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A complete guide – Hanoi International Airport

By

Kayla LE

– December 4, 2020

Noi Bai International airport is one of the three largest airports in Vietnam along with Danang International airport and Tan Son Nhat International airport. The airport is located in Phu Minh, Soc Son, Hanoi around 30 km away from the city centre. Constructed with a separate domestic terminal and international terminal, the airport receives over 15 million passengers yearly.

Two important terminals at Noi Bai international airport are T1 (domestic terminal) and T2 (international terminal), located in separate buildings. Each terminal has four floors with different functional areas.

Transfer between two terminals:

The distance: around 1km

Transportation: Free shuttle bus which departs every 15 minutes from 6am till 1am. It picks you up from the exit of the arrival hall and drops off at the entrance hall of the departure lounge of the other terminal. Normally, the bus is waiting at column 18 west wing T2 terminal and Hall A T1 terminal.

T2 – International terminal: When flying to Vietnam from other countries you will arrive at the T2 international terminal. This terminal has four floors constructed as below

– Ground floor: Quarantine and immigration check, arrival services and exit hall

– First floor: Arrivals and visa landing counter

– Second floor: Departure international passenger use

– Third floor: VIP lounge, business offices

The standard procedure for arrival in Vietnam is: arrival – landing of flight – visa (if necessary) – quarantine and immigration check – baggage claim – customs inspection – exit in arrival hall

Upon leaving the international terminal, you travel through the visa on arrival counter. If you do not need a visa, continue pass this area to the quarantine and immigration check, where you will show your passport to enter Vietnam. If you need a visa please queue at the visa area to get a visa stamp. If you get through the passport check and miss the visa step you will be fined a significant amount. We have had customer who miss the visa step only remember when reaching the hotel. Prior to arrival, please check if you need a Vietnam visa or not. Click here to check! 

Read more about everything you need to know about a Vietnam tourist visa, please click here!

noi-bai-international-hall

T2 International terminal – arrival hall

T1 – Domestic terminal: The other terminal is domestic terminal where you take all flights from Hanoi to national destination. This terminal is also divided into four floors. 

– Ground floor: Arrival domestic passenger use.

– First floor: Departure domestic passenger use. Check-in counter of different domestic airlines (Vietnam Airlines; Vietjet Air; Jetstar Pacific; Hai Au Aviation; Vasco and Bamboo Airways) you can find on this floor.

– Second floor: Offices of the airport and airlines.

– Third floor: Restaurants and coffee shops

noi-bai-domestic-hall

T1 terminal – Departure hall

Noi Bai International airport is fully equipped with everything you need for an arrival: free internet, taxi stand, tourist information, currency exchange, SIM card, food, free drinking water, and free charging stations.

2.1. Internet (free)

From 2017, the access to the airport Wi-Fi “Noi Bai Airport Free Wi-Fi” is free via web browser. After connecting to the Wi-Fi, you are required to open the browser, open the login page and fill in the form to connect. Sometimes the Wi-Fi system will reset, just re-connect.

2.2. Information desk

You can ask all about flight schedules, how to transfer to the city centre, medical support or any traveller’s need related questions. The information desks are set right behind the door of the public hall on the 1st floor and 3rd floor of T2. The other is located at the public hall of the second floor hall A and E.

A useful tip is taking a free city map and brochures with useful information.

information-desk-noi-bai

Information desk

2.3. Exchange currency

Compared to other worldwide airports, Noi Bai airport and Tan Son Nhat airport have a good exchange rate. There are a wide selection of bank booths located in the arrival area after passing customs clearance: Vietcombank, Techcombank, BIDV, Maritime Bank, Citibank, ANZ, Agribank, Sacombank, HSBC, Vietinbank, ACB, etc. Walk down the arrival hall (exit gate) to draw money from an ATM. You can change a small amount here if you join a tour or depart directly to Halong Bay. The jewellery shops or hotels in the tourist areas in Hanoi might have a better rate, however you should be careful when you exchange.

The difference between banks’ rate is just minimal. You can check the current exchange rate of Vietcombank here and Techcombank here.

noi-bai-sim-card

Currency exchange counter

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2.4. SIM card

Hanoi airport offers many kinds of prepaid Vietnamese SIM cards, sold at booths in front of the baggage claim area. The four major telecommunication network providers are Viettel, Vietnamobile, Vinaphone and Mobifone. A wise selection for tourist is Tourist Plans, which are designed for short term travellers, providing voice call, SMS and 3G data. Getting one costs you USD 3-5. To purchase, you need to show your passport to register, then activate to use.

