See the best of Northern Vietnam with Hanoi 7 days tour itinerary that’ll take you from Hanoi to Ninh Binh to Sapa and Halong bay! Explore the famous sights of each area, Hoa Lu and admire ancient relics. Meet the Hmong people and other minority villagers on a hill tribe excursion in Sapa. Explore the limestone karsts and rice paddies of ‘Halong on Land’ before boarding a boat to cruise the real Halong Bay and so much more.
You would like to experience the most highlights out of Hanoi during your short visit to this 1000-year-old capital, right? If you’ve got 7 days in Hanoi to spend, and looking for ideas of what to do and see, I’ve got you covered!
Find the best tours to suit your North Vietnam holiday:
Being a local, I know best things to do and see for your time in Hanoi and its surroundings such amazing and memorable experiences. By the time you’ve finished reading our recommendations as below, you will have figured it all out.
I’m going to share with you some itinerary ideas for your 7-day trip in Hanoi. However you can design your own itinerary upon your Vietnam travel itinerary more or less than one week. These are all carefully considered and good itineraries. So, read on!
North Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days from Hanoi: Reserve & Book Now!
Hanoi Itinerary 7 days (one week) In Brief
Option 1: Hanoi Comfort Family Holiday 7 Days
- DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
- DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR
- DAY 3: HALONG BAY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
- DAY 4: HALONG BAY – NINH BINH (TAM COC )
- DAY 5: HOA LU – TAM COC
- DAY 6: BAI DINH – TRANG AN – HANOI
- DAY 7: HANOI DEPARTURE
Why it is right for you?
- A relaxing family vacation Hanoi, leaving the busy and stressful life behind, and immerse yourself in the world heritage on the cruise in Halong and enjoy Ninh Binh countryside of kart formation panorama views.
- Traveling on highways, your family will not spend much time moving between locations, safety and comfortable journey
- This trip is designed so that your family will have a private space, giving you authentic experience travel.
- Visit the famous and peaceful tourist attractions, creating comfort and safety for your trip.
- This option covers Hanoi, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay. You have plenty of days in Hanoi as a home base and enough time to explore Hanoi in full. This one-week itinerary is an easy one and mainly focus on relaxing & comfortable purpose holiday.
That’s why this is a reasonable one week itinerary for everyone, from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers. Anyone who wants a leisurely and unhurried tour then this is the perfect trip.
Option 2: Hanoi Essential 7 Days Itinerary
- DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
- DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR – TRAIN TO LAO CAI / SAPA
- DAY 3: SAPA TREKKING – Y LINH HO – LAO CHAI – TA VAN
- DAY 4: TREKKING GIANG TA CHAI – SU PAN – SAPA – BUS TO HANOI
- DAY 5: HANOI – HALONG BAY CRUISE
- DAY 6: HALONG BAY – HANOI
- DAY 7: HANOI DEPARTURE
Why it is right for you?
This plan is suitable for a group of friends or couples with a detailed schedule program.
- Experience hiking and kayaking in your trip to feel love and joyfulness, to have the memorable moments!
- A remarkable trip to make you and your beloved ones more understand each other and closer. From the stunning cities in plains to the magnificent green forests and imposing mountains in Northern Vietnam, you and your partners will have precious time to share, experience, and love more!
A unique and romantic space on a Halong Bay cruise for the happy couples
Option 2 of Hanoi Essential 7 days itinerary Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa.
Sapa is a small town in Northern Vietnam and known for its beautiful ethnic minorities’ villages, spectacular scenery with rice terraces and picturesque valleys.
However, visiting Sapa requires you to do some trekking and walking, so that elders and kids should consider in case they cannot do so.
Anyways, this tour is easy and not rush as you have much time for enjoying yourself. This itinerary is like option 1, suitable for everyone from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers.
Option 3: Hanoi Unique 7 Days Itinerary
- DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
- DAY 2: NINH BINH – TRANG AN – HOA LU – MUA CAVE – TRAIN TO LAO CAI / SAPA
- DAY 3: SAPA : CAT CAT – SIN CHAI VILLAGE
- DAY 4: SAPA : Y LINH HO – LAO CHAI – TA VAN – NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI
- DAY 5: HALONG BAY CRUISE TRIP
- DAY 6: HALONG BAY – HANOI
- DAY 7: HANOI DEPARTURE
Why it is right for you?
