Jump To: Where To Stay in Hanoi | Neighbourhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQs

In this article I’ll be taking a deep dive into the best areas of Hanoi and where to stay. Vietnam’s capital city is a fantastic destination and one that I hope to return to in the near future. However, with so many epic options for where to base yourself, planning your trip can be a little overwhelming.

Having recently spent a month in Hanoi, one of the world’s most popular tourist spots, I got to know it well. The huge expansive metropolis has many diverse areas and I discovered some great off-the-beaten-track parts of the city. Let’s get straight into the best areas to stay in Hanoi.

Best Areas to Stay in Hanoi

Where To Stay in Hanoi

store owner sitting on low stall in front of colourful hanging materials whilst another street vendor walks, Hanoi store owner sitting on low stall in front of colourful hanging materials whilst another street vendor walks, Hanoi

I’ve split the city into 5 great areas that will suit different requirements and types of travelers; here are the best places to stay in Hanoi.

Hoan Kim: Best Place To Stay in Hanoi for Your First Time

My husband, Rob, and I enjoy a coffee at Train Street, Hoan Kim

Hoan Kiem is the heart of the city and is renowned for being the best area to stay in Hanoi overall. It offers a blend of historical sites, cultural attractions, and a fantastic social scene.

Pros of Staying in Hoan Kim

  • Central Location: Close to major attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter, and the Hanoi Opera House.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: Bustling streets, markets, and a lively local culture, perfect for a true Hanoi experience.
  • Convenient Amenities: Plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and services are all within walking distance.

Cons of Staying in Hoan Kim

  • Noise and Crowds: The area can be very busy and noisy, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Higher Prices: Accommodation and dining can be more expensive compared to other parts of the city.
  • Traffic: The streets can be crowded and challenging to navigate, especially for first-time visitors.

Best Places to Stay in Hoan Kiem

Opting for the Hoan Kiem region means having access to some of the best places to stay in the center of Hanoi, here are a few great options to consider;

1. Apricot Hotel: One of the best hotels in Hanoi, a luxurious accommodation overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. The decor blends modern elegance with classic Vietnamese art and the rooftop bar has stunning views. Click here for details.

2. TrangTrang Premium Hotel & Sky Bar: A comfortable and affordable accommodation option in the heart of the Old Quarter. This is an ideal spot for budget-conscious travelers who still enjoy some fancy touches and a rooftop bar with their hotel. Click here for details.

3. Classic Street Hotel: If you’re seeking cheap places to stay in Hanoi then look no further than this charming and cozy hotel. Located in the Old Quarter, it offers affordable rates and easy access to all of Hanoi’s major tourist attractions. Click here for details.

Top Things To Do in Hoan Kiem

I had an amazing birthday trip to Ha Long Bay

Hoan Kiem is the best neighborhood in Hanoi for things to do, here’s a few great activities to get you started;

1. Visit Train Street with a Street Food Tour: Take a guided tour of one of Hanoi’s must-see sights – Train Street. You’ll also discover and enjoy an array of delicious Vietnamese street food. Click here to learn more and book.

2. Take a Trip To Ha Long Bay: The Old Quarter is the base for various iconic Ha Long Bay trips. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, click here to read all about my own amazing and crazy trip. Click this link to see the excellent tour I booked.

3. Hoan Kiem Lake: Take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, it’s a relaxing way to enjoy a slice of nature in the busy city. There are also cultural performances at the nearby Ngoc Son Temple on weekends. Click here for directions.

Where to Eat and Drink in Hoan Kiem

For cafes, cocktails, and dining out, Hoan Kiem is one of the best neighborhoods in Hanoi, here are a few of my top picks;

1. Blackbird Coffee: I named this cafe the best in Hanoi in my article 15 Best Cafes in Hanoi. It’s a great setting that offers delicious quality food at typically affordable Vietnamese rates. The coffee is always exceptional too. Click here for directions.

2. Polite & Co.: A stylish speakeasy in Hoan Kiem, perfect for craft cocktails and a cozy, relaxed vibe. The vintage decor and friendly bartenders make it a great spot to unwind. Click here for directions.

