How Has Hanoi Advanced in Global Livability Rankings by 2023?

Hanoi has been named as one of the five cities globally which have seen the most significant improvements in overall livability.


One year later, Vietnam’s capital has experienced a significant improvement, jumping 19 spots to 129th out of 173 cities in the latest Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) liveability rankings.

The vibrant city of Hanoi has experienced a remarkable transformation, propelling it to become one of the world’s most livable cities in 2023. Boasting a strong sense of community, the city’s friendly residents and their unwavering support have played a pivotal role in Hanoi’s recovery and growth. Hanoi’s rich heritage and traditional values, which date back centuries, have been preserved and celebrated, adding to the city’s charm and appeal. Additionally, Hanoi’s cuisine, renowned for its unique flavors and diverse range of dishes, has further enhanced its reputation as a must-visit destination. This combination of factors has contributed to Hanoi’s ascent in the global livability rankings, solidifying its position as a captivating and thriving city.

 The daily life of Hanoians in the Old Quarter. File Photo

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According to The Economist, Hanoi has been listed as one of the top 10 highest climbers in the EIU’s 2023 rankings, making significant progress in just one year. This rapid rise in rankings surpasses even some of the largest cities in the world.

Upasana Dutt, the head of the EIU’s Livability Index, highlights how recovery policies implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to significant improvements in certain cities. Notably, the return of children to schools has not only alleviated pressure on hospitals and healthcare systems but also strengthened the overall education sector. This combination of factors has contributed to these cities’ enhanced livability rankings.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) assesses living conditions in 173 cities across the globe, considering five key categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have made the most impressive recovery, according to the index. Additionally, the index indicates that the quality of life in these cities is currently at its highest level in the last 15 years.

Vienna, the capital of Austria, has maintained its top position on the list of the world’s most livable cities. Copenhagen, Denmark and Sydney, Australia rank second and third respectively on the same list.

 A corner of Hanoi. Photo: Loi Pham

What makes Hanoi a “livable city”?

Hanoi, despite its many opportunities and potential, continues to face challenges in terms of urban infrastructure, traffic, and the environment. Architect Pham Thuy Loan, a Vietnamese urban planning expert, believes that the city can still strive towards becoming a more livable city.

“Hanoi is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and undeniable charm, making it an ideal destination for both locals and foreign tourists,” she enthusiastically shared. She passionately emphasized that Hanoi takes pride in its vibrant arts and cultural scene, where individuals can immerse themselves in a plethora of enriching experiences, entirely free of charge. From captivating movie screenings and melodious music performances to captivating talks and captivating exhibitions, Hanoi’s cultural hubs, including esteemed establishments like L’Espace, the Goethe Institute, the Korean Cultural Center in Vietnam, and the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, offer a plethora of options to suit every taste and interest.”

“Young individuals seeking vibrant nightlife options can head over to Hoan Kiem Lake Pedestrian Street, where they can indulge in captivating and complimentary street arts. Another option is to explore the bustling bars located in the Old Quarter,” she enthusiastically recommended.

 Part of Hanoi’s Old Quarter on an early summer day. Photo: Pham Minh Duc

Hanoi, as the cultural and educational center of the country, provides excellent learning, research, and development opportunities for individuals, particularly the younger generation.

Hanoi holds a unique allure for all walks of life, be it the affluent or the underprivileged, the intellectual or the unskilled laborer. This inclusivity is what sets Hanoi apart and makes it truly special.

And everyone can find a fairly comfortable life in their circumstances and conditions.

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is truly a picturesque destination with its abundant natural beauty. Nestled amidst the cityscape are numerous rivers, lakes, and fields, creating a harmonious blend of urban and natural environments. The streets of Hanoi boast a charming aesthetic appeal, adorned with lush trees that provide shade and a refreshing atmosphere.

Moreover, Hanoi’s rich history, spanning thousands of years, serves as a strong foundation for its sustainable development. The city has witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties, the influence of various cultures, and the resilience of its people. This historical background has ingrained in Hanoi a deep sense of heritage and tradition, which continues to shape its present and future.

In conclusion, Hanoi not only captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural landscapes but also holds a significant historical significance. These attributes make it a truly remarkable city, well-suited for sustainable development and a wonderful place to explore.

Historian Le Van Lan of The Hanoi Times notes that one of Hanoi’s main draws is its distinctive cuisine.

“Food is without a doubt one of the most cherished and sought-after aspects for international tourists when exploring our beloved city,” he enthusiastically expressed.

Hanoians cheer on Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as he drinks bia hoi in Hanoi on June 3, 2023. Photo: Anthony Albanese’s Twitter

Visitors can easily enjoy Hanoi’s specialties at sidewalk stalls, where they can find countless attractive dishes such as Pho Bo (beef noodle soup), Bun Cha (grilled pork with fresh vermicelli), Banh Mi (Vietnamese-style baguette bread), and many others. Starting a new wonderful day in the city with a cup of iced or egg coffee, known for their bold characteristics that are unique to Hanoi, is a must-try experience.

It’s well-known among locals that numerous world leaders have walked the streets, enjoying the company of residents while savoring the local delicacies and sipping on Bia Hoi, the famous Hanoi draft beer.

Former French President Francois Hollande famously took a leisurely stroll through the charming Old Quarter, immersing himself in the rich history and culture of the area. Meanwhile, former US President Barack Obama indulged in the delectable flavors of Bun Cha, a beloved dish, on Le Van Huu Street. These unique experiences showcased the allure and appeal of this vibrant neighborhood to two prominent world leaders.

More recently, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese indulged in bread and relished the delightful taste of Bia Hoi on the bustling Duong Thanh Street. Meanwhile, the esteemed Korean Prime Minister Yoon Suk Yeol and his beloved wife savored the rich flavors of Vietnamese cuisine at a charming restaurant situated by the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake.

“Hanoi is not only livable for locals and foreigners, but also remarkably safe and welcoming for world leaders,” Historian Le Van Lan concluded.