This trip will shine a spotlight on less well-known destinations such as Lan Ha Bay, Ninh Binh, Sapa, where you will have more authentic experiences and enjoy the poetic and majestic natural beauty.
- It is time to experience the unique rhyme of local life when you have a chance to explore with the locals in Sapa. Besides you will explore the unique night train where you hardly find anywhere in the world except Southeast Asia.
- A trip for you to refresh yourself and make new friends!
- In this option, you have a chance to discover all 4 destinations which are the most famous ones in North Vietnam. However, with all 4 destinations in a week make this itinerary a bit rush on the go
This itinerary is appropriate for adventurous souls, young people who want to experience North Vietnam in full.
Detailed Hanoi Itinerary 7 Days
1. Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh Itinerary
Day 1: Explore Hanoi Old Quarter or French Quarter + Around the city
After your arrival in Hanoi, explore the area called the Hanoi Old Quarter.
At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Dong Xuan Market, selling household goods and street food.
Another choice for the first day is walking around Hanoi French Quarter with a FREE local guide Hanoi which will undoubtedly make your day. The area is full filled with European style buildings and contains historical stories of Hanoi that can bring you back in time.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral which is also known as the Great Church to locals. After admiring its beautiful structure, having a fresh lemon iced tea at some street stores nearby is another must-do.
Along the way to Hoa Lo prison, you will probably see some luxury hotels which are also an iconic image of the French Quarter. In contrast, Hoa Lo prison will guide you to a different world representing the French colonial period through impressive artifacts inside. You are noted to spend about 1 hour here.
The next stop should be Hanoi Opera House that was inspired by the Paris Opera House. It is free to visit outside. Once you want to visit further inside, the ticket price is about 20 US$/pax.
When the sun goes down, it’s time to explore the Hanoi vibrant nightlife. Come to Ta Hien Street to grab some fresh beer or join in some nightclubs. Check out Things to do in Hanoi at night!
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour Itinerary
For the second day in Hanoi, do a Hanoi city tour for all main sites of Hanoi such as Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda…
In the evening, we suggest you take a food tour with FREE local guides because you know what they say “indulging yourself in local cuisines is one of the best ways to get fantastic travel experiences”. Not tasting the food while in Hanoi would be such a waste!
Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu – Tam Coc) Itinerary
After 2 days spent in Hanoi, it’s time to go outside and explore more of this beautiful country.
Although remaining far less popular than its sister to the northeast – Halong Bay, Ninh Binh is stunning, diverse and extremely traveler friendly. Worth for a day trip from Hanoi!
Ninh Binh is less popular than its sister Halong Bay so it is more perfect for those don’t like crowded and touristy places
You should begin your trip to Ninh Binh around 7 or 8 in the morning so you would reach there about 2 hours later.
Visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, which used to be the old citadel of Vietnam when Ninh Binh was the capital a long time ago. According to historical documents, the ancient capital of Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh was once a magnificent, majestic palace surrounded by arched stone mountain with spectacular views of the lakes, rammer… making the landscape in this place both charming, gentle and mysterious. Then you pay a visit to King Dinh and King Le Temples nearby.
Have lunch in a local restaurant and remember to try the goat meat – the cuisine of Ninh Binh.
In the afternoon, go to Tam Coc, get on a boat trip along the river. You will spend 1.5 hours on the boat and the local peddler will take you through all the caves. This will be the highlight of your Ninh Binh 1 day trip.
Go back to Hanoi and spend a night in Hanoi.
You can see the detail itinerary for a day in Hoa Lu – Tam Coc Ninh Binh here!
- Recommended rent a car Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Day 4,5: Discover Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a top must-check in any travelers’ bucket list. This World’s heritage site never disappoints tourists for its fascinating landmarks.
A budget of a trip to Halong Bay is higher than other destinations’ since all tourism services are mainly served on a cruise. But don’t worry, it costs more, but not too much and of course, it’s worth the money. And with these 5 big tips for better cruise at lower price, you may find a great deal!
If you choose a night on Cruises
2 days allow you to experience Halong Bay nightlife that has become both domestic and foreign tourists’ preference.
With an overnight cruise trip, you will spend at least one night on the boat with many activities like watching the beautiful sunset or dawn on the sea, join kayaking, swim at some fascinating beaches of the Bay, go midnight squid fishing on a boat, visit floating fishing villages and so on.
