Hanoi has stood for more thousand years- through more than a few invasions, occupations, restorations, và name changes. Once the medieval capital of “the Soaring Dragon,”it later became the center of French Indochina. Today, because of this eccentric phối of faded colonial avenues and traditional Vietnamese architecture, as well as a recent explosion of designer boutiques & hip restaurants, Hanoi is a thành phố where the medieval & modern co-exist & evolve sầu into something entirely different; a concoction of “Parisian grace and Asian pace.”

Despite the relentless noise as a population of over six million zips by on motorbikes, Hanoi has an intimate (if urban) feel. Students who study abroad in Hanoi will discover the perfect city lớn sit bachồng, sip coffee and watch life (& plenty of tourists) rush by.

Popular Destinations

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, or Sword Lake, is the historical và cultural center of Hanoi (and is linked lớn the legend of a magic sword!). The Old Quarter sits on its banks, showing off the original streets và architecture of old Hanoi. Although the area is popular with backpackers and peppered with cheap hotels, artisan workshops, cheap beer and souvenirs, the area still retains its Hanoian inhabitants. The area doesn’t suffer from the frequent floods that plague other districts, so the population of the Old Quarter can boast that their families have sầu lived in the same spot for generations. The best shops, tourist sites (such as The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 with stone tablets listing centuries of graduates mounted on the bachồng of a tortoises; One Pillar Pagoda & Flag Tower of Hanoi) and many traditional restaurants are located here.

Tay Ho

The neighborhood of Tay Ho is mostly trang chủ to lớn wealthy Vietnamese and expats, và it’s in this upscale area that you’ll find the better restaurants, big villas, the largest mall in Vietnam và coffee that’s approximately seven times more expensive than the rest of the đô thị. It’s generally a quieter neighborhood, but it still attracts young, hip couples.

Ba Dinh

Ba Dinc is the political center of the city & is also trang chủ to the French quarter. Stroll along tree-lined boulevards and admire the many examples of mixed French and traditional Vietnamese architectural styles, such as the National Museum of Vietnamese Historyvà the Vietphái mạnh National Museum of Fine Arts. Here you’ll also find the dignified Grand Opera House, State Bank of Vietnam, Presidential Palace, Saint Joseph Cathedral, and the historic Hotel Metropole.


You don"t have sầu lớn sell your shoes to lớn study abroad (and com"on, how would you get anywhere without them?). Here are some funding opportunities that"ll help you get khổng lồ Hanoi:

The Freeman Awards offers funds to students studying in Southeast Asia. More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships

Planning Your Trip


Even with two-tier pricing system – one price for locals & another for foreigners- Vietnam giới is a budget traveler’s dream.

A bowl of noodle soup goes for as little as 30,000 dong ($under 1 USD). Market food stalls also offer an assortment of other snacks: fruit portions, sausages, donuts, và other eats for 10,000 to trăng tròn,000 dong ($0.5-1 USD).

Pockets of expensive sầu shops, eateries, và housing are popping up all over the city as well, catering lớn the newly affluent population, but they tover to run a little more expensive sầu.

Culture Shochồng và Support

Hanoi is a dangerous thành phố, both by Asian & Western standards. Pickpockets are impressively well-organized, aggressive hawkers grab tourists by the arm, hotel staff members will try to pick padlocks on travelers bags, thieves on motorbikes snatch bags from cà phê tables, kém chất lượng mechanics throw nails at tourists on motorbikes khổng lồ cause flat tires--and the police, have sầu been known lớn steal from people (both locals và tourists) & ask for a bribe to lớn get the items bachồng.


But don’t ức chế too much. The US embassy has branches in every district in the city if you need some help. And sure, you’ll come across some not-so-pleasant folks while studying abroad (and there is rampant stereotyping that “wealthy Americans” have cash to spare), but there will be many, many more normal individuals who are genuinely curious about you as a foreigner. Keep your eyes open và your wallet cthất bại & remember while petty theft may be common, the violent crime rate in Hanoi is near nil.

Motorcycle accidents, however, are another story entirely. Locals have a lifetime of practice on the free-for-all that is Hanoi traffic, & they are experts at navigating the insanity. For newbies to the game, the key is to lớn move SLOW. Don"t stop suddenly or tốc độ up as you are crossing; just walk at an even pace. This way the drivers are aware of you, and can take you into lớn tài khoản (along with all of the other motorbikes). It may look, & indeed is, somewhat chaotic, but be patient & pay attention when you"re crossing any street and you should be fine.

To Conclude...

The resilient spirit of Hanoi had kept the đô thị standing. Today, student who study abroad in Hanoi will discover the incredible wealth the city has to offer. It"s gonna be a change of pace- Hanoi ricochets between a relaxed-to-the-point-of-motionless khổng lồ frenetic-to-the-point-of-manic. But the unpredictable vibe is half the fun! So get lost in the twisting streets of the Old City, sip a coffe au lait on the grand boulevards và admire the spectacular history & tradition of this remarkable place.

Guide contributed by Julia Brady