5 Lesser known things to do in Hanoi
Updated: Mar 24
Hanoi always lands first on the list of must-visit places in Vietnam. Words never do enough justice for how vibrant its culture and lifestyle can be. However, if you step on the beaten path of other fellow travelers, chances are you may miss out on some incredible facets this city has to offer. To help you gain a better glimpse into Hanoi’s culture and lifestyle, we reveal five best lesser-known things to do in Hanoi to game up your experience!
Stand-up Paddle Board with Hanoi SUP Club
Photo by Hanoi SUP Club via Facebook
Standup paddle boarding is not only meant to work your cores but also to immerse yourself into the splendid nature when you are on a vacation. And it would be a big mistake if you skip this incredible water sport when in Hanoi. Many visitors we know are all caught up on the streets or tucked away in the mountains without recognizing there’s a cooler way to experience Hanoi like a local right in the heart of the city.
Join Hanoi SUP Club and brace the waves in your own way as you’re sailing around the West Lake. Instead of riding the waves amidst the mountains or ocean, a tour with Hanoi SUP Club allows you to admire the city skyline soaked in mist while standup paddle boarding with the mild waves.
The best time to standup paddleboard in Hanoi is during sunrise or sunset when the sun casts its vibrant glitters on the surface of the mirror-like water. Another reason why Hanoi SUP Club becomes such a big deal for both locals and out-of-towners is the utmost serenity it provides against the hectic city life itself. So if you’re looking for a lesser-known thing to do in Hanoi without traveling further afield from the city’s core, give Hanoi SUP Club a go!
Go Craft Beer Hopping
Photo by Turtle Lake Brewing Company via Facebook
Chain drinkers assemble! Do you know that Hanoi is home to some of the most exciting craft beer scenes in the entire country? The capital maybe slower to jump on the craft beer game bandwagon than its Southern counterpart - Ho Chi Minh City, but it doesn't mean craft beer bar hopping in Hanoi is short of the real fun!
The number of international crafters and Vietnamese players have spruced up the craft beer scene in Hanoi to get you spoiled for choice. The first name to be called out in this list is Turtle Lake Brewing Company. Overlooking the peaceful West Lake, Turtle Lake is the most sought-after spot when it comes to craft beer in Hanoi. Boasting spacious indoor seating and an airy, dazzling garden vibe, Turtle Lake will quench your thirst with an amazing range of taps and brunch free flow option. Live music is also a big hook that pulls many travelers to this lovely taproom.
Then we have New Gentry Beer House, a low-key taproom with an extensive array of 60 different beers to wake up your taste buds. If these two are not enough for a hopping night, bring your gang to Furbrew, a native craft brewer! Furbrew is a local Hanoian representative that outrivals any heavyweights from Ho Chi Minh City. And that’s why we decided to put Furbrew down right here for those who want to seek out the authenticity of the capital.
Make a Half-Day Trip to Van Phuc Silk Village
Photo by @theturopian via Instagram
Being one of the most visited craft villages in Vietnam, Van Phuc is still lying under tourists’ radar. A trip to Van Phuc Silk Village is not only unveiling a traditional fabric weaving technique but also blowing your mind with a typical beauty of a long-established Northern Vietnamese village.
Welcoming you with a range of banyan trees bracing the communal houses and stoned wells, Van Phuc has been going strong for nearly a century ever since its first introduction at the European market in 1931.
Today, you will have a chance to meander through a chain of ready-to-wear clothing after digging into the fabric weaving techniques preserved at these traditional households. A day trip to Van Phuc Silk Village is easily accessed after a ten-kilometer ride from the core of Hanoi. Tucked away in the Southwest of the city, Van Phuc transports you back to the good old days of the capital city under the French colonization.
Kick back with Live Music at Binh Minh Jazz Club
Photo by Binh Minh Jazz Club via Facebook
Looking for a cooler way to game up your nightlife in Hanoi? Head to Binh Minh Jazz Club and sway to your favorite jam! Speaking of acoustic bars, Hanoi is no short of heavyweights. But if we have to choose one place only to kick back, Binh Minh Jazz Club is the one springing into our minds.
Binh Minh Jazz Club is a hot spot for the local music enthusiasts with its golden location right in the heart of the city. Delivering a cozy and intimate vibe, Binh Minh Jazz Club is the cream of the crop for those seeking out on a retro setting while sipping on some booze and unwinding with their fellows. Live bands are scheduled every now and then to cater to those seeking spontaneous, authentic, and handmade music to put themselves in a good mood before bedtime.
This acoustic bar sets itself apart from other equivalents in town as it has the torch on jazz, a classic genre to inspire your inner self and creates a motivation at the end of the day.
Join a Calligraphy Workshop with Backstreet Academy
Getting tired of duplicated tour packages and craving for a better way to experience Hanoian culture? Why not spare two hours with Backstreet Academy and discover the history of Vietnam’s language and culture at a calligraphy class?
As a long-established Asian country itself, Vietnam has been pairing with calligraphy for such a long time, and there’s no cooler way to peel off this significant attribute of Vietnam than digging into these basic calligraphy tools and skills! During a two-hour class, you will learn how to hold the brush and work your fingers to create decent strokes writing Vietnamese script and English characters. At the end of the day, you can even bring home your own masterpiece as a handmade keepsake to put a bright smile on your loved ones!
These fun and non-touristy things to do in Hanoi only take you a day or two to complete. It’s time to dig into your favorite option above and unleash your adventurous side!