Heart of Hanoi
While some of Hanoi’s major attractions are elsewhere, most of them are centered in the Old Quarter. This district of the city has a long history. In the 13th century it was a hub for artistic craftsmen. The guilds were serious enough about their religious beliefs that at one point there was one temple on every street. Today the Old Quarter attracts travelers and locals alike.
Shopping, Dining, Exploring
The Old Quarter contains dozens of hotels and hostels. In a city where businesses typically close up shop earlier in the evening, foreign visitors keep the area abuzz well into the night. Many of the finest coffee shops in the city, including Giang Cafe and Cafe Pho Co, are located in the Old Quarter. Visitors will also find virtually any food their heart desires, Vietnamese or Western.
The district is home to several of Hanoi’s most famous attractions, such as Hua Lo Prison and the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. It’s also a great spot for shopping. Aside from several weekday markets, the area is known for its lively weekend night market.