Hanoi is a city that excites the senses. It has great food, cheap drinks, fascinating history and a unique culture – and all of that comes at a super affordable price!
In short, Hanoi is a dream destination for backpackers.
But Hanoi can be a very confusing place for travellers, which is exactly why we put together this no-stress guide for where to stay in Hanoi.
Written by travellers for travellers, this guide looks at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Hanoi. We’ve organized them into different travel categories so you’ll know exactly which neighbourhood will best suit your needs. So no matter what your goals are for Hanoi, you’ll be able to find the neighbourhood of your dreams.
So let’s jump right to it, here are our recommendations for where to stay in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Hanoi
- Where to stay in Hanoi first time – Ba Dinh
- Where to stay in Hanoi on a budget – Hoan Kiem
- Best area to stay in Hanoi for nightlife – Tay Ho
- Coolest place to stay in Hanoi – Hai Ba Trung
- Best neighbourhood in Hanoi for families – Truc Bach
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- Browse more than 8,000 original artefacts at the Museum of Artillery
- Marvel at the Temple of Literature, which honours Vietnam’s most revered scholars
- Stop and smell the roses at the Hanoi Botanical Garden
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Hanoi
- Hanoi Neighborhood Guide
- Hanoi’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. Ba Dinh – Where to stay in Hanoi first time
- 2. Hoan Kiem – Where to stay in Hanoi on a budget
- 3. Tay Ho – Best area to stay in Hanoi for nightlife
- 4. Hai Ba Trung – Coolest place to stay in Hanoi
- 5. Truc Bach – Best neighbourhood in Hanoi for families
Where to Stay in Hanoi
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Hanoi.
Best Hostel in Hanoi: Little Charm Hanoi Hostel
This is our choice for the best hostel in Hanoi. Strategically located in Hoan Kiem, Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this hostel is close to main tourist attractions. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars nearby. This hostel has a swimming pool, free wifi, and breakfast each morning.
If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Hanoi!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Hanoi: Vong Xua Hotel
Vong Xua Hotel was recently refurbished with modern furniture and luxury linens. It offers bicycle rentals, luggage storage and a concierge service. Ideally situated in Hai Ba Trung, this hotel is close to top attractions, eateries and shops. All of this combined makes it our pick for the best hotel in Hanoi.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Hanoi Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Hanoi
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Hai Ba Trung
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Hanoi is a fascinating city that seamlessly blends old and new, east and west. It is a city bustling with energy and excitement, delicious food and an incredible history.
Hanoi is the capital and second largest city in Vietnam. It is home to more than 7.7 million people and covers an area of 3,329 square kilometres. Hanoi is divided into 30 urban and rural districts, which are further subdivided into townlets, communes and wards.
This guide will focus on the five best areas to stay in Hanoi.
Ba Dinh is the political centre of Hanoi. This is where you’ll find the president’s palace, a number of embassies as well as Hanoi’s most visited attractions and historical landmarks.
Head east from here and you’ll arrive in Hai Ba Trung. One of the coolest neighbourhoods in Hanoi, this district is busy and modern with plenty of hip cafes.
Travel slightly north to Hoan Kiem. Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem is one of the most popular districts in the city packed with temples, gates and traditional shops.
Continue heading north and you’ll pass through Truc Bach. Nestled on the shores of a small lake, Truc Bach is a great place to enjoy a breath of fresh air and a break from the hustle of central Hanoi.
And finally, to the north of Truc Bach is Tay Ho. Once a sleepy fishing village, Tay Ho is now a haven for expats and foreigners. This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is home to great options for dining, shopping and nightlife.
Still not sure where to stay in Hanoi? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Looking for more details on traveling to X? Check out our EPIC guide to backpacking Hanoi.
Hanoi’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
In this next section, we’ll take a look in more detail at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Hanoi. Each caters to different travel interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s the best fit for you!
Ba Dinh is a large suburb located north of Hanoi city centre. It’s characterized by its leafy streets and laid-back atmosphere as well as it’s stunning setting along the southern shores of Lake Ho Tay. Ba Dinh is home to many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Hanoi if you’re visiting for the first time.
Well-connected to the Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Ba Dinh is ideally located for exploring the city. From here, you can easily zip into the city centre and enjoy the hustle, bustle and chaos of Hanoi before retreating to your peaceful oasis in Ba Dinh.
Things to See and Do in Ba Dinh
– Admire the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site and an intriguing historical landmark.
– Browse more than 8,000 original artefacts at the Museum of Artillery.
– Dine on delicious rice noodle rolls, a local speciality.
– Eat savoury banh xeo pancakes.
– Explore the life of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
– Marvel at the Temple of Literature, which honours Vietnam’s most revered scholars.
– Stand at the centre of Ba Dinh Square, where the Proclamation of Independence was read in 1945.
– Stop and smell the roses at the Hanoi Botanical Garden.
– Wander the grounds of the Presidential Palace.
