A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Sapa vs. Hanoi for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sapa or Hanoi?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Sapa and Hanoi can help you decide which place is right for you.

Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful town in the northern mountains of Vietnam by the border with China. Many travelers pass through the area on their way from China into Hanoi. Alternatively, some travelers head north from Hanoi to spend a few days in the beautiful mountains where tribal cultures are still alive and well. There are a good number of ethnic minorities that populate the area. The eight populations in the area include H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho, but the vast majority in the area are H'mong. Within the town of Sapa itself, there are about 7,000 people. The rest of the population lives in the surrounding countryside and are peasant farmers.

Hanoi

Hanoi is the chaotic capital of Vietnam, and it serves as a great introduction to the country for many travelers. It's the second largest city in the country after Saigon and is an interesting combination of East meets West. There's traditional Vietnamese culture with subtle influences brought by the French. The city continues to grow and change rapidly and it's easy to get lost amidst the chaos.

Which city is cheaper, Hanoi or Sapa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Sapa is $31, while the average daily cost in Hanoi is $41. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Sapa and Hanoi in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $22 in Sapa For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Hanoi is $44. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sapa $11
    Hanoi $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sapa $22
    Hanoi $44

Food

The average traveler spends about $14 per day in Sapa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The price of a meal in Hanoi can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $11 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $4.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sapa $14
    Hanoi $11
Typical Food prices in Sapa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Sapa:


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.96
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.40
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.61
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $8.68
  • Pho Soup
    $0.65

Typical Food prices in Hanoi

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hanoi:


  • High End Dinner (for Two)
    $13
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.79
  • Bowl of Pho
    $0.87
  • Italian Dinner (for Food)
    $6.75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hanoi

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Hanoi.

  • Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Street Food Tour - Small Group: $5.00
  • (Private) Hanoi Street Food Tour By Volunteer Guide: $5.13
  • Hanoi Street Food Tours with Volunteer Guide ($5 / Group): $5.13
  • (Small Group) Hanoi Street Food Tours with Volunteer Guide: $5.13
  • Dinner with a Local Family in Hanoi: $13
  • Street Food Tour + Old City sightseeing Ticket: $15
  • 3-Hours Hanoi Street Food Tour with Guide and Meal: $16
  • Lunchtime Street Food Tour of Hanoi: $21
  • Hanoi Walking Street Food Tour: $21
  • Small Group: Ha Noi Walking Street Food Tour With Professional Tour Guide: $22
  • (Small Group) Hanoi Local Street Food Tour with a Real Foodie: $25
  • Hanoi street food tour: $25

Local Transportation

To get around in Sapa, the average visitor spends $8.21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The average price of local transportation around Hanoi is $5.94 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sapa $8.21
    Hanoi $5.94
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Sapa are as follows:


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sapa

Also for Sapa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Authentic walking and Homestay in Sapa and transfer by Bus ( 3 days 2 nights): $135
  • Easy trek Lao Chai - Ta Van with homestay and transfer by Bus: $85
  • Limousine transfer round-trip Hanoi-Sapa: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer - Sapa to Hanoi Airport: $141
  • Sapa Private Tour With Bus Transfer ( Sleep at hotel): $217
  • Sapa Tour 2 Day / 1 Night Transfer By Luxury Limousine From Hanoi: $174
  • Visit Cat Cat village, trekking Ta Phin and transfer by Bus: $99

Typical Local Transportation prices in Hanoi

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hanoi:


  • Taxi to Bus Station
    $1.31
  • Shuttle Bus From Airport (for Two)
    $3.49
  • Local Bus Ride (for Two)
    $0.44
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.48
  • Short Motorbike Ride (10 Minutes)
    $0.87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hanoi

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hanoi:

