One of the toughest problems existing in Hanoi is the complex system of city transportation. Due to the long-age formation of this metropolis, as well as a terrible long-term plan of zoning, even the locals agree that it’s easy to get lost in Hanoi center. As a result, in the case of foreign travelers, no matter how experienced they are, they still need Hanoi map and directions so that they can avoid being lost.
This issue is more important if the visitors want to explore Hanoi by themselves. Once they don’t get exact direction, it will be time-consuming to let them arrive at their final destinations. Unfortunately, the majority of the Vietnamese are not really good in English. Or their speaking skills can be so terrifying that you cannot understand even one word. Asking for help is sometimes impossible. What the guests always put in their bags, therefore, is a mobile device with GPS system, or a paper map.
If you or your relatives have a plan for a 2-day trip in Hanoi, what I will suppose below could be very helpful. Instead of checking Google Maps frequently, or buying a map from the Internet or somewhere, by reading it, you will have general direction in the inner city. Actually, transport in Hanoi outskirts is not quite complicated. But I think it’s unnecessary because your limited schedule will obstruct you to discover this area. So firstly, let’s focus on a few central districts of Hanoi these days.
Hanoi map and directions from the airport to your hotel
To facilitate your journey, booking a room in a hotel inside Hoan Kiem District is sensible. Indeed, most of Hanoi attractions are located in and around the district. So you can save up your time significantly. However, it is problematic that the international airport, Noi Bai Airport, is sited in the suburb, very far from the city center. Consequently, if you plan to travel by yourself, you are unlikely to know what you should do after leaving the plane. For example, taking a taxi could be very costly. Because some drivers usually prefer a long route to earn more money from you. Meanwhile, shuttle buses might take you to a wrong destination. To make this point clearer, I imagine that you make reservation at a hotel beside Hoan Kiem Lake. And then, your best route is illustrated by the image below.
Go out of the airport and turn left to Vo Nguyen Giap Street. Cross over Red River => Present in Vo Chi Cong Street. Turn left to Hoang Hoa Tham Street, then pass through Hanoi Botanic Garden. Travel through Phan Dinh Phung Street, turn right to Hang Cot Street. Turn left to Hang Luoc Street. Finally, you can see Hoan Kiem Lake at the end of the road.
A suggestive hotel there is Apricot Hotel (No.136 Hang Trong Street).
HANOI MAP AND DIRECTIONS FOR THE FIRST DAY
In the morning
The first tourist spots on the first day is usually the Old Quarter. Located in the north and the west of Hoan Kiem Lake, actually, this sector is a system of numerous streets. Just go around it once, you will certainly get lost. That’s why a first-timer is advised to travel only some prominent streets, such as Hang Gai for silk products, Hang Dao for clothes, and Cha Ca Street for traditional restaurants. Remember that there are countless one-way streets surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake. So, it would take a great deal of time to stop at your preferable places by vehicles. Meanwhile, the Old Quarter is quite small. It would be better if you go on foot. Hanoi map and directions in this case is like the image below.
From Le Thai To Street => Turn left to Luong Van Can Street => Turn left to Hang Gai Street
Or from Le Thai To Street, turn left to Luong Van Can Street. Turn right to Cau Go Street, and turn left to Hang Dao Street
Another choice: From Le Thai To Street, and turn left to Luong Van Can Street.Go straight ahead to Cha Ca Street
If you are a shopaholics, do not miss Dong Xuan Market in the north of the Old Quarter. What you need to do is following this direction:
Start from Le Thai To Street , turn left to Luong Van Can Street. Turn right to Cau Go Street, and then turn left to Hang Dao Street. Go straight ahead until you see Cau Dong Street
If possible, you could spend little time on taking photographs at Long Bien Bridge, an ancient construction mainly made of steel. Nonetheless, it’s a bit far from Hoan Kiem Lake, and consequently, just take consideration of your health condition carefully.
From Le Thai To Street, turn left to Luong Van Can Street. Go straight ahead to Hang Giay Street, turn right to Gam Cau Street. Then you can see the bridge on the opposite site of Yen Phu Street.
