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City guide: Hanoi

City guide: Hanoi

Hanoi is often the starting point to discover the richness of Vietnam. But far from being just a gateway, the country's capital offers a true authentic and historic immersion where Asian and French culture mix. Colonial architecture, thousand-year-old temples, local markets and delicious gastronomy await you in this city on a human scale that we invite you to discover thanks to our addresses and advice. Follow the guide !

A neighborhood: old quarter


Jennifer Hebrard It is the oldest district of the city also called "the district of 36 streets" each of which has its specialty according to the corporations of yesteryear: some are dedicated to leather, others to goldsmithery, to meat, fabrics ... It is also an opportunity to appreciate a picturesque architecture and observe the chaotic proliferation of power lines. A must!

A hotel: Legend Metropole Hotel


Hotel Metropole Historic hotel in the city, the Sofitel Legend Metropole will immerse you in the colonial past of the city thanks to the architecture typical of its magnificent white facade with green shutters. Opened in 1901 by two French investors, the hotel has welcomed all of the world's great artists and politicians for their stay in the capital. Charlie Chaplin even spent his honeymoon there! It was also the base of diplomats and journalists during the war, which earned it a bunker hidden under the swimming pool which you could visit during the historic circuit organized every afternoon. For your stay, you can choose between the historic wing which retains its colonial decoration with Asian touches or the Opera wing and its more contemporary decor. The hotel also has three bars and three restaurants (French, Vietnamese and Italian) to provide you with a total experience. Special mention to the Chocolate Buffet, an afertnoon tea buffet version entirely dedicated to chocolate for an ultra gourmet moment. 15 Ngô Quyền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam www.sofitel-legend.com

A cultural place: the temple of literature


Jennifer Hebrard To the west of the city, the temple of literature is one of the most important in the country and has the distinction of not being simply a religious building. Founded in 1070 by the emperor, it was also an academy which was based on the teaching of Confucius and thus welcomed the children of the imperial family for their studies. The temple is divided into five courtyards and the pavilions with impressive roofs welcome steles, deities and tributes to the laureates "great scholar". Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Architecture: the Long Biên bridge


Jennifer Hebrard Built at the time of French Indochina, the Long Biên bridge (formerly Paul-Doumer bridge named after the governor of Indochina) testifies to French influence in terms of architecture. It was then a question of connecting the station of Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by crossing on 1682 m the red river emblematic of the city. A real logistical and technical feat for the time, it is a metal structure in the Eiffel style. Jump in a taxi to cross it and admire its 13.5m high. Cầu Long Biên, Phúc Tân, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam

A restaurant: street restaurants


Jennifer Hebrard Vietnamese gastronomy offers a multitude of flavors to discover. Among the essentials, you will not miss snacks with the famous spring rolls, phở, the typical soup especially for breakfast, bo bun, Vietnamese salad or bánh mì, local bread. All its specialties are tasted in particular in stalls installed in the streets, it is a must during your stay. The typical meal will be taken outside, at ground level, on small plastic stools that can be found everywhere, true emblems of the city! Also not to be missed, the coffee (still on a stool which the Vietnamese love and excellent in production.

An Airbnb apartment


Airbnb For an even more authentic stay, book Ms. Hai Ly's house. A real house and its garden to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, just across the Red River in an area popular with artists. It is an exact replica of an 18th century house that will offer you all modern comfort. A unique experience. Airbnb

A green space: Halong Bay


Jennifer Hebrard If there is no shortage of parks and green spaces in the city, Hanoi is the ideal city to organize an excursion to Ha Long (or Along) bay, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO for its 1969 rocky peaks. and impressive caves. You will easily find cruises (of one or more days) from Hanoi which will allow you to discover the calm and the beauty of this extraordinary natural space. In addition to the cruise, you can enjoy swimming time, kayaking excursions, island tours, fishing villages ... A must in Vietnam that will not disappoint.

A place to have a drink: Hanoi Social Club


Hanoi Social Club Three floors of an old Hanoi house to taste vegetarian cuisine, have a drink (including local beers) and listen to music. The atmosphere is relaxed in a semi-colonial half-heather decor and the top-floor terrace offers an original green space for listening to a concert. An address off the beaten track. 6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

A moment of shopping: Craflink


Craftlink For your memories and to offer you a real accessory from Vietnamese crafts, you can trust this address created by NGOs for an ethical and fair trade. Fashion accessories, decorative objects… All with displayed and reasonable prices. 43-51 Van Mieu, Hanoi, Vietnam - www.craftlink.com.vn