VietnamHanoiA Guide to Getting around in Hanoi for Tourists

A Guide to Getting around in Hanoi for Tourists

One of the things that worries tourists most about coming to Vietnam is the traffic situation. Hanoi has many means of transport, but if you are not native or unfamiliar with the traffic here, you will have a lot of difficulties traveling between places. This guide to getting around in Hanoi below will introduce you to some of the most popular means of transport in Hanoi, along with their pros and cons.

Getting Around in Hanoi: Walking

Pros: Walking is the cheapest type of transportation in Hanoi. In such a crowded city with many small alleys, especially the Old Quarter area, walking will be the optimum type of travel so you can easily explore every corner. It’s highly recommended that you walk in the Old Quarter Area and around the two biggest lakes of Hanoi – West Lake and Hoan Kiem Lake. One thing to note: when walking, you must walk on the right side of the road. And not every place in Hanoi has a pedestrian line, so you should raise your hand toward the vehicles’ direction to give the signal that you’re crossing the road.

Check out our guide to Cross The Street in Vietnam.

Cons: Walking is not appropriate if you frequently move between locations far away from each other. Sometimes, walking also causes trouble, like fraudulent hawkers. Besides, the weather in Hanoi—which is either scorching hot or freezing cold—may frustrate the joy of strolling on the streets.

Getting Around in Hanoi: Bicycle

Pros: Cycling is ideal for exploring every corner of Hanoi. Cycling on the roads around West Lake or Hoan Kiem Lake is also a unique experience for visitors who want to enjoy the beauty of these areas.

Cons: With hot weather and the bad traffic in Hanoi, bicycles will not be the optimal choice for moving between locations far away from each other. Bicycle rents in the area near Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake are not cheap, ranging from US $ 1.5 – US $ 2 / hour.

Getting Around in Hanoi: Cyclo

Pros: Cyclo is an excellent type of transport if you want to visit the most famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. On a cyclo, at a slow traveling speed, you can freely enjoy the city’s beauty.

Cons: The cost for a cyclo ride is not very cheap, usually ranging from US $5 – US $10 per person, and you are likely to encounter a scam. Read more on Cyclo Scam in Vietnam.

Getting Around in Hanoi: Motorcycles

Pros: Motorcycles are convenient transportation if you want to travel between multiple locations. In Hanoi, there are also many places to rent motorbikes at affordable prices, about US $4 / day.

Cons: If you are unfamiliar with the streets here, riding a motorbike will make it difficult for you to reach the destination easily. Also, the heavy traffic at rush hour will hinder your trip.

See out tips for Motorcycle Riding in Hanoi

Getting Around in Hanoi: Motorbike Taxi

Pros: No different from using a motorbike, but you can sit back and relax on the back seat. In Hanoi, there are two types of motorbike taxis, including traditional motorbike taxis and hi-tech motorbike taxis. For the traditional type, you can find a driver almost anywhere, especially near tourist attractions and bus stops. However, the price is slightly higher than that of hi-tech motorbike taxis, and you also run the risk of being scammed. Hi-tech motorbike taxis such as Grab and Gojek are more credible services that inform the price prior to your booking as well as a map to track your journey.

Cons: Most of the drivers are non-English speakers, which poses quite a challenge for foreign visitors. If you call a traditional motorbike, you have to negotiate with the driver before the ride to avoid scams.

Getting Around in Hanoi: Taxi

Pros: Taxis are a prevalent type of transport in Vietnam. In Hanoi, you can easily catch a taxi, whether it’s a traditional taxi or a tech taxi. Taxi quality in Hanoi is also quite good, so you do not need to worry much when choosing a taxi to travel.

Cons: Traveling by taxi at rush hour will make you stuck in the heavy traffic for quite a long time. If traveling regularly by this type of transport, the fares are not a joke at all. Not to mention that it will be so hard to catch a tech taxi at night as the price will go through the roof. If you have to travel in the evening, it is highly recommended you choose a traditional taxi with a fixed price. Some famous taxi companies that provide good service are Mai Linh Taxi and Vic Taxi.

  • Mai Linh Taxi: (024) 38 333333 – (024) 38 616161 – (024) 3 8222666.
  • Vic Taxi: 04 38 230230

Getting Around in Hanoi: Buses

Pros: With the wide coverage of the network, if you travel by bus, you can travel to almost everywhere in the city. The quality of Hanoi buses has also been greatly improved, so you don’t have to worry much about this type of travel. The bus fare is cheap at only about VND 7,000 – VND 10,000 / ride. While taking the bus, you can do sightseeing too.

Cons: Bus travel will not be a wise choice when traveling at rush hours because of the endless time waiting for the bus as well as the traveling time. Besides, the bus is often way too crowded with students leaving schools and officers leaving offices at these hours.

If it is your first time in Hanoi, find your tickets on 12GoAsia to travel around and outside of the city

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To Wrap Up the Guide to Getting Around in Hanoi

Choosing a type of transport in Hanoi has never been easy, but it’s not that hard if you understand the pros and cons of each one and determine your purposes when traveling. Consider carefully before choosing one, and enjoy your safe yet exciting trip in Hanoi.

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