Bring a jacket if you’ll be visiting Hanoi in January. The high humidity combined with the lower temperatures makes it feel especially chilly. However, this could be a welcome change from Hanoi’s summer heat. While January may not be ideal for warm weather fans, it’s prime time to explore Vietnam’s fascinating capital city without sweating around every turn.
Climate Averages in Hanoi in January
January is the coldest month in Hanoi, with average temperatures ranging from as low as 58°F (14°C) to as high as 68°F (20°C). Although this temperature may not seem very cold, January is much more frigid due to the high 78% humidity.
On top of this, Hanoi only receives 2.2 hours of sunlight on a typical January day, representing 20% of the average 11 hours of daylight. On the other hand, January in Hanoi is far drier and much more comfortable compared to the monsoonal summer months, with an average of 18.6 mm of rainfall over the course of 8.4 rainfall days.
Things To Do in Hanoi in January
January is one of the busiest months of the year as Hanoians participate in one of the largest and most popular festivals of the year: Tet Nguyen Dan (Tet), also known as the Vietnamese New Year. The annual Tet Festival begins on the first day of the first month according to the Lunar Calendar, typically occurring around late January to early/mid-February in the Western calendar. The festival generally lasts for one week but can last longer, depending on when the date falls.
At midnight on the first day, Tet will begin with a fireworks display at around 30 different locations in Hanoi. Some of the best viewpoints include the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Lac Long Quan flower garden, and My Dinh National Stadium. The festival continues with traditional dances, ceremonies, food, games, rides, and more.
Tips for Visiting Hanoi in January
The temperature in Hanoi on an average January day is quite cool, but you will be comfortable wearing a long-sleeved shirt or t-shirt when outdoors. Temperatures in the evenings tend to drop a bit, so it’s best to bring a light jacket in order to enjoy the evening’s delights. Many buildings in Hanoi lack central heating and tend to be poorly heated, so be prepared to pack warmer clothes.
Since the climate can be quite dry during January, it is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. UV rays can also be fairly intense during this month, so it’s best to wear sunscreen when outside.
If traveling to Hanoi in January before or during the Tet Festival, make arrangements in advance, as transportation becomes crowded and traffic becomes heavy due to the number of Vietnamese people traveling home for the Tet holiday. The worst days to travel to Hanoi in January are two days before and three days after Tet, as many tourist sites, restaurants and shops will be closed for the holiday.