Hanoi’s Train Street (2024), Is it open – All You Need to Know

Hanoi's Train Street is Vietnam's most dangerous and surprisingly most famous street. Tourists were banned in October 2019. Here's our 2024 update.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Famous Hanoi Train Street

About Hanoi’s train street

The Hanoi Train Street is one of the most famous and adventurous tourist spots in Hanoi. It’s a tiny narrow street hidden in one of the back streets of Hanoi and surrounded by high narrow houses packed closely together. These families’ backyards are the railways where the train passes a few times per day. 

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Graffiti art along Hanoi's Train Street

Even though the train passes through a big part of the town, The Hanoi Train Street is referred to only about a 100 meters long part where it’s the most narrow. 

The reason why it’s so interesting for tourists is that the train passes literally a meter away from the houses. The safety line (marked with yellow color) is only about 20 centimeters away from the homes, and that’s the line you shouldn’t cross when the train is coming. Trust us, as we didn’t expect it to be so close.

Train passing through Hanoi's Train Street

It’s an exciting place to visit because right before the train comes, locals are rushing into their houses, making sure that their kids, pets, motorbikes, or any other belongings are safe inside. Nothing can be left outside.

The ones who don’t make it inside the houses are hugging the walls, and we were one of them. But the exact second the train passes, everyone is already running out and across the tracks, as nothing happened.

It became one of the most popular spots in Hanoi after a local woman opened a shop in late 2017. But, of course, everyone else also made sure to make a business out of it, so many other cafes soon opened their doors along the tracks where tourists could safely enjoy this rare occurrence.

The cafes here are some of the cutest we visited in Vietnam. They are so colorful, full of flowers, art, paintings, and all kinds of decorations. You can sit down just a meter away from the tracks, or you can choose a spot upstairs where you get a higher perspective of the passing train.

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Drinking a coffee in one of the coolest spots in Vietnam

We sat in Coffee 74 and enjoyed a hot chocolate and a coconut coffee. Both were so tasty!

Arijana Tkalčec enjoying dessert while overlooking the train tracks of Hanoi's Train Street

Next to that, we got some snacks and small mandarins for free! The owner is so lovely, and she made sure we have an excellent spot to watch the train pass.

This family also had a lot of small fluffy puppies that became our best friends. Hint: that’s why we chose this cafe amongst all the others (we suppose many others do as well!).

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Cute dog at Hanoi Train Street

Another cafe we would recommend is the Railway Cafe. We spoke with the owner a bit, and he’s a really nice Italian guy. Here, you get a completely different perspective of the train passing as this area is broader. However, we already saw three trains pass, and we were already tired of waiting for the fourth one, so let us know how it is if you go and if it’s still open! 😀

Railway Cafe at Hanoi's Train Street


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Is the Hanoi Train Street open for tourists?

As of the start of 2021, during a world pandemic, businesses and cafes were allowed to operate once again. However, due to the lack of tourism, only a few opened their doors again, and only those with the best position along the tracks remained.

LATEST UPDATE: 7th May 2024

Hanoi Train Street is now fully open again since early January 2023.

We visited Hanoi shortly after the last closure in October 2022, and it was guarded, and you couldn’t get in anymore.

At the moment, you can visit freely, although it’s likely you will be straight away invited by a cafe owner to come to their establishment, so they control the crowd.

Another thing to note is that just before the train comes, you NEED to sit in one of the cafes and not stay on the side of the tracks. You will get whistled at by the guards and told to sit somewhere.

We’re following the situation closely and will update this article accordingly when anything changes and when we can confirm it. Last update: 7.5.2024

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Other parts of Hanoi Train Street

This is not the only interesting part of Hanoi’s train tracks, as they run through a big part of the city.

You can visit the other parts on the Hanoi On The Tracks Photo Tour.

Arijana Tkalčec at Hanoi's Train Street

Our experience and personal thoughts

We visited the Hanoi Train Street on two occasions, once during the weekday and once during the weekend.

During the weekday, the street was dead, everything was closed, and there was nobody around. We were honestly disappointed with the atmosphere and couldn’t get the hype about this place.

But we decided to give it another chance and visited early morning on the weekend. That time everything was alive, there were actual tourists around, and locals were all hanging out outside. The cafes were open, and the atmosphere was terrific. We also saw three trains pass, and it was so worth it!