Always purchase from a legitimate store, which help you register with your passport. By texting ‘TTTB’ send to 1414, you will receive the registered information: name, date of birth, passport number.

sim-card-vietnam

SIM card kiosk

Refer to some tourist plans:
Vinaphone 07 days:
        3G only
        Price: VND 200,000 (USD 9)
        Capacity: 7GB high speed internet access
Vinaphone 10 days:
        3G only
        Price: VND 250,000 (USD 11)
        Capacity: 20GB high speed internet access
Mobifone 30 days
        3G and phone call
        Price 300,000 (USD 13)
        Capacity: 60 GB (2GB/day), 25 minutes local call and international phone call
Vinaphone 30 days:
        3G and phone call
        Price: 250,000 (USD 11)
        Capacity: 8GB, 30 minutes local phone call, 15 minutes international phone call
 

2.5. Restaurants

While waiting for your pick-up or next flight you might want to fill your stomach with some succulent food. The choice ranges from Vietnamese cuisine to Western Cuisine. Must-try are pho and different types of rolls, etc. These restaurants are standing at the inside departure lounge floor (1st floor of domestic terminal and 2nd floor of International terminal)

2.6. Shopping

There are some duty-free stores and souvenir shops at floor 1 & 3 of T2 terminal, however, options are limited so you may prefer shopping at the city centre. Duty free goods are highlighted with fashion high-ends like Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Moschino, etc. Further are Rum, Gin, Cognac, Vodka etc. Recommended gifts from locals are handicrafts, textiles, dried fruits, fine arts, etc

2.7. Sleeping Pod

To offer tourist a relaxing space while you are waiting for your next flight, Hanoi airport offers an accommodation airport service – Sleeping Pod. They are small comfortable cabins equipped as a mini hotel room with a bed, mat, blanket, air conditioner, cloth hook, TV screen… Drinking water and snack are complimentary. You can purchase this service directly on the 3rd floor of the domestic terminal or on the 2nd floor of the international terminal or book via the Sleeping Pod website at hanoiairporthotels.vn. The price is from VND 140,000 (USD 6.5) for a single cabin.

sleep-pod-noi-bai

Sleeping Pod

2.8. Other services

– Massage
Spend too many hours in the airport and you might want some body therapy. There is a massage service on the 2rd floor of T2 terminal and 3th floor of T1 terminal.

– Airport lounge
With elite status and memberships, you may access the lounge at the Hanoi airport for free. Even without a membership, you still can enter the lounge by paying at the door. There are three lounge brands: Song Hong Premium Lounge, NASCO and Vietnam Airlines all located inside security of both terminals. You will be served buffet, tea, coffee and offered amenities like a shower, smoking room and lockers, etc 

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– Drinking water (free) 
The airport provides free drinking water in each terminal, often located opposite to or nearby the security and departure gate.

– Charger (free) 
This service is free at T1 – quarantine area 2nd floor and public area 1st floor; T2 – quarantine area floor 3. Each charging station has up to 10 charging points.

– Medical care
Three fully-staffed first aid rooms are always ready upon your request. They are located on the 1st and 3rd floor of the domestic terminal and 1st floor of international terminal.

– Shower
Only available in Business lounge.

– Smoking room
Designated smoking rooms are on the 3rd floor and 4th floor of international terminal.

Hotels near Noi Bai International airport are mainly 3-stars hotels and hostels. It takes you a few minute drive out of the terminal to reach budgeted hotels from USD 15 – 24 ++. Using a hotel search engine like booking.com or agoda.com will help you to select the best hotel for your flight date. Here we suggest some Noi Bai airport hotels with good ranking.

Family Hotel Soc Son: from USD 30/room/night
HD House: from USD 15/room/night
Anova Airport Hotel: from USD 27/room/night
Hanoi Airport Hostel: from USD 24/room/night

It is 30km from Hanoi airport to the city centre on a nice road, taking you 40-70 minutes. You can choose one of those modes of transportation depend on your time and budget.

Map: Noi Bai Airport to Hoan Kiem District

4.1. Car booking application

Having a smartphone connecting internet, you can easily book a transfer via car booking platform like Grab application, GoViet application, Be application. Of which, Grab is the biggest provider with more than three million users. Using this application you will be worry-free about the price scams. When you order you immediately see the final price which many times is lower than the taxis you get on the spot. Usually the price goes from VND 250,000 – VND 390,000 (USD12-17), depending on traffic demand. The parking area of the Grab taxis is outside of the airport arrival hall so it takes a few minutes to walk. The only negative point is that the driver may contact you via the application messenger or call; however, most of them cannot speak English.

