When travelling the 100km distance from Ninh Binh to Hanoi, you have 2 options: you can either take the bus ($8) or the train ($4). Travel time is 2-3 hours.
There are several buses operating on this route. You can take a public bus from the main station in Ninh Binh for only 70,000 VND ($3) or book a bus or van online. We recommend booking a bus or van online as these buses pick you up in the centre of Tam Coc or Ninh Binh and drop you off in the centre of Hanoi.
We recommend to stay around the center of Tam Coc, but if you found one further away, you probably need to take a taxi to reach the bus stop. In that case, you could instead ask the driver to bring you to Ninh Binh railway station and take the train to Hanoi.
The railway station in Hanoi is a short taxi ride or 20-minute walk to the Old Quarter. Ninh Binh railway station is in the centre of Ninh Binh.
Conclusion: When you stay in Tam Coc, it is better to book the bus as you still need to get a taxi to Ninh Binh railway station.
When you are staying in Tam Coc, you can buy a bus ticket to Hanoi for about 180,000 VND ($7.50). Long Travel offers 3 bus trips daily, but you can also book a more luxurious van for a few bucks more. The advantage of taking a mini-van is that they offer free pick-ups in Ninh Binh.
Also, most buses from BookAway leave from the centre in Tam Coc or Ninh Binh and arrive in the centre of Hanoi. The journey takes about 2.5 hours by bus and 2 hours by van, depending on the traffic in Hanoi.
PRO-TIP: Use the free N26 debit card to avoid the extra fees charged by your bank. This N26 debit card is becoming very popular among travellers, because they don't charge any fees on payments in foreign currencies (most banks charge 3%-5%). New members can order one for free on the N26 website
You can also take the public bus for only 70,000 VND ($3) to Hanoi from the main bus station in Ninh Binh. However, this bus arrives at the Giap Bat bus station in Hanoi, which is still a 30min taxi drive to the centre.
Ninh Binh to Hanoi by Train
Duration: 2.5 hours Cost: 90,000 VND ($3.85)
Ninh Binh railway station is located in the centre of Ninh Binh city and takes about 15 minutes by taxi from Tam Coc. A taxi from Tam Coc to Ninh Binh railway station will cost you about 50,000 VND ($2.15).
From Ninh Binh, 4 trains leave for Hanoi daily, 1 of which leaves very early in the morning. We recommend that you take one of the following trains instead.
Train Schedule from Nihn Binh to Hanoi (Soft Seat)
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!
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