Although Hanoi is among the top destinations for a luxurious getaway in Vietnam, there are still many affordable experiences in the capital of Vietnam to explore all the magnificent attractions and learn about the unique cultural traits. Below are some tips for enjoying the trip to Hanoi without worrying about spending big bucks!
Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi #1: Accommodations
One of the most effective ways to save money right from the beginning is to choose a reasonably-priced accommodation. Hanoi offers many boutique hotels with five-star services, but Budget-friendly Hotels in Hanoi still provide adequate basic amenities and are highly recommended for cost-conscious travelers.
Homestays are currently blooming in Hanoi among international visitors. They are available almost everywhere – from the city center to the suburbs, and vary in concepts, such as a sharehouse or a dormitory (dorm stay). Homestays in Hanoi share the common advantages of being cheap and clean with good services, bringing a warm and friendly atmosphere.
A dorm stay is a cheap yet comfortable type of accommodation
However, one of the disadvantages of a homestay is the lack of individual privacy compared to staying at a hotel. In return, this is also an opportunity to make new friends on your Hanoi travel.
Some homestays that are cheap and have good service in Hanoi:
Gap Yolo Hanoi
Add: 1B Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi
Price: VND 135,000 / day
Hanoi Lantern Dorm
Add: 80 Ma May Street, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi
Price: VND 250,000 / day
Add: 48A Trang Thi Street, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi
Price: VND 400,000 / day
Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi #2: Free Attractions
Hanoi surprisingly has countless Free Attractions and Activities for travelers to take part in. For example, visiting Hoan Kiem Lake (Ho Guom) and West Lake – two of Hanoi’s most famous landmarks, taking a walking tour around the Old Quarter or visiting the famous Hanoi Train Street for memorable photos and unforgettable experience with the colonial remnants on the local life, etc. No need to worry about being bored once setting you foot in a vibrant and culture-rich city like Hanoi.
Taking a walk around the Old Quarter is an accessible but enjoyable experience.
For those interested in the long-standing religious culture of the thousand-year-old capital city, visiting Temples and Pagodas in Hanoi is not a wrong choice. With little to no entrance fee, there is charming ancient architecture to admire and the exciting worshipping culture of the locals to enrich your mind – especially if you happen to visit Hanoi in times of Vietnamese festivals and holidays.
Temples and pagodas are extraordinary cultural traits of Hanoi
Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi #3: Eating
The street-food paradise of Hanoi can please the pickiest eater with its flavorful and satisfying taste, so instead of fancy international cuisine, street food is a beautiful option for a full stomach and a distinctive cultural taste. Street food in Hanoi is highly diverse, with many signature dishes from Vietnam and a few Asian countries nearby, and they are exceptionally cheap.
Hanoi is the paradise of street food
However, at touristy spots such as the Old Quarter, visitors will probably be ripped off at ridiculously high prices for a bowl of pho. Therefore, ask for the prices before ordering food; the same rule applies to buying souvenirs or merchandise in tourist areas. Or better yet, take note of our article on The Best Hanoi Street Food – How to Eat Like a Hanoian for authentic local recommendations.
Don’t leave the city without trying the iconic egg coffee
Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi #4: Transportation
The most affordable transportation for sightseeing in Hanoi is by bus or on foot – which is naturally free. These two means of transportation, apart from the cost-effective benefit, will give you the freedom to discover the nooks and crannies of Hanoi streets without having to face severe traffic congestion during rush hour.
Walking is the best choice when it comes to exploring the Old Quarter.
Traveling by motorbike is the most popular means of transport in Vietnam and is the best “native” experience for all international visitors. There are many motorbike rental addresses in Hanoi, and you may also want to contact the hotel you are staying at to book a motorbike at a reasonable price, about VND 150,000/motorbike/day. However, it is vital to understand the essential traffic laws and prepare to face traffic jams during rush hour when traveling on bikes.
Look for cheap bus tickets for a day trip from Hanoi:
Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi #5: Shopping
In Hanoi, one of the busiest shopping places is the local markets, where various items are sold at dirt-cheap prices. However, tourists should pay attention to the goods carefully before paying to avoid buying fake ones, as well as refer to the average cost of items to avoid being overcharged. For a successful shopping trip in the local markets, use the best of your bargaining skills, and you should have a local friend as a trustworthy guide.
Local markets in Hanoi are the economical way of shopping
Besides the markets, supermarkets are the places to sell various items with slightly higher prices than the markets, but the quality and price are guaranteed. The major supermarkets in the city are Aeon and Lotte Mart.
See our Full Guide to Shopping in Hanoi
Summary of Pro Tips on Saving Money in Hanoi
Hanoi has always been famous for being a budget-friendly city for tourists but still offers extremely memorable travel experiences. Pay a little attention to the tips above, and you can enjoy a fulfilling experience in Hanoi without putting a dent in your wallet. If you have a personal favorite suggestion, please share it with everyone in the comment sections below!