Insider’s city guide to Hanoi with kids. If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam with kids, it’s essential to set aside time in the capital city. Here is where you can find some of Vietnam’s best art galleries, there is a ridiculously quaint colonial centre to explore, parklands and lakes abound and there is that famed Vietnamese coffee everywhere. Le Anh Ngoc is the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Apricot Hotel in Hanoi. The mother to 10 month old Linh Nhi tells suitcases&strollers about why you should visit her hometown of Hanoi with kids.
Why should parents plan a family holiday in Hanoi with kids?
Hanoi is among the best places for a family holiday. This is a peaceful and graceful city with more than 1,000 years of history.
Bringing your kids to Hanoi is a precious opportunity for the whole family to discover the history, the culture and the friendly people of this antique city.
Where is your favourite place to take kids in Hanoi?
My favorite place to take my daughter is Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake itself and the surrounds give me peace. Take a stroll under shady old trees, feel the breeze and the fresh air and admire the lake; it’s the best way to relax after a busy week.
After an hour’s walk around the lake, we go back to Apricot Hotel to enjoy some delicious cakes made by the chef (my favorite is the special apricot cake – a combination of matcha green tea, apricot and strawberry mousse).
Where are your kid’s favourite places in Hanoi to hang out?
My daughter is only 10 months old so she cannot choose the place herself yet. But I can say that more and more Vietnamese kids want to go to museums such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, parks including Lenin Park, Green Park and Bach Thao Park to spend quality free time and learn more about history, culture and nature. Besides that, kids love to go to the Vinpearl Water Park in Royal City’s centre.
What is the best free activity to do in Hanoi with kids?
You could bring your
kids to Hoan Kiem Lake and then do the Old Quarter tour or go to West Lake (Hồ Tây),
Hanoi’s largest lake. Its perimeter is home to many of the city’s historic places including Tran Quo Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple – one of Vietnam’s four sacred temples. Museums and parks are
also good choices. Entry to the museums is cheap, from VND10,000 to VND15,000.
Where is the best place to take kids in Hanoi when the weather is bad?
When the weather is bad we usually go to the shopping mall or our favourite buffet restaurant Sumo BBQ.
What are some of the city secrets that tourists might not know about but shouldn't miss on a family holiday in Hanoi with kids?
The labyrinthine Old Quarter has so many little laneways and alleys that are home to plenty of secrets awaiting tourists. If we reveal what they are, they aren’t really secrets!
What's the best way for children to have an authentic Hanoi experience?
It depends on their age. While traveling with children, instead of walking around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter, you could explore Hanoi by xich-lô (cyclo) or by eco-car.
Where are your top places for family-friendly restaurants for kids in Hanoi?
Al Fresco’s is a pizza and pasta restaurant. They have A0 Paper for the kids to be creative with and draw pictures on.
Buffet restaurants including Sen Tay Ho (614 Lac Long Quan, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 4 3719 9242) [are also good for kids]. This restaurant is large and has a place for children to play.
Hanoi is famous for its coffee. Where are the best places that parents can go to get an authentic Vietnamese brew?
They can try Café Nhân Since 1946. Its address is 39D Hàng Hành, Hàng Trống District, Hoan Kiem. Hàng Hành Street is renowned as a coffee street where you can find many coffee shops.
What are your tips for kids' shops in Hanoi?
There are plenty of shopping malls for kids to enjoy including the Vincom Mega Mall.
Where are the best places to shop in Hanoi for Vietnamese art?
Hàng Bông and Hàng Gai streets are among best streets to shop for Vietnamese art. The street houses famous Vietnamese art galleries such as Apricot Gallery. Former US President Bill Clinton visited Apricot Gallery in 2006.
Are there places in Hanoi where kids can learn about Vietnamese art or even try their hand at painting some?
They can learn and try their hand at painting in Hanoi’s many kid centres such as Sol Art. Besides painting, parents can take their kids to Bat Trang Ceramic Village to discover Vietnamese ceramics and create their own ceramic products.
When is the best time of year to visit Hanoi with kids?
From September through to February. The weather is nice and you can experience the celebrations of Vietnam National Day (September 2), the festive season (Christmas and New Year Eve) and the Lunar New Year (Tết Holiday).
Family friendly accommodation in Hanoi with kids – where are the best places to stay?
I would recommend visitors to Hanoi with kids stay in the centre of the capital. On Hang Trong,
Hang Bong and Ngo Quyen streets.
If you are looking for luxury hotels, Apricot Hotel, Metropole Hanoi and Hotel de l'Opera are ideal.
Three-star options include Palmy Hotel and Spa and Church Boutique Hotel.
What is the best way to move around Hanoi with kids?
Use taxis to move around Hanoi with kids.
What are your top 3 family travel tips for families travelling to Hanoi with kids?
1. Prepare in advance and plan what you are going to do in Hanoi with kids so your children will not get tired.
2. Prepare some medications in case your kids need them because you might not find the same brands in Hanoi. Travel Checklist for Kids: Travel First Aid Kits (For Kids)
3. Bring quick snacks for your kids because they might not be familiar with Vietnamese food. Travel Snacks For Kids
Images: Le Anh Tuan