Places to visit near Hanoi
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Places to visit near Hanoi

Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam, is surrounded by a wealth of fascinating destinations that offer a glimpse into the country's rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and traditional crafts.

Within a short distance from the bustling city, visitors can explore ancient villages like Bat Trang, renowned for its pottery, or Van Phuc, famous for its silk weaving. Historical sites such as the Co Loa Citadel and the serene Thay Pagoda provide a deep dive into Vietnam's storied past, while the scenic landscapes of places like Thanh Chuong Viet Palace offer a tranquil retreat. This article will help you explore 20 must-see destinations from near to far from Hanoi.

1. Bat Trang Pottery Village: A traditional imprint in the heart of Hanoi

Location: Gia Lam District, Hanoi

Just 13 kilometers southeast of Hanoi, Bat Trang Pottery Village is a haven for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts. Renowned for its centuries-old tradition of exquisite pottery making, the village offers visitors a unique glimpse into Vietnam's rich artistic heritage. Here, you can explore workshops, witness skilled artisans at work, and even try your hand at crafting your own ceramic masterpiece.

2. Thanh Chuong Viet Palace: A Cultural Treasure Near Hanoi

Location: Son Son district, Ha Noi

35 kilometers from the center of Hanoi, Thanh Chuong Palace is truly a gem hidden under the evergreen and peaceful shadow of Vietnam’s village in Soc Son Province. Created by renowned artist Thanh Chuong, this palace is a blend of traditional architecture, art, and history. Visitors can explore a collection of antique houses, intricate sculptures, and stunning landscapes, all meticulously designed to celebrate Vietnam's rich cultural legacy. Thanh Chuong Viet Palace offers a serene and enriching escape, providing a deep dive into the country's artistic and historical soul.

3. Dong Ngac Cultural Village: A Historical Gem Near Hanoi

Location: Bac Tu Liem district, Ha Noi

 Located 12 km away from Hanoi downtown, Dong Ngac Cultural Village is famous as the “village of scholars," with its old architectural designs and traditional handicrafts. Known for its well-preserved ancient houses, communal houses, and temples, Dong Ngac offers a unique window into Vietnam's rich cultural and historical heritage. Visitors can stroll through narrow lanes, admire centuries-old architecture, and engage with the local community to learn about traditional customs and lifestyles. Dong Ngac Cultural Village is a serene retreat that invites you to step back in time and explore the enduring legacy of Vietnam's past.

4. Van Phuc Silk Village: The Timeless Artistry of Vietnamese Silk

Location: Ha Dong District, Hanoi

Sitting on the bank of the Nhue River, about 10 kilometers southwest of Hanoi Old Quarter, Van Phuc Silk Village is a storied enclave celebrated for its centuries-old silk weaving tradition. This picturesque village is renowned for producing some of the finest silk in Vietnam, characterized by its smooth texture and vibrant colors. Visitors to Van Phuc can explore the weaving workshops, witness the meticulous process of silk production, and browse a variety of exquisite silk products, from scarves to traditional ao dai dresses. Van Phuc Silk Village offers a unique cultural experience, blending the beauty of craftsmanship with the rich heritage of Vietnamese silk.

5. Co Loa Citadel: the oldest citadel in Vietnam

Location: Đông Anh district, Ha Noi

Co Loa Citadel was built near Phong Khe, about 20 km to the north of today's Ha Noi, during the end of the Hong Kong Dynasty (about 257 BCE). Dating back to the 3rd century BC, it is considered Vietnam's oldest citadel and served as the capital during the reign of King An Duong Vuong. The sprawling complex features impressive earthen ramparts, ancient temples, and a rich tapestry of archaeological remains. Visitors to Co Loa can explore its storied grounds, learn about its mythic origins, and immerse themselves in the fascinating history of Vietnam's early civilizations. Co Loa Citadel is a captivating destination that offers a deep dive into the country's ancient past.

6. Thay Pagoda: A Spiritual Haven Near Hanoi

Location: Quoc Oai District, Hanoi

Thay Pagoda, also known as Ca or Thien Phuc Tu Pagoda, is located at the foot of Thay mountain in Sai Son Commune, Quoc Oai District, around 25 km southwest from Hanoi city center.  Established in the 11th century, this revered site is dedicated to Tu Dao Hanh, a monk renowned for his contributions to Buddhism and traditional water puppetry. The pagoda complex, with its tranquil lakes, ancient architecture, and scenic surroundings, offers a peaceful retreat for visitors. At Thay Pagoda, you can explore centuries-old relics, enjoy the natural beauty, and experience the spiritual ambiance that has drawn pilgrims for generations.

