For many foreign tourists, Hanoi is an ideal destination. If you are planning a trip to Hanoi and would like to know the best time to visit Hanoi and what experiences are worth trying when coming here, read on for some helpful information and recommendations.
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1. 3 main seasons in Hanoi & The best time to visit Hanoi
Located in tropical humid, monsoon climate zones, Hanoi has distinct features of summer and winter. The direction of the tropical monsoons changes over a year, leading to seasonal climate changes. In summer, Hanoi’s temperature rises and torrential rains fall due to the wet and warm southwest monsoon. Then, when winter arrives, the northeast monsoon causes Hanoi’s weather to turn colder and drier.
The shifting monsoon winds cause three distinct seasons:
- Rainy season: The southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean brings warm and water-saturated ocean air to Hanoi between June and October, triggering pouring rains over the city.
- Cool, dry season: The northeast monsoon from Siberia, blowing during the winter months from November to February, creates a cool, dry climate in the region.
- Hot, humid season: Between March and May, Hanoi experiences warmer and relatively rain-free weather during the transitional period when the monsoon winds change direction.
Each season in Hanoi presents its unique attractions for tourists. Normally, the dry, cool months, especially March to May, are considered the best time to visit Hanoi and the peak tourist season. Tourists can also visit during the Lunar New Year, a special traditional holiday for Vietnamese people. It is an opportunity to experience many interesting things about the culture and history of this region.
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2. Peak season
The best time to visit Hanoi is during the peak season, from late October to early February. In November, Hanoi’s weather is characterized by interference between autumn and winter. The day will be sunny and warm, but early morning and night can be slightly cold.
By January, temperatures will drop even further, but by February, temperatures will be milder overall and rainfall will become less frequent, making it ideal for sightseeing, entertainment and dining in Hanoi.
What to pack:
- An umbrella can protect you from both the sun and unexpected rain.
- Preparing sturdy and waterproof sports shoes so you can move comfortably around town without hurting your feet or encountering trouble when it rains.
- Wear comfortable, warm clothing, and bring an extra coat, scarf, and pair of socks because the weather at the end of the year tends to be quite cold.
3. Dry season
From November to February, Hanoi experiences its dry season, when the weather is more relaxed and drier. It is cool, with an average temperature of 18-24 degrees C and low precipitation. This is considered the best time to visit Hanoi when visitors can enjoy the cool, pleasant air mixed with the typical cold of Hanoi’s winter.
What to pack:
- Get ready for a rainy day by putting together a pair of robust, waterproof sports shoes that allow you to walk around town without hurting your feet.
- Dress comfortably and bring an extra coat, scarf, and pair of socks because the end-of-the-year weather can be fairly chilly.
- Prepare a raincoat and umbrella to protect you from the sun and sudden rain.
- Bring your medications in case you experience aches and pains due to excessive moving or acquire a cold due to temperature changes.
What to do:
- Lunar New Year: When visiting Hanoi in the dry season, you can experience firsthand the festive atmosphere of Vietnamese culture. This is a traditional festival, the most important holiday of the year for Vietnamese people. Tickets to attend this time may be quite expensive. Therefore, it is important to consider the budget when planning your trip.
- Co Loa Festival: In February, Hanoi will hold the Co Loa festival, an annual celebration of the legendary king of Vietnam. The week-long event features organized wrestling matches and lively revellers, creating a lively festive atmosphere.
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4. Hot season
The hot season, which lasts from March through May, is characterized by average daily temperatures of 31 Degrees C. Nighttime lows drop to 20 Degrees C. This season has relatively low rainfall, and the weather is dry and sunny, so it is the best time to visit Hanoi. Visitors can comfortably enjoy outdoor activities without being concerned about chilly temperatures or unexpected downpours.
What to do:
- Dong Nhan Temple Festival: On the sixth day of the second lunar month, the Dong Nhan Temple in Hanoi’s Hai Ba Trung District celebrates the memory of the Trung Sisters with a traditional ceremony offering sacrifices to honour their role in defeating Chinese invaders and saving the country.
- Giong Festival: The Giong Festival, held on the eighth and ninth days of the fourth lunar month (around May or June), commemorates the heroic figure Saint Giong, who drove off foreign invaders. On this occasion, a folk play is performed to reenact his climactic battle against the invading forces.
5. Wet season
The wet season experiences the highest level of precipitation, with rain occurring almost daily. The average temperature in the wet season is around 25 degrees C; at night, it can be as low as 20 degrees C. In this season, visitors can enjoy the romantic rains of Hanoi and the chilly air after the roasting days of the dry season.
What to do:
- Mid-Autumn Festival: It is celebrated nationwide as a holiday for children who enjoy lantern parades and lion dances and as an opportunity for families to reunite. On this day, lanterns light up the streets of Hanoi and vendors sell toys and mooncakes.
- Enjoy food and drink: In the cold rainy season, tourists can enjoy Hanoi’s specialities or hot cups of coffee while watching the rain fall.
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6. Best things to do in Hanoi Vietnam
Hanoi has countless interesting experiences that tourists should try when visiting this land. This list includes some of the most popular things to do in Hanoi and tips for enjoying each attraction. Use this guide to help plan your itinerary, so you don’t miss out on any of the best things to do in Hanoi.
6.1. Taste Authentic Bun Cha
Bun Cha is a special dish visitors should try when visiting Hanoi. Bun cha is a traditional Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi and consists of grilled pork, rice noodles, broth, and fresh herbs.
Bun cha was chosen by President Barack Obama to enjoy on his trip to Vietnam in 2016. Currently, in Hanoi, countless shops sell this dish at various prices for visitors.
6.2. Try Egg Coffee
When it comes to the name of this drink, many visitors will surely be surprised and curious about its ingredients and taste. Different from the fishy taste of eggs that people imagine, egg coffee is processed according to a special recipe by the Hanoi locals and creates a creamy, super-smooth and aromatic coffee.
Egg coffee is the right choice if you are a coffee lover and want to try typical Hanoi drinks. Combining the delicious taste of Vietnamese coffee with the sweet and fatty taste of egg cream will surely stimulate your taste buds.
6.3. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the place to display the body of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese nation’s great leader and a world cultural celebrity. Thanks to modern technology, his body has been perfectly preserved for nearly 50 years and shows no signs of decomposition.
The body of Ho Chi Minh is on display in a glass case in the central hall of his mausoleum, where it is guarded by four military police 24 hours a day. Visitors can therefore view the body directly but cannot take pictures. Proper and polite attire is also very important to note when coming here because this is considered one of the most sacred places of Hanoi locals and the whole Vietnamese nation.
Hanoi leaves a unique blend of beauty, interesting experiences, and beautiful memories in the hearts of every visitor. Hopefully, this article will help visitors find the best time to visit and enjoy Hanoi.
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