I still remember, like it was yesterday, the kinda surprise I felt in my first morning in Hanoi. We arrived the night before from peaceful Bagan to find ourselves in one of the most dynamic cities in the world where we should also be careful about Vietnam scams. To get from Hanoi airport to city or old quarter, we just took a Grab. If you are also wondering, what you should know about this city, here are our Hanoi travel blog tips for you:
Also looking for must-see attractions? Check our article about things to do in 2 days in Hanoi.
When to visit Hanoi
As Hanoi is located in the northern region of Vietnam, it has 4 seasons. The rainy season is usually from April to August. If you want to visit Hanoi for a comfortable stay on warm temperature, think about planing your visit either around February–April or September–November. The hot season is then from November to February. This is then the first of our Hanoi travel tips.
If you are looking for more inspiration, check this handy guide about Vietnam.
How to get around in Hanoi
First of all and as I already mentioned, I think the best to get from Hanoi airport to the city or the old quarter is to get a Grab. I will explain how to use it below.
Well, many attractions and especially the old quarter are very accessible walking. If you have long experience in one of the developing countries, you won’t have any problems walking in Hanoi. If not, just trust the bike drives around you.
In case you are not much of a walker, the best option is to have a grab-bike. Grab is the biggest and most famous taxi-app in South-East Asia. They call it sometimes the Uber of Asia. Grab-bike is the cheapest option in the app. Especially if you are too tired to take the shuttle bus to get from Hanoi airport to city or old quarter.
How to get from Hanoi airport to city-center? You have two ways: either you get the shuttle bus (every 20 min) which is really cheap and lasts about one hour. Or get a Grab-taxi and it will cost you around 10€
Tips from our Hanoi travel blog
How to start from? Let’s see
Hanoi travel blog: where to get your SIM card?
The most common mistake that travelers do, is to buy a SIM card at the airport. Well, don’t! They are expensive. Organize your transportation to the city center with the airport wifi which is really good. Then look for a local SIM cards shop and get yours for a good price. I got one which gives me a daily package of 20 minutes calls and 2 GB of data with just 10€ for one month. Here is where I bought it.
Don’t miss the authentic street food
Another travel tips: don’t miss the street food in Hanoi! when you walk around, you will come across many local restaurants in the old quarter where locals meet at dinner in the evening. You will easily recognize them with their low chairs and tables spread on the sidewalks. Try to find one which offers a grill-plate and grill your own food on your table. It’s a pure delight!
Vietnam scams: this how to spot them
While exploring Vietnam, you will surely come across some scam situation. The most common ones are that you see a fake Vietnamese policeman which wants you to park your bike in fake parking. Then you might also come across the famous fruit vendors in Vietnam which they will ask you to pay for a picture you took it. Some other examples are a fake cyclo or taxi rides for which the driver asks for too much money. In general, situations are many. Luckily there is a common way to avoid and escape them.
Firmly say “no” to any fake parking policeman or fruit vendor. If they insist and get serious, you should just calmly ignore them and go away. Be confident and always be resourceful from the internet about prices and common Vietnam scams situations.
Hanoi travel blog: be careful when visiting the train street
While wandering on the famous narrow train streets in Hanoi, make sure you have a safe spot to go to. People there get easily distracted and are so excited to take pictures that they miscalculate the safe distance to the passing train. It happened to me and luckily a nice woman pulled me away at the right time.
Where to stay in Hanoi
While looking for accommodation in Hanoi, you won’t face any problems as there are so many choices. Keep in mind to stay as close as possible to the old quarter as it the place you will wander the most.
We stayed at this hotel called Dragon Villa which has got really a perfect location. Although in city-center, the room was quite and they offered us an amazing service.
Here is our Vietnam travel-video for you:
That’s it, guys! I hope I was a little help with the Hanoi itinerary. If you have some good advice or a question, write to us in the comments and we will reply to it and share it with the community.
Cheers, Ach and Rym