Hanoi Train Street Location + Tips and Tricks for Visiting

Hanoi Train Street is a narrow street in Hanoi, Vietnam where a train passes by you mere inches away! It has been on my bucket list forever and if you’ve stumbled upon this post, it means it’s been on your mind too! If you’re visiting Hanoi, it’s literally the number one thing to do.

I traveled across the world just to experience this and let me tell you it was totally worth it in my opinion. 

In this post, I’ll explain everything you need to know to plan for your visit to the famous Hanoi Train Street. I’ll also give you the low down on how to enter the street with all the restrictions in place, the Hanoi Street Train schedule, and how to be safe when visiting.

I even found a second train street that not all tourists no about! So read on, to learn all my tips on visiting the Hanoi Train Street.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase something through the links, at no additional cost to you. Read our Affiliate Disclosure here.

Best Tours in Hanoi:
Train Street + Street Food Tour
Train Street + City Sightseeing Tour
Halong Bay Cruise
Hanoi Cooking Class with a Local
Hanoi Water Puppet Show

Hanoi Train Street Location

Did you know there are actually 2 train streets in Hanoi?

Train Street #1

The first one is the one you likely will easily find on Google Maps as it’s labeled “Hanoi Train Street.” This spot is right smack in the middle of the Old Quarter.

📍Train Street #1 Location

Train Street #2

The second location is a bit further out of the town and it’s my favorite place to watch the train go by. The streets here are much more picturesque in my opinion. Also, the train seems to get way closer than in the first location. When I visited, the people were more relaxed here and there were no police patrolling or guarding the entrance like in the first location. People were walking freely on the train tracks up until moments before the train passed by.

📍Train Street #2 Location

History of Hanoi Train Street

The Train Street in Hanoi, Vietnam, has a fascinating history dating back to the colonial era when the French constructed the railway system in 1902. It was originally built to deliver essential supplies and materials across the region.

During the war, the area faced frequent bombings so makeshift shelters were constructed along the railway tracks to provide protection from these attacks.

Over time, businesses emerged along the railway, and homes were built in close proximity to the tracks.

Today, the Hanoi Train Street has transformed into a unique tourist attraction, where tourists flock here to experience watching trains pass through the narrow alleyways, mere inches from homes and cafes.

Is the Hanoi Train Street Safe to Visit?

There have been occasional closures of the train street due to safety concerns. Authorities have even threatened closing the train street to tourists for good.

When I watched the train on Train Street Location #2, I did feel a bit nervously close to the train. You’ll find that the train comes over part of the walkway and you wouldn’t really think that so when planning your position make sure you sit on the second half of the walkway and no closer. As long as you sit to the side of the wall and obey the cafe owner, it is safe to visit. Just use common sense and don’t get too close or get distracted with your phone trying to get the shot because that is how many people have gotten hurt.

The cafe owner at Hanoi 1990s told me how some tourists were too focused on trying to get that selfie and fell to the ground. The train passed above them brushing upon them which is so scary. They did survive but it prompted more regulations in 2019.

When the train is about to come, it will be honking and you’ll hear it getting ready to pass. Sometimes the cafe owners will warn you but in one of the times I visited, I got no warning. I was waiting for the scheduled train to come and it came 7 minutes early! The cafe owner did not warn me it was about to pass. I did see him push a table to the side to prepare but I didn’t think it was coming moments after. I was not ready to snap my photo and felt a bit startled so just be aware that the train can come early or late than the scheduled time. And sometimes an unscheduled train will pass too!

Is Hanoi Train Street Open Now?

Yes, Hanoi Train Street is currently open. It was closed due to safety concerns after the train had to make emergency stops due to tourists taking selfies dangerously close to the train.

Today, however, it is fully open but you’ll find barricades with police patrolling. After there were several incidents, authorities made stricter rules to enter the train street. Many say that the only way to enter is if a cafe invites you in. This is sometimes true but not always. While, on train street 1, cafe owners do come up and invite you in but I was able to go on my own without invitation and select where I wanted to watch the train pass. While visiting these cafes, you are only expected to purchase a drink or food in return.

How to get on the Hanoi Train Street?

