Living in Hanoi
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Hanoi offers a variety of options for accommodation, including hotels and apartments as well as traditional and modern houses. In this article, you will find practical information regarding the neighbourhoods and accommodation prospects for travelers and expats in Vietnam’s capital city. Although accommodation in Hanoi is highly suited to all budgets, one can’t simply remain in hotels during their lengthy stay in a city. Beyond the colonialist architecture that characterises a large part of the historic city centre, Hanoi is abundant with expat housing to cater to everything from the backpacker budget to the more elite pocket. Cathedral-sized condominiums can be lounged in within minutes ride from budget bedrooms, domiciles and dormitories located in immediate proximity to diners and delicatessens. Hanoi has it all.  

 Important:

To get a quick idea of renting options in Hanoi, check out recent posts on the local social media groups.

There are several districts in Vietnam’s capital city, each with their unique flavour. Most of the expat community prefer to remain close to Hanoi’s beating heart, within the confines of Tay Ho, Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh. Tay Ho is by far the most popular with western expats as much of the accommodation is built to high standards. Although there are plenty of modest options available, this area also caters to the super wealthy, with a variety of luxurious apartments and condominiums available. Hoan Kiem is the liveliest part of Hanoi and is where most of the partying occurs. Ba Dinh is situated a little further away from the town centre, yet is still within reach of many interesting attractions.

One of the best things about these three main districts is that many of the locals have a good grasp of English. Services designed with expats at heart are easy to find and include babysitting, security, gyms and fitness centres, vehicle rental, excursions and education. Another option within the expat community that is very popular is shared housing. Mixing with expats from across the globe in comfortable, stylish accommodation is one of the best ways of expanding your social network too.

Types of accommodation in Hanoi

If you’re only going to be staying in the city for a week or so, then a hotel is most likely the best option. Prices vary significantly depending on the area you are staying in and the quality you desire, but a quick online search will find you a double room for as low as 160,000 VND (US$ 6.8) per night.

Hostels can work out even cheaper than this and are perfectly equipped for the adventure-hungry backpack traveller. Most of them have a safety deposit box in the reception for valuables; a service which may or may not incur an additional fee.

If you’re looking to languish in Hanoi for several months or more, you might want to consider expat housing, of which there is a bounteous choice. Studio apartments are one of the most popular and pleasant options for single expats or couples and can cost as little as 5 million VND (US$ 213) per month. Shared housing is another favourite choice for the younger expats, with a plentiful selection ranging around the same price. Houses and full apartments in the areas of Tay Ho and Hoan Kiem will almost certainly be more expensive. However, it is possible to find surprisingly cheap rentals in the less touristy neighbourhoods.

Finding accommodation

Nowadays, almost everything is advertised on social media and Hanoi has Facebook groups for everything. One of the most popular groups is Hanoi Expats Housing, an ideal starting point for anyone looking to find somewhere quickly. You will most likely be asked to place a one month deposit on your accommodation, and you will normally be asked to give your passport information or a copy. Subletting is a widespread practice in Hanoi, so you will probably never actually meet the owner of the property.

If you are looking for something a little more secure during your search for rentals, you could try sites tailored explicitly to the Hanoi housing market like Hanoi Residence. Alternatively, if you have a local friend, it would be very helpful to you personally, to allow them to mediate for you. Doing this can often result in a better deal.

 Useful links:

Hanoi Real Estate
Gia Long Housing
Viet Long Housing
Alpha Housing
LivingHanoi.com
Hanoi Leasing

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