From Hanoi to Ninh Binh – A Transportation complete guide

Embarking on the journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is a captivating experience filled with natural beauty and cultural immersion. In this transportation complete guide, Viland Travel will unravel the options and insights you need to navigate this route with ease. 

Whether you’re drawn to the ancient temples, serene river scenes, or the mysterious karst landscapes, Hanoi to Ninh Binh offers a diverse range of wonders. Join us in this comprehensive guide as we navigate the pathways to Ninh Binh, unveiling the transportation modes, top attractions, and helpful tips for a memorable journey.

Hanoi to Ninh Binh map – Overview of the trip

hanoi to ninh binh
Hanoi to Ninh Binh Travel Map

Many travelers planning their journey wonder about the distance from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, crucial for selecting the right mode of transportation. On the map, the road distance from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is approximately 95 kilometers, which translates to about a 1.5-hour car ride. For those venturing further to reach Tam Coc, a renowned Ninh Binh tourist destination, you’ll add another 20 kilometers to your trip.

Based on your travel preferences and the specific attractions you’d like to explore, Viland Travel offers tailored Hanoi to Ninh Binh day trip that would let you fully explore this region’s beauty. These day trips from Hanoi typically encompass visits to two of the most enticing destinations, such as Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Trang An, Van Long Nature Reserve, Tam Coc, Mua Cave, or Cuc Phuong National Park. With our one-day trips, we prioritize car transportation for its flexibility and convenience. Rest assured, we’re committed to delivering an exceptional Ninh Binh experience, complete with professional services and knowledgeable tour guides providing fascinating and trustworthy insights into the attractions. Your journey with us guarantees a memorable exploration of Ninh Binh.

Some of the tips we would give travelers as the locals:

  • When taking a taxi to travel to Ninh Binh or any other destination in Vietnam, it’s essential to have the exact address written down. Since many taxi drivers don’t speak English, providing them with the address on paper or your phone can help prevent misunderstandings.
  • Be vigilant when using taxis, as some drivers might try to overcharge by taking longer routes. It’s a good practice to check Google Maps for distance and estimated prices. Let the driver know that you’re aware of the distance and pricing to avoid any attempts to overcharge.
  • If you’re looking to rent a motorbike, most hotels in Hanoi offer this service. Renting from your hotel eliminates the need for a deposit and is often more convenient than renting from an external source.
  • When contemplating renting a private car, consider purchasing a tour package instead. Although it may seem a bit pricier, when you factor in transportation, accommodations, a tour guide, entrance tickets, and meals, the cost is often comparable.
View Ninh Binh Trip: Explore Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Lan Ha Bay in 5 awe-inspiring days

Everything you need to know about each travel method from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

Given the manageable distance, your options for traveling from Hanoi to Ninh Binh include bus, train, motorbike or private car. The journey typically spans between 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your chosen mode of transport and traffic conditions.

Undecided on the best way to journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh? Allow us to assist you with our comprehensive guide below!

Ninh Binh, situated roughly 94 km to the south of Hanoi, is conveniently accessible by private car in just 1.5 to 2 hours. Opting for a bus journey, on the other hand, might extend the travel time to more than 2 hours. There are two distinct types of buses available for your Hanoi to Ninh Binh bus route:

  • Public bus: Typically departing from bus stations like My Dinh, Giap Bat, or Nuoc Ngam in Hanoi, it concludes its journey at Ninh Binh bus station. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to arrange your own transfer to the bus station. Public buses are more budget-friendly, although the quality of the buses may not be optimal.
  • Tourist bus or limousine bus: Operated by select travel companies, these buses provide the added convenience of hotel pick-up and drop-off. While the price is slightly higher compared to public buses, the quality of the service is excellent.

In both cases, it’s important to note that the drivers may not speak English. However, the tourist bus option, which offers hotel pick-up and drop-off, ensures a hassle-free journey.

Travel duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes

Cost: 100,000 – 180,000 VND ~ 4.5 – 9 USD

Public bus to Ninh Binh

The most economical way to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is by public bus. The journey typically spans 2 to 2.5 hours, contingent upon traffic conditions, with fares ranging from 100,000 VND to 160,000 VND per person. Public buses often make multiple stops for passenger pick-ups and drop-offs, so it’s essential to anticipate potential delays, as they usually depart once seats are filled.

To catch a public bus, you can take a taxi to either Giat Bat or My Dinh bus stations. At these stations, you’ll find several bus options departing every 20 minutes between 6:00 and 18:00. Depending on your needs, some buses might drop you along the way, while others will take you directly to the bus station. In the latter case, you should have a clear idea of how to proceed to your hotel independently.

