Getting to Old Quarter from the Hanoi airport

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Method 1: Setting up a shuttle through your hotel/hostel

The first time that I came to Hanoi I chose this option simply out of fear of being lost and getting scammed at the airport. After waiting ages to get my visa, I was very worried that the driver would have left, but sure enough, there was a man holding my name on a sign outside of the arrivals terminal. He then helped me with my bags and got me to my hostel with no problem. Yay! My transition from the airport to the hostel was smooth enough and I found that my nerves were calmed when I just had it all set up for me. The thing is that I paid for that comfort and the price was $15 (about 333,697 VND), which is not ideal for a long-term budget traveler. Regardless, here is a link to the shuttle that I used to get to Old Quarter when I first came to Hanoi.

I stayed with the Central Backpacker’s Hostel in Old Quarter. If you are staying at that hostel or near that hostel, here is a link to their website where you can book a shuttle from the airport.

Central Backpackers Hostel Old Quarter

It is really all about what makes you most comfortable and doing what you want, but I am going to suggest some other options as well.

Method 2: Taking a “Minibus” to the city center and then taking a taxi to your hotel/hostel

I was very close to choosing this route until the cheapskate in me talked me out of it. It wasn’t even that expensive but I was convinced I could get a lower price. The driver said that it would cost me $4 (about 89,000 VND), but I just figured I could get something cheaper. The good thing about the Minibus was that there weren’t too many spots to fill and so it would have taken a shorter amount of time to pick up people and get them to their hotel/hostel quicker. I decided to forego that luxury and went for the Vietjet airline shuttle that was the size of a Greyhound bus. Both the Minibus and the Vietjet airline shuttle bus can be found across from platform 16-17.

Here on the Hanoi airport website, you can see images of the minibuses.

Method 3: Taking the Vietjet airlines shuttle bus to the city center and then taking a taxi to your hotel/hostel.

vj 1

I went for the last option. I chose to take the Vietjet airline shuttle bus across from platform 18 since it was only $2 (about 45,000 VND) and it was the cheapest route. I did save money doing it this way, but I also lost time. Not only did I have to wait for enough people to sign up for the shuttle bus, but I also had to face the traffic that had developed while I was waiting for the bus to fill up. So, my ETA at my hostel went from 17h00 to 20h30. The traffic was seriously a nightmare and to top it off, it was drizzling. After I got to the city center, I hailed a cab and they took me to my hostel for 30,000 VND (about $1.40). The drive was at most 10 minutes long and they took my straight to my hostel.

All of these options are there for you so just figure out which makes you most comfortable!

Note: You can use USD/VND when getting around so don’t stress about the currency. Just make sure you have the exact amount in USD because it is possible that the person you are paying doesn’t have enough change in USD. Currently, 1 USD = 22,125 VND. Source

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