Sam Nguyen

Travelled to 6 countries / regions

Written 33 briefs
I'm a Vietnamese local



Asia > Vietnam > Hanoi > Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport > Useful Info
Updated on Sep 02, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get into town from Hanoi International Airport

  • Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport is located about 25km north of the city center.
  • There are five main ways to get into town from the airport: Grab, public bus, private transfer, shuttle bus, and regular taxis
  • If you're fine with spending $10-$15 USD, then Grab or private airport transfer is your best option
  • If you're on a really tight budget, then Express Bus 86 is going to be your best option

  • Grab (best option):
  • Grab is the Uber of Southeast Asia, and it's my favorite way to get around Hanoi
  • Fare from the airport to Old Quarter is just 250,000-300,000 VND ($11-$13USD), so it's quite cheap. Payment is by credit card through the app or cash
  • The reason Grab is better than regular taxis is that with Grab the fare is fixed once you book the car, so there's little chance for you to get scammed. Whereas with taxis you're very likely to overpay a lot; more details below in the Taxi section
  • You should download Grab app (https://www.grab.com) ahead of time while you have the ability to receive SMS because the app will send you a short text message to activate. Once you activated your account, link a credit card to it and you'll be set. You can also pay by cash too if you want
  • Noi Bai airport has free wifi you can use to call a car with Grab, but I recommend getting SIM card at the airport too

  • Public bus (tight budget option):
  • There are three public buses that connect Noi Bai with the city: 86, 17, and 7
  • The best bus option is Express Bus 86, which takes you all the way to Hanoi Railway Station in the heart of the city. This bus is also currently the most popular bus for foreign tourists, more popular than both 7 and 17, and more popular than the airline shuttles. It's also rated extremely well on Tripadvisor
  • Fare is 35,000 VND ($1.5USD). Pay on board with cash VND
  • Takes 50-70 minutes to get to Old Quarter
  • Schedule:
  • Airport to Hanoi: runs between 6:18am and 8:28pm, once every 25 minutes
  • Hanoi to airport: runs between 5:05am and 7:15pm, once every 25 minutes
  • Boarding point at the airport: when you exit the terminal building, find pillar 2 cross the road to get to the first median. Look for the sign "BUS STOP", and you should see the number "86" written on it. It should be across the road from pillar 2. Stop looks like this:User submitted photo of Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport
  • Drop off points in the city: final stop is Hanoi Railway Station, but it makes stops in the Old Quarter and other central stops here, here, here, here, and here before getting to the train station. Once you get into the city, you can either walk to your hotel if you're close by, or you should be able to take a Grab for only a few USD
  • This is what 86 looks like:User submitted photo of Hanoi Noi Bai International AirportUser submitted photo of Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport
  • Aside from 86, there is also local city bus 7 and 17, both costing only 5,000 VND ($0.25USD) and runs between 5am and 10pm. Bus the buses are in much worse condition than 86. The only reason to take these instead of 86 is if you want to save $1USD
  • Bus 7: picks up from both terminal 1 and 2, goes to Kim Ma Bus Station. Take this if you're staying west of the Old Quarter
  • Bus 17: picks up from terminal 1 only, goes to Long Bien Bus Station. Take this if you're staying in the Old Quarter

  • Private transfer (pretty much as good as Grab):
  • This is the most convenient way to get into the city, and it's actually a really good option for Hanoi because it's not that expensive (it costs only slightly more expensive than Grab)
  • It's also the most convenient option because your driver will wait for you at the arrival hall with your name in a card and guide you to the car
  • Fare ranges, the cheapest I've seen is $14USD per car, but I've also seen $20USD per car. It really depends on which day you're arriving and the availability on that day. Generally speaking the earlier you book the cheaper the options are
  • The best place to find and book these private transfers are :
  • Klook: https://www.klook.com (enter Hanoi into the search bar and filter for Transportation & Travel Services)
  • Viator: https://www.viator.com (enter Hanoi into the search bar and filter for Transfer and Ground Transport). Viator is generally more expensive than Klook

  • Regular taxi (avoid):
  • Taxis are all metered, and should cost about 300,000-350,000 VND ($13-$15USD) to get to Old Quarter. Payment is cash only
  • But the reality is, a lot of tourists end up paying 400,000-500,000 VND ($17-$22USD) on these metered taxis. The reason is that there's no regulation on how fast the meters can run. So a lot of tourists get scammed where the meter actually shows a ridiculously expensive number and they're forced to pay that amount
  • The only taxi company that you can rest assured will not pull this scam is Mai Linh. Their taxis are green, as you can see on their website. If you're going to take a taxi, avoid all other taxi companies. This is what Mai Linh taxi looks like:User submitted photo of Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport
  • Finding a taxi is easy. At Noi Bai, you just exit the terminal building and you'll see big black and yellow signs for "TAXI". Simply follow the sign to where the taxis are waiting.
  • Unlike many cities in Southeast Asia, at Noi Bai you don't buy fixed-fare taxi vouchers inside the terminal; rather you go straight to a metered taxi. I personally think this is a flaw because it exposes visitors to scams as I described above. Anyway, take taxis at your own risk. If you must take one, go into a green Mai Linh taxi

  • Shuttle bus (not as good as Express Bus 86 and schedule and fares can be confusing):
  • Vietjet, Vietnam Airlines, and Jetstar each operates a shuttle bus that go to the city from the airport and vice versa. For Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar, you don't need to fly with the airline to use their shuttle services. However, for Vietjet you do need to fly with them (and only domestic flights) to use its shuttle service
  • Before you read on, just keep in mind that the information for these shuttles is hard to come by as the airlines aren't that diligent at publishing them. So if you want the most up-to-date information I suggest you call or email the airlines directly. Here's the information I could find on these shuttles:
  • Vietnam Airlines: none
  • Vietjet: https://www.vietjetair.com/Sites/Web/en-US/NewsDetail/faqs-shuttle-bus/%203552/faqs-shuttle-bus
  • Jetstar: http://jq-prod-cd.jetstar.com/vn/vi/pages/dich-vu-xe-bus (in Vietnamese but you can use Google Translate)
  • Fare is 40,000 VND ($1.75USD) per person for all of them. Luggage is free. For Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar, you can buy shuttle ticket on the flight or on the shuttle itself with cash. For Vietjet, you need to prebook through its website once you have your flight ticket from them. One thing I've read about Vietnam Airlines shuttle is that the driver sometimes inflate the fare. This is something to watch out for
  • Schedule:
  • Airport to Hanoi: the shuttles do not have fixed schedules. Rather, their departure times from the airport are tied to the flight landing schedule. Shuttle usually leaves 30 minutes after flight arrival
  • Hanoi to Airport:
  • Vietnam Airlines shuttle: 4am to 9pm daily, every 30-45 minutes
  • Vietjet: 4am to 9pm daily, every 1-2 hours
  • Jetstar: schedule tied to departure times. Pick up is 2h30min before flight departure
  • Boarding point at the airport:
  • In the international terminal (terminal 2), exit the terminal building, and cross the street to the first median. Across from where the taxis are parked, you will see the stop for the shuttles.
  • In the domestic terminal (terminal 1), Jetstar departs from the parking,VietJet departs from end of Hall A and E. Not sure about Vietnam Airlines
  • Drop off points in the city:
  • Vietnam Airlines shuttle: here
  • Vietjet: here, here, here, and here
  • Jetstar: here and here