Planning a trip and wondering what is the best time to visit Hanoi? Let have a look at our comprehensive guide for the difference between seasons and months, also the noticeable festivals and events happening in Hanoi around the calendar. Though your time may be tight and the weather may vary, but hopefully you will find some tips to enjoy your stay while visiting Hanoi, despite whatever the season might be.
Hanoi has four seasons, and as the city’s in the Northern hemisphere, that means the chilly winter starts in December and steaming summer hovers around early June. Also, the climate of Hanoi is quite typical for the Northern environment with the characteristics of a humid tropical monsoon climate, i.e. hot summer with a lot of rain whereas cold winter comes with lesser. More interestingly, the nuance of Hanoi alters each time seasons cross over, impressing tourists with eye-pleasing scenes and unmistakable feeling of what making of Hanoi, all year round.
Is Spring the best time to visit Hanoi?
In common sense, the spring season, from February to April is considered Hanoi’s peak seasons, when travelers arrive the most.
From February to April the city is not too hot and exploring the many beautiful tourist sites of the city can be undertaken with ease. The average temperature is about 25 degrees, and the cold air and warm sun make for the perfect weather — the landscape changes to hues and shades of yellow and golden that are splendidly scattered throughout the terrain. By the end of February, the chill is beginning to give way to a mild, pleasant dry climate.
The average temperature ranges from 15-20 degrees Celsius, and it is also the perfect time for the fields and plants to blossom, giving way to beautiful rural and natural landscapes. This time is also ideally for exploring Hanoi by foot and enjoy witnessing a casual life on the street, besides whetting the appetite on some of the most sumptuous foods of Hanoi, such as Pho, Bun Cha and Xoi.
Takeaway for tourists:
The Tet Festival which is one of the most important and longest festivals of Vietnam also takes place during the spring season. Locals and tourists alike, wait for this special occasion to cheer themselves up. But be noted, the Tet holidays could also mean that most of the accommodations and modes of travel are booked choker block and some attractions, such as a few museums and shops may remain closed. However, Tet is the best time to witness the cultural intricacies of the nation that is in the mood of celebrations.
Besides, the Co Loa Festival in February takes place in the Co Loa Citadel and is known for wrestling and crossbow shootings, whereas, the Dong Festival in March in the Gia Lam district in Hanoi has special martial arts performances by famous masters. Another popular festival, the Le Mat Festival is usually celebrated in March and takes place in the Le Mat Village in the Hanoi district. The Keo Pagoda Festival is held in spring and autumn and celebrated with palanquin procession, swimming race and traditional dances.
Is Summer the best time to visit Hanoi?
The summer and monsoon seasons, which last from May until August, of Hanoi are hot, sultry and wet. There are thunderstorms and slight drizzles which continue for long hours. This makes it even more difficult to venture out and explore the city landscapes.
May, however, is still not too hot as compared to the other summer months. The temperature in May is around 28 degrees Celsius, and the skies are still relatively clear. However, with the onset of June, the summer begins in full force, with temperatures ranging from 29-33 degree Celsius. The highest temperatures in summer could also touch 40 degrees. June is usually the hottest month and also the month when the rainfall starts to descend.
July until August see the maximum rainfall that is usually as high as 200mm and more. The temperature in this period averages around 29 degrees.
The high temperatures coupled with rain are the main reasons why the summers are considered Hanoi’s offseason.
Takeaway for tourists:
Looking at the bright side, low season also means that the tariffs are less and accommodations and bookings easier and more affordable.
Armed with a raincoat and umbrella, one can catch a few hours of outdoors sunshine, yet the unpredictable climate can make planning sightseeing tours go off in minutes. However, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep one busy in Hanoi too. Enroll in a cooking class or watch the rain drizzle from the window of a café while reading your favorite book. Besides, there are also a few festivals during the monsoon and summer months that can excite travelers to take the sweaty plunge.
The Chem Temple Festival in June which involves a water procession which consists of Dragon boats, the bullfighting festival of Do son Buffalo in August and the Dong Nhan Temple Festival are some of the monsoon festivals of the city.
Is Fall the best time to visit Hanoi?
Aside Spring, Fall (from September and November) is the most visited months of Hanoi that have glorious weather and clear skies. The temperatures range from 24-27 degrees with rainfall less than 100mm. Although leaves wither at some parts, there are a different variety of flowers that bloom in Fall. It is also the best time to venture out and explore the surrounding destinations of Hanoi.
You may want to visit the various city attractions, such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the West Lake, Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, Temple of Jade Mountain or Dong Xuan Market. Shop at its many local shopping centers or dine at the popular restaurants. Better stroll along the hawker crowded streets of Old Quarter to discover the city’s past. Or enjoy the delicious platter of street food, hopping from one stall to another.
Takeaway for tourists:
The mild weather is the perfect way to explore the outdoors, shop and gobble the street food without caring much about the heat, sweat, rain or chill. There are also many events and festivals to look forward to in Fall.
The Liberation Day is celebrated on 10th October, the day when in 1954 Hanoi was liberated. The autumn celebration of the Keo Pagoda Festival is celebrated usually in October at the pagoda in the Thai Binh province with boat races, drum and trumpet competitions.
However, the most popular festival of this season is the fun-filled Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated in September. The lakes of Hanoi are especially beautified and thronged by locals and tourists, as lanterns soar to the sky and puppet shows, lion dances and exciting food stalls get crowded on the ground.
Is Winter the best time to visit Hanoi?
It does get freezing during winter in Hanoi. Warm clothes, jackets are an essential part of the wardrobe if one wants to move out. The temperatures average at 17 degrees but can drop to less than 10 degrees too. The low temperatures are further complimented by winds and high humidity making it feel much colder than the actual temperatures. Also, many buildings lack heating and insulation too.
There is hardly any rainfall with the average precipitation less than 50mm. The skies are usually cloudy and the weather foggy. The holiday season coupled with events and festivals is a reason enough to vacation in Hanoi during winters. It is also the time to enjoy the warm street foods while chilling in the cold. A cup of hot egg coffee with noodles is just the right thing for a chilly evening. Pay a visit to the Hanoi Cathedral on Christmas Eve or shop at the Christmas market in Old Quarters.
Takeaway for tourists:
You can look forward to the Annual Flower Festival that takes place in the last week of December. The Tet Festival may fall at the end of January, depending on the dates of the lunar calendar. Thus, it is best to check the dates of the festival beforehand.
In conclusion of what time is best to visit Hanoi:
Hanoi is always the great choice for foreigners on a vacation because it is built by many beautiful landscapes and accompanied festive activities throughout the year. Answering the question of what is the best time to visit Hanoi maybe very personal, depending on your own taste and expectation. Thus, there really is no bad time to visit Hanoi. Just be warned that the cold months can be a bit depressing, and if you hate the heat, don’t come in June through to August. Other than that, pack and plan appropriately and don’t let the weather spoil your visit. Friendly local people are always available to welcome you to have an awesome experience during your trip.
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