Wondering where to stay in Hanoi? With imposing French colonial architecture, beautiful lakes and a bustling Old Quarter, the capital of Vietnam has much to offer. Hanoi is a large city of nearly 8 million people and diverse neighbourhoods and areas. Where to stay in Hanoi need not bother you when in this bustling city that oozes history and culture everywhere. From vibrant nightclubs, a range of hotels, modern restaurants, to traditional temples and pagodas, Hanoi has something for every budget. You will find your place in this vintage Asian City.
Hanoi is simultaneously slow and fast, easy and difficult, exhausting and relaxing. This City is the perfect illustration of a society in transition. It juxtaposes the old and new bringing a fascinating angle to this unique city. A little research and help do a lot in terms of choosing the best places to stay in Hanoi, how to get there, and what to eat as this can get rather confusing.
Where to stay in Hanoi (2020 Guide) - Contents
The Best Places Where to Stay in Hanoi
Whatever your expectations, Hanoi is sure to surprise you at every corner by the sheer depth of its culture, the delicious food, and the amazing friendly nature of her people. Explore Hanoi and find out why this compelling capital city is so mesmerizing.
Similar to other large Southeast Asian cities, choosing where you stay in Hanoi will greatly impact the kind of memories you take home. This is because Hanoi City has several central districts and each comes with its own culture and unique feel. In Hanoi, the most popular type of tourist accommodation is definitely hotels. These are found in everything ranging from humble homestays to sleek 5-star luxury hotels.
Tip: This, however, doesn’t mean that Hanoi always has plenty of accommodation available as the hotels and apartments are at times completely sold out! So, book your accommodation well in advance!
The following are the best where to stay locations in Hanoi.
Old Quarter, the Heart and Soul of Hanoi
The Old Quarter should be your first stop when in Vietnam’s Capital as this is the heart and soul of Hanoi. Also called Hoan Kiem, the Old Quarter is a top contender among the best where to stay in Hanoi locations. Why? Because this is where you will find lots of interesting cultural and historical attractions. These include Hoan Kiem Lake, Bach Ma Temple, and Dong Xuan Market among others.
If you love to be in the middle of the action, this is the perfect neighbourhood as it lies at the heart of Hanoi city! The unique blend of French and Chinese influences will leave you mesmerized and falling in love with the lovely chaos. The Old Quarter has lots of budget accommodation, a broad range of restaurants, and lots of street food for you to sample.
Places to See and Things to Do in Old Quarter
Spend an hour or two browsings through the bustling market at Dong Xuan Market or go for a leisurely stroll around the stunning Hoan Kiem Lake. Marvel at the architectural wonder that is the St Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi, the City’s oldest Roman Catholic Church.
Love theatre? Catch a live puppet performance at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Explore the historical Hoa Lo Prison Museum in the Old Quarter. This is where Vietnamese revolutionaries and captured American POWs were housed during the brutal Vietnam War. If you are a nighthawk, go shopping for Vietnamese souvenirs at the busy Hanoi Weekend Night Market.
Spare some time and check out the beautiful Bach Ma Temple or visit the majestic Temple of the Jade Mountain. And if you love dining why not dine at Xoi Xeo? If you love BBQs, savour the best of what Vietnam has to offer at Xuan Xuan Hanoi. Love the cool drink? Take some breaks in between the tours and grab a cool pint at the Legend Beer Hanoi or try some cheap beer at Bia Hoi Junction.
Although public transport in the Old Quarter is non-existent, many of the main attractions are within walking distance including restaurants and bars. The weekend market usually takes over some of the streets in the Old Quarter on Friday evenings.
Where to stay in the Old Quarter
If you love action and really want to experience this city, this is where to stay in Hanoi. Word of caution: during the daytime, the Old Quarter is extremely busy and the crowds, noise, and endless activity are something you will have to cope with or deal with.
Ba Dinh District, Hanoi’s Political Center
Ba Dinh is not only an interesting area but one of the best where to stay in Hanoi. This is Hanoi’s political center. Here you get to see offices holding many of the departments of the Vietnamese government, government buildings, and most foreign embassies. Here you also find historical landmarks such as the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. From here, you have easy access to the Botanical Gardens and Ho Chi Minh Museum as they are both within walking distance.
Ba Dinh is a convenient place where to stay in Hanoi especially if you are keen on avoiding the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter. We recommend it as you also remain close to the most important historical sites.
Places to See and Things to Do in Ba Dinh District
Take time and admire the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. This is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that makes a very intriguing historical Hanoi landmark. A fan of historical art? Browse through more than 8,000 original artifacts located at the local Museum of Artillery. Pop in at the Temple of Literature erected in honor of the most revered scholars in Vietnam.
For history scholars, the name Ho Chi Minh will certainly ring a familiar bell. So why not explore the life of this revolutionary leader at the Ho Chi Minh Museum? Wander through the grounds of the Vietnamese Presidential Palace. Cap that by standing at the center of Ba Dinh Square. This is where the nation’s Proclamation of Independence was read way back in 1945.
Love to dine? Ba Dinh District allows you to dine on a delicious local specialty; enjoyable rice noodle rolls. Why not try the savory Banh xeo pancakes when in the area and then head to the Hanoi Botanical Garden and smell the roses, literally.
Where to stay in Ba Dinh District
Hotels in this District are generally in the mid-range to luxurious, although if you are willing to splash, it has several international hotel brands. This part of the capital city of Vietnam boasts of a good selection of restaurants, bars, and cafés which means you will not have to go far in order to have a good time or a fun night out.
