Ha Noi, Vietnam

Hanoi is over 1000 years old, so there is a lot of history in this city. Temples, citadels, theaters and old colonial quarters. You can still very much feel the authentic Vietnamese culture in this interesting capital.

The city is not necessarily pretty. It’s chaotic and there are so many scooters and people on the road. It was our first impression of Vietnam and it was a good one to be honest.

Hanoi is a nice city to wander around town and visit a couple of museums. Don’t forget to stop by and buy tickets for the water puppet theater. I think if you are travelling to Hanoi, especially with kids, this is something you can absolutely not miss. The water puppet shows are something that come from the north of Vietnam originating from flooded rice paddy fields where villagers would entertain each other standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets and putting on a show.

Another must do is the Temple of Literature. This used to be an university over 1000 years ago. Dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. When the Vietnamese graduate from university they still come to this place to celebrate their graduation. We had the luck to be there on a day like that and were surrounded by young adults in their graduation attire celebrating their big accomplishment.

The kids also liked the museums, like the museum of Ethnology and the War Museum, they are not big so very good to do in one day. I wouldn’t recommend to stay very long in the city, a day or 3 is more than enough.

Here are some awesome things to do in Hanoi with kids. If you follow this list you will for sure see all the major highlights of this wonderful city. Use it as a check-list. It works really well.

  • Visit the Temple of Literature;

    Graduation day at the Temple of Literature

  • Go to the museum of Enthnology;
  • Don’t forget to stop by the War Museum;
  • The Water Puppet Theater is a must do, the best know is the Thang Long theater, they have daily shows 4 times a day;
  • Eat in the city centre, Hanoi Old Quarter, where most of the locals eat, just sit on one of those small plastic chairs and enjoy the best food ever while just feel the true Vietnamese atmosphere with endless scooters, motorbikes and bicycles!;
  • Visit the French Quarters and gaze at the beautiful colonial buildings;
  • Go to a performance in the Hanoi Opera House;
  • Stop by the Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a small island right in the middle of the lake;
  • Last but certainly not least, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Not sure if the kids will love, ours didn’t, this but it’s one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi.

Hanoi streetlife

Intercontinental Westlake Hanoi

5 Tu Hoa, Tay Ho,  Ha Noi,
+(84) 24 62708888
Price range



The Intercontinental Westlake is located at the quiet Westlake, next to the 800 year old Kim Lien Pagoda.


We had a 2 bedroom residence with a King size bed in one room and two doubles in the other. We asked for an extra bed as well, for the older children to sleep comfortably. The room offer a living room, balcony and kitchenette (with washing machine!) as well and a beautiful view of the Westlake.


The hotel has three restaurants but apart from breakfast we didn’t stay in the hotel to eat. The children still claim that the breakfast buffet is one of the best they ever had! 

Services and amenities for kids

For an overview of the services and amenities for kids at this hotel click hereAmenities provided by the hotel in green.

Extra info

The hotel is a mix of a business and resort hotel. It does offer a nice pool (inside and outside) and health center. As it is not located directly in the city center it is nice and quiet as well.

Essence restaurant
Address: 22 Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

In the street of Essence Restaurant

Reservations:  +(84) 24 3935 2485 ext. 105
Cuisine: Vietnamese food (but they also have a separate western menu)
Kidsmenu: –
Experience: Located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi in the Essence Hotel. The food is fantastic, it is said by many that this is one of the best restaurants in Hanoi and we can certainly acknowledge that. They don’t have a special kids menu but there are plenty of nice choice for the kids to chose from.
Restaurants at Hotel Metropole Hanoi

The Bamboo Bar at The Metropole

Address: Sofitel Metropole, French Quarter, Hanoi
Reservations: +(84) 24 3826 6919
Cuisine: Vietnamese food, French food, Italian food, all delicous
Kidsmenu: yes
Experience: This is a beautiful historical spot in the Colonial French quarter of Hanoi. Even if you don’t like posh hotels, this hotel is worth a visit. It is part of the Vietnamese french history, a landmark of the city.
Good street food
Address: Old Quarter, Hanoi
Reservations: –
Website: –
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Kidsmenu: –
Experience: In the Old Quarter, you’ll find many stand and small very busy restaurants with lots of delicious Vietnamese food. It’s nice to try that at least once while there.

Actually anytime of the year is a good time to visit Hanoi. In winter the temperature does drop, but still it’s not really cold. 

Below is the current temperature and forecast for the next days in Hanoi, decide for yourself if it’s tempting or not.