Vietnam’s major cities have a number of famous streets that are worth uncovering. Some run a great length of the city, others are popular pedestrian hang-outs. There are even a few promenades to meander without fear of automobiles. Some streets intersect at traffic roundabouts, or circles, which generally include a center island with green space, a historic landmark, or sometimes a water feature.
Backpackers in Hanoi tend to congregate near the Old Quarter. Near this historic district, just off Hoan Kiem Lake, is an area full of bars, restaurants, cafes, and hostels called Ta Hien, or simply, Beer Street. Most of the backpackers can be found socializing on Beer Street. If you’re eager to meet some fellow tourists …
Walking Streets and Pedestrian Squares in Vietnam
Tourists love to flock, and while most of Vietnam’s bustling city roads resemble games of frogger (when said tourists cross them) a select few others are popular for strolling and auto-free. Some walking streets phase out the car traffic at night, while others like Nguyen Hue, provide a huge amount of space in the center for walking between one-way roads.
Guide to Street and Promenades in Vietnam
One of the best ways to experience Vietnam is to take the time for a stroll through some of the nation’s most visited walking streets. Whether you’re looking for a wild night in the city, a hidden gem for souvenir shopping, or a cruise down a historic lane to learn more about the culture, streets in Vietnam have something for everyone.
Bui Vien Street
Located in Ho Chi Minh City, this street is famous for being a “backpacker” area, appealing to ex-pats and tourists looking for food venues, bars, souvenirs, restaurants, and hotels or hostels at reasonable prices. On the weekends between 7 pm and 2 am, the street is solely for pedestrians, and the region becomes alive with performances and live shows that are all up and down the walkway. Bui Vien Street is a party area with lots of loud music and drinking, a great place to let loose on the town.
Nguyen Hue Street
Opened in 2015, another famous walking street in Ho Chi Minh City is Nguyen Hue Street, which is especially active in the evening hours among tourists and locals alike. The lively street hosts various artists, performers, and vendors selling food and souvenirs at low prices during the nighttime hours. The street offers walkers some great views of the Saigon River and a big fountain that showcases different kinds of lights in the dark.
Hanoi Old Quarter Street
Located in the capital, the Hanoi Old Quarter Streets is one of the most extensive historic districts in the country, comprised of 36 streets. A large stretch of the Old Quarter goes by the Hoan Kiem Lake, which has free WiFi and is an excellent spot for photography during the day. In the evening, the area becomes busier with artists drawing portraits, music, traditional Vietnamese performers, and an open market with shops to explore and purchase food and souvenirs from.
Le Cong Kieu Street
Situated in Ho Chi Minh City, Le Cong Kieu Street is thought to be the city’s oldest shopping street and one of the best places to buy all kinds of antiques. At 200 meters/656 feet long, this street has such a large variety of antiques, and the vendor booths don’t have any names but are numbered instead. Some of the types of art sold on this unspoiled street include ceramics, pottery, and wooden objects.
Bach Dang street can be found alongside the Han River in Da Nang, giving pedestrians a spectacular view of the city. Some of the city’s most famed landmarks are visible from this street, including the Dragon Bridge, Han River Bridge, and the high-rise homes that surround the town. Bach Dang hosts several exciting sights and activities at all times of day, ranging from Chinese chess in the evenings to flower festivals, fireworks, and music performances.
Nguyen Thien Thuat Street
Nguyen Thien Thuat Street can be found in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 and is famous for its vast selection of music stores that sell instruments at cheap prices. Violins, all kinds of guitars, and ukeleles are just a few of the types of instruments that you’ll find on this street, in addition to the several artists playing tunes for people strolling on this beautiful route. The ambiance of this street is a relaxing one, with the sound of strings echoing through the area, making it a haven for professional musicians and lovers of music.
Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street
Visitors looking for a large selection of Chinese herbs and natural medicines will have a lot of luck finding what they are looking for on Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5. This street has been a hub for herbs and medicines since the 1800s when Chinese settlers came to Vietnam to serve the community’s health needs. The atmosphere of Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street is serene and relaxing and emits an aroma of herbs throughout the vendors. Some of the natural ingredients sold on this street include leaves, powders, roots, and barks.
Nguyen Phuc Chu Street
Set just south of the Hoai River in Hoi An, Nguyen Phuc Chu Street is a harbor of Vietnamese culture, arts, and traditional folk games, making this walking street one of the country’s best pedestrian areas. This street is only open at certain hours in the morning and evening to visitors, so plan to spend some time here to get the most out of the experience.
Considering that Hoi An is a UNESCO heritage site with lots of historical value, using some time on this street and others in the town is a great way to embrace and learn more about the region’s past and current cultures.
While Vietnam is home to many walking streets, these few are some of the best for getting a glimpse at native life. The offerings of these walkways vary significantly by city and region, so it’s best to make time for visiting more than one in different areas.