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How to get to Hanoi?

Hanoi, the vibrant and historic capital city of Vietnam, is a captivating destination known for its rich culture, bustling streets, and stunning landmarks.

Whether planning an international adventure or a domestic excursion, this guide will provide you with the essential information and travel tips to navigate your journey to this enchanting city.

We’ve got you covered, from arriving at Noi Bai International Airport to exploring alternative transportation options.

Let’s journey to Hanoi, where centuries of tradition meet modern allure.

How to get to Hanoi

Getting to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, can be done by various means of transportation, including air, train, bus, or even by boat if you’re coming from a nearby region.

The most common way to reach Hanoi, especially traveling from abroad, is by flying into Noi Bai International Airport.

Here are the steps for getting to Hanoi by air:

Book a Flight

Start by booking a flight to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), about 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Hanoi’s city center. You can check for flight options and fares from your location to Hanoi on various online travel booking websites or through airlines.

Arriving at Noi Bai Airport

Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will go through immigration and customs if traveling internationally. 

Ensure you have all the required travel documents, including a valid passport, visa (if needed), and any other necessary permits.

Transportation from the Airport to Hanoi

To get to the city center from Noi Bai Airport, you have several options:

Private Minibuses

The budget traveler’s chariots! Before embarking on this adventure, double-check the fare – typically around 30,000 VND, a true steal.

These minibusses are the darlings of the locals, and they don’t hang around. As soon as the seats are filled, they’re off like a shot, which usually happens swiftly.

The journey may include pit stops to drop off fellow passengers.

While we can’t pinpoint your precise drop-off spot, it’s usually central enough for a stroll or a quick taxi to your final destination.

Flexibility is your best friend on this ride, and when it comes to language, let’s say it’s a symphony of gestures and smiles.

Airline Shuttle Bus

Are you flying into Hanoi? Let the airlines have your back with their transfer services! Jetstar offers a bright orange, comfy coach ride for a mere 30,000 VND.

When we hopped on, they even dropped us off at the Sofitel Plaza upon request, close to Truc Bach Lake.

But if you’re up for more adventure, the coach’s final stop is their office on Tran Quang Khai, east of Hoan Kiem Lake.

It’s a walkable distance for the high-energy crowd, but a quick taxi ride will do most.

Just a word of caution – watch out for those potentially quirky meters on taxis from this pickup spot.

Vietnam Airlines offers a transfer service at the exact cost, but it’s a bit more of a snug fit on their minibus.

The upside? They’ll deposit you conveniently on Quang Trung Street, just southwest of Hoan Kiem Lake and across from their main office.

If your luggage is playing heavy, a taxi to your hotel is a wise choice, though if you’re bunking near St. Joseph’s Cathedral, you might fancy a leisurely walk.

Airport Taxi

Beware of the airport taxi hustle – a not-so-warm welcome committee of opportunistic drivers may lurk around, ready to take you for a financial joyride.

If one of these free-spirited individuals approaches you, offer a polite but firm “no, thank you” and stride purposefully toward the official taxi stand outside.

Multiple reputable taxi companies operate here, displaying their fares on a prominent board.

The standard rate for a four-seater car for the entire vehicle, not per person, should be a reasonable 380,000-450,000 VND.

You don’t need to dig deeper into your pockets; purchase your ticket at the stand for the posted price and join the line.

That fare should already cover the toll, so you don’t need anything extra.


You can also use the Grab app to book a cab from the airport to your hotel.

Please be aware that there is no Uber in Hanoi or Vietnam.

Private Transfer

Many hotels offer airport pickup services so that you can arrange a private transfer in advance.

Public Bus

For budget-conscious travelers, the public bus is your penny-pinching passage from the airport to Hanoi.

The trusty Numbers 7 and 17 are your chariots of thrift. They pick up passengers right at Arrival for around 7,000 – 9,000 VND. The fare is printed conspicuously by the bus door.

A word to the wise: have smaller notes handy, as the driver might not have change for larger bills.

Once on board, Number 7’s final stop is Kim Ma bus station.

From there, a taxi ride awaits, typically around 35,000 VND.

The cost may fluctuate depending on the taxi size and your specific destination.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a motorbike taxi. You can bargain for 20,000 VND, but be ready to settle for 30,000 VND.

Number 17, on the other hand, concludes its journey at Long Bien bus station, just north of the Old Quarter, and runs every 15 or 20 minutes between 5:30 and 22:30.

It’s a brisk 20-minute walk to hotels or a quick taxi hop on that side of town.

Frugality never felt so good! 🚌💰🏨

Express Bus

All aboard the “Express Hopper 86”!

This snazzy bus doesn’t follow your typical schedule – it’s on island time, running whenever it pleases between 6:18 and 22:58. You’ll find it chillin’ at Domestic Terminal 1 and then making an international appearance at Terminal 2.

And the cost? Around 45,000 VND!

So, whether you’re a jet-setter or just a hop-around-the-city enthusiast, this bus has got you covered – make sure you catch it when it’s in the mood!

Save time & money and book attractions & tours now:

Travel by Train

If you are already in Vietnam or a neighboring country, you can also consider taking a train to Hanoi.

You’ll find Hanoi’s primary train station conveniently positioned at the cusp of Hoan Kiem’s center and Ba Dinh district, right on Le Duan Street.

To easily reach this transportation hub, follow the western trail of Ly Thuong Kiet, and you’ll arrive directly at the station’s doorstep.

From Vietnam, you can get to Hanoi by train from cities like Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City.

The train station complex comprises two distinct sections: Station A, serving trains departing southward, and Station B, catering to those heading north.

Despite their proximity on opposite sides of the tracks, there’s no direct pedestrian link between them. You’ll need to navigate the streets surrounding the block to traverse between the two.

Remember that train schedules can be subject to logistical adjustments, and a train scheduled for one station might occasionally be rerouted to the other.

To avoid any last-minute stress, even if you’ve received specific station instructions, arriving with ample time to make the station switch is a good idea.

The process is relatively quick, but the situation can be somewhat bewildering without proper preparation.

Sapa-bound travelers typically set their course for Station B, as Sapa lacks a railway station. Instead, the trains stop in the nearby town of Lao Cai, approximately 40 kilometers away.

From Lao Cai station to the enchanting Sapa, you can hop on a regular shuttle service for around $2 or opt for the convenience of jeeps and moto-taxis.

The journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai covers a distance of just under 300 kilometers and typically spans nine to ten hours. The night trains, with departure times at 20:35, 21:10, and 21:50 (identified as SP trains 7, 1, and 3), reach Lao Cai at 4:55, 5:25, and 6:15, respectively.

Expect to travel in the dark, so the views from your window will be veiled until morning. The so-called ‘hard sleeper’ class might sound less comfortable than it is; it provides a reasonably cozy setup with a thin mattress and a thick blanket.

Most fellow travelers we’ve encountered have had restful journeys in these bunks.

A hard sleeper bunk with air conditioning typically ranges from 355,000 to 450,000 VND, while soft sleeper bunks with air conditioning are priced at around 515,000 VND. Rest easy; you’ll arrive refreshed!

Train from China

In 2008, the exciting era of international rail travel between Beijing, China, and Hanoi, Vietnam commenced.

Before you embark on this cross-border adventure, ensure your visa arrangements are all squared away.

A helpful tip: when discussing your journey in Vietnamese, remember that Beijing goes by the name “Bac Kinh,” and Nanning is referred to as “Nam Ninh.”

The Beijing-bound trains operate exclusively on Tuesdays and Fridays, with departures from Hanoi’s Train Station A scheduled for 18:30.

After a captivating 43-hour voyage, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Beijing at approximately 12:00.

This enchanting journey typically comes with a price tag of around $350. All aboard for an international rail experience like no other! 🚄🌏💼

Travel by Bus

Buses are another option for reaching Hanoi. You can find long-distance buses from various cities and regions in Vietnam.

