Train Street in Hanoi has become an Instagram favourite and is a must-do when visiting Hanoi.
Even if you’re not into photography or Instagram, you should go to check out this surreal place as it is unlike anything we’ve ever see!
What is Train Street?
Train Street is a residential area that is built precariously close to the train line in the Old Quarter Hanoi.
Just a few hundred metres from the Ga Ha Noi (the main train station in the capital of Vietnam) is a narrow residential street, which would be like any other in Hanoi if not for the fact it has a train running through the middle of it!
In the UK most people want to live as far away from a train line as possible, but in Hanoi there’s plenty of people who have their front door just millimetres away from the trains when they pass through.
It’s a great place to come for a wander, not just to watch the train come through, but for a glimpse of everyday life in Hanoi. Following the popularity of this spot with foreigners, enterprising locals have set up many makeshift cafes along the tracks.
Pull up a little plastic stool, grab a drink and chat to the locals. It’s fascinating to see that when it is close to the time the train comes through everyone has to start moving their things away from the side of the tracks.
We knew that the train would come by incredibly close to where you are standing, that’s what we had come to see after all, but it was still quite shocking when it did come. The train appears huge as it looms down on you and you really cannot believe that it can fit in this gap!
Even though I knew we were standing in the right place I still had to take a step back when it got close.
It is still worth coming even if you can’t time your visit to coincide with the train but try to make it at the train time if you possibly can! It’s not on the traditional itinerary for Hanoi, but we thought it should be on everyone’s.
Read next: An epic 2 week itinerary for Vietnam
Train times at Train Street, Hanoi
We recommend arriving at least half an hour before the allotted train time so that you can take in the street as well. Whilst watching a train flash within an inch of your nose is fun, we found that the actual area was just as fascinating.
The best time to visit is for the 3.30pm train as it is still light. There is a 7.30pm train as well, but it’s likely that you’ll be seeing it in the dark.
There’s a good atmosphere around Train Street and whilst it is pretty popular, it didn’t detract from the experience as there is plenty of space to spread out.
Make sure you follow the instructions of the locals with regards to where to stand when the trains come. It is shockingly close and if you’re in the wrong place you could easily get injured.
Where is Train Street, Hanoi
There are plenty of interesting stretches of train line in Hanoi, but the actual train street that you see on Instagram is to the south of Ga Ha Noi between Kham Thien street and Le Duan street. Walk deep into the street to get the full effect.
Where to stay in Hanoi
Our Pick: Holiday Emerald Hotel
We loved this hotel in Hanoi, the staff were unbelievably friendly and helpful. We actually stayed somewhere twice the price before and it was nowhere near as good.
The hotel is in the middle of the Old Quarter, meaning you can walk to many of the major sight, including train street. The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable.
Make sure you request a room with a window ($10 extra) as many don’t have any. We’ve discovered this is a bit of a thing in Hanoi so check any hotel booking carefully.
Our Camera Gear
Our brand of choice for camera gear has been Canon for many years and we love their L-Series lenses. Whilst they are heavier than some other brands, the image results are worth the additional weight. We’ve also used a few drones in our time (check out our guide to which drone to buy here) but currently own a DJI Mavic Pro.
You can check out the full description of our favourite travel camera and all our gear by clicking on this link.
Here’s the camera gear we use the most:
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Are you planning a trip to Hanoi? Have any other favourite Instagrammable spots in this city? Let us know in the comments below!