In the afternoon
After regaining your energy, I suggest that you should visit the French Quarter in the south of Hoan Kiem Lake. Since the region comprises the roads connecting with each other like a chessboard, your travel will be simplified. Renting a bike is advisable. Anyway, your route to have an excursion of noticeable attractions there could be:
From Hoan Kiem Lake, move to Trang Thi Street. Turn left to Tran Quoc Dat Street , and turn right to Hai Ba Trung Street. Turn left to Hoa Lo Street to visit Hoa Lo Prison
After that, go straight ahead and turn left to Ly Thuong Kiet Street to visit Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Next, continue going on Ly Thuong Kiet Stree. Turn left to Phan Chu Trinh Street, and visit Hanoi Opera House
In the following stage, turn right to Trang Tien Street to visit Museum of National History
Finally, go out of the museum, turn left and go straight to visit Trang Tien ice-cream restaurant and go back Hoan Kiem Lake.
HANOI MAP AND DIRECTIONS FOR THE SECOND DAY
In the morning
Never forget that Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is only open in the morning, expect for Monday and Friday. That’s why it’s your stoppage on the second morning in Hanoi. Using bike again is a suggesstion for you because it’s in the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi map and directions for you are:
From Hoan Kiem Lake, move to Trang Thi Street. After that, turn right to Tho Nhuom Street, and turn left to Hang Bong Street. Turn right to Dien Bien Phu Street, go straight and turn left when you see Le Hong Phong Street. Turn right to Ngoc Ha Street before you stop at No.19 to enter Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Parking plot is available there.
In the afternoon
Spending almost the morning to observe Ho Chi Minh’s Complex and One Pillar Pagoda, your next places of interest is West Lake, the largest lake in the north of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Grateful for a short distance, it is a good location to take a rest and have lunch as well. Hanoi map and directions for you then are:
From Ngoc Ha Street, firstly, turn left to Le Hong Phong Street, and turn left to Chu Van An Street. Pass a roundabout to turn left to Dien Bien Phu Street. Then turn right to Doc Lap Street (Many head offices of Vietnam’s important political departments are located there, while Ba Dinh Square is on your left). Go straight and turn left to Hoang Van Thu Street and turn right to Hung Vuong Street. Pass two intersections and attend Thanh Nien Street, and move until you see West Lake on the left and Truc Back Lake on the right. Then, stop at the entrance of Tran Quoc Pagoda.
You can park your bike at the restaurant opposite Tran Quoc Pagoda and have a brisk walk around West Lake before tasting wonderful food there. I guess you will need at least 2 hours to retrieve your energy as well as enjoy the magnificence and freshness of the lake.
The final attraction in this itinerary is the Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam in Vietnamese, the first university of Vietnam. What you should do are:
From Thanh Nien Street, turn left to Thuy Khue Street, then turn left to Mai Xuan Thuong Street. Next, turn left to Phan Dinh Phung Street, after that, turn right to Hung Vuong Street. Pass through Presidential Palace and then turn left to Hoang Van Thu Street. Turn right to Doc Lap Street, turn left to Dien Bien Phu Street, tTurn right to Chu Van An Street. Go ahead and turn left to Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. turn right to Van Mieu Street, and turn right to Quoc Tu Giam Street. Finally, you can visit the Temple of Literature.
Go to the airport
A bit different from the journey in which you leave the airport, in order to move to Vo Chi Cong Street from Hoan Kiem Lake, you could:
Move to Trang Thi Street, turn right to Dien Bien Phu Street. Next, turn left to Tran Phu Street, go ahead and you will see Kim Ma Street. Then, turn right to Dao Tan Street, and turn left to Vo Chi Cong Street at the second intersection.
I hope that with Hanoi map and directions I’ve given to you, the worry about being lost could be blown away when you have a short trip in this city. Just save it in your computer or mobile phone. Of course, transport wardens often patrol around some streets in the inner city. But ironically, most of them aren’t expert in English. As a consequence, don’t spend time on trying to communicate with them.