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Happy Lunar New Year 2020

Celebrate Lunar New Year like a local: 5 best places to go in Hanoi during Tet

“Tet” is just around the corner! This holiday in Vietnam is like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays all wrapped into one – a perfect combination of Vietnamese traditions and culture. The whole country is lively and cheerful during this time and you will not want to miss this chance to travel around and learn more about these traditions. 

So how can you experience Tet like a true local? Here are our five best places to go during the Tet holiday in Hanoi! 

What is Tet?

Also known as Tet Nguyen Dan, Vietnamese New Year is the most important holiday in Vietnam. There is no exact date for Tet in the regular Gregorian calendar. It follows the Vietnamese Lunar calendar and usually falls from the end of January to the middle of February. In 2020, the first day of Lunar New Year is January 25.

Lunar New Year 2020

Vietnamese people take Tet as a celebration of the spring and this time of the year is especially for family and friend reunions. It is a very spiritual holiday, when people wish for luck and wealth in the new year, pray to avoid bad luck and forget the past troubles. Good fortune on the first day of Tet is very auspicious for the remainder of the year. One interesting fact is Vietnamese people believe that the first person to enter a household can determine that family’s fortune for the entire year. Also, Tet is always a favourite holiday for children as they will receive red envelopes with lucky money from their elders.

Preparations for Tet begin two weeks before the arrival of the New Year. Houses are cleaned, new clothes are bought, and debts are paid off, all done to have a fresh start to the upcoming year. Markets become busy as food is bought for family reunions and flowers such as peach blossoms and kumquat trees fill the street. These things create an amazing festive atmosphere.

What to expect during Tet holiday?

In 2020, Tet holiday will start on January 25 and last around one week. Often three days before the actual date, local people will already take time off to travel back to their home towns and villages to see their families. This means that certain places will be closed and it will be harder to book flights, tours and events.

In Hanoi you will find that some restaurants and bars are closed. The ones that are open often add an extra percentage on their regular prices. Furthermore, all the museums are closed. From the third day of Tet, businesses will mostly go back to normal. 


5 best place to go during Tet in Hanoi!

Take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake

Lunar New Year 2020

Around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can enjoy the flower and holiday decorations as well as locals in traditional clothing. You will easily spot many local families out taking photos with the little ones happily smiling in traditional Vietnamese costumes. Also, at Hoan Kiem Lake you can find Hanoi’s most visited temple Ngoc Son temple, meaning “Temple of the Jade Mountain”.


Blend in with the locals at Hang Ma Street

Lunar New Year 2020

Months before Tet, Hang Ma Street changes into its radiantly colorful dress. Not only will you find places for photography, but you will want to purchase the beautiful ornaments, red lanterns, and decorations for Tet.

Maybe look for Ao dai. This traditional dress will allow you to blend in perfectly with the holiday landscape.


Discover Tet’s flower paradise: Nhat Tan Flower Garden & Quang An Flower Market

  • Lunar New Year 2020
  • Lunar New Year 2020
  • Lunar New Year 2020

For a long time, the blossoming peach tree has been the symbol of Tet in the North, particularly of Hanoi. Nhat Tan Flower Garden was once a peach garden, but now it has been transformed into a multi-flower paradise. Walk in the breezy charm of Hanoi’s late Winter between the radiant trees planted neatly in line.

Or if you want to experience the night life of Hanoi, Quang An Flower Market is definitely worth a visit. This night market on the edge of West Lake starts up around 2 a.m., when wholesalers arrive to claim their spots with piles of different kind of flowers, and normally lasts until sunrise. Especially during Tet, the market will last the whole day. To catch the market in its full bustle, you need to go early in the morning, around 5:00 a.m.—this is when florists flood into the market to select the best flowers they need for the day.


Prepare for the Fireworks

Lunar New Year 2020

The dazzling fireworks will take place at 30 sites across Hanoi from 00:00 January 25 and will last for 15 minutes. You should visit one of these five locations for the best sight-seeing of the fireworks: Hoan Kiem Lake, Thong Nhat Park, Lac Long Quan flower garden, Van Quan Lake, and My Dinh National Stadium.

If you want to avoid the crowds, settle early into a nearby, café with a beautiful view for the fireworks. Here are some of our recommendations:

Avalon Café

Address: 73 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Summit Lounge

Address: Floor 20, Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi, 1 Thanh Nien, Tay Ho District, Hanoi.

Skyline Hanoi

Address: 38 Gia Ngu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.


Visit pagodas and enjoy the unusual tranquility of Hanoi

Lunar New Year 2020

No more traffic jams, no more horns from vehicles, Ha Noi, during Tet holiday reverts back to being a charming little city where you can enjoy a hot authentic Vietnamese coffee on a typical cold winter day. With many people being out of the city, it becomes incredibly peaceful.

Visiting pagodas at the beginning of Lunar New Year has become an aged tradition of Vietnamese people. If you are interested in seeing the prayers of local people, these popular temples are definitely worth a visit: Phu Tay Ho, Quan Thanh Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda.   

There you go! We hope our recommendations will help you have a great and memorable time experiencing Tet holiday in Hanoi. Happy New Year from all of us at BIS Hanoi!