7. Soc Son Temple: A Sacred Landmark Near Hanoi

Location: Soc Son District, Hanoi

Situated approximately 40 kilometers north of Hanoi, Soc Son Temple, also known as Den Soc, is a revered spiritual site surrounded by the lush greenery of Soc Son Mountain. This ancient temple is dedicated to Saint Giong, a legendary hero in Vietnamese folklore who is celebrated for his strength and valor in defending the nation. Visitors to Soc Son Temple can explore its serene grounds, admire the majestic statues, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere that invites reflection and reverence. With its rich history and beautiful natural setting, Soc Son Temple offers a profound cultural and spiritual experience for all who visit.

8. But Thap Pagoda, a unique home of national treasures

Location: Thuan Thanh District, Bac Ninh Province.

Situated near the dyke of the Duong River in Bac Ninh province, Thap Pagoda can be easily reached from the capital city of Hanoi. The distance from the center of Hanoi to Bac Ninh is more than 30 kilometers. Dating back to the 7th century, this ancient pagoda stands as a testament to Vietnam's rich history and spiritual heritage. Renowned for its exquisite architecture, intricate wood carvings, and vibrant frescoes, But Thap offers visitors a captivating journey into the heart of Vietnamese culture and Buddhism. Surrounded by lush greenery and serene gardens, it provides a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets of Hanoi, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in contemplation and reverence. A visit to But Thap Pagoda promises not just a glimpse into the past but an unforgettable experience of spiritual serenity and cultural discovery.

9. Tay Phuong Pagoda: An Artistic and Spiritual Relic in Hanoi

Location: Thach That District, Ha Noi

About 30 km west of Hanoi, Tay Phuong Pagoda, also called Sung Phuc Pagoda, includes three single-level structures built in descending order on a hillock that is similar to a buffalo. Dating back over a thousand years, this ancient pagoda, located in the province of Hanoi, holds a revered place in the hearts of locals and travelers alike. Renowned for its exquisite wooden sculptures and intricate architecture, Tay Phuong Pagoda offers visitors a glimpse into Vietnam's rich cultural heritage and religious traditions. Surrounded by lush greenery and a serene atmosphere, it provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

10. Cuc Phuong National Park, the oldest national park in Vietnam

Location: Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh

Located only 120 km southwest of Hanoi and nestled between the provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa, Cuc Phuong boasts an engaging cultural and wildlife heritage and enchanting scenery. Established in 1962 as the country's first national park, Cuc Phuong boasts lush forests, ancient trees, and diverse wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and eco-travelers. Home to over 2,000 species of flora and fauna, including rare primates like the critically endangered Delacour's langur, the park offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Vietnam's rich ecological tapestry.

11. Dai Lai Lake: stunning spots for nature lovers

Location: Vinh Yen Borough, Vinh Phuc Province

Dai Lai Lake is approximately 40 km north of Hanoi, in the Noi Bai International Airport direction. The lake belongs to Vinh Yen borough, Vinh Phuc province. It takes approximately 1 hour to get from Hanoi downtown to the Dai Lai Lake area. With its crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding lush hills, this picturesque lake offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Whether it's leisurely boat rides, lakeside picnics, or simply soaking in the breathtaking scenery, Dai Lai Lake beckons travelers to unwind and reconnect with nature. Surrounded by luxury resorts and eco-friendly accommodations, it has also become a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation amidst Vietnam's captivating countryside.

12. Duong Lam Ancient Village: An old beauty in a modern city

Location: Son Tay District, Hanoi

Duong Lam Ancient Village is located in Son Tay District, Hanoi, only 44 kilometers away from the city center. It is right next to the intersection between Ho Chi Minh Road and National Road 32, which makes it very convenient for tourists to visit. Dating back over a thousand years, this charming village boasts well-preserved architecture, ancient pagodas, and traditional communal houses, offering visitors a glimpse into the country's rural past. Cobblestone lanes wind through the village, lined with centuries-old houses made of laterite bricks, each with its own story to tell. Duong Lam is not just a place frozen in time; it's a vibrant community where local traditions and customs continue to thrive. Visitors can immerse themselves in the timeless charm of Duong Lam, explore its historic landmarks, and savor the warm hospitality of its residents.

13. Ba Vi National Park: the perfect hideaway near Hanoi

Ba Vi National Park, about 60 kilometers west of Hanoi's city center, is a great getaway that allows people to reconnect with nature. If you are looking for a spot to unwind from the hustle and bustle of modern life, this park is a must-visit. Spanning over 7,000 hectares, this protected area is home to diverse ecosystems, including dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and rare wildlife species. Visitors to Ba Vi can embark on scenic hikes to the park's summit, where the towering Ba Vi Mountain offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Along the way, you'll encounter a wealth of biodiversity, from colorful butterflies to elusive primates. The park also boasts a range of recreational activities, including bird watching, camping, and relaxing hot springs.

