Controlling the morphology of noble metal-based nanostructures is a powerful strategy for optimizing their catalytic performance. Here, we report a one-pot aqueous synthesis of versatile NiPd nanostructures at room temperature without employing organic solvents or surfactants. The synthesis can be tuned to form zero-dimensional (0D) architectures, such as core–shell and hollow nanoparticles (NPs), as well as nanostructures with higher dimensionality, such as extended nanowire networks and three-dimensional (3D) nanodendrites. The diverse morphologies were successfully obtained through modification of the HCl concentration in the Pd precursor solution, and the reaction aging time. An in-depth understanding of the formation mechanism and morphology evolution are described in detail. A key factor in the structural evolution of the nanostructures was the ability to tune the reduction rate and to protonate the citrate stabiliser by adding HCl. Spherical core–shell NPs were formed by the galvanic replacement-free deposition of Pd on Ni NPs which can be transformed to hollow NPs via a corrosion process. High concentrations of HCl led to the transition of isotropic spherical NPs into anisotropic wormlike nanowire networks, created through an oriented attachment process. Aging of these nanowire networks resulted in the formation of 3D porous nanodendrites via a corrosion process. The diverse structures of NiPd NPs were anchored onto acid treated-activated carbon (AC) and exhibited improved catalytic efficiency towards the hydrogenation of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP).