The man armed with a hammer stepped into the road in an apparent attempt to force the vehicle to stop.
The driver avoided the man and, as he drove around him, he struck the side of the van with the hammer.
Detective Sergeant Melanie McGrory has appealed for information over the hijack bid.
She said: “We are keen to hear from witnesses or anyone who was in the Albert Street area at around the time this incident took place.
“Detectives can be contacted at the offices of Belfast Reactive and Organised Crime in Musgrave Police station by calling on the 101 non emergency number.”