48 hours in Hanoi, you can immerse yourself in the lifestyle of Hanoians

In Hanoi, the historical capital adorned with picturesque streets, exquisite culinary delights, and a unique cultural heritage, it is an unmissable destination when you step into Vietnam. If you have the opportunity to spend 48 hours in this city, here is an ideal itinerary for travelers to experience the most distinctive features as a citizen of this city.

Day 1 – Start your morning with a lakeside coffee, indulge in bun cha for lunch, and explore Hanoi at sunset.

Morning – Begin with serene moments before immersing yourself in the bustling city.

In the morning, immerse yourself in the tranquility of Hanoi by holding a cup of coffee from a small café near Hoan Kiem Lake or the Old Quarter. Wake up early to blend into the fresh air, gradually experiencing the transition from calmness to the city’s hustle and bustle.

Holding a cup of coffee from a small café near Hoan Kiem Lake

The rich and flavorful taste of Vietnamese pho, along with its aromatic scent, awaits you at Pho Thin next to the lake, a pho restaurant with nearly 70 years of history. Alternatively, if you want to explore other options, try Pho Suong on Trung Yen Street, Pho Tu Lun on Au Trieu Street, Pho Ly Quoc Su, or Pho Lam on Hang Vai Stree – addresses that embody the essence and culinary history of Hanoi.

Noon – Feel the taste of Bun Cha

Passionate Travel aims to offer a new culinary experience with the acclaimed dish Bun Cha, especially praised by the former President Barack Obama – a person known for his discerning taste. This dish will satisfy your palate with vermicelli, grilled pork, fresh herbs, and traditional seasonings, creating a unique and delightful blend of flavors.

Obama's Bun Cha restaurant

Bun cha restaurant in Hang Quat is renowned for its aromatic grilled pork patties, perfectly cooked and served with tender vermicelli. Bun cha Dac Kim offers a distinctive experience with charcoal-grilled patties, creating an irresistible and unique flavor. Meanwhile, Bun Cha Huong Lien, nicknamed “Obama’s Bun Cha restaurant,” gained fame after the former president’s visit to Vietnam.

Afternoon – The best time to explore history and culture

In the afternoon, it’s the perfect moment to delve deep into the rich history and cultural spirit of Hanoi, where prominent cultural and architectural landmarks highlight the unique cultural landscape of the city. 

One of the must-visit destinations is Hoa Lo Prison, which preserves the traces of Vietnam’s challenging past. The Museum of Revolution is a treasure trove holding valuable artifacts related to the revolutionary period, providing a journey back to a crucial era in the nation’s history.


Additionally, visitors can explore St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the heart of Hanoi, visit the uniquely designed One Pillar Pagoda and discover other famous architectural landmarks such as O Quan Chuong Gate, Opera House, Thang Long Citadel and the Long Bien Bridge. These destinations captivate tourists with their exquisite beauty and cultural diversity.

Enjoying these historical sites in the afternoon is not only about delving into history but also an opportunity to relax and appreciate the beauty of Hanoi as the city begins to sparkle in the evening. Let the stories and imprints of the past help you better understand the cultural heritage and courage of Hanoi’s people.

Day 2 – Explore and appreciate the serene beauty of West Lake

Morning – Explore West Lake

In the morning in Hanoi, exploring the West Lake area can add an extra touch of wonder to your day. This “green lung” in the heart of the capital offers vast spaces, including West Lake itself, Thanh Nien Street and Truc Bach Lake.


For sports enthusiasts, the expansive 15 km area around the lake provides an excellent setting for jogging or cycling through roads like Nguyen Dinh Thi and Trich Sai. There are many bicycle rental shops in this area with reasonable prices ranging from 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND for two hours. Additionally, if you’re up for more adventure, you can rent a kayak or join SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarding) activities on the lake for approximately 200,000 VND to 250,000 VND for two hours.

You can enjoy a unique breakfast with a dish called “bun oc,” which blends humble ingredients into a delicious and distinctive combination. It’s easy to eat and boasts a rich flavor, combining the chewiness of snail meat with the refreshing taste of the broth. Two renowned addresses for “bun oc” are Bun Oc Ba Ngoai on To Ngoc Van Street and Bun Oc Co Hue on Dang Dung Street. If you have the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to experience it!

Noon – Feel the rare peace of Hanoi

If you crave a tranquil space amid the hustle and bustle of the city, Tay Ho Palace is an ideal destination. With traditional architecture and a long history dating back to the 17th century, the palace is located in the Nghi Tam village, creating a serene picture in Hanoi.

Major holidays provide opportunities to explore Tay Ho Palace, but even on regular days, the space here is conducive to relaxation and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Lunch can become particularly enticing with the chance to savor the distinctive delicacies of the area, such as shrimp cakes around the West Lake. Restaurants like Nham Thin, Phuong Dung, and Thanh Mai offer you the opportunity to experience the unique flavor of shrimp cakes, often accompanied by steamed snails with lime leaves and steamed North snails.

Afternoon – Watch the sunset by West Lake and feel the beautiful things

Evening at West Lake creates a romantic and energetically positive atmosphere. A must-try activity is capturing photos and watching the sunset at West Lake. Starting around 4 PM, you can experience “duck pedaling” on Truc Bach Lake and then immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere, admiring the spectacular sunset from Thanh Nien Street.


Duck pedaling on Truc Bach Lake offers an exciting experience with two types of ducks: large ones for families and small ones for two people. The prices are reasonable, but remember to adhere to safety rules and maintain personal hygiene when participating in this activity.

Dinner is an opportunity to savor Hanoi’s specialties at the Ngu Xa food street, famous for its “pho cuon” (rolled pho). This dish is not only unique but also delicious, featuring a thin layer of rice noodle wrapping beef and various fresh herbs, accompanied by sweet and sour fish sauce. Popular pho cuon addresses include Hung Ben, Huong Mai and Huong Lien.

Additionally, you can enjoy other experiences in the evening, such as shopping at well-known shopping centers like Trang Tien Plaza, Vincom Ba Trieu, taking a double-decker bus tour to admire the streets and tourist attractions or relaxing at tea houses to listen to music and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.

48 hours is definitely not enough

These 48 hours surely won’t be enough for visitors to fully experience Hanoi, but they will be enough to make you a small part of the city. The tranquil feeling amidst this bustling city is sure to be a source of inspiration for the exciting life you’ve always wanted to explore.

Contact Passionate Travel

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