Well-known bus brands like Hoang Long, Cuong Hung, Ba Dep, Hoang Thin, and Cat Loi are readily available at Giap Bat bus station. Among these, Hoang Long stands out as an excellent choice. It operates four daily departures—morning, early afternoon, and two in the evening. Despite daytime travel, this is a sleeper bus, offering ample legroom. The bus is well-appointed with onboard toilets, air conditioning, steward service, and complimentary snacks.

Shuffle bus (Limousine) to Ninh Binh

Shuffle buses (shared limousines) stand out for their superior service and enhanced comfort for passengers. Operating with convenient pick-up locations within Hanoi’s Old Quarter and direct drops at Ninh Binh’s top attractions like Trang An, Hoa Lu, and Tam Coc, these services not only enhance your journey but also save valuable time and money that would otherwise be spent on transfers to and from bus stations or pick-up points.

Below are some of the operator that are highly recommended:

OperatorNumber of seatsDeparture timePrice (one-way ticket)Pick up locationDrop off location
Huu Binh Limousine9, 16, 197:30, 15:00180.000 VNDHanoi Old Quarter & Hanoi Opera HouseTrang An Complex, Bai Dinh Pagoda, and Phat Diem Cathedral
Binh Minh Limousine9Every hour from 6:00 to 21:00155.000 VNDHanoi Old QuarterNinh Binh city center and major tourist spots in Ninh Binh: Trang An pier, Tam Coc pier, Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu
Khanh An Limousine9Every hour from 5:30 to 15:30135.000 VND70-72 Tran Nhan Tong, Le Dai Hanh, Hai Ba Trung, Ha NoiNinh Binh city center, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An Complex

Train – The scenic choice

Ha Noi the main train station
Ha Noi the main train station

In recent times, the train has emerged as a favored mode of transportation in Vietnam, alongside buses and flights, earning the attention of an increasing number of travelers. Historically, trains were not the preferred choice, primarily due to issues like incomplete booking systems, unprofessional services, and inadequate facilities. However, spurred by the flourishing tourism industry, Vietnam Railways has shifted its focus toward enhancing services and facilities, transforming the train into a compelling option for global tourists.

Traveling from Hanoi to Ninh Binh by train consumes approximately 2 hours, a duration similar to a bus journey. This scenic route guides you through Hung Yen, Ha Nam, and Nam Dinh, offering breathtaking views that are perfect for capturing with your camera.

Train travel also envelops you in a serene and unhurried ambiance. Since trains are often preferred by the older generation, the atmosphere exudes tranquility, granting you time to read a book or enjoy your personal music selection, a soothing transition after your Hanoi adventures and preparation for new exploits in Ninh Binh.

Your journey typically commences at Hanoi station, concluding at Ninh Binh station, acclaimed as Vietnam’s most modern and picturesque station. The station is thoughtfully designed to serve and support tourists, featuring amenities such as waiting rooms, cafeterias, tourism information desks, and souvenir shops. Moreover, the recent addition of a pedestrian bridge enhances safety and convenience for travelers when boarding and disembarking the train, a particularly family-friendly feature.

Travel duration: 2 hours

Cost: from 240,000VND ~ 10 USD/ pax

For those interested in experiencing a Hanoi to Ninh Binh trip by train, the table below provides details about the train name so that you can plan your schedule accordingly:

TrainOperating DaysDeparture TimeArrival Time
SE7Mon – Sat6:00 AM8:14 AM
SE5Mon – Sat9:00 AM11:17 AM
SE9Mon – Sat2:30 PM5:13 PM
SE3Mon – Sat7:20 PM9:44 PM
SE19Mon – Sat8:10 PM10:22 PM
SE35Sunday1:10 PM3:34 PM

* Please note that on special occasions like the Tet holiday, train frequency and schedules may change to accommodate increased travel demand. Be sure to check the Vietnam Railway website for the most up-to-date information when booking your train to ensure you don’t miss it.

Typically, the fare for your Hanoi to Ninh Binh train journey varies based on factors such as the type of seat, the cabin class, the train service, and the time of the year. There are two main categories of trains running this route: those operated by Vietnam Railway and privately-run trains, both sharing the same timetable. Vietnam Railways trains offer four types of cabins: hard-seated, soft-seated, sleeper cabins for 1 to 4 passengers, and sleeper cabins for 1 to 6 passengers, providing travelers with a range of options.

