Planning your first trip to Hanoi? It is extremely important to know the areas that best suited for you for a fabulous, hassle-free holiday in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Hanoi is a charming city and is extremely easy to explore if you are willing to skiddle through the traffic here. People here are ever so welcoming and warm, that its easy to forget that you are in a different country.
Dotted with amazing French inspired architecture, beautiful lakes and tranquil Buddhist pagodas among others, the pictures taken in this city can adhere to that. With several districts segregating the city it makes life easier for travellers.
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Hoan Kiem|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Diamond Westlake Suites|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Hanoi Moon Cactus|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||Vy House|
|✨ Best Hostel||Hanoi City Backpackers Hostel|
Each district of Hanoi has its own flavour and way of offering experiences ranging from dining, shopping, nightlife, etc to accommodations that suits all types of budget.
We will cover off all types of Hanoi accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Hanoi hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Hanoi, the best Hanoi hotels, best places in Hanoi to visit, the best places to stay in Hanoi Vietnam, hotels near Hanoi attractions, Hanoi neighborhood guide and many more.
To help decide where to stay in Hanoi 2024, we have written the below comprehensive guide on the city’s most popular districts. where is the best place to stay in Hanoi? This guide will help you pick the best place for you:
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Hoan Kiem- Where to stay in Hanoi for first timers
Hoan Kiem is Hanoi’s commercial centre, that houses prominent attractions such as National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi Opera House, and Ngoc Son Temple are easily accessible on foot. The famous Hoan Kiem Lake provides a scenic view and walk alongside all the while a steady cool breeze to keeps the heat at bay.
Being the prominent commercial centre the traffic in the area can be quite cumbersome as nearly half a million two-wheelers (motor bikes) ply on these roads everyday.
Set North of Hoan Kiem Lake is Hanoi Old Quarter that houses charming colonial architecture, art galleries, boutique shops, street markets, and Buddhist temples.
Old Quarter is very well known for being the backpackers’ hot-spot in Hanoi and is filled with hostels and various accommodation options.
The streets are packed with tiny shops and vendors selling anything edible from fresh fruits to authentic Vietnamese food. Mind you, this area can get very crowded and noisy at times. The Saturday night market here is a spectacle in itself wherein all the stores close down and the street vendors and performers take the center stage.
With hip and funky bars offering amazing deals on drinks, the street food vendors delights the revelers and visitors with lip smacking food along with some amazing shopping opportunities as well. We have provided a list of best place to stay in Hanoi old quarter.
Hanoi French Quarter is on the south of Hoan Kiem Lake houses most of Hanoi’s luxury hotels, government offices, embassies, financial institutions and upmarket shopping malls. Some high-end restaurants and designer bars can also be found in the French Quarter in Hanoi.
A popular place among ex-pats, the area is quiet and on the down-low compared to the Old Quarter. Wondering where to stay in Hanoi old quarter? Our below guide will help you pick the best hotel:
Why Stay in Hoan Kiem Hanoi – Old Quarter
Hoan Kiem is the perfect neighborhood for travelers visiting Hanoi for the first time, especially if you plan to go on several day trips and excursions while in the area. This area is where you’ll find most restaurants, shops, and transportation hubs, making it convenient for visitors.
It is also known as Hanoi’s historical heart and soul because it is where famous tourist spots such as the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi Opera House, and Ngoc Son Temple are located. So, if you are interested in cultural and historical attractions, consider staying here.
Although, you should expect the streets to be packed with locals and tourists. But since it is located in the middle of almost everything in Hanoi, it’s understandable why many tourists choose to stay here.
On top of all that, Hoan Kiem has a wide range of accommodations – from budget hostels to luxurious high-end hotels. This means you can easily find something that fits your budget and preferences here.
Things to do in Hoan Kiem Hanoi – Old Quarter
- Get some Egg Coffee at Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is known to house great coffee shops in the area. While you can roam around the Lake, why not get yourself some good coffee that you can enjoy while strolling around? If not, you can always stay in these coffee shops and take a break from all the walking.
Another reason you should do this if you are in Hoan Kiem is that you’ll not just get an average cup of coffee. Instead, you’ll sip the famous Vietnamese Egg Coffee while overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake.
Egg Coffee (ca phe trung) is simply made with raw egg yolks mixed with freshly brewed coffee, sugar, and condensed milk. So, don’t worry because it’s very safe to drink.
Among the cafes that serve the best egg coffee in Hoan Kiem Lake are Cafe Giang and Cafe Dinh.
