An Expat Guide To Living In Da Lat, Vietnam

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Surrounded by mountains, pine forests, lakes, and farmland, Da Lat is perfect for those who love outdoor exploration. The city is also an ideal place to live if you don’t like hot and tropical climates or if you’re not a big fan of living in a big city.

Our complete guide to living in Da Lat includes the following section:

  • Cost of living
  • How to find apartments in Da Lat
  • Best areas to stay
  • Where to buy food & necessaries
  • Best coffee shops to work
  • Where to meet new people
  • Life in Da Lat: traffic, weather & job

 

The cost of living in Da Lat

The cost of living in Da Lat is cheaper than in other cities in Vietnam. Two people can live comfortably in this beautiful city for under $1000 per month.

You can expect to pay around $1 ~ $2 per dish for street food and $5 ~ $10 per dish if you eat out in restaurants. Read my Da Lat food guide to find the best places to try here.

Here is a summary cost for two people person:

Accommodation rental (one or two-bedroom, TV cable & internet):$300
Electricity:$20
Gas & water:$5
Prepaid cell phone plan:$5
Groceries:$150
Transportation (motorbike rental and gasoline):$100
Entertainment (eating out, drinking):$300
Housekeeper (Cleaning 2 times a week):$40
Monthly total:$920

* This is just an estimation

 

How to find accommodation in Da Lat

We usually book our apartments on Airbnb and love it. There are discounts if you stay for a month or more. Also, Airbnb’s policy allows you to cancel if there’s a problem with the listing or host.

You can also ask and search on Expat in Da Lat group for rooms as well. Prices for 1-bedroom apartment costs from 4.5 to 6 million VND a month, while a 2-bedroom studio can cost up to 10 million VND per month. You can rent a hotel room for a few days and look for an apartment before moving in. 

When finding an apartment in Da Lat, Vietnam, I recommend to

  • Ask if your rent covers the electricity, water, internet, and room-cleaning
  • Take photos of facilities when you first move in
  • If possible, ask for a contract or a payment receipt
  • Ask the landlord/ hotel manager to register you properly to the local police

hotel room

 

Best areas to live in Da Lat

If you enjoy the convenience of walking around and getting to the center, Ward 1, Ward 2, and Ward 6 are good choices. Also, the areas in wards 3 and 4 that are close to town are less crowded but still have all the advantages of being convenient.

I find the area in ward 9 near Da Lat train station is lovely and quiet, and you can do a morning run easily at the Xuan Huong Lake nearby. 

Xuan Huong lake Dalat Vietnam
Xuan Huong lake is an excellent place to exercise.

 

Shopping in Da Lat: Where to buy food & necessaries

We usually shop at BigC – the biggest supermarket in Da Lat. The supermarket has everything you need at fair prices. You can find a large selection of meat, vegetables, kitchen equipment, food supplements, etc.

You can also order from BigC using GO! & Big C app or Zalo app and get free delivery if you live within 10km. However, it can be difficult to do so if you don’t know any Vietnamese

Buying fresh vegetables and meat from a local market is another idea. We found the prices are not too different compared to the supermarket.

 

Best cafe to work in Da Lat

Where to find a quiet space to work in Da Lat? Da Lat is a tourist city, and some cafes are usually full of people taking photos and being quite loud.

I’ve spent a few months scouring Da Lat for the best laptop-friendly workspaces where freelancers, students, aspiring writers, and all hustlers can have a seat and get things done. Check my Da Lat coffee guide for more information.

La Viet cafe Dalat Vietnam

 

Where to meet new people

We usually meet new people at bars, restaurants, or events in Da Lat. Heyla Cocktail Bar is our favorite spot to hang out, and we enjoy visiting the Organic Farmer’s Market on Sunday at Green Box Coffee (85 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh). 

Address:

  • Heyla Cocktail Bar: 10 Tan Da, ward 6
  • Green Box Coffee: 85 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, ward 7

 

Life in Da Lat 

The weather

Cool and pleasant weather is what we love about Da Lat. The temperature in Da Lat fluctuates from 12 to 26 degrees, and the climate is divided into two seasons like other Central Highlands provinces.

During the dry season, the climate in Da Lat is quite pleasant. The day is sunny, and the night will be a bit chilly. You can prepare yourself with summer clothes a thin coat for the evening to go for a walk.

Meanwhile, the weather in Da Lat during the rainy season (mid-May to October) is the exact opposite. At this time in Dalat, the weather is very erratic, it can be sunny, and suddenly it’s pouring rain.

The traffic

We rarely see traffic jams during weekdays, while the road can be a bit busier at the weekends. There are many big tourist buses and cars on the route from Friday to Sunday, so we generally avoid going to the center on these days.

Jobs

Most jobs in Da Lat are related to tourism. The most common jobs in Da Lat:

  • Receptionist
  • Waiter/ waitress
  • Chef
  • Housekeeping
  • Gardener

You can also try to find jobs in English centers as well.