What to do for 7 Days in Hanoi – BEST One Week Itinerary in Hanoi

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Are you looking for novel experiences during your brief visit to this 1000-year-old capital? Let us help you with the BEST 7-day Hanoi itinerary below which can provide suggestions on what to do and where to go in one week in Hanoi.

As a local, I can recommend the top activities to do to make your stay in Hanoi and the surrounding places enjoyable and unforgettable.

You will comprehend what I’ve mentioned after reading our recommendations, which are listed below. I’ll provide a few possible itineraries with you for your seven-day visit to Hanoi.

Brief Itinerary Hanoi 7 Days Itinerary

All of these itineraries are well-planned and reasonable. So, let’s take time to continue reading!

Option 1: Comfort Family Holiday

  • First Day:  ARRIVAL IN HANOI
  • Second Day: HANOI CITY TOUR
  • Fourth Day: HALONG  – NINH BINH (TAM COC )
  • Fifth Day: HOA LU – TAM COC – MUA CAVE

Why it is right for you?

  • Tourists can escape from your hectic and stressful lives while on vacation with your families in Hanoi by taking a Halong Bay cruise to fully appreciate the grandeur of this World Natural Heritage and to take in the panoramic views of the serene countryside in Ninh Binh.
    This itinerary is designed to give your family a private space with unforgettable moments of reunion.
  • Tourists have the option of visiting well-known and serene tourist destinations, which can bring you a sense of security and comfort when traveling.
  • Hanoi, Ninh Binh, and Ha Long Bay are included in this choice. With many days in Hanoi, you will have enough time to fully explore the capital. This one-week itinerary is primarily intended for a comfortable and leisurely vacation filled with authentic travel experiences.
  • It is therefore a reasonable itinerary for many kinds of groups, including those with elderly or young children, families, friends, and single travelers. Anyone who wants leisurely and unhurried travel, this itinerary is definitely a perfect choice.

Option 2: Essential 7 Days Itinerary

  • First Day:  ARRIVAL HANOI

Why it is right for you?

  • This option with a detailed schedule is appropriate for groups of friends or couples.
  • You can experience hiking and kayaking to have enjoyable and memorable moments!
  • Additionally, Halong Bay cruise also offers romantic and unique spaces for happy couples
  • You and your loved ones can have a great chance to get to know one another better. As the itinerary will bring you to not only beautiful plains cities but also beautiful lush woodlands, you and your companion will undoubtedly have a precious time to experience together, bond and become closer.
  • The Option 2 of the 7-day itinerary includes Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa.
  • Sapa is a small town in Northern Vietnam, known for its beautiful ethnic minority villages, stunning scenery with picturesque valleys and terraced rice fields.
  • However, if your group has the elderly and children, you should take their capacities into consideration before choosing to travel to Sapa, as it will involve some hiking.
  • Anyway, this itinerary is easy to follow and there is no rush because you have lots of time to enjoy yourself. Similar to Option 1, this schedule is appropriate for solo travelers, families, friends, and groups that include elderly or young children.

Option 3: Unique One Week Itinerary

  • First Day: HANOI ARRIVAL
  • Sixth Day: HALONG – HANOI
  • Seventh Day: HANOI DEPARTURE

Why it is right for you?

  • Included on this itinerary are Lan Ha Bay, Ninh Binh, and Sapa, places where you can engage in more authentic experiences and take in the breathtaking and poetic natural beauty.
  • When you get the opportunity to explore Sapa with the locals, you can learn about the unique local rhythm. Besides, a special night train that is only found in Southeast Asia will also be available for you to enjoy.
  • This is unquestionably a fantastic opportunity to refresh yourself and make new friends!
  • This option gives you the chance to visit all four of Northern Vietnam’s most well-known locations. However, the trip is a little hurried when moving because of visiting all 4 destinations in one week.
  • This journey is suitable for adventure lovers and young people who want to fully experience the beauty of Northern Vietnam.

Detailed Itinerary

Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter or French Quarter + Around the city

After arriving in Hanoi, let’s explore the Old Quarter, where a range of goods are well-organized for business in the narrow and bustling streets.

There are a lot of other attractions as well, including the well-known Bach Ma Temple, Quan Chuong Gate, Ma May Ancient House, Dong Xuan Market, and delectable Street Food.

Another choice for your first day is to take a tour of Hanoi’s French Quarter with a local guide, which will undoubtedly make your day new. This area is home to many European-style buildings and carries many historical stories of Hanoi.

  • Among famous destinations of this area, tourists should visit Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, also known by the locals as the Great Cathedral. After viewing its magnificent architecture, you should not miss enjoying a glass of lemonade or ice tea at some of the nearby street shops.
  • Hoa Lo Prison is another attraction for tourists. You will undoubtedly pass by a number of opulent hotels that serve as representations of the French Quarter on your route to Hoa Lo Prison. When reaching here, it’s recommended that you spend about an hour at Hoa Lo Prison observing and reading information related to artifacts inside so that you can get an insight of the prison utilized during the French colonial era.
  • Hanoi Opera House, which drew inspiration from the Paris Opera House, is the next stop. Visits outside are free but if you want to go further inside, the entrance fee is roughly $20 per person.

