Hanoi Train Street – Here Is Your Ultimate Guide Updated 2024

Hanoi Train Street is a popular tourist attraction that can provide a thrilling experience like no other. The last time we went to Train Street was in 2019, BEFORE the decision to close it off to tourists.

Then, in early 2024 on a trip back to Hanoi… we had to come back to visit this amazing landmark. Yet, what was our experience this time?

Keep reading as we take you through our ultimate guide on Hanoi Train Street… updated for 2024.

Table of Contents

1. Hanoi Train Street History

This landmark in Hanoi is undoubtedly one of the more popular tourist attractions. For us, as Australians living in a big city, it would be a unique experience for us. And, that’s because where we live in Australia… the train surroundings and set up is completely different.

Now, with Hanoi train street that was originally built in the early 1900’s… there is only one train track. And, what makes it distinctive are the homes and cafes lining both sides of this narrow track. What’s more, the distance between the front of the homes and cafes and the railway track… is only about 1 metre!

While it’s an everyday normal occurrence for the locals… from around 2013, this was the start of a tourist attraction boom that would last for years. 

Yet, for almost 3 years from around late October 2019 to mid-2022… Hanoi Train Street was not open as a tourist site anymore. 

It’s said that the primary reason was for safety reasons. Apparently trains had to make  emergency stops. And, that was due to tourists who were too close to the train tracks… or even on them, when the train was approaching!

Then, on top of that, Covid hit.

We were fortunate enough to have gone in 2019, thankfully before the closure. Yet, the stupidity of those tourist(s) was the demise of the infamous Hanoi Train Street… ruining the chance for others to experience this amazing attraction during that period.

So, while we did enjoy it back in 2019, when we were back in Hanoi in 2024… we had to return! Now, there were also some surprises on this second trip back. More on that soon.

2. Is it Worth Visiting Hanoi Train Street?

With so many incredible landmarks to see and things to do in Hanoi… some of you may be wondering if it’s worth visiting? 

On first thought, it may sound boring waiting for a train, just to see it go past you. And, within a few minutes or so it’s over. 

Plus, depending on where you’re staying in Hanoi and how you get to Hanoi Train Street… you may spend more time getting here than seeing the train!

Yet, that is where many people will miss out on experiencing this iconic attraction.

Local owners have spent time converting their homes into cafes. Who cares about the hundreds of exposed wires, or the washing hanging out for everyone to see? Their children are playing, pets wandering on and around the train track. 

This is their life. And, it has been their life for decades. It’s not normal in most people’s eyes. Yet, that’s what makes it special.

Being able to walk on a such an ancient train track over 100 years old, that’s still operational today… is an experience in itself. It’s a far cry from it what it was back then to now. 

Combine the historical track with a rainbow of vibrant colors… from the buildings, murals, lanterns, and plants. Plus, adding to that the quaintness of the cafes and homes… which are so close to the train track. 

This is something most people do not get to witness in their hometown, let alone elsewhere… making it a unique experience. 

Then, when you hear the deep blaring noise from the train horns, you start to feel the rush. Because you know, that within seconds… you’ll be an arms-length away from a train fleeing past you.

As you see the train approaching with its lights beaming, you stop for a breath. This massive train is coming straight towards you!

And, when the train starts going by, you feel the wind rushing past you. The lanterns are swaying vigorously backwards and forwards.

You can feel the excitement drench the atmosphere. Everyone is soaking in this magnificent moment. The laughter, squeals and cheers fill the air.

And then, as you see the tail end of the train, disappearing… you look at other people’s faces in astonishment and happiness.

So, is it worth visiting Hanoi Train Street? YES! Words cannot describe the amazing feeling you could have. Yet, as we say for every location and activity… you have to experience it for yourself, as everyone is different.

Yet, keep reading as I provide helpful information, tips and more photos for you.

3. Train Street Hanoi Location

This landmark is in the iconic Hanoi Old Quarter. So, if you’re staying in the area it’s easy to get to. 

If you do a search for Hanoi Train Street online… there’ll most likely be a few options that pop up. Yet, one of the main entrances is on Trần Phú Street, nearby the corner of Lý Nam Đế Street, which looks like this…

Now, there is another entrance at the opposite end… which is nearby the corner of Phùng Hưng and Nguyễn Quang Bích Streets.

