Getting To Know Noi Bai International Hanoi Airport
Noi Bai international airport is the 2nd biggest transport hub in Vietnam, located on Soc Son district, which is about 27 kilometers from the city center of Hanoi. With the size of 139.216m2, the airport welcomes 15 million passengers yearly on average so if this is your first time to Hanoi, Vietnam, here are 12 things that you need to know…
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are two of the most frequented destinations in Vietnam and they also have the two biggest airports: Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai Airport so i will cover all you need to know about Noi Bai airport.
Expect to find a step-by-step check-in and check-out procedure, what to eat, where to sleep and how to travel from the airport to the city center.
Noi Bai international airport is the 2nd biggest transport hub in Vietnam, located on Soc Son district, which is about 27 kilometers from the city center of Hanoi. With the acreage of 139.216m2, the airport welcomes 15 million passengers yearly. If this is your first time to Hanoi, Vietnam, here are 12 things that you need to know:
1. Two Terminals: Domestic and International
The airport has two terminals: T1 (Domestic terminal) and T2 (International terminal). The distance between terminal T1 and T2 is about 850m. Both of the terminals have 4 floors fully equipped with modern and professional services such as restaurants, duty-free shops, transportation to Hanoi, free wifi, and massage services.
Hanoi Domestic Airport (Noi Bai Domestic Airport)
Terminal T1 is the domestic airport (san bay quoc noi). This is where Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Airlines, and Jetstar are located.
The building has 4 floors:
1st floor: Arrival domestic passenger
2nd floor: Departure domestic passenger
3rd floor: Office
4th floor: Restaurants and Cafes.
There are 3 halls on the departure floor with more than 100 check-in counters and 3 kiosk check-in counters.
Hanoi International Airport (Noi Bai International Airport)
Terminal T2 is the international terminal (san bay quoc te). Currently, there are 22 international airlines that operate out of Noi Bai international airport. Some of which include Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, AirAsia, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lao Airlines, and Tiger Airways.
The building also has 4 floors:
1st floor: Arrival international passenger
2nd floor: Immigration of arrival international passenger
3rd floor: Departure international passenger
4th floor: VIP, business lounge, and airlines representative office
There are 10 counters and kiosk check-ins in the departure hall, together with 4 check-in islands, each of which have 24 check-in counters.
Besides the common utility services provided by the T1 terminal, the T2 terminal also provides exclusive high-quality services to ensure that your experience at the airport will be the best one.
2. First And Business Class Lounges
Located on the 4th floor of T2, the VIP lounge is a comfortable zone for passengers to rest or work before boarding. Waiting time is no longer painful when you are able to wait in a relaxing bright space with the sweet scent of flowers.
You can treat yourself to delicious Asian and European cuisine while reading the newspaper or magazines provided in the lounge. There is also a computer system with internet access and a separate smoking room in the lounge.
There is one locker room, where you can leave your luggage in the public area on the 2nd floor of T2 (East Wing)
3. Childrens Playground And Baby Care Room
Your baby will no longer get bored at the airport since Hanoi Airport has a children’s playground in T2 terminal, near gate 33 of the departure lounge. Amenities include a fun swing, slide, and seesaw!
If you are looking for a clean and tidy place to change diapers for your kids, you can look for baby care room on the West Wing of 3rd flood at T2.
You will go through the visa application process before immigration. For more details, please check our article about All You Need to Know about Vietnam Visa
Make sure you get both a signed visa and a signed date stamp next to your visa in your passport. Many hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs check this stamp in case they have to report information to the police.
Flying out of Vietnam (6 steps):
Enter departure hall on the 3rd floor of T2 terminal
There are 4 check-in islands, 96 check-in counters, and 10 kiosk check-ins. For information about your airline check-in counters and islands, please click here:
Present air ticket and personal documents
Present boarding pass and personal documents at immigration check
Security check & custom clearance
Check boarding gate and board your flight
Domestic flights within Vietnam
Go through this process: (6 steps)
Enter departure hall on 2nd floor of T1 terminal
Present air ticket and personal documents to do check-in
Go through Security check
Approach departure lounge and get ready to board
International connecting flights:
Check-in counters are located on the 2nd floor.
Skip the immigration process
Go to the 3rd floor for security check for passengers and handheld luggage
Take the procedures for international arrival passenger
Domestic connecting flight:
Follow immigration procedures for international arrival passenger
Go to T1 terminal, using free shuttle bu
Check-in for domestic flight
3. Information desks
Guide To Hanoi International Airport Noi Bai
In case you need any information about the flight schedules, immigration procedures or simply need to know where can you get a shuttle bus, you can find your answers at the information counters.
T2 terminal: there are 2 desks in the public hall on the 3rd and 1st floor.
T1 terminal: there are information counters on the 1st floor of the public hall, and another one on the connection bridge on the 2nd floor of hall A and E.
4. Hanoi Airport Food
When you have a connecting flight or a little time to kill before your departure, it’s a good idea to grab some food. Noi Bai airport has many options in both T1 and T2 terminal. The choices vary between Vietnamese cuisine and fast food international cuisine; not to mention comfortable coffee shops with a good view of the airplanes and runway.
