Shopping Hanoi - shoppers guide to Hanoi

Although visitors do not generally list shopping as one of their main reasons for visiting Hanoi, once here most people cannot resist the unusual items on offer at rock-bottom prices. While Ho Chi Minh City is more commercial and offers a wider range of goods, Hanoi has long been recognised as the country’s artistic capital, and there are great finds to be made in shops selling arts and crafts.

The items that attract most visitors are those things that are unique to Vietnam, such as conical hats (an absolute must at less than a dollar a go), the traditional ao dai outfit of tunic and pants, and water puppets. Yet there are plenty of other distinctive souvenirs, like musical instruments, ceramics and paintings, that are likely to draw admiring comments from friends back home.

Markets

Explore the city’s markets where you can pick up cheap souvenirs, clothes and a tasty snack whilst mingling with local people who do their daily shop as their ancestors did centuries ago...more

Malls

Chill out and splash out on new clothes or gadgets at one of Hanoi’s shopping malls or department stores. These are the places to head for all your electronic gadgets such as camera batteries...more

Souvenirs

Pick up a T-shirt, lacquerware bowl or silk scarf to remind you of your stay or as a gift for love ones back home, or perhaps some charming figurines or a conical hat...more

Glossary

Your complete guide to shopping in Hanoi for everything from electronics to chemist shops and everything inbetween which tourists might require during a stay in the city...more

Hanoi shopping - water puppets with conical hats

Besides a fantastic variety of items to choose from when it comes to shopping for souvenirs, there is also a choice in where to go shopping.

Local markets provide colourful sights and intriguing encounters with vendors, though they mostly sell household goods and food, with just a few souvenirs on sale for tourists.

Shopping malls are the place to head if you’re looking for designer brands, while the well-stocked shops of the Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake have developed a good sense of what visitors are most attracted to.

Remember that if an item does not carry a price tag, then it has no fixed price and is open to bargaining. As long as this is carried out in a good-natured manner, it usually results in a vendor who has made some kind of profit and a shopper who is pleased with the savings secured on their purchase.

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