So, we must warn you that at the time of writing this… we were walking from the Trần Phú Street entrance all the way down the train tack to the opposite end. And, once we went further… the security guard was blowing his whistle at us and yelling at us. He was motioning for us to come back. Oh, what?! 

Back in 2019, we could keep walking as far as we’d like. Yet, we guess due to the security concerns, there is a strict boundary for tourists.

Remember earlier how I said… we found something surprising on this return trip back to Train Street Hanoi? Well, to our discovery there is a Hanoi Train Street Southern, that is open for tourists.

4. Hanoi Train Street Southern

The Southern section is further away from the Old Quarter… about 2km from the  original Train Street.

You can find one entrance on the corner of 222 Đ.Lê Duẩn and Đ.Lê Duẩn. Then, the other entrance is at P. Khâm Thiên, nearby the corner of Đ.Lê Duẩn. We took this way to enter and one of the things that we did notice immediately… was that some of the coffee shop owners were persistent and pushy.

We also found that Hanoi Train Street Southern was quieter than the other location. So, that may be a plus for you if you want to avoid the crowds.

In my opinion, I thought that the main location was more pretty. Yet, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! So, if you have time, do check both of them out. However, this travel blog is mainly about the original Train Street… so let’s continue!

Similar to the Hanoi Train Street main location… there were many cute cafes that were on either side of the train tracks.

5. Hanoi Train Street Map

To help you find Hanoi Train Street and its “sister” Hanoi Train Street Southern… I put together a map. Here, you can find the different main entrance points. Of course, things constantly change. So, take this map and the information with a grain of salt!

So, you may be wondering for such a popular tourist attraction… is there a fee to see these incredible landmarks?

6. Train Street Hanoi Entrance Fee

You’ll be happy to know that at the time of writing this travel blog… there were NO entrance fees for Hanoi Train Street or Southern. Now, that’s not to say that in the future they could start charging. So, make sure you prioritize this tourist attraction, if budget is a concern.

7. Hanoi Train Street Schedule

Now, the schedule is something that was confusing on our first visit. And, when we came back for our second visit, it was still confusing! 

As you walk by the cafes, some show the train times for the weekdays and weekends. Yet, they can be the schedules from 5 years ago! That is what we found… as we were comparing photos of the train schedule from 2019 and in 2024. 

So, we did ask a few of the café owners when the next train would be. And, at the time we were there, they said the next one was at 3:20pm. Then, I was pointing at the schedule to show them that 3:20pm was only on the weekends. And, they said that it was the old schedule. Ha ha ha! Gotta love Vietnam :)

Plus, we found a couple of tour guides who were taking small groups through. We did ask the guides for further assurance… as they wouldn’t be taking their tour group if a train wasn’t coming through!

Thus, being 99.9% certain that the next train would be at 3:20pm… we found a café to sit, wait and enjoy the scenery.

Mind you, be aware that things happen. So, while the trains may run on a schedule… there’s always the chance that the train you’re hoping to see may not run on time. Or the trains may not run at all. 


8. Hanoi Train Street Cafes

As I said earlier, you’ll be spoilt for choice… when it comes to choosing a café to watch the excitement unfold. 

The vibrant colors of the buildings, the charming lanterns, and the pretty flowers… help to provide a stunning environment. The owner of our café also had some pooches, who knew how to put on a cute display!

Most of the cafes offer food as well as drinks, or at least some snacks.

Now, Train Street Hanoi is not the cheapest of places to have an alcoholic beverage… in comparison to other tourist places in Hanoi. And, as far as we know, there were no happy hours.

Our place of choice this time was Café 74. Here, a bottle of Hanoi beer was 39,000 VND… which was more pricey, yet still reasonable in our eyes. That’s only around USD $1.55 or 1.45 Euros or GPB 1.25. When we were at Train Street in 2019, a beer was 20,000 VND. Plus, they gave us free snacks!

Of course there were other alcoholic drinks and beverages… including coffees, juices, smoothies and soft drinks. Oh, and make sure you read on further in our Hanoi Train Street tips section… regarding food and drinks!

Plus, if you were keen to get a feed, there were many options. With spring rolls from 50,000 VND, to Pho from 30,000 VND, and many other Vietnamese foods… through to Western foods.

9. Best Time to Visit Train Street Hanoi

So, when is the best time to visit this mind-blowing attraction? 

