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 taxis, buses, and private cars are available for when you want to visit other districts within Hanoi.
Hanoi is a very compact city and most travellers 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 holiday. You can take a taxi, hire a car or book a driver for the day, but it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in Vietnam.
Motorcycle Taxis (Xe Om)
Travelling via motorcycle taxis is a quick and inexpensive way of getting around in Hanoi as you can find one in most parts of the city, particularly nearby 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.
Xe Om rides within 2 km should be about 20,000-30,000 dong. 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.
A fool-proof way of getting around in Hanoi, you can easily hail a taxi on the street or request for one from the comforts of your hotel. Fitted with reliable metres, the starting price for a taxi costs between VND 10,000 and VND 12,00o, with every subsequent kilometre priced from VND 4,000 to VND 6,500.
Tips are also appreciated by taxi drivers, so just round up the meter once you’ve arrived at your destination. Some of the most reputable taxi companies in Hanoi include Taxi CP (+84 43 826 2626), 52 Taxi (+84 43 852 5252), Hanoi Taxi (+84 43 853 5353), and Mai Linh Taxi (+84 43 861 6161).
Cyclos are fairly inexpensive methods of transportation in Hanoi, costing as little as VND 20,000 for an hour-long ride. The downside to travelling via cyclo is that many Caucasians find that it only manages to fit one passenger although it’s a two-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 transport option.
Hanoi is also served by local buses (decked out in red, white, and yellow) that cover regular routes within the city, most of which stopping nearby 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.
Depending on the destination, a standard ticket is priced between VND 5,000 and VND 10,000 which is only payable via cash so make sure you carry smaller bills if you’re planning on travelling via bus.