Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan market is at the West end of Hanoi Old quarter, surrounded by Dong Xuan street Hang Khoai street and Cau Dong street.

Like Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City or Dam Market in Da Nang, Dong Xuan Market has been a symbol and a pride of Hanoi people for many years.

Nestled in downtown Hanoi, this is the largest wholesale market in the North with an area of 6,500 m2, as well as the gathering place of a multitude of business items to serve the life of the capital's netizens and supply sources for traders.

Dong Xuan market - Photo: Instragram @aliceechou

The market was built in the 1889s with a blend of both ancient and modern French architecture style. The market has since become a famous attraction for traders in the old days and tourists in the modern time. The place is not only a busy trade center for daily necessity, but also a witness to the national defense history of Vietnamese soldiers, and a pride of Hanoi residents.

History

The forerunner of Dong Xuan Market was Bach Ma Market and Cau Dong Market - the two ancient markets of Thang Long Citadel. After the French authority ordered the abolition of all small markets to form a new large market in the purpose of facilitating the purchase and exchange of goods, Dong Xuan Market was born in 1889. Thanks to its riverside location - where boats operated busily all day and night, the market quickly became the biggest trade center in the capital.

In 1947, the market was heavily influenced by the fierce war of the Hanoi's soldiers and people in the early days of the resistance war. Then, a big fire occurring in 1994 caused great damage in the market. Therefore, a year later, Dong Xuan Market was rebuilt with a total area of three floors of nearly 14,000 m2 with more than 2,000 stores.

Over 100 years associated with important historical milestones of the country, Dong Xuan Market is a place containing all the material and spiritual values of Hanoi and has become an inseparable symbol of the capital.

The market’s architecture

Based on French architecture, Dong Xuan Market possesses a beautiful and modern dome design, while the facade includes 3 triangular-shaped parts (formerly 5 parts) with holes like a honeycomb, creating a strong impression on visitors right from the first sight.

Photo: Instragram @hanoi-life

Inside the market, there are spacious and gorgeous 3 floors with a variety of entrances to the market, escalators for customer movement and goods transport. Standing from the market center, you can feel so small in the middle of a large "hall" like this.

As the largest market in the capital with a total of more than 2,100 stalls and surrounding 71 kiosks with a wide range of goods, Dong Xuan Market always welcomes thousands of people every day for many other purposes like taking pictures, shopping, or enjoying food.

What to do in Dong Xuan Market

Shopping in day market

As one of the largest wholesale markets in the North, Dong Xuan Market gathers a full range of commodities from appearance, types to prices. The essential items at an abundance of kiosks and stores are spread across three floors. Each floor offers separate types of items, which is quite convenient for visitors to find and choose your own favorite items.

You can find a wide variety of foodstuffs such as seafood, meat, vegetables and possessed food as well as home appliances and electrical equipment on the market's first floor. Conveniently, this floor has a fountain available in the central position for you to rest before continuing to "sweep" the other floors.

The market's second floor is a trade venue of items such as clothes, shoes, fabrics, accessories in a variety of styles and colors. A plentiful range of souvenirs such as ceramic teapots, conical hats, decorations are also available to be "picked up" by you.

 A souvenir shop in Dong Xuan market

New parents will definitely enjoy the 3rd floor - a place of various clothes for newborn babies, pregnant and children in a full range of designs, colors and style, ensuring to satisfy everyone's fashion preferences. Besides, cute and soft stuffed animals, interesting lego blocks are also on sale on this floor.

The items here originate mainly from China, so the price is usually quite reasonable, however, if you buy in retail and want to ensure your rights, before making a deal, you should carefully check the quality of the items as well as bargain a little bit.

Notably, because the market is always crowded and busy all day, during the time of visiting and shopping in Dong Xuan Market, you should pay attention to well preserving your personal belongings in case of theft or loss.

Discovering night market

Once in Hanoi, do not miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant and busy Dong Xuan night market stretching 3 kilometers from Hoan Kiem Lake to the gate of Dong Xuan Market. Unlike various other Hanoi night markets, Dong Xuan night market only operates at 18h-22h30 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

At this night market, visitors can find a wide range of popular items such as cups, plastic bowls to upper level items such as silk, brocade, from up-to-date fashion commodities and accessories to souvenirs as stuffed animals, keychains, along with fragrant food stalls along the two street sides.

Photo: @librawitch02

As a trade space gathering more than 4,000 stalls, Dong Xuan night market will be an ideal venue for you and your friends to enjoy shopping at affordable prices as well as immersing in the bustling atmosphere like a traditional Tet market.

Enjoying food

Not only offering a plentiful range of items and prices, Dong Xuan Market is also a culinary paradise loved by both Vietnamese and foreign tourists. Just 100,000 VND, you can "sweep" the whole culinary street of the market and fill your stomach with a variety of delicious - nutritious - cheap dishes such as spring rolls, "banh tom", Vietnamese savory donuts, vermicelli, "bun cha", dumplings, etc. A special thing that arouses the interest and curiosity of travelers, especially foreign tourists, is the popular service style like eating at kiosks in the market, giving a sense of freedom, comfort and interest.

About 200 meters from the market gate, Dong Xuan food street is always crowded with people to "sweep" every dish here. Groups of friends or family often choose to visit this place to both start a discovery journey of Hanoi's unique cuisine while freely chatting and laughing.

Below are some delicious-cheap snacks to sample:

“Banh tom” – Shrimp cakes

With the main ingredients of flour and shrimp, the crispy yellow shrimp cake dipped into a bowl of chili-garlic fish sauce and a few pieces of crispy pickled papaya will surely fascinate any fastidious diners.

Photo: @i_am_annawasabi

Popular place: Ms.Am’s “Banh tom”

Address: Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoàn Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 14:30 – 17;00

Price: 10.000 – 50.000 VND

Rib congee

Fine white congee cooked with ribs - which is simmered - creates a special flavor and stickiness, making diners fall in love right from the first try.

Photo: @_min.91

Popular place: Huyen Anh’s rib congee

Address: No.14, Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, hanoi

Opening time: 9:00 – 14:00

Price: 20.000 – 50.000 VND

“Pho tiu” – Noodle soup

Already familiar with the Hanoians, "pho tiu" is a harmonious mixture of rice noodles, herbs, char siu meat, roasted peanuts, dried onions with a special sweet-sour sauce, creating a renowned dish of the capital.

Photo: @ganhdongxuan

Popular place: “Pho tiu”

Address: Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 7:00 – 17:00

Price: 25.000 – 30.000 VND

Vietnam savory donut

As a dish easy to find at Dong Xuan Market, the round-crispy savory donuts with filling made from rice noodle, wood-ear mushroom and minced meat are one of the must-try dishes when coming here.

Address: Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 9:00 – 19:00

Price: 5.000 VND

Vietnamese pudding (che)

On a hot day, there is nothing happier than enjoying a cup of greasy and cool sweet soup. At Dong Xuan Market, a plentiful range of sweet soup such as corn sweet soup, grapefruit one, caramel, etc. is available for your choice.

Photo: @lawrencengosf

Popular place: Xuka sweet soup

Address: No.49, Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 8:00 – 17:00

Price: 15.000 – 30.000 VND

Jerky beef salad

The jerky beef marinated with lemongrass, ginger, chili, sugar, powdered soup, then mixed with sliced carrot, papaya and roasted peanuts creates a delightful dish satisfying every taste.

Photo: @bichthaohoang

Address: Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 7:00

Price: 15.000 – 35.000 VND

“Bun cha”

"Bun cha" dish is so well-known in Hanoi that visitors should not miss in your journey to conquer Dong Xuan Market's cuisine.

Photo: @abitewithjudy

Address: Dong Xuan Alley, Hang Chieu Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Opening time: 10:00 – 13:00

Price: 30.000 – 50.000 VND

How to get there

Dong Xuan Market is located in the heart of the Old Quarter, so it is very convenient for visitors to come here by any means: walking, bicycle, motorbike, car or bus.

 Dong Xuan market

If you are in the old town area, walking to Dong Xuan Market is definitely a great idea to help you admire the beauty of the old town carefully and comfortably stop by the side whenever you want.

Despite making you dependent on time and schedule, the bus is still a popular means of getting to Dong Xuan Market and is favored by many travelers. Not only saving on travel costs, visitors get the opportunity to better understand Hanoi bus culture. From everywhere around Hanoi, you can go to Dong Xuan Market by bus No.1 (Gia Lam bus station - Yen Nghia bus station), No.8 (Long Bien - Dong My), No.4 (Long Bien - Nuoc Ngam bus station), No. 31, 03, 11, 14, 18, 23, 34, 22, 40.

"Xe om" - a vehicle that seems unfamiliar to foreign visitors to Vietnam for the first time - is the most convenient and popular transportation option in Hanoi in particular and in Vietnam in general. By "xe om", you can not only come to Dong Xuan Market in a short time, but also have interesting experiences on a convenient motorbike.

Car or Taxi is also very convenient to move within Hanoi City. In particular, if you go in groups of people, or are carrying so much stuff, a taxi will take you to your destination according to the schedule you have planned. While the cost may be higher than other means of transportation, the convenience of a taxi cannot be denied.

Useful Information

  • Location: No.15, Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Best for: Family, Couples, Solo
  • Entrance: Free
  • Hours: 5AM - 7PM
  • Distance to city center: 2.0km (1.2 mi)
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