Hanoi Travel Guide - Things you have to know
By Custom Vietnam Travel | Updated 1/5/2019
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honouring a legendary horse, plus Dong Xuan Market, selling household goods and street food.
Nowadays, Hanoi is the well-known destinations with all travellers around the world. Since, the number of visitors go to Hanoi that has been increasing dramatically recent years. If you guys are preparing to visit to the Capital of Vietnam, you might look for some travel tips before going. This article “Hanoi Travel Guide” provides all of things travellers should know before traveling in Hanoi, which were written by our local travel experts.
Breaktaking view of Hoan Kiem Lake in Autumn
The best time to come to Hanoi is from September to November or from March to April, when the weather is mild. Temperatures during these months range from 18°C to 30°C and the days stay relatively dry. From November to March, there is less rain but it can get quite cold in the evening so bring a warm jacket if visiting during this time. Most homes in Hanoi do not have heating so be sure that there are extra blankets on hand for a comfortable sleep.
There are many ways to get to Hanoi depending on where you are. Assuming Hanoi is your port of entry into Vietnam, then you’ll be arriving at Noi Bai International Airport which is about 45 minutes from the Old Quarter.
By Private Transfer:
A private transfer to hotel around 22 USD and if travelers want a guide to pick up, it will might be a little bit expensive as at 42 USD which you might consider about it.
By grab: Based on my research, a Grab ride from Noi Bai International Airport to the Old Quarter should run you around 13 USD each way.
By taxi: It should cost you around USD 16-18 to get to the Old Quarter from the airport, so don’t fall for any scams telling you otherwise. Noi Bai has been called a hotbed for taxi scammers who either try to overcharge you or take you to the wrong hotel in the hopes of getting a commission. To avoid being victimized by scams, arrange for a private transfer or use a ride-sharing app instead.
By private bus: Jetstar and Vietnam Airlines run private minibuses that shuttle people from the airport to designated stops in Hanoi for VND 40,000 (around USD 1.80). It may not take you exactly where you want to go but you’ll be close enough to either walk to your hotel or hop into a Grab. Follow this link for more information on airport minibuses in Hanoi.
3. How to get around in Hanoi
Getting around in Hanoi is fairly easy because numerous attractions, restaurants, shopping venues, and hotels are located close to each other. The city’s local population travels mostly on motorbikes while motorcycle taxis, buses, and private cars are available for when you want to visit other districts within Hanoi.
Motorcycle Taxis (Xe Om) Travelling via motorcycle taxis is a quick and inexpensive way of getting around in Hanoi as you can find one in most parts of the city, particularly nearby hotels, shopping streets, and tourist attractions. Do note that these vehicles aren’t fitted with meters, so bargain hard, settle on the price, and fasten on your helmet before hopping onto one.
A good tip is to ask the concierge in your hotel roughly how much a particular journey should cost before you leave for the day. Xe Om rides within 2 km should be about 20,000-30,000 dong. The only downside is most drivers speak limited English, so it’s best to write down the address of your destination and show it to your driver beforehand.
Taxi A fool-proof way of getting around in Hanoi, you can easily hail a taxi on the street or request for one from the comforts of your hotel. Fitted with reliable metres, the starting price for a taxi costs between VND 10,000 and VND 12,00o, with every subsequent kilometre priced from VND 4,000 to VND 6,500.
Tips are also appreciated by taxi drivers, so just round up the meter once you’ve arrived at your destination. Some of the most reputable taxi companies in Hanoi include Taxi CP (+84 43 826 2626), 52 Taxi (+84 43 852 5252), Hanoi Taxi (+84 43 853 5353), and Mai Linh Taxi (+84 43 861 6161).
Cyclos are fairly inexpensive methods of transportation in Hanoi, costing as little as VND 150,000 for an hour-long ride. The downside to travelling via cyclo is that many Caucasians find that it only manages to fit one passenger although it’s a two-seated vehicle.
It’s also fairly daunting to navigate through busy traffic, so cyclos are better options for touring the Old Quarter's narrow streets as a quaint experience rather than a viable transport option.