Halong Bay cruises only provide from 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights tour depending on the journey of each cruise. Some recommendations are:
Check it out: How to choose the right Halong Bay cruises
- 3-star cruises: V’spirit, Majestic, Calypso, Halong Sails, Oriental Sails, Glory
- 4 to 5-star cruises: Au Co, Bhaya, Indochina, Emeraude, Paradise, Starlight
If you prefer hotels in Halong Bay
There are many 3 to 4-star hotels here to choose. In order to easily rent a room at an affordable price, you should go early in the week or midweek. Weekly, from Friday to Sunday, Halong is often crowded so all the rooms are likely to be full and the prices are way higher than usual.
- Read more: where to stay in Halong Bay
Halong hotels: Wyndham Halong Hotel, Halong Plaza (No. 08 Hang Road); Halong Dream (No.10 Halong Road); Mithrin (Hung Thang Road); Halong Pearl (Bai Chay); Halong Bay (Halong Road); Bach Dang (No.02 Halong Road); Bai Chay Union (Halong Road); Moon Light (Hung Thang Road) …
The First Day in Halong Bay
Visit Sung Sot Cave – One of the largest and most beautiful caves in the cave complex in Ha Long Bay. Indeed, when coming here, you will be amazed at the beauty of nature with the virtual stalactites and grandeur as the name itself …
Visit the famous attractions of Ha Long such as Hang Tien Ong, Ho Tien, Hang Luon, Titov Island,… This is a very good time for photography-lovers
Watch the sunset while chilling on the sundeck
Join the cooking program of Vietnamese dishes on the deck
Night activities such as squid fishing, partying,…
- Read more: What to do and see in Halong Bay
The second day in Halong Bay
Wake up early, admire the sunrise and join the Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck, enjoy the fresh air
Visit fishing villages, join activities such as kayaking, swimming,…
- Recommended rent a private car transfer Hanoi to Halong Bay
Day 6,7: Back to Hanoi For Further Discovery
After Halong Bay 2 days trip, we are finally back to the home-base to find the hidden beauty of Hanoi the capital.
As I’ve already recommended for Things you should do in Hanoi for 2 days in the first half, there’re still more places and must-do you can’t miss.
Our first suggestion would be visiting museums which are quite far from the “tourism zone”. Some top-of-mind places are:
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: here, you can know more about a diverse Vietnam – a country that has 54 officially recognized ethnic groups. Also, you can have fun while joining some traditional games here.
Vietnamese Women’s Museum: the museum explores Vietnam’s cultural diversity and women’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, culture, and society. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge of Vietnamese women’s lives across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups.
Ho Chi Minh Museum: Included in Ho Chi Minh complex, the museum will help you know more about Ho Chi Minh’s life history of the country
- Learn more: 20 best things to do in Hanoi
My second top-of-mind would be some further places such as:
Bat Trang Ceramic Village you are sure to get an unforgettable experience while doing pottery items your own.
Duong Lam Ancient Village gives you a journey to be back in time.
For the last day in Hanoi, you should take your time, have a free and easy day to be ready for your flight back home. You can do some shopping or just chilling in a nice coffee shop!
- Suggested Northern Vietnam Itinerary: Northern Vietnam Loop Tours 12 days
2. Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa (2 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Hanoi City Tour Itinerary
For day 1 and day 2 in Hanoi, please check out the itinerary of the option 1 above. Or check out our recommended 2 days in Hanoi for more information.
- Check out: How to get from Hanoi airport to city
Day 2,3: Halong Bay Cruise Itinerary
2 days in Halong Bay will be the same as the option 1 above. You will spend an overnight on a cruise.
On the third day, you will get back to Hanoi in the afternoon. Then that evening, get on the night train to Sapa and arrive in Sapa the morning after.
Day 4,5,6: Sapa Tour Itinerary
Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here’s where you’ll find the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan—the country’s highest peak.
The train will take you to Lao Cai Province and you have to catch a shuttle bus or a taxi to Sapa town. Don’t forget to check out Things to do in Sapa!
Then what to do next?
Once you reach Sapa, there are plenty of things to do here. The Holy Rosary church which is called the ancient stone church by locals, located in the heart of Sapa Town is the place where you can take your “check-in” selfie.
Nearby is Sapa Market where you can wander around and grab some foods.