All places have 24/7 service, free wifi, and outlets to charge your phone or laptop.
Departure lounge: Food and Drink (2nd floor, Hall E), Fastfood (2nd floor, Hall A, and B)
Note: After the security check, there are not many options so it’s better to grab food before you go through security
5. Banks And ATM’s
Unlike airports in other countries, the currency exchange in Vietnam’s airport has a good rate. Besides the currency exchange stall, Noi Bai airport is equipped with ATM machines from popular Vietnamese banks.
Where to find it?
T2 terminals: Public area
6. Duty Free Shopping
Shopping for duty-free is the best way to relax before or after a flight. Noi Bai airport has duty free and souvenirs shops. You can shop till you drop for some gifts or simply wander around just for fun to kill time.
Noi Bai airport has 2 duty-free shops in both terminals called NIA Duty Free.
Where to buy duty-free goods
– Arrival lounge (1st floor) – Arrival duty free goods
– Departure lounge (3rd floor) – Departure duty free goods
There are souvenirs shops in each terminal. You can buy your last-minute gift for your friends or yourself; choose between goods such as fine art products, handcrafts from Vietnam, textile products, and fashion products.
Keep in mind that the prices of these products are much higher in the airport. Unless you really need last-minute gifts, we advise you to buy them in the night market.
Where to find it?
T2 terminal: 2 souvenir shops in Centre area (3nd floor)
T1 terminal: Departure lounge (2nd floor) – Hall A and B
7. Sim Card
The SIM card and 3G data packages in South East Asia are super cheap and the registration is quick and painless. You will need internet connection to book a Grab/Uber or track the normal taxi anyway so it’s a good idea to buy data the cheap way.
The Best Telecommunication Provider
Mobile Phone, Viettel, and Vinaphone are 3 of the most popular networks in Vietnam used by most locals. It usually cost around 50,000 VND – 100,000 VND ($2.2 – $5 USD) for a SIM card with a prepaid credit of 50,000 – 200,000 VND available ($2.2 – $10 USD).
Where to buy a SIM card
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st Floor) – Zone A1 and A2
T1 terminal: Public Hall (1st Floor) – Zone A 218
8. Free Services In The Airport
You can easily access the internet with your portable devices in either T1 or T2 terminal. The connection is not too fast but it is usable. You need to look for the available network called: “NoiBai Airport Free Wi-fi.” Then, open your web browser to the login page.
Finally, fill in the form or click “Access” to connect to the wifi. The wi-fi system will occasionally reset. If this happens, just re-login.
Hanoi airport has free water service in each terminal.
T1 terminal: departure lounges on 2nd floor, Hall A, B, E
T2 terminal: before security on 3rd floor, near gate 21, 25, 32, 35
Each terminal has provided 10 chargers for regular phones, as well as outlets for those who want to use a laptop. Find them here:
Before security (3rd floor): beside information counter.
Departure lounge (2nd floor): the locations near gate 21, 22, 23, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35.
Before security (3rd floor): Hall A and Hall B
Departure lounge (2nd floor): Hall A, B, E
9. Health, Safety And First Aid
In case of emergency, there is a 24/7 daily first aid service in Noi Bai airport. There are 3 first aid rooms equipped with medicine and other necessary facilities. The doctors and nurses will usually appear within 10 minutes after your request by talking to your nearest airport staff.
Where to find the first aid room:
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st floor) and departure lounge (3rd floor)
T1 terminal: Arrival Hall A (1st floor)
10. Traveling Between The Two Terminals
You can walk between the international and domestic terminals but if you’re feeling tired after the long flight, then just hop on a free shuttle bus. Every day from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM, a shuttle bus services T1 and T2 terminal, departing every 10 – 15 minutes.
Where to catch the bus:
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st floor) – column 18 (West wing)
T1 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st floor) – Hall A
11. Travel To Hanoi City Centre
The distance from the airport to the city center is around 30 km, but it will take about an hour of driving. Noi Bai airport offers a few transportation options to get to the city center: Grab, taxi, coach, and bus.
I love getting around with Grab (a car booking platform, similar to Uber) as it is usually cheaper than getting a taxi. Furthermore, the app also displays the route and price so I don’t have to worry about taxi scams. The estimated price to go from the airport to Hanoi Old Quarter is around 200,000 – 250,000 VND ($10 – $11 USD), depending on traffic and demand.
Note: Apparently, Grab taxi is not allowed to drive into the airport arrival hall. If you go with Grab, you’ll have to walk outside to meet up with your driver.
Travel by taxi is a little bit tricky as there are 14 taxi brands allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Click here for the list of airport taxis (http://noibaiairport.vn/HOME/Group_Extend.aspx?ID=1). To avoid taxi scams, I recommend taking Mai Linh taxi (the green cab) as that is one of the 2 trustworthy brands in Vietnam (together with Vinasun).
The price to go from the airport to Hanoi Old Quarter (backpacker area) is around 250,000 – 400,000 VND ($11 USD – $20 USD).
