Best time to visit Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is found in the north of the country. It is a wonderful city with a mixture of old and new, Asian and Western architectural styles. Like any city it offers a different experience at some times of the year to others. Here are some ideas of when it is better to visit this fascinating city.

The north of Vietnam has very different weather systems than the rest of the country. Hanoi has four seasons which fluctuate and run over each other. Making firm predictions is difficult and the weather can change several times in one day. But as a general rule it is much cooler in the Vietnam capital than it is in many other cities and regions.

Between December and February temperatures here can drop as low as 10º Celsius but feel a lot colder. The humidity and wind chill here coupled with the fact that many hotels do not have adequate insulation can take visitors by surprise. The rainfall at this time of year though is down and the skies are often bright blue. If the temperatures get up to 20º it can be an ideal time for walking around exploring the sights.

April and May are normally the very best months in which to visit. The skies will be mostly clear and temperatures a pleasing 20ºCelsius. Any rainfall normally is drawn out and drizzly, so either buy an umbrella or get under cover and grab a coffee or a Bia Hoi.

The summer months of June, July and August are hot, very hot. If you want to go exploring you will need to hire a motorbike taxi or a Cyclo because walking around the city centre at this time of the year will be very hard going. This period sees plenty of rainfall also which means the humidity is right up.

In September, October and November the locals get some respite from the searing heat and this is a very pleasant time to be in the city. It is a great time to go exploring and walking round the Old Quarter is very pleasant. Local short term weather forecasts are not very reliable, it is just so difficult to get it right here.

Like any major town or city, Hanoi is good fun at Christmas and the New Year. Lights are hung, bars and restaurants dress up and everyone is in a good mood. This is a very good time to be in the Vietnamese capital.

At Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, things liven up again particularly amongst the expat community who enjoy the peace and quiet. Many Vietnamese who work in the city will head out to their home villages to see their families leaving the town with an entirely different ambiance.

All in all it has to be said that there really is not a bad time to visit this wonderful Asian capital city.