The quality of buses and travel time can vary, so it’s essential to research and choose a reputable bus company.

Bus StationDestinations OfferedDeparture TimesFares (Approx.)Duration
My Dinh Bus StationBac Ha, Bac Kan (for Ba Be Nat’l Park), Bai Chay (Halong Bay), Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Mai Chau, Mong Cai, Nho Quan (for Cuc Phuong Nat’l Park), Ninh Binh, Son La, Thanh Hoa, VinhVaries based on destination40,000 – 450,000 VND2 – 10 hours
Southern Bus TerminalHa Tinh, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue/Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Quanh Binh, Vientiane, VinhVaries based on destination130,000 – 920,000 VND2 – 16 hours
Gia Lam Bus StationHai Phong, Hon Gai (Halong City), Lao Cai, Lang Son, Mong Cai, Thai BinhVaries based on destination65,000 – 300,000 VND2 – 9 hours

Buses to Hanoi from other countries

For those venturing to Laos, night buses set off at 18:30, bound for Vientiane, and you might arrange convenient hotel pickup services.

Tickets can be secured at various hotels and travel agencies, typically priced at $35 for the 22-hour journey.

Remember to secure your Laos visa in advance to avoid any hiccups.

Opting for direct ticket purchase at the Southern Bus Terminal could save you approximately $7.

It’s essential to note that while the roads remain relatively smooth until you cross into Laos, the pace slows down considerably, and the journey becomes more accident-prone.

Previous through-bus options have diminished, meaning you’ll likely need to switch buses at the border, possibly incurring additional costs.

Failing to do so could leave you stranded in unfamiliar territory. If flying is an option, it’s a more reliable choice.

If you travel overland, consider routes other than the direct one from Hanoi, Dong Ha, or Vinh to Vientiane for a smoother journey. Unfortunately, there are currently no direct buses to Luang Prabang.

For those headed to China, buses to China operate from the opposite side of the street, just across from the Hong Ha Tourism office at the hotel bearing the same name, located on the western bank of the Red River along Tran Quang Khai.

These buses offer air-conditioned comfort and make regular stops for restrooms and meals. Tickets typically cost around $30.

It’s advisable to purchase your ticket a day in advance and ensure your Chinese visa is ready for inspection.

Buses depart at two different times: 07:30 and 09:30, arriving in Nanning at 15:00 and 17:00, respectively, on the same day. Safe travels on this cross-border journey!

Save time & money and book a hotel in Hanoi now:

Where do you fly into for Hanoi?

When flying to Hanoi, you will arrive at the main airport, Noi Bai International Airport (IATA code: HAN).

Noi Bai International Airport is approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Hanoi’s city center.

It is the primary international gateway to the city and the northern region of Vietnam.

Most international flights to Hanoi and domestic flights from other cities within Vietnam land at Noi Bai International Airport.

You can easily access the city center from the airport through various transportation options, including taxis, shuttle buses, and private transfers.

What is the best airline to travel to Vietnam?

The “best” airline for traveling to Vietnam can vary depending on your preferences, budget, and travel circumstances.

Several reputable airlines offer flights to Vietnam, and the best choice for you may depend on factors like your departure location, travel class preferences, and the level of service you seek.

Here are some well-regarded airlines that commonly serve international travelers flying to Vietnam:

  1. Vietnam Airlines: As the national flag carrier of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines offers a comprehensive network of international and domestic flights. They provide a range of travel classes, including Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class. It’s a good choice for a direct flight to Vietnam from various international destinations.

  2. Singapore Airlines: Singapore Airlines is known for its exceptional service and extensive global network. They often offer convenient connections to Vietnam through their hub at Singapore Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines is a popular choice for travelers looking for comfort and reliability.

  3. Cathay Pacific: Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, is another highly regarded airline with a solid regional presence. They offer flights to several major airports in Vietnam, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The airline is known for its quality service and comfortable seating.

  4. Emirates: Emirates, based in Dubai, offers flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with a stopover in Dubai. They are known for their modern aircraft, entertainment systems, and luxurious amenities, making them an excellent choice for travelers who value comfort and entertainment during their journey.

