A Cycling Tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter: Exploring History on Two Wheels

While walking tours are a common way to explore this historic district, embarking on a cycling tour can provide a fresh and exciting perspective. In this post, we'll take you on a journey through the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter on two wheels, offering a unique and immersive experience.

Getting Started: Preparations

Before you set out on your cycling adventure, make sure you are well-prepared. Here are some essential tips:

  • Renting a Bike: You can rent a bicycle at various shops or through guided tour companies. Make sure to choose a bike that suits your height and comfort.

  • Safety First: Wear a helmet, use hand signals, and adhere to traffic rules. Hanoi's streets can be chaotic, so it's crucial to prioritize safety.

  • Timing: The best time for a cycling tour is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the streets are less crowded and the weather is milder.

Hanoi usually scene
Hanoi usually scene

The Route: Exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter

As you pedal through the Old Quarter's narrow streets and alleys, you'll encounter a tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavors.

Hang Bac Street (Silver Street):

  • Start your tour at Hang Bac Street, known for its silver jewelry shops.

  • Marvel at the preserved French colonial architecture and the historic St. Joseph's Cathedral.

Dong Xuan Market:

  • Ride to the Dong Xuan Market, a bustling hub where you can experience local life.

  • Explore the market's labyrinthine stalls filled with everything from textiles to street food.

Hoan Kiem Lake:

  • Head to Hoan Kiem Lake, a serene oasis in the heart of Hanoi.

  • Admire the iconic Turtle Tower and Ngoc Son Temple located on an island in the lake.

Hoa Lo Prison (The Hanoi Hilton):


  • Visit Hoa Lo Prison, a somber reminder of Vietnam's history.

  • Learn about the prison's role during the Vietnam War and its transformation into a museum.

Bach Ma Temple:

  • Explore Bach Ma Temple, one of the oldest in Hanoi, dedicated to a white horse that is said to have guided the city's founders.

Street Food Delights:

  • Sample local street food like pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) from street vendors.

Hidden Alleys and Artisan Shops:

  • Get lost in the Old Quarter's labyrinth of narrow alleys.

  • Discover hidden artisan shops, art galleries, and traditional Vietnamese crafts.

Dong Xuan market (the famous old market of Hanoi)
Dong Xuan market (the famous old market of Hanoi)

Conclusion: The Magic of Hanoi's Old Quarter by Bike

Cycling through Hanoi's Old Quarter is not just a physical journey; it's a sensory and cultural experience. As you pedal along, you'll witness the seamless blend of old and new, tradition and modernity. The sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic district will leave you with unforgettable memories. So, gear up, hop on a bike, and let Hanoi's Old Quarter unfold its tales of the past as you explore this enchanting part of the city on two wheels.