You’ll hear Hanoi before you see it. Known for its swarms of buzzing motorbikes, the capital of Vietnam rewards the adventurous traveller. Most hostels occupy the narrow townhouses of the Old Quarter, so budget travellers can step straight into the heart of the action. Here’s our pick of the best, all bookable with Culture Trip.
There’s plenty to do and see in lively Hanoi: go cafe-hopping and sample frothy egg coffee, or pull up a plastic stool by the roadside and tuck into a steaming-hot bowl of pho.
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VATC Sleep Pod, at Terminal 1 of the Noi Bai International Airport complex, provides a private, no-frills resting place for travellers catching an early flight. Hunker down and turn out the light (or flip on the TV at the end of your bed), before freshening up in the airport toilets come dawn. Note that these pods aren’t suitable for those transiting through Hanoi – as they’re located in the public area, you’ll need a visa to use them.
Sociable types will love the Nexy Hostel – the mural-splashed hangout areas come with beanbags, games, a television and a library for borrowing books. Most popular are the huge, 14-bed dorms, but if that’s not your style, opt for the eight-bed mixed and female-only dorms or the cheerful en-suite private rooms. In Hanoi to party? The cafe and bar host regular happy hours, whilst Hanoi’s Old Quarter is right on your doorstep.
The backpacker and family-friendly Friends Inn and Travel, in the lively Hang Bo area, has a home-from-home feel, with all the mod cons. Some rooms come with private balconies, though bear in mind that others lack windows. Make the most of the hotel’s Vietnamese and European breakfasts, plus free all-day coffee, from the relaxed eating area, which spills out onto an old railway track. Hire a bike from the hotel if you’re feeling adventurous, and ask the hospitable staff to organise Halong Bay and Tam Coc day-trips.
With beanbag chairs and hammocks slung across well-lit common areas, the Backy Poshtel is the image of a laid-back backpacker hostel. Challenge new friends to a game of table football, connect over a drink in the on-site bar or catch up on your remote work in the wifi equipped cafe, before retiring to your room complete with a kitchenette and flat-screen TV. When you want true peace and quiet, tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake is just a few blocks away.
Despite its central location, in the beating heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this stylish hotel is more peaceful than a party destination. Its proximity to Hoan Kiem Lake (a five-minute walk) might have something to do with this. The private en-suite double and family rooms are well-suited to older travellers or couples, while mixed dorms can sleep up to 10 people. Allow the staff to help you get around: they can organise airport transfers and trips to Halong Bay and Sapa Valley.
Planning on staying in Hanoi for some time? Tomodachi House ensures a comfortable and hassle-free stay, with mixed and single-sex dorms, plus spacious family rooms available. A daily, free cooked-to-order breakfast comes as standard, as do free toiletries, wifi and bottled water, while laundry facilities are also available. Just a short walk away is the Fine Arts Museum and St Joseph’s Cathedral – though there are plenty of Oriental curios to admire at your hotel, too.
There’s no need to bring earplugs to the centrally located Daisy Hotel – its 10 air-conditioned rooms are soundproofed, so you can recharge with a decent night’s sleep. As daylight rolls in, soak up the Hanoi sun from your balcony, which comes as standard in the mixed and female-only dorms here. Heading out to explore? Hanoi Old City Gate, Dong Xuan Market and numerous restaurants are all within five minutes on foot.
Affordability doesn’t mean a compromise on thoughtful touches at Hay Hostel, where you can expect a welcome drink on arrival. Opt for an alcoholic tipple to kick your night off and head out to a nearby restaurant and nightclub, before crashing out in either a six-bed mixed dorm with a balcony, a four-bed female-only dorm or a private en-suite room. As for exploring the area, choose from the hostel’s city tours, Halong Bay tours, countryside tours or heavily discounted packages combining all of the above.
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