I had a couple days to kill after completing the Ha Giang Loop in Northern Vietnam and didn’t want to just spend the time in Hanoi.

Luckily, Ninh Binh ticked all the boxes – stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and the home to the ancient former capital city of Vietnam, Hoa Lu. Bus ticket booked, I was off to explore this must-visit destination.

Ninh Binh is also home to the majestic Tam Coc rice paddies and the eerily intriguing Trang An Grottoes, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. With such an epic mix of culture, history, and of course, visually stunning scenery, Ninh Binh cannot be missed.

Here’s EXCATLY where to stay in Ninh Binh.

Ninh Bình, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam
Typically Vietnamese!

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Ninh Binh?

Planning a relaxing stay in Ninh Binh? Or maybe you’re just passing by as part of an epic backpacking trip across Vietnam. I’ve listed my top three recommendations for where to stay! Take a look below.

Tam Coc Holiday Hotel & Villa | Best Hotel in Ninh Binh

Tam Coc Holiday Hotel & Villa Ninh Binh Vietnam

Who doesn’t love a bit of luxury every now and then, right?

The Tam Coc Holiday Hotel and Villa is an awesome little boutique hotel in the heart of Tam Coc, conveniently located and providing that little bit of luxury that we all like to have once in a while.

The Banana Tree Hostel | Best Hostel in Ninh Binh

The Banana Tree Hostel Ninh Binh Vietnam

What isn’t to love about The Banana Tree Hostel? Aside from its incredible location, this Vietnamese hostel has an epic garden area, a rad terrace, and a swimming pool with views of the mountains.

Picture yourself with a cold beer Hanoi in your hand taking it all in and sharing laughter and good times with your hostel buddies.

Hang Mua Bungalow | Best Homestay in Ninh Binh

Hang Mua Bungalow Ninh Binh Vietnam

You’ll really get to experience the local vibe of Ninh Binh at the Hang Mua Homestay – it’s serene, peaceful, and boasts some rather picturesque views too.

It’s also conveniently located from Hang Mua and Tam Coc as well as a short commute to Trang An.

Ninh Binh Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Ninh Binh

FIRST TIME IN NINH BINH
Tràng An, Ninh Bình, Vietnam
FIRST TIME IN NINH BINH

Trang An

The Trang An Grottoes are definitely the major attraction here as well as the overall beautiful landscapes and scenery. Don’t forget to pack your hiking boots too as there is an opportunity to hit the mountains for a hike.

ON A BUDGET
Tam Coc - Bich Dong Ninh Binh Vietnam_unsplash
ON A BUDGET

Tam Coc – Bich Dong

Tam Coc- Bich Dong is one of the most popular places in Ninh Binh. It’s home to picturesque rice paddies and limestone cliffs which can be seen up close and personally during a boat ride on the Ngo Dong River.

FOR FAMILIES
Hang Mua Viewpoint Ninh Binh Vietnam
FOR FAMILIES

Khe Ha

Khe Ha is a great choice for families who are visiting Ninh Binh as there isn’t as much hustle and bustle. Things are a bit more relaxed. There are some great accommodation options with far fewer hostels in the area.

Ninh Binh is the capital city of the Ninh Binh province in Northern Vietnam, within the Red River Delta. The city can be divided into two main neighbourhoods that are the most common when it comes to where people stay – Tam Coc-Bich Dong and Trang An.

Most people pick one of these two areas when deciding on where to stay in Ninh Binh because of their proximity to the grottoes and the rice paddies.

Ideally, you’re going to want to be close to the main attractions that are within a short taxi, motorbike, or bicycle commute. The latter two are my most favourable way of exploring Southeast Asia.

Tam Coc-Bich Dong is one of the most popular places to stay in Ninh Binh, aptly named “the inland Halong Bay”.

On the other hand, Khe Ha is a bit more tranquil and has a laid-back vibe. This area is perfect for families looking to relax and unwind, with easy access to the beach and pier. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore.

And for those looking to stay in Vietnam without spending a fortune on a bed, Tam Coc-Bich Dong is the ideal spot. You’ll be out where the locals live, and you’ll get a more authentic experience.