Best Hostel in Ba Dinh: Hanoian Backpackers Hostel
Thanks to its central location, this is the best hostel in Ba Dinh. You’ll enjoy a great mix of Hanoian ancient culture and modern amenities. It offers private and dorm accommodations with comfortable beds. You can also enjoy a myriad of authentic Vietnamese dishes at the on-site café.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Ba Dinh: Calypso Premier Hotel
Attentive staff and a great location make this our recommendation for where to stay in Ba Dinh. It’s ideally situated for enjoying the attractions in both Ba Dinh and the Old Quarter. It boasts 18 recently refurbished rooms with wifi and essential amenities. There’s also a Jacuzzi, beauty centre and restaurant on-site.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Ba Dinh: Hestia Legend Hotel
This charming three-star hotel is within walking distance of Truc Bach Lake. It’s also well-connected to Hoan Kiem and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. This hotel provides free wifi and babysitting services, and there’s also a spa and wellness centre for guests to enjoy.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Hoan Kiem is the historic centre and soul of the city. Hanoi’s hectic and chaotic downtown, Hoan Kiem is packed with busy streets, vibrant temples, buzzing cafes, ancient gates and plenty of traditional shops. It’s where you’ll find some of the oldest streets in the country and where history and legend ooze out of every corner.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is also where you’ll find a high concentration of budget accommodation options. From social backpacker hostels to charming boutique hotels, this quarter of the city is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck!
Things to See and Do in Hoan Kiem
– Browse the bustling Dong Xuan Market.
– Catch a performance at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.
– Dine on xoi xeo at Xoi Yen.
– Drink cheap beer at Bia Hoi Junction.
– Explore the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, which housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POWs during the Vietnam war.
– Go for a stroll around stunning Hoan Kiem Lake.
– Grab a pint at Legend Beer Hanoi.
– Marvel at St Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi, the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the city.
– Savour the best Vietnamese BBQ in town at Xuan Xuan Hanoi.
– See the small but beautiful Bach Ma Temple.
– Shop for souvenirs at the busy and buzzing Hanoi Weekend Night Market.
– Visit the Temple of the Jade Mountain.
Best Hostel in Hoan Kiem: Little Charm Hanoi Hostel
The Little Charm Hostel is our recommendation for where to stay in Hoan Kiem. Strategically located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this hostel is close to popular main tourist attractions. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars nearby. This hostel has a swimming pool, free wifi, and breakfast each morning.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Hoan Kiem: Hanoi Trendy Hotel & Spa
This amazing hotel comes complete with an in-house restaurant and a stylish lounge bar. Rooms are modern and comfortable. Located just a few minutes walk from Hanoi’s liveliest district, this three-star hotel has a great selection of dining, shopping and nightlife options at its doorstep.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Hoan Kiem: Hanoi Diamond King Hotel
This contemporary hotel has a great location in Hoan Kiem. It offers easy access to top attractions as well as shopping, dining and nightlife. Rooms have air conditioning, wireless internet and a variety of modern features. There’s also a laundry service available on request.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Tay Ho is a district located north of Hanoi city centre along the shores of Ho Tay Lake. Not long ago, Tay Ho was a cluster of fishing villages known for their sleepy and quiet atmosphere. Today, this district is one of the liveliest in Hanoi. It attracts large populations of expats and students and is one of the best places to enjoy a night out in Hanoi.
Love to eat? Tay Ho is for you! This modern district is dotted with trendy eateries and hip restaurants that serve up cuisines from all corners of the globe. From traditional Vietnamese to French haute-cuisine, this neighbourhood will excite your sense and satisfy your taste buds.
Things to See and Do in Tay Ho
– Catch a show at Hanoi Rock City.
– Dance the night away to house and techno music at Savage Club Hanoi.
– Enjoy a night of vibrant music, art and drinks at The Sidewalk Bar & Grill.
– Go for a walk around Ho Tay Lake.
– Marvel at Tran Quoc Pagoda, Vietnam’s oldest temple.
– Shop for fair-trade and organic products and gifts at Betterday.
– Sip cool cocktails as you enjoy the view at Sunset Bar.
– Start your day with a coffee from Oriberry.
– Tease your taste buds at the Tay Ho Weekend Market.
– Visit the Tay Ho Temple.
Best Hostel in Tay Ho: 7 Fridays Hostel
You seriously won’t find a more fun place to stay in Hanoi. This hostel boasts a swimming pool and social space, plus they regularly host bar and poolside events, live bands and DJs, and plenty of games, quiz and comedy nights. They also provide a free breakfast!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Tay Ho: The Royal Hotel Hanoi
The Royal Hotel Hanoi is in a fantastic location for exploring Hanoi – which is why it’s our recommendation for where to stay in Tay Ho. The rooms have large and comfortable beds, and the hotel has a variety of features, including free wifi and a laundry service. There’s also an in-house restaurant.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Tay Ho: West Lake Home Hotel
This luxurious two-star hotel is ideally located in Tay Ho. It provides easy access to Hanoi’s top attractions, great bars and delicious restaurants. The rooms all come with air conditioning, and each has its own shower, minibar and cable/satellite TV. Airport transfer and a laundry service are also available.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Hai Ba Trung is a modern and lively district set in Hanoi’s city centre. Adjacent to the Old Quarter, this district is well-connected throughout Hanoi, making it a great base for exploring the city. It offers great shopping, fantastic restaurants and plenty of attractions to enjoy. It’s no wonder that Hai Ba Trung gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in Hanoi.
