West Lake Hanoi, Best place for visit - cycling - walking in city

West Lake is the biggest lake in Hanoi - the best place for cycling - walking in the capital.
Many people believe that West Lake is one of the most romantic corners of the Hanoi multi-dimensional painting. As far away from the noisy town, the world around the lake is full of beauty.


1. Overview and history of West Lake

The lake surface is always fluttering by cool breezes that make the soul of people relaxed. With space like that, West Lake becomes a relaxing destination for many people. The best place for fishing, cycling, walking, and exercise is also a place to meet friends or date, keeping memories. Sometimes, people simply find themselves in a corner to enjoy the wind, sipping a cup of coffee in a roadside restaurant, eat ice cream or enjoy specialties.

west lake hanoi

West Lake Hanoi 

West Lake or (Ho Tay) is one of the most famous destinations in Hanoi for visitors or expat people working in Hanoi. This is also the biggest lake of capital with 500 ha. There are a lot of histories and legendary about this lake, each name is associated with a legend about the origin of the legendary West Lake, such as Fox Corpse Swamp (Đầm Xác Cáo), Golden Buffalo Lake (Kim Ngưu Lake), Foggy Lake (Dâm Đàm Lake)

2. What to see near West Lake - West Lake Hanoi attractions

2.1. Explore Tran Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc pagoda – as know oldest pagoda in Hanoi. It was built in 544 and competed in 547 with unique architecture – located on the green island of West Lake. This is also the central Buddhist of Thang Long – Hanoi. The Daily Mail (UK) has voted as one of 16 beautiful pagodas in the world in 2016.

tran quoc pagoda

Tran Quoc pagoda


2.2. Quan Thanh temple

This temple is located at the corner of Thanh Nien Street and Quan Thanh Street, facing West Lake.
Quan Thanh Temple, built under the reign of Ly Thai To (1010 - 1028), worships Huyen Thien Tran Vu.
This is one of four sacred temples that protect Thang Long (Now Hanoi) included:

  • Bach Ma Temple (Protect in the East)

  • Voi Phuc Temple (Protect in the West)

  • Kim Lien Temple (Protect in the South)

  • Quan Thanh temple (Protect in the North)

quan thanh temple

Quan Thanh Temple 


2.3. Van Nien pagoda

The pagoda was built under the Ly dynasty and is now have thousands of years old. This is also considered one of the most sacred pagodas in the city. After thousands of years of history, the pagoda has been restored few times, especially in the 19th century under Nguyen Dynasty. Therefore, every architectural part of the pagoda has an architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty.

van nien pagoda 

Van Nien Pagoda 

2.4. Chu Van An High School – Buoi High School

Establish in 1908 December by French people with the name Chu Van An (The greatest teacher of Vietnam in the 12th century - Victors can see his statue at the Temple of Literature). It's not only the oldest high school in Vietnam but also a tourist attraction.
>>>All interesting information about Hanoi tourism is available at: https://goviettrip.com/hanoi/ and https://goviettrip.com/hanoi-tours/

2.5. Thien Nien or (Trich Sai) Pagoda

According to history, this pagoda was built to worship Mrs. Pham, who taught local weaving and growing mulberry and raising silkworms for the people. Thien Nien also means "sustainable and lasting."

2.6. Vong Thi Pagoda

Vong Thi Pagoda was built under King Ly Nhan Tong (1072-1128). The boom destroyed it during the war with American. Since 1990 local people rebuilt the pagoda.

2.7. Trinh Cong Son walking street

This is the second walking street in Hanoi, after Hanoi old quarter walking street. Located near Ho Tay Water Park, it's open on weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Visitors can join a lot of activities or enjoy local food from many regions of Vietnam.

3. What to do near West Lake

3.1. Cycling & Walking around West lake Hanoi

Every early morning and afternoon, hundreds of old and young people find this place to breathe fresh air and exercise with a length of the lake up to more than 17 km. Walking or running around West Lake seems to be one of the craziest things you can do. However, there are also people who just like to walk around the lake to breathe the clear air and then go somewhere or back home.

cycling around west lake hanoi

Visitors cycling around the lake 


  • Best route for you cycling

Start cycling from the old town, visit Dong Xuan market early in the morning. Then, cross Long Bien Station, pass Hang Dau Water Tower, and follow Thanh Nien Road to Truc Bach Lake and West Lake.

3.2. Check-in West Lake Water Park

This place definitely cannot miss for children, especially in the summer. This is considered one of the most exciting places in West Lake, with many water games.

west lake water park 

Water park overview 

3.3. Enjoy coffee

Sometimes, noise, traffic jams, stress, etc. in Hanoi make you tired, and you want to refresh or just want to find a peaceful place, enjoy some beautiful café, reading a book, or talking about an old story with friends, you will find that Hanoi has never been so peaceful.
Some famous cafes around West Lake: Maison de Tet Decor, Maison de Blanc, LeMarz Coffee Roastery, 6 Degrees, Platform coffee & cake with beautiful and romantic architecture and decor.

3.4. Getting lost in Quang An Flower market

Located in Nghi Tam, Yen Phu, Tay Ho, Hanoi, the flower market in Quang An has long been known as the largest flower market, providing fresh flowers to Hanoi and neighboring provinces. This is not only a place of business but also a culture of the Hanoi people. You will see many kinds of flowers from all over the country in Vietnam.

quang ba night flower market

Quang Ba flower market 

3.5. West lake Hanoi food

Besides beautiful scenery, visitors can enjoy famous local dishes such as Shrimp cake (Banh Tom), Vermicelli snail (Bun Oc) Pho Cuon (Roll noodle).

banh tom 

Banh Tom or shrimp cake - one of the most famous foods here 

Visitors also can find many western restaurants along the lake. Top 5 restaurants in Hanoi West Lake

4. Local Tips to West Lake

Located in the North West of the city center, from old quarter visitors can go by taxi or walking combine visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and some famous place on the way.
Visitors can enjoy the fresh air as well as the breathtaking sunrise view in the early morning or romantic scenery in the evening.
Bike riding may be the best choice if you want to proactively discover the lake as well as its interesting surrounding areas.
Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes as you will have to move a lot. However, if you plan to visit any temples or pagodas here, please remember to wear formal clothes.
Last but not least, be careful and watch out for pickpockets as well as thieves while visiting.

You might want to visit some attractions nearby:
>>> Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex - Complete guide
>>> One pillar pagoda - Symbol of Hanoi millennium

Please contact us to get a Free walking tour with local students and visit this area.

>>> Read more Hanoi tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary
Go Viet Trip hope this article will help you understand more about Hanoi if you need any more help. Please feel free to contact us: Email: Goviettrip@gmail.com or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.

Author Hoan Nguyen

He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.

Photos: Go Viet Trip & internet


author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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