Renting a house in Hanoi If you love Hanoi city and decide to stay, or you are sent here on a volunteer programme or job transfer, you wil need to find an accommodation. So you’re apartment hunting. There are three main things to consider: location, price and type of accommodation. The topic of this post […]
Renting a house in Hanoi
If you love Hanoi city and decide to stay, or you are sent here on a volunteer programme or job transfer, you wil need to find an accommodation. So you’re apartment hunting. There are three main things to consider: location, price and type of accommodation. The topic of this post is location.
Hanoi is a large city, with 28 districts covering over 3,000 square kilometres. Most expats live in 5 or 6 of the central districts: Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, Cau giay, Ba Dinh, Tay Ho and Dong Da, with a few living over the river in Long Bien (a cheaper and more local alternative) or in My Dinh, Tu Liem. Each offers its own benefits, so think about what you’re after before selecting an area: shops nearby? Near Western restaurants? Local life? Other expats? Near schools?
Hoan Kiem district is central – for the Old Quarter bars, restaurants and shopping – and buzzing but tends to be more expensive than the adjoining districts and is full of tourists, pushing the prices of goods up. Many longer-term expats will tell you that when they first moved here they spent a lot of time in Old Quarter but over time have found other, more local, places to eat and socialise, so don’t feel you need to be in Hoan Kiem in order to have a life; life exists everywhere in this city and anyway, taxis are cheap.
Hai Ba Trung district– to the south of the lake – is more of a business district but has some great back streets full of coffee shops and street eats, plus it’s handy for Vincom Towers and the sprawling Thong Nhat Park and is an easy taxi or bus ride into Old Quarter.
Dong Da starts at the Temple of Literature and spreads south. It’s a reasonably popular district with reasonable prices and a lot of local life, including markets and temples.
If you’re looking for more of a Western lifestyle then you will want to consider Tay Ho district, which incorporates a very popular area to the north of West Lake and is home to the famous Xuan Dieu Street, which is lined with Western restaurants, cafes and grocery stores. The roads that run off it are an expat enclave, although still home to plenty of local life, and there are opportunities for lake gazing. You can see many apartments and nice serviced apartments or villas in this area.
Finally, Ba Dinh is a particularly diverse area, covering both the zone around Truc Bach Lake, the Mausoleum Complex and Botanical Gardens, the diplomatic area and the hive of activity that is Kim Ma Street. You will easily find an serviced apartment or house with the lake view. Prices vary accordingly, with Truc Bach being pricey but the alleys between Doi Can and Hoang Hoa Tham full of character as well as good value housing.