- Go on a Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour
As mentioned earlier, Haan Kiem Old Quarter is known to be an area for history and cultural heritage, so it would be great to do a walking tour around the neighborhood.
Once you have the map of the area, then you can easily find the destinations you should visit. With the large number of attractions, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and even art galleries in Hoan Kiem, you’ll need at least a day to do this.
While it may seem tiring and overwhelming, this is an excellent way for you to familiarize yourself with the area, as well as the traditions and practices of the locals. Some spots you can check out during the walking tour are Hang Ma, Ta Hien, Hang Duong, and much more!
- Explore the Street Food Scene
Hanoi is very well known for its street food, and it would be a waste if you could not explore the street food scene of Hoan Kiem Old Quarter while staying in the area, which is why you should make time to go around the alleyways and streets of Hoan Kiem and check out food stalls, restaurants, and markets.
Even more, Old Quarter houses all the incredible street food in Hanoi. So make sure you try local delicacies and taste real Vietnamese food.
Best places to stay in Hoan Kiem Hanoi – Old Quarter
Tay Ho (Hanoi West Lake) – Where to stay in Hanoi with family
Hanoi West Lake or Tay Ho as its locally known mostly caters to visitors looking to enjoy a relaxing retreat in Hanoi. The area is loaded with a variety of accommodations, lakeside restaurants, cafes and bars.
Tay Ho is immensely popular with couples and family holiday makers. Barely half and hour taxi ride from Hanoi’s Old Quarters, Tay Ho also showcases some spectacular Buddhist structures such as Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple.
The artistic genius of Vietnamese people can be seen in these structures. The weekend market at Tay Ho is a great place to purchase traditional goods and sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine at dirt cheap prices.
A personal recommendation would be to try eating local cuisines at one of the tiny corner shops which are thronged by locals. The community setting for eating at these tiny shops provides an unique perspective into their culture and traditions.
Everything said, Tay Ho does not have a nightlife per say; most of its nightlife revolves around the hotels and its guests.
Karaoke bars are here attract a large number of locals as well as visitors for some lively parties and enjoyment. so if you’re wondering where to stay in Hanoi for nightlife this might be your best bet.
Why Stay in Tayo Ho
Tay Ho, also known as the Hanoi West Lake, is ideal for tourists traveling together as a family. It has many accommodations and hotels near lakeside restaurants and cafes. Plus, it is also home to many sightseeing and historical locations.
Traveling with your family can be pretty tricky if you need to move from one place to another just to see famous tourist spots. But in Tayo Ho, you can reach your favorite destinations just by walking around or riding public transportation for a few minutes.
More than that, Tay Ho is away from the nightlife scene of Hanoi. This means it’s not as crowded and loud as the areas that house bars and nightclubs in Hanoi. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation with your family, you should stay in Tay Ho.
Things to do in Tay Ho
- Have a sunset picnic at the West Lake
Tay Ho is where the west lake is located, and it would be a total regret if you do not experience going on a sunset date or picnic there with your family and loved ones. West Lake is most known for its breathtaking sunset view, showcasing the yellow and orange hues of the city’s skyline.
Since there are many restaurants and street vendors around the area, you’ll have no problem looking for food for your picnic date. You can sit on public benches or local cafes while waiting for the sun to set before returning to your hotel.
- Enjoy a day at the West Lake Water Park
One of the most famous destinations in Tay Ho that families visit (both locals and foreigners) is the West Lake Water Park. This indoor water park is intended for recreational purposes, making it an excellent place for families to enjoy.
West Lake Water Park is also famous for its thrilling water slides that all ages can enjoy. So, if you’re planning to visit Hanoi and want to stay in Tay Ho, do not forget to bring your swimwear!
- Visit the Quan Thanh Temple
As mentioned earlier, Tay Ho is home to many historical landmarks and is known for its long and rich cultural heritage reflected by temples and pagodas. Quan Thanh Temple is one of the most long-standing temples in the area.
Quan Thanh Temple is one of the four temples that guarded the ancient Thang Long Imperial City gateways a millenial ago. It features a signature of the Ly Dynasty’s architecture, with various new renovations over time.
Best places to stay in Tay Ho
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Tay Ho
Ba Dinh District – Where to stay in Hanoi for relaxation
A quiet and tranquil neighbourhood in Hanoi, Ba Dinh District is the ideal place for visitors looking to get away from the overcrowded and noisy Hoan Kiem area.
The best of Hanoi’s historical monuments and architecture can be found here such as the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, etc.
