5 unique ways to experience Hanoi city tour

by Oanh Phạm

Hanoi, a captivating city where ancient temples share space with buzzing street vendors, beckons you to explore its rich tapestry. But with so much to see, how do you choose the perfect way to experience it?

As a bustling city with a rich history and vibrant culture, Hanoi offers many unique experiences for those seeking to explore its charm in a day. There are plenty of unique ways to make the most of your time in Hanoi. This guide dives into some unique ways to explore Hanoi city in a day: Hop-on Hop-off bus, Hanoi Jeep Tour, Motorbike Street Food Tour, Limousine Bus Tour, Cyclo Tour & Foot Tour.

Hanoi Jeep Tour

  • Time: 3 departure times for 1 day: Morning tour (8:00 – 12:30), Afternoon tour (12:30 – 17:00), Sunset & Night tour (17:00 – 21:30)
  • Style: Adventurous group tour or private tour in the legendary Jeep VPA UAZ 469, with a maximum of 6 pax in a group, not too crowded to affect the quality of the trip and your experience.
  • Experience: We have 2 options for you to explore Hanoi by Jeep tours.

>> Tour details: https://hanoibylocals.com/tour/hanoi-jeep-tours-for-one-day/

Hanoi City Jeep Tour

The first option is the “Hanoi City Jeep Tour”, we expose you to the REAL HANOI with a day-in-life experience and pass by & stop at the  MUST-SEEE places of our beautiful city such as the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum- the Mecca of Vietnamese, The 1000-year-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical train-street, the enchanting French Quarter, The hustling & bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes of Hoan Kiem, West lake, Hanoi Opera House & famous Long Bien bridge, etc. In the last part of our Hanoi Jeep  Tours, you gonna stop at HIDDEN GEM RESTAURANT for AUTHENTIC & ORGANIC Hanoian food.

City Tour Hanoi By Jeep around West Lake
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep around West Lake
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep

Hanoi Countryside Jeep Tour

The second is the “Hanoi Countryside Jeep Tour”. Starting at you’re your hotels in and around Hanoi Old Quarter. We soon leave the busy streets of Hanoi via a scenic road winding through the city’s Old Quarter, through the urban outskirts, and into the countryside. We’ll cross the bridge to the other side of the Red river where you can immerse yourselves in the tranquil countryside. (Exploring the villages along the Red River Delta and learn about what daily life is like for these local residents. Admiring the beautiful scenery of farmlands and estuaries and end the tour at the 1000-year-old ceramic village of Bat Trang to learn about ancient art. Learning about the impacts on the local people under urbanization and industrialization.)

·       Off-the-beaten-path exploration,

·       Unique perspective, fun and adventurous atmosphere,

·       Knowledgeable tour guide can answer questions,

·       Scenic stops outside the city center.

·       Weather dependent (might get hot or wet)

·       Limited space for personal belongings

·       Tour might not be suitable for young children or people with mobility issues.

City Tour Hanoi By Jeep
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep
City Tour Hanoi By Jeep

Motorbike Tour:

  • Time: 4 hours (longer tour available upon request)
  • Style: Small group tour on motorbikes driven by guides & local drivers

Motorbike Tour: https://hanoibylocals.com/tour/explore-hanoi-on-motorbike/

Experience: The tour takes you around the historic sites as well as scenic spots of Hanoi, you will feel how different Hanoi to any other city in the world. In the simplest and most popular way of Vietnamese people, the motorbike is an inevitable part of our transportation. You’ll have the chance to visit and get to know about some of these places: Long Bien, Thang Long, The West Lake, Ho Chi Minh complex, Parliament House & the Presidential Palace (outside) – the political center of Vietnam, The National Flag Tower (outside), Ministry of Foreign Affair (outside), Phung Hung Mosaic, The big cathedral of Hanoi, The statue of king Ly Thai To, The French Opera House.

  • Food: Unique street food in Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s so tasty and you feel our cuisine culture.
  • Pace: Fast-paced and exciting.
·       Up-close and personal experience

·        Authentic Vietnamese street food adventure

·       Explore narrow alleys inaccessible by car or bus

·       Fun and exhilarating way to explore the city.

·       Comfort level with motorbikes,

·       Safety considerations (traffic, helmets)

·       Limited space for personal belongings

City Tour Hanoi countryside By Motorbike.
City Tour Hanoi countryside By Motorbike.
City Tour Hanoi By Motorbike.
City Tour Hanoi By Motorbike.

