crowds starting to gather waiting for the show on Train Street in Hanoi

Is Hanoi Safe? Everything You Need To Know In 2024

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Having recently returned from an amazing one-month journey through Vietnam, including a week in the bustling capital of Hanoi, we can confidently share our experiences and insights regarding safety in this vibrant city.

Hanoi, with its unique blend of ancient traditions and modern dynamism, won us over the moment we arrived. At no point during our stay did we feel unsafe, whether we were exploring the Old Quarter, devouring street food, or mingling with the friendly locals.

Dean and Pauline getting banh mi during a food tour in Hanoi

Let us address the common concerns and questions about safety when visiting Hanoi, providing you with everything you need to know to enjoy a worry-free visit to this remarkable destination.

Is Hanoi Safe for travellers?

Hanoi is widely recognised as a safe destination for travellers. The city has a low crime rate compared to other major cities around the world, violent crimes are rare, and most visitors experience no issues during their stay.

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas like markets and tourist hotspots, but these incidents are not widespread and can often be avoided with basic precautions.

It’s always advisable to stay aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and avoid displaying valuables in public.

The main safety risk for travellers may well be in dealing with the traffic, which can be chaotic, with a seemingly endless stream of motorbikes and cars weaving through the streets.

Insider Top Tip – Crossing the road can be daunting at first, but the key is to move steadily and confidently without making sudden stops. The locals expect you to keep moving and ride around you.

dean & Pauline

Additionally, always opt for reputable taxi services or the Grab rideshare app to avoid scams.

While Hanoi’s food scene is one of its greatest attractions, ensure you eat at well-reviewed places, or vendors where many locals are eating, to avoid food poisoning or similar illnesses.

Is Hanoi Safe at Night? 

Exploring Hanoi at night is a totally different experience, as the city comes alive with bustling night markets, busy street food stalls, and lively bars and cafes.

Beer Street in Hanoi before the crowds show up

Hanoi is considered safe at night for travellers, however, there are some safety tips to keep in mind when venturing out at night.

  • Stick to well-lit and populated areas, particularly in popular districts like Hoan Kiem and the Old Quarter. These areas are frequented by both locals and tourists, creating an extra layer of safety.
  • Be cautious of petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, which can be more prevalent in crowded night spots.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your belongings secure.
  • If your accommodation is not in a popular or well-established area you should consider using a taxi of Grab to return after an evening out.

Using a bit of commonsense, you can enjoy the bouyant nightlife of Hanoi without worry. The city offers a unique nighttime charm that is worth experiencing, from its illuminated temples and lakes to its bustling nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Is Hanoi Safe to Walk Around? 

Walking around Hanoi is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city’s buzzing atmosphere and cultural heritage. And with Hanoi being so flat it is also an easy city to experience on foot.

While the overall risk to travellers is low, the city’s traffic can be overwhelming, with a constant flow of motorbikes and cars making crossing the streets, and even using sidewalks, a challenge.

Insider Top Tip – The locals in Hanoi do not really use the sidewalks for walking. The part of the sidewalk furthest from the road is usually filled with merchandise displays or dining furniture, while the section closest to the road is used for motorbike and scooter parking. You have to walk on the edge of the road.

dean & Pauline

Using commonsense you can confidently explore Hanoi on foot and fully experience its unique charm and captivating street life.

Walking allows you to discover hidden gems, engage with the local culture, and enjoy the city’s sights and sounds at your own pace. So be aware of your surroundings and enjoy Hanoi on foot.

What Is the Crime Rate in Hanoi?

Violent crime in Hanoi is rare, and as a traveller, your main concern should be petty crimes such as pickpocketing or bag-snatching.

Vietnam is working hard to increase its income from tourism and to that end they are extremely vigilant in discouraging crime against tourists. In a nutshell, unless you do something stupid and put yourself in harm’s way, Hanoi offers you a safe and rewarding visit.

Safety Tips For Hanoi

Exploring Hanoi can be an exciting and enriching experience, but like any major city, it comes with its own challenges. Ensuring your safety while exploring Hanoi will help you make the most of your visit.

Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind as you wander through the enchanting streets of Hanoi.

#1: Be street smart

During our time in Hanoi it seemed like we covered almost the whole city on foot without a single incident or ever feeling unsafe. And by staying aware of your surroundings you should have an equally good time.

Keep track of your belongings and be cautious in crowded areas where pickpocketing can occur. Avoid unnecessarily displaying valuables like expensive jewellery, phones and cameras.

#2: Don’t play in the traffic

Hanoi’s traffic can be overwhelming, with a river of motorbikes and cars on almost every street. To be honest it did take us a day or two to feel comfortable with stepping out and crossing busy roads, but we did it.

As mentioned previously, the correct method of crossing the street is to carefully step out onto the road and then begin crossing steadily and without stopping. The scooter riders will weave around you.