Bus Hanoi is also served by local buses (decked out in red, white, and yellow) that cover regular routes within the city, most of which stopping nearby and in front of famous attractions such as Hoan Kiem Lake, The Old Quarter, Hanoi Train Station, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and The Literature Temple. Depending on the destination, a standard ticket is priced between VND 5,000 and VND 10,000 which is only payable via cash so make sure you carry smaller bills if you’re planning on travelling via bus.
4. Where to stay in Hanoi
There’s a wide range of accommodation in Hanoi. Here are a few select options from 3 start to 5 start which is always the best hotel for tourists staying in Hanoi to fell the most comfortable and also to experince the real life of local people around.
ESSENCE HANOI HOTEL - Old Quarter, 22 Tạ Hiện, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nộ 100000
Essence Palace Hotel & Spa - 27-29 Phố Gia Ngư, Old Quarter, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000
Thien Thai Hotel - 45 Nguyễn Trường Tộ, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 10000
O’gallery Classy Hotel - No 2 Ngõ Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000
La Siesta Hotel - 94 Ma May St., Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam.
Apricot Hotel - 136 Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Hotel De Lopera - 29 Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000
Sofitel Metropole Hotel - 15 Ngô Quyền Street, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000
5. Sightseeing in Hanoi
With more than a thousand years of history, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is actually the wealth of history. Travellers can easily see the temples, unique theatre and stunning wilderness on the street. You'll find places in Hanoi that reflect the full breadth of the Vietnamese cultural and historical experience. Now with our local experts, we will illustrate the top 10 places you must see in Hanoi.
The President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh) is a mausoleum which serves as the resting place of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam...
The Temple of Literature or Temple of Culture is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the Imperial Academy, Vietnam's first national university...
Hoan Kiem Lake, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword also known as Sword Lake, is a fresh water lake, measuring some 12 ha in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam...
St. Joseph's Cathedral is a church on Nha Chung (Church) Street in the Hoàn Kiếm District of Hanoi, Vietnam. It’s a late 19th-century Gothic Revival church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese...
The Trấn Quốc Pagoda in Hanoi is the oldest pagoda in the city, originally constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Emperor Lý Nam Đế (from 544 until 548), thus giving it an age of more than 1,450 years. When founded the temple was named Khai Quoc (National Founding) and was sited on the shores of the Red River, outside of the Yen Phu Dyke. When confronted with the river's encroachment, the temple was relocated in 1615 to Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) islet of Ho Tay (West Lake) where it is now situated. A small causeway links it to the mainland.
A prison was used by the French colonists in French Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. During this later period, it was known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, although the gatehouse remains as a museum.
A favorite dish of the Vietnamese people, Pho - Vietnamese noodles soup has been recommended as a "bowl of heaven". One of the most delicious foods people should discover while travelling to Vietnam. Simply a combination of broth fresh rice noodles, thinly sliced beef or chicken, with a sprinkle of aromatic herbs.
Fried Spring Roll
Vietnamese fried spring roll is one of the most popular dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. You may find people singing Vietnamese fried spring roll recipe’s praises very often because it is really a hearty, delicious yummy recipe with paper noodles, bean sprout, wood ear mushroom, egg yolk, green onions..
Egg coffee is a Vietnamese drink which is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and robusta coffee. The drink is made by beating egg yolks with sugar and coffee, then extracting the coffee into the half of the cup, followed by a similar amount of egg cream — egg yolks which are heated and beaten, or whisked.
7. Travel tips around Hanoi
Communication -- Most locals speak a few phrases of English, but don’t count on it. You could try your luck with a Vietnamese phrase book, but it’s a tonal language and so your pronunciation may not be quite up to it.
Currency -- There are around 23,000 Vietnamese dong to one U.S. dollar, so don’t freak out when the bar tab comes along. U.S. dollars are also widely accepted.
ATMs -- Cash is king and cash dispensers are everywhere. International ATMs include HSBC and ANZ Bank but many have a maximum withdrawal of VND 1 million. If you need more head to the ANZ ATM near Hoan Kiem Lake, which has a limit of VND 9.9 million.
Traffic -- When Hanoi people move, they tend to do it on scooters. And if you wait for a break in the flow of scooters when trying to cross the road, you may miss your flight home. Walk out with intent, and they will avoid you. We promise.
I hope you’ve found the article “Hanoi Travel Guide” useful and it helps you to have a great trip to Hanoi.
Enjoy yourself and ‘hen gap lai!!!’ (see you later!!!)