3. New Day Restaurant: An excellent traditional restaurant that offers delicious Vietnamese cuisine with a homely feel. Their spring rolls and pho are a must-try. Click here for directions.

Hai Ba Trung: Best Area in Hanoi for Nightlife

With its vibrant bars and bustling clubs, Hai Ba Trung is the best place to stay in Hanoi for nightlife. The energetic streets come alive after dark and there are many entertainment options and cool social hangouts.

Pros of Staying in Hai Ba Trung

  • Vibrant Nightlife: The area is packed with lively bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, making it perfect for night owls.
  • Diverse Dining Options: There are a variety of restaurants to try out, from local street food spots to upscale dining.
  • Modern Amenities: The district has plenty of shopping malls, cinemas, and other modern conveniences.

Cons of Staying in Hai Ba Trung

  • Noise Levels: The aforementioned nightlife can result in noise late into the night, which might disturb light sleepers.
  • Higher Costs: Dining and entertainment in this area can be more expensive compared to other parts of Hanoi.
  • Less Historical Charm: Compared to other districts like Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung has fewer historical landmarks and traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Best Places to Stay in Hai Ba Trung

Hai Ba Trung has plenty of great accommodation options, take a look at these I found;

1. Adonis Hotel: Comfortable and well-appointed rooms with modern amenities. Its central location makes it one of the best Hanoi hotels near nightlife. Click here for more details.

2. Sunrise Hanoi Hotel: Spacious rooms and an excellent restaurant and bar onsite make for a relaxing stay. This is where to stay in Hanoi with parking included. Click here for more details.

3. Nesta Boutique Hotel: Offering chic, stylish rooms with a modern design and cozy atmosphere. Its convenient location near popular attractions and restaurants makes it a great choice for fully enjoying Hai Ba Trung. Click here for details.

Top Things To Do in Hai Ba Trung

A market vendor sitting amongst fresh local produce such as figs, bananas, local greens and pineappleA market vendor sitting amongst fresh local produce such as figs, bananas, local greens and pineapple

Hai Ba Trung is certainly where to stay in Hanoi for nightlife but here are a few other attractions to keep you busy.

1. Vincom Center Ba Trieu: One of Hanoi’s premier shopping malls, home to a wide range of international and local brands, dining options, and entertainment facilities. It’s a great spot for shopping, catching a movie, or enjoying a meal. Click here for directions.

2. The Vietnam Women’s Museum. This is a fascinating exhibit on the history, culture, and contributions of Vietnamese women. Learn about the role of women in Vietnam’s society, both past and present. Click here for directions.

3. Explore Local Markets: Hom Market and Thien Quang Lake Market provide a glimpse into Vietnamese traditions and daily life. Discover and maybe purchase some delicious street food and local products.

Where to Eat and Drink in Hai Ba Trung

Hai Ba Trung is the best neighborhood in Hanoi for nightlife and foodies looking to check out the many great restaurants. Here are a couple of my top picks;

1. Delta Pizza: Exceptional pizza cooked in an authentic Italian style. Their pasta dishes are not to be missed either, it’s worth at least a couple of visits. Click here for directions.

2. Twins Cocktail and Wine Bar: A cool and stylish bar with dark and somber vibes. Excellent for cocktails, live jazz music, and happy hour. Click here for directions.

3. The Cupid Club: Vibrant and exciting late-night spot. Expect DJs pumping the tunes, bartenders mixing the drinks, and beautiful people cutting a rug till the early hours. Click here for directions.

Ocean Park, Gia Lam: Coolest Place to Stay in Hanoi 

The pretty beach walk around the lake at Ocean Park

Not too far from the center of Hanoi is a cool area known as Ocean Park. It’s the place I called home for most of my time in Hanoi; I loved my time spent in this modern neighborhood built around an amazing man-made white sandy beach and expansive lake.

