A guide to explore Hanoi on bikes – Cycling in Hanoi

Cycling in Hanoi is not just a means of transportation; it’s an immersive journey into the heart and soul of Vietnam’s bustling capital. Offering a blend of adventure, culture, and sustainability, biking through Hanoi’s streets and countryside provides a unique perspective that can’t be replicated by any other mode of transport. Let’s dive deeper into the intricacies of cycling in Hanoi:

Hanoi city cycling tour

Hanoi Bike Tours

Embarking on a guided bike tour Hanoi is an excellent and immersive way to discover the enchanting city of Hanoi. Led by friendly local guides, these tours take you on a journey through narrow alleys, lively markets, and historical landmarks, unveiling the hidden gems and offering a more profound insight into Hanoi’s culture and history.

Hanoi cycling on bike adventure

What makes these guided bike tours special is that they go beyond just showcasing the city’s main attractions. They become an opportunity to connect with the authentic spirit of Hanoi, providing participants with a genuine and engaging experience.

Tailored to accommodate various interests and preferences, these guided bike tours offer a diverse range of experiences. Whether you’re fascinated by the historic charm of the Old Quarter, the serene beauty of West Lake, or the rustic landscapes of the Red River Delta, there’s a tour designed to cater to your curiosity and adventurous spirit.

Moreover, the presence of local guides ensures a safe and enjoyable experience, even in the midst of Hanoi’s chaotic traffic. With the guidance of these experienced individuals, navigating through the city becomes a natural and surprisingly secure activity. So, if you’re looking for a fun and informative way to explore Hanoi, a guided bike tour is an ideal choice.

What to expect when cycling in Hanoi

There are various routes for cycling in Hanoi, but the most enjoyable and popular route is often a combination of city and countryside exploration. In about half a day (4 hours), you can cycle from the Old Quarter to key attractions such as St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the Hanoi train street, and places beyond the old quarter, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

The highlight of bike tour Hanoi is not just the destinations themselves but the journey to these places. Navigate through narrow car-free alleys leading to hidden backyards, providing a genuine experience of life as it has been for centuries. Passing through West Lake, the largest lake in the city, with the Tran Quoc Pagoda, you eventually reach the Red River Delta. Here, cycle through the countryside with banana plantations and vegetable gardens, feeling a world away from the bustling city.

Aside from the popular half-day bike tour in Hanoi, there are several other options available. You can explore the city on a full-day cycling tour or venture into the Red River Delta, spanning eight provinces and extending to Halong Bay and Ninh Binh.

Safety When Cycling in Hanoi:

1. Weather Safety

Hanoi city cycling tour

When cycling in Hanoi, it’s essential to pay attention to certain factors. Apply sunscreen, consider wearing a cap under your helmet or sunglasses, and use glasses for protection against dust, especially during the dry season. Bring a small bag for personal items and a raincoat. While a helmet is not mandatory, it is highly recommended.

2. Renting a Bike in Hanoi:

Renting a bicycle in Hanoi is not as common, and there are only a few shops that offer this service. Typically, renting a bicycle includes a helmet. Though not mandatory, wearing a helmet is strongly advised. Rental costs can range from around $5 for 2 hours to $15 for a full day, depending on the location and the quality of the bike.

hanoi city cycling tour

Regardless of the rental cost, it’s crucial to ensure that the bicycle is in good working condition. Check the brakes, gears, and overall quality, especially if you plan on embarking on longer biking trips. For multi-day trips, verify the functionality of lights, and consider bringing electric lights, a tire repair kit, and a basic bicycle repair kit.

Hanoi Cycling Routes:

For those interested in self-guided cycling, there are several routes you can explore within Hanoi and its surrounding areas. Here are some example routes:

Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter: Visit Hanoi Cathedral -> Hoan Kiem Lake -> Ngoc Son Temple -> Old Quarter (Hang Be, Ma May, Bach Ma Temple, Hang Buom, Dong Xuan Market) -> Hang Bong Street.

The West Lake: Cycle to the Ho Chi Minh complex, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum -> Thanh Nien road -> Around West Lake with Tran Quoc Pagoda -> Quan Thanh Temple – Truc Bach Lake.

Co Loa Old Citadel: Cycle around the outskirts of the city via Long Bien Bridge -> Hanoi countryside (Red River Delta) -> Co Loa Citadel – Duong River Embankment.

Bat Trang Ceramics and Le Mat Snake Village: Cycle through the countryside to the ceramic village of Bat Trang (20 km), spend a day learning about traditional ceramic making. Also, visit the snake village of Le Mat, where various types of snakes are raised.

Is Cycling in Hanoi Dangerous?

Navigating through the bustling streets of Hanoi on a bicycle may initially appear intimidating due to the seemingly chaotic traffic. However, as you immerse yourself in the flow of bicycle traffic, you’ll find that it feels surprisingly natural and safe. The key lies in actively participating and adapting to the rhythm of the city’s bustling streets.

Moreover, joining guided cycling tours adds an extra layer of safety and confidence to your biking experience. Experienced guides lead the way, utilizing their expertise to navigate through Hanoi’s streets efficiently and safely. With their knowledge of the local routes and traffic patterns, they ensure that participants can enjoy the city’s sights and sounds without worrying about the potential hazards of cycling in Hanoi.


In conclusion, cycling in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city cycling tour offers a dynamic and immersive way to explore the city’s diverse landscapes, from bustling urban areas to serene countryside. Whether you opt for a guided tour or venture out on your own, cycling provides a unique perspective on Hanoi’s history, culture, and daily life. So, take the time to savor this iconic experience, allowing the flavors of Hanoi to linger in your memories.

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