Car Hire from Hanoi Airport
Hanoi Airport sits towards the north of the long, thin coastal country of Vietnam. In this northern region, the vibrant city of Hanoi, the atmospheric Halong Bay, ancient temples and beautiful natural landscapes are all on the doorstep. Hiring a car from Hanoi Airport is a great way to get between the attractions and get off the beaten track.
Where to hire a car at Hanoi Airport
You can hire a car from the international arrivals hall at Hanoi Airport. Car hire desks for Avis and some local providers too can be found inside the terminal building.
Petrol Stations near Hanoi Airport
If you need to return your hire car with a full tank of petrol, the closest petrol station to the airport is located around 30 minutes’ drive away. It’s a Petrolimex garage on Pham Van Dong road, a major route from Hanoi city to the airport.
Driving around Hanoi Airport
Vo Van Kiet is the road which runs to and from the terminal building at Hanoi Airport. It has connections to two major routes heading south towards Hanoi city. These roads connect to Durong 5 Keo Dai and Cau Thang Long which create a rough ring road around the city centre. Other roads close to the airport include Cau Phu Lo which travels east towards Halong Bay and Cao Toc Noi Bai which travels northwest towards Lao Cai and the Chinese border.
To drive in Vietnam, you need to get a Vietnamese driving license. These are available from the either the Hanoi or the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Works and Transportation office.
Driving standards and road maintenance around Vietnam are generally poor. When you’re on the roads, you’ll need to keep your wits about you as drivers often change or straddle lanes without indication, overtake on both sides and pay little attention to road rules. It can be a bit of culture shock when you first arrive.
Getting to your destination
Hanoi Airport is close to some great local destinations, easily accessed when you have your own hire car.
Hanoi is a vibrant Asian city, with a bustling old town, world famous cuisine, ancient temples and Communist monuments. A wander around the Hoan Kiem Lake, a visit to the Temple of Literature and learning about the country’s past at the National Museum of Vietnamese History are all popular options for tourists.
Hanoi city is around 40 minutes’ drive from Hanoi Airport. Drivers can take either take the Vo Nguyen Giap road or the Vo Van Kiet road south towards the city centre. You’ll need a good map or satellite navigation system to navigate around the city, particularly the winding roads of the old town.
Traffic in the city is chaotic so be prepared to drive defensively and expect the unexpected. Parking is equally disorganised. You may struggle to find a space in amongst all the motorbikes in the city centre so parking up on the outskirts is probably a better idea.
The Perfume Pagoda is an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site. From the main base, you can either hike or take a cable car up the mountain to see a large limestone cave full of Buddhist shrines and statues.
It takes around two hours to drive from Hanoi Airport to the Perfume Pagoda. Drivers can take Cau Thang Long and Durong Vanh Dai to avoid the worst of Hanoi city centre traffic and then pick up the Phap Van road heading south.
Bat Trang is an ancient craft village which sits on the banks of the Red River, southeast of Hanoi. Ceramics have been made there for over five hundred years and, today, visitors can wander the ceramics market, watch craftspeople at work and shop for unique ceramic items.
Bat Trang is an hour’s drive from Hanoi Airport, taking Vo Nguyen Giap and Durong 5 Keo Dao southeast of Hanoi city centre. There is car park available by the Bat Trang bus terminal, opposite the entrance to the ceramics market.