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Hanoi Train Street – When to Visit, Schedule and Guide

March 03, 2024

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, chances are you’ve heard of the famous “Train Street” in Hanoi. This unique attraction has gained popularity among tourists for its narrow alleyway that is lined with cafes and shops, and where a train passes through twice a day. But with its growing popularity, many travelers are left wondering when is the best time to visit, what the schedule is like, and if it’s safe to experience this one-of-a-kind destination. In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions about Hanoi Train Street and provide a comprehensive guide for your visit.

All the tourists stand up toward the train coming through

All the tourists stand up toward the train coming through

Where is Hanoi Train Street?

Hanoi Train Street, also known as “Railroad Street” or “Train Alley,” is located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It runs between Le Duan and Kham Tien streets, just a few blocks away from the famous Hoan Kiem Lake. The street is only 200 meters long and is surrounded by residential buildings, making it a unique and authentic experience for visitors.

  • Lê Duẩn – this section is further out of town with just one cafe to view the passing train from. It’s between Lê Duẩn and Khâm Thin street. Put Ngo 224 Le Duan into Google Maps.
  • The Hanoi’s Old Quarter section – this has cafes, homestay and shops along the tracks. Enter Hanoi Street Train into Google Maps and you’ll find two sections to explore either side of Tran Phu main road.

History of Hanoi Train Street

The history of Hanoi Train Street dates back to the early 20th century when the French colonizers built the railway system in Vietnam. The tracks were originally laid down to connect Hanoi to the northern provinces of Vietnam. As the city grew, buildings were constructed around the tracks, creating the narrow alleyway that is now known as Hanoi Train Street.

When to Visit Hanoi Train Street

The best time to visit Hanoi Train Street is during the dry season, which runs from October to April. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and there is less chance of rain, making it easier to explore the street and enjoy the outdoor cafes. The peak tourist season in Hanoi is from December to February, so if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit during the shoulder season in October and April.

Morning vs. Evening

Hanoi Train Street is open all day, but the most popular times to visit are during the train schedule, which is twice a day. The first train passes through at 3:30 PM, and the second one at 7:30 PM. Many travelers prefer to visit in the evening when the street is lit up with colorful lights, creating a magical atmosphere. However, if you want to avoid the crowds, visiting in the morning is also a great option.

Hanoi Train Street Schedule

As mentioned earlier, there are two trains that pass through Hanoi Train Street every day. The first train, SE19, departs from Hanoi Station at 3:20 PM and arrives at Long Bien Station at 3:30 PM. The second train, SE20, departs from Long Bien Station at 7:10 PM and arrives at Hanoi Station at 7:20 PM. It’s important to note that the train schedule may change without notice, so it’s best to double-check before your visit.

Through the Lê Duẩn section:

  • 3.30pm
  • 7.30pm.

It will be dark during the second passing so try for 3.30pm.

Through the Old Quarter section:

  • Weekdays: 7pm, 7.45pm, 8.30pm, 10pm
  • Weekends: 9.15am, 11.20am, 3.20pm, 5.30pm, 6pm, 7pm, 7.45pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 11pm

Tips for Watching the Train

Watching the train pass through Hanoi Train Street is a must-do experience, but it’s essential to do so safely. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stand behind the yellow line: There is a yellow line painted on the ground to indicate the safe distance from the tracks. Make sure to stand behind this line when the train is approaching.
  • Don’t touch the train: The train passes by very closely, and it may be tempting to reach out and touch it. However, this is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Stay alert: The train can come unexpectedly, so make sure to always be aware of your surroundings and listen for any warning signals.
  • Don’t block the tracks: It’s important to keep the tracks clear at all times, so make sure not to stand or sit on them for a photo opportunity.

Cafes to Visit Along Hanoi Train Street

Tourists experience Hanoi train street and enjoying a drinks at railway side cafe

Tourists experience Hanoi train street and enjoying a drinks at railway side cafe

One of the main draws of Hanoi Train Street is the charming cafes that line the alleyway. These cafes offer a unique experience as you can watch the train pass by while enjoying a cup of Vietnamese coffee or a delicious meal. Here are some of the must-visit cafes along Hanoi Train Street:

Ca Dong Duong (Indochina Station Cafe)

Indochina Station Cafe

Address: Not on Google at the time of writing, you can find Ca Dong Duong at 5a Trần Phú

Right across from the yellow mural, you’ll find a fantastic café. The main attraction is its interior—furnished with old train seats and even a train door attached to the wall (I’m not certain if it leads anywhere, you’ll have to discover that for yourself).

