Transports in Hanoi

Getting around Hanoi
Updated 2023-11-19 10:03

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam, and its roads accommodate more than a million vehicles. A glance down at the street from any high-rise building will stun you with a canal system of motorbikes and a large number of buses, cars, and bicycles in between. Although many regard Hanoi as one of the most chaotic traffic systems in the world, it somehow manages to work. But amidst all of this vehicular anarchy, how do you plan to get around during your stay in this fast-moving capital?

The type of transportation you choose for your work commute will depend on many important factors. How far away is your place of business? How quickly do you need to get there? How much comfort do you need during your trip?


Go with the flow. Traffic generally moves slowly here but is unpredictable sometimes, so never drive faster than necessary.

Using Hanoi public transport

While buses are being updated constantly, they are the cheapest mode of travel in Hanoi. If you ride at rush hour, it will be very crowded. A bus ride to another part of the city will be as low as 5,000 VND, so this is perfect if you are here on a budget. Even the airport bus costs less than a cup of coffee at 9,000 VND. If you are traveling to another city in Vietnam and wish to use the train, be cautious and book your ticket at least a week in advance.

Driving a motorbike in Hanoi

With over 5 million motorbikes in the city of Hanoi, this is clearly the preferred choice of the majority of locals and expats alike. Renting a motorbike in Hanoi can cost as little as 1 million VND (around USD 42) per month. Be wary of traffic police targeting foreign drivers, especially if you don't have a blue card for your motorcycle or an international driver's license. However, getting from Tây Hồ district to Hoàng Mai will still take the best part of an hour during peak times. Therefore, during your first few months here, leave plenty of time until you get used to Hanoi's road traffic rules.

If you feel that driving a motorbike will just drive you up the wall, taxis may be a convenient alternative. This mode of transportation is undoubtedly the most comfortable, but if you're relying on local services, it is the easiest way of being ripped off, too. Local taxis will often try to charge you triple the regular price, so for peace of mind, it is best to stick to international brands like Grab. If you are embarking on a night out or have a disability, Grab taxi is by far the best choice, and they also have a scooter option for a quicker journey.

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