Hanoi: One of the World’s Top 100 Best Tourist Cities

Hanoi has secured a spot in the prestigious global rankings as the 96th best tourist city in the world. This remarkable achievement makes Hanoi the sole representative of Vietnam on the list, according to Resonance Consultancy, a renowned company based in Canada.

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Resonance said it analyzed 270+ global cities with populations of more than one million to determine the top 100 based on three criteria livability, lovability, and prosperity.

“The political nucleus and the historic heart of fast-growing Vietnam is a growing Asian power to tap into,” it remarked.

“Although not as expansive or bustling as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi offers a plethora of activities and attractions, from urban landmarks, chaotic markets for bargain hunters, awe-inspiring heritage structures like the Imperial Citadel – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and a vibrant nightlife that holds its own charm.”

The report specified that Hanoi, home to 7.5 million people, offered traditional markets as well as high-end shopping services. For instance, the city’s oldest market, Dong Xuan, established during French colonial times, sells clothes, electronic goods, and thousands of other items.

Hanoi Among World’s Top 100 Best Tourist Cities
The report specified that Hanoi, home to 7.5 million people, offered traditional markets as well as high-end shopping services. Photo: Vietnam Tourism

The report noted that the Hanoi hospitality market was expected to boom with plans for an additional 66 new projects with more than 11,000 hotel rooms.

London topped the list of best tourist cities, followed by Paris and New York.

The number of tourists to Hanoi hit 18.9 million in the first nine months of 2023, up 36.5% year-on-year, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

Of this figure, foreign tourist arrivals reached 3.2 million, marking a four-fold increase year-on-year and surpassing this year’s target of 3 million. The number of domestic visitors rose 20.2% year-on-year to 15.7 million.

Total tourism revenue in Jan-Sept has been estimated at VND69.3 trillion ($2.88 billion), up 66.9% year-on-year.

Hanoi has consistently received high praise from international tourism organizations and has ranked among the most attractive urban destinations in the world.

On September 6, the capital city was once again voted as the top city destination in Asia for 2023.

Vietnamese tourism is recovering after being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The country welcomed 8.9 million foreign tourists in the first nine months of the year, surpassing the yearly target of 8 million.

Starting August 15, Vietnam extended visa-free entry from 15 days to 45 days for visitors from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. It has also extended the duration of e-visas from 30 days to three months with multiple entries.

Citizens of another 80 countries, including major economies such as India, Australia, and the U.S., are currently eligible to enter the country using e-visas.

Founded over 1000 years ago, Vietnam’s capital city is rich in history, with the streets of its rambling Old Quarter dating back to the 14th century. Wandering these tree-lined lanes past crumbling colonial facades will transport you back in time. However, today’s Hanoi is about much more than the past. The ancient city is being invigorated with modern cafes, world-class restaurants, and cool art galleries.

Hanoi Among World’s Top 100 Best Tourist Cities
Total tourism revenue in Jan-Sept has been estimated at VND69.3 trillion ($2.88 billion), up 66.9% year-on-year. Photo: TTXVN

For an authentic taste of Hanoi, look to the street kitchens of the Old Quarter. Steaming pots of its star anise-infused Pho broth simmer on every corner; while every day, the scent of bún chả fills the air as barbecued pork sizzles over hot coals.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter serves up a sensory overload. Wisps of incense drift out onto streets from ancient temples, while the clang of blacksmiths’ hammers mingles with mobile fruit sellers’ calls. Jump in a cyclo and tour this intoxicating maze.

Fast-paced on the surface, the true rhythm of Hanoi life is far from hurried and is reflected well in its leisurely coffee hours. Alongside traditional coffee houses, an ever-growing band of unique cafes serves new brews in cool caffeine dens.

Hanoi is most inviting from April to June, but the capital is particularly beautiful in May when trees suddenly come into bloom. September and October are also excellent months to visit as temperatures cool and the sky clears.

Charlotte Pho