Where to stay in Hanoi


Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is rich in history, culture, and bustling local life. Navigating the city's diverse neighborhoods can be exciting and daunting for first-time visitors. With a harmonious mix of ancient architecture, French colonial influences, and modern developments, Hanoi is a city that appeals to various tastes and preferences. The key to enjoying Hanoi fully is choosing the right neighborhood to stay in - one that aligns with your interests and travel needs. From the tranquil lakeside quarters to the vibrant, narrow streets of the Old Quarter, each area offers a unique experience. Here's an honest guide to help you decipher the character of each neighborhood so you can make an informed decision on where to stay during your visit to Hanoi.

  • Hoan Kiem

    • ๐Ÿ™๏ธ central
    • ๐Ÿ’ƒ vibrant
    • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ shopping
    • ๐Ÿ food
    • ๐ŸŽญ cultural
    • noisy

    Hoan Kiem is the heart of Hanoi's cultural and urban activities. It's famous for the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake and is the gateway to the Old Quarter's maze of shopping streets and local markets. While it offers convenient access to major attractions, it can be noisy and crowded. Accommodations range from budget hostels to high-end hotels, catering to all travelers.

  • Tay Ho

    • expat community
    • ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ peaceful
    • international
    • ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ residential
    • lakeside

    Tay Ho is an expatriate-friendly area known for its quieter streets and Western amenities. The district, centered around the expansive West Lake, offers a mix of local charm and international comfort. An array of international restaurants, cafes, and boutiques complements the tranquil scenery. However, it's a bit removed from the city center, which could be a downside for those who wish to stay in the heart of Hanoiโ€™s hustle.

    Thuy Khue Quarter is located within Tay Ho.
  • Ba Dinh

    • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ historical
    • political center
    • ๐ŸŽญ culture
    • landmarks
    • ๐Ÿง˜ quiet

    Ba Dinh is the political center of Vietnam, housing important historical sites, including the Presidential Palace and One Pillar Pagoda. The area offers a quiet atmosphere suitable for those interested in history and culture. Accommodations are sparse here, and the nightlife isn't as lively as other districts. It's a respected and more solemn part of the city, providing a different Hanoi experience.

  • Truc Bach Quarter

    • ๐ŸŒณ serene
    • lakeside
    • ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ peaceful
    • cafes
    • limited nightlife

    Truc Bach Quarter is known for its peaceful atmosphere, centered around the tranquil Truc Bach Lake. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer a serene retreat, yet it's still close enough to the Old Quarter and other bustling districts. The area has a good mix of local eateries and some expat-friendly spots. Be aware that nightlife here is limited, so for those looking for a vibrant evening scene, this may not be the ideal location.

    Truc Bach Quarter is a part of Ba Dinh.
  • Cรดng Vi Quarter

    • ๐Ÿฅ‚ upscale
    • safe
    • international
    • ๐Ÿง˜ quiet
    • westernized

    Cรดng Vi Quarter is an upmarket area characterized by its embassies, government buildings, and well-maintained streets. The locale is great for those who seek a more orderly and quiet area, yet it comes at a higher price point. The quarter has some fine dining options and cafes, but it lacks traditional street food and vibrant market life.

    Cรดng Vi Quarter is a part of Ba Dinh.
  • Dong Da

    • ๐Ÿ•บ lively
    • youthful
    • street food
    • local shops
    • energetic

    Dong Da is a densely populated part of Hanoi, home to several universities, thus attracting a younger demographic and an energetic atmosphere. It boasts a variety of local street food vendors, cafes, and small shops. Due to its educational centers, it can get quite hectic, especially during school terms, and might not provide a peaceful retreat. Nevertheless, Dong Da is a lively area to stay for those interested in experiencing Hanoi's vibrant student life and who don't mind the occasional crowdedness.

  • Hai Ba Trung

    • dynamic
    • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ shopping
    • ๐Ÿท nightlife
    • ๐Ÿ™๏ธ modern
    • less historical

    Hai Ba Trung is a dynamic area rich with local commerce and gritty charm. It has few tourists and a lot of local shops, cafes, and restaurants. As with many non-touristy areas, English is not widely spoken, which might be challenging for some travelers. It's a good choice for long-term stays or for visitors looking to dive into the local way of life.

  • Thuy Khue Quarter

    • ๐Ÿฅ‚ upscale
    • ๐Ÿ™๏ธ modern
    • ๐Ÿง˜ quiet
    • lakefront

    Thuy Khue Quarter, located along Thanh Nien Street, is an area with an upscale residential vibe. It is less hectic than the central quarters but still offers a decent selection of cafes and restaurants. The proximity to West Lake appeals to visitors who enjoy morning jogs or leisurely strolls. However, some might find it a tad isolated from Hanoiโ€™s main attractions, requiring some travel to reach the city's hustle and bustle.

    Thuy Khue Quarter is a part of Tay Ho.
  • Doi Can Quarter

    • ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ residential
    • local
    • ๐Ÿง˜ quiet
    • homestays

    Doi Can Quarter is a quaint and local area of Hanoi that tourists less frequent. Offering an authentic glimpse into Hanoian life, it suits travelers eager to experience the city beyond its tourist veneer. However, it may not boast the convenience of other areas, as it is a bit removed from major attractions. The quarter has fewer English-speaking locals, which may pose a challenge for those not familiar with Vietnamese. Nevertheless, for an immersive cultural experience, it is a solid choice.

    Doi Can Quarter is a part of Ba Dinh.
  • Ngoc Ha Quarter

    • traditional
    • local
    • markets
    • street food
    • less touristy

    Ngoc Ha Quarter is home to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and exudes a unique mix of historical importance and local daily life. It's quieter than tourist-heavy areas, yet still holds some charm with modest street food stalls and markets. However, tourists may not find as many entertainment options here, and English is less commonly spoken, which may present challenges.

    Ngoc Ha Quarter is a part of Ba Dinh.