It is said that Ho Chi Minh himself wanted his mausoleum to be built in Hanoi as he was mesmerized by the beauty and tranquility of this place. Ba Dinh District also has a plethora of wonderful hotels, upscale restaurants and bars with a view of the amazing Hanoi Botanical Gardens.
The area is highly secured as a lot of people from the ministry and its departments reside here, which is the reason that nightlife is mostly restricted to within the premises of hotels, restaurants and bars.
Family holiday makers visiting Hanoi, should take up living quarters in Ba Dinh area as its safe and secured while being very active for exploration during the day.
Please be aware that during peak hours the traffic situation can get really congested, so it is advisable not to ply on the roads during those times specially with kids around.
There are a lot of places to explore near Hanoi as well such as Halong Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Mai Chau, Ba Vi National Park, etc.
Why Stay in Ba Dinh District
If you are looking for an area in Hanoi away from the crowd and noise, you should stay in Ba Dinh District. Located near the ministry and departments of the government, Ba Dinh District is strict regarding bars and nightclubs areas areas, so there’s not much noise around, especially at night.
You can expect Ba Dinh District to be tranquil and laid-back despite being in an urbanized city. Being home to large colonial buildings and scenic tree-lined boulevards, you’ll definitely enjoy a quiet and relaxing time in the area.
With all this, many ex-pats staying for a long time in Hanoi choose to stay here. This is because, aside from the solemnity and incredible architecture, it also offers a different vibe compared to the crowded areas of Hanoi.
Things to do in Ba Dinh District
- Explore the Ba Dinh Square
Ba Dinh Square is the center and prominent landmark of the district. It is an ample open space west of Hoan Kiem Lake, home to many important political buildings.
The Ba Dinh Square has been Vietnam’s political nucleus since the French occupation. This is where the father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, declared the independence of Vietnam.
This is where you’ll find Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace of Hanoi. So, if you are in the neighborhood and want to have a relaxing time learning about Vietnam’s political history, you should explore Ba Dinh Square.
- Walk to the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is just a few minutes from Ba Dinh Square, making it accessible during a day tour around the area. If you wish to visit the temple, you can just walk from the square and enjoy the scenic path you will be taking.
Once you reach the Temple of Literature, you’ll see a charming temple complex surrounded by ornate pavilions, shrines, and a garden. Accordingly, it was initially built to be the center of learning and was dedicated to Confucius, but it has now become a rite of passage for graduating doctors in Hanoi.
- Learn history at the Vietnam Military History Museum
Another place you should check out while staying in Ba Dinh District is the Vietnam Military History Museum. It is just five minutes from the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, so you’ll have no problem going here.
Also known as the Army Museum, it houses several collections of weaponry that was used during the Vietnam War. This place is especially great for history buffs wanting to learn more about Vietnam’s war-filled history.
Best places to stay in Ba Dinh District
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Ba Dinh District
Hanoi Backpackersuite Hostel
Hai Ba Trung – Where to stay in Hanoi for a Cultural experience
The district of Hai Ba Trung is south of Hoan Kiem and the lake. Although densely populated, you will find fewer budget hotels and tourists in this area.
Very little English is spoken here, making it the best place to stay in Hanoi to soak up Vietnamese culture in a district near the city center.
This district is best known for shopping and food options, with excellent street food and Vietnamese restaurants.
If you want street food, head to Mai Hac De Street and Nguyen Cong Tru Street for restaurants. Clothing shopping is best along Hue and Bach Mai streets.
Why Stay in Hai Ba Trung
Hai Ba Trung is regarded as one of the centers of Hanoi, but it isn’t as busy as Hoan Kiem. It’s more accurate to say that it is the center for culture – it is home to galleries, museums, and some of Vietnam’s most prominent universities.
Additionally, you can find many local restaurants and cafes here that are affordable and cheap. Since Hai Ba Trung is home to many universities, most of the accommodations and essentials here are reasonable compared to other areas in Hanoi.
This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the culture of Hanoi without spending so much. Walk around the streets, enjoy local food, and even meet the locals. This area will definitely be a haven for a cultural experience.
Things to do in Hai Ba Trung
- Go on a Food Tour at the Golden Triangle
As mentioned earlier, there is a significant demand for cheap and affordable food at Hai Ba Trung because of the universities surrounding the area. The most famous spot to try local street food here is the Golden Triangle.
The Golden Triangle is where the three major universities are located, so you can expect food to be affordable here. While going around, you can ask locals and university students about good places so you’ll get an authentic Vietnamese cuisine experience.
