Practical Information for Hanoi Itinerary
A fact that not many people know about is that this city – Hanoi is considered one of the oldest capitals in the world with a history of more than 1000 years.
With such a long history, it’s no surprise that you can find ancient Buddhist temples and pagodas, colonial buildings and architectures, war museums within the center of Hanoi.
Meanwhile, Hanoi is still a growing city, trying to catch up with the fast and constant development of the world. That’s why Hanoi has this rushing and bustling side – a typical trait of a developing country’s capital.
Perfect Combination Of Tradition And Modernity
What’s interesting about Hanoi is the perfect combination of tradition and modernity.
Visiting ancient temples or pagodas, you can get this peaceful and calm feeling with the influences of Buddhism.
At war sites or museums, you get to learn much about the long yet tragic history of the war in Vietnam.
Driving on the streets filled with motorbikes and constantly blaring horns, enjoying the vibrant nightlife with some fresh beer at Old Quarter Hanoi, you feel the hustle and bustle, the openness of this city.
Those are everything that makes Hanoi different from any other cities in Asia. And of course, worth to pay a visit!
Eat Your Heart Out
Vietnam is famously known for its authentic and mouth-watering cuisine. Some of them are selected as best street food in the world by popular and prestigious chefs and magazines such as CNN Travel. Lucky enough, Hanoi has all these food.
This is why nobody comes to Hanoi and leaves without trying this kind of dishes. Even President Barack Obama can’t hesitate giving praises to Bun Cha – a famous dish while visiting Hanoi.
Best Time To Visit Hanoi
Hanoi is located in the North of Vietnam and has 4 seasons in a year: Spring (February to April), Summer (May to August), Autumn (September to October) and Winter (November to January).
Each season has its unique traits and holidays.
Spring is fun and many festivals are held, especially the traditional TET Holiday.
Summer is time for school-break and traveling, all destinations are highly active during this period.
Autumn is a perfect time to travel since the weather is good and the scenery here in Hanoi is truly beautiful.
Winter is cold in Hanoi. The weather could be dark and foggy so that it might not be the ideal time to visit Hanoi.
>>> For details and considerations, please read more in Best time to visit Hanoi.
Language in Hanoi
Of course Vietnamese is the main language. However, staff work in hotels, tour guide, and drivers can speak English so you don’t have to worry about it.
Currency in Vietnam (Cash, Credit cards, ATMs and Money exchange)
The only currency used in Vietnam is called Vietnamese Dong (VND). The Vietnamese dong (VND) come in polymerized and normal paper notes with multiple zeroes. More about cash, credit cards, ATMs and money exchange can be found here!
For the currency rate, you can check the internet for the latest one because it changes over time or check out our update below.
In Hanoi, you can exchange money in banks or in gold and jewelry shops. Visa, Mastercard and JCB are now widely accepted in Vietnam.
ATMs will only dispense VND, even when your account is originally in other currencies. The amount of money you want to withdraw will be automatically changed from your home currency to VND based on the bank quoted rate at that time.
- Hanoi Electricity: Hanoi uses type A, C and D power sockets like the rest of Vietnam. The standard voltage is 110 V/220 V. Make sure you have a power plug adapter when traveling to Vietnam.
- Wifi/Internet: Wifi can be found everywhere in Hanoi, from restaurants, hotels to shopping malls. In case you can’t find any Wifi, you need to use 3G data. You have to buy a Vietnamese Sim card and install 3G data.
Where To Stay in Hanoi
There are 5 areas tourists normally stay in Hanoi which are: Hoan Kiem District, Tay Ho District (West Lake), Ba Dinh District, Hai Ba Trung District, Dong Da District.
Hoan Kiem District is definitely the most popular and crowded area. You can easily find many hotels from luxury to budget ones in Hoan Kiem District.
Hanoi French Quarter is home to more luxury and high-class hotels than the Hanoi Old Quarter. However, Hanoi Old Quarter is the center of the city. Just come down the street, you will find everything you need and it’s easy for you to go around.
Tay Ho District and Ba Dinh District are for the peace-seekers. If Hoan Kiem District is too noisy for you, then stay in these 2 areas. Tay Ho District is known for its romantic atmosphere with the best sunset view in Hanoi.
Hai Ba Trung District and Dong Da District are 2 other options. The advantage is that hotels in these areas are cheaper than those in the 3 areas mentioned above. Hai Ba Trung and Dong Da District are near the center of the city which is Hoan Kiem District so it’s not hard to discover around the city.
Cost and Budget in Hanoi
Cost of Accommodation in Hanoi
The value of money for accommodation was astounding, The quality of the rooms are different from different hotels, depending on how careful you will be while choosing the hotel
Dorm beds: 100.000 – 150.000 VND (5 – 7 US$) whilst
Private rooms and hotels: 350.000 – 800.000VND (15 – 40 US$) with breakfast included.
Cost of Food & Drink in Hanoi
- A bowl of Pho (beef noodle soup, Vietnam’s #1 dish): 30.000 VND (1.30 US$). However, sit down restaurants are slightly more expensive with an average dish ranging from 100.000 – 200.000 VND (4 – 8 US$).
1 liter of water at the convenience store: 15.000 VND (0.60 US$) whilst
A beer or soft drink at restaurants: about 25.000 – 35.000 VND (1 – 2 US$).
Obviously, meals in touristic parts of the country are noticeably higher upwards of 250.000 VND (10 US$) but to be honest, they aren’t as good as the street food! Vietnam was very hygienic so don’t be scared of the street food.
Cost of Transport in Hanoi
Bus: A ticket is 7.000 VND and you can only pay in cash
Taxi: Fitted with reliable meters, the starting price for taxi costs between 10.000 VND and 15.000 VND per kilometer
Train (For Hanoi to Sapa or go to the south) Buses are the cheapest way to get around Vietnam and run continuously from North to South and vice-versa. Long distance (15 hours) was no more than 20 US$.