Hanoi Transportation

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is one of the most popular cities in the nation – and often the first stop for tourists coming to the country coming from overseas. City of the picturesque pagodas, stunning museums, and calming lakes – Hanoi is beautiful beyond doubt.

Tourists coming to the city can opt between taxis or buses for sightseeing. Apart from that, visitors can opt for tuk-tuks, or some other modes of transport suitable to their budget. While cabs are often the fastest mode of Hanoi transportation for city ride, but it was mostly expensive. However, budget travelers can hire bikes for sightseeing, but exercising caution while driving on busy Hanoi streets is recommended.

Here are some of the common modes of transport visitors can take while in the city.

See more about Vietnam Transportation

1. Taxis in Hanoi

There are several reliable cab agencies offering metered cabs, charging reasonable fare for completing the trip. Usually the base fare for the cabs start from VND20,000 for 2 km (1.2 mi), and increase by VND15,000 post that distance. Few dodgy cab operators temper the meter, or prefer traveling on flat rate. Most cab drivers are not fluent in English, and could charge exorbitant fee for the ride.

Hanoi Taxi
Hanoi Taxi

★ Some of the recommended cab companies in the operational in Hanoi include:
• Mai Linh Taxi
• Hanoi Taxi
• Thanh Nga Taxi
• Taxi CP
• Van Xuan

Nowadays, app-based taxis like Grab and Uber are available for Hanoi transportation.

★ Few things to remember while boarding a cab in Hanoi:
a. Always opt for either app-based taxis or recommended cab companies for transit.
b. Cab drivers prefer cash as payment.
c. Refrain from paying the taxi fare in bigger denomination, you might seldom get change back.
d. Most cab drivers are not fluent in English, so it is better to show them the written address instead of dictating the destination.

2. Bicycle Rickshaws

Another mode of popular Hanoi transportation in the Old Quarter is the bicycle rickshaw or the ever popular cyclo. One of the cultural symbols of the city, the cyclos can be ideal for traveling shorter distances within the city. These small rickshaws are ideal for slow rides, when you have plenty of time at hand. Passengers often sit in front of the cycle rickshaw. 

Usually these rickshaws charge around VND50, 000 for the ride. However, night rides typically cost more. Most cyclo drivers are not fluent in English, so take a map for easy navigation.

★ Note to the traveler:
a. Often travelers complain how cyclo drivers overcharged them on the ride. Most recommend to prefix the fare before sitting in the cycle, a sticking to it post the ride.
b. Cash is preferred mode of transaction.
c. Tip is always appreciated by these riders – a small amount could be enough for them.
d. Rider often hate to hand out the change, so pay in small bills.

Hanoi Cyclo
Hanoi Cyclo
Hanoi Motorbike
Motorbike in Hanoi for Rent

3. Motorcycle Taxi

One of the most commonly found mode of transportation on the streets of Hanoi, xe om or motorbike taxi is an adventure ride in its own ride. The passengers hung to the drivers, while they whiz through the busy streets of Hanoi.

Usually, the xe om charges around VND16, 000 to VND20, 000 for the ride depending upon the distance covered.

★ Notes to Passengers Boarding the xe om
a. Most xe om drivers wear green helmets making them easy to spot.
b. Negotiating the fare before the ride is recommended.
c. Some xe om drivers do not carry additional helmets for the passengers – it is better to not ride with them.

4. Renting a Cycle or Scooter

Travelers trying to explore the city at a slow pace can rent the cycles from the Old Quarter guesthouses for an amount as low as US$3 to US$5. You can book the mountain bikes one day in advance for the hilly terrains surrounding the city. The Hanoi Bicycle Collective organized regular rides in the nearby region, suitable for travel hungry thrill seekers.

Other option for Hanoi transportation includes buses which charge around VND3, 000 for the ticket. The Xe Buyt Ha Noi – the Hanoi bus map – available for VND5, 000 from the local bookshops. Apart from that, an eight-line metro system is under construction. It can improve the connectivity to the airport and other major landmarks of the city.

How to Get out of Hanoi?

Hanoi Airport
Hanoi Airport

Air Travel

Passengers traveling to Hanoi or coming from the city can opt for air transport. The Noi Bai International Airport, around 30 km (19 mi) from the main city center. Travelers can hire a cab to cover the distance, or hop on the buses or hotel airport transfer to complete the ride. Although the taxi rides are expensive, you can expect to reach the destination on time to catch the flight.

Train Travel

Train is one of the most convenient modes of Hanoi transportation for locals as well as travelers. Cities like Ha Long Bay and Sapa are accessible via Hanoi – and can be accessed via trains or flights. The primary railway station at the Le Duan, offers trains to cities like Saigon, Sapa, and several cities in China. Tickets are sold at the Counter 2, and Counter 13. It is recommended to purchase the tickets in advance for convenience.

See more about Hanoi Train Station

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- Last updated on Apr. 19, 2021 -