When the sun goes down, it’s time to explore Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife. Head to Ta Hien Street, you can enjoy some draft beer or drop by some nightclubs.

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

On your second day, take a Hanoi city tour to the city’s most well-known sites such the Ho Chi Minh Complex, the Temple of Literature, West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake, and others.

We advise joining a food tour in the evening with a local guide to get to know the local cuisine. It would be a pity to visit Hanoi and miss the food because enjoying the local food is one of the best ways to have an amazing travel experience.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave)

After spending 2 days in Hanoi, it’s time to leave the city to discover more destinations of this beautiful country. Although Ninh Binh is less well-known than Ha Long Bay, it is worth traveling there for a day trip from Hanoi because it offers beautiful, diversified landscapes and is very tourist-friendly.

Those who don’t like crowded and touristy places will find Ninh Binh to be more appealing.

It takes around 2hours to get there, so you should leave for Ninh Binh around 7 or 8 in the morning.

  • Coming here, you can visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, which was Vietnam’s ancient citadel when Ninh Binh served as the country’s capital in the old days. According to historical records, Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh’s former capital was a palatial and majestic palace encircled by arching rocky mountains with spectacular views of lakes and lagoons, giving the area’s surroundings a charming, peaceful, and mysterious quality all at once. Then, let’s visit the temples of King Dinh and King Le that are close by.
  • Go to restaurant for lunch and try the goat meat, which is a specialty of Ninh Binh.
  • Explore Tam Coc in the afternoon by taking a boat ride along the river, which is bordered by beautiful rice fields.

Tam Coc is also well-known in international travel publications for the locals’ distinctive form of boating by legs. The boat ride will last 1.5 hours, and the ferryman will take you through every cave. This will be the highlight of your 1-day Ninh Binh.

Return to Hanoi and spend the night in Hanoi.

Day 4,5: Discover Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay is on any traveler’s list of must-see locations in Vietnam. This World Heritage Site offers many stunning attractions that never let tourists down.

Almost all tourist services are offered on cruises, so travel to Halong Bay is higher than to other places. But don’t worry, even with the greater price, it is still worthwhile to pay. With our advice on How to Choose a Reasonable Trip, you might find a better cruise at a reduced cost.

If you choose a night on Cruises

With 2 days in Halong Bay, tourists will have the chance to experience the nightlife in the bay, which has become their favorite part of the trip.

When taking an overnight cruise, you will spend at least one night on a boat with a variety of activities such as watching the beautiful sunset or sunrise over the sea, kayaking, swimming at some of the beautiful beaches, going squid fishing at midnight on the boat, visiting the floating fishing villages and the stunning islands in the bay.

Halong Bay Cruise only offers tours in 2 Days and 1 Night or tours in 3 Days and 2 Nights depending on the itinerary of each cruise. Some recommendations are:

  • 3-star cruises: A Class Legend, Cozy Bay Cruise, Graden Bay Cruise, Swan Cruise…
  • 4-star cruise: La Pandora Cruise, Sena Cruise, Dory Cruise, Peony Cruise…
  • 5-star cruises: La Casta Cruise, Bhaya, Le Theatre Cruise, Capella, Scaret Pearl…
If you prefer hotels in Halong Bay

There are several hotels to select from, with standards ranging from 2-star to 5-star. If you want to easily find a room at a reasonable price, you should travel early in the week or in the middle of the week.

Halong is frequently crowded on the weekends from Friday through Sunday, therefore there is a chance that there will be a lack of accommodations and that prices will be higher than usual.

  • Halong Hotels: Wyndham Halong Hotel, Halong Plaza (No. 08 Hang Road); Halong Dream (No.10 Halong Road); Mithrin (Hung Thang Road); Halong Pearl (Bai Chay); Halong Bay (Halong Road); Bach Dang (No.02 Halong Road); Bai Chay Union (Halong Road); Moon Light (Hung Thang Road) …
The First Day in Halong Bay
  • Visit Sung Sot Cave, one of Halong Bay’s largest and most stunning caverns. When you visit, you will undoubtedly be in awe of the magnificent and enchanted stalactites that give the place its name.
  • Visit other famous attractions such Tien Ong Cave, Ho Tien Cave, Luon Cave, and Titop Island, which are all wonderful locations for those who enjoy taking pictures.
  • Watch the sunset while relaxing on the sundeck
  • Join a cooking class to learn how to make Vietnamese dishes on deck
  • Take part in nighttime activities like squid fishing, parties, or simply enjoy Halong Bay at night while sipping on some drinks on the deck. All of these activities will undoubtedly be very interesting for you.
The second day in Halong Bay
  • Wake up early to watch the sunrise, then practice Tai Chi on the sundeck and enjoy the fresh air of the early morning.
  • Visit a fishing village and take part in activities such as kayaking and swimming.
  • Return to Hanoi.

