Exploring the Weekend Hanoi Night Markets in Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its extravagant and rich culture.

If you would like to experience new food, music, art and even a new lifestyle, then Hanoi is the place to do it. Beautiful scenery, breathtaking architecture and amazing history all combine together in this city.

The best thing that happens in Hanoi? That is definitely the night markets.

They’re a fantastic tradition in all of Vietnam and Hanoi is very famous for its night markets.

To change up the day to day routine or simply for a holiday, Vietnam should be on the list.  Exploring the night markets in Hanoi would indeed be a spectacular way to spend a holiday away from responsibilities.

A little background information about Hanoi

Vietnam Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam.

It is also the country’s second largest city by population with about 7.7 million people. This city is on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi is 1760 km north of Chu Minh City and 120 km west of Hai Pheng city. October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of Hanoi. This gorgeous city lies in the northern region of Vietnam.

Hanoi means “inside the river”.

An interesting part of Hanoi is how many official and unofficial names it had throughout history. It was first known as Lon Biên which means “dragon edge”. Then in 866, it turned into Đại La (“big net”). Hà Nội or “inside (the) river” was assigned to the city in 1831. This has remained its official name until today. People have been living in Hanoi since at least 3000 BC, which would explain its many name changes.

Hanoi today covers 6 provinces and is expected to have a population of 15 million people by 2020. It was ranked the 39th city in the world with most skyscrapers above 100 meters. It has been voted world’s top ten destinations by TripAdvisor in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

What are Weekend Night Markets?

Weekend Night Market Hanoi

You have probably heard of different markets that open at 8 am and end around 6 pm. Normally, you would buy what you needed in the market during the day and go home afterward. Well, in Hanoi things are a bit different.

Not only are the markets open during the day, they open on a specific time for the public during the night. As unusual as it may seem, this has been a tradition to the unique culture that attracts tourists to Vietnam. Taking the whole region by storm, these successful Weekend Night markets offer extraordinary experiences. Some of these include trying different types of food and buying souvenirs to keep the memories alive.

These markets have a great nightlife with different activities. The people in these night markets are really friendly and hospitable. These markets are open only on weekends. They are open on weekdays at the usual time, but at night they are open from 8 pm until 11 pm.

The weekend night markets are part of Vietnamese nightlife and rich culture.

The busy roads are blocked at night. No cars or any other type of transportation is allowed during night. The locals and tourists are free to roam the streets of the weekend night markets. The only noise you would hear is that of the crowded streets with people and music.

The Old Quarter Night Market

Old Quarter Night Market

The Old Quarter night market is known as one of the most exciting markets in Vietnam. It takes place in the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Old Quarter runs along the famous streets of Hang Ngang, Hand Dao (Peach), Hang Duong (Sugar), Hang Khoai (Potato) and Hang Giay (Shoe).

One of the most compelling aspects of this market is how ease tourists can find a large number of stalls. Each of these stalls sells different kinds of goods. These range from stalls which sell clothing, hats, who sell scarfs, handbags made of rich silk and beautiful colors, cosmetics, handicraft products which are made in Hanoi from ceramic, porcelain, wood, bamboo etc.

You can even find stalls in which bamboo dolls and pictures, wood frames and different types of necklaces are sold. Items from famous manufacturers in Ha Tay, Bat Trang and Dong My can be found here. You can find the same item in many stalls, but each one will be different in size, style or design.

Hanoi has a unique tradition of walking through the ancient streets such as Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, Dong Xuan. This extraordinary night market attracts tourists from around the world. They visit for a comfortable shopping style as well as to enjoy the atmosphere.

The atmosphere of the Old Quarter night market is fun, exciting and civilized. Tourists, while exploring the old Quarter have the possibility to try the unique cuisine of Hanoi. It is a typical thousand-year-old culture city and provides special dishes from 3 regions. This market is well known for attracting tourists from Vietnam itself and also from International countries who want to take part in the weekly night market.

Dong Xuan Night Market

Dong Xuan Night Market

The Dong Xuan market is another market which operates day and night.

It is in the center district of Hoàn Kiếm in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is part of the Old Quarter and was originally built by the French administration in 1889.

The Dong Xuan market has been renovated many times, including once in 1994 after a fire almost destroyed the whole market. Here you can find wholesale traders who sell many things such as clothes, household items and food. Dong Xuan market is most recognized by its unique entrance. The market has a 5-arc entrance which corresponds to the five domes. The market has a 5-arc entrance which corresponds to the five domes.

Today, the the Dong Xuan Shareholding Company runs this market.

A great tourist attraction, this night market also opens after hours and continues until 23pm. He Don Xuan night market is considered a very useful and successful way to preserve the traditional culture in Hanoi. You can find performers of arts like đàn bầu. Xẩm artists can also be seen when they are invited to demonstrate their talent during the night festival. Other cultural activities include ca trù and chèo.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the night markets in Hanoi are an exceptional delight to visit.

Experiencing a different tradition can be hard to adapt to, but very interesting as well. If you ever embark on a journey to Vietnam, be sure to visit Hanoi. The markets offer around 2000 stalls and sell many different items to choose from. When all this becomes tiring, you can sit down in the cafes or restaurants in the night markets and eat traditional Vietnamese food to regain energy.

If you find yourself planning a trip to Hanoi, it is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance.

Medical emergencies can occur when you least expect it. Although hospitals and medical care can be relatively cheap, sometimes they are not what is needed or conditions are below average. With travel insurance, you will be covered for any medical emergencies that happen during your trip. Also, if your luggage happens to get lost along the way, travel insurance will help you out with that one too. You won’t need to pay from your own pocket as the insurance agency will take care of it.

Check out our interactive travel insurance platform for a no-obligation quotation.