Cars may be another issue completely and you may be best served by allowing them to pass before you start trying to cross.

#3: Only use reputable transport

If you decide to use transport at any time during your visit be sure to select a reputable taxi company or use the Grab ridesharing app.

You may be looking to hire a scooter or motorbike during your visit. If so, ensure you are renting from a legitimate source and that you have insurance in place. Plus you should definitely wear a helmet at all times.

#4: Limit your chance of getting sick

In the same way we do in every new country we visit, when it came to getting a feel for where to eat Vietnamese street food we started our trip with a street food tour.

Generally, the two best guides to where to safely eat are to find highly-rated restaurants or to eat wherever you see plenty of locals dining. That’s always a good sign that it is a hygienic place.

It is not recommended that you drink the tap water in Hanoi, but stick with filtered or bottled water.

#5: Secure your accommodation

Most articles you read will recommend that, if your accommodation has a room safe, you should lock all cash and valuables inside. And in almost every case that is great advice, however…

After working as a travel agent for several years I have heard too many stories of people claiming to have had things stolen from these safes and the hotels refusing to believe them.

Insider Top Tip – IThe best advice I ever heard about room safety is to hide your valuables inside your clothes that are then locked inside your luggage. It’s less likely staff will steal a suitcase than open a room safe.


#6: Secure your money

Hanoi, and Vietnam in general, is very much a cash society, so don’t expect to be able to use your credit card very often.

The chances are that sometime during your stay you will need to withdraw or convert some cash. Only use legitimate money changers or banks, and if using an ATM make sure it is associated with a major bank, be discrete when entering your pin, and check for any type of skimmer.

Safe Places To Stay in Hanoi

We are big fans of exploring cities on foot, which means we are always looking for quality and safe accommodation close to the most popular areas of town for visitors. In Hanoi that is the Old Quarter.

✅ Hostel Option: Hanoi City Backpackers Hostel is a highly-rated hostel in a handy location. It includes breakfast and is within walking distance of many restaurants and the best things to do in the city.

✅ Budget Option: TrangTrang Premium Hotel & Sky Bar is located 2 blocks from the lake in the Old Quarter. The hotel has a rooftop bar with incredible views and offers a 4-star service for a 2-star price.

✅ Mid-Range Option: Hanoi Calista Hotel is a 4-star hotel located just a couple of minute walk from Train Street and many restaurants. The hotel includes an excellent breakfast.

✅ Luxury OptionPeridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel is a 5-star hotel in the centre of Hanoi. The rooms feature high-end appointments and the hotel has one of the best rooftop restaurants and pool with great views.

Visiting Hanoi FAQs

Do you still have some questions? Maybe this will answer them before you head to Hanoi.

Is Hanoi worth visiting?

Hanoi is one of those big cities that felt more like a big country town to us. Although the traffic was mayhem and there are people everywhere, the locals didn’t give off that abrupt, arrogant vibe you feel in other big cities.

With a perfect blend of history, tradition, great food, and that friendly vibe, Hanoi is a place that deserves to be on your travel bucket list.

Do people speak English in Hanoi?

You will find English is widely spoken in the touristy areas of Hanoi and also in most restaurants and hotels. But don’t let that stop you from making an effort and learning a few words of Vietnamese to be respectful.

Is Hanoi a small city?

Not by anybody’s definition could Hanoi be considered a small city. With an estimated population of approximately 5.5 million people it is Vietnam’s second largest city behind Ho Chi Minh.

Is it safe to go to Train Street?

Train Street is an iconic part of Hanoi that is incredibly popular with tourists. If you follow the guidance and rules of the local vendors then you will have a safe and unique experience. Just don’t be an idiot when the train arrives.

Is Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City safer?

Not only did we feel safer in Hanoi than in Ho Chi Minh but the crime statistics strongly back up our feeling. While violent crime involving tourists is reasonably rare in both cities, HCM has far more petty crime.

Is Hanoi safe? Our opinion.

We felt safe and comfortable in Hanoi from the minute we arrived. We have been to many of the big cities of Southeast Asia and both felt that this place feels less crowded and more casual than any of the others.

We walked miles around the city every day and not once did we feel anything less than perfectly safe. So if safety concerns are the only thing holding you back from booking a trip to Hanoi… start booking now!

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Planning a trip to Hanoi? Learn about the safety of Vietnam's capital, including crime rates, safety tips, and how to stay safe while exploring this vibrant city. Get the information you need for a secure visit to Hanoi.
With people everywhere, streets teeming with motorbikes, and sidewalks used as dining rooms and parking lots, Hanoi may look like a risky proposition for travellers. So how safe is it to visit Hanoi?
Curious about the safety of Hanoi? Find out everything you need to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to this bustling city. Learn about local safety tips, common issues, and how to stay safe while exploring Hanoi.
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