To get on the train street, if you go to Train Street #1 then you will see barricades and police out front. Shop owners will be near and invite you on but as mentioned, sometimes you can just walk up and pick a spot yourself. While the shop owners inviting you on may feel dodgy, it’s not. It is for safety that they have to invite you on. The shop owner is responsible for you’re safety and they must look after you when you visit their cafe. If you get hurt, it’s the shop that will be in trouble as they didn’t properly watch after you.

However, when I went to Train Street #2, no one was guarding the entrance and I just wandered on and found a nice cafe to sit at. This was the case during my visit, and I can’t guarantee that will be the case for you too.

You can also reserve ahead with cafe owners who will permit you to enter the train street and sit at their cafe. One contact I have for Train Street 2 can be reached via WhatsApp at +84 85 669 9791. He can also confirm the current train schedule.

If all that feels overwhelming to you, you can just take a tour where a guide will accompany you to the train street. The tours combine a visit to the train street with a food tour or a city walk!

Hanoi Train Street Schedule

Train Street 1 & 2 have different timetables FYI. The train schedule is really unreliable online and it’s best to confirm at one of the cafes what the schedule is prior to your visit. Many of them have the schedule on a board in their coffee shop.

With that being said, here’s a rough timeline I have from when I visited. The earlier you go, the less people that will be around.

Hanoi Train Street 1 Train Timetable

Weekday: 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 8.30 pm, 9.10 pm, 9.30 pm
Weekend: generally every hour from 9 am
*Subject to change!

Hanoi Train Street 2 Train Timetable

11:20, 19:05, 19:20, 19:50
*Subject to change!

You get 3 night trains in an hour so going to dinner or having drinks at one of the cafes will be nice!

Best Cafes to Watch the Hanoi Train Pass

The coffee scene in Hanoi and in Vietnam in general, is like no other. So when you visit one of the best cafes in Hanoi, be prepared for all the amazing types of coffee you can try. I definitely tried coconut coffee, egg coffee, and my absolute favorite, salted coffee. So while you visit one of the best cafes to watch the Hanoi train pass by, grab a delicious coffee too.

1. Hanoi 1990s

This is a great spot to watch the train go by, the staff is super friendly too. You should make sure you’re there 30-45 minutes early or even an hour to be ultra-safe and to get a good seat. They also have an upstairs balcony where you can watch the train from. This is a good option for those who are nervous to get too close to the train!

Train Street #2
📍 Hanoi 1990s (Google Maps)

2. Nam Vy Coffee

Just a bit further down from Hanoi 1990s, you’ll find this cafe. In fact, you can reserve ahead as I have the owner’s contact info on WhatsApp at +84 85 669 9791. He can also confirm the current train schedule.

A great thing to do is have dinner here and you can watch 3 trains during your visit as the most trains go by in the evening on a weekend.

This location has been made viral on Tiktok too.

Train Street #2
📍 Nam Vy Coffee (Google Maps)
You can watch my Tiktok video to see my reaction to the train passing in this exact location!

3. Coffee 40

If you’re nervous to watch the train go by and want a safe place to watch the train in Hanoi, then head to Coffee 40. The owner will make sure you’re in a good place and in good hands. In fact, she was constantly stressing at me to sit down away from the tracks. I wanted to make sure my video was on well before the train was there.

I was a bit stressed trying to shoot this solo. The first time I was in this location, it sadly didn’t film. I had my phone on my tripod and asked the owner if she could make sure it was on and I think she turned off the video actually.

Thankfully, another train came 30 minutes later. This time, I was ultra prepared, I set up my DSLR to shoot from the back view of me and my phone to shoot from the side view so if one went wrong, I had something!

I visited for the 11 am trains and was the only one there until the second 11am train when one other couple joined.

Train Street #1
📍 Coffee 40 (Google Maps)
You can watch my Instagram video to see my reaction to the train passing in this exact location!

Where to Stay in Hanoi near the Train Street

I personally stayed at Soleil Boutique Hotel and it was 3 minutes from the main train street! It was also a cute boutique hotel with rooftop pool and views of the city.

Hopefully, this post helps better prepare you for this bucketlist experience in Vietnam!

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