We’d honestly be really sad if the Train Street would close forever. We truly hope they can find a way to keep it open, as it’s one of Hanoi’s most unique attractions.

One of many cafes at Hanoi's Train Street

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Why was the Hanoi Train street closed?

Hanoi’s Train Street is Vietnam’s most dangerous and surprisingly most famous street. In October 2019, visiting it as a tourist was presumably banned because of the railway operators’ previous problems. What caused the final ban was when the train had to make an emergency stop to avoid hitting tourists. As far as we know, no accident has happened so far due to the tourists coming there.

Man checking for the train at Hanoi Train Street

Seeing videos of how it looked like with hordes of tourists makes it clear why the place was closed in the first place. The cafe owners made sure that everyone was off the tracks before the train came when we were there. We somehow managed to ask them to let us stay at the entrance of one house, as we promised not to cross the yellow line (which marks the safe zone). We don’t think this will be the case in the future, though, but let’s hope they’ll find a way to make this work as this is an icon of Hanoi after all. 

Is there an entrance fee for Hanoi’s train street?

There’s no entrance fee to visit Hanoi’s train street, and you can walk along the train tracks freely.

How to get to Hanoi’s train street

The train street is located between the streets Phùng Hưng and Lý Nam Đế, right next to Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The exact location is 5 Trần Phú.

And you can also see this location on a Food Tour including a visit to Hanoi Train Street.

Unique architecture of houses on Hanoi's Train Street

When to see the train

The train usually passes the Hanoi Train Street late afternoon/evening during the week and throughout the day on weekends.

The updated schedule (timetable) of the train passing the Hanoi Train Street is:

  • Monday – Friday, nights only at 7 pm, 7:45 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm
  • Saturday – Sunday, all day at 8:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 3:20 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:20 pm, 8:45 pm


Updated Hanoi Train Street schedule.
(TIMETABLE UPDATED on 7th May 2024)

However, the train schedule for Hanoi Train Street often changes, so make sure to check it on your arrival to Hanoi at one of the cafes or by contacting them before your arrival (and arrange to sit down for a drink with them). We recommend Railway Cafe, a great cafe for watching the train pass (they also have an up-to-date timetable posted outside the cafe).

But as you can see from the timetable, your best bet to see the train is on weekends, as it passes many times throughout the day.

Hanoi Train Street Schedule
Example of the train timetable posted outside one of the cafes. (The times on this one are outdated)


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When to visit

Even though we usually suggest avoiding the weekends because of the crowds, we have to suggest the completely opposite this time.

During our visit on a weekday, the Train street was dead, and the train was passing in the night time which wasn’t ideal for us. However, during the weekends, it was passing throughout the day, and even early morning, so we suggest visiting early to catch the first one when the light is best.

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How long to stay at Hanoi’s train street

If you just want to look at the place quickly, 20 – 30 minutes is enough to visit Hanoi Train Street.

However, if you’d like to see the train pass more times and have a sip of coffee while you’re there, count on 1 – 2 hours.

What do you think of Hanoi’s Train Street?
Is it as interesting to you as it is to us?

Let us know if you visit and if it was open!

To see a bit more of the atmosphere of the train street, check out our video on YouTube.

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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27 Responses

  1. Hey, thanks for the write up. Me and my partner are in Hanoi now (10-Oct-22) and wanted to visit the Railway Cafe. Unfortunately there are military personnel guarding all entrances to the railway who stop any tourists getting up there.

    We have seen a couple get access to the tracks who argued with the guards and had a shop owner come out to support them. Many of the shop fronts have their shutters down.

    Anyone who visited before it closed was lucky to see it as it was.

    1. Hey!

      Yes we were in Hanoi about 10 days ago, and it was the same situation, officers everywhere guarding the entrances. We’ve also heard of the possibility of being let into the area by a cafe owner even before, but we feel like you really have to fight hard to get in.

      Good luck!

    1. Hi Petra!

      Yes, that was the situation now for a while. Thank you for confirming!

