What To Do In Hanoi – 10 hip shopping streets
The Old Quarter of Hanoi is famous for its street-level clusters of economic activity. Many of these street specialisations originate from the establishment of Hanoi’s merchant guilds in the 13th century. Shop owners deliberately chose to be next to each other because they knew that customers looking for a particular item would be visiting their neighbours. Over time, this clustering of sector specific shops next to each other has been reinforced, and has lead to the agglomeration we see in today’s Old Quarter. One advantage of this, is that tourists are quickly able to find what they are looking for! For example, you don’t have to go all over the Old Quarter to find a pair of black shoes – You can just visit one street, pick your favourite pair from the tens of shops, and begin the bargaining process. Here we list a few of these streets.
1. Hang Dao and 2. Cau Go for reasonably priced shoes. Whether you want a fake pair of Converse or Nike trainers, or some flip-flops, this is the place to go.
3. Ngo Tram for leather goods -lots of variety here. Further up the street, towards Ha Trung Street, you will also find a few very good places to exchange currency. We have definitely found the best rates over here.
4. Hàng Nón and 5. Hội Vũ for small boutique stores for women. For example, Coco Sin and Up to Seconds are a couple of chic local brands on Hàng Nón and I’m 22 Décembre is another hip local brand on Hội Vũ.
6. Hang Bac for jewellery
7. Hang Gai for silk, tailoring and linen
8. Book street. Newly built ‘book street’ connects the major streets of Hai Ba Trung and Ly Thuong Kiet. It is similar to its namesake in Ho Chi Minh City – full of book shops and cafés, and a great place to meet other like-minded individuals and engage in discussions. The street is open to the public from 8am to 10pm every day, and also holds regular book release events
9. Hàng Rươi for flowers. A colourful street with a lot of vendors selling beautiful artificial flowers – you’d be forgiven for thinking they were real!
There are also a few vendors selling flowers on Cau go Street close to Dinh Tien Hoang
10. Dong Xuan Market – Not really a street, but a four-storey Soviet-style building in the northern part of the Old Quarter. Here you will find a wide range of goods from fresh produce, such as seafood and vegetables to clothing and household appliances.
There are many more streets to add to our list, but we will leave those for you to discover!