March 2, 2019

Complete Guide to Hanoi’s International Airport

As the capital city of Vietnam, there’s a good chance that you’ll be flying to the airport of Hanoi when you visit the country. This is especially true if you plan on exploring the attractions in the northern part of the country, such as the Halong Bay, Sa Pa, Ninh Binh, and others.

The Hanoi airport’s official name is Noi Bai Airport and is about 40-min drive away from the city center. It has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is the older terminal and caters to domestic flights, while Terminal 2 is the newer terminal and services international flights. Here’s everything you need to know about Hanoi’s Airport.

Terminals 1 and 2

As mentioned, the Noi Bai Airport has two terminals. These terminals are about half a mile away from each other. If you need to get to the domestic airport coming from an International flight, you need to take this into consideration. There is a shuttle bus that ferries passengers between the two terminals so you can take advantage of this.

There are certain services that may not be available in the domestic terminal but are available in the international terminal, such as the left luggage facility and duty free shops. You’ll also find money exchange services and ATM machines at the airport’s arrival terminal.

Flying Into Noi Bai Airport

There are many International flights that arrive in Hanoi every single day. Most flights also come from neighboring Asian countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.

Noi Bai is also a major hub for domestic flights. Airlines like Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar connect Hanoi to several other major cities in the country, such as Ho Chi Minh. Low-cost carriers like Tiger Airways and Air Asia connect Hanoi to most Southeast Asian cities like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, etc.

Most nationalities are required to obtain a visa upon entering the country. It’s highly recommended that you apply for your visa in advance at

How to Get to the City Center

Upon arriving at the airport in Hanoi, you’ll have various options to travel to the city center. The cheapest way is to take the public bus. However, this is also the least comfortable because the bus could get crowded especially during peak hours. If you’re taking the bus, look for Bus #86. This bus travels directly to the city center and takes about an hour of travel time, depending on the traffic. The fare is only 5,000 dong or around $.30 for every ride. There’s a trip every 20 min.

Another bus that you can take from the airport is Bus #7, which runs from Noi Bai airport to Kim Ma bus station. This is located on the Western side of the city. Another bus, Bus #17, runs from the airport going to the northeast side, at Long Bien bus station.

A faster and more convenient way to travel to Hanoi’s city center is by taking a taxi. There are taxi stands at the arrival terminal of Noi Bai. Simply line up on the stand to hire a taxi to the city. You will be charged a flat rate of around $18, depending on how you negotiate with the driver. Travel time should be between 30 – 40 min. depending on the traffic.

Make sure you have your hotel’s name and address when taking a taxi in Hanoi. Show it to the driver and make sure that they knew where this place is. Don’t believe when they say that the hotel is close or not available and that they will take you to somewhere else. This is a popular scam in Vietnam since drivers will get a commission when they refer customers to certain hotels.

Other Options to Reach the City

If you arrive late and there’s no longer a bus or taxi, your best option is to use Grab. But you need to have an Internet to use this app so make sure you have 3G or 4G connection in your phone. Otherwise, use the free Wi-Fi at the airport.

You can also hire private care with driver online if you want an easier and faster way to travel to the city coming from Hanoi airport. This is very convenient because the driver will simply show up and pick you up at the airport at your scheduled arrival time.

If your hotel is offering airport transfer services, you can take advantage of this. This option is highly recommended if you are arriving late and it’s your first time traveling to the country.

So these are some of the most important things to know about Hanoi’s International Airport. Hopefully, this guide can help you in planning for your trip to Vietnam and ensuring that you’ll have a smoother and hassle-free journey to the country.

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