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AREAS in Hanoi – Where to Live?

Posted by vietlong on Tháng Mười Một 20, 2018
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Hanoi is a city full of culture, family, ethnicity, entertainment, history, colours and always something gastronomically enticing.  It’s important to read about the areas and also the schools near the area to determine where it best suits your needs.

There are so many areas in Hanoi that it must be difficult to decide.  This will be a simple focus on the common area that expats and those repatriating to Hanoi are most interested in.


Ba Đình is the area where the most historic attractions lie and is the political center of Vietnam.  There is the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum, The War Museum, Hanoi Botanical Garden featuring a stilt house as well as the Grand French-era Presidential Palace. It is also a easy walk to the lakes and close to most of the government offices and embassies.   This used to be called the French Quarter. This is why you will notice all the beautiful French influenced buildings in this area.

In this area, you will be able to find a service apartment/housing complex, regular apartments and houses.


This is a very busy area located south west of the city and has really evolved over the past 5 years. More of a local area as the university is also located here.  It has been known as the “Silicon Valley” of Hanoi. The area is filled with lots of eateries especially Korean cuisine. The Museum of Ethnology is one of the most interesting cultural placed in Hanoi and its located in Cau Giay.  Even if you have been there once, it is somewhere you can go to sit under a tree and read a book while gazing at the ethnic houses, transforming you to another time and place. There are footpaths and also lakes nearby, you will find some of the best street vendors selling anything from clothing, food, fruits and flowers. Cau Giay is also where Landmark 72 is, offering a amazing view when you get to the top.

Serviced apartments, houses and apartments are offered in this area.  I would rate this more local than foreigner area but certainly the International church has a parish here so there are a lot of foreigners and business men who prefer this area.


This is an area that is just located North of the City but easy to get to. It is also just at the base of the bridge to the Airport so it is also very convenient.  Ciputra is made up mostly of Expats and also local well-to-do Vietnamese citizens. The United Nations International School (UNIS) is located in Ciputra, so if you have children and would like them to be able to ride their bikes, rollerblade or skateboard to school, this is the place for you.

Ciputra offers amenities to those that live within the compound for a fee (one time, monthly or yearly). There are Swimming pool, tennis courts, driving range, spas, hair salons, bakeries and restaurants are all located inside this gated community. There are only a few entrances where traffic can come in and they are all well guarded.  An array of accomodations is offered here, houses, villas, apartments and luxury apartments (sizes are bigger and duplex penthouses are available)  UNIS also offers gym membership to the community and also there are Fall and Winter community courses offered to everyone, even those who do not have children at the school.  Most common is the Saturday Soccer league at UNIS

Once you step outside of the gates, you will be able to find a array of local businesses, wet markets, convenience shops and local restaurants.


Đống Đa is bordered by Ba Đình to the north, Hoàn Kiếm to the northeast, Hai Bà Trưng to the east, Thanh Xuân to the south, and Cầu Giấy to the west.  In this area, you can find yourself in the hubbub of local life, close to the famous Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) and also close to many eating places but it is not a “walking area” to live in. If you like to take walks, this is not the place for you.


Hai Ba Trung is south of the city and is quite a large area. This is mainly locals but many foreigners love to be here because of the action, nightlife and true urban space. The area is mainly houses that are built close to each other or are attached to each other.   

Times City (Built 2012), by Vin Group is also located here boasting 4 high-end Apartments which are relatively new.  Times City also has an underground shopping center which has many restaurants, bakeries, cinema as well as shops and grocery store.  In addition, VinSchool and VinMec hospital, also by Vin Group, are both located in this large complex area.


The famous Hoan Kiem lake is probably an area that you heard of even before arriving to Hanoi.  It is home of the Hoan Kiem lake, the old quarter of 33 streets and also the French Quarter. This is the main center area of the city. There are malls, bars, craft shops, hotels, opera house, social clubs, high end fashion houses .. the list is endless.   You will definitely not miss a thing living in this area. Some of the best street food stalls are located here and also the famous Don Xuan Market is in the Hoan Kiem area. Again, it is mainly local living that dominates this area. Many embassies and residences are also located in this area.  Apartments and houses are available in this are.


This is an area that is next to West Lake and in between Tay ho and Truc Bach, just where the Intercontinental hotel is located.  It’s a small area but again, it is mainly locals except for The Hanoi Club (serviced apartments) which is a private club with yearly membership, offering a driving range, swimming pool and gym.   If you are a Christian and would like to attend church services, The Hanoi Club on Sundays hosts 2 different church services. Both the Hanoi International church and also the Hanoi International Fellowship.


This area is known as West Lake and also sits north of the city center with a beautiful lake view for those who are living close by.  This area was originally a farmland area and has over time become a place for both locals and Foreigners. You will see different levels of wealth in this area but it is one of the most exciting one to be in if you like to be in the “hubbub” of the community and bumping into people you know wherever you go.  There are local, Western, Vegetarian and other ethnic food businesses, local and Western Cafes, seamstresses, famous temples, microbreweries, spas, hair salons, small shopping mall boasting a Fivimart (grocery shop), local wet market that opens from 7 – 11 am, Dental offices, Medical office, local and Western food shops, local and French bakeries, Gyms, Wine shops, Yoga studios, Real estate companies, International moving companies, Hotels, local and International Kindergartens, Made to order local and French furniture shops, Children’s indoor playground and Western clothing & shoes business offering Western sizes (something that is NOT easy to find in Hanoi)  Basically you never need to leave the area… you can even find flowers and fruit vendors along Xuan Dieu, the main road that runs through Tay Ho. Literally everything is within walking distance if you enjoy the adventure. If you have a dog and want to let him/her run in a field, there is also a couple of spots in Tay Ho with large green patches where you can throw a ball or frisbee with your dog.

In this area, you will find all the different types of housing, as described in “Which home is right for you ?” on our website.

You will also note there are 2 gated areas in TayHo which are Serviced apartments and housing rentals. In addition, many of the Foreign Embassy Officials are housed in this area, as well as the local Government top ranking officials also have their homes along the lake.  


This is an are that is south of Tay Ho on the way to the city. It houses mostly locals but there are many well budgeted with view apartments and also luxury service apartment as well.  Truc Bach is an area brimming with local activities, so if you like to walk out and be able to get your daily shopping at the roadside markets while chickens run about, get a coffee or a bowl of Pho noodles across the street at local cafes or even visit the few International establishments around, this is the place for you. There is little or no land space in the homes in this area so if you wanted a yard, this is not for you.   The houses are very close to each other so if privacy and peace is your preference, you may want to look elsewhere.


Vinhomes belongs to VinGroup, owned by one of the Vietnamese on Forbes list.  You will start to notice once you get around that there are many “VIN-” things.  Vincom mall, Vinmart, Vinhomes, VinPearl, Vinmec, Vinschool…. The list goes on.

Vinhomes Riverside was built about 6 years ago on the south east side of the city center.  The concept was to build a closed gated community where there is more land available for housing, nature and away from the noise and busyness of the city.  The area has most common amenities available to its’ home residents and also a large mall and restaurant complex and amusement park.

You will find both houses and villas in this area and many if not all the homes have a man made canal in the backyard.

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