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The Best Ways of Getting Around Hanoi

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The Best Ways of Getting around Hanoi

Getting around Hanoi is cheap and easy and there are lots of different types of transport available, depending on your travel style. The city is quite small as capital cities go and a lot of tourist attractions, restaurants and shopping are all situated in close proximity. One of the first things you will notice when traveling from the airport to the city is the motorbikes and they come in mass! Motorbikes are the main way that the locals get around Hanoi, but there are other options if you don't want to hire a bike to get around.

You can get around Hanoi by the following modes of transport:

  1. Motorbike taxis

  2. Buses

  3. Grabs

  4. Private cars

  5. Bicycle

  6. Cyclo

  7. Walk (depending on where you are staying)

FAQs about transportation in Hanoi

Before we get into the detailed guide of getting around in Hanoi, here are a few of the most FAQs which may answer your questions straight away:

Is there Uber in Hanoi?

No, Uber is not available in Hanoi as they were brought out by Grab. Grab offer a very similar service to Uber and is the best way to get around the city. You can download the Grab App before your trip so you can use the App once you reach the airport.

Is Grab available in Hanoi?

Yes, Grab is available in Hanoi and is the best way to get around the city. You can download the Grab App from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Grab works the same way as Uber, by inputting your pick up point and drop off point.

There is more detail about Grab below.

Are there Tuk Tuks in Vietnam?

You will not find Tuk Tuks in Vietnam or Hanoi but you can use Grabs or Cyclos to get around instead. Tuk Tuks are more popular in Thailand and Cambodia but not Vietnam. Instead of using a Tuk Tuk, you can get a Grab motorbike taxi which is an exhilarating ride.

Is it safe to walk in Hanoi?

Just like any city you need to keep your wits about you, particularly if you are walking around after dark. With that said, Hanoi is generally safe and it is very rare for serious crimes to happen against tourists. Stick to the Old Quarter of Hanoi and you should be safe enough.

Is there a metro in Hanoi?

The Hanoi Urban Metro (Hanoi Metro) is due to be completed by 2021 so there is not currently an active metro in Hanoi. Once completed the Hanoi Metro will provide quick and safe transport around the city. The Metro will help reduce the number of motorbikes on the road and help the environment.

Can I get a Grab from Hanoi airport?

It is easy to get a Grab from Hanoi Airport to the city. Make sure you download the App so you can set up your account beforehand. When you reach the airport you will be able to order the Grab on the App and put in your destination which saves the hassle of potential language barriers.

You will need to pay for the two-way gate fare of 30,000 VND.

Different Ways of getting around Hanoi:

1. Motorbike Taxis (xe om)

Motorbike Taxis (xe om) in Hanoi are cheap, efficient and not hard to find. They are a good option if you are traveling solo. If there is more than one of you then it would be cheaper and more comfortable to get a taxi.

Motorbike Taxis are good value and a journey around the city centre will only set you back around 15,000-20,000d.

If you have not been on the back of a motorbike before then prepare yourself for an exhilarating journey.

2. Buses

Hanoi has a sizeable bus system that is well established and is the cheapest public transport to get around Hanoi. As most tourists stay in the Old Quarter a lot of the tourists walk or take a taxi.

The public buses in Hanoi are quite simple to use if you have a Hanoi Bus Map (Xe Buyt Ha Noi) which is 5,000d. You can buy the Hanoi Bus Map from Thang Long Bookshop.

3. Grabs

Grabs are the Asian version of Uber. As with Uber, you need to download the Grab App onto your phone and set up an account. You then can type in your destination and you will be able to see what Grabs are available in your area, an estimate of the price and how long they will be. Grabs are convenient as it means you don't need to worry about language barriers. Grabs also mean that you don't need to worry about haggling over the price of the journey.

It is better to use Grabs rather than other taxis, as you may find that the taxi driver doesn't want to put you on the meter and you end up with an inflated fare when you reach your destination.

Grabs offer cars or motorbikes if you are traveling solo. If you pick a motorbike grab then the driver will provide you with a helmet. Tip - make sure you don't have too much luggage.

What is even better is that there is no minimum fare with Grabs.

4. Private Cars

If you prefer a bit more comfort or you are going to heading out of the city then you could hire a private car with a driver. Have a look at Klook or Viator, who both offer private transports The price varies on the size of the group etc, but you can check up to date costs here.

