Best Time to Visit Hanoi: Month-by-Month Guide (+Photos)

A fascinating blend of East and West, Vietnam’s crowded, chaotic capital is certainly loads of fun to explore. Known for its atmospheric Old Quarter, full of attractive Chinese and French Colonial architecture, it has countless museums, temples and markets for you to check out.

Spring and autumn are often considered the best times to visit as this is when the weather is warm and there is a lot less rain. Its many parks and gardens are also in bloom or display some fabulous fall foliage. In contrast, summers are very hot and humid while winters even get a bit cold, especially as many places don’t have central heating.

To help you plan your trip, let’s take a look at what the climate, crowds and cultural events are like each month in the city. We’ll also cover when prices are highest and when’s best to look for deals.

In this post, we’ll cover:

What’s the Weather Like in Hanoi?

Located right in the north of the country in the Red River Delta region, Hanoi has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. While summers – so May through September – are hot and steamy with an incredible amount of rain tipping down, winters are cool and dry but still humid.

December to February sees temperatures average 20 to 22°C (68-71°F) with it often feeling colder due to the wind and humidity. The skies are often cloudy during these winter months and there are only a few hours of sunshine a day.

As they are warmer than winter but have less rain and lower humidity than summer, spring and autumn are ideal for ambling around the Old Quarter. The mild, comfortable conditions are great for enjoying outdoor activities or taking trips to nearby towns and nature sites.

Best months to visit Hanoi


For many, both March and April or October and November are the best times to visit Hanoi. Besides making the most of the lovely spring and autumn weather, there are also lots of fun festivals going on. While there are more people around, the warm, relatively dry days more than make up for it.

Although it is the monsoon season, many Europeans and North Americans head here in July and August during their summer holidays. Despite the higher flight prices and it raining a lot for around 16 or 17 days on average, you at least avoid the crowds and have some exciting events to attend.

As the weather is dry, December and January also see large numbers of tourists visit during their Christmas holidays. Aside from enjoying the festivities or Lunar New Year celebrations, you can explore the center without worrying about getting soaked.

Hanoi in January

Lunar New Year

While it is a bit calmer and quieter than December and the hugely popular autumn months, January is still one of the busiest times tourist-wise in the capital. This only increases if Tet falls at the end of the month and not in February. For the Lunar New Year, brightly-colored decorations are strung up with traditional music and lively festivals taking place everywhere.

Although quite chilly, the dry, sometimes cloudy days are great for strolling about its historic center and seeing its sights. You’ll need to layer up though, even inside sometimes, as many hotels and restaurants lack central heating. As it is the high tourist season, prices for flights and accommodation are more expensive and large crowds mill about.

Hanoi in February

Hanoi in February

Once all the colourful Tet celebrations are over, hotel prices and airfares fall as fewer people now visit the city. While temperatures are still quite cool, spring is in the air with its bustling Flower Market being full of beautiful bouquets. Although it drizzles a bit for around about 12 days on average, the skies are mostly clear and blue.

Other than visiting its many monuments and museums, you can catch thrilling wrestling and crossbow shooting competitions at the traditional Co Loa Citadel Festival. Held just after Tet, its processions and concerts take place at the Upper Temple in Dong Anh District. To guard against the cold, you can always stop for Pho or Bun Cha while ambling about its markets.

Hanoi in March

Hoan Kiem Lake

With the weather warming up and temperatures now averaging 23°C (73°F), more domestic tourists now flock to the capital. As it is the festival season and spring has arrived, there is a very vibrant ambience about its old streets. Sacrifices are offered at Dong Nhan Temple with special bamboo snake dances instead taking place at Le Mat Village.

As everything is blossoming, this is a nice time to wander about Hoan Kiem Lake or the One Pillar Pagoda. All the pretty blossoms make its Old Quarter look even more picturesque still, though many of its main attractions are much busier. Before the summer rains arrive, March and April are some of the best months to visit Ha Long Bay.

Hanoi in April

Hanoi in April

April is another excellent month to explore Hanoi as its skies are blue and all the cherry and jacaranda trees are blooming. While it does drizzle more, there are now 4 hours of sunshine and 13 of daylight a day to enjoy. Besides walking about the Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Temple of Literature, you can take day trips to the Perfume Pagoda or Tam Coc ride paddies.

Due to the Easter holidays in Europe and the States, airfares will rise again and there will be more people around. Averages of 27°C (80°F) are wonderful though for spending time outside by West Lake or at Hoan Kiem Lake where you can also watch water puppet shows. At the end of the month, parades, concerts and fireworks displays are organized for Reunification Day.

Hanoi in May

Hanoi in May

As Labour Day follows right after, many Vietnamese use these public holidays to either visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay or its ancient capital Hoa Lu. After this though, both its hotel prices and crowds fall considerably as the heat, rains and humidity pick up. It’s not a bad time to look for deals, however, before the rainy season really sets in and its drizzle turns to downpours.

