All About Hanoi Walking Street around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter

If you’re visiting Hanoi on a weekend, you’re in for a culturally rich and fascinating treat that the Walking Street has to offer! There’s a great list of different elements, acts, and entertainment to relish and behold. This is why I recommend everyone who’s coming to Hanoi to include a day in the weekend. 

It is the time of the week when you can be free from all those horns and madness of typical Hanoian roads. Well, you’d have to compromise that with the human crowd especially in the evening, but thanks to these people, the streets are much livelier and more fun!

Walking Street first began in 2016 with the initiative to boost up Vietnamese culture and provide a common place for both locals and visitors to gather and hang out. 

 

Map of Walking Streets

Map of Walking Street in the Old Quarter

The streets marked in red and yellow are car and motorbike-free streets during the weekend. The red coloured streets are transformed into walking streets from 7pm to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And the yellow ones are only for pedestrians from 7pm on Friday until midnight on Sunday. 

Down below are the highlights and best of the Walking Street! 

Peaceful Streets

Car & Bike-free Trang Tien street
Peaceful street by the Trang Tien Plaza on a Sunday afternoon
Mini cars and bikes lined up for children

Yay, finally some peace can be found during the day where there are no cars and no motorbikes that drive as if they want to run over you. 

It was a great surprise to be able to put my feet on these streets and stop for a photograph or a short break to look around. The very same street looks completely different without traffic.

Instead of those big cars and bikes for adults, there are cute mini cars and bikes for little kids to drive around. In the evening, when these streets will start picking up crowd, these mini cars and bikes can be a new danger to look out for!

Beer Street

Ta Hien Beer Street Weekend
Beer Street on Weekend
Beer Street Conjunction

A stop over or even a night over at the famous beer street is a must while in Hanoi. This street is a central hub for both young Vietnamese groups and foreigners to sit on tiny plastic chairs and sip on ice cold beer to end the day.

Just like anywhere else in the world, this place is the most packed on weekends. If you’re not a big fan of squeezing pass this almost frantic crowd, you can skip the beer street on a weekend. But if you’re adventurous and up for a hectic maze of people, do go for it! I think it’s worth the squeeze for a cool picture and cold beer in this energetic vibe!

Night Market

Dong Xuan Night market on weekends
Night Market - Time for bargain!

The night market with stalls lined between Dong Xuan market and Hoan Kiem lake is definitely a highlight of the weekend Walking Street. This is where you can find great opportunities to practise your bargaining skills with sellers! 

I personally don’t think there’s an extensive range of goods to shop here, but I always enjoy a walk passing the street stalls. 

If you’re feeling hot and/or in need of a little sugar kick, you can stop at my favourite dessert shop for a fresh bowl of tropical fruits with yoghurt (check out for more details here).

Traditional Games

Traditional Vietnamese Game (source: VNTrip)
Tug of War (source: VNTrip)

My favourite part about the Walking Street by the lake is the presence of traditional games here and there scattered around the lake. From shuttlecock kicking to traditional Vietnamese games that involve white stones and many more. 

What I love so much about this is the still lasting tradition that young Vietnamese people enjoy playing. You’ll be in no short of fun and awe watching these games.

Performances

Folk Music Performance (source: Hanoi Times)
Waltz Dance (source: Hanoi Online.net)

Last but not least is the performances. There are several spots where you will see daily meet-up groups of different dance styles such as Salsa, Waltz and so on. Most of these groups dance at different spots between Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square and Ngoc Son temple entrance.

There are hip hop and b-boying dancers who not only practise dance on weekends but every day at the Ly Thai To Square. I often go to this square to watch them breakdance!

You can also find some traditional folk music performances and regular spots are in front of Bach Ma temple on Hang Buom street, at the conjunction between Ma May and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets and in front of Dong Xuan Market.

For some contemporary or other kinds of musical concerts, you can find bands performing in front of Beer 2KU on Luong Ngoc Quyen street and in front of Hoan Kiem Cultural Information Centre on Le Thai To street.

One thing to note: Beware if you’re staying outside of or far from the Old Quarter. If you need to take a taxi, Grab taxi / bike ride back to your place after visiting the Walking Street, you’ll have to go to a street where cars and motorbikes are allowed. Otherwise, you won’t be able to book a ride on Grab application or find any taxi.

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