Getting around in Hanoi is fairly easy because numerous attractions, restaurants, shopping venues, and hotels are located close to each other. The city’s local population travels mostly on motorbikes while motorcycle taxi cabs, buses, and private automobiles are available for when you want to visit other districts within Hanoi.

Hanoi is a very compact city and most travelers choose to stay within the districts of Hoan Kiem (which includes the Old Quarter and the French Quarter), Ba Dinh, Tay Ho (West Lake), and Hai Ba Trung during their vacation. You can take a taxi cab, hire a automobile or book a driver for the day, but it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in Vietnam.

  • Motorcycle Taxi cabs (Xe Om)

    Motorcycle Taxi cabs (Xe Om)

    Traveling by motorcycle taxi cabs is a quick and inexpensive way of getting around in Hanoi as you can find one in most parts of the city, particularly near hotels, shopping streets, and tourist attractions. Do note that these vehicles aren’t fitted with meters, so bargain hard, settle on the price, and fasten on your helmet before hopping onto one. A good tip is to ask the concierge in your hotel roughly how much a particular journey should cost before you leave for the day. The only downside is most drivers speak limited English, so it’s best to write down the address of your destination and show it to your driver beforehand.

  • Taxi cab

    Taxi cab

    A fool-proof way of getting around in Hanoi, you can easily hail a taxi cab on the street or request one from the comfort of your hotel. Fitted with reliable meters, the prices per kilometer are very reasonable. Tips are always appreciated by taxi cab drivers, so just round up the meter once you’ve arrived at your destination.

    Given Hanoi's sometimes extreme traffic, they can be a slower option for short journeys, especially compared to motorcycle taxi cabs. However, for longer journeys, they are a lot more comfortable. Some of the most reputable taxi cab companies in Hanoi include Taxi cab CP (+84 43 826 2626), 52 Taxi cab (+84 43 852 5252), Hanoi Taxi cab (+84 43 853 5353), and Mai Linh Taxi cab (+84 43 861 6161).

    photo by EurovisionNim (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

  • Cyclo

    • Budget

    Cyclos are fairly inexpensive methods of transportation in Hanoi. The downside to traveling via cyclo is that many westerners find that it only manages to fit 1 passenger, even though it’s a 2-seated vehicle. It’s also fairly daunting to navigate through busy traffic, so cyclos are better options for touring the Old Quarter's narrow streets as a quaint experience rather than a viable transportation option.

  • Bus

    • Budget

    Hanoi is served by local buses (decked out in red, white, and yellow) that cover regular routes within the city. Most stop near and in front of famous attractions such as Hoan Kiem Lake, The Old Quarter, Hanoi Train Station, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and The Literature Temple.

    Ticket prices vary depending on the destination but are generally cheaper than even motorcycle taxi cabs. They are only payable in cash, so make sure you carry smaller bills if you’re planning on traveling via bus.

Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler