, you should first take the time to explore the daily life of the locals to feel the hustle and bustle of this city. Places like Hoan Kiem Lake, Hoa Lo Prison, St. Joseph Cathedral, or Temple of Literature should not be missed on the first day.

1 - In the morning

Breakfast at Pho Thin Bo Ho restaurant

Starting your first morning with this typical Hanoi dish, you stop by for breakfast at Pho Thin Bo Ho to enjoy a delicious and authentic bowl of pho.

- Address: No.61 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Ly Thai To Ward, Hoan Kiem District

- Reference price: 50,000 VND / bowl ($2.2)

Enjoying egg coffee


hanoi in 2 days

Egg coffee is a unique specialty in Hanoi- Source: @Hà Vũ Quỳnh Nga

After having breakfast, walk about 650m and you get to Giang café where you can enjoy the famous egg coffee - an indispensable part of your 2 days in Hanoi tours. This is an old coffee shop, whose owner was the person who invented Vietnamese egg coffee.

- Address: No.39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District

- Reference price: 30,000 VND / cup ($1.3)

Hoan Kiem Lake

About 500m from Giang cafe are Hoan Kiem lake and Turtle tower - 2 prominent symbols of Hanoi. The clear, calm lake surface along with the ancient Turtle Tower will surely make your heart flutter. You can visit the works built on the lake such as the bright red The Huc bridge and mossy Ngoc Son temple.

- Ngoc Son temple ticket price: 30,000 VND / person ($1.3)

St. Joseph's Cathedral

The St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi has an ancient, quiet look with typical Gothic architecture well worth a visit.

- Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District - 500m from Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoa Lo Prison

Continuing your 2 days in Hanoi itinerary, another must-visit attraction is Hoa Lo Prison, also known as “Hell on Earth”. Built in 1896, this was the largest colonial prison in Indochina at that time. You can learn and understand more about the Vietnam Wars through the displayed artifacts and models here, which vividly recreate the life of prisoners at Hoa Lo prison in the past.

- Address: No.1 Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District - 600m from the Hanoi St. Joseph's Cathedral. 

- Ticket price: 30,000 VND / person ($1.3)

2 - Hanoi in 2 days: Noon activities

After visiting Hoa Lo Prison, it’s time for lunch with 2 options: cha ca (grilled chopped fish) at Thang Long Restaurant or bun cha (grilled meat with vermicelli) at Hang Manh Restaurant:

Hang Manh Restaurant


2 days in hanoi itinerary

Bun cha is a must-try dish if you only spend 2 days in Hanoi - Source: afamily

- Address: No.1 Hang Manh Street, Hang Gai Ward, Hoan Kiem District - 950m from Hoa Lo Prison

- Reference price: 50,000 VND / serving ($2.2)

Cha Ca Thang Long Restaurant

- Address: No.21 Duong Thanh Street, Cua Dong Ward, Hoan Kiem District - 1km from Hoa Lo Prison

- Reference price: 100,000 VND / serving ($4.4)

After eating lunch, you can drop by any sidewalk iced tea shop to rest - enjoying the sidewalk tea is one of the habits of many Hanoians that you may not know. Try sitting down at a roadside shop, order a cup of hot or iced tea with a plate of sunflower seeds, and start a conversation with your companions. Usually, these tea shops also sell other types of water such as tamarind juice, dracontomelon juice, black bean water... After enjoying iced tea, you can return to the hotel to rest and prepare for the remaining half-day exploration.

3 - 2 days in Hanoi: the afternoon itinerary

The Temple of Literature

The first place to visit in the afternoon is the Temple of Literature - the first official university in Vietnam. Built in the 11th century, this work is a symbol of wisdom, demonstrating the studious tradition of the Vietnamese people.

- Address: No.58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District

- Ticket price: 30,000 VND / person ($1.3)

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Visit Hanoi in 2 days, you should stop by the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - a work built over many generations of Vietnamese kings, closely associated with Hanoi. There is also an archaeological site, where a rich system of relics dating back hundreds, or even more than a thousand years, has been discovered.

- Address: No.19C Hoang Dieu Street, Dien Ban Ward, Ba Dinh District

- Ticket price: 30,000 VND / person ($1.3)

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Only spend 2 days in Hanoi, you should not miss the peaceful Tran Quoc pagoda - the oldest pagoda in Hanoi that was built on the island east of the airy West Lake. On the full moon day every month or the 1st day of the Lunar New Year, many locals come here to pray for good health and fortune. You should also walk around and watch the romantic sunset on West Lake.

- Address: Thanh Nien Street, Tay Ho District

4 - Evening

Dinner at Hung Ben Pho roll restaurant

This is considered one of Hanoi's most famous Pho rolls, with reasonable prices and many mouth-watering variations such as fried pho or fried pho with egg,…

- Address: No.33 Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District

- Reference price: 60,000 VND / serving ($2.62)

Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street


hanoi 2 days itinerary

This is an amazing part of your 2 days in Hanoi tours - Source: phapluat.tuoitrethudo

After having dinner, you move to the Hoan Kiem Lake area and take a walk in the surrounding pedestrian street, which becomes especially crowded and busier on weekend evenings. You can enjoy snacks at food carts, roadside stalls, and vendors, watch street art performances and participate in interesting Vietnamese folk games.