Ninh Binh’s Three Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Deciding on where to stay in Ninh Binh can be a tall order – been there, done that. Here are the top neighbourhoods in Ninh Binh to consider staying in during your visit.

1. Trang An – Where to Stay in Ninh Binh for Your First Time

Trang An comes as a highly recommended area when deciding on where to stay in Ninh Binh. It’s a little less busy and touristy than Tam Coc-Bich Dong, which can be super desirable for many who are looking to visit the area for the first time.

Tràng An, Ninh Bình, Vietnam
How’s this for a gem?

The Trang An Grottoes are definitely the major attraction here as well as the overall beautiful landscapes and scenery. Don’t forget to pack your favourite hiking boots too as there is an opportunity to hit the mountains for a hike.

THE GOAT BOUTIQUE RESORT | Best Hotel in Trang An

THE GOAT BOUTIQUE RESORT Ninh Binh Vietnam

Location, location, location – The Goat Boutique Resort screams convenience and serenity together in one awesome package.

The resort also offers either an Asian breakfast or a buffet which definitely has my ears ringing. The sunset views of the mountain also make this place truly memorable.

Ninh Binh Central Backpackers hostel | Best Hostel in Trang An

Ninh Binh Central Backpackers hostel Vietnam

The Ninh Binh Central Backpackers Hostel is conveniently located in Ninh Binh so it’s easy to get around to the local attractions.

There’s an on-site bar and a billiards table to test your skills against fellow travellers, both of which are great for socializing.

Ninh Binh Central Backpackers is a highly-rated hostel on Hostelworld too so be sure to check them out!

Green Mountain Homestay | Best Homestay in Trang An

This highly-rated homestay has some pretty sweet features, but what really makes it stick out is the terrace and pool area overlooking the mountains.

It’s also perfectly located for doing a spot of hiking or grabbing a bike and exploring the local surroundings.

Things to See and Do in Trang An

Boat ride in Ninh Bình, Vietnam
  1. Start off your trip in Trang An with none other than a traditional boat tour of the grottoes, with three different tour options available.
  2. Instead of a traditional boat tour, go on a kayaking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Site and paddle your own canoe.
  3. If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, take a local helicopter tour of the Trang An complex.
  4. Visit the Buddhist structures at the Bai Dinh pagoda, one of the most significant in the area.
  5. Visit the local farmers in the Trang An complex and learn about their way of life.
  6. Take to the mountains for a day of hiking as you tackle one of the many local trails on offer.
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2. Tam Coc-Bich Dong – Best Place to Stay in Ninh Binh on a Budget

Tam Coc-Bich Dong has proven time and time again to be one of the most popular places to stay in Ninh Binh. It’s home to picturesque rice paddies and of course, its limestone cliffs which can be seen up close and personally during a boat ride on the Ngo Dong River.

Tam Coc - Bich Dong Ninh Binh Vietnam
Drone sent out at just the right moment…

There are also plenty of places to eat and there’s a vibey nightlife, but the downside is that it’s a bit touristy and busy.

Tam Coc Holiday Hotel & Villa | Best Hotel in Tam Coc-Bich Dong

Tam Coc Holiday Hotel & Villa Ninh Binh Vietnam

Location is the operative word here, being a stone’s throw from the centre of the town.

The staff are also super friendly and will go above and beyond to help you organize any rentals, and tours, and even provide recommendations for local cuisine.

Oh, and there’s a pretty sweet pool to cool off in during the summer months – bliss!

The Banana Tree Hostel | Best Hostel in Tam Coc-Bich Dong

The Banana Tree Hostel Ninh Binh Vietnam

Aside from the super friendly vibe that The Banana Tree Hostel puts out, the hostel is really spacious and gives you an incredible sense of freedom.

Not to mention, the super epic pool terrace area that stays open until late at night for a spot of night swimming!

Tam Coc White Swan Homestay | Best Homestay in Tam Coc-Bich Dong

Tam Coc White Swan Homestay Ninh Binh Vietnam

At the Tam Coc White Swan Homestay, the owners really make you feel at home and are the kindest and most genuine people you could ask for.