Filled with beautiful 3-story townhouses and luxurious towering apartment blocks, Ocean Park is jam-packed with cool bars, restaurants, and amenities. It’s a completely different vibe from the city and provides a sweet release from the chaotic Hanoi streets.

Pros of Staying in Ocean Park

  • Amenities: Cafes, restaurants, bars, parks, marts, and pharmacies are dotted everywhere around Ocean Park.
  • Less Congested: Being away from the hustle and bustle of central Hanoi means quieter traffic and less crowded public areas.
  • Beautiful Scenery: The lake and beach are fantastic and present a different side of Hanoi.

Cons of Staying in Ocean Park

  • Out of Town: Although only a few miles outside of central Hanoi, thanks to traffic it can take around 30-40 minutes to get into the city.
  • No History: Being a new township there’s little to no historical culture here.
  • Construction: Massive construction projects and further developments are still underway in large parts of Ocean Park.

Best Places to Stay in Ocean Park

Despite being one of the ‘posh’ areas of Hanoi, deluxe but affordable apartments are the order of the day;

1. QMP: A stylish and fully equipped apartment with an indoor pool and fitness center included. A convenient cafe and mart can be found on the ground level. Click here for details.

2. Pearl House: One of the top places to stay near Hanoi, this beautiful one-bedroom apartment has all the feel-at-home amenities included. There are also BBQ facilities, a balcony, and an outdoor pool. Click here for details.

3. Luck Apart 05: A convenient and comfortable apartment in the heart of Ocean Park. An onsite bar, terrace, and garden make for a fun but tranquil setting. Click here for details.

Top Things To Do in Ocean Park

The white sandy beaches at Ocean Park

Although Ocean Park is outside the city center, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy. Here are a few of my top suggestions;

1. Go to the Beach: Ocean Park is built around a huge man-made lake that features beautiful white sandy beaches. Access is usually included with a local accommodation booking but a day pass is only a few dollars if not. It’s the perfect sunny day activity. Click here for directions.

2. Go Kayaking: Ngoc Trai Lake offers numerous boating and kayaking opportunities. You’ll find the kiosk by the south shore. Click here for directions.

3. Walk Around: Less traffic means Ocean Park is a safe neighborhood in Hanoi for walking, unlike much of the rest of the city. With the lake, beach, waterways, and attractive modern architecture it’s a nice way to rack up some serious daily steps.

Where to Eat and Drink in Ocean Park

The Stage, a great ex-pat bar in Ocean Park

Ocean Park is one of the best Hanoi neighborhoods for restaurants, bars, and cafes, here are my 3 favorites;

1. The Stage: I thankfully found this great ex-pat hangout on my first day, it’s one of the coolest spots in Hanoi. Regular live music, amazing staff, an excellent food menu, and a bar dog called Heidi who you’ll love. Click here for directions.

2. Don Chicken: I was drawn by the name but came back time and again for the food. An extensive and delicious menu of chicken options. A straightforward, casual, and easygoing place. Click here for directions.

3. Om Indian Restaurant & Bar: The British know good Indian food and Om cooks some of the best I found in Vietnam. Top-notch curries and traditional Indian dishes in a welcoming and friendly setting. Click here for directions.

Tay Ho: Best for Families 

Tay Ho is the best area in Hanoi for families, offering a more peaceful and spacious environment. With the vast West Lake at its center, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy such as cycling, jogging, and picnicking.

The area is also home to numerous parks and playgrounds, perfect for kids. Families are sure to love the variety of dining options in Tay Ho. It’s an ideal blend of relative tranquility and abundant convenience that is not found in all parts of Hanoi.

Pros of Staying in Tay Ho

  • Peaceful Environment: Tay Ho offers a serene and spacious atmosphere, away from the busy city center.
  • Outdoor Activities: West Lake has many outdoor recreational opportunities making it great for those seeking an active lifestyle.
  • Family-Friendly Amenities: The area has numerous parks, playgrounds, international schools, and supermarkets that cater well to families.

