Vietnam's capital Hanoi welcomes airborne visitors through Noi Bai Airport (IATA: HAN, ICAO: VVNB), about 40 minutes' drive from the Hanoi city center. Noi Bai Airport is one of Vietnam's two main air gateways, along with Tan Son Nhat Airport in Saigon.
Ten million passengers a year pass through Noi Bai's single passenger terminal, connecting the northern part of Vietnam with destinations in Europe, East Asia, and major airports in Southeast Asia.
As Noi Bai is currently bursting at its seams, a second terminal is currently under construction, and is expected to double the airport's capacity when it opens in November 2014.
- Location of Noi Bai Airport: Google Maps
Flying Into Noi Bai Airport
No direct flights are currently available between Noi Bai airport and airports in America. Until a finalized air services agreement is signed between Vietnam and the U.S., American travelers will need to fly into Hanoi via Asian hubs like Singapore (compare prices), Bangkok (compare prices), and Hong Kong (compare prices).
Compare prices between these American airports and Noi Bai airport; all flight results yield one stopover or more.
- New York JFK to Noi Bai Airport - compare prices
- New York LaGuardia to Noi Bai Airport - compare prices
- Los Angeles Airport to Noi Bai Airport - compare prices
- San Francisco Airport to Noi Bai Airport - compare prices
Noi Bai is also a major domestic hub for the Vietnamese air network; Jetstar and Vietnam Airlines connect Hanoi to other airports in Vietnam. Low-cost carriers like Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, JetStar, and Tiger Airways link Hanoi to other cities in Southeast Asia.
- Friendly Skies: Read more about Air Travel within Vietnam.
US passport holders are required to obtain a visa to visit Vietnam. If you're a Vietnamese-American citizen, or an American married to a Vietnamese citizen, you may apply for a Five-Year Visa Exemption, which allows entry and up to 90 days continuous stay even without a visa.
While you're in the U.S., you can apply for a Vietnam visa at the Vietnamese embassy in Washington, DC if you're on the East Coast, or at the Vietnamese consulate in San Francisco if you're on the West Coast.
- Papers, Please: More information on visa requirements for Vietnam here: How to Get Your Vietnam Visa; for visa information about Southeast Asia in general, read this: Southeast Asia Visa Requirements for US Passport Holders. For other info on traveling into the island-state, read this: Singapore Travel Essentials - Information for First Time Visitors to Singapore.
Your Noi Bai Airport Flight Status
Follow the links below to current flight information from Noi Bai Airport, including arrivals and departures:
Getting To and From Noi Bai Airport
Noi Bai Airport's location in Soc Son District about 28 miles north of Hanoi's city center allows guests to arrive in the city center within 40 minutes of exiting from the airport's departure area.From the airport, travelers can travel to Hanoi proper through one of the following transport options:
Bus: Two bus services connect Noi Bai Airport with stations in Hanoi. Turn right as you exit the airport terminal for the bus stop. Operating hours for the bus run from 5am to 10pm. Each bus takes about an hour to arrive at its respective bus station, and costs VND 5,000 (about $0.30) per ride. New buses stop by about every 20 minutes.
Bus number 7 runs from Noi Bai to Kim Ma bus station, on the western side of Hanoi (Location: Google Maps). Bus number 17 runs from Noi Bai to Long Bien bus station, on the northeast side of the Old Quarter (Location: Google Maps).
For the return trip from Hanoi to Noi Bai, go to Tran Quang Khai east of the Old Quarter to ride either buses 7 and 17; the route to the airport costs VND 5,000.
The bus is the cheapest way to Hanoi, but also the most crowded and the one that takes the most time.
Minibus: Several "minibus" lines travel from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi city center. Turn right as you exit the airport terminal for the bus stop. Kumho Viet Thanh, Vietnam Airlines, and Jetstar operate their own buses that serve three different stops in Hanoi:
- Jetstar offers both drop-off at, and pick-up from, the Jetstar office at 206 Tran Quang Khai Street. More information from the Travelfish blog here: Jetstar check-in and airport bus in Hanoi (offsite).
- Vietnam Airlines offers both drop-off at, and pick-up from, the Vietnam Airlines office at 1 Quang Trung Street (Location: Google Maps).
- Kumho Viet Thanh offers both drop-off at, and pick-up from, 204 Tran Quang Khai Street (Location: Google Maps).
Instead of leaving at specified times, the buses wait until all seats are taken, then leave for the destination. Expect to pay about VND 32,000 (US$2) per trip.
For the return trip from Hanoi to Noi Bai, the Jetstar and Vietnam Airlines buses schedule their departures according to their flights leaving the airport. Both ways take about as long as the bus, if you factor in the waiting time.
Taxi: taxi stands can be reached outside Noi Bai's arrival terminals; exit and walk to the first island beyond the arrivals terminal to find the queue of taxis. You may be approached by "helpful" people inside the terminal asking if you need a taxi - do not accept, as these touts will cheat you.
Airport taxis charge a single fixed rate, about $18. Taxis take the fastest to get to town, about 30 minutes depending on the traffic.
Be forewarned: as with most everywhere around the region, taxis in Hanoi tend to attract the least honest operators in the travel business. Have a paper with the exact name and address of your hotel on hand, and show it to the taxi driver. Do not listen to the driver if he says the hotel is closed or otherwise unavailable - confirm it for yourself before you go. When you get to the destination, check the address to make sure he got the address right.
Why the runaround? Taxis are paid commissions to take their fares to particular hotels. Do not fall for this trick, and assert your rights calmly but insistently.
- Scam Alert: Read up on How to Avoid Taxi Scams.
We recommend you get your hotel's official airport transfer to pick you up from Noi Bai. The porter will wait at the arrivals gate with a placard bearing your name, and he'll whisk you straight to your hotel from the airport. Sure, it may cost a little extra, but you pay for greater peace of mind in hustle-heavy Hanoi.
Noi Bai, Hanoi Airport Hotels
If you don't want to venture too far away from the airport - say, if you're using Noi Bai Airport as a stopover to Luang Prabang in Laos (compare prices) or to Siem Reap in Cambodia (compare prices), you can stay at any of the following airport hotels close to the vicinity. The accommodations may not be the comfiest, but you're sure to get to the airport without any delay for your outbound flight.
For a run-down of your hotel options closer to the city center, check out this list of hotels in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Dong Duong Airport Hotel
Star rating: ★★☆☆☆ (compare rates)
Address: 9 Cau Den, Nga tu Cao toc, Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi
Phone: +84 4 3584 2763
- Airport View Hotel
Star rating: ★★☆☆☆ (compare rates)
Address: Dien xa, Noibai Airport, Hanoi
Phone: +84 4 3886 5656
- Phuong Dong Airport Hotel
Star rating: ★★☆☆☆ (compare rates)
Address: Dien Xa Village, Noibai Airport, Soc Son, Hanoi
Phone: +84 4 3584 1511
- AVI Airport Hotel
Star rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (compare rates)
Address: B22 Cho Phu Cuong, Noibai Airport, Hanoi
Phone: +84 4 3886 6998