Hanoi Train Street: Experience Life On The Tracks

Located on the West side of Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi train street is a unique attraction where you can experience the “death-defying” moment when the train passes about 0.4 m away.

How to get to Hanoi train street and what to do here?

Below is a comprehensive Hanoi train street travel guide, including insider tips to make the most of your visit to this fascinating attraction.

Hanoi train street travel guide

This article includes the following sections about the train streets in Hanoi:

  • The history
  • The location
  • Train arrival schedule
  • Things to see

Hanoi train street history

The North-South railway, including the Hanoi train station, was built during the French colonial period.

For many years, the railway has run in the capital, quietly mixing with the rhythm of this place. The train streets start from Long Bien station to Le Duan street, Hanoi.

Notably, in the last part of the intersection between Kham Lien street and Le Duan Street, a residential area is surrounded by two tracks, creating a unique roadside village in the capital.

Although the whole neighborhood is only about 500 meters long, many households have lived here for many generations. There are children born and raised with rails and trains.

Hanoi train street history

This neighborhood is a melting pot of culture between Hanoians and people from different parts of Vietnam who come to the capital to work and live.

This part of Hanoi also has an impressive architecture with a mixture of new and old houses. It paints a beautiful picture with different colors, creating a vintage vibe on every corner of the street.

Thanks to the features in the newspapers, Hanoi train street has become well-known and attracted many visitors worldwide.

Read more: Train travel in Vietnam.

Hanoi train street architecture

Where to find Hanoi train street

Although you can find the train street in many corners of Hanoi, the best place to watch the trains is at the end of Le Duan street.

Hanoi train coffee graffiti
You will see this impressive artwork at the entrance of the alley.

Hanoi train street schedule

The train runs at night and dawn on weekdays, so this place is deserted during the daytime. However, the train passes these roads on the weekends during the middle of the day.

Tips: If you’d like better photos, you should better wait until Saturday and Sunday to watch the train come.

Train arrival time:

Weekdays: 6 am, 7:10 pm, 7:40 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm.

Weekend: 8:46 am, 9:17 am, 11:25 am, 3:20 pm, 4:20 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:10 pm, and 9:10 pm.

Note: The train arrival time may be changed under certain circumstances. 

Hanoi train street schedule arrival time

Things to see at Hanoi train street

Enjoy coffee

Enjoying the adventurous coffee on the rails is one of the unique experiences in Hanoi.

best things to do in Hanoi

You can choose to sit either inside the coffee shop or on the side of the street, or even on the train tracks. Sipping an egg coffee while enjoying the characteristics of small neighbors is a fantastic experience.

enjoy coffee at Hanoi train street

Besides coffee, you can also try some delicious dishes at the coffee shops.

what to eat in Hanoi

The coffee shops located right on the railway track from Dien Bien Phu Street to Phung Hung attract many tourists.

People watching

Watching life on the tracks is also an enjoyable experience. It’s impressive to see how the locals adapt to life while the train tracks are just right in front of their doors.

Hanoi train life with bike

Experience the thrilling moment

Back to the train coffee shops, people enjoy coffee peacefully until they know that the train is coming.

Everything changes drastically with the shop owners trying to grab the tables and chairs out of the tracks, and tourists run to two sides of the tracks.

people are waiting at Hanoi train street Vietnam
People are waiting for a train.

And train comes!

Hanoi train street arrival

Tourists come to Hanoi train street to experience the thrill and to save the moment the train passes right by them. But, it is also where death is only a short distance away.

Hanoi train street travel guide

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  1. How interesting! I’ve never seen a train street before and can’t believe that they build houses so close to the tracks. Aren’t these people annoyed by those trains passing by so close to their homes? Looks very picturesque and unique however. I’m not surprised there are so many visitors there.

    1. I think people get used to living there! I also had the same question when I first visited there too.

  2. Ambica Gulati says:

    It sounds like a really exciting street. I liked the chairs in the middle of the tracks. But would surely love to have a coffee here. In India, trains pass through some roads, but nothing like this has ever been developed. And like you said, it is a step closer to death. Nevertheless, once in a lifetime experience.

  3. Emman Damian says:

    I have been to Hanoi, Vietnam before but I haven’t visited the Hanoi train street. It looks very similar to the tracks in my country. It’s nice to mingle with the locals and experience the life on the tracks. It’s nice to take photos here too. Definitely in my list soon!

  4. Adele Gee says:

    It sounds so thrilling to have tables and chairs on the tracks until moments before the train arrives. The photos of the street are so picturesque and lively with the houses and shops so close to the tracks. I was scrolling impatiently until the train finally appeared. I’m pretty sure I would be more excited waiting for the real thing!

  5. In my opinion, this is one of the places in the world that get famous because of IG. I’ve seen lots of pictures from here, but I think this is the first time I saw a picture with train passing by. Normally, just people enjoying their coffee on the track. And I’m glad I bumped into your post, so I got to learn the story behind this train street.

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion! I also think that this place got famous thanks to Instagram…

  6. MEENAKSHI J says:

    I love travelling by trains and the Hanoi train street looks super lively. We have such places in India too, only that they haven’t become popular as they are too congested. This is a great way to boost tourism and show the tourists a glimpse of everyday life.

    1. I think I saw photos of train streets in India too. It’s true that it’s a good boost for the tourism industry!

  7. What a thrilling experience! I love visiting destinations that seem to have evolved and adapted over time. That’s usually evident in the city’s architecture and how it incorporates historic with modern. Hanoi’s train street also offers you a glimpse inside the life of locals, which is a unique and hard experience to come by. I think I’d love to spend the day reading a book at a cafe, catching with locals and watching the train roll in. Definitely adding this experience onto my bucket list.

    1. Love how you describe a day there! Reading a book and watching the train sound lovely!

  8. I have seen so many images of this iconic street yet knew nothing about it. That is so cool that you can have coffee next to the tracks! Cannot believe how many people were there with cameras when the train came down the street.

    1. It was quite impressive to see how many people waiting there to take photos of the train coming!

  9. Wow! This is interesting and such a unique experience. I would love to visit when I have the chance. Love the artwork at the entrance. It was wonderfully made.

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