Where to Shop and What to Buy

shopping in Hanoi
Shopping in Hanoi

If you’re particularly enthusiastic about quality textiles, clothes and handicrafts, shopping in Hanoi will not disappoint. The city also has a good range of day and night markets, both indoors and outdoors and you’ll find that night markets are more of a social than shopping occasion but that doesn’t preclude finding bargains at night.

shopping in Hanoi
Shopping in Hanoi

There’s a good arts scene alive in Hanoi and let’s face it; in a city this size with a shopaholic population you’re going to find a lot to buy but under less stressful conditions than frenetic Ho Chi Minh City.

Bartering Tricks

Try to master key Vietnamese words such as “Bao nhiA?u tian”? (How much is this? pronounced: bow nyu thien) and “Dat quA?”. (Too expensive!  daht quah).

When you are given an initial price try a few “Oi Gioi Oi” (Oh my God!  pronounced: oi zoy oi) and you’ll find things will go a lot better. Remember keep things lighthearted.

Hang Bac Street

Hang Bac Street is one of the oldest streets in Vietnam and has its roots in silver making dating back to the 13th century when silver casters where brought here from rural villages by request of Le Thang Tong. Silver goods are still produced here today with most of the work being completely original made by secret methods that have been passed down for generations. This is a charming street to explore, rich in history and culture in addition to jewellers selling beautiful Vietnamese pieces.

Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Location: Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District

Hang Dau Street

Shoe shoppers will be in retail heaven with hundreds of shoe sellers lining Hang Dau Street. Western men may not find much over size nine but there is plenty of choice in women’s shoes. Most of the footwear consists of brand names made at Vietnamese factories that have been rejected as seconds, making them a great purchase with usually only a small imperfection. There are also plenty of fake reproduction bags where Hang Dau Street meets Lo Su.

Opening Hours: 09:00-20:00 (For most stores)
Location: Northeast Corner of Hoan Kiem Lake, near the Lo Su intersection

Hang Gai Street

Personally tailored suits made to measure from superb quality silk are best bought from a tailor on Hang Gai Street, renowned for its quality and choice of craftsmen. Most stores take credit cards and you should start bargaining at around 50% of the asking price and pay no more than 70%. Suits can be ready in 24 hours and it pays to go to a better quality store and avoid the market street traders to guarantee the best quality silk. This is also a great street to buy rice paper products including paintings, notebooks, lamps and cards.

Opening Hours: 09:00-20:00 (For most stores)
Location: Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District

Intimex Supermarket

Hanoi has its fair share of niche gourmet retail outlets including Intimex which sells a good selection of imported foodstuff and wines on its ground floor. There is also a department store on the second level, small but well stocked – prices are fixed so there’s no need to bargain.

Opening Hours: 07:30-20:30
Location: 22-23 Le Thai To Street, West side of Hoan Kiem Lake

Little Hanoi

The shopping area of Little Hanoi covers Nha Tho Street or Church Street and Xuan Dieu Street where more affluent consumers and tourists seek chic souvenirs and unusual pieces of home furnishings. There are also a few upmarket flagship shops in this area including Burberry and Esprit largely due to the area’s proximity to a few five-star hotels. Nha Tho Street is a good area to pick up silk, quality lacquer ware and art. Xuan Dieu Street is a great place to look for more quirky items including trinkets, propaganda objects and cartoon memorabilia.

Opening Hours: 09:00-20:00 (For most stores)
Location: Nha Tho Street (close to the Cathedral) and Xuan Dieu Street, Tay Ho

Pho Trang Tien

Pho Trang Tien is the street to find art from the private galleries located between the Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake. Bargaining is expected here and art works worth looking out for include those from the up and coming artists quietly making a name for themselves in this great Old Quarter location.

Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
Location: Pho Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem Lake

The Gourmand Shop

Exquisite wines from across the globe, gourmet cheeses, fine chocolate and a variety of other decadent deli treats to satiate the most refined palates. The Gourmand Shop is Hanoi’s vender of choice luxury foods and wines.

Opening Hours: 07:00-21:00
Location: 56 Ly Thai To, East side of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Trang Tien Plaza

Imported brand names covering the world of fashion, apparel and electronic goods pack the three-storey upmarket Trang Tien Plaza, attracting a young trendy local crowd. Most products are in the luxury bracket at this thriving western-style mall with products including jeans such as Levis and Sony Cameras. The mall is situated on the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake and features a supermarket on the top floor.

Opening Hours: 08:00-21:00
Location: Southeast Corner of Hoan Kiem Lake