  • HaLong-LanHa Bay Day Trip: Lunch, Beach, Kayak, high-way transfer, luxury boat: $1,250
  • Hanoi GOLF TOUR 4Days 3Rounds: Transfer, Hotel, Green & Caddie, Golf Cart, Guide: $687
  • Private Transfer: Hanoi to Hanoi Airport (HAN): $622
  • Luxury Private Halong Day Tour with 2 Way Expressway Transfer: $376
  • Sapa terrace trek train transfer 2 days 1 night: $364
  • From Lan Ha Bay 2-Day Cruise with Luxury Transfer: $358
  • 3 Days 2 Nights Mai Chau Pu Luong Ethnic Trail E-Bike Tour Private Transfer: $344
  • 3-Day Halong Bay Cruise including Swimming and Kayaking with Round-Trip Transfer from Hanoi: $285
  • Over night Signature Cruise Luxury Halong Bay Transfer service & Kayak,: $267
  • 2 Days 1 Night Mai Chau Pu Luong Ethnic Trail E-Bike Tour Private Transfer: $255
  • Halong Bay Cruise 3D2N - Kayaking Explorer & Round-trip transfer from Hanoi: $245
  • 3-Day Halong Bay Cruise with Classes and Transfer From Hanoi: $245

Is it cheaper to fly into Sapa or Hanoi?

Prices for flights to both Hanoi and Sapa change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

In Sapa, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $5.35 per person, per day.

Hanoi's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.42 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sapa $5.35
    Hanoi $7.42
Typical Entertainment prices in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.74
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.87
  • Walking Stick
    $0.22
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.49

Tours and Activities in Sapa

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sapa.

  • Sapa Easy Trekking Tour 1 Day - Rice Paddies and Cultures: $25
  • Discover Sapa Full Day Tour: $26
  • Half-Day Sapa Trekking Tour from Hanoi: $27
  • Sapa Full-Day Tour to Local Village and High Mountain: $30
  • Most of attractive tourist sites in Cat Cat, Y linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van: $30
  • Sapa tour with local tour guid: $33
  • Tour to the North : 1 Day Group Tour to Ta Phin Village: $35
  • Super Limousine Sapa Ha Noi with experienced driver and luxury car from Ha Noi: $40
  • From Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour: $45
  • Full-Day Private Muong Hoa Valley Tour: $45
  • The Two waterfall and Heaven Gate - Half day tour: $47
  • Cat Cat Village Private Tour Full Day: $47

Typical Entertainment prices in Hanoi

Here are a few typical costs in Hanoi for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Puppet Theater
    $1.74
  • The Hanoi Hilton Entrance
    $1.74
  • National History Museum
    $1.74
  • Puppet Theater Ticket
    $3.05

Tours and Activities in Hanoi

Here are a few actual costs in Hanoi for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • (Evening) HANOI CUSTOMIZED Walking Tour: $5.00
  • (Half Day) Hanoi Old Quarter Walking Tour: $5.13
  • (Official) Halong Sen luxury cruise - One day tour: $77
  • (Small Group) Hanoi City Insight Motorbike Tour - 4,5 hours: $29
  • (Small Group) Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour: $29
  • 04d 03n Hanoi Sapa Valley Tour Cat Cat Village & Ham Rong Mountain: $367
  • 1 Day Tour of Lan Ha Bay with Luxury Day Cruise from Hanoi: $99
  • 1 Night LeTheatre Cruise Exploring LanHa-HaLong Bay: $250
  • 1 day Private tour Sapa Off The Beaten Path trekking start from Sapa: $58
  • 1 day Private tour Sapa trekking Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van (start from Sapa): $59
  • 1-Night Signature Royal Cruise on Halong Bay: $238
  • 1-day Halong Bay Cruise private tour from Hanoi: $163

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sapa, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.14.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Hanoi may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.72 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sapa $7.14
    Hanoi $6.72
Typical Alcohol prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Sapa are as follows:


  • Two Beers
    $1.09


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sapa and Hanoi, we can see that Hanoi is more expensive. And not only is Sapa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sapa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sapa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Hanoi would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hanoi than you might in Sapa.

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Sapa vs. Hanoi Travel Comparison

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