Everything you need to know about exchanging money in Hanoi, Vietnam
If you have just arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam and need to know how to get some Dong currency or need exchange some cash, look no further. Keep reading for a complete guide to exchanging money in Hanoi to Dong currency, with recommended locations, interactive maps and helpful tips.
Currency in Hanoi, Vietnam
The official currency in Hanoi, Vietnam is Dong (VND) and it comes in the following banknotes:
You can use the website of Vietcombank to see the daily exchange rate for the Dong currency in Hanoi. When you exchange your money for Dong currency in Vietnam, make sure that the notes are not damaged or dirty. The majority of shops and restaurants will not accept ripped notes in Vietnam.
Tip: the 20,000 and 500,000 notes look very similar and could easily be confused. Keep your 500,000 notes separate from your other banknotes.
Vietnam runs mainly on cash so don't rely on using your bank card for everyday small spends. If you want to exchange money when you get to Vietnam (rather than getting your Dong at home) it is recommended to exchange your home currency into US Dollars or Euros and then exchange that when you reach Vietnam.
Does Vietnam have ATM Machines?
There are ATM machines in Vietnam everywhere and are not hard to find. There are different withdrawal amounts depending on the machine/bank. The maximum of Vietnamese Dong that you can withdraw is 10,000,000 Dong. ATM machines are generally safe in Vietnam and the usual precautions should be taken.
Where to exchange money in Hanoi?
If you have arrived at Hanoi by plane, there will be various operators at Hanoi International Airport (Noi Bai Airport) which offer money exchange services. The exchange rate is always a bit higher exchanging money at the airport but may be necessary to be able to get transport from the airport to the city center.
When it comes to exchanging your money in Hanoi you have four main options:
Money Exchange Shops
Gold/Jewellery Shops in Hanoi
A popular way to exchange money in Hanoi is by using the Gold shops. The Gold shops in Hanoi are usually family-run shops and don't usually charge any fees to exchange money to Dong currency.
You will be able to negotiate and can usually get a better exchange rate in the Gold shops, than at the banks. The Gold Shops accept the majority of currencies. If you have US Dollars or Euros to change the Gold Shops will be more than happy to exchange this to Dong for you.
Head to Hang Bac and Ha Trung street, as this is where the majority of the Gold shops are where you can exchange your currency.
The recommended shops are:
Quoc Trinh Gold Shop
Address: 27 Ha Trung, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3826 8856
Opening hours: Sunday to Friday 08:00 – 22:00
Kim Linh Gold Shop
Address: 67 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3825 3649
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 – 18:00
Manh Hung Gold Shop
Address: 51 Ha Trung, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3938 2251
Opening hours: Daily 08:00 – 19:00
Money Exchange shops in Hanoi
As with all cities, it is not hard to find Money Exchange Shops in Hanoi. There are Money Exchange shops in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, as well as outside the center of the city. However, the majority of the money exchange business happens in the Jewellery/Gold Shops.
Hanoi Money Exchange
Address: 19B Hang Be, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3990 1733
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 18:00
Exchanging Money in Hanoi Bank Branches
There are lots of bank branches in Hanoi Old Quarter where you can exchange your money. The commercial hub, where the majority of the banks are located is around the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square and the Hoan Kiem Lake.
Exchanging your money at the Bank Branches in the Old Quarter in Hanoi may have slightly higher exchange rates than the Gold shops but is a lot more secure. It shouldn't be hard to find a member of staff who talks English.
If you wish to exchange your money in a bank branch then you will have to ID in with you, without it they won't do anything. Just to clarify, you don't need an account open with them to exchange your money. Make sure the cash notes are clean and unripped to avoid the bank declining them. You will also have to fill out various forms, so is a lot more hassle than other methods discussed.
The popular banks in Hanoi are Techcombank, Vietcombank and Vietinbank:
Address: 34 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3923 2932
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00, Saturday 08:00 – 12:00
Address: 110 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3926 1236
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00
Address: 25 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 4 3826 7112
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00
Withdrawing cash and ATMs in Hanoi
There are lots of ATMs in Hanoi where you can withdraw cash, particularly in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and are not hard to find.
When getting Dong from ATMs, there is usually a maximum amount of 2-3 million Dong which can be withdrawn per transaction. Most ATMs enable you to get cash from Visa, Master Card Cirrus, Plus, JCB network and Maestro.
Remember that with the majority of banks there will be a charge to get Dong with a foreign bank card. This is not a cheap way of getting money in Hanoi and then charges can add up quickly. There may also be foreign transactional fees that are charged by your bank. If you are traveling longterm, it would be a good idea to look into banks that offer accounts that don't charge international fees.
Getting Dong currency from ATM’s is one of the quickest and easiest ways to exchange your money but not the cheapest.
The other option you have is to get a travel card as these can save a lot of money. Travelex is the known market leader for travel cards and they do also offer currency exchange and even drop it off to your door if you want to save time.
How to carry money in Vietnam?
Travellers Cheque, cash or card? Debit cards are the best way to carry money in Vietnam, rather than travellers cheques or carrying lots of cash. It is harder to cash travellers cheques so these are not recommended. ATMs are everywhere in Vietnam so you can withdraw money when required.
What does Vietnamese Money look like?
The value can be quite easily distinguished by the color. New visitors find it quite hard to get to grips with Vietnamese Dong due to all of the zeros but will quickly get used to the currency after a few days of using it.
Can I use my debit or credit card in Vietnam?
Yes, you can use your international credit or debit cards in Vietnam, especially for larger transactions, such as hotels, established restaurants and tour operators. However, you should always have cash for street vendors and smaller purchases. I would recommend getting a travel credit card to save on fees.
How much cash can you carry in Vietnam?
In Vietnam there is no restriction as to the amount of cash you can carry. If you are entering Vietnam from another country, then if you are carrying over 15,000,000 Dong, you need to declare this when you enter the country.
What is the best currency to use in Vietnam?
Paying in Dong will be cheaper than paying in US dollars. Prices will be shown in Vietnamese Dong (VND) currency and if you pay in US dollars the exchange rate will be higher and benefit the vendor.
Other helpful information about Dong currency in Hanoi, Vietnam
The large hotels in Hanoi may also offer money exchange services but generally don't exchange large amounts of money.
US Dollars are widely accepted in larger shops and restaurants in Hanoi
The Dong currency is made out of polymer so can stick together easily, check this when paying to ensure you are not overpaying
The Dong currency cannot generally be used anywhere else, so remember to exchange your Dong currency at the end of your trip.
You can exchange travelers' cheques at the large banks.
Shops will rarely accept US dollars as payment as they have to request their local Dong currency.
You generally don't need to tip in Hanoi but small tips are a good gesture.
Larger restaurants and hotels may add a 5% service charge onto your bill.
Try and keep smaller bills as a lot of vendors will not accept 500,000 VND.
Do your research and if the exchange rate sounds too good to be true then it most likely is. It is more than likely to be the Black Market and you will end up being scammed.
Take out some extra cash if you are travelling to a remote part of the country or island.
Most land border crossings into Vietnam have a money exchange service.
So there we have it, this guide has covered all you need to know about exchanging money in Hanoi and some information about Dong, the Vietnamese currency.