What is Vietnam's Largest City?

When you come to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city and Ha Noi are the two most popular cities. Beside the two, Vietnam is divided into 63 areas in total so you may ask: “What is the biggest one?” Take a look at the answer to this question below.
July 15, 2021 | 13:12
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What is Vietnam's Largest City?
Hanoi. Photo: Shutterstock

Vietnam has 63 provinces and municipal cities, in which 5 are municipal cities, and most of the provinces also have one or several cities under. Year after year, the number of cities increases due to the fast-paced urbanization. Each of which has its own characteristics. Some are cosmopolitan, some have traditional vibes. Some own picturesque landscape, the others are the location of many modern buildings. They do not only play important roles in the development of the country but also are attractive tourist destinations that are worth your visits, cited itourvn.

Big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are bustling centers of commerce and activity while UNESCO-recognized towns like Hoi An and Hue will take you to travel back in time with ancient temples and pagodas, Buddhist shrines, street markets, and colorful lanterns along the riverbank.

Ho Chi Minh city was the largest city in Vietnam with a population of around 8,244,400 people. However, after being expanded in 2008, Hanoi capital has an area of more than 3,359 square kilometers, becoming the city with the largest natural area in Vietnam. Next is Ho Chi Minh city and Hai Phong city, respectively.

Hanoi - Vietnam's largest city

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is one of the most ancient cities in the world. This place offers examples of both contemporary and classical architecture right in the city center.

The typical architecture of Hanoi ancient house. Photo: indochinavoyages
The typical architecture of Hanoi ancient house. Photo: indochinavoyages

A renowned destination for typical cuisine, home to fascinating attractions and hospitable people, and a diverse region with a combination of multi-communities. There is plenty to enjoy in Hanoi, from mouthwatering street food to fascinating history, from traditional entertainment to recreational activities.

Even with a short amount of time, you can still feel the tranquilness of the city while sipping a cup of coffee. Wandering around and shooting artistic photos on elegant streets in the Old Quarter would give you unique experiences that are hardly found anywhere else, cited vietnamdiscovery.

Outside the suburban areas, you can discover small charming villages which are homes to so many ethnic minorities.

What is the weather like in Hanoi?

Hanoi has a mild, tropical climate typical of northern Vietnam with a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October. The months of June through August are typically the hottest and wettest.


Hanoi has two main seasons, the northeast monsoon months of November to April and the southwest monsoon months of May to October. The northeast monsoon season can be further divided into a winter season from November to February, which sees the coolest and driest days with average temperatures of 10-15 degree Celsius and only 20 millimeters of rain. Springtime runs from February to April, when warmer temperatures are accompanied by more rain, up to 80 millimeters in April. The southwest monsoon summer months of May to September can get uncomfortably hot (temperatures into the mid-30s) and humid with heavy rains, especially in July and August when each month gets an average 320 millimeters of rain. The autumn months of September to November are generally sunny and mild, cited vietnamguides.

Being inland, Hanoi escapes the brunt of the summer typhoon storms, but there can be some wild weather to watch out for.

When is the best time to come?

Hanoi is one of the few places in Vietnam with 4 distinctive seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The average temperature varies dramatically from about 12 degree Celsius during the coldest months up to 36 degree Celsius in peak summer.

What is Vietnam's Largest City?
Hanoi. Photo: pullman

Spring (February to April) and autumn (September to November) are perhaps the best time to travel to Hanoi because of the pleasant weather, when the temperature is not too low nor overwhelmingly high. Hanoi spring often marks its arrival with warm weather and clear bright sky. Travelers can also immerse in fantastic traditional activities which only occur during Tet holiday, cited vietnamonline.

Meanwhile, heavy showers in September end the heat of summer, boasting another great time to visit the city and enjoy a walk down the central streets, stepping over the mats of yellow leaves.

However, there are always attractive things to enjoy in Hanoi no matter if it is a sweating summer time or chilly nights before festive season.

What are the top things to do in Hanoi?

Sample the street food

For an authentic taste of Hanoi, look to the street kitchens of the Old Quarter. Steaming pots of its star anise-infused Pho broth simmer on every corner; while every day, the scent of bún chả fills the air as barbecued pork sizzles over hot coals.

Stroll the Old Quarter

Hanoi’s Old Quarter serves up a sensory overload. Wisps of incense drift out onto streets from ancient temples, while the clang of blacksmiths’ hammers mingles with mobile fruit sellers’ call. Jump in a cyclo and tour this intoxicating maze, according to vietnam.travel.

What is Vietnam's Largest City?
Hanoians get their coffee fix at hundreds of street-side cafes. Photo: vietnam.travel

Explore Hanoi's cafe culture

Fast-paced on the surface, the true rhythm of Hanoi life is far from hurried and is reflected well in its leisurely coffee hours. Alongside traditional coffee houses, an ever-growing band of unique cafes serve new brews in cool caffeine dens.

Check out the art scene

Hanoi is Vietnam’s art capital. The elegant Fine Arts Museum houses the country’s foremost collection, such as ancient Cham artifacts and impressionist pieces. For something more contemporary, head for Manzi or the Vietnam Art Gallery.

Join the locals at Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake rests in the heart of Hanoi. Every morning it comes alive with walkers, aerobics classes, and even a laughing yoga group; and bursts back into activity at sunset, thronged with locals taking in the evening air.

What are the must-try food in Hanoi?

Visiting Hanoi, you cannot miss the chance to try the best specialties of an Asian rich culinary hub. Renowned for the meticulosity in cooking techniques and the diversity of local ingredients, Hanoi boasts a splendid range of food that enriches your experience to a higher level of sophistication. You will find the bewitching city carpeted with food stalls and restaurants all days and nights, where each dish carries its own taste and story.

Pho (Beef noodles) is a classic must-try that you should visit particular places for an authentic flavor. There are also many traditional dishes appealing to not only tourists but even local elderly, served as their daily treats such as Cha Ca (Grilled Fish with tumeric and dill), Bun Cha (Grilled pork with noodles), Banh Cuon (stuffed pancake), Bun Rieu Oc (Crab paste and Snail vermicelli soup), etc. Furthermore, it is strongly recommended to get an iconic Banh Mi and Vietnamese coffee for a typical breakfast experience in Hanoi, according to vietnamonline.

Bun cha in Hanoi. Photo: vietnam.travel
Bun cha in Hanoi. Photo: vietnam.travel

Most of the traditional dishes can be found within the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem District that you can totally catch up with a friendly local youngster on the street and ask for further guidance. Beside the long-established food stalls along the streets and small alleys, contemporary fusion cuisine catered by modern eateries also create an impressive dining experience. Despite the culinary diversity, there is one mutual thing that every piece of cuisine in Hanoi shares: the complexity in combining ingredients that reach a perfect balance between layers of taste.

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Rosie Nguyen
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