- Shop at the Hom Market
Hom Market is just one of the many famous markets of Hanoi. Here you can shop for local delicacies, souvenirs, and gifts for loved ones back home.
A visit to the Hom Market will be great if you want to immerse yourself in the daily lives of the locals. You can even socialize and meet people here as you shop around. Make sure to visit early, as soon as it opens at 6:00 AM. This way, you avoid the crowd and rush of people.
- Visit Thong Nhat Park
Another thing you can do while in Hai Ba Trung is to visit Thong Nhat Park. If you enjoy exercising in an open-air area, this place is for you.
Here you can enjoy a walk around after a long tour or start your day as you breathe in the fresh air. It is open all day, every week, with no admission needed.
Best places to stay in Hai Ba Trung
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Hai Ba Trung
NHÀ NGHỈ THÀNH THU
Thanh Xuan – Where to stay in Hanoi on a budget
Just west of Hai Ba Trung, this urban area of Hanoi has some of the best hotels in Hanoi for budget travelers.
Several universities in the area give this district a young vibe, and there is an abundance of room rentals and budget hotels to choose from.
The heavy student population also means cheap eats and budget entertainment options nearby.
It’s not all budget travelers, though, as the Vincom Mega Mall Royal City Thanh Xuan is a huge luxury shopping and entertainment complex, which includes a skating rink, waterpark, restaurants and beautifully manicured gardens.
Why Stay in Thanh Xuan
Thah Xuan is an urban district in Hanoi, located a few kilometers away Old Quarter. But despite being all modern and urbanized, this is the best area for budget travelers.
Many hotels and accommodations are relatively cheap, making it a great option if you are on a budget. Moreover, the district has affordable restaurants, cafes, bars, and entertainment options you can enjoy during your stay.
Although it is where the famous luxury shopping mall Vincom Mega Royal City is located, this doesn’t mean you can’t find any cheap shopping areas already in Thanh Xuan. Walking around, you’ll find many small boutiques and shops here, perfect for a small budget.
Things to do in Thanh Xuan
- Chill at a Rooftop Cafe & Bistro
With a modern and young vibe, Thanh Xuan has several rooftop cafes & restaurants in the area. This is why you should at least visit one and dine in there, especially if you like to admire the scenery from above.
One rooftop cafe you can check out is Trill, located on the 16th floor of the 1st Nguyen Nhu Kon Tum Building. The ambiance here is casual and straightforward, plus they serve cheap and affordable food and drinks.
- Visit the Thanh Xuan Park
Many young and budget travelers come to visit Thanh Xuan Park. Not only because it is free for everyone but also because it offers a great view of the city and Nhan Chinh Lake.
Thank Xuan Park is 13.2 hectares of land and was built for recreation, sports, and entertainment. Which is why you can wander around for a few hours here. Take photos, exercise, or maybe just relax on a bench at the park – your pick!
- Window shop at Royal City
If you go around and ask locals which place you should visit while in Thanh Xuan, they’ll lead you to Royal City. Royal City is a shopping center in Hanoi that houses most luxury shops and high-end brands.
It also is a commercial space with many entertainment centers, restaurants, and cafes you can enjoy when visiting. However, it’s understandable you are visiting on a budget!
You can still visit Royal City and check out its shops for free. You don’t need to buy anything, so don’t feel pressured. Plus, Royal City is built with beautiful European-style architecture, so make sure not to miss out on that.
Best places to stay in Thanh Xuan
Cầu Giấy – Where to stay in Hanoi for Off-Beaten Path
Centered on Cầu Giấy park, with its footpaths and the lake, this area is a laidback spot for travelers to Hanoi.
The Museum of Ethnology features traditional houses and folk artifacts, while the area is well known for authentic Vietnamese restaurants.
Cầu Giấy is considered off the beaten path of Hanoi travel. However, if you plan to spend a considerable amount of time exploring the tourist side of Hanoi, then you may spend a lot of time and money traveling back and forth to the city centre.
Be sure to take this into account if you find a budget hotel in Cầu Giấy and are tempted by the price.
Why Stay in Cầu Giấy
If you want to spend time in Hanoi at an off-beaten path area and enjoy the touristy things as well, Cầu Giấy is the perfect place for you!
Located in the center of Cầu Giấy Park, the area is laid-back yet vibrant. The area perfectly mixes the tourist and local experience, boasting traditional houses, folk artifacts, museums, and Vietnamese restaurants.