Cons of Staying in Tay Ho

  • Distance from City Center: Tay Ho is further out from Hanoi’s central attractions and business districts, making commuting less convenient.
  • Higher Cost of Living: The area is known for its upscale housing and amenities, which can be more expensive compared to other districts.
  • Less Historical Charm: Tay Ho lacks the historical and cultural landmarks found in districts like Hoan Kiem.

Best Places to Stay in Tay Ho

There are plenty of great accommodation options in Tay Ho, here’s a few of the best options to check out;

1. InterContinental Westlake: Luxurious rooms with stunning views of West Lake make for the perfect family retreat. Enjoy exceptional amenities, including an over-water restaurant and a beautiful outdoor pool. Click here for details.

2. Elegant Suites Westlake: Spacious, apartment-style accommodations ideal for families and longer stays. With modern facilities, a fitness center, and a playground, it’s one of the best places to stay in Hanoi for groups. Click here for details.

3. The Hanoi Club Hotel & Residences: Stylish rooms with lake views and a range of recreational facilities, including an outdoor pool, golf driving range, and tennis courts. Its serene location by West Lake makes it a peaceful escape within the city. Click here for details.

Top Things To Do in Tay Ho

As a family-friendly area of Hanoi there are plenty of wholesome activities and fun things to do in Tay Ho, here are a few of my favorite suggestions;

1. Visit West Lake Water Park: This is a really fun and family-friendly day out where all ages can enjoy various water slides, pools, and splash zones. It’s perfect for cooling off and having fun with the kids. Click here for directions.

2. Enjoy the Sunset: Gather with family and friends at one of the many Westlake cafes or bars to enjoy the stunning sunset views. It’s a relaxing and social way to end the day and one of the best free things to do in the area.

3. Enjoy Quang Ba Flower Market: I recommend a trip to the Quang Ba Flower Market early in the morning to see vibrant flowers and experience some true local culture. It’s a unique and colorful experience that everyone will enjoy. Click here for directions.

Where to Eat and Drink in Tay Ho

Enjoying a beer at Standing Bar overlooking West Lake

I found so many great places to eat and drink in Tay Ho but here are a few of my top choices;

1. Standing Bar: A cool bar with a fantastic selection of craft beers and delicious tapas. It’s the perfect spot for an evening out with friends and boasts a lively atmosphere and beautiful views of the lake. Click here for directions.

2. The Summit Bar: Located on the rooftop of the Pan Pacific Hanoi, this is an excellent spot to watch the sunset over West Lake. Sip on cocktails while enjoying the stunning panoramic views. Click here for directions.

3. Maison de Tet Decor: A cozy cafe and restaurant serving healthy, organic meals and excellent coffee. Its lakeside location makes it a great place for a relaxing brunch with the family or catching up with friends. Click here for directions.

SEE ALSO: 15 Best Cafes in Hanoi (Laptop Friendly)

Ba Dinh: Best Place in Hanoi on a Budget 

With plenty of affordable accommodation options to pick from, Ba Dinh is a fantastic area to stay in Hanoi on a budget. It’s a central location and home to many historical attractions like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, making sightseeing easy and cost-effective.

The district also has numerous budget-friendly eateries and local markets where you can enjoy delicious Vietnamese food without overspending. Ba Dinh is perfect for travelers looking to experience Hanoi without breaking the bank.

Pros of Staying in Ba Dinh

  • Affordable Accommodations: There are many budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and guesthouses.
  • Central Location: Close to major attractions like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace, making sightseeing and exploring convenient.
  • Local Markets: Numerous local markets offer fresh produce and street food at very reasonable prices.

Cons of Staying in Ba Dinh

  • Less Nightlife: The area is quieter at night, with fewer nightlife options compared to districts like Hai Ba Trung.
  • Limited Dining Variety: Fewer high-end dining options compared to more tourist-centric areas like Hoan Kiem.
  • Older Infrastructure: Some accommodations and facilities tend to be older than those in newer districts.

Best Places to Stay in Ba Dinh

Ba Dinh has plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options that still provide excellent quality and service, check out these great options;

1. Yah Hotel & Spa: Enjoy the luxury of a spa hotel in Ba Dinh while keeping a close eye on your travel budget. Indoor pools, a sauna, and spa facilities are all available. Click here for details.

