Want to know how to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the four ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is a natural paradise in northern Vietnam. The province is home to the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which you can find in the tranquil town of Tam Coc.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trang An boasts amazing viewpoints, limestone peaks, temples and pagodas. A boat tour along Trang An River is the most popular activity because it gives one a glimpse of traditional village life. Backdropped by rice paddies and karst mountains, Ninh Binh is a sight to behold!
Visiting Ninh Binh Province
Ninh Binh is the perfect next destination after exploring the busy city life in Hanoi. This gorgeous province boasts a number of great viewpoints, mountains, temples and pagodas to explore.
Our favourite thing to do in Ninh Binh is a boat tour that follows the river through rice paddies surrounded by karst mountains. Such a sight to behold!
Inside tip: Forget about Ninh Binh City and stay in Tam Coc!
When you travel to Ninh Binh province, we recommend staying in Tam Coc.
Ninh Binh City is busy with lots of traffic. Tam Coc, on the other hand, is a beautiful village surrounded by lime karst mountains. Here, everywhere you look is just lush green nature.
Most guesthouses in Tam Coc are located around the lake in the middle of the village or next to Tam Coc River. Imagine amazing views right from your balcony’s guesthouse. See the section at the end of this post for my favourite guesthouses in Tam Coc.
4 ways to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
There are four ways to travel the distance of 95 km (59 miles) from Hanoi to Ninh Binh: by day trip (10 hours), limo van (2h-3h), taxi (1.5 hours) and train (15m-2h16m). The journey takes between 15 minutes - 10h and the quickest way is by train. The lowest priced tickets start from 25,000 VND ($1.00) for the train.
You will find several accommodations within a walkable distance from Ninh Binh Railway Station, but we recommend continuing your journey to Tam Coc.
As there are no public buses from Ninh Binh to Tam Coc, you have two ways to complete this 15-minute journey.
If you’re not carrying a lot of luggage, you can take a motorbike taxi, which costs around 25,000 VND ($1.00) to 50,000 VND ($2.00). Otherwise, you can hail a regular taxi for about 120,000 VND ($4.90).
Hanoi to Ninh Binh by Limo Van
Starts from: 70,000 VND ($2.80)
Cost: 70,000 VND ($2.80)
The limo van is a quick and common way to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. There are several operators for this route, among which are Truly Ha Giang, Trang An Limousine, Khanh An Limousine, and Duy Khang Limousine.
Rates for a limo van seat from Hanoi to Ninh Binh start from 195,000 VND ($8.00). Travel time is 1.5 to 2 hours.
We highly recommend that you pick a van that offers free hotel pick-up or drop-off. This not only saves you the hassle of finding your way to/from van stations, but it also allows you to save additional costs on transfers.
Departure and arrival station
Most limo van companies offer free hotel pick-up in Hanoi or free drop-off in Ninh Binh or Tam Coc. Others depart and arrive at their respective offices in the two cities.
It’s best that you pick a van with the most convenient departure and arrival stations for you.
The public bus is the cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, but it is not as accessible as the limo vans.
The bus departure and arrival stations are located far from the tourist areas in both Hanoi in Ninh Binh. This means that even though a bus ticket only costs 70,000 VND ($2.80), you will most likely spend additional costs for your transfers to and from the bus stations.
We recommend taking the bus only if your hotels are located near the bus terminals. Travel time with the bus is 2-3 hours.
If you want to visit Ninh Binh in only one day, you can also join a 10-hour day trip from Hanoi.
Klook offers day trips from Hanoi to Ninh Binh starting from 727,000 VND ($29.50). This already includes roundtrip transfers, admission to sights, a visit to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, a rowboat tour along Tam Coc River, and lunch.
It’s worth noting that Tam Coc is a great place to spend slow days with nature, and is definitely worth 2 or 3 days of your itinerary when visiting Ninh Binh province.
Do you still want to go on a day trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh? Just click the link below to book a day trip via Klook.
Want to know what it feels like to stay with a Vietnamese family? Tam Coc Family Hotel really does make you feel at home with the family.
The friendly owners will tell you all of the best spots to visit in Ninh Binh, and start your day right with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. It’s a great example of why you don’t have to spend a lot for a great guesthouse.
Another plus: It’s a 1-minute walk from the Tam Coc river and drop-off point of the bus.
Do you prefer to stay at the riverside of Tam Coc? Tam Coc Bungalow has spacious bamboo bungalows right next to the Tam Coc river. Bungalows start from $32 and dorm rooms from $6.
What we really liked about this place is their open-air restuarant. From the terrace you can watch the locals paddling back to Tam Coc town during sunset and in the evening you can play a game of pool at the open restaurant area.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Hanoi to Ninh Binh?
The easiest way to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is by bus. The benefit of the bus is that it is a direct connection and some buses even provide free pick-up at your hotel. Other options are the train or taxi.
How long does it take to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh?
The journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on your mode of transport.
Should I stay in Ninh Binh or Tam Coc?
We recommend staying in Tam Coc. In this little town, you can find several beautiful guesthouses right next to the Tam Coc River. Ninh Binh is just a busy city so we don’t recommend staying in the centre of Ninh Binh.
Rounding it up
We hope this guide was helpful in planning how to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. If there's anything else you're wondering about, drop us a comment and we'll do our best to answer you within a few days.
PS: If you've recently travelled this route, share your experience with fellow travellers and help us improve this post. Thanks for helping out our travel community!
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.