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Hoan Kiem Lake

Wander around the banks of this peaceful lake and discover an historic temple, observe locals going about their daily life or enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake is a popular meeting spot in Hanoi and the location of one of the city’s most picturesque temples. Just a short walk from the old town, the lake provides a leafy escape from the city crowds and heat. Join the locals for a game of chess, stroll around the lake or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy beneath the trees. 

Hồ Hoàn Kiếm means “Lake of the Returned Sword” and the name is derived from an ancient myth. Legend states that the Vietnamese emperor Le Loi returned a sword, which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam, to a magic turtle at this very spot. 

In the middle of the lake lies Jade Island and the majestic Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain). Cross the bright red Huc Bridge (Bridge of the Rising Sun) to reach the temple. Peer down into the water and see if you can spot the large soft-shell turtles that inhabit the lake. Unfortunately, due to pollution and destruction of their habitat, the turtles are almost extinct. 

Throw down a rug on the grass and relax with a picnic. Hoàn Kiếm Lake is just a short walk from a number of markets and stores selling fresh produce so you can easily pick up supplies. Watch as locals run laps around the lake or join in if you are feeling energetic. 

A kiosk serving fresh Vietnamese coffee can be found on the eastern edge of the lake. For something more substantial, you can find restaurants serving local delicacies in the streets of the French Quarter to the south.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake is located between Hanoi’s old town and French Quarter and can easily be reached on foot from most central locations. Bus routes serve the area and some street parking is available. The lake is open daily and is free of charge. 

You'll find it hard to believe how many activities there are at Hoan Kiem Lake. Here are some ideas to get you going:

Check out our Hanoi things to do page to discover many more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Hoan Kiem Lake


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Hoan Kiem Lake

See all 1,850 Properties near Hoan Kiem Lake
The Oriental Jade Hotel ¥9,692
The Oriental Jade Hotel

The Oriental Jade Hotel

No. 92-94 Hang Trong Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Hanoi
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Joseph's Cathedral and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Hanoi Old City Gate and Hanoi Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 18 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 19 minutes.

    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa ¥5,320
    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa

    O'Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa

    122 Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Hoan Kiem, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hang Da Market and Vietnamese National Tuong Theatre. Ly Trieu Quoc Su Pagoda and Hang Gai Street are also within 10 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 11 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 17 minutes.

      Oriental Central Hotel ¥3,332
      Oriental Central Hotel

      Oriental Central Hotel

      39 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Hoan Kiem, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi Old City Gate and St. Joseph's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 14 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 25 minutes.

        Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi ¥35,569
        Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

        Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

        15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Hanoi hotel is located in the historical district, within a 15-minute walk of Hanoi Opera House, Ngoc Son Temple, and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. St. Joseph's Cathedral and Hoan Kiem Lake are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Railway Station is 23 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 25 minutes.

          Shining Central Hotel & Spa ¥4,703
          Shining Central Hotel & Spa

          Shining Central Hotel & Spa

          20 Lo Su Street,, Ly Thai To Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Ngoc Son Temple. Hanoi Old City Gate and Hanoi Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 17 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 28 minutes.

            Solaria Hotel ¥5,071
            Solaria Hotel

            Solaria Hotel

            22 Bao Khanh Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Hoan Kiem, this spa hotel is steps from St. Joseph's Cathedral and Hoan Kiem Lake. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Ngoc Son Temple are also within 10 minutes. Hanoi Long Bien Station is 17 minutes by foot and Hanoi Railway Station is 20 minutes.

              Movenpick Hotel Hanoi ¥8,688
              Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

              Movenpick Hotel Hanoi

              83A Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St. Joseph's Cathedral, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, and Hanoi Opera House. Dong Xuan Market and Hanoi Old City Gate are also within 1 mi (2 km). Hanoi Railway Station is 5 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 24 minutes.

                Melia Hanoi ¥10,649
                Melia Hanoi

                Melia Hanoi

                44b Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Hoan Kiem, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hanoi Police Museum and Hoa Lo Prison Museum. Hanoi Opera House and St. Joseph's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Hanoi Railway Station is 11 minutes by foot and Hanoi Long Bien Station is 26 minutes.