>> Download Grab application

grab-car

Grab car in city

4.2. Taxi

Taxi is the most familiar choice of transportation in any airport. Usually airport taxi are waiting on the ground floor outside the terminal, ride by the taximeter or on a fixed price. The amount is from USD15/trip. To avoid any troubles, you should take the Noi Bai airport taxi with trademark of some popular taxi companies. Here are some with landline: Mai Linh Taxi: 024 3 8222 666; Noi Bai taxi: 024 3886 8888; Thanh Cong Taxi: 024 32 57 57 57

4.3. Airport bus

The Hanoi airport shuttle bus will move on a fixed route.
Vietnam airlines’ last stop is no 1. Quang Trung street, Hoan Kiem district
VietjetAir’s last stop is 69 Tran Nhan Tong
Jetstar’s last stop is 204 Tran Quang Khai street

If you want to be dropped off on the way, show the driver your address so that they drop you off at the closest stop. The price is much cheaper than the above two modes, VND 40,000 (USD 2). Usually the Hanoi airport shuttle bus stops at the Arrival Hall (first floor). Because the bus sometimes waits to fill the seats or overload, you should book with airline staff in advance

airport-pick-up-car

Vietnam Airlines shuttle bus

4.4. Bus

One of the most favourite and economical ways to travel in any country is the local bus. Frequently used Noi Bai airport buses include bus 07, 17, 90, 86, of which we highly recommend bus number 86. Bus number 86 travels from the airport through tourist areas to the city centre and vice versa, it has free-Wifi and polite English speaking staff as well as a cold AC. Compared to other local buses, bus number 86 is more punctual and comfortable.

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– Bus number 86:
         Fare: VND 35,000/person
         Frequency: 25 minutes
         Route: Lobby A, B, E first floor T1 terminal – D1, D2 first floor T2 terminal – Vo Nguyen Giap – Au Co – Nghi Tam – Yen Phu – Long Bien – Tran Nhat Duat – Tran Quang Khai – Trang Tien – Le Thanh Tong – Hai Ba Trung – Ngo Quyen – Ly Thuong Kiet – Le Duan – Hanoi Station

Local bus number 86

For those who would like to experience a traditional bus, we provide details on three other ones. Vietnamese buses are all equipped air-conditioner.

– Bus number 07:
         Fare: VND 8,000/person
         Frequency: 10-15 minutes
         Route: Noi Bai T1 terminal – Vo Van Kiet – T2 terminal – Vo Van Kiet – Thang Long bridge – Pham Van Dong – Hoang Quoc Viet – Cau Giay
– Bus number 17:
         Fare: VND 9,000/person
         Frequency: 10-15 minutes
         Route: Noi Bai T1 terminal – Soc Son – Dong Anh – Duong Bridge – Chuong Duong bridge – Long Bien bridge
– Bus number 90:
         Fare: VND 9,000/person
         Frequency: 20 minutes
         Route: T2 terminal – T1 terminal gate – Vo Nguyen Giap – Nhat Tan bridge – Vo Chi Cong – Nguyen Hoang Ton – Lac Long Quan – Hoang Hoa Tham – Van Cao – Lieu Giai – Kim Ma

Each bus travels on a different route so have a sharp idea about your destination before choosing one of them.

4.5. Private car

Upon arrival, getting to your hotel safe and sound for a rest is always a priority. By booking a private car from a local tour operator you ensure a quick pick up and hassle-free transfer or yourself. Information necessary for booking is your name, flight number and flight time. The service is pre-paid in full of around USD 20 – USD 45 depending on the type of car. At the arrival hall, you will meet your driver waiting there holding your name board. Please send your email to [email protected] to get the instant support.

There is more than one way to travel the route. You can choose to transfer from the Hanoi airport to a hotel in the city centre via local experience or door-to-door service. However, take note that on national holidays in Vietnam, except for Tết (Vietnamese New Year), people like to travel domestically so the streets are usually fully crowded. The taxi fare is a little bit higher and its possible you may face a lack of transportation. It is recommended to depart to the airport earlier on these days. If possible, book an airport pick-up in advance.
 

Vietnamese public holidays:
Sept 2nd, 2020: National Day
Jan 1st, 2021: New Year’s Day
Feb 10th – Feb 11th, 2021: Days before Vietnamese New Year
Jan 12th – Jan 15th, 2021: Vietnamese New Year
Apr 21st, 2021: Hung Kings Commemorations
Apr 30th, 2021: Reunification Day
May 1st, 2021: International Labour Day

Above is our complete guide about Noi Bai International airport and transfer to the city centre for the Hanoi first time visitor. Save this article as it will help for your return also. Before traveling be sure to check on your visa, Happy travelling!

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