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How to get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi

There are several available ways for traveling between Hanoi and Ninh Binh. First by Train or by Bus – the public vehicle, but you have to buy ticket at train station or bus station when ever departure. For more individual by Taxi or Motobike.

Hanoi - Ninh Binh by bus
@ Hanoi – Ninh Binh by Tourist bus

For door to door service only take private car or taxi. Tourist bus can pick up only in the city center in Hanoi with some of the hotels.

By Train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

There are six trains daily connecting Ninh Binh City and Hanoi. The journey between stations takes between 2.5 to 3 hours. We traveled by train the first time we visited Ninh Binh and found it easy and convenient.

It’s also extremely affordable, with soft-seat tickets starting from just 80K VND (less than $5) per person. Domestic trains in Vietnam have come a long way since we first traveled in 2012. The train to Ninh Binh from Hanoi is clean and comfortable for the most part, with bathrooms and snack carts on board.

If you’re traveling during peak time (high season or on a weekend/public holiday), you might consider buying your Hanoi to Ninh Binh train tickets in advance. If you’re in Hanoi, you can book online through Vietnam Railways.

Once you purchase tickets, you have a 24-hour window to present yourself at the station, pay in cash, and collect your paper ticket. Alternatively, use the link below to book tickets through us.
Hanoi to Ninh Binh trains depart from Hanoi’s main railway station at 120 Le Duan, and stop at Phu Ly and Nam Dinh before calling in to Ninh Binh’s railway station.

The train crosses over a river bridge right before the Ninh Binh station – this is a good landmark to look out for so you know when to jump off (but don’t be too worried – there are always other passengers alighting at Ninh Binh).

Train station in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh’s train station (1 Ð Hoang Hoa Tham) is a scheduled stop for Reunification Express trains, with destinations including Hanoi (two to 2½ hours, four daily), Thanh Hoa (one to 1½ hours, three daily) and Hue ( 12½ to 13½ hours, three daily).

Hanoi - Ninh Binh by Train
@ Hanoi – Ninh Binh by Train

Traveling distances to the nearest major towns are 93km to Hanoi, 60km to Thanh Hoa and 49km to Thai Binh.

By bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

Hanoi has several large bus stations servicing different locations in Northern Vietnam. Giap Bat (pronounced ziap bat) Bus Interchange is located in the city’s south and has buses and vans frequently departing for Ninh Binh. To get to Giap Bat from the Old Quarter, take a Grab or taxi, or use public bus number 03A or 08A.

If you haven’t taken a bus in Hanoi before, this is basically how it works: A number of different companies use the interchange and there’s fierce competition for who can fill up a bus first (a van usually won’t leave until it’s full). Once you enter the station building (or sometimes just the car park), company reps will descend on you and try to recruit you onto their bus.

You can either ask them for Ninh Binh and pay the conductor or driver once you get to the bus out the back, or bypass them and head for a ticket window (look for Ninh Binh painted above the window). Once you have a ticket, someone will appear to chaperone you out back to the right bus.

The journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh city by bus can take anywhere between 1.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic, and costs between 100K VND and 160K VND per person. The most annoying thing about travelling by minivan (apart from the Hanoi traffic) is trying to make it out of the station – drivers will often spend up to an hour hanging around the front of the station trying to recruit more passengers.

We once sat outside Giap Bat for a full 60 minutes while the driver tried to fill the empty seats. If you’re really savvy, you can do as the Vietnamese do and walk south along the road Giap Bat is on. You’ll see crowds of people waiting to flag down almost-full buses. From there, you can just wait for a Ninh Binh van to pull up and pull you inside.

Note that Giap Bat bus station closes at around 5.30/6pm. After that, it can be difficult to get a bus to Ninh Binh City. We tried it once and ended up having to change buses in the middle of a highway halfway between Hanoi and Ninh Binh. The first bus for Ninh Binh from Hanoi departs at around.

Also note that not all Ninh Binh buses go to the city itself – remember that Ninh Binh is also the name of the province, and some buses just service the more rural parts. Most drivers should recognize that tourists want to go to the city, but to be sure, you can ask for Ninh Binh City (Thanh Pho Ninh Binh).

Once in Ninh Binh, the bus will make lots of stops along the highway to let people out. Most buses continue all the way to the center of town around Ninh Binh Train Station. From there, it’s easy to pick up a taxi.

Ninh Binh railways station to Tam Coc

Ninh Binh railways station
@ Ninh Binh railways station

Since most decent accommodation is located outside the city, you’ll next need to travel from the train station or bus stop in Ninh Binh City to Tam Coc. The easiest option is a metered taxi. We did this several times and never paid more than 150-200K VND.

Expect to pay significantly more at night. In all likelihood, the driver will ask for a flat fee rather than using the meter if you’re traveling after dark. Alternatively, you can ask your guesthouse to organize a car transfer for you.

Hanoi to Ninh Binh by taxi

A taxi (i.e. private car and driver) to Ninh Binh from Hanoi will cost you between 60-100 USD one-way. Organize through your accommodation in Hanoi or Ninh Binh, or book in advance please contact us.

Hanoi to Ninh Binh by motorbike

It’s also possible to travel to Ninh Binh from Hanoi by motorbike. Follow the route marked out on Google Maps; you can also stop off some place as Perfume Pagoda or Tam Chuc Pagoda along the way.

If travelling by bike, familiar yourself with the local road rules (or lack thereof) first, wear an international standard motorbike helmet, and check that your travel insurance will cover you in case of an accident.

Getting around Ninh Binh

Bikes and motorbikes (with or without drivers) can be hired from most hotels. Bicycle hire usually only costs around US$ to US$ per day, while motorbikes are around US$ to US$. A driver’s rates will depend on distance and time, but for a full day is likely to be around US$. Contact us for long traveling with our motorbike driver.

Recommended Ninh Binh itinerary

Try out this full-day or two-day Ninh Binh itinerary. You’ll also find some attractions further afield if you plan on spending more time in the area.