French Quarter Hanoi: Location, History & Best Things to Do
French Quarter in Hanoi: After the hectic streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, the grand boulevards and wide pavements of Hanoi’s French Quarter to the south and east of Hoan Kiem Lake are a welcome relief. Again, it’s the architecture here that’s the highlight, with a few specific attractions spread over a couple of kilometres. The houses you see today, which like those of the Old Quarter survived largely due to lack of money for redevelopment, run the gamut of early twentieth-century European architecture from elegant Neoclassical through to 1930s Modernism and Art Deco, with an occasional Oriental flourish.
- Location: Southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake
Overview and History of French Quarter in Hanoi
In Hanoi Capital, the French colonial era left a diverse and grand architectural legacy with numerous buildings built in different styles. The history of French Quarter in Hanoi was formed in the late 19th century as an attempt to blend Western lifestyle with Vietnamese culture and to create a specialized area for French governors and soldiers. Now, it has become a highly valuable heritage asset in Vietnam's capital city, attracting many locals and foreigners alike.
As its name suggests, the French Quarter brings a feeling of France. In the late 19th century, French occupied Hanoi and replaced many of the old Vietnamese buildings with impressive and stunning French-style houses and villas in this area. The war ended but left behind many French traits in this area. That’s why it is called French Quarter.
Though it’s not as famous as the Old Quarter, it is worth your visit with unique traits in architecture and a wide range of delicious food and refreshing drinks. Wandering along the streets in this area, you will find many houses painted in yellow and having typical street style of Paris France’s capital.
In Hanoi, French Quarter is considered the most luxurious corner in the city. There are plenty of 5-star hotels and high-class restaurants. Besides, you also can find various coffee shops, bookstores, boutiques, and galleries.
French Quarter has an important location as it is the center for some embassies like Ireland and Italian embassies, government buildings, and wealthy residential neighborhoods.
What Activities to Do and Best Things to See in French Quarter Hanoi
- Take a Walking Tour to visit nearby area:
Compared to the Hanoi Old Quarter, the French Quarter is less crowded. This makes it a great idea to take a walking tour to explore this area. There are many tour agencies found in Hoan Kiem district so you can easily find the most suitable one for you. You can also get a map photo and take your own walking tour.
If you take a walking tour with travel agencies, you will be picked up and guided by friendly local guides who are willing to give you useful inside tips. It surely helps you save a lot of time as well as know interesting destinations better.
A French Quarter Hanoi walking tour normally takes you to different streets in this area and popular places like the State Bank of Vietnam building, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel, Trang Tien, etc.
- Enjoy Drinks in Local Footpath Shops:
It will be a miss if you haven’t tried lemon tea, green tea or Vietnamese Egg Coffee in Hanoi before leaving. Unlike other countries, these kinds of drinks in Hanoi, Vietnam will bring you a very new and unique experience, that is very hard to find in other places.
Most local people prefer sitting on the pavement, gathering and chatting with their friends. Some people like having some street foods to enjoy also. And, near St Joseph’s Cathedral is one of the most favorite spots for having lemon tea. Sitting here, you will have a chance to enjoy the best views of the cathedral and crowdedness in the street.
- Visit Local Art Galleries and Shops:
Hanoi is not only the center of Vietnamese politics and economy but also the heart of contemporary arts and local culture. In the Hanoi French Quarter, there are many art galleries scattered across this area. To name some awesome ones, there are Thanh Binh, Red Moon, and A Dong galleries.
Art Galleries are known for a diverse collection of antiques and paintings by renowned artists in Vietnam. There are different kinds of paintings, from landscapes to portraits. The materials are also various such as lacquered wood and canvas. If you are wondering what to buy for your friends, a good picture may be a great idea.
- Wandering around Hoan Kiem Lake:
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple are the symbols of Hanoi Capital, so there are no reasons to miss this place on your trip here. The lake has a long history with special legends related to the sacred sword and tortle, that is still living the the lake today.
Nowadays, Hanoians love gathering around this lake. For foreigners, there are plenty of activities to join like playing some Vietnamese traditional folk games, dancing with locals, listening to beautiful songs from local youngsters. It is highly recommended to visit this place on the weekend when more locals come here and there are abundant things to explore Vietnamese culture.
Accommodations and Hotels in French Quarter Hanoi:
Where to stay in French Quarter? There are many luxury and comfort hotels in French Quarter Hanoi which are ideal retreats for those looking for a relaxing stay in the heart of Hanoi.
Staying in luxurious and popular hotels in French Quarter offers you a convenient access to art galleries, high-end shopping malls, and famous colonial establishments. This is suggestions of hotels to stay in French Quarter Hanoi with Google review rate:
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
- Rate: 4.6/5
- Location: 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 240
Hanoi Emerald Waters Hotel & Spa
- Rate: 4.8/5
- Location: 47 Lo Su street, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 73
- Rate: 4.5/5
- Location: 136 Hang Trong street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 131
Melia Hanoi Hotel
- Rate: 4.5/5
- Location: 44 Ly Thuong Kiet street, Tran Hung Dao ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 101
The Lapis Hotel
- Rate: 4.6/5
- Location: 21 Tran Hung Dao street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 152
Hanoi Pearl Hotel
- Rate: 4.5/5
- Location: 6 Bao Khanh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 62
Somerset Grand Hanoi
- Rate: 4.4/5
- Location: 49 Hai Ba Trung street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 106
Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi Mgallery:
- Rate: 4.2/5
- Location: 29 Trang Tien street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 119
Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel:
- Rate: 4.2/5
- Location: 4&6 Ba Trieu streert, Trang Tien ward, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Price: from USD 56
Hilton Hanoi Opera
- Location: 1 Le Thanh Tong street, Phan Chu Trinh ward, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Google Rate: 4.1/5
- Price: from USD 90
Best Restaurants in French Quarter Hanoi:
Hanoi French Quarter is home to high-end restaurants and cafe shops that cater to international clients and serve authentic European, French and American cuisine as well as premium cocktails and wines in classy settings. Restaurants here are also ideal for honeymooners and couples traveling to Vietnam who look for romantic dining experience. Here are some suggestions of where to dine in French Quarter Hanoi include:
La Terrasse Du Metropole:
- Location: 15 Ngo Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district
- Opening hours: 11:00 24:00 every day
RICO Steak House Restaurant:
- Location: 56 Tran Quoc Toan street
- Opening hours: 11:00 – 23:00 every day
Au Delice & Le Restaurant d’Arthur Hanoi:
- Location: 2B Ngo Thi Nham street
- Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00 every day
Travel Tips on Visiting French Quarter in Hanoi:
- When shopping in this area, keep your eyes on your belongings
- Pickpocket may happen in busy and crowded places of the city.
- It’s better to learn some Vietnamese sentences for bargaining.
- Bring a map photo or phone for google if you don’t want to get lost.
- Plan your trip in advance so you won’t be confused in this busy city.
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