Get in Hanoi
By plane. Airport at Hanoi: Noi Bai Airport (IATA: HAN). There are two terminals: Domestic and international. The airport is located about 35 kilometres from the downtown of the city, however, it takes about more than 1 hour by taxi or car due to traffic.
By train. There are two stations at Hanoi: Hanoi Station and Gia Lam Station. Hanoi Station is located about more than 1 kilometre from the downtown and it takes about 15 - 30 minutes by taxi or car. Trains to Nanning, Beijing, China depart from Gia Lam Station. All other trains use the main Hanoi Station.
Get around Hanoi
Taxi. Caution: Some travellers have reported that taxi scams at the airport are rife. Taxi rates are very reasonable in Hanoi as long as you use a reputable company and the meter is used. Recommended taxi companies: Hanoi Group Taxi ☎ +84 4 3856 5656 and Mai Linh Taxi ☎ +84 4 3861 6161.
Grab. Grab is available in Hanoi, and generally undercuts the established taxi services.
Cyclo. A ride on a cyclo through The Old Quarter is a great way to see the city the way the locals do. Negotiate first or avoid using the cyclos services. Warning: Be careful with cameras, purses and watches while cyclo riding as these items are easily stolen by motorbike riders.
Motorbike. Motorbike taxis (xe ôm, literally hug-vehicle) are plentiful, however, always check prices before using, as most motorbikes will tell you a very high price. Make sure a driver supplies you with a helmet.
Rental car. Tiim® Travel can offer a good rate for car rental.
Eat in Hanoi
In addition to our suggestions below, Ha Noi has a huge selection of restaurants scattered around town. Your Local Guide will be happy to make some further suggestions to cater for your specific tastes. Here are some of our favorites:
• Bia Hoi Ha Noi, 50 Bat Dan (West side of the Old Quarter toward Phung Hung street). A traditional Bia Hoi (fresh beer) establishment, the beer here is supposedly of superior quality than found elsewhere. The food is excellent which is why it is so popular with the locals. It can be hard to find seating, the trick is to go after 1:30pm when the locals are heading back to work.
• Bun Cha, 1 Hang Manh, 67 Duong Thanh (Old Quarter near Hang Da market), ☎ 01697776666, . 08:00-19:00. some rate this as one of the best examples of Bun Cha in Hanoi, and therefore Vietnam (apparently in the south, Bun Cha is specifically advertised as Hanoi-style).
• Club Opera Novel: Housed in French colonial grandeur, Club Opera Novel sets a new standard for authentic Vietnamese cuisine. 17 Trang Tien Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3972 8001. Open 11:00am to 2:00pm and 6:00pm to 11:30pm.
• Wild Lotus restaurant & Lounge: Relax in comfortable ambience with soothing background music piped quietly through the venue. The extensive menu offers Asian favorites and classic Vietnamese food like spring rolls and spicy pumpkin soup with a contemporary spin. In addition to the standards, the vegetarian options get rave reviews. 55A Nguyen Du Str., Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3943 9342. Open 11:00am -10:30pm.
• Pots 'n Pans Restaurant: Innovative Vietnamese cuisine infused with international flair. A fine-dining restaurant & lounge bar brought to you by a group of former street and disadvantaged youth from Hanoi’s own KOTO Training Program now rising stars of the Vietnamese food scene. 57 Bui Thi Xuan Str., Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3944 0204. Open 11:00am till late.
• Pho ngon 37 Restaurant: Pho ngon 37 fuses the spirit of the 36 streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter with modern dishes. With nearly 300 authentic items from the Northern, Central and Southern regions to choose from, there is a dish for every palate. Floor 5, Indochina plaza, 241 Xuan Thuy Str., Cau Giay, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3795 4042. Open 10:00am to 10:30pm.
• Restaurant Bobby Chinn: Without a doubt one of the more hip dining experiences of Hanoi. The interior alone is worth a look, while the menu is delightfully eclectic. 77 Xuan Dieu Str., Tay Ho, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3795 4042. Open 10:00am to 10:30pm.
• Press Club: Fine dining with western cuisine and a good selection of wines. 59 A Ly Thai To Str., Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3934 0888. Open 10:00-22:30.
• French Grill Restaurant: Inspired by classics & grill favorites, the buzz of an open kitchen and nine seat seafood bar serve up a unique dining experience. Try the Cote de Boeuf - a great value for money. JW Marriott® Hanoi, 8 Do Duc Duc Str., Tu Liem, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3833 5588. Open 5:30pm to 10:30pm.
• Bluebird Wine Cellar & Restaurant: Along with their internationally awarded wines, there is a fully stocked bar with cocktails and a wide selection of beers. The menu features imported steaks, fresh salads and divine desserts. 7 Xuan Dieu Str., Ho Tay, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3722 4165. Open 9:00am to 11:00pm.
Drink in Hanoi
• Swing Lounge: Its lounge and coffee bar efficiently serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, caffeinated beverages and other drinks. 21 Trang Tien Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3824 5395. Open 7:00am to 11:30pm.