Limousine Bus Tour:

  • Time: From 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM
  • Style: Group tour with a larger group in a comfortable air-conditioned limousine bus. (20 persons)
  • Experience: Embark on a comfortable and informative journey through Hanoi’s history and culture with this full-day limousine tour.

>> Tour details: https://hanoibylocals.com/tour/hanoi-city-tour-full-day-limousine/

For a more relaxed and comfortable way to explore Hanoi, a full-day tour with a limousine bus is an excellent option. The tour offers daily departures and includes convenient pick-up at hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter, ensuring a hassle-free start to your adventure. You can choose between a full-day tour or a half-day tour, depending on your preferences and available time.

Your air-conditioned limousine will whisk you away to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, where you’ll pay respects at the leader’s Mausoleum and explore his stilt house. Witness the unique One Pillar Pagoda before choosing your morning adventure:

  • Delve into the diverse cultures at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays)
  • Or witness ceramic creation firsthand at Bat Trang Village (Mondays only).

Relax and enjoy a delicious Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant before continuing your exploration in the afternoon. Immerse yourself in history at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s past at Hoa Lo Prison. End your day with a delightful treat – a cup of traditional Vietnamese egg coffee.

  • Food: Lunch included
  • Pace: Moderate pace with scheduled stops and guided tours of attractions.
  • Comfortable transportation, structured itinerary with historical context provided by a guide,
  • A good option for budget-conscious travelers who want a guided tour with some meals.



  • Large group setting might feel impersonal
  • Limited interaction with locals outside of attractions
  • The itinerary might be tight and not allow for much exploration outside of stops.

The interior of Felix limousine bus

The interior of Felix’s limousine bus

Shuttle bus Hanoi to Halong Bay
Limousine bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hop-on Hop-off Bus:

  • Time: 4 hours
  • Style: Relaxed sightseeing at your own pace.
  • Experience: Covers major attractions with recorded commentary in multiple languages. You can hop on and off at 15 stops to explore further. Explore the city at your own pace with a convenient 4-hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour.

This popular tourist service allows you to hop on and off at various attractions throughout the city, giving you the freedom to customize your itinerary and spend more time at the places that interest you the most. With audio commentary available in multiple languages, you can learn about the city’s history and culture as you travel.

  • Food: Not included, but you can grab bites near bus stops.
  • Pace: Self-directed with scheduled stops.
·        Budget-friendly, comfortable air-conditioned bus,

·        Multilingual audio guide, flexible itinerary,

·        Perfect for families with young children.


  • Limited interaction with a guide, can feel impersonal,
  • Might miss hidden gems,
  • Stops can be crowded.
Hanoi city tour by double decker.
Hanoi city tour by double-decker.
Hanoi city tour by double decker.
Hanoi city tour by double-decker.
Hanoi city tour by double decker.
Hanoi city tour by double-decker.

Exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter on Foot

  • Time: 2 – 4 hours
  • Style: Relaxed sightseeing at your own pace.
  • Experience: Visit the Hanoi Old Quarter to explore local life, visit sites, and enjoy the street food of Hanoi.

>> Tour details: https://hanoibylocals.com/tour/hanoi-cultural-discovery-tour/

No visit to Hanoi would be complete without exploring the city’s Old Quarter on foot. This historic neighborhood is a labyrinth of narrow streets, each filled with its own unique charm and character. As you wander through the bustling markets and vibrant alleyways, you’ll be transported back in time, experiencing the rich history and culture that have shaped Hanoi over the centuries.

The Old Quarter is home to numerous must-visit attractions, such as the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, the ancient St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and the lively Dong Xuan Market. It’s also a paradise for food lovers, with countless street food stalls and local eateries offering mouthwatering delicacies.

·        Explore the hidden gems of Hanoi Old Quarter

·        Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of local street and street food.

·        Great exercise and save money

  • Crowded streets and weather-dependent
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • The tour might be not available for young children and people with limited mobility
Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem lake

Quick Notes:

  • Time of year: If you’re visiting during the hot season (May/September), the air-conditioned comfort of the Hop-on Hop-off or limousine bus might be appealing. On the other hand, cooler months might make the Jeep or motorbike tours more enjoyable.
  • Your interests: If history and culture are your priorities, the limousine bus tour with a guide might be best. If you’re more interested in a unique experience and trying local food, the Jeep or motorbike tours would be a good choice.

Ultimately, the best tour for you depends on your personal preferences and travel style. I hope this additional information helps you make an informed decision!


Oanh Phạm

Written by Oanh Phạm