Don’t Miss Tay Ho and Hanoi West Lake
Tay Ho is excellent if you want to enjoy a quiet retreat in the City of Hanoi. This is among our top recommendations of where to stay in Hanoi. It is here you will find the biggest freshwater lake in Hanoi, West Lake. The District has a collection of lakeside restaurants, stylish bistros, and mid-range hotels.
Tay Ho is also home to ornate Buddhist structures like Quan Thanh Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda. The Tay Ho Weekend Market is a place worth visiting if you are looking to buy ethical goods or sampling Vietnamese cuisine.
Love to eat? Tay Ho takes care of you. This is a modern district dotted with numerous trendy eateries as well as hip restaurants serving cuisines from all parts of the world. From French haute-cuisine to traditional Vietnamese dishes, this neighbourhood will certainly excite your taste buds. If you are looking for nightlife, Tay Ho may not be for you as it tends to be on the quiet side. There are, however, several local and expat bars.
Places to See and Things to Do in Tay Ho
Head to Tran Quoc Pagoda and marvel at Vietnam’s oldest temple or make a visit to the Tay Ho Temple. If walking is your thing, take a refreshing walk around Tay Ho Lake. You may want to catch a lively show at Hanoi Rock City or enjoy a night of vibrant music at The Sidewalk Bar & Grill accompanied by drinks. Nightlife in Tay Ho is active and you can dance the night away at Savage Club Hanoi with a classy house and techno music.
Start your Hanoi day with a rich coffee from Oriberry. Love shopping? Then head to Betterday and shop for organic and fair-trade products or gifts. Then enjoy the view as you sip cool cocktails at Sunset Bar. On Friday, tease your taste buds as you also shop at the Tay Ho Weekend Market.
The big sites in Tay Ho can be reached easily on foot, although if you want, taxis are easy to come by. In terms of where to stay in Hanoi when in this district, much of the accommodation consists of mid to high-end hotels. However, you can still get rooms that are relatively reasonably priced. You may want to book a hotel with a view of the beautiful Tay Ho Lake.
Where to stay in Do in Tay Ho
This is a rather pricey location and is perfect if you are looking for a quiet stay plus a broad range of top restaurants. However, in terms of accommodation, the choices are limited. You can, however, always find accommodation to suit your pocket ranging from luxury to budget hotels. Notable luxury hotels in Tay Ho include Pan Pacific Hanoi and InterContinental Hanoi Westlake.
Truc Bach, the Family Relaxation Spot
If you are looking for a cool neighborhood in Hanoi where you can catch your breath, welcome to Truc bach. If you want a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, this is one of the best places to stay in Hanoi. This is a quiet area, particularly on Ngu Xa Island where you can quietly wander through the neighborhood streets and discover hidden gems.
This family relaxation spot is located at the Old Quarter’s northern end and is separated from West Lake only by a narrow dike. The lake shores make it one the best where to stay in Hanoi, a place to be visited again and again.
Truc Bach offers a range of vegetarian and international cuisine as well as local specialties. Look out for frog hotpot and Pho Cuon which is a type of noodle roll.
Places to See and Things to Do in Truc Bach
Except for the Tran Quoc pagoda, there aren’t many famous landmarks to see in Truc Bach, the reason why you will find few tourists here. The neighborhood, however, is packed with restaurants that cater to the sizable expat community living there. This is the perfect spot when you want to relax with a great book by the lakeside.
For great family time, rent a boat and paddle on Truc Bach Lake or visit Tan Quoc Pagoda. Visit and marvel at the majesty of the Quan Thanh Taoist temple or wander along the expansive Phan Dinh Phung Street as you admire the heritage architecture.
If you love books, head to The Bookworm and get a copy of your favorite book. Walk along the streets and grab a refreshing local treat of Chè made with coconut milk and shaved ice. If cooking is your thing learn how to cook delicious Vietnamese cuisine at the Hanoi Cooking Center.
Where to stay in Truc Bach
In this part of Hanoi, accommodation tilts towards a nice mix of mid-range hotels and longer-term studio apartments.
Hai Ba Trung – the Cool Place to Stay in Hanoi
Hai Ba Trung is Hanoi’s lively and modern district set in the city center. It’s well-connected to most parts of Hanoi which makes it the perfect base when you want to explore other places in Hanoi. It not only offers fantastic restaurants and plenty of attractions but has great shopping sites. It doesn’t come as a surprise that we think this is the best place where to stay in Hanoi.
This is a fantastic place where to stay especially for fashion aficionados and shopaholics. Dotted throughout the area is an awesome selection of local shops, independent boutiques, and fabric markets. Check out the tailor shops where experts can make traditional clothes just for you!
Places to See and Things to Do in Hai Ba Trung
Go for an easy stroll along the bustling Hai Ba Trung Street and make sure you see the beautiful Hai Ba Trung Temple. At Union Park, get to enjoy a breath of fresh air as this is Central Hanoi’s green oasis. You can also take a day out and relax and rest on the shores of Thien Quang Lake.
Visit The Women’s Museum and learn how women contributed to the culture and history of Vietnam. Shop to your satisfaction at the massive Times City. Dancing appeals to you? Dance the night away at the largest nightclub around, The Bank Hanoi.
Your time here would be incomplete without trying the fresh and delicious Vietnamese dishes available at Bun Cha Huong Lien. Then sip a sophisticated cocktail at Xu Restaurant Lounge.
Most places where you can stay when around Hai Ba Trung are within an easy walk or short taxi ride.
Where to stay in Hai Ba Trung
Hai Ba Trung is perhaps the best where to stay in Hanoi as it has something for everyone. Accommodation is modern and varied including 5-star luxury places.