Hanoi is a city that excites the senses. It has great food, cheap drinks, a fascinating history and a welcoming 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 I 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. I’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 my recommendations for where to stay in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Where to Stay in Hanoi

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are my highest recommendations for places to stay in Hanoi.

Best Airbnb in Hanoi: 1BR Apartment near Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

This beautiful penthouse apartment is around the corner from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hanoi West Lake and combines a modern western vibe with an old-school Vietnamese class, just like the Ba Dinh district itself. The place is a stone’s throw from a number of museums, and the Imperial Palace. Getting to and from the city center will be a breeze from this place, and it’s only a short walk to the old quarter

Best Hostel in Hanoi: Little Charm Hanoi Hostel

This is my choice for the absolute coolest 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.

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 my pick for the best hotel in Hanoi.

Hanoi Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN HANOI
Ba Dinh, Hanoi
FIRST TIME IN HANOI

Ba Dinh

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

ON A BUDGET
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
ON A BUDGET

Hoan Kiem

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

NIGHTLIFE
Tay Ho, Hanoi
NIGHTLIFE

Tay Ho

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

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Hai Ba Trung

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

FOR FAMILIES
Truc Bach, Hanoi
FOR FAMILIES

Truc Bach

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

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 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 kilometers. Hanoi is divided into 30 urban and rural districts, which are further subdivided into townlets, communes, and wards.

Because it’s so huge and there’s a ton of attractions to see, choosing the right neighbourhood is so important to make the most out of your visit.

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. It’s a good place for backpackers visiting Hanoi to stay given its proximity to many of the top attractions and the wealth of hostels and cheap feeds in the area.

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 ex-pats 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, I’ve got you covered!

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Hanoi’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, I’ll show you more details about 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!

1. Ba Dinh – Where to stay in Hanoi first time

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 its stunning setting along the southern shores of Lake Ho Tay. Ba Dinh is home to many of Hanoi’s most popular tourist attractions, which is why it’s my pick for where to stay in Hanoi if you’re visiting for the first time.

Well-connected to 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.

Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Best Airbnb in Ba Dinh: 1BR Apartment near Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

This beautiful penthouse apartment is around the corner from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hanoi West Lake and combines a modern western vibe with an old-school Vietnamese class, just like the Ba Dinh district itself. The place is a stone’s throw from a number of museums, and the Imperial Palace. Getting to and from the city center will be a breeze from this place, and it’s only a short walk to the old quarter

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.

Best Hotel in Ba Dinh: Hestia Legend Hotel

Attentive staff and a great location make this my recommendation for where to stay in Ba Dinh. It’s ideally situated for enjoying the attractions in both the Ba Dinh district and the Hanoi Old Quarter. It boasts gorgeously styled rooms with free wifi and a massage spa for those who need it. This mid-range hotel also offers free bicycles for their guests to get around on.

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.

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 artifacts at the Museum of Artillery.

– Dine on delicious rice noodle rolls, a local specialty.

– Eat savoury banh xeo pancakes.

– Explore the life of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

– See the grave of Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

– 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.

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2. Hoan Kiem – Where to stay in Hanoi on a budget

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 Old Quarter is also where you’ll find a high concentration of budget accommodation options. From fantastic examples of Vietnam’s social backpacker hostels to charming boutique hotels and even some Airbnb offerings, this quarter of the city is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck!

Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Best Airbnb in Hoan Kiem: Culture & street food, right on your doorstep

Drop yourself right in the middle of Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s a fantastic place to let the history and culture of this eclectic place wash over you. You’ll step out of the front door of this bargain room straight into Ly Quoc Su alley, famous for its amazing street food.

Best Hostel in Hoan Kiem: Little Charm Hanoi Hostel

The Little Charm Hostel is my recommendation for where to stay in Hoan Kiem. Strategically located in Hanoi 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.

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.

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.

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.

– Take a day trip to see an ancient pottery village on a Bat Trang Pottery Tour.

– 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 the beautiful interiors of the Hanoi Opera House.

– Soak in the atmosphere on a nightlife scooter tour.

– 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.

– Taste the best of the local cuisine on a street food tour.

3. Tay Ho – Best area to stay in Hanoi for nightlife

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, famous for the Tay Ho Weekend Market. It attracts large populations of ex-pats 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.

Tay Ho, Hanoi

Best Airbnb in Tay Ho: Gorgeous Penthouse for 4

This studio flat is bright and open with a gorgeous bathtub overlooking a luscious garden. The space is small but compact with everything you need, plus the price tag on this little property is incredibly cheap for what you get. Kitted out with a fully equipped kitchen and WiFi, this would be ideal for digital nomads visiting Hanoi. Plus, you’ll be staying near the Ba Dinh district which means it’s only a short walk to Hanoi West Lake and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and 10 minutes drive to the Old Quarter.

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 free breakfast!

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 my recommendation for where to stay in Hanoi and 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.

Best Hotel in Tay Ho: West Lake Tay Ho Hotel, 696 L?c Long

Of all the mid-range hotels in Hanoi, this three-star hotel is an ideal choice. It is ideally located in Tay Ho, which means it has 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. And best of all, it comes in at a low price, meaning you can have comfort and affordability wrapped up in one!

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.

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4. Hai Ba Trung – Coolest place to stay in Hanoi

Hai Ba Trung is a modern and lively district set in Hanoi’s city centre. Adjacent to the Hanoi Old Quarter, this district is well-connected throughout the city, making it a great base for exploring Hanoi on an itinerary. It offers great shopping, fantastic restaurants and plenty of attractions to enjoy. It’s no wonder that Hai Ba Trung gets my 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!

Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Best Airbnb in Hai Ba Trung: Chic pad with city views

This cute flat’s got a great aesthetic and is bursting with charm, making it the perfect place to explore this chic part of town. The quality of Vietnamese tailoring is famous the world over. Here you’ll be surrounded by artisans, designers & fabric weavers plying their trade at boutiques and markets

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.

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 my top choice for where to stay in Hanoi and Hai Ba Trung.

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.

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.

5. Truc Bach – Best neighbourhood in Hanoi for families

This small residential neighbourhood sits on the southern shores of Truc Bach Lake. It is centrally located nestled between the Ba Dinh district, 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 and other awesome Hanoi activities suited for the kids. Truc Bach is my recommendation for where to stay for families visiting 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 are plenty of international, vegetarian, and Vietnamese restaurants and food stalls to choose from.

Truc Bach, Hanoi

Best Airbnb in Truc Bach: Stunning Apartment W/ West Lake Views

Bright, spacious, and oh-my-gosh-look-at-that-view are three words that immediately jump to mind with this place. This entire rental unit can sleep two guests in its one-bedroom space and looks out over Hanoi West Lake, which you can enjoy from your own private balcony. It has been elegantly styled using French-inspired decor and you will also have a fully-stocked kitchen and free Wifi. What more could you want?

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.

Best Hotel in Truc Bach: Dragon Pearl Hotel

This is a great place to stay if you’re looking to explore Hanoi and be near West Lake. Of all the luxury hotels in Hanoi, this one is by far the best, offering stunning lake views, bicycle rental, and free wifi to guests. Rooms come complete with contemporary furnishings, seating area, and plenty of modern amenities. This is my top choice for where to stay in Truc Bach.

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.

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.

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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 travelling Vietnam on any budget.

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 my 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.

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel, or apartment? Want to be featured on my list? Email [email protected] to find out how.


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