Prices for these cabins are as follows: $10.24, $14.86, $22.31, and $24.28 per person. If your needs are fundamental, such as basic travel or sleeping accommodations during the journey, booking a ticket on a public train is a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a higher level of comfort, private trains are an excellent option. These trains offer two cabin styles: one for 1 to 2 passengers and another for 1 to 4 passengers. When you opt for a privately-run train, you’ll enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as more modern and convenient facilities compared to public trains. This provides an opportunity to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate after your explorations in Hanoi, ensuring you’re prepared for the next leg of your journey to Ninh Binh.

Motorbike – The adventurous choice

Travel on motorbike in asia/ Credit: bublikhaus/freepik
Travel on motorbike in asia/ Credit: bublikhaus/freepik

Many say that the ultimate way to discover Vietnam’s charm is on two wheels. Renting a motorbike grants you the freedom to traverse the entire country, from bustling cityscapes to rural hideaways, seaside escapes to mountain retreats, savoring delectable cuisine and forging connections with locals along the way. When it comes to Northern Vietnam, embarking on a motorbike journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is a quintessential road trip. Departing from the city center, you’ll navigate the southbound Giai Phong street, which seamlessly connects with the QL1A, the primary highway open to motorcycles. This scenic route will guide you all the way to Ninh Binh.

Travel duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Cost: 110,000 – 300,000 VND ~ 5 – 11 USD

It’s essential to remember that Vietnam’s road infrastructure is not consistently well-maintained throughout the country. Some areas may have subpar road conditions. Therefore, when opting for a motorbike adventure, it’s crucial to acquaint yourself with local traffic regulations, get an internationally certified motorbike helmet, and ensure that your travel insurance provides adequate coverage in case of accidents.

When considering a motorbike or car journey, it’s crucial to adhere to these essential guidelines:

  • Rent your vehicle from a trusted provider; seek advice from your hotel if needed.
  • Prioritize safety by obeying traffic regulations and wearing a helmet.
  • Travel light, packing only essential items for your adventure.
  • Minimize cash and valuable item carriage.
  • Ensure you possess all required documents, including identification papers and driving licenses.
  • Be prepared with sunglasses and a raincoat for unexpected weather changes.
  • Stay vigilant regarding your travel companion to prevent separation during the trip.

Prices for a rental motorbike can be varies by the type of motorbike you want to rent. Refer to the list below for a better understanding of the price range:

TypeCost of rental per dayCost of rental: 3 daysCost of rental over 5 days
MotorbikeSirius130,000 VND/day120,000 VND/day110,000 VND/day
Jupiter130,000 VND/day120,000 VND/day110,000 VND/day
Wave130,000 VND/day120,000 VND/day110,000 VND/day
ScooterLead 110180,000 VND/day170,000 VND/day160,000 VND/day
Vision 110180,000 VND/day170,000 VND/day160,000 VND/day
Airblade 110180,000 VND/day170,000 VND/day160,000 VND/day
Lead 125200,000 VND/day190,000 VND/day180,000 VND/day
Vision 125200,000 VND/day190,000 VND/day180,000 VND/day
Airblade 125200,000 VND/day190,000 VND/day180,000 VND/day
MotorcycleExciter300,000 VND/day290,000 VND/day250,000 VND/day
Winner 150300,000 VND/day290,000 VND/day250,000 VND/day

Private car – The utmost comfort choice

When it comes to traveling in small, privacy-focused groups, a private car becomes an excellent transportation choice for the journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. For approximately $70, you can secure a 4-seater car, complete with a skilled driver who will pick you up at your preferred location within Hanoi’s city center (additional fees apply for pickups outside Hanoi).

Private car services also offer the convenience of booking round trips, often starting at a reasonable rate of just $100, though prices may vary depending on the trip’s duration and any additional services you require. With this mode of transportation, concerns about missing the bus or dealing with inclement weather become obsolete, and even large luggage poses no problem. Enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free journey from start to finish.

Travel duration: 2 hours

Cost: from 1,700,000 to 2,400,000 VND ~ 70 – 100 USD

Final thoughts

Choosing to take a journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh unveils a world of natural wonders and cultural richness. As you navigate this picturesque route, consider the ease and convenience of Viland Travel’s customized tours, ensuring you don’t miss a moment of the captivating landscapes and historical treasures. 

The transportation guide we’ve provided offers the key to a seamless voyage, but it’s the personalized touch of a Viland Travel tour that truly makes the journey unforgettable. Discover the breathtaking landscapes, the serenity of Ninh Binh, and the warmth of its people with the added comfort and insight of our tailored tours. 

Hanoi to Ninh Binh awaits, and Viland Travel is your perfect guide to this remarkable adventure.