Hanoi is Vietnam’s vibrant capital, a beautiful mix of heritage and modernity.
At its heart is the Old Quarter, where just walking around will already reward you with many amazing discoveries. Composed of 36 streets, this commercial centre is bustling with cozy hotels, old residential buildings and neighbourhood cafes.
When in Hanoi, make sure to explore the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the 19th-century Gothic St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Munch on street food, lounge at one of their many coffee shops, and stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Taking a flight from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi is a no-brainer. Even including airport transfers, travelling by flight between these two busy cities only takes 4 hours.
While it is also possible to take a direct train or bus, the travel time will take over 36 hours. Just thinking about it is already exhausting!
Step 1: City Centre to Ho Chi Minh Airport by Bus
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 6,000 VND ($0.25)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 6,000 VND ($0.25)
From Ho Chi Minh city centre, you’ll have to travel some 8 km going north to get to Ho Chi Minh Airport (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). The cheapest way to do this is by bus.
Public Bus #152 can take you from Saigon centre to the airport in just around 45 minutes. These buses depart from Ben Thanh Market, just 10 minutes away by foot from the backpacker hostels of Pham Ngu Lao Street. A bus ticket costs only 6,000 VND ($0.25).
If you don’t mind spending more for a private ride, we recommend booking a private transfer with BookAway. Rates start from 260,000 VND ($11) for a 3-seater taxi from Ho Chi Minh city centre to the airport.
The flight from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi is one of the most popular routes, which means there are also many flight options. Vietjet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietravel Airlines all offer a good number of flights daily.
The plane journey from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi takes a little over 2 hours.
Flight rates range from 940,000 VND ($40) to 1,200,000 VND ($51). Do book your ticket in advance. Ticket prices can go over 2,000,000 VND ($85) during peak season or when you book very near your travel date.
Once you arrive in Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport), you’ll need to arrange transport to cross the 30 km to the city centre. You can choose from 4 options: express bus, public bus, shuttle bus, or taxi.
We recommend taking Express Bus 86 because it’s both convenient and affordable. Bus 86 picks you up from the airport and makes several stops near the Old Quarter. You should be able to easily find your hotel from the bus stop.
A ticket for Express Bus 86 costs 45,000 VND ($1.90). Travel time is less than an hour.
If you need more details, just visit our article on Hanoi Airport.
Just landed in Hanoi? In this hotel, you will get the best night of sleep you had since ages. The friendly staff will give you a warm welcome and serve a wonderful breakfast buffet the next morning! Located in the middle of the center, but completely isolated from all the noise.
For many travellers, Halong Bay is one of the highlights of Vietnam. The stunning landscape and breathtaking views over the limestone rocks look almost unreal!
To experience Halong Bay in the best way, you can book a boat cruise departing from Hanoi. Organized tours departing from Hanoi are often cheaper than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay and another advantage is that you don't need to organize your transport to get there.
We recommend to book your boat tour online to get the best prices and be certain that you book with a trusted company. I already spoke to many travellers who booked boat trips from a random agency on the street and were very disappointed by the service and conditions of this boat.
See here our recommendtion of well-rated boat cruises
Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.