This fantastic Hanoi neighbourhood is a haven for shopaholics and fashionistas. Dotted throughout the district is a great selection of local shops and independent boutiques, as well as fabric markets and tailor shops where you can get traditional clothes made just for you!
Things to See and Do in Hai Ba Trung
– Dance until dawn at The Bank Hanoi, the largest nightclub in the city.
– Eat fresh and delicious Vietnamese food at Bun Cha Huong Lien.
– Enjoy a breath of fresh air at Union Park, a green oasis in central Hanoi.
– Go for a stroll along bustling Hai Ba Trung Street.
– Learn about the contributions women had to Vietnam’s history and culture at The Women’s Museum.
– Rest and relax on the shores of Thien Quang Lake.
– See the beautiful Hai Ba Trung Temple.
– Shop until you drop at Times City, a massive shopping centre.
– Sip a sophisticated cocktail and enjoy an amazing meal at Xu Restaurant Lounge.
Best Hostel in Hai Ba Trung: Flower Hostel
This clean and comfortable hostel is located in Hanoi’s coolest neighbourhood. It’s a short distance from great attractions, fantastic restaurants and unique shopping. Guest rooms are outfitted with a seating area, a kettle and a microwave. Towels are available and there’s free wifi throughout.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Hai Ba Trung: Vong Xua Hotel
Vong Xua Hotel was recently refurbished with modern furniture and luxury linens. It offers bicycle rentals, luggage storage and a concierge service. This hotel is within walking distance of top attractions, eateries and shops. All of this combined makes it our top choice for where to stay in Hai Ba Trung.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Hai Ba Trung: The Ann Hanoi
Located in Hanoi city centre, this hotel is within walking distance of the Old Quarter and Hai Ba Trung’s top dining, shopping and sightseeing options. Each room has air conditioning, coffee/tea facilities and cable/satellite channels. It features both a restaurant and a stylish lounge bar. And, there’s a sauna and swimming pool for guests to enjoy.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
This small residential neighbourhood sits on the southern shores of Truc Bach Lake. It is centrally located nestled between Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem and Tay Ho, and is well-connected throughout Hanoi. Although it doesn’t boast a lot of famous landmarks, this district is packed with outdoor adventures. Truc Bach is our recommendation for where to stay for families visit Hanoi.
Truc Bach is an excellent place to stay if you’re keen to sample from the local food scene. Here you’ll find a good array of restaurants that specialize in Hanoian delicacies, like frog hotpot and Pho Cuon.
Fancy something a little more traditional? There’s plenty of international, vegetarian and Vietnamese restaurants and food stalls to choose from.
Things to See and Do in Truc Bach
– Eat local delicacies like frog hotpot and Pho Cuon.
– Find your next favourite book at The Bookworm, a great shop that stocks many English titles.
– Learn to cook delicious Vietnamese fare at the Hanoi Cooking Center.
– Marvel at the Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.
– Rent boats and paddle along the waters of Truc Bach Lake.
– Satisfy your sweet tooth with a chè, a refreshing treat made from shaved ice and coconut milk.
– Shop for tasty treats and savoury snacks at the Chau Long Market.
– Visit the Quan Thanh Taoist temple.
– Wander along the expansive Phan Dinh Phung Street admiring the heritage architecture.
Best Hostel in Truc Bach: Hanoian Backpackers Hostel
This hostel is located in Hanoi Old Quarter, a short walk from Truc Bach. It is close to tourist attractions, restaurants, cafes and shops. This hostel offers private and dorm-style bedrooms and maintains a unique Hanoian ancient cultural style. Towels and linens are included, and breakfast is available.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Truc Bach: Green House Serviced Apartment
This is a great place to stay if you’re looking to explore Hanoi. It offers stunning city views, free bikes and free wifi to guests. Rooms come complete with a terrace, seating area and plenty of modern amenities. This is our top choice for where to stay in Truc Bach.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Truc Bach: Truc Bach Apartment
Truc Bach Apartment is tucked away in idyllic Truc Bach. It is within walking distance of the lake and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes on its doorstep. This apartment has three bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. There’s also a hot tub, washing machine and relaxing balcony.View on Booking.com HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Hanoi
Hanoi is a bustling and buzzing city that oozes history and culture around every turn. From traditional temples and powerful pagodas to modern restaurants and vibrant nightclubs, there’s something for everyone on every budget in Hanoi.
In this post, we’ve highlighted the five best places to stay in Hanoi. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap.
Little Charm Hanoi Hostel is our top choice for the best hostel in Hanoi thanks to its central location, swimming pool, and delicious free breakfast.
Another excellent option is the Vong Xua Hotel in Hai Ba Trung. Recently refurbished, this hotel has modern furniture, luxurious linens and an on-site bike rental.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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