Quang Ba Flower Market

After having fun at Hoan Kiem Lake walking street, you can return to the hotel to rest, or continue to visit Quang Ba flower market if you have energy. About 5km from Hoan Kiem Lake, this place is the largest flower market in Hanoi, starting at 11pm but the period from 1am to 2am is the busiest and most bustling time. This must be one of the greatest experiences in your 2 days in Hanoi itinerary. 

- Address: No.236 Au Co Street, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District

Enjoying “Dan To” banh mi

After visiting the flower market, you must feel hungry. You can travel another 4.5km to enjoy the famous Dan To banh mi - one of the best Banh mi brands in Hanoi as well. Its filling includes sausages, eggs, beef jerky, pate, … - so delicious that this place attracts a lot of visitors, so you may have to wait. When you are done eating, it's time you should travel back to the hotel and have a rest after a long night without sleeping. 

- Address: the intersection of Cao Thang Street and Tran Nhat Duat Street

- Opening hours: 3am - 7am

- Reference price: 20,000 VND / serving ($0.87)

II -  2 days in Hanoi itinerary: Explore the suburbs on day 2

On your day 2 in Hanoi, you should spend time exploring the suburban areas and discovering Hanoi cuisine.

1 - What to do in hanoi in 2 days: morning itinerary

Breakfast at Banh Cuon Thuy Khue restaurant

Having existed for nearly 40 years, coming to this place, you can order a set of Vietnamese steamed rice rolls (banh cuon) served with cha que to start a new day.

- Address: Lane 29 Thuy Khue Street, Thuy Khue Ward, Tay Ho District

- Reference price: 35,000 VND / dish ($1.53)

Bat Trang Pottery Village


what to do in hanoi in 2 days

Bat Trang Pottery Village is a stopover in your Hanoi 2 days itinerary - Source: baokiemtoannhanuoc

After breakfast, you will depart for the 500-year-old pottery village of Bat Trang, which is located about 13km from the city center. There are many unique, sophisticated and special ceramic items here, you can explore and mold a ceramic work yourself, bake and bring it back as a souvenir for your 2 days in Hanoi trip. 

- Address: Bat Trang Town, Gia Lam District

2 - Having lunch

Bat Trang pottery village is not only a ceramics paradise but also has many specialties that visitors should taste, there is also a market and quite a few restaurants around. You can try hot sticky rice cake with meat and wood ear filling, baked cassava cake or squid with bamboo shoot soup only available in Bat Trang.

3 - Discovering Hanoi cuisine at Dong Xuan market

This is the largest and oldest market in Hanoi, including hundreds of stalls selling a variety of items such as clothes, shoes, household items, specialties,… You can visit, shop, and enjoy dishes such as cartilage rib porridge, bun cha, eel noodle soup, hu tieu, snail noodle soup, dried beef salad, varieties of sweet soup, and so on. 

4 - 2 days in Hanoi: evening itinerary

Hanoi Opera House

As one of the surviving architectures from the French colonial period, this place was built according to the model of the Paris Opera house. In the evening, it is lit up by sparkling light, becoming splendid, surrounded by a bustling atmosphere with many food carts, and iced tea street vendors,…

- Address: No.1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Visit for tracking performance schedule and booking tickets online. 

Bars in the Old Quarter


things to do in hanoi in 2 days

This is one of the most exciting moment in your 48 hours in Hanoi - Source: backstage

After that, you can visit a bar or club on the streets such as Ma May, Luong Ngoc Quyen or Hang Buom, to experience a vibrant music space and chat with the locals. There are also many night stalls and convenience stores around, helping you not to get too hungry after hours of partying with vibrant music and colored lights. 

III - A few tips for a tour lasting 2 days in Hanoi

1 - The best time for a Hanoi in 2 days tour

If you only have 2 days to explore Hanoi, you should come here on weekends, at any time of the year because Hanoi is differently beautiful in each season. If you like the bustling atmosphere, the holidays or Tet are the best, but autumn is not a bad choice if you like the peaceful scene and more pleasant weather.

2 - Means of transportation for to use in Hanoi in 2 days

In the morning of the first day, you should walk because these places are quite close to each other, and it will help you explore all the corners of Hanoi's Old Quarter. In the afternoon you can take a cyclo, or rent a motorbike and use it for the whole second day too, but if you go in a group, it’s best to call a taxi for convenience.

3 - Where to stay in your 2 days in Hanoi?

is 2 days in hanoi enough

There are countless hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter - Source: danviet

For convenient travel during these two days in Hanoi, you should choose to stay at hotels and homestays in the Old Quarter area. There are many hotels for you to choose from, you should check in advance on our website or others such as Agoda and Tripadvisor.

The capital of Vietnam - Hanoi, is a land of thousands of years of civilization, famous not only for a series of famous scenic spots and historical sites but also for its exquisite and distinctive cuisine. Above is the itinerary for 2 days in Hanoi suggested by Localtravelidea, or you can make your own plan with other information on our website - we’ve got you covered with everything from accommodation, transportation, to attractions, must-try foods, best places to eat, and so on.

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