- Dates & Prices
Tour duration: 1 hour 30
- Timetable: Mon – Sat 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM except national holidays.
- Type of travel: Walking tour.
- Who should join: Anyone who prefers to explore Hanoi ancient cultural and architecture at old Hanoi.
- Why should join: It is a free, unique and distinctive tour that travelers can grasp the history and architecture of old Hanoi at a glance.
- Meeting point: 28 Hang Dau St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi.
- Live guide: English.
- What to remember:
- The tour will be canceled in adverse weather conditions.
- Each tour is for maximum 15 people.
- No booking required, show up and go.
The most unique feature of Hanoi’s Old Quarter is undoubtedly its guild streets. Centuries ago, each street specialized in the production and sale of just one kind of handicraft. In time, the streets were named after those products, with the word “Hang”, meaning “shop” or “merchandise” added in front. To this day, some of the streets still trade in their original products, like Hang Bac (Silver Street), Hang Thiec (Tin Street) and Lan Ong (Traditional Medicine Street).
1 / Hang Dao (Silk Dyers Street) (Old photo)
Hang Dao is a very old street, dating back to the 13th or 14th century. Its name is derived from the red, dyed fabrics that were sold in simple shops along the street. Today, Hang Dao is a one-way street, and still a main shopping street, typical of Hanoi.
2 / Hang Bac (Silver Street) (Photo of jewelers working in the street or at Dinh Kim Ngan)
The communal house of Dinh Kim Ngan is located on Hang Bac (Silver Street) and is the symbol of gold and silversmithing in Hanoi. This ancient structure was built in the late 15th to early 16th century. By the early 19th century, this street was home to the silversmithing guild. Nowadays, the communal house still trades in traditional handicraft jewelry.
3 / Hang Bo (Basket Street) (Photo)
Hang Bo or Basket Street was formerly home to shops selling woven bamboo items including baskets and other containers. Today, both sides of this 270m-long street are packed with shops selling sewing supplies. In the evenings, this street turns into a night street food area, best known for its grilled dried squid.
4 / Lan Ong (Traditional Medicine Street) (Photo of herbs or a vendor packaging medicine for a patient)
Lan Ong Street is named after a famous physician, and from before the 20th century, specialized in selling traditional medicine. This is one of the rare ancient streets which has preserved its traditional craft for generations. Along the length of the street, there are upwards of 70 traditional medicine businesses, accounting for 90% of the shop houses.
5 / Hang Thiec (Tin Street) (Photo of vintage tinware or of how the street used to look)
Hang Thiec or Tin Street is another example of the resilience of the Hanoi craft guilds. This street originally specialized in making tinware, and to this day, the street still resounds with the sound of hammers beating out common household items.
6 / Hang Quat (Fan Street) (Photo)
In addition to fans, Hang Quat or Fan Street originally also sold traditional Vietnamese musical instruments. Today, it’s best known for making and selling religious paraphernalia.
7 / Tonkin Free School Square (Photo of what the square looks like today and an old tram station)
This square was the setting for several historical events associated with patriotic Confucian scholars in the early 20th century. Today, the square is where young couples and people of all ages gather, and is affectionately known by Hanoians as the “Lakeshore Fountain”.
8 / Ba Kieu Temple (Photo)
Mother Goddess Worship is common in Vietnam and Ba Kieu Temple is an ancient site for Mother Goddess Worship, situated on holy ground right in the center of Thang Long – Hanoi, across from the Ngoc Son Temple. The temple is from the early 17th century and was recognized as a national historical and cultural relic in 1994.
Date: Mon – Sat 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM except national holidays.