Currently, all coffees are priced at 20K VND (USD 0.8), but this might be part of an opening promotion. Nevertheless, I don’t anticipate much higher prices in the future.

The Railway Hanoi Cafe

The Railway Hanoi Cafe

Address: 26/05A Trần Phú.

As the name suggests, Railway Hanoi Cafe is located right next to the train tracks, offering a front-row seat to watch the train pass by. The cafe has a cozy atmosphere and serves a variety of drinks and snacks. It’s a great spot to relax and take in the sights and sounds of Hanoi Train Street.

Banana Coffee

Banana Coffee

Address: It’s opposite Tram Cafe.

If you don’t have the luck of having a bedroom with a view of Train Street Hanoi like I did, make sure to visit Banana Coffee and grab a seat on the upper balcony.

Shops Along Train Street Hanoi

In addition to cafes, there are also many shops along Hanoi Train Street that offer a variety of souvenirs and local products. Here are some of the top shops to check out:

Transs (Traditional Dress)

Transs (Traditional Dress)

Address: 35/5 Trần Phú

A chilled-out clothes shop which looks like it’s aimed more at Westerners than Vietnamese people

Zó Project

Zó Project

Address: 10 Điện Biên Phủ.

The products available at Zó Project exhibit exquisite craftsmanship and are crafted from handmade paper. This diverse range encompasses items such as notebooks, jewelry, and various other artisanal goods. By employing paper and natural materials in an environmentally responsible manner, the team endeavors to generate employment prospects and secure livelihoods for ethnic minority communities residing in Northern Vietnam, who are responsible for creating these products.

Authentic Craft Products

Authentic Craft Products

Address: 37 Tran Phu beside Transs.

A craft shop that sells trinkets and accessories and runs a few workshops.

Want to see the local life?

The once-overlooked attraction of Train Street Hanoi is becoming increasingly popular. Every time I glance out of my window, I observe people posing on the tracks and even sitting on them! I understand the appeal and the urge to take photos, but I also appreciate genuine experiences whenever possible.

You just have to take a short walk to reach a more authentic section of the track. The location I’m highlighting here is a brief stroll from Railway Homestay & Cafe (away from the main road). Alternatively, you can search for ‘Holly’s Cozy Loft’ on Google and then walk up onto the tracks.

Here, you’ll witness locals going about their daily lives away from the bustling cafe scene. Enjoy the experience, and remember to be respectful when taking photos, as some locals may prefer not to be photographed.

Is Hanoi Train Street Dangerous?

With the train passing through a narrow alleyway, many travelers may have concerns about safety. However, as long as you follow the rules and stay alert, visiting Hanoi Train Street is perfectly safe. The local authorities also take measures to ensure the safety of visitors by closing off the street during the train schedule and having guards present to enforce the rules.

Google Map of Hanoi Train Street

To help you plan your visit to Hanoi Train Street, here is a Google Map with the location and surrounding area:

Hanoi Train Street is a unique and must-visit destination in Vietnam. With its charming cafes, bustling shops, and the thrill of watching a train pass through a narrow alleyway, it’s no wonder it has become a popular spot among tourists. By following this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan your visit to Hanoi Train Street and make the most out of this one-of-a-kind experience. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore this hidden gem in the heart of Hanoi.

FAQs

Is it free to visit Hanoi Train Street?

Yes, it is free to visit Hanoi Train Street.

Can I take photos on the train tracks?

It is not recommended to take photos on the train tracks for safety reasons. Stick to designated photo spots or take photos from behind the yellow line.

Are there any other attractions near Hanoi Train Street?

Yes, Hoan Kiem Lake, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and Dong Xuan Market are all within walking distance from Hanoi Train Street.

Can I visit Hanoi Train Street during the day?

Yes, Hanoi Train Street is open all day, but the most popular times to visit are during the train schedule at 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM.

Is Hanoi Train Street suitable for children?

Yes, children can visit Hanoi Train Street, but it’s important to keep a close eye on them and follow the safety rules.

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