Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. For many years Hanoi was a French colony until it became the capital of Vietnam in 1976. Due to its geographic location the city is warm and humid almost year-round. Motorbikes and motorcycles fill the city as they are the main means of transportation. Traces of long years as a French colony are very visible in the city, from French-style buildings to restaurants serving French dishes. Among the places to visit in Hanoi are the historic city center, the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hoan Kiem Lake, Presidential Palace, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Quan Thanh Temple, and the Red River.
The 3-wheeled bicycle taxi called ‘cyclo’ is a great way to tour the city. Hanoi is also world renowned for its beautiful silk. Silk textile products are very popular among both locals and foreign visitors. The best place to buy souvenirs made from silk and other materials and electronic products are shopping malls. In particular the Garden Shopping Center, Ruby Plaza, and Trang Tien Plaza are the most popular. When in the city be careful of the traffic, which is usually irregular and unorganized. Be especially careful if you rent a car or are walking around in the city on foot.
Hanoi airport connects the country and the world with Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi. It is also the largest and busiest airport in the country. Noi Bai International Airport, the airport’s official name, is located 45 kilometres from the city centre. Many airlines like Pacific Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, and Hong Kong Airlines fly to Hanoi airport. The expectation of travellers are met thanks to the restaurants, cafes, and duty free stores inside the airport.
You can conduct your banking transactions at the airport with ease thanks to the presence of ATMs and bureau de change (currency exchange) offices. Buses, minibuses, taxis, and shuttle services are all transportation modes that can be utilized to reach the city centre. Hiring a vehicle would be a good option if you are planning to visit different areas of the city, as well as well as the historical and touristic spots in the outskirts of Hanoi. You can hire a vehicle from the airport.
In general, taxi fares are not too high in Hanoi. However, you can also share a taxi from the airport to reduce the cost of travelling to the city centre. It is advisable for travellers planning to use taxis to negotiate a price with the driver before getting into the vehicle.
If you are planning to use public transportation, it is recommended that you carry the local currency: the Vietnamese dong. Even though public transport drivers may accept dollars and euros, using the local currency is likely to be more advantageous. You can reach the city centre and the historical and touristic spots outside of the city by also using a shuttle service from the airport.
You can travel to many areas of Hanoi by using a minibus. However, it should be noted that minibuses are generally overcrowded and could be inconvenient for tourists that have little information about the city.
You can comfortably use buses that transports travelers from Noi Bai International Airport to the city centre. The bus ticket price of the journey from the airport to many central points of the city is affordable. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that buses are not the most comfortable mode of transportation in the city.
Bus routes 7 and 17 connect the airport to the city centre, and are parked outside of the airport terminal building. The journey to the city centre by bus takes approximately 1 hour, and costs 5,000 dong; equivalent to 0.3 dollars.
The buses that depart every 20 minutes operate from 05.00-22.00. Bus route 7 terminates at the Kim Ma bus station, and bus route 17 terminates at the Lon Bien bus station.
Even though it is not as cheap as bus fares, minibuses are also an economical mode of transportation in Hanoi. Minibuses that are stationed a few metres outside of the airport terminal can reach the city centre a little quicker when compared to buses. A one-way trip from the airport to the city centre will cost around 32,000 dong, which is about 2 dollars.
Minibuses stationed outside of the airport start to move only when they are full with passengers. If you are planning to reach the airport from the city centre, you can find minibuses in front of the Vietnam Airlines office in Quang Trung.
In comparison to bus and minibus fees, taxis are more expensive, but the fee of travelling with a taxi around the city is still not too high when considering the distance travelled. You can find yourself on the streets of Hanoi city centre in around 30 minutes by getting a taxi stationed outside the domestic and international terminal buildings. The taxi fares are determined by the distance travelled, and the area of the city you are planning to visit. However, on average, taxi fares are 320,000 dong; equivalent to 20 dollars.
Another mode of transportation available could be the airport shuttle services provided by hotels. Travellers are picked up from outside the airport terminal and escorted to the hotel. You must book in advance with your hotel to benefit from this service. Travellers avoid paying high taxi fares and overcrowded minibuses by booking a hotel shuttle service in advance.
There are also alternatives for travellers that wish to be transported to Noi Bai International Airport with a luxurious vehicle. By searching online, you can ensure that a luxurious vehicle will be waiting for you outside of the terminal building. Even though hiring a luxurious vehicle, including a chauffeur if required, is in general used by business travellers, you can also take advantage of this alternative.
After landing at Noi Bai International Airport, you can resume your trip by hiring a vehicle from a car rental agency. The rate for car rentals is relatively reasonable. Although there is heavy traffic in Hanoi in specific hours of the day, renting a vehicle would be a more comfortable alternative when compared to buses and minibuses. You can reach the city centre from the airport in almost 30-35 minutes with your hired vehicle by following directions.Last Updated: November 23, 2016