Getting Around Hanoi City

Getting Around Hanoi City


Getting around Hanoi City can be an easy task as there are several transportation options available.

As the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a fast-growing urbanized city in the country. The city offers a myriad of things to satisfy the eyes and feed the soul. With tons of destinations on the list, you might be wondering how you can access these destinations or even explore the city.

1. Moped (scooter)

Don’t be surprised if you see a flood of scooters as you go along the streets of Hanoi. Recently, the number has increased to 6.1 million scooters in the city.

Scooters are considered the easiest way to getting around Hanoi City. Several accommodation options in the city offer motorbikes for rent at $5.

Should you wish to actually rent one, note that it is required to secure a local driving license which can be processed at Hanoi Department of Public Works and Transportation to get one.

Driving around Hanoi with a motorbike can be quite overwhelming for first timers. Congestion around its streets are normal and note that it is not only you who is driving – there are actually a lot of motorbikes around. Keep distance and be on the lookout.

If you are not a confident driver, do not attempt to rent one and roam around the busy city of Hanoi.

Moped (scooter) in Hanoi, Vietnam

2. Motorcycle Taxis (Xe Om)

Aside from renting scooters, if you’re not that confident in driving your own way to get around Hanoi city, alternative is finding a motorcycle taxi.

It is mostly available around the city and is affordable too. You can hire one and have them take you to tourist attractions, hotels and markets or shopping malls. Note that motorcycle taxis do not come with a fare meter.

It would be best to talk to a local or the concierge (if you’re staying in a hotel) and ask an approximate cost from where you are going to the designated destination. This way, you have an idea of how it’ll cost and avoid being overcharged.

2 KM of Xe Om ride is about 20,000-30,000 dong. Before you get too excited to hop in, make sure to put your helmet on for safety. Note that most Xe Om drivers do not speak in English, to help them understand where you’re going, write down the address on a piece of paper.

Motorcycle Taxis (Xe Om) in Hanoi, Vietnam


A convenient way of getting around Hanoi city is through taxis. This mode of transportation is available in almost every street in the city. You can also request one through the hotel reception or concierge.

Generally, taxis in Vietnam are metered with a starting price of 10,000 VND.

If you’re happy with the service and of course, the driver, you can surely give a tip. This is well-appreciated by taxi drivers. Note that like the motorcycle taxi drivers, the taxi drivers in Vietnam can’t speak in English.

There will also be instances wherein a driver will try to offer a flat rate rather than using the meter. Some might even have defective meters that count a bit faster compared to the ordinary ones – be mindful of these things when riding a taxi to avoid being ripped off.

It would also be helpful to have the address written down so you don’t have to explain where you want to go.

Another tip would be to make sure that you have smaller bills and try to pay the exact amount – taxi drivers are most likely to keep the change.

Taxi in Hanoi, Vietnam

4. Bus

Buses are also a common transportation option in getting around Hanoi city. Most of these buses have routes that cover most of the tourist attractions like the Hoan Kiem Lake, The Old Quarter, Hanoi Train Station, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and The Literature Temple.

Note that the bus fare varies from destination to destination. The standard ticket starts at 7,000 VND. Bus tickets can only be paid by cash so make sure you have small bills when exploring the city.

Bus in Hanoi, Vietnam

5. Grab Motorbike

Thank heavens for Grab! If you’re not a fan of walking, the best way to get around Hanoi is by calling a grab.

The drivers can easily get you through traffic and although the fare can go up during peak hours, it is still a better option compared to hopping on a taxi.

It is considered one of the most convenient transportation options in the city which you can easily download the app through Google Play Store or the App Store. Most tourists prefer calling a grab motorbike to travel around the city as it is cheaper than Xe Om or taxi. Plus, it is super easy to navigate and you don’t need to explain where you need to go.

Grab Motorbike in Hanoi, Vietnam

6. Cyclo

A fancy way of getting around Hanoi city is through the traditional cyclo. You will be sitting in front of the cab while the driver is cycling behind you. Note that this mode of transportation is ideal for short distances only such as touring around the Old Quarter’s tapered streets.

It can also only fit 2 passengers at the time however, there are several instances wherein tourists can only fit 1 at a time.

Cyclo drivers might ask you to pay as soon as you sit down on the cab, make sure to pay the actual amount you have agreed upon prior to even hopping into one. It would also be great if you can add a tip for the driver’s service, note that he had to use his physical strength while you are comfortably sitting around while he’s pedaling so you can explore.

Another thing to note about cyclo drivers is that they do not fancy giving out a change for when you pay them. Make sure you have small bills with you when travelling.

Cyclo in Hanoi, Vietnam

7. Bicycle

Several hotels in Hanoi offer bike rental services to help you get around Hanoi. However, you have to consider the weather when you do. You will have to endure the warm humidity at times plus you have to make sure to look out for the traffic as you pedal along the busy streets of Hanoi to avoid any accidents – eyes on the road!

Bicycle in Hanoi, Vietnam

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