Taxi scams: The bitter truth is that taxi scams are quite popular in Vietnam. Since they calculate your trip fee via the meter counter clock, some bad taxi drivers tend to take a longer way in order to over-charge you.
To avoid that, you can either negotiate with the taxi drivers for the price before you depart or track the route via using Google Maps.
Again, Mai Linh taxi is a trusted taxi service in Vietnam; if you don’t have Grab on your phone, be sure to look for the green taxis.
Where to catch a cab
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall – 1st floor – Hall C and E
T1 terminal: Arrival Hall – 1st floor – East Wing
Mai Linh Taxi: (+843) 8 222 666
Airport bus (or coach)
A cheaper way to travel from the airport to Hanoi city is by using the airport bus (or coach). The 16 – 45 seat buses depart from Noi Bai airport to a station on Quang Trung street, 3 kilometers away from Hanoi Old Quarter.
If you want to be dropped-off on the way, just show the staff your destination and ask them for your stop. The price of the ticket is 40,000 VND/person ($2 USD). Good news, baggage is free of charge!
If you fly with Jetstar Pacific and land in Hanoi by 7 PM, you can take their bus to the city center, which departs 30 minutes after landing. The bus tickets are sold on the flight, so please contact your cabin crew to purchase it.
The route: Noi Bai airport – Thang Long Bridge – Hoang Quoc Viet – Nguyen Van Huyen – Dao Tan – Ngoc Khanh bus station – Quang Trung bus station.
Vietjet Air Bus
Vietjet Air also offers a shuttle bus to the city center. The tickets have to be booked on the website 24 hours in advance. You can also call their hotline via this number: (+844) 39 416 270
The route: Noi Bai airport – Thang Long Bridge – Hoang Quoc Viet – Dao Tan – Nguyen Thai Hoc – Quang Trung – Tran Nhan Tong
Where to catch the airport bus
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st floor): West wing and East wing
T1 terminal: Arrival Hall (1st floor): Hall C and Hall E (for Jetstar bus)
Bus into the city
There are 4 buses that have routes from Noi Bai airport to the center of Hanoi: bus number 07, 17, 90, and 86. This is the cheapest transportation option on the list. It costs only 9,000 VND per pax ($0.40 ). Bus 86 is an exception since its price is 30,000 VND/pax (1.5 USD).
If you do not know which bus you should take and when to get off, just contact the staff at airport information, show them your address, and they will help you find the right bus. Most of the buses are not allowed to go inside the airport, you must walk to the bus station located 200 meters away from the airport gate.
Bus 07: Normally, this bus is always full of people, so you might have to stand for an hour during the trip.
The route: Noi Bai airport – Thang Long highway – Pham Van Dong – Hoang Quoc Viet – Nghia Do park – Cau Giay transit station.
Bus 17: This bus has fewer passengers compared to Bus 07 but it will take about 90 – 120 minutes to get to the final destination.
The route: Noi Bai airport – Phu Lo Soc Son – Dong Anh – Cau Duong – Nguyen Van Cu – Long Bien transit station
Bus 90: This is 1 of 2 buses that are allowed to go through the airport terminals.
The route: T1 arrival hall (1st floor) – Vo Nguyen Giap – T2 arrival hall (1st floor) – Vo Nguyen Giap overpass – Vo Nguyen Giap street – Nhat Tan Bridge – Vo Chi Cong – Nguyen Hoang Ton – Lac Long Quan – Hoang Hoa Tham – Van Cao – Lieu Giai – Kim Ma – Number 01 Kim Ma.
Bus 86: This is the newly launched bus which specifically offers the transfer service between the airport and city center. The price is 30,000 VND/pax ($1.5 USD). You can catch the bus at the arrival hall (1st floor) of both terminals.
The route: T2 arrival terminal (1st floor) – Vo Nguyen Giap overpass – Vo Nguyen Giap street – T1 arrival terminal (1st floor) – Vo Nguyen Giap – Nhat Tan bridge – Au Co – Nghi Tam – Yen Phu – Long Bien transit station – Tran Nhat Duat – Tran Quang Khai – Trang Tien – Le Thanh Tong – Hai Ba Trung – Ly Thuong Kiet – Le Duan – Hanoi Train Station.
12. Accommodation Near Hanoi Airport
Spending 6 to 8 hours sitting at the departure lounge waiting for your connecting flight can be very uncomfortable, not to mention boring. You also don’t want to waste your time traveling 2 hours to the city center and back.
Instead, think about renting a room in the airport area. It would be awesome to rest after a long flight and take a shower to get ready for the upcoming trip. Here are some recommendations for hotels in the area:
Airport sleep pod (inside the airport)
Noi Bai airport has a sleep pod service located within the airport for those looking for a private place to relax. The rooms are well-designed and equipped with basic items such as AC, television, clothes hangers, wifi, and an alarm clock. They also offer free snacks and drinks, and restaurant vouchers for customers. For the room rate, please click here.
Where to find it
T2 terminal: 2nd floor
T1 terminal: 2nd and 3rd floor
If you are about to fly into Vietnam, I hope you will have a wonderful time exploring this beautiful country. If you are leaving us, then have a safe flight and see you soon.