For some tourists, they like to visit Hanoi Train Street in the morning. And, that’s a great idea… especially if you want to avoid the high heat and humidity in the warmer months. It can get stifling!

Yet, others enjoy the romantic atmosphere of seeing the trains at night. While seeing the train itself isn’t romantic… it’s the setting that results when the sun goes down. And, that’s because the colorful lanterns are lit… forming a magical ambience along the train track.

For us, our preference is during the afternoon. We like the sun and having some cold beers as we bask in the sunshine. Now, for those of you who have a concern about being in the sun, especially in the afternoon… don’t worry! There’ll be a side of the train track which is in the shade.

Regardless of which time of day you choose, after the train has made its grand exit… most of the tourists leave. Yet, as were finishing off our beers, the owner told us something for us to ponder. He said that there would be another train coming in the opposite direction at 4:00pm. 

Well, it was around 3:30pm. What’s another half hour to wait?

It was such as beautiful day and we were enjoying our beers. So, we made the decision to stay on, have another brew and see another train whizzing past us… from the opposite  direction. It would give us the opportunity to photograph and record video, with a different backdrop.

10. How Much Time Do You Need at Hanoi Train Street?

You could spend as little as 15 minutes or hours. Here’s what we did…

We did want that prime position at a café where we’d also be happy spending time at… as we were waiting for the 3:20pm train. Plus, we did want ample time to wander up and down the train tracks… to take lots of photos and video footage. And, we wanted to get all that with as little people as possible.

So, when did we get to Train Street Hanoi? At 1:45pm on a beautiful and sunny weekday. That’s 1 hour and 35 minutes before the train was to arrive.

When we got there a few of the cafes were already full. Most of the cafes are small, having capacity for about 5 people up to around a dozen. So, it doesn’t take long to fill up, especially if groups roll up. Other cafes had no-one in them at that time.

Here are some pics from around that time…

Also, as we were strolling around on the tracks, one side of it was in the shade… whereas the opposite side was open to the sun. Initially, most people were sitting in the shade. 

Then, when it was about 30 minutes before the train was due to arrive… it was difficult to find a seat…

So, make sure that if you have a particular café you’d like to witness the action from… or if you want the “front row” seats, get there at least one hour earlier.

11. Hanoi Train Street Rules

When we were at the main entrance we saw a large sign blocking off part of the track. OK, so there were some written rules for Train Street.

Yet, when there is no train approaching… that’s when you can get your selfies, social media glamour shots and pics/videos for lasting memories. Stand, sit, dance and pose on the tracks!

If you happen to forget about checking the time, don’t worry. You’ll know when the train is approaching, ready to make its grand appearance.

The local café owners will start yelling! For the owners who can speak English they will tell you to move back from the track.

Don’t mess with these people to try and get that perfect social media video or photo. They will point you out and warn you to move back. Even when you think you’re back far enough, they’ll let you know if you’re not. No-one wants to see a body get slammed and crushed by a fast-moving train!

As you can see from this photo, there isn’t much space between you and the train…

We don’t want the Train Street to close again because of stupidity, so be smart!

12. Top Tips for Visiting Hanoi Train Street

1. For cheaper food and drinks.

The prices of drinks and food are what you would expect for a major tourist destination… if not more expensive. So, if you’re on a tight budget… head to the surrounding eateries first, where it can be half the price. Tống Duy Tân Street is a charming area, with many places to choose from.

2. Make sure you look up and ask.

What do I mean by that? When you stroll down Hanoi Train Street there are many cafes to witness the train. Now, several of the cafes have an upstairs section for a different viewpoint. Ask to see if it’s available. When the ground level of cafes are full, this could be your savior to be able to see the action.

3. Avoid the weekends.

As we found while traveling through Vietnam… there are plenty of domestic tourists especially on the weekends. And, a lot of the time they travel in big groups. This can get frustrating… especially if you want to take photos or videos with as little people as possible. So, if you can, plan your itinerary to avoid going on the weekend.

We trust that this Hanoi Train Street travel blog… has given you helpful information to plan your trip to this amazing attraction. We do hope that if you travel to see Hanoi Train Street, or Southern or both… that you will have an incredible time. 

As we’ve said in many of our other Vietnam travel blog posts… we do love Vietnam, and we truly hope you do too. It’s such an incredible and diverse place. ENJOY!

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