When is the best time to visit Hanoi? This may be the common question of the newbie tourists who make a plan to visit Vietnam’s capital at the first time. It is a big mistake to think that Hanoi is in Southeast Asia, so its climate and weather are fine all year round. The city generally has four seasons, in which the summertime starts from May to August while the wintertime spreads its chilly atmosphere in November and December. Of course, it is impossible to exactly predict the city’s weather each month, since its temperatures, climate, rainfall, and sunshine can change from day today. However, general suggestions are totally made. Keep reading to know more!
When is the best time to visit Hanoi? The city weather overview!
The period from December to February is considered the coldest time of year as the temperatures can even drop down to 10°C at that time. That means tourists can experience the chill ambiance.
Don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad season to travel because the weather with the low humidity, bright blue skies, and lack of rainfall is still great enough to enjoy all the attractive sights around the city. And it seems a big pity to skip exploring Hanoi’s attractions on foot during the cold atmosphere. There is nothing greater than going hand in hand with your beloved along the Hoan Kiem Lake while enjoying popsicles or delicious street food in the cool weather. Wonderfully, is also a Tet holiday period. Hence, traveling during that time allows you a chance to learn more about the local Tet traditions and customs.
For those who first set foot on Hanoi in the cold days, it is highly recommended visit a number of museums. These place not only keep them warm but also help to widen their knowledge for better.
April and May are the perfect months to say Hello to Hanoi when the temperatures are often above 20°C without reaching the roasting temperatures of the full-on summer. At that time, skies are clear though you still experience intermittent showers. Thus, please be prepared for an umbrella in grey days if you intend to visit Vietnam’s capital during these months. And it is quite peaceful to have a seat in a beautiful cafe with an impeccable view enjoying the surrounding without dripping with sweat.
How about the hottest months, ranging from June to August? Due to the temperatures of nearly 40°C, the heat becomes an obstacle for those who are afraid of exploring outside under the sun, especially when combined with the high humidity. But, these days are ideal to get yourself immersed in a cool swimming pool or make a plan for some water parks for fun. Besides, let’s expect the regular downpours, which may last anything from 30 minutes up. Carrying a raincoat with you is a good idea. Or you can choose walking in the rain for later unforgettable memories.
In September and October, the temperatures start to decrease and become bearable to travel outside. The weather in November is finally fresh and comfortable as this is the end of the fall season and the beginning of the winter season.
A final note to keep in mind that you can check the weather forecast before planning a trip to Hanoi or get advice from other tourists who came to the city before. This helps you know when the best time to visit Hanoi is, what to do in unexpected situations, how to enjoy memorable experiences, and so on!
In brief, there is no bad time to travel Hanoi as all month in a year are nice to come. Be warned that the cold days can be a bit depressing, while the hot months can result in a “lazy” trip. Avoid coming to the city from June to August if you extremely hate the heat. Make sure to plan appropriately without letting the weather spoil your travel plan.
The recommended itinerary for a Hanoi City tour
As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is worth a visit because this is the second biggest city in the country. The city leaves a strong impression on tourists, by its harmonious mix of the East and the West. Amazingly, TripAdvisor ranked Hanoi as the 8th most popular destination worldwide in 2016. After deciding the best time to visit Hanoi, you should consider what to see and do while here. The following is a few of top suggestions.
Come to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum stands out as an important historical attraction – a must-visited site you should not miss. Honoring the national hero – Uncle Ho, the building is where guests can express their respect and gratitude towards the Vietnamese great President who spent his whole life for the country’s independence and reunification. The materials that constituted the building, from the interior to the exterior, were contributed by the locals from all over the country. Going inside, visitors can feel that Uncle’s preserved body just enjoys a nice sleeping in a glass case.
Stop by the One Pillar Pagoda
Situated close to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda should be added to the Hanoi tour itinerary. The legend has it that in 1049, King Ly Thai Tong dreamed about the Holy Lady (Phật Bà Quan Âm) leading him to a similar building. After waking up, he was recommended by Thien Tue monk to build the pillar-based pagoda topping it with the lotus of the Holy lady, just like what he dreamed. Every April 8th in the Lunar calendar, the King celebrated the Buddha bathing ceremony and released a bird in the pagoda. Nowadays, the pagoda becomes one of the most meaningful symbols of Hanoi.
Drop by the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is only accessible from Hoan Kiem lake within 10 minutes on foot. It was built in 1070 under the dynasty of Ly Thanh Tong, firstly to honor Confucius and today to celebrate the country’s doctorates and high-ranked scholars after their graduation. King Ly Nhan Tong continued building Quoc Tu Giam as the first university of Vietnam in 1076. This is an attractive building surrounded by a beautiful park filled with pavilions, a rich garden, and shrines.
Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The name Museum of Ethnology says all that you want to know. Not only introducing to the international visitors that Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country, but the museum also pays much attention to promote socio-cultural diversity. For those who are interested in the multiculturality of Vietnam, then the museum is the perfect stopover. Both indoor and outdoor sections are worth a surprise. While your soul can be dropped to the informative indoor exhibition, the outdoor display makes the museum stand out from the rest.
Go to the Temple of Jade Mountain
Also called Ngoc Son Temple, the temple of Jade Mountain does a valuable job of opposing the evil. The prominence may be its architecture, which strongly expresses the religious harmony through a thousand years of culture. Ngoc Son Temple was built to worship Van Xuong De Quan and King Tran Hung Dao. Furthermore, this is also a worshipping place to Buddha Amitabha, Lu Dongbin, and Quan Van Truong. The harmony of religions is not only clear in the worship, but also in the construction, architecture, the system of parallel sentences, and decoration of Ngoc Son Temple.
See a Water Puppet show
A water puppet performance highly reflects the Vietnamese tradition. There are several theaters in the capital where visitors can watch this uniquely Vietnamese performance. But, Thang Long Puppet Theater is known as the most famous theater that showcases a water puppet performance with 5 shows per day. Coming to there, you can see puppets dancing and sliding over the liquid stage. These puppets are cleverly controlled by a team of puppeteers hiding behind the scenes. Traditional content of the water puppet performance often focuses on the daily life of Vietnamese farmers, communal entertainment, or historical legends.
Enjoy a cyclo tour around the city
A cyclo around Hanoi allows you to enjoy a relaxing ride around the city. Sitting on the cyclo, you feel that life is quieter and more peaceful at the slow peace. Most of the city cyclos are found in the Old Quarter, where foreign tourists gather in the crowd. Since the Old Quarter is located in the Ba Dinh district, it becomes the busiest tourist attraction. It is greater to have a sit on the cyclo while watching many street vendors selling street food, the elder taking exercise, and the citizens getting busy with their work. Such the local experience does give you a glimpse at what it is like to live in Hanoi.
After getting an idea on the best time to visit Hanoi, your travel passion can also be inspired after knowing that the city has many diverse sites to set foot on. It has a long, fascinating history to experience, many tasteful dishes to enjoy, and great cultural performances to see. Whether you come to Hanoi as a solo tourist or as couples or families, the city always welcomes you with many exciting activities to do.