5. Bicycle

Most hotels and hostels will offer a bicycle renting service which is very cheap, costing a few dollars a day. Just be careful of the traffic and it would be a good idea to wear a helmet. Why not take a ride around the West Lake which should take around 4 hours and is 16km.

There are also organized cycle tours around the city and which take you into the countryside. You can see the tours here with Get Your Guide.

6. Cyclo

What is a Cyclo? A Cyclo is a three-wheel cycle rickshaw. It is a bicycle with a seat attached at the front where the cyclo driver pedals you along from behind. They are a bit of tourist attraction, as the locals don't really use them but are a bit of fun.

Hanoi Cyclo Tours offers Cyclo tours around the city and even has a Cyclo Food Tour. You can find out more here

Cyclos are better for a short journey and make sure that the price is not per person as this is a common scam.

How much is a Cyclo in Hanoi?

If you hire a Cyclo for an hour you should expect to pay 150,000 VND.

7. Walk

As Hanoi is quite compact and particularly the Old Quarter, it is easy to walk to a lot of the tourist sites without spending a penny. One of the best things about walking around Hanoi is you will see so much more of the authentic Hanoi.

Transport from Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai International Airport) to the Old Quarter

How to get from Hanoi Airport to the Old Quarter?

  1. Shuttle bus

  2. Public bus

  3. Private Transfers with Klook or Viator

  4. Taxi, Grab or Uber

Your budget, travel style and time restrictions will impact on what mode of transport you choose to get from Hanoi Airport to the Old Quarter. Whichever option you choose, the journey should be no longer than 90 minutes.

Bus from Hanoi Airport to Old Quarter

Getting the bus from Hanoi Airport to the Old Quarter is cheap and easy. If you take a shuttle bus from Hanoi airport then the journey may take around 40-60 minutes and a public bus will take around 60-90 but both obviously depend on traffic.

Shuttle Bus from Hanoi Airport

There are various airlines that offer shuttle buses from Hanoi Airport, such as Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air. The shuttle buses leave from Terminal 1 & 2. The costs of a shuttle bus to the Old Quarter costs around 30 VND. The shuttle bus will drop you off in the centre of the old Quarter and you will then have to make your way to your hotel. If your hotel is in the Old Quarter then you should be able to walk to it but if your hotel is too far to walk from the drop off point you won’t have a problem finding a taxi.

Public Bus from Hanoi Airport

The cheapest way to get from Hanoi Airport to the Old Quarter is by public bus, but this option also takes the longest.

Hanoi Airport Express Bus 86 - This bus travels directly to the Old Quarter and terminates at the Hanoi Central Railway Station. The express bus 86 costs 30 VND and takes 50-60 minutes to the Old Quarter. This is the recommended bus if you want to take public transport.

Number 7 Bus - You can catch the Number 7 bus to Kim Ba Bus Station and then get a grab or uber to the Old Quarter. This would be a good option if you were staying on the Western side of Hanoi.

Number 17 Bus - The number 17 bus goes from the airport to the Long Bien Bus Station and then get a grab or uber to the hotel. If your hotel is on the Northeast side of Hanoi, then catching the Number 17 bus may work well for you.

Hanoi Airport Private Transfers & pick up service with Klook or Viator

If you prefer comfort and want the quickest option to get from the Airport to the Old Quarter then a private transfer/pick up service from the airport will be your best option. The best thing about a private transfer is that you will be picked up with your bags and dropped off at your hotel door.

Private transfers are a good option if you are traveling in a large group. You can choose from a car or minivan depending on how many are traveling.

We would recommend looking at Klook or Viator, who both offer private transports with meet and greet at the airport. The price varies on the size of the group etc, but you can check up to date costs here.

Grab or Taxi from Hanoi Airport

You can get a Grab from the airport which will be slightly cheaper than a normal taxi. You could expect to pay 250K-300k VND to get to the Old Quarter from the Airport using a Grab. If you want to get a normal taxi then there are various taxi companies who will be lined up outside and they will charge around 330k VND for a 4 seater taxi.

If you want to know more about Noi Bai International Airport Airport, keep your eyes peeled, as there will be an article coming up soon.


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