Guides & Tips

Hoan Kiem Walking Street: Where Hanoi Comes Alive on Weekends

smile Emma Nguyen
3 min. to read

Established after a successful two-year trial period, the Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street has become a bustling hub of entertainment and relaxation in the heart of the city. Welcoming both visitors and residents alike, this pedestrian area officially opened in September 2016 and is now accessible every weekend, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, continuing through midnight on Sunday.”

Winding its way through the heart of the city, the Hoan Kiem Walking Street traverses bustling downtown avenues, including Trang Tien and Dinh Le, as well as the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake itself. Complementing this vibrant atmosphere is a night market and an array of street food stalls, stretching into charming lanes such as Hang Duong, Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Hang Buom, Ma May, and Hang Giay, culminating at the renowned Dong Xuan Market.

Looking ahead, the city’s expansion vision, set to unfold by the close of 2020, encompasses the addition of southern streets beyond the Old Quarter, linking to the northern fringes of Hoan Kiem Lake.

With seven years of captivating operation under its belt, the pedestrian pathway encircling Hoan Kiem Lake has evolved into an iconic draw for both domestic and international tourists.

During each weekend, an impressive crowd ranging from 25,000 to 35,000 visitors graces the walking street, a number that can surge to an astounding 50,000 during the festive Lunar New Year

How to get there

For newcomers, taxi services or ride-sharing platforms offer convenient transportation choices.

Travelers on motorcycles or bicycles can find ample parking facilities encircling the lake. These parking spots are available along various streets, such as Hang Trong, Bao Khanh, Luong Van Can, Ly Thai To, and Ngo Quyen.

Car owners have several parking alternatives, including spaces near prominent landmarks like the Vietnam National Museum of History by the Hanoi Opera House, as well as areas along Tran Nhat Duat, Le Phung Hieu, Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao, and Hai Ba Trung streets.

For those who prefer public transportation, Hoan Kiem Lake is accessible via multiple bus routes, including lines 08, 09, 14, 31, 36, and 86.

What to do

Historical Landmarks

Nestled around Hoan Kiem Lake are significant historical destinations, encompassing Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge, the floral expanse encircling Ly Thai To Monument, the Monument ‘Determined to Brave Death for the Survival of the Fatherland’, the revered Ba Kieu Temple facing Ngoc Son Temple, and the imposing statue of King Le. Many of these remarkable landmarks offer complimentary access

Performances on the Streets

In addition to traditional games, visitors frequent the pedestrian street to enjoy routine showcases of music, dance, magic shows, and a diverse array of performances. These special events often escalate in excitement during the Tet holidays

Water Puppet Show

Located at 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater boasts a rich heritage spanning more than five decades. It stands as one of the enduring bastions of traditional puppetry, consistently captivating audiences, especially those from abroad.

Among the enthralling performances are iconic shows such as ‘Uncle Teu’s Tale,’ ‘Vinh quy bai to’ (Ancestral Tribute to Academic Excellence), ‘Mua tu linh’ (Dance of the Four Holy Beasts), the spirited lion dance, enchanting fairy dances, and delightful children’s programs. Each performance typically lasts around 45 minutes.

Performance Schedule:

Summer: 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m.
Winter: 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.
Sundays: 9:30 a.m.
Ticket Prices:

VND 100,000 ($4.20)
VND 150,000 ($6.30)
VND 200,000 ($8.40)

Sketching Portraits

Situated on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, the portrait sketching zone invites you to pose for approximately 10 minutes, resulting in a unique portrait available at a fee ranging from VND 100,000 to VND 150,000 ($4.20 to $6.30). Staffed by a team of over 10 artists, often comprising art school students or seasoned painters, this service has gained substantial recognition, particularly during the Tet festivities

Night market

Operating from 7 p.m. until midnight on three weekends, the night market stretches across Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, and Hang Duong streets. In addition to the eateries flanking the sidewalks, vendors are granted permission to establish portable stalls in the central area, leaving a pedestrian passage of 3 to 3.5 meters on either side. The night market presents an array of offerings, encompassing clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs

Tour Information Offer

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