Next day should be for further places. For family and friends group, visiting Sapa villages which are home to most ethnic minorities of Vietnam will make your day.
Among all the attractions in Sapa, Cat Cat Village is the easiest place to go since it is only 2 kilometers away from the main town. The place is home to H’Mong people, located at the foot of Hoang Lien Mountain, like a valley surrounded by terraced fields.
Also when in Sapa, you can take pictures of Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall or take a deep breath while witnessing the gorgeous view of the golden terraced fields in its finest season.
- Recommended rent a private car Hanoi to Sapa
Ta Van Village
Ta Van Village (about 8 kilometers away from Sapa Town) and Lao Chai Village are often skipped since they are not as close to the main town as Cat Cat Village.
The pristine beauty of Ta Van could reach another level when it comes to grain seasons. On the other hand, winters make the scenery here look dull.
Ta Van is home to the H’Mong and the Red Dao. In general, their customs are quite mysterious so that it takes time to explore. Otherwise, an afternoon could be enough for you to take a walk, take a scenic tour then take pictures.
- See more: Sapa Tour from Hanoi 3 days
Another activity that you’d better not miss is conquering Fansipan Peak (also known as the Roof of Indochina).
For trekking to the summit, it takes at least 3 days (1 night sleeping outside on the way mountaineering). So my advice is that you should take the Fansipan cable car to reach the mountaintop because it takes only a few hours for both ways.
- See more: Things to do in Sapa
Day 7: Hanoi Departure
You have a free and easy day to ready for your departure.
3. Option 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa – Ninh Binh Itinerary
For this option, you can see the example itinerary here. Or contact us for the detailed information as this itinerary will depend much on your travel style, budget and other requirements.
Last but not least, you guys can get other suggested Hanoi 7 days itinerary which covers other cool attractions of Vietnam.
For further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are glad to be your local expert. Hope you have a great trip!!!
- Suggested Hanoi Itinerary 4 days:
One Week Hanoi Tour Cost: Itinerary 7 Days Halong Bay – Ninh Binh – Sapa – Hanoi Tour Package Price
|Hotels/Accommodations||3 star service||4 star service||5 star service|
|Price/ Person (USD)||Request||Request||Request|
Customizable Trip upon request: (hotel, meals, transportation, Halong bay cruise, train ticket, bus, tour guide, tourist attraction tickets)
- Flights ticket
- Visa arrangements
- Surcharge on Christmas 24/ 12 ; New Year 31/12
- Personal expenses: shopping, telephone, outside the itinerary
- Beverages: wine, beer, soft drinks and personal drinks not mentioned
Our fellow travellers’ reviews : A great Hanoi 7 days trip itinerary to Halong Bay, Ninh Binh and Sapa
We were really happy ! They arranged us the tour to Bai Tu Long Bay was even more awesome. The place has less tourists than Halong Bay and with beautiful view. The food on board in Bai Tu Long Bay was great, the boats are comfortable, with AC, and very clean.Tony Vietnam adventures on Tripadvisor
We had Ninh Binh trip 2 days was also great. Our guide (Hung) was really nice, spoke good English and did everything to give us a great time. We had great view of Tam Coc , Mua Cave and Trang An river boat trip. The professional organization and services are really fantastic. Everything is on time .Reviews Tony Vietnam Adventures & Transfers, Hanoi
Our Trip Sapa trekking tour 2 days 3 nights were excellent with homestay. The staffs of the company took care of us carefully, the train was comfortable and sure be first class train.Reviews Tony Vietnam Adventures & Transfers, Hanoi
Thank you for Tony Vietnam Tours. We will use your services next time and will recommend to our friends to come with you.Reviews Tony Vietnam Adventures & Transfers, Hanoi
Customized Day Trips from Hanoi
Hanoi Day Trips: Best Day Trips from Hanoi
Hanoi Car Rental: Rent a car Hanoi with English speaking driver
Northern Vietnam Package Tours: North Vietnam Itinerary
Hire a Hanoi Tour Guide: Get your tour guide in Hanoi
Vietnam UNESCO Road Trip: Hanoi – Halong bay – Ninh Binh – Hue – Hoi an 10 Days
Questions About Vietnam Itinerary Travel?
Do you have any questions about traveling to Vietnam? Ask me anything in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to help! Check out more options for Northern Vietnam 7 Day Itinerary.