If you are just passing due to you should remain in that old quarter as it is where all of the hotels are and also the best nightlife, plus the majority of the sites round the city you will want to see are near by.
If you are likely to be living here more lengthy-term the selection of district depends upon your projects and interests. If you would like quick access to western goods in local shops then Tay Ho might be best since it’s probably the most westernised area, but additionally more costly.
Hoan Kiem may be the heart from the city but rent is costly and apartments usually small, but you’re within easy reach from the bars and an array of restaurant options.
Dong Da and Ba Dinh are extremely similar, located with a few good local eateries and near to the old quarter with reasonable rents. For me Based Dinh is preferable to Dong Da as not just could it have been area of the original Thanh Lengthy city (together with Hoan Kiem. The remainder of Hanoi came later) nevertheless its the center of presidency and in contrast to dong da it also has a few western bars (Ete and bar betta). Also Ba Dinh is how Uncle Ho lives and the house of B52 lake(that is really really unimpressive) and Van Mieu also known as Temple of Literature (in my money the best devote Hanoi).
I resided in Ba Dinh for more than a year . 5, I have lived in Tay ho just for more than a month and honestly aspire to return to ba dinh around Holiday basically will find a pleasant apartment there.
Many ex-pats also reside in hai ba trung, actually because its near to the work they do, it’s plenty of restaurants and it is near to the old quarter but generally lacks sense at all of neighbourhood identity since it’s mostly a company area.
Further from the center you will get far better deals on rent however in areas like lengthy bien or ha dong you will be spending considerable time within the Hanoi traffic (an entire different discussion available there) and unless of course you intend to become based in your own home more often than not its likely to be a hassle that outweighs the cheaper rent. Cau giay is really a similar story, sure theres the great museum of ethnology but that is it. No bars except karaoke or bia hoi and never many shops or restaurants that talk british.
My recommendation could be ba dinh first adopted by Tay ho or dong da based on your financial allowance and the number of western shops you need to have nearby.