Day 6,7: Back to Hanoi for Further Discovery

After a 2-day Halong Bay cruise, you return to Hanoi to continue exploring the hidden beauty of Hanoi’s capital.

According to our recommendations above on Things You Should Do in Hanoi for 2 Days, there are still plenty of places and activities that you should not miss.

The nightlife in Hanoi has a huge variety of interesting things to see and do

Our first recommendation for the following days in Hanoi is to visit the museums. Below are some suggested museums:

List of museums
  • Ho Chi Minh Museum: Included in Ho Chi Minh complex, the museum will help you know more about Ho Chi Minh’s life history of the country
  • Vietnamese Women’s Museum: the museum explores Vietnam’s cultural diversity and women’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, culture, and society. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge of Vietnamese women’s lives across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups.
  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: here, you can know more about a diverse Vietnam – a country that has 54 officially recognized ethnic groups. Also, you can have fun while joining some traditional games here.

>>> Learn more: Best things to do in Hanoi

Tourists can also decide to travel to locations that are further away:

  • Located 44 kilometers from Hanoi, Duong Lam ancient village is a great choice if you are looking for a peaceful countryside to relax after the hustle and bustle of life. This place also preserves many old architectural houses with brick roads, laterite walls and cultural features of the northern countryside.
  • Van Phuc Silk Village is located on the banks of Nhue river and just 10 kilometers from the Hanoi Old Quarter. This area is well-known for its fine silk goods and traditional weaving methods. As a village more than 1200 year old, it impresses visitors with its daily routine and representations of traditional Vietnamese villages, such as banyan trees, community houses, wells, and the constant sound of looms.
  • Bat Trang Ceramic villages: About 13 kilometers from the city center, Bat Trang is a long-standing craft village famous for its high-class ceramic products. Tourists coming here can experience making some ceramics as souvenirs on hand.
  • Le Mat Snake Village: If you are looking for a more exciting experience, just visit Le Mat village. Come here, you will be able to learn about the famous snake farming or witness firsthand how to catch and process snakes into specialty dishes.

Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa (2 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Hanoi City Tour

For day 1 and day 2 in Hanoi, please refer to Option 1 mentioned above. Or you can check out our article on 2-day Hanoi itinerary for more information. 

Day 2,3: Halong Bay

  • We’ll follow the same 2-day itinerary for Halong Bay as Option 1. On the cruise, you will stay one night.
  • You will get on the bus back to Hanoi in the afternoon after your 2-day itinerary in Halong Bay. Then in that evening, catch the night train to Sapa and arrive in Sapa the next morning.

Day 4,5,6: Sapa

As a small mountain town in Lao Cai province, Sapa is situated roughly 350 kilometres northwest of Hanoi, in close proximity to the Chinese border. The Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which has Fansipan, the nation’s highest peak, can be found here.

To get to Sapa, you must take a shuttle bus or a taxi to the town after the train stops in Lao Cai province.

Then what to do next?

There are lots of things to do in Sapa once you arrive. You can snap some “check-in” shots at Holy Rosary Church, also referred to as the ancient stone church by the locals, which is situated in the heart of Sapa Town.

The Sapa Market is nearby, where you can stroll around and buy some well-known regional foods.

More remote areas should be visited the following day. Families and groups of friends can spend the day touring Sapa villages, which are home to the majority of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.

The easiest place to visit in Sapa is Cat Cat Village because it is the closest to the town—just 3 kilometres. Here the H’Mong people live at the base of the Hoang Lien Son mountain like in a valley surrounded by terraced fields.

In addition, you can visit and take pictures of Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall or enjoy the beautiful scenery of golden terraces in the most beautiful season.

  • Ta Van Village

Ta Van village which is around 8 km from Sapa town, and Lao Chai village are often ignored because it is not as near the town as Cat Cat village. When it’s the lean season, Ta Van’s pristine beauty can reach a new level.

Ta Van is home to the H’Mong and the Red Dao. You can take time to learn about their interesting customs. Or else, you could only need an afternoon to take a walk, view the sights, and take beautiful pictures there.

  • Fansipan Peak

Another activity that you shouldn’t give up is conquering Fansipan peak (also known as the Roof of Indochina).

To climb to the top of the mountain, it takes you at least 3 days (1 night sleeping outdoors on the climb). Therefore, we recommend you take the Fansipan cable car to get to the top of the mountain as it only takes a few hours for both ways.

Day 7: Hanoi Departure

You have a free and easy day to ready for your departure.

Option 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa – Ninh Binh

For this option, you can see an example itinerary here. For further information, contact us as this itinerary will greatly depend on your travel preferences, financial condition, and other requirements.

Last but not least, you can refer to other 7-day Hanoi Itineraries that include other worth-visiting destinations of Vietnam.

Please contact us if you require more details. We hope that our knowledge of the area will assist you have a nice trip to Hanoi.


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