14. Halong Bay, a natural wonder of the world with sustainable tourism development

Location: Ha Long (Hong Gai), Quang Ninh province

The distance from Noi Bai International Airport, the main gateway of Hanoi, to Ha Long Bay is approximately 170 kilometers. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a mesmerizing natural wonder that captivates visitors with its ethereal beauty and ancient charm. Located in northeastern Vietnam, this breathtaking bay is famous for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with lush greenery. Known locally as "The Bay of Descending Dragons," Halong Bay's mystical allure is steeped in legend and folklore. Visitors can explore its otherworldly landscapes by boat, kayak, or even by seaplane, marveling at the intricate caves, hidden lagoons, and secluded beaches that dot its shores.

15. Ninh Binh-Halong Bay on land

Location: Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam

Located about 90 kilometers away from Hanoi, Ninh Binh is an excellent choice for tourists looking to explore the majestic natural wonders of Vietnam. This charming province offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes that are sure to leave you in awe. Ninh Binh, often referred to as the "Halong Bay on land," is a hidden gem tucked away in northern Vietnam's countryside. This enchanting province boasts a landscape of dramatic limestone karsts, winding rivers, and verdant rice paddies, offering visitors a glimpse into Vietnam's rural charm and natural beauty. From the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, with its rich history and ancient temples, to the serene waterways of Tam Coc and Trang An, where traditional rowboats glide through scenic caves and emerald-green valleys, Ninh Binh promises a journey of discovery and tranquility.

16. Sapa: stunning landscapes and rich cultural diversity 

Location: Sa Pa district, Lao Cai

The distance from Hanoi to Sapa is 319 kilometers (198 miles). Nestled in the lush green mountains of northern Vietnam, Sapa is a captivating destination renowned for its stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural tapestry. This charming town, surrounded by terraced rice fields and mist-covered peaks, offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional lives of ethnic minority communities, including the Hmong, Dao, and Tay people. Travelers to Sapa can embark on breathtaking hikes through the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, home to Vietnam's highest peak, Mount Fansipan, or explore local markets bustling with colorful handicrafts and fresh produce.

17. Mai Chau, the Lac Village, where the resident ethnic minority community makes a sticky rice dish

Location: Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh

Mai Chau is approximately 140 km from Hanoi. Local buses from the capital run directly to Mai Chau town, just a short walk from Lac and Pom Coong villages. Surrounded by lush green rice paddies and towering limestone mountains, this charming rural town offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Home to the White Thai ethnic minority group, Mai Chau welcomes travelers with warm hospitality and authentic cultural experiences. Visitors can explore traditional stilt houses, partake in local festivities, or embark on scenic treks through the verdant countryside.

18. Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong) - the annual pilgrim site of Buddhists

Location: My Duc district, Hanoi

Perched amidst the stunning limestone cliffs of Huong Tich Mountain, the Perfume Pagoda, or Chua Huong, is a revered spiritual site and a symbol of Vietnam's religious heritage. Located about 60 kilometers southwest of Hanoi, this sacred complex comprises a series of temples and shrines nestled within a lush natural landscape. Accessible via a scenic boat ride along the Yen River followed by a pilgrimage hike, the Perfume Pagoda welcomes devotees and travelers seeking spiritual solace alike. Each year, during the Perfume Pagoda Festival, thousands of pilgrims flock to the site, making it one of Vietnam's most significant religious events.

19. Hoa Binh Province - the “land of epics” and a concentrated residential area of the Muong ethnic people

Location: Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam

The distance from Hòa Bình to Hanoi is 67 kilometers. This air travel distance is equal to 42 miles. Hoa Binh Province, nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of northern Vietnam, is a captivating destination known for its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. Home to a diverse array of ethnic minority communities, including the Muong, Thai, and Hmong people, Hoa Binh offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in traditional rural life. The province's stunning natural attractions, such as Hoa Binh Lake and Pu Luong Nature Reserve, provide opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, boating, and birdwatching. Meanwhile, its vibrant markets and cultural festivals offer a glimpse into the region's colorful traditions and way of life.

20. Tam Dao National Park: The Green Lung of Vietnam

Location: Tam Dao district, Vinh Phuc province

located only about 70 km northwest of Hanoi, rather close to the urban area, Tam Dao National Park is one of the last natural areas that has not been transformed into agricultural land. Spanning over 36,000 hectares, this protected area offers a serene escape from urban life, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Northern Vietnam. As you explore the park's network of trails, you'll encounter a rich tapestry of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the Delacour's langur and the Vietnamese salamander. The park's mist-shrouded peaks provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking, birdwatching, and photography, while its cool climate offers respite from the summer heat.