Vietnam Grand Prix
The Hanoi Street Circuit is next to the My Dinh National Stadium in the city’s Nam Tu Liem district. This is about 12km west of downtown Hanoi’s Old Quarter where most visitors to the city stay. More details about getting to the Grand Prix will be known nearer the time but being a street circuit, access should be relatively straightforward, if a little chaotic in Hanoi’s notorious traffic.
Arriving in Hanoi for the Vietnam Grand Prix
Hanoi’s Noi Bai International (HAN) is about 35km from the downtown area and for most fans coming from outside of Vietnam this the main entry point.
There are fewer international arrivals than in Ho Chi Minh City and most fans travelling from outside the Asia Pacific region come via stopovers in major transport hubs such as Singapore, Bangkok and Kualar Lumpar. South east Asia is well connected with low cost flights by Air Asia, Jetstar, Nok Air and others.
For anyone already in Vietnam domestic flights are also handled by Noi Bai and Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air provide flights from Dalat, Danang, Dien Bien Phu, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue and Nha Trang, among other places.
Kiwi.com lets you search for the lowest cost flights and shows you route combinations that often don’t show up on other search engines. If you miss a connecting flight due to delay the Kiwi guarantee means you can take the next available flight at no extra cost.
Vietnam e-VisaMost visitors to Vietnam will need to apply for an e-visa before travelling to the country. The visa costs $25 and usually takes three working days to be issued. See the list of nationalities eligible for e-visa and apply online .
There are four main train stations in Hanoi. With arrivals from Hue (11 hours), Danang (13½ hours), Nha Trang (24½ hours) and Ho Chi Minh City (31 hours). Hanoi train station is the most common arrival point for visitors coming to the city by rail.
The Giap Bat Bus Station is where most visitors from elsewhere in Vietnam will arrive, about 7km from Hanoi train station. There are however three long distance bus stations in the city and many tourist mini buses drop off in the Old Quarter.
Buying Bus and Train tickets to HanoiBuy bus tickets a day in advance if you can and several days beforehand for some of the long distance train routes. Tickets can be bought either at the train station ticket office or online at baolau.com. It also may be possible to buy tickets through your hotel or guesthouse or from an agency, but make sure you know the correct price first so you don’t end up paying a steep mark-up.
Getting around in Hanoi, to and from the Airport and the Grand Prix
Most visitors to the Grand Prix can rely solely on taxis to get around in Hanoi but buses and, in the Old Quarter, the traditional cyclo offer alternative ways to go where you want to go.
A new metro system is under construction and while the first line might just open in time for the Grand Prix, a line serving the circuit’s Nam Tu Liem area won’t be in operation until 2023 at the earliest.
Getting around Hanoi by bus can be a bit daunting if you’re new in town and most visitors never use them. They are however plentiful, very cheap and easy to use if you know what you’re doing.
You can pick up a map of Hanoi bus routes at the Thang Long bookshop on Trang Tien street near the Opera House.
..for the Grand Prix
Organisers in Hanoi have said there will be shuttle buses to and from the Grand Prix circuit. Not a lot is known yet but one bus is confirmed to be leaving from the Vincom Skylake Shopping Center Pham Hung. This page will be updated as and when more information is made available.
..for the airport
Besides rollerblading (not recommended) the public bus no.17 is the cheapest way to get from the airport to your city centre hotel. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Long Bien bus station in the Old Quarter and departs frequently from 5am to 10pm. Pay the conductor 9000VND on the bus, plus possibly a small surcharge if you have a lot of luggage. The bus only services the domestic terminal but the terminals are connected by a walkway.
Slightly faster at about an hour, express bus no. 86 costs 35,000VND. The bus which runs every 20 minutes, leaves from terminal 2, passes through the Old Town and terminates at Sapa train station.
With a reputable taxi company (eg. Hanoi Group Taxi: +84 4 3856 5656, Mai Linh Taxi: +84 4 3861 6161), the minimum charge is about 20,000 VND which covers the first couple of kilometres. After that expect to pay around 15,000 VND/km. Some companies adjust the metre, so if you’re hailing a taxi in the street it’s generally better to arrange a fixed price in advance or just take a Grab.
As with many other cities in South East Asia, Motorbike taxis are common in Hanoi, and in the Old Quarter you won’t walk more than a few paces without being offered a ride. Not the safest way to get around obviously and there’s nothing between you and Hanoi’s air pollution, but they have their uses. Cheaper than regular taxis they’re perfect for short trips around the city and especially good for slicing through heavy traffic.
Typical journey costs around the centre of Hanoi are about 15,000 VND. Just negotiate a price with the rider in advance (pro tip: always get on and off the bike from the left side and you’re much less likely to get burned by the exhaust!).
There’s no Uber in Vietnam but the Singapore based alternative, Grab is just as good. It lets you book taxis as well as motorbike taxis and crucially lets you see the fare upfront. There’s a small service charge for using the app but it’s usually worth it when you know you’re getting a fair price. Download the app and sign up using the referral code GRABF1SPECTATOR to get a discount on your first trip.
..for the Grand Prix
We’ll know more closer to the time about the specifics of taking a taxi to the Grand Prix. There may only be certain taxi companies allowed to drop-off and pick-up at the circuit, dedicated lanes etc.
In normal traffic conditions, from the Old Quarter you would expect the taxi fare to come to about 140,000 – 170,000 VND one way.
..for the airport
Avoid the tourist info kiosks at the arrivals who will likely overcharge you for a taxi. These are the three best ways to go to your hotel from the airport by taxi.
- If you’re confident of your negotiating skills then try to arrange a fixed price fare with taxi drivers outside the arrivals hall. Agreeing a price in advance is usually better than using the metre which might have been tampered with. Just make sure the price you agree on includes any extra surcharges there might be. Generally expect to pay between about 350 – 600VND.
- Take a Grab. Grab drivers are permitted to pick up from the airport so if you can get a data or wifi connection this option can be a lot less hassle than haggling over the price.
- For the most stress free arrival, book a ride in advance with global airport transfer specialists Kiwitaxi.com, and your driver will be ready and waiting for you. They offer a range of vehicle types depending on your needs, from budget small cars, luxury sedans all the way up to 16 seater minibuses.