It can be tough to predict the weather in Hanoi, so it’s always good to have a flexible schedule that can adapt to any changes. If the weather is lovely, it’s a great opportunity to explore the area to your heart’s content. But if it’s raining outside, it can be nice to spend some time at museums or indoor cafes.
By the way, since it looks like it will be raining in Hanoi until the end of this week (April 13, 2023), I thought I’d share some recommendations from a local team called One Trip with Local that you might love:
Spend time at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum
Hoa Lo Prison is a well-known museum in Hanoi that housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. It’s an excellent place to learn about the country’s history and the conditions in which the prisoners lived. You can visit the “Hanoi Hilton” room where American POWs (including John McCain) were held, and there are exhibitions on the Vietnamese struggle for independence. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Visit the Loading T Cafe or Dinh Cafe (to try the famous egg coffee)
Situated in the heart of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Loading T Café is a coffee shop hidden on the second floor of a French-colonial house, which adds to the location’s appeal and authenticity. From the patterned flooring and the vintage furniture to the plant-filled corners that bring freshness into the space, this café is brimming with old-world charm. Loading T’s owners mix their Vietnamese coffee with cinnamon, adding a delicious and unique aftertaste. Next, you must try the exceptional “Ca Phe Sua Chua” – Black coffee with yogurt and condensed milk. Đinh Café Just a two-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake, you will find the best coffee in Hanoi, Dinh Coffee. Welcoming visitors since the 1990s, this café is located on the second floor of an old house with French architecture, with a small balcony offering a view of Ngoc Son temple. The coffee shop is famous for its egg coffee and black Vietnamese coffee. Interestingly, the shop owner is one of the Giang coffee owner’s sons. Visiting the shop, you still can see many black and white family photos hanging on the wall. Address: 13 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Visit the National Fine Arts Museum
The Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts is situated in Hanoi, Vietnam. It showcases Vietnam’s fine arts from a range of historical periods, making it the country’s primary art museum (with the smaller Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts is the second). The museum exhibits Vietnam’s fine arts from ancient times to modern times, with much of the 20th-century art concerned with folk narratives of the nation’s defense. The collection draws on themes of martyrdom, patriotism, military strategy, and overcoming enemy incursion. The museum presents a small collection of late 20th and early 21st century paintings, including works by artists exploring abstraction and abstract impressionism, and gives greater attention to the individualist artist.
Go shopping on Hang Gai Street
Hang Gai is known as the souvenir street in Hanoi. One of its most distinctive features is the harmonious combination of house design, store architecture, and religious places that create a unique beauty that is both traditional and modern. Most houses on Hang Gai are built based on traditional architectural styles. They are short in width, about 2 to 4 meters, but long in length, ranging from 20 to 60 meters. Today, houses and stores have been renovated to suit contemporary life. One more highlight of Hang Gai is that almost every household trades in silk as well as services related to silk. This reflects the specific business activity of each street in the “36 streets” of Hanoi.
(Source: One Trip with Local)