There are several ways to get from Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport to the Old Quarter, all of which will get you to the city within 90 minutes or less…
On this page, I’ve categorized the different transport options by convenience and price, so you can choose a transfer option that fits your budget and comfort level best.
Convenient Transfer Options
These are the most comfortable and convenient options, which I recommend if you’re new to the city. With these options, you’ll be taken directly from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi’s Old Quarter in an hour or less.
The most convenient way to get from the airport to the city is via a private transfer. Prices start at 328K VND (~$14), and increase if you choose a bigger vehicle that accommodates your travel group. You don’t need to worry about haggling, since prices are fixed.
With this option, you can expect to reach Hanoi city center in 40-60 minutes, It’s a bit faster than taking a taxi because you’re met by your driver at the arrival hall, so there’s no need to wait for a cab.
Uber and Grab
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Grab offer slightly cheaper rates than taxis. A one-way trip to the Old Quarter costs about 265K VND (~$12) using the cheapest car option.
Once you exit the airport terminal, you’ll see a line of taxis from various companies waiting by the curb side. A standard four-seater car costs about 330K VND (~$14), and you’ll reach the city in 40-60 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
Cheap Transfer Options
If it’s not your first time to Hanoi, and are familiar with its public transport, here are some cheaper transfer options. That said, further taxi rides or walks may be needed to get to your hotel, and if you value time over budget, I still recommend the previous options.
Several airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar offer shuttle bus services that leave from Terminal 1 and 2. They usually leave when they are full, so there is some waiting time. The fare varies, but it generally is about 30K VND (~$1.3) per person. Once the bus starts driving, you can also expect to reach the city in 40-60 minutes.
The shuttle bus will drop you off in the Old Quarter, but you can hop off if it happens to pass by your hotel. Otherwise, the drop-off location is central enough that you can walk or catch a short taxi ride to your hotel.
The cheapest transfer option from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi is via public bus. There are 3 bus routes you can take to get to the city:
- Number 86: Newly launched in 2016, it takes you directly to the Old Quarter, making a number of stops before terminating at the Hanoi Central Railway Station. The journey takes 50-60 minutes, and costs 30K VND (~$1.3) per person.
- Number 17: Runs from the airport to Long Bien bus station, on the northeast side of the Old Quarter. The journey takes 75-90 minutes, and costs 9K VND (~$0.4) per person.
- Number 7: Runs from the airport to Kim Ma bus station, on the western side of Hanoi. The journey also takes 75-90 minutes and is 9K VND per person.
Of the 3 public bus options, Number 86 is the one I recommend. Not only does it take you directly to the center of the Old Quarter, they are also specially designed to accommodate travelers, with ample space for luggage. You can also catch the same bus back to the airport.
Conclusion & Summary
As you can see, there are plenty of airport transfer options available in Hanoi, and with this guide you’ll be able to pick an option that suits your budget and comfort level.
If a hassle-free, comfortable transfer is your priority, book a private transfer so you’ll be taken care of as soon as you step off the plane. If you’re on a budget, your most convenient option is to take the Number 86 public bus directly to the city center.
P.S. If you’re still searching for a good place to stay, have a look at Hanoi’s 12 Best Hotels in the Old Quarter, From Luxury to Budget.