Photo: This is Hanoi.

Stay another day

Our rating:


Two or three days? Four or five? If you’re wondering how many days to spend in Hanoi, err on the generous side as there are plenty of ways to fill your time. Here’s our pick of some less common ways to spend that extra day.

Help us hold our breath. Donate to Travelfish today!
Click here for more information on how you can help.

When you think of Hanoi, you may know that the winters are cold, but did you know you can ice-skate here? An ice-skating rink opened up in 2013 in the new Royal City shopping centre. Sessions are organised into one-hour slots throughout the day — try to avoid the weekend when it’s more expensive and busier. Seats are available for people who aren’t confident skaters — you’ll need someone willing to push you round though. Weekend rates are 220,000 VND for adults and 150,000 VND for children under 130cm, plus skate hire at 50,000 VND. One disadvantage is that it’s a bit of a trek from Old Quarter: head out on Ton Duc Thang past the Temple of Literature and keep going for around five kilometres.

Not your typical Hanoi activity.

Not your typical Hanoi activity.

Bloom Microventures is a non-profit social business that provides microfinance to entrepreneurs with the aim of lifting them out of poverty. The loans are financed through tours to an ethnic minority community in Hoa Binh province, 70 kilometres outside Hanoi. During the tour you will spend time with the locals and meet the entrepreneurs looking for finance. A proportion of the fee paid for the tour goes towards the microfinancing and after the tour you can follow the progress and repayments of the entrepreneurs you met. It costs US$75 per adult to join the group tour on a Saturday or you can arrange a private tour any other time at a higher fee.

It's easier to stop for snackies when you're on a bike.

It’s easier to stop for snackies when you’re on a bike.

If you want something more active, try a bicycle tour. A number of companies run tours around Hanoi and the surrounding countryside. Contact The Hanoi Bicycle Collective. Or try Zoom Zoom, which started out as a group of people keen to explore outside of Hanoi by motorbike. They now offer a range of tours including one-day bicycle trips around Hanoi, including out to Bat Trang ceramic village and Co Loa Citadel.

Another — less cultural — activity is paint-balling. Yes, Hanoi has a paintballing centre — Galaxy Hunter — and it’s a lot better than you might expect. Located in Long Bien, on the other side of the Red River, it’s easily reachable by bike or taxi and is reasonably priced: 200,000 VND gets you kitted out with overalls, a mask, gun and 100 balls and then it’s 1,000 VND per ball for top ups. The battlefield is equipped with a range of obstacles, with enough to keep you amused for a couple of hours, and while the safety briefing may be non-existent, they do show you how to use the gun and are careful about collecting guns back in the safe area. Nasty bruises are obligatory though.

An early start.

An early start.

Our final suggestion is to join Vietnam in Focus for a photography tour. Do the nighttime/early hours Long Bien tour as we did — and sleep for the rest of the day — or join a day or evening tour. Prices have increased since our tour — it now costs US$80 per person — but it’s worth it for the keen amateur photographer.

Galaxy Hunter 310 Nguyen Van Cu St (Hoang Nhu Tiep St), Long Bien District, Hanoi. T: (04) 3636 6666;(0928) 252 525.
Ice Skating Rink, Royal City 72A Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.
The Hanoi Bicycle Collective 44/Lane 31 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho District, Hanoi.

Popular attractions in Hanoi

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Hanoi.

Best places to stay in Hanoi

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Hanoi.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hanoi.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Hanoi.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Hanoi.
 Read up on how to get to Hanoi, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Hanoi? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Hanoi that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hanoi? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

Top of page