      Have a great rest of your trip. 🤗

      Sunny regards from Chiang Mai,
      Arijana & Matej

  2. We went to Trainstreet yesterday (the 8th of december 2022) and there were no guards, a view coffeeshops were open!

    1. Hi 🙂

      Great news! Thank you for letting us know!

      Was the whole place open? Like, were there more cafes operational?

      Because we have heard of people contacting the owner of the Railway Cafe in advance so that they can be in the cafe for the train passing.

      Sunny regards from Chiang Rai,
      Arijana & Matej

      1. Yes, you can easily walk over the tracks. I think 5 or 6 coffeeshops were open. There were 2 policemen walking around

        We had a view drinks at Hanoi 1990

    1. Hi Caroline, thank you for the update! We’ve been getting the same information since early January as well. And a friend was there about 2 weeks ago as well.

      Let’s hope it stays that way! 😀

    1. Hi, could you explain a bit more about the situation? Last we know, you could enter if you went and grabbed a drink at a cafe. Was that not the situation? And another part of the train tracks is now active as well, further along the tracks down towards the train station from that spot.

  3. We’re here on March 14 2023 and it’s closed. The military doesn’t let you in. And there’s no way you can argue. Someone even told us that there is no train going through anymore because of an accident that happened recently. So wouldn’t recommend going there!

    1. Hi,

      Yes, you are not wrong. The situation is very complicated. And it depends heavily on the time that you visit the train street. Officially, it is still closed, but unofficially, it depends on how lucky you are.

      The train definitely still goes as it’s a regular schedule of a normal train. That’s just a way to get you to stop trying to get in.

  4. Unfortunately, absolutely not true. I am standing in front of the road right now and it is completely closed. Police is taking things quite seriously, shouting at tourists to leave. We weren’t even allowed to take photos from the main road.

    Don’t go there, safe your time for the one near Bangkok.

    1. Hi Emily, sad to hear that you couldn’t get in.

      The current situation is definitely weird, and some people can definitely get in while others don’t.

      Looks like it will be completely shut again.

  5. I went on April 8th. A coffee shop bought us in, we were able to stay until right before the train arrived, then the police emptied all of the shops. Only people who were able to stay were ones that hid. It was not worth it.

  6. We went today, 15 April. And it was completely closed off, with military guarding the entrance and didn’t let anyone through.

    There were some shady people getting you into cafes. When we tried to enter one without someone guiding us in we were screamed at by the owners and they told us to leave. Not sure what that was about since they had other guests earlier. Not a very nice experience anymore unfortunately.

  7. It’s now 5 July, 2023 – is Train Street officially open to tourists again?

    1. Hi Lynette,

      At the moment, it’s still the same situation as it was a few months ago.

      You are able to enter the train street, but you have to be escorted by a cafe owner (or one of they partners – scouts).

      There are “guards” at the entrance and if you don’t go to an establishment there, you won’t be allowed to pass.

      So it’s essentially open, but it’s limited.

  8. Hi, Just to let you know how things work, because my girlfriend lives in the train street.

    Officially, local authorities want to shut the place down but it’s something that won’t happen immediately.
    This is due to too much tourists coming and some are really irresponsible and… accidents happened.
    But this I suppose everyone knows.

    The thing is, only tourists that are brought in with the cafe owners can come in (and also, sometimes them try take each others customers. So if them start yelling, that’s why). Depending on the police, sometimes you are allowed to stay outside at the front of the shop or, for others, must stay inside. It also depends if the police at the gate is in a good mood (or if the little envelope was big enough). Sometimes even the police is checked and if them are aware of military control, then everything stay closed.
    You can try your chances at night. Then all police is gone but there aren’t much trains. Just a few cargo trains at night.
    The whole experience depends actually on the local police at the time you come…

  9. We tried to see the 11h30 train on sunday 27/08 and we failed. policemen not really pleased and not willing to explain the whys and hows ; all cafes closed, no customers seated.
    All tourists gathered at the crossed street in front of a local store where the angry proprietary yelled us to back off and actioned a very loudly emergency horn to get the crowd off her store.
    Nothing but a waste of time.
    To avoid

    1. Hi Sebastien. Yes, unfortunately the situation is quite complicated and many fail to visit.

      Hopefully, they find a way to make this work. 😕

      There are spots that are not as restricted further down the rail tracks. Maybe that is a better option.

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