Ngoc Son Temple - Serene temple/gardens on a lake, vastly different from the surrounding chaos of the city.
Hanoi Street Train - Unfortunately this may be closed as of now as it was cordoned off and I’m not sure if there is still a train running here or not. When it is in use, the train runs through the city allowing people close viewing opportunities.
VBH Downtown - Not my favourite hostel; too cookie-cutter, too loud, and not clean enough. One huge perk was the storage area monitored 24/7 by security personnel. This was perfect for leaving my large backpack for my trips to Ha Giang and Ha Long Bay. A note, with the exception of Ha Long Bay I believe VBH makes a better travel agency than hostel. As far as “chains” go, Mad Monkey >>> VBH.
Banh Mi 14 & Banh Mi 25 - Two amazing banh mi shops in the old quarter. I absolutely love Vietnamese cuisine, in large part due to banh mi and pho.