Compared to the Old Quarter, this is where you’ll experience the local perspective and immerse in the local daily life during modern times. However, you should note that Cầu Giấy is quite far from Hanoi’s center, so consider that when deciding to stay here. Anyways, it’s still worth the travel.
Things to do in Cầu Giấy
- Visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
One of the top attractions at Cầu Giấy is the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. This is one of three of the most recommended museums in Hanoi, showcasing the diversity and unique customs of the minority groups in Hanoi.
For an affordable price, you can enter the museum and see various collections of objects, art, and pieces related to the diverse Hanoi ethnic groups.
There are even outdoor exhibitions of their traditional houses and a garden showcasing different flora. Make sure to at least 2 to 3 hours of your time when visiting the museum, as there’s much to see here.
- Dine at Hieu Street
Hieu Street is known as the food capital of the district. It has several food stalls
and restaurants that offer not only authentic Vietnamese cuisine but as well as another International cuisine.
So if you also want a taste of other food, you can get them at Hieu Street. Some of the best restaurants in Hieu are Pho Ban Tran Toan and Bun Bo Hue O Hien.
- Spend time at Nghia Do and Cu Giay Park
Two of Cầu Giấy’s famous parks are Nghia Do and Cu Giay Park. Most likely, if you’re staying in the area, you want to spend time away from the crowd and tourists.
Take it slow and visit Nghia Do and Cu Giay Park. Nghia Do Park is just across the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, so it’s accessible and easy to reach. It is mainly used for locals’ recreation and exercise grounds.
On the other hand, Cu Giay Park is considered the heart of the district. It has a lake at its center, built in a heart shape. Most of the time, you’ll see the elderly and children roaming here.
Best places to stay in Cầu Giấy
Truc Bach – Where to stay in Hanoi for backpackers
One of the oldest suburbs of Hanoi, Truc Bach is the area around Truc Bach Lake, which Americans may know as the lake where John McCain crashed during the Vietnam War, and a memorial stands today to commemorate this.
Around the lake, visitors have a plethora of bars and restaurants to choose from. For travelers looking for the best place to stay in Hanoi that is close to the city centre, but a much quieter and calmer environment.
Consider staying in Truc Bach which may be a good option where to stay in Hanoi for backpackers.
Why Stay in Truc Bach
Truch Bach is one of Hanoi’s oldest suburbs and has maintained to be one of the top destinations in the city. It was a separate village in the 17th century until it became part of Hanoi.
Generally, Truc Bach means the lake of the same name in the area. It has become an iconic site for locals and travelers alike because of the big floating boat owned by Highlands Coffee.
Although Truc Bach offers a similar vibe to the other areas in Hanoi, it differs from what Old Quarter offers. It has a calmer environment, where you’ll see locals not rushing but taking everything slowly.
Moreover, it has several backpacking hostels and cheap rooms, making Truc Bach an ideal place for backpackers.
Things to do in Truc Bach
- Go Cafe Hopping in Truc Bach
Truc Bach seems like a different country compared to other areas in Hanoi. Many cafes have trendy and hip decor, from exterior to interior. This is because cafe culture is one of Truc Bach’s pride.
So, you should go cafe hopping when you are in Truc Bach. You can visit the famous Lang Thang Coffee & More, which has a vibrant atmosphere. They serve several kinds of drinks, from coffee to juices.
Another cafe you can check out is 65 Truc Bach, a locally-owned small cafe. It is located on an elegant street, serving coffee and pastries.
- Explore Den Thuy Trung Tien and Tran Quoc Pagoda
Aside from Truc Bach Lake, there are also other famous tourist destinations that you can visit in the area.
Den Thuy Trung Tien is an area that is full of historical stories. Located on a tiny island on the lake, with a bridge running up to it, you can visit the place and take pictures of it. More importantly, you should learn the history behind it. A puppy was born here with a prophecy written in its fur!
On the other hand, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a beautiful pagoda just 2 minutes away from Den Thu Trung Tien. It is considered the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi and is even free to visit.
- Ride a Swan Pedalo at the Lake
Of course, you should take advantage of riding at a Swan Pedalo when staying in Truc Bach. This is one of the area’s main attractions, which local and foreign visitors enjoy.
The Swan Pedalo’s are docked beside the Highlands Coffee boat. You can rent them and use them to roam around the lake for a certain amount of time. Now, even as a solo backpacker, you will still enjoy this ride aboard a Swan!
Best places to stay in Truc Bach
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