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!).
Need inspiration for what to do after your visit to Hanoi? We recommend to spend a few days in the north to visit the gorgeous ricefields in Sapa. The night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai is a very convenient way to travel your way up north without wasting your valuable day time.
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How to get to Hanoi
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Hanoi Airport||1-1,5 hrs||€0,20 - €13||Hanoi Airport to Hanoi|
|Sapa||5,5-8,5 hrs||€10 - €16||Sapa to Hanoi|
|Cat Ba||3,5-4 hrs||€8 - €13||Cat Ba to Hanoi|
|Ninh Binh||2-3 hrs||€3,50 - €8||Ninh Binh to Hanoi|
|Phong Nha||6-11,5 hrs||€11,50 - €58||Phong Nha to Hanoi|
|Ho Chi Minh||2h 05min||€55||Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi|
|Hoi An||3-18,5 hrs||€14 - €38||Hoi An to Hanoi|
|Hue||3-14 hrs||€11-€23||Hue to Hanoi|
|Halong Bay||2,5-7 hrs||€14-€209||Halong Bay to Hanoi|
|Ha Giang||6 hrs||€10-€16||Ha Giang 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.
You can opt to travel to Halong Bay independent. but also book an organised tour including transport from Hanoi. We recommend to book a boat cruise incl. transport from Hanoi as you will have more choice and tours are often cheaper in Hanoi than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay.
Tours sell as cheap as €31 for a day-trip and €117 for a 2D1N cruise.
See here our 2 favourite tours from 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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