This really epitomises the vibe of a homestay, along with the convenient location in Tam Coc, it’s easy to see why The White Swan Homestay is so loved!

Things to See and Do in Tam Coc-Bich Dong

Man wandering through the local rice paddies in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Take a stroll. Unwind. Repeat.
  1. Wander through and discover the picturesque local rice paddies.
  2. Take a boat ride along the serene Tam Coc River.
  3. Rent a golf cart and explore some 539 hectares of the Bai Dinh Pagoda complex.
  4. Head out of town and discover the beauty of the Cuc Phuong National Park.
  5. Rent a bicycle and go explore the town and surrounds.
  6. Visit Vietnam’s former capital, Hoa Lu, and walk to the top of Ma Yen Hill.

3. Khe Ha – Best Neighborhood in Ninh Binh for Families to Stay In

Khe Ha, like Trang An, is slightly quieter than Tam Coc-Bich Dong. That being said, it’s a great choice for families who are visiting Ninh Binh as there isn’t as much hustle and bustle.

Hang Mua Viewpoint Ninh Binh Vietnam
Looks like a fairytale!

Khe Ha is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Things are a bit more relaxed and there are some great places to stay with far fewer hostels in the area (they can be quite rowdy!).

Scenic Mountain Ecolodge Ninh Binh | Best Hotel in Khe Ha

When deciding on where to stay in Ninh Binh, look no further than the Scenic Mountain Ecolodge, where the name says it all.

Walking distance to Hang Mua caves and viewpoint – check. Mountain views from the comfort of your room – check. A quiet, relaxing environment perfect for travelling couples – check. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Hang Mua Bungalow | Best Bungalow in Khe Ha

Hang Mua Bungalow Ninh Binh Vietnam

Now, what’s not to love about the Hang Mua Bungalow? They offer free bikes for you to cruise around on, the swimming pool has unparalleled rice paddy views, and it’s a stone’s throw from the Hang Mua caves and viewpoint.

Did I mention that there are mountain views too? Take my money!

Hang Múa Village Homestay | Best Homestays in Khe Ha

Hang Múa Village Homestay Ninh Binh Vietnam

You know what they say about travel – the people really make it special. This couldn’t be more true for the Hang Mua Village Homestay.

The owner is an absolute champ of a human and really makes your stay at the homestay one to remember.

Oh, and the room units are fitted with soundproofing so you can really settle in for a good night’s sleep at night without any noise disturbances – bliss!

Things to See and Do in Khe Ha

Lying Dragon Ninh Binh Vietnam
Khe Ha was a good time.
  1. Bring out the inner explorer in you and discover the Hang Mua caves.
  2. Try some of the local Vietnamese delicacies, such as goat meat and rice crust.
  3. Climb to the top of the Hang Mua viewpoint and the Lying Dragon Mountain (Nui Ngoa Long).
  4. Rent a bicycle or motorbike and discover the local areas.
  5. Attend a cooking class and learn how to prepare local dishes like a pro.
  6. Visit the Am Tien Lake, a manmade lake completely surrounded by mountains.
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FAQs About Where to Stay in Ninh Binh

I hear ya, drowning in questions about finding the best vacation homes in Ninh Binh. So, here’s the lowdown on some of the most common queries.

What To Pack For Ninh Binh

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Ninh Binh

Take it from a broke backpacker, you don’t wanna be playing the risky business game on the roads! Do yourself a favour and get good travel insurance!

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Ninh Binh

Right, that brings us to the end of where to stay in Ninh Binh. But don’t worry, this is just the beginning of your sweet, sweet adventure! I hope this guide has helped you in some way, shape, or form in planning your trip and that some of the information I’ve provided you with will come in handy.

If you have trouble deciding on which area to stay in, rather settle for Khe Ha. It’s almost equidistant between the two and has some pretty sweet homestays like Hang Múa Village Homestay and Hang Mua Bungalow. They really epitomise the local hospitality and vibe and will ensure you have an epic stay!

Happy planning and safe travels. 🙂

Looking for more info on travelling to Ninh Binh and Vietnam?