Visiting Vietnam, you will feel at home in The capital and second largest city, which offers quality accommodation and excellent service. Hanoi is a charming city that is filled with historic architecture, including the atmospheric narrow streets of its historic district, monuments, parks and gardens, in picturesque locations along the banks of the Red River and surrounded by many lakes.
There are many places you could go after spending time in Hanoi, but for a change of pace to a quieter life, head south to the small town of Ninh Binh. The landscape surrounding Ninh Binh is known as one of the gems of Vietnam. In addition, Ninh Binh, being a quieter town, is in the middle of nowhere. This is the perfect place to experience the real Vietnam! You will find that getting from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is extremely easy with our guide!
Travel options from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
It's a little under 100 kilometers (about 60 miles), so it's really not a long trip if you're planning a trip. It will only take about 90 minutes on the highway, but the actual travel time could be longer depending on how you decide to travel. There are several different transportation options. You can go by train, bus, or private cab, and fares vary quite a bit, so there should be something to fit any budget.
Train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Let's start with the most affordable option - the train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. If you are traveling on a tight budget, the train is the cheapest way to get there, provided you buy the right ticket, as there are several different options to choose from. These include first class sleepers, second class sleepers, second class air-conditioned seats, and standard second class seats. First class sleeper seats, as you would expect, are the most expensive option, while standard 2nd class seats are the cheapest.
So, which one should you go for? Honestly, there's no need to spend more money on a sleeper because the trip isn't long enough to justify it. Trains take anywhere from half an hour to two or three quarters of an hour.
There are trains throughout the day, starting at 6 am, the last one out of Hanoi around 8 pm, although it depends on which station in Hanoi you are departing from. There is the main station in Hanoi, and there is another station at Ga Giap Bat in the south of Hanoi.
This is one of the cheapest options, and traveling by train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is a popular way to get from A to B because Vietnam Railways trains are usually quite reliable and they are relatively comfortable. Many tourists prefer to travel by train rather than by road. Traveling by road is scenic, but you can usually see more scenery from the car window, and there is a certain romanticism in traveling this way!
Another positive result is that the destination station is in the heart of Ninh Binh, so you don't have to travel far to your hotel from the train station. And with so many different trains, you can easily find a train that matches whatever schedule you have, whether you want to travel in the morning, afternoon or evening.
From Hanoi to Ninh Binh by bus
After rail, the second cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is by bus. The scheduled travel time for buses is 90 minutes, but be prepared for delays, both departure and arrival. Buses may leave late, and depending on traffic, the trip may last more than 90 minutes.
Hoang Long is one of the bus companies offering this service, and they usually have four trips a day: one in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and two in the evening. The buses are sleeper buses, and even if you don't travel during the night, you can stretch your legs, which makes it an especially good choice if you're quite tall! The buses are also well equipped, with restrooms, air conditioning, steward service, and snacks.
There are also a few disadvantages to traveling by bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. The bus station in Hanoi is in the south of the city, so if you are staying in the center, you will need to get to Hanoi Nuoc Ngam station. When you arrive in Ninh Binh, you will not get to the center either. The bus arrives in the south of the city, dropping off passengers on one of the highways. And you will have to take a cab to get downtown, so this will add extra expense to what seemed like a reasonable price.
Private cab from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
This last option is the most expensive, but if you are traveling with a group, it is actually quite reasonable. Riding in a private cab is the most convenient way because it is a door-to-door trip. Cat Ba Express is one of the private cab operators who operate cabs along the route between Hanoi and Ninh Binh, picking you up from your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi.
You can book a standard-sized car, but private cabs become a more economical option when you use one of the larger vehicles: a 7-passenger minivan or a 16-passenger bus, since the total price doesn't increase much, and when split between several people it's actually a pretty good deal.
Thus, getting from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is easy and affordable. With three different options to choose from, finding the perfect way to get around should be easy!