Know where to rest, eat and shop in, and how to travel to the city from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport
Originally built for the use of the Vietnamese air force, Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport first became an international public airport after the unification of the country in 1975. It has come a long way since then — becoming the largest airport in Vietnam in terms of total capacity, serving around 25 million passengers a year.
Noi Bai’s Terminal 2, dedicated to international flights, opened a little over two years ago. The relatively new terminal offers 96 check-in counters, 10 self-service kiosks, 17 boarding gates, and 283 flight information display systems. .
To allow travelers to rest and freshen up while waiting for their flights, the Vietnam Aviation Tourism Company (VATC) has created the SleepPod service — a unique hotel at the center of Noi Bai International Airport. Located on the airport’s third floor (Terminal 1 entry), the VATC pods offer the usual sleeping essentials.
Passengers can choose from three main modes of transportation at the airport: the public taxi, minibus, or the public bus. Metered taxis are available at the arrivals level of Noi Bai’s domestic (Terminal 1) and international terminals. A taxi ride to the city center takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately VND320,000. The more affordable airport minibus costs around VND32,000 for a one-way trip to the Vietnam Airlines office on Quang Trung in the city center. The cheapest option, of course, is still the public bus — which costs only VND5,000 per person and takes about an hour. Hanoi city buses number 7 and 17 link Noi Bai International Airport with the city center.
The airport’s top floor houses several restaurants and bars that serve decent and inexpensive food.
Duty-free shopping is available at the center of the International Arrivals lounge (1st floor) in Terminal 2, and the International Departures lounge east wing (3rd floor). Shops offering souvenir books, local handicrafts and convenience items are available in the departure areas of Terminals 1 and 2.
This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of Smile magazine.