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Public Transportation in Hanoi

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Hanoi is an important step in adjusting to life in Hanoi. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.
|-Public Transportation in Hanoi

Public transportation in Hanoi is diverse and extensive, offering a variety of options for both locals and expats. The city’s public transportation system includes buses, taxis, motorbike taxis (known as “xe om”), and a newly introduced metro system. With these options, it is entirely possible for an expat to live comfortably in Hanoi without a car, relying on public transportation and walking.


The bus system in Hanoi is the most extensive form of public transportation in the city. Operated by Transerco, the buses cover a wide range of routes, reaching even the most remote areas of the city. The buses are generally safe to use, even at night, and are a popular choice for students and workers. A single journey costs around 7,000 VND (approximately 0.30 USD), making it an affordable option for daily commuting. However, the buses can get crowded during peak hours, and the traffic in Hanoi can often lead to delays.


Taxis are a common sight in Hanoi, and they offer a convenient and comfortable way to get around the city. There are several reputable taxi companies operating in Hanoi, including Mai Linh and Vinasun. The taxis are metered, and the fare usually starts at around 12,000 VND (approximately 0.50 USD) for the first kilometer, with an additional charge for each subsequent kilometer. Taxis are generally safe, but it’s always a good idea to ensure that the driver turns on the meter to avoid being overcharged.

Motorbike Taxis (Xe Om)

For a more adventurous mode of transportation, you can opt for a motorbike taxi, or “xe om”. These are widely available throughout the city, and they offer a quick and efficient way to navigate through Hanoi’s busy streets. The fare is usually negotiated before the journey, and it typically costs around 15,000 to 20,000 VND (approximately 0.65 to 0.85 USD) for a short ride. While xe om can be an exciting way to experience Hanoi, it’s important to note that they may not be the safest option, especially for those who are not used to riding on a motorbike.


The Hanoi Metro is the newest addition to the city’s public transportation system. The first line, which connects Cat Linh and Ha Dong, was opened in 2021. The metro offers a modern and comfortable way to travel, with air-conditioned carriages and automated ticketing systems. A single journey costs 15,000 VND (approximately 0.65 USD), regardless of the distance traveled. The metro is considered safe to use, and it operates from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., making it a convenient option for daily commuting. However, as the system is still new and the network is limited, it may not cover all areas of the city.

In conclusion, public transportation in Hanoi is diverse and affordable, making it possible for expats to live comfortably without a car. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential safety issues, especially when using motorbike taxis. As the city continues to develop its public transportation system, it’s expected that getting around Hanoi will become even easier and more convenient in the future.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

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