Hanoi is the bustling capital of Vietnam! It is full of cafes, parks, small alley ways and overflowing with culture. It’s easy to see why so many people are flooding in, eager to live and work in this charming city, but how much does it really cost?
So before you get to Hanoi, you have either saved up quite a bit of money or you have a source of income, this could be earned by working remotely or through an on location job like teaching English. Lets just say for the purpose of this article that your monthly budget is somewhere around 1,200 USD. I got to this number because it is the average salary of an English Teacher in Hanoi. Some people are paid more, some people are paid less. Lets just use 1,200 dollars as kind of a point of comparison when speaking about costs.
The main things that you are going to spend money on while living in Hanoi are, your accommodation, transportation, and food.
The most typical type of accommodation that you will have if you are living here is an apartment or a room in a shared house.
Prices for a studio apartment located within one of the cities main districts can range from $300-$500 USD a month, whereas a one or two bedroom apartment will cost around $400-$600 a month.
Alternatively, a popular and cheaper option would be to get a room in a shared house. All across Hanoi there are large French inspired homes that have full kitchens and living rooms, and upwards of three bedrooms. Home owners put these rooms up for rent, most starting at around $250 – $350 a month.
Along with your accommodation/rent you will have to pay your electric bill which in the winter months will be around $20 a month and in the summer if you use your air conditioner can be closer to $50.
Also, since you cannot drink the tap water you can order water straight to your house as well, a large jug (19L) will cost you around three dollars.
Studio Apartment: $300 – $500 USD
1 or 2 Bedroom Apartment: $400 – $600 USD
Room in a shared house: $250 – $350 USD
Bills: $20 -$50 USD
Drinking water: $3 USD per 19L Jug
Hanoi is a city built for motorbikes, not cars. These small congested roads are not equipped to handle large vehicles making getting around places difficult. Many people learn to ride a scooter or a motorbike. This makes buzzing from one place to the next easy and fast.
Monthly rent for a bike will be around $50 USD. If you would like to buy a scooter or motorbike, you can also do that. To buy a half decent used motorbike it will cost around $500 dollars.
If this isn’t for you, don’t worry! Hanoi has a large network of taxi drivers and other types of paid transportation. Popular apps like Grab and Uber are widely available and you can even book motorbike taxis through the apps making getting around cheap!
There is also a comprehensive fleet of public buses in Hanoi. They go everywhere and is by far the cheapest option, though it may take you a little longer to get there.
Hanoi is a food mecca. There are a myriad of options from cheap street food to higher end eats. On an average day I will spend in total around $8 most of it being on food.
An average budget breakfast will cost you around $1.50, this could be for anything from a bowl of Pho to a bagel. Some ways I save money on breakfast is to eat oatmeal or fruit at home. Buying something like oatmeal is good for many days worth of b-fasts. Fruit here is also very cheap! For 0.88 cents you can get a whole bunch of bananas. These are good for smoothies as well!
On a normal day, a tasty Vietnamese lunch will run you about $1.70. This could be noodles, or various rice dishes. Check out some of Hanoi’s best dishes here.
Let’s say you also fancy a coffee during the day, then you will run down to a local cafe and get a Vietnamese iced coffee for around $1.30.
Dinner will cost you about the same as the other meals depending on what you want! I will normally go for a local dish, so that will be around 2.20 USD
These are all the prices for local dishes. If you fancy a pizza, Sushi or any other non-Vietnamese dish the prices will be more in the 4-7 dollar range.
Other monthly costs:
Of course most other things you will spend money on completely depends on you! Here are some popular things and prices that you might also be spending $$$ on.
All over the city are different gyms, there are large companies like Elite Fitness and California Fitness, to small locally owned places. Memberships at a large group will run you around $50+ a month whereas at a smaller place it will be much less, closer to $25. At some of the smaller gyms you can pay per entry. This will cost around $2 or $3 a time.
If you are like me, and shopping is one of your fav past times then being in Hanoi is a good fit for you! There are SO MANY clothes shops. Many of them even have factory outlet pieces from name brands like Alexander Wang, Aritiza, Topshop and Zara but *~half~* the price!
Getting pampered in Hanoi is a super affordable thing. Lots of guys and gals are getting massages, nail care, lash extensions and hair cuts for wayyy less than what they would be in the West. Massages are usually around $15 dollars, and getting your nails done is more like $3 dollars! I’ve known some ladies who have gotten beautiful lash extensions for around $15 dollars and I usually get my hair cut for close to $10 dollars.
I hope that this sheds some light on the expenses that come with living in Hanoi! The majority of your month’s expenses will be spent on your accommodation, followed by transport then food and other things. Like all budgets, you are in control of what you spend and really everyone’s spending is different. Living on $1,200 a month is super doable here and you will even be able to save lots.
Thinking you’re ready to make the move to Hanoi?! Check out my guide to the city to get yourself acquainted with all the awesome things to do here!
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