With temperatures averaging 32°C (89°F), sightseeing is rather a sticky affair though there are fewer crowds at its main sites. Some interesting cultural events also go on for the Chem Temple and Giong Phu Dong festivals. At these, visitors can enjoy traditional folk plays and wrestling bouts alongside other exciting celebrations.

Hanoi in June

Hanoi in June

June is also the low tourist season as the city’s scorching heat and sweat-inducing humidity understandably put most people off. With temperatures sometimes even reaching as high as 40°C (so 104°F) and it raining torrentially for 15 days on average, conditions aren’t the best for sightseeing. Mosquitoes also proliferate with their streets sometimes flooding.

On the plus side, prices are cheap and there is barely anyone around at its main attractions. In the early morning or evening when it’s cooler, you can walk around its parks and gardens or spend time indoors at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum or Vietnam Military History Museum. Make sure to wear light, breathable clothing, hydrate regularly and take around a poncho or umbrella with you!

Hanoi in July

Hanoi in July

As many people have holidays, July sees a huge spike in visitors despite its stifling heat and the staggering amount of rain pouring down. With its humidity sometimes being unbearable, you’ll want to take regular breaks for refreshing Vietnamese iced coffees. Airfares are more expensive though accommodation options are still very affordable. If you plan on visiting Ha Long Bay, be aware that trips can suddenly be cancelled due to storms.

The days are, however, longer and sunnier in summertime with life continuing as normal at its busy markets and bustling cafes. With an umbrella in hand, you can also visit enchanting temples, palaces and pagodas, sheltering inside from the rain if need be. Many locals leave Hanoi and head to the beach to enjoy some sun, sea and sand.

Hanoi in August

Hanoi in August

The rainiest month of the year, August sees massive downpours soak the city for around 17 days on average. Both its heat and humidity do thankfully decrease a bit though sightseeing is still a sticky, tiring experience. While there are quite a few domestic tourists around, most of its sights won’t be too crowded. International flight prices are at their highest, however.

When it’s not chucking it down, there are around 6 hours of sunshine each day in which to explore the Old Quarter. Other than hiding from the rain, you can wander about the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or peruse the thought-provoking exhibits in the Hanoi Hilton. Thanks to all the students and families on holiday, Hanoi has a lively yet laid-back feel in August.

Hanoi in September

Hanoi in September

With the summer holidays now over and its almost daily deluges still persisting, September is a very quiet month tourist-wise. Temperatures do drop a bit, particularly towards the end of it, when gorgeous golden hues start appearing along its avenues and in its parks. As it is the low season, it’s again a good time to look for deals on both flights and hotels.

While the weather is slowly starting to improve, typhoons can mean cruises around Ha Long Bay are cancelled or all its incredible karst landscapes are shrouded in mist. Midway through the month, there is also the fun Mid-Autumn Festival to enjoy. Mainly aimed at children and families, it is celebrated with colourful lanterns, lion dances and, of course, mooncakes.

Hanoi in October

Hanoi in October

As average temperatures finally fall below 30 (so 86°F) and its seemingly endless rains start to ease up, October sees huge numbers of visitors head to Hanoi. Its cooler days and clear, blue, sunny skies are perfect for either strolling about its historic center or enjoying some of its outdoor activities. Accommodation prices do shoot up though as crowds throng about the Temple of Literature and alongside Hoan Kiem Lake.

The hugely popular Keo Pagoda Festival also has parades, concerts and water puppet shows taking place at the holy site in October. Aside from exploring all its outdoor markets or the iconic Train Street, conditions are again good for visiting the Perfume Pagoda or magnificent Mai Chau Valley. The harvest season also has some amazing autumnal foliage to enjoy.

Hanoi in November

Train Street

November is even better weatherwise as its lower humidity and averages of 25°C (77°F) are much more enjoyable for ambling around the Old Quarter. While you may have to jostle for space, its warm, dry, sunny days are ideal for either sightseeing or scenic day trips. As it is peak season, expect to pay higher prices with its museums and parks all being pretty busy.

With only a bit of rain now falling, people spend more time outdoors, enjoying the wonderful weather. As such, there is an exciting buzz about town with many events and festivals taking place. Besides running the Hanoi Marathon, you can pick up some handmade souvenirs and gifts at its Craft Week.

Hanoi in December

Hanoi Christmas

With the onset of winter, December in the city is quite cold with the humidity making it feel even chillier at times. That doesn’t stop it from being the busiest month of the year as many Europeans and North Americans have holidays. Christmas decorations and markets appear in the Old Quarter with its annual Flower Festival also being a big draw.

With 4 hours of sunshine a day and almost no rain falling at all, you can enjoy walking about Hoan Kiem Lake or the One Pillar Pagoda in the crisp air. During the holiday season, brilliant performances of the Nutcracker are put on at the Opera House while Hanoi Cathedral hosts special services and carol singing. As it is absolute peak tourist season, the center is packed with Ha Long Bay also being very busy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *