Where to Stay in Hanoi

Hanoi is a large city with a wide choice of hotels for every budget and every need. If you have decided to visit the capital of Vietnam for the first time it will be essential choose the right area to stay.  

Hanoi is divided into many different neighborhoods, each with its own characteristics and atmosphere. You will therefore have to choose based on various factors and the experience you want to live.

In this guide we see which are the best areas where to sleep in Hanoi, analyzing the peculiarities of each neighborhood.

Where to Stay in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Hanoi

The best area for a stay in Hanoi is certainly the center, that is the area around the lake Hoan Kien. The location is perfect to reach the main tourist attractions of Hanoi and to enjoy the characteristic atmosphere of this city.

The beating heart of the center is the square The Sutras north of the lake.

Around the lake there are various distinct areas, some more chaotic and lively and others quieter. Then there are other neighborhoods outside the center but still comfortable and close to the best points of interest in the city.

Also consider that getting around Hanoi is quite simple, you can reach the various areas on foot or possibly by taxi or Rickshaw.

So let's see in detail which neighborhood to choose.

1. Lago di Hoan Kiem

Where to Stay in HanoiIf you choose a structure near the lake Hoan Kiem rest assured that you are not wrong, the location is great and you can comfortably walk around the whole area.

It is an area full of restaurants and clubs, always very lively and animated both day and night.

There are some important tourist attractions, such as the Hanoi Opera House, the National Museum of Vietnamese History but above all the famous Ngoc Son, a temple that stands on a small island in the middle of the lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake is also the perfect place for those who love to walk and to escape the hectic city traffic for a moment.

The lake area also includes 2 distinct districts: Old Quarter e French Quarter.

2. Old Quarter

Where to Stay in Hanoi

The Old Quarter is in my opinion the best place to stay in Hanoi for a first visit to the city. It is located north of Hoan Kiem Lake and a very characteristic area where you can breathe the real Asian atmosphere.

Here chaos reigns supreme, among a thousand scooters whizzing by everywhere, street food stalls, shops and craft businesses. Lose yourself in the streets of the Old Quarter with its colors, smells and noises of all kinds.

Even in the evening, the Old Quarter is very lively and is the perfect place for those looking for a bit of nightlife with many restaurants, clubs and rooftop bars overlooking the lake.

If you want to stay in the heart of the old quarter but in a quieter and less noisy area, I recommend looking for a hotel near the Cathedral, northwest of the lake.

Another great advantage of the Old Quarter is its enviable position, a stone's throw from the lake and other important attractions, easily reachable on foot, such as the famous Train Street.

3. Trang Tien: French Quarter

South of the central lake is Trang Tien also known as the French Quarter. It is a more modern and residential area consisting mainly of embassies, government buildings and luxury hotels, in full contrast to the more characteristic and popular Old Quarter.

It is a less chaotic neighborhood with large avenues and colonial buildings, ideal for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter and for those looking for a medium-high level hotel.

4. Tay Ho (Hanoi West Lake)

About a 20-minute drive from downtown, around West Lake is the Tay Ho district, a quiet area full of attractions, including the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple.

There are also many upscale restaurants and clubs overlooking the lake. If you are looking for a less chaotic place to walk without worrying about dodging the many scooters, West Lake can be a good alternative.

Where to Stay in Hanoi

5. Ba Dinh

The Ba Dinh district, located west of the center, is home to the most important historical and cultural monuments of Hanoi, such as the One Column Pagoda, the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

A good choice for those looking for an area not in the center but convenient to reach the main points of interest on foot.


Have you figured out which is the best area to stay in Hanoi according to your needs? In summary:

  • Lago Hoan Kiem: Full center, excellent starting point for visiting Hanoi;
  • Old Quarter: characteristic area and excellent location;
  • French Quarter: residential area near Hoan Kiem Lake;
  • West Lake (Tay Ho): less chaotic area but not far from the center;
  • Ba Dinh: within walking distance of major attractions.
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