Exploring Hanoi with Kids

Explore Hanoi with Kids

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is all about motorbikes squeezing in everywhere, honking vehicles, street cafes open from early morning to the late night and interesting architecture. In the midst of all this fuss, colourful rickshaws rush through Hanoi. For us, Hanoi is also about delicious coffee, banh mi and fantastic pho, which we ate on the very first day after arrival. See what interesting things you can do in Hanoi with kids, where to stay and where to eat.

Exploring Hanoi with Kids

Hanoi was the place where we started our month-long travel around Vietnam with the kids. We stayed three full days to have time to explore Hanoi with kids in peace. Sadly, I was exploring Hanoi by myself with the children during the day, as my husband had work duties in Vietnam.

Exploring Hanoi on your own with kids is not the easiest thing to do because of the crazy traffic of scooters squeezing into every available spot. Scooters are on the street and on the pavements, they are literally everywhere. You have to be extra careful at pedestrian crossings, because even at a red light everyone is riding. Nobody stops to let a pedestrian cross. My advice for crossing streets efficiently in Vietnam is to walk confidently and not expect anyone to stop. No worries, drivers will bypass you as luckily they drive quite slowly.

At the time, I wasn't aiming to visit the most popular attractions, as I was more interested in wandering around the city and looking at Hanoi's street life. However, we did manage to visit some nice places on the occasion.

Stay at the Old Quarter Hanoi

We flew into Hanoi late in the evening and were at our hotel well after 10 pm. We stayed in District 1, which is the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Being hungry, we immediately went out in search of food and that's how we ended up with a very cheap and really delicious pho with roasted chicken. We've never come across such tasty pho anywhere else. We were surprised to find that at 11pm the cafés were open and full of customers. In the morning of our first day, we found a nice restaurant called The Banh Mi by Kun, serving really tasty breakfasts and coffee, which we went to every day. 

What is Old Quarter Hanoi like in the daytime? It is indescribable. From early in the morning, every spare patch of pavement is occupied by cafés and tea shops setting up tiny chairs. The Vietnamese sit there in groups, drinking their coffee and strong green tea slowly. In places, food stalls are set up where people eat their breakfast. Scooters are squeezed in between the cafés, making it impossible to walk along the pavement. Meanwhile, in the streets, there are flower sellers with their bicycles and vendors selling fruits, boiled corn and other delicacies. The closer you get to the centre, the more crowded and bustling it gets. When walking along the pavements and streets, you need to have your eyes around your head.

Exploring Hanoi with Kids
Ulice Hanoi

Exploring Kids-Friendly Attractions in Hanoi

Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Our hotel was not far from Hoan Kiem Lake with the lovely little Ngoc Son Temple located on a small island, accessed by the wooden Morning Sunlight Bridge. The temple is the perfect place to explore Hanoi with children. However, before we entered the temple, the children stopped by a bamboo toy vendor. We bought colourful birds, which turned out to be a real highlight. 

Opening hours

7.00 - 18.00 on working days
7.00 - 21.00 at weekends

Admission tickets

30k VDN/ person (adults)
children under 15 yo for free

Exploring Hanoi with Kids. Ngoc Son Temple
Exploring Hanoi with Kids. Ngoc Son Temple

Temple of Literature in Hanoi

The next day of our stay I headed to the Temple of Literature and this is a place that is really worth visiting in Hanoi with children. The temple was built in 1070 and was the first university in Vietnam. The buildings of the temple and the area around it are exceptionally beautiful and well-maintained. There is a small snack and souvenir shop and toilets in the temple area.

The Temple of Literature is a fantastic place for families with children in Hanoi, also because of the very pleasant playground next door to the temple. 

Opening hours

8.00 - 17.30

Admission tickets

30k VDN/ person (adults)
children under 15 yo for free

Park and Playground in Hanoi for Kids

In a small park just outside the wall of the Temple of Literature, there is a wooden playground, encouraging children to learn about the legend of Thanh Giong. The playground is not large, but has a slide and swings. A must-visit here with your children.

Explore Hanoi with Kids, playground in Hanoi
Explore Hanoi with Kids, playground in Hanoi
Explore Hanoi with Kids, playground in Hanoi

Where and What to Eat in Hanoi

We were lucky enough to explore culinary Hanoi and usually very satisfied. It was in Hanoi that we ate the most delicious pho, drank exquisite coffees in ambience cafes.

For breakfast, I recommend The Banhmi by Kun, where you can enjoy a tasty meal and delicious coffee or coconut cane juice. For coffee, the Hanoi Coffee Culture is worth a visit. While in Vietnam, salted coffee and egg coffee are a must try. Vietnamese coffee is a masterpiece.

Yummy chicken pho is served at My Hai, while traditional pho with beef can be had at Pho Thin Bo Ho. For pizza, on the other hand, I recommend going to Pizza Belga Hang Be. At this pizzeria, they serve a delicious nutella pizza for the biggest picky eaters.

You can buy delicious fruits from street vendors on the street. For imported produce, the best place to go is L's Place, which has a great selection of goods.

Hanoi with Kids
Hanoi with Kids

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