What to do in Hanoi?
Hanoi is a very vibrant city which is definitely worth to visit for a few days. It’s the second largest city in Vietnam and that is also why the busy roads and traffic can be overwhelming for some.
However, Hanoi is still more relaxed than Ho Chi Minh. There are several museums, ancient pagodas, parks and lakes to escape from Hanoi’s busy traffic. The wide streets, the large villas and the Vietnamese baguette (Banh Mi) still reflect the influence from the France occupation from 1873 to 1940.
Most people stay in the Old Quarter of Hanoi as this location is in the middle of the center and in walking distance from many sights in Hanoi. When you stay in this area, you will experience the Vietnamese culture from the moment you walk out of your hotel.
You can spend your days visiting the Hoan Kiem Lake and the French Hoa Lo Prison or the monumental Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. At night, you can wander around the night market and try some local Vietnamese food (Bun Cha!).
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How to get there
Shuttle bus: 1h 15min, 40.000 VND (€1,50)
Public bus: 1h 30min, 5.000 VND (€0,20)
1 hour, 200.000-350.000 VND (€7-€13)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel to and from Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai).
8,5 hours, 415.000 VND (€16)
5,5 hours, 256.000 VND (€10)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Sapa to Hanoi.
3,5 hours, 200.000 VND (€8)
4 hours excl transit, 340.000 VND (€13)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Cat Ba to Hanoi.
2-3 hours, 210.000 VND (€8)
2,5 hours, 110.000 VND (€4)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Ninh Binh to Hanoi.
8,5 hours, 300.000 VND (€11,50)
11,5 hours, 670.000 VND (€26)
6 hours, 1.453.000 VND (€56)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Phong Nha to Hanoi.
2h 05min, 1.077.000 VND (€41,50)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi.
3 hours, 652.000 VND (€25)
18,5 hours, 730.000 VND (€28)
16h 30min, 360.000 VND (€13)
See our step-by-step guide of how to travel from Hoi An to Hanoi.
My favourite places to stay in Hanoi
Looking for a room in the middle of the Old Quarter? Ancient Lane Hotel offers very clean rooms nicely decorated with ancient attributes. The hosts Thuy and Tuan will make sure you'll have a great stay!
Double room from: €26
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.
Double rooms with city view from: €38
Visiting Halong Bay
Halong Bay and Cat Ba are one of the highlights of Vietnam. From both locations, you can make beautiful boatrips and cruise through the beautiful landscape filled with karst mountains.
However, we don't have a description of how to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay, because we think it's easier and cheaper to book a tour incl transport from Hanoi.
Tours sell as cheap as €31 for a day-trip and €117 for a 2D1N cruise.
See here our 2 favourete tours to Halong Bay:
*Both tours include free pick-up and drop-off in Hanoi.
If you have a few extra days to spend, you can also visit Lan Ha Bay from Cat Ba. But if you are short in time, Halong Bay is definitely a better option.
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