2. Skylark Boutique Hotel: Even boutique hotels are affordable in the Ba Dinh district. This lovely accommodation option has a rooftop pool and stylishly finished rooms throughout. The price will pleasantly surprise you! Click here for details.

3. Hanoi 20 Hotel & Apartment: Hundreds of excellent reviews rate Hanoi 20 as the best guesthouse in Hanoi. Ideally located just a 5-minute walk from the Dong Xuan Market and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Click here for details.

Top Things To Do in Ba Dinh

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh is where to stay in Hanoi city center for all the top cultural attractions, here are a few things to add to your itinerary;

1. Tick Off All the Sights: Explore many of Ba Dinh’s top attractions with an excellent half-day guided tour. You’ll visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square among many other fascinating sights. Click here to book your tour.

2. Visit the Vietnam Military History Museum: A showcase of Vietnam’s military history with numerous excellent historical exhibits and artifacts. I did an excellent walking tour that takes in the museum and numerous important war sites. Click here to learn more.

3. See the One Pillar Pagoda: The unique, historic temple built on a single stone pillar is one of Hanoi’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a peaceful spot to explore and an excellent place to take photos. Click here for directions.

Where to Eat and Drink in Ba Dinh

Ba Dinh is home to some great dining spots that won’t break the budget, here are a couple of my go-to regular spots;

1. Lotte Center Hanoi Food Court: A great place for variety, choice, and affordable meals. This food court has everything from Vietnamese street food to international cuisines. Click here for directions.

2. Pho Vien 24: A famous Ba Dinh spot known for its delicious and budget-friendly bowls of pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s the perfect traditional restaurant for a quick and satisfying meal. Click here for directions.

3. Pizza 4P’s: A popular chain of pizza restaurants, P4P’s always serves great pizza, made and cooked in a true Italian style. This location in Ba Dinh is a nice spot for a glass of wine. Click here for directions.

Where to Stay in Hanoi: FAQs

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about where to stay in Hanoi.

What area of Hanoi is best for tourists?

Hoan Kiem is ideal for tourists due to its central location, historic sites, busy social scene, and vibrant street life.

Where should I avoid staying?

You should avoid staying in remote or poorly connected areas far from the city center. Districts on the outskirts like Dong Anh are less central and have fewer amenities for tourists.

What is the safest place to stay in Hanoi?

Popular areas like Hoan Kiem, Tay Ho, and Ba Dinh are generally considered the safest places in Hanoi. Regular tourist traffic and an obvious security presence ensure people who practice common sense are unlikely to experience any crime.

Does it matter where I stay in Hanoi?

Yes, it matters based on your budget, preferences, and planned activities. Hoan Kiem is central for sightseeing, while Tay Ho offers a more serene environment.

Which part of Hanoi is most beautiful?

Hoan Kiem is renowned for being the most beautiful part of Hanoi. The Old Quarter Streets give it a historic charm whilst also having the serene natural beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Is Hanoi walkable?

Yes, Hanoi is walkable, especially in districts like Hoan Kiem where many attractions, shops, and eateries are close together. However, be warned the traffic in Hanoi can be crazy, and crossing the road is not always safe or easy.

What’s the best way to get around Hanoi?

The best way to get around Hanoi is by using a combination of walking, taxis, and ride-hailing apps like Grab. Transport prices are very affordable.

Where’s the best place to stay in Hanoi for digital nomads?

I stayed out of town in Ocean Park as a digital nomad in Hanoi but many others like the attractions, amenities, and convenience of Hoan Kiem as a base. Read my Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Hanoi for more information on staying in the capital.

In Conclusion

Hanoi is a city of rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience. Whether you prefer the bustling streets of Hoan Kiem, the family-friendly vibes of Tay Ho, or the budget-friendly Ba Dinh, there’s something for everyone.

No matter where you stay, Hanoi will provide many unforgettable memories, trust me it’s definitely an adventure worth taking. Enjoy!

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