  5. Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways is another airline with a global reach and offers flights to multiple cities in Vietnam via Doha. They are renowned for their high-quality service and modern aircraft.

  6. Thai Airways: Thai Airways, the national carrier of Thailand, offers flights to multiple destinations in Vietnam with stopovers in Bangkok. It’s a popular choice for travelers coming from or connecting through Thailand.

  7. ANA (All Nippon Airways): ANA, based in Japan, provides flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They are known for their punctuality and high-quality service.

When choosing the best airline for your trip to Vietnam, consider factors such as your departure location, budget, travel class preferences, and any loyalty program affiliations you may have.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to compare prices, flight schedules, and customer reviews to find the airline that best suits your needs and expectations.

Airlines and destinations that fly to Hanoi

AirlineDestinations Served
Aero MongoliaUlaanbaatar
AirAsiaKuala Lumpur–International
Air MacauMacau
All Nippon AirwaysTokyo–Narita
Asiana AirlinesSeoul–Incheon
Bamboo AirwaysVarious domestic and international destinations
Batik Air MalaysiaKuala Lumpur–International
Cambodia Angkor AirPhnom Penh, Siem Reap
Cathay PacificHong Kong
Cebu PacificManila
China AirlinesTaipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern AirlinesKunming, Shanghai–Pudong
China Southern AirlinesGuangzhou, Shenzhen
Chongqing AirlinesChongqing
EVA AirTaipei–Taoyuan
Fly GangwonYangyang
HK ExpressHong Kong
Hong Kong AirlinesHong Kong
Japan AirlinesTokyo–Narita
Jeju AirSeoul–Incheon
Korean AirSeoul–Incheon
Lao AirlinesLuang Prabang, Vientiane
Malaysia AirlinesKuala Lumpur–International
Myanmar Airways InternationalYangon
Pacific AirlinesVarious domestic and international destinations
Philippine AirlinesManila
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Qingdao AirlinesZhangjiajie
Shenzhen AirlinesShenzhen
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
Starlux AirlinesTaipei–Taoyuan
Thai AirAsiaBangkok–Don Mueang, Chiang Mai
Thai Airways InternationalBangkok–Suvarnabhumi (resumes 29 October 2023)
Thai Lion AirBangkok–Don Mueang
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
T’way AirDaegu, Seoul–Incheon
VietJet AirVarious domestic and international destinations
Vietnam AirlinesVarious domestic and international destinations
VASCO (operated by Vietnam Airlines)Various domestic destinations
Vietravel AirlinesVarious domestic and international destinations
Xiamen AirXiamen

In Conclusion

Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam, is a city that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe.

Getting here is an adventure, with various transportation options to suit every budget and travel style.

Whether you fly into Noi Bai International Airport, embark on an epic train journey, hop on a bus to explore the country’s scenic landscapes, or take to the road alone, Hanoi welcomes you with open arms.

As you navigate to this enchanting city, be prepared to encounter the warmth of the people, savor the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine, and immerse yourself in its rich culture and history.

With this guide in hand, your journey to Hanoi is not just a destination; it’s a transformative experience waiting to unfold.

So, pack your bags, follow the path that suits you best, and get ready to embrace the heart and soul of Hanoi!

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Picture of Matan Cohen
Matan Cohen

Hey there! I'm Matan, an avid lover of Hanoi. In my free time, you can usually find me exploring the city's vibrant streets, sampling the delicious local cuisine, or immersing myself in the diverse culture of Vietnam.

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2-Day Sa Pa Tour from Hanoi (with Homestay & Trekking)
About Me

Hey, I’m Matan! As a passionate, thrill-seeking traveler, I instantly connected with Hanoi.

From the bustling streets and flavorful street food to the unique culture and vibrant nightlife – this dynamic city held something new and exciting around every corner.

Exploring further revealed hidden gems – peaceful parks, colorful temples, friendly locals – that truly made it a place I wanted to call home.

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