• Chime Bar: This is the only bar in town that can legally stay open late until 1:00am. K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu Str., Tay Ho, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3719 9000 Ext. 7120. Open 5:00pm to 1:00am (Sun to Thu), 5:00pm to 2:00am (Fri to Sat).
• Coffee Club: An iconic bar with panoramic views of Hoan Kiem Lake. Unwind with a glass of beer or have a cocktail specially made by their charming bartenders while enjoying sunset on this rooftop bar. 3B Le Thai To Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3938 1168. Open 4:00pm till late.
• The Rooftop: Dine indoors or out and indulge in scrumptious breakfast offerings or a romantic candlelit dinner. Dance the night away to resident and guest DJs and live musical performances. 19 fl. Pacific Place, 83B Ly Thuong Kiet Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. ☎ (4) 3946 1901. Open 9:00am till late.
• OST. Center: One of the newest trendy club for locals and expats in Hanoi, great staff and good crowd for a good night. Also a nice place to chill for coffee during day time. 15 Dao Duy Tu Str., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. ☎ (9) 1596 6668.
• Cafe 69, 69 Ma May St (opposite Friendly Hotel). Good place to eat Western food in the heart of the Old Quarter, although some travellers find it expensive and the food inferior quality.
See in Hanoi
• Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read Vietnam's Declaration of Independence from the spot where the mausoleum now stands. No photography is allowed inside the building and appropriate dress (no shorts or miniskirts) is required. 08:00am-11:00am. Closed Mondays & Fridays. Last entrance 10:15.
• Ho Chi Minh Museum: This gleaming white museum and its gloriously ham-handed iconography are the perfect chaser to the solemnity of the mausoleum. 19 Ngoc Ha Str., Ba Dinh, Ha Noi. ☎ (4) 3846 3572. 8:00-11:30am, 2pm-4pm, closed Monday & Friday afternoons.
• Ho Chi Minh’s house: Built as a representation of a traditional stilt house in 1958 for then-president Ho Chi Minh. The simple, but elegant house contains only a bedroom and study. 7:30-11:30am & 2:00pm-4:30pm, closed Monday and Friday afternoons.
• One-Pillar Pagoda: The original Buddhist pagoda was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong to mark the birth of his heir after a dream in which a goddess gave him a son floating on a lotus. Ong Ich Khiem str., Ha Noi. 6:00am-11:00am and 2:00pm-5:00pm.
• Temple of Literature: Vietnam's first university, the oldest sections of Van Mieu date from 1070, but only four of the interlocking courtyards survived French bombing. Though it hasn't been a university for hundreds of years, students cramming for exams still come here to pray for good grades. 58 Quoc Tu Giam Str., Ba Dinh, Ha Noi. 7:30am to 5:30pm. Admission VND 20,000.
• Old Quarter: Like the Minotaur's maze, the 36 streets that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter are famously difficult to navigate. This section of the city has a 1,000-year-old history of commerce and though much has changed, items are still sold by category with entire streets dedicated to single items. For travelers looking to experience a taste of nightlife, the Old Quarter houses countless bars and is the center of backpacker activity.
• Hoa Lo Prison: Referred to ironically as the 'Hanoi Hilton' by American POWs, Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 and used to house Vietnamese political prisoners. John McCain, American Senator, was a prisoner here for six years after his plane crashed in Truc Bach Lake. 1 Hoa Lo Str., Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi. 8:00am to 5:00pm. Admission VND 20,000.
• West Lake & Tran Quoc Pagoda: With a shoreline of 17km, Ho Tay (West Lake) is the capital's largest lake. Tran Quoc pagoda is Hanoi's oldest Buddhist temple and dates back to the 6th century.
• Perfume Pagoda: This complex of Buddhist pagodas and shrines built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich Mountain is extremely popular among Vietnamese tourists and Buddhist pilgrims. Note: Hawkers here can be particularly aggressive, sometimes trailing visitors all the way to the top. 60 km southwest of Hanoi. Admission applied and changed regularly.
Shopping in Hanoi
Hang Gai Street (Silk Street): This street is famous in Hanoi as the best place to pick up some high quality, fashionable silk items, such as dresses, apparel and home furnishings, as well as other fashion items.
Hanoi weekend night market: The Weekend Night Market in Hanoi is a busy, bustling gathering of stalls and vendors that brings crowds in droves. Taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 19:00, the market runs through the Old Quarter, starting from Hang Dao Street and running north to the edge of Dong Xuan Market.
Trang Tien Plaza: Trang Tien Plaza is where Hanoi’s rich and famous come to shop for luxury items and international designer goods. This shopping mall is spread out over five floors with leading fashion brands such as Cartier, Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna and Louis Vuitton occupying the ground floor, electronics and home furnishings spread out over the second and third floors and a supermarket on the fourth floor which stocks many international goods.
We trust that your stay here will be enjoyable and rewarding. This brief guide has been produced to assist you during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Of course if you have further inquiries, we would be happy to assist you directly.