Almost all payments in Hanoi and in all Vietnam are made in cash. The local currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong (VND). It is therefore important to always have a small bundle of cash on you when you go to restaurant or for shopping. The question then is: where to exchange money in Hanoi?
Here are the listed the best places to exchange money in Hanoi.
There are different types of places where you can exchange money in Hanoi. Some places are more convenient but the exchange rate is often not very good. In few places only, you will find a good exchange rate in Hanoi.
VND exchange rate
The Vietnamese dong (VND) is the Vietnamese official currency. The VND 10,000 is the smallest polymerised bill you’ll find on the street these days. Coins of as low as VND 200 have long been phased out but you will find bills of 1000 VND and 2000 VND. The upper limit is the VND 500,000 bill.
Getting a grip on all those zeroes can be challenging for the first-time visitor to Vietnam. With a little time and practice, buying and spending Vietnamese dong becomes second nature to the Vietnam visitor.
The exchange rate of the VND is modeled on the exchange rate of the US dollar and also takes into account the rate of inflation. So, about thirty years ago, a few Dongs were enough to buy a bowl of soup (or Pho Bo). Today, with the effect of inflation, the price of a bowl of soup is about 30,000 VND.
The rate of Vietnam Dong varies daily according to the variation of the US dollar. It is therefore necessary to check the current exchange rate of your currency in Vietnam Dong before going to a bank or the like.
The reference site for checking the exchange rate is: https://www.xe.com/en/
Exchange money at Hanoi airport
A quick and easy way to exchange your currencies into Vietnam Dong is at the airport. In each international airport (including Hanoi airport and Ho Chi Minh City airport), you will find many counters at the exit where it is possible to exchange money.
The biggest advantage of the airport is to be able to exchange almost any currency. The counters are also easily accessible upon your arrival in Vietnam and the service is fast. The counters are open from 6.30am to 9pm.
The disadvantage of the airport is the exchange rate. The exchange rate is often disadvantageous. It is advisable to compare rates between each counter.
So, Hanoi airport is the most convenient way to exchange money in Hanoi but the exchange rate is not very good. That’s why we advise to exchange few currencies at the airport in order to take the taxi or the bus and exchange more money in Hanoi old quarter.
Exchange money in the bank in Hanoi
Banks in Hanoi can exchange money in Vietnam Dong. In big cities, it’s easy to find banks on every street corner. The advantages of banks in Vietnam is to be able to exchange money at an interesting rate. Banks are also very secure. It is therefore easier to exchange a large quantity of liquid safely. Most of the employees at the counters also speak English.
The disadvantage of banks in Hanoi is the opening schedule. Indeed, most banks open at 9:00 am and close around 17:00. It is therefore not possible to exchange money in the late evening. Also, the banks are closed on sunday in Vietnam.
In addition, banks do not allow to exchange all currencies in Vietnam. Euros and dollars are accepted by all banks.
Apart from US Dollars, many banks in Vietnam still exchange VND for these foreign currencies:
- Australian Dollar: 1 AUD ≈ 17,000 VND
- British Pound: 1 GBP ≈ 29,000
- Euro: 1 EUR ≈ 25,000 VND
- Canadian Dollar: 1 CAD ≈ 16,000 VND
- Japanese Yen: 1 JPY ≈ 200 VND
- Singaporean Dollar: 1 SGD ≈ 16,000 VND
- Taiwanese Dollar: 1 TWD ≈ 500 VND
- Hong Kong Dollar: 1 HKD ≈ 3,000 VND
- Swiss Franc: 1 CHF ≈ 22,000 VND
- New Zealand Dollars: 1 NZD ≈ 15,000 VND
- Thai : 1 THB ≈ 700 VND
Exchange money in a jewelery store in Hanoi
Most jewelery shops allow you to exchange money in Hanoi. They agree to do it at a very interesting rate and very close to the actual rate. Some jewelers have become specialists in money exchange in Hanoi and do not even sell jewelry anymore. These jewelry stores accept all currencies.
For example, in Hanoi, you can visit Quôc Trinh Jewelery at 27 Ha Trung Street, at 10-minutes walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. You will see many tourists there to exchange money. The staff do not speak English but will take your money and show you the rate on a calculator. If you agree, your money will be exchanged to Vietnam Dong.
Exchange money at the hotel in Hanoi
A simple and practical way to exchange money in Hanoi is to do it directly at your hotel. Most hotels agree to do this. Your hotel used to help their customers in order to simplify there stay in Vietnam. So, you can ask them to do many things and also to exchange your money.
The hotel will exchange your money at the actual rate without taking any commission.
However, the hotel will often not be able to exchange large sums of money because they do not have enough Vietnam Dong in the cash register. It is worth going through your hotel to exchange small amounts of money in Hanoi.
If you arrive late in Hanoi old quarter and you do not have any local currencies, exchange money at your hotel is the most convenient way to get local currencies.
Note that all the hotel do not accept to exhange money. The small and budget hotels will not accept to exchange money.
Take cash at the ATM
A simply way to get cash with local currencies it to take it at the ATM.
Most ATMs are connected to Visa and Mastercard networks. But do notice that a currency exchange fee and an ATM withdrawal fee will be applied.
Our advice is that you should ask your bank about the rules of getting cash advances overseas because the fee may be unfairly large.