What’s the best place to stay in Hanoi? Where should you stay?
To answer these questions, you need to first be clear of your purpose as to why you’re visiting the city. Many people go to Hanoi for sightseeing, but other than that, it has several other things to offer.
For instance, it’s also a good place to learn how to cook Vietnamese food. There are also night markets for cheap shopping. It also makes a good base for outside-the-city trips such as a Halong Bay tour. Let’s not forget that if you want to climb Mt. Fansipan, Sapa is just 6 hours away by bus.
Just like Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi is divided into urban districts. Below is a list of the areas that would most likely satisfy your traveling needs.
Old Quarter (Hoan Kiem District)
Located in the Hoan Kiem District, the Old Quarter is perhaps the most popular neighborhood in Hanoi. It’s a backpacker area even your friends would want you to stay here, and for good reason.
In itself, the Old Quarter is an attraction. It’s littered with French Indochina architecture. It has history written all over it, all you have to is take a walk.
According to Wikipedia, the Old Quarter used to be “the residential, manufacturing and commercial center of the city.” It has a total of 36 streets where each street is “dedicated to one specific trade or guild.”
Today, Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the place to go for three main reasons: shopping, dining, and a convenient base for sightseeing.
Dong Xuan Market, the largest indoor market in Hanoi, is located in this district. So is the setup for Hanoi’s Weekend Night Market.
If you’re into sightseeing, a self-guided walking tour is very much possible, but if you want to learn more about the local culture, it’s best to sign up with one of the organizations offering free guided tours.
Top attractions in the Old Quarter include Hoan Kiem Lake, Maison Centrale Hanoi (Hoa Lo Prison), Bach Ma Temple, and Saint Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi.
When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty to choose from. Here are three top-reviewed hotels in Old Quarter.
- With an “exceptional” rating, Hanoian Elite Home Hotel has 13 room types to offer, but to get a good view of the city, choose one with a balcony.
- The Hanoian Hotel is a hotel near the Night Market. As one person has said, there’s nothing impressive about the room, but this hotel’s excellent rating comes from the superior service of the staff.
- If you’re budget-traveling across Southeast Asia, you’ll love the really low rates of Hanoi City Backpackers Hostel.
Ba Dinh District
What can you do at Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District?
It’s mostly for sightseeing and for learning the history and culture of Vietnam.
For a day or two, you can plan a walking tour to drop by the following top attractions: Cua Bac Church, Hanoi Flag Tower, Fine Arts Museum, Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum, Presidential Palace Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and Temple of Literature.
Choose a hotel in Ba Dinh District if you want a less crowded alternative to Old Quarter. Here are 3 top-rated hotels to consider.
- Green Homestay Hostel is a unique hotel in Hanoi. One of its unique selling points is a small hut at the rooftop, which is a refreshing sight amidst the French colonial buildings scattered in the Old Quarter.
- At The Autumn Homestay, you can head over to the rooftop to enjoy a view of Hanoi’s West Lake.
- If you’re looking for a hotel with a pool, head over to the excellent-rated La Belle Vie Hotel. It has a pool at the rooftop.
Cau Giay District
Cau Giay has been described as having a “laid-back dining scene,” making it the ideal area for foodies who want to sample Hanoian cuisine. However, this district is far from the city’s top attractions, so it’s not for sightseeing.
Here are three top-rated hotels in Cau Giay to consider.
- Victor Hanoi Hotel doesn’t have impressive interiors, but its “exceptional” rating comes from cleanliness and its excellent customer service.
- iStay Hotel Apartment 6 is a new hotel. Book a room with a terrace to get a garden or a city view.
- Granda Quan Hoa Apartment is ideal for group travelers. Choose from one- or two-bedroom apartments.