Hanoi, Vietnam: A Perfect Weekend – Budget Travel Guide

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia.Whether it be 48 hours or 72 hours, this blog post will show you how to spend a weekend in Hanoi.

Hanoi is a historical and fascinating city located in the beautiful country of Vietnam. A perfect destination for any type of traveller. 

Whilst I’m a budget backpacker, I’m going to cater this blog post to all types of travellers looking to spend a weekend in Hanoi.

I visited Hanoi numerous times during my time in Vietnam in March 2019. Which means I have some travel tips to share with you guys!

For a more comprehensive look at Hanoi then be sure to check out my “Vietnam Travel Guide PDF”. 

The Ultimate Weekend Guide To Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam: A Perfect Weekend - Budget Travel Guide
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Where To Stay in hanoi


Where I stayed in Hanoi – Cocoon Inn Hanoi.

I had previously stayed in another hostel in Hanoi during my first 3 days in the city. However, it was more of a party hostel (more on that one in a minute).

I used Hanoi as a ‘hub’ to the north of Vietnam. Returning two times after trips to Ha Long Bay and Sapa.

I opted for this hostel after a recommendation from someone in Ha Long Bay that mentioned it was a very relaxing and quiet hostel. 


The dorm rooms were spacious and comfy. 

The hostel offered a bar, a common area and a rooftop. 

You can’t ask for much more than that.

I have a few other recommendations for accommodations based on friends experiences…

Hostel 2 – Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel. 

Hostel 3 –  Luxury Backpackers.

Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel was the other hostel I stayed at during my time in Hanoi.

The rooms were basic, however, that’s not what the hostel focuses on.

The hostel is all about socialising and activities.

They offer bar crawls, walking tours, an incredible rooftop terrace and the best of all, there Ha Long Bay backpackers party tour.

Whilst I didn’t stay in Luxury Backpackers hostel, it did come highly recommended.

As the name suggests, it is slightly more luxury than most hostels. 

However, in Vietnam, you will find the majority of hostels are in the same price range ($3-7 per night).

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Airbnb’s are the way to go when you’re in Vietnam. 

They’re cheap and stunning.

Airbnb 1 – Viet’sCozy House#1. 4.93 stars out of 5 with 191 reviews. Rare find. Superhost. £8 per/night. 1 bed. Up to 2 guests. Excellent location.

Airbnb 2 – SunFlower Homestay Hanoi. 4.94 stars out of 5 with 78 reviews. Rare find. Superhost. £10 per/night. 1 bed (with an additional sofa bed option). Up to 3 guests. Excellent location.

Airbnb 3 – LotusResortHomes. 4.91 stars out of 5 with 32 reviews. Rare find. Superhost. £40 per/night. 2 beds. Up to 4 guests. Very good location. This one is very much on the luxury side of things.


Hotel  – ERusta, Hanoi.

Whilst this is listed as a 2-star hotel, a lot of guests tend to disagree.

The hotel boasts an impressive 9.3/10 rating out of 410 reviews.

The hotel offers an excellent location, near the world-famous train street. 

Use Airbnb for the best accommodation options in Hanoi!


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things to do in hanoi

key highlights

Hoan Kiem Lake – Hoan Kiem Lake is a freshwater lake with a temple floating in the middle of it. It’s located in the heart of the city, making it a very popular place for tourists. It is also recognised by locals as a point of gathering during holidays and weekends.

Egg Coffee – What the f*** is Egg coffee? – exactly how it sounds. Trust me, it’s actually really nice. Check out this vlog from my time in Hanoi in 2019.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – The resting place of Ho Chi Minh. If you plan on visiting then I advise you to arrive early, the Mausoleum opens at 8 am. Also, be respectful and don’t take any photographs.

Train Street – Something so simple, yet so unique. Train Street in Hanoi is exactly how it sounds. An incredible narrow street, home to many cafes and locals homes. Suddenly come to a standstill a few times a day as the old school Vietnamese trains speed through the narrow street. 

Ha Long Bay trip – Hanoi is often the starting point for most trips to Ha Long Bay. Unless you’ve been living under a rock then you’ve heard of Ha Long Bay. No trip to Vietnam is complete without visiting.

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food & drink


  • Most hostels and hotels will offer free breakfast in Hanoi. It seems to be a tradition throughout Vietnam. Part of the famous Vietnamese hospitality. 
  • However, there is one stand-alone place that I personally loved in Hanoi. King Roti. Chocolate. Coffee. Bun. Incredible.


  • I opted to shop at one of the three main supermarkets in Hanoi for lunch (Vinmart, Big C or Circle K). Supermarkets in Vietnam usually offer warm food options. 
  • Banh Mi 25 is the place to go in Hanoi for lunch. Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich. You can choose from a variety of fillings, along with spices and salad. 


  • Garden House 2 is a place you have to check out for your evening meal. Delicious Vietnamese food. Exactly what you want when in Vietnam. 

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Travel tips for hanoi, vietnam


$1 = 23,000VND

Egg Coffee – 15,000VND

Banh Mi 25 – 10-20,000VND

King Roti – 15,000VND

Bowl of Pho – 15-20,000VND

Local beer (1 can) – 15,000VND

Average Hostel Price – $3-7 per night.

Hoan Kiem Lake – Free.

Train Street – Free.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – 40,000VND

Ha Long Bay 3D2N tour – $100-200

Hanoi airport bus – 5,000VND

Local bus ride – 3,000-5,000VND

Travel SIM card – 100-250,000VND


Vietnam is an incredibly safe country to travel. 

Hanoi is considered one of the safest cities to travel in the country. 

However, please remain aware of your surroundings and use common sense.

Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home.

Check your government’s official website for the most accurate information on safety in Vietnam.

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Just like that you’ve spent a weekend in Hanoi. For an in-depth look at how to spend a weekend in Hanoi then check out my “Vietnam Travel Guide PDF” that’s now on sale in my shop.

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Hey! I’m Aaron Jarvis. I’m a budget backpacker and online content creator. 

For the past 3 years, I have slowly been backpacking around the world and sharing my adventures on YouTube and more recently on my blog.

I’ve created a number of well-received travel guide videos on YouTube and have now converted them into popular PDF Travel Guides right here on my website!

If you’re considering purchasing a travel guide why not check out this video that takes a look at the contents in detail!

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