Planning to travel to Vietnam? From the North of Vietnam with majestic mountains and beautiful bays to the floating markets in the South of Vietnam, here is our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam from North to South Vietnam.

 

Hanoi

Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, witnessed the ups and downs of this country throughout the history. Visiting Hanoi, you can observe the ancient architecture, and experience the calm and peaceful lifestyle, which is contrary to the pace of life in Saigon. People in Hanoi prefer the familiar, so you can see lots of small and long-established shops and restaurants along the streets.

places to visit in Vietnam

A corner of Ha Noi Old Quarter

There are many places to visit in Hanoi. You can wander from the narrow streets in Hanoi Old Quarter, to the famous One Pillar Pagoda, and visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum nearby. Also, you can explore The Temple of Literature, which was built almost a thousand years ago as Vietnam’s first national university.

 

Sapa

Colorful and charming are how visitors describe this town.

things to do in Vietnam travel

Sapa is a famous trekking base in the Northern Vietnam with beautiful terraced rice paddle fields of the Muong Hoa Valley. Sapa is also home to different ethnic groups, including the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho.

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay has over 1600 limestone islands and islets with scenic ocean view. Taking a boat trip around Ha Long Bay is a memorable experience when traveling in Vietnam.

Vietnam travel itinerary

Is Ha Long Bay worth visiting? Yes and No

Because it’s a bit far away from Ha Noi and requires 4 hours on the bus, it may be tiring if you only go there for a day trip. However, if you have 2 or 3 days, you can go there by bus and stay over to catch the boat trip in the morning.

 

Cat Ba Island & Lan Ha Bay

Many people know about Ha Long Bay but haven’t heard of Cat Ba island – the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay.

Recognized by the UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba contains diverse natural scenery such as tropical rainforests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and especially cave systems.

Not only famous for biosphere reserve, Cat Ba also has beautiful beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Ben Beo beach,… Also, you can take a cruise ship around Lan Ha Bay, exploring rocky mountains with small hidden sandy beaches, Cai Beo floating village and Monkey Island.

Lan Ha Bay travel to vietnam

 

Ninh Binh

In your Vietnam travel itinerary, you should spend a few days or even weeks to visit Ninh Binh.

Ninh Binh is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the North of Vietnam. Known as “Ha Long Bay on land”, Ninh Binh has mountain scenery and several caves to discover.

There are many places to visit in Ninh Binh: Tam Coc Bich Dong, Trang An, Bai Dinh Temple, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Cuc Phuong Forest, Phat Diem Cathedral, etc.

things to do in Vietnam Ninh Binh

Bai Dinh Temple in Trang An Vietnam

 

Phong Nha – Ke Bang

Phong Nha- Ke Bang is a national park in north-central Vietnam and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. Not only famous with hundreds of cave system, visitors can also explore mountains, tropical forest, and underground rivers in this area.

 

Hue

The last kingdom of Vietnam was located in Hue, so if you’re into Vietnamese history, Hue should be on your list of places to visit in Vietnam.

visting Vietnam Hue

There are tons of things to do in Hue, from exploring Imperial City with several palaces and shrines to visiting different tombs. Also, visiting an abandoned Thuy Tien Lake waterpark is an interesting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.

 

Da Nang

From Hue, you can take a bus to Da Nang easily in around 4 hours.

Although many visitors skip Da Nang and just head to Hoi An instead, Da Nang is also a remarkable place to travel in Vietnam.

places to travel in Vietnam

Da Nang is beautiful at night

Not only famous for My Khe beach, Da Nang is home of marble mountains, Ba Na Hills park, and Son Tra Peninsula. Street food here is awesome and also are people in Da Nang.

And, do you know that Da Nang is recommended as the best cities to live in Vietnam?

 

Hoi An

Hoi An is probably on every list of Vietnam Travel Guide that you can find on the internet.

Designated a Unesco Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient town is famous for its well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The architecture demonstrates a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures, mainly Japanese and Chinese and later with European influences.

places to visit in Vietnam

Wandering around Hoi An ancient town, you can spot several clothes shops with beautiful design or numerous restaurants which serve traditional Vietnamese food and other countries’ dishes.

 

The Cham Islands

If you visit the ancient town of Hoi An and looking for a more exciting excursion, you should take a day or two to discover The Cham Islands, which consist of a group of 8 small islands in Quảng Nam. The Cham Islands are recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve of the world beyond the sea.

There are many activities that you can do on the Cham Islands, such as visiting the local market on the main island, spending a great time on the beach or diving to see the corals.

 

Phan Rang – Thap Cham

Located in Ninh Thuan Province, Phan Rang – Thap Cham is famous for Po Klong Garai Temple. It is an ancient brick temple related to Cham religious.

 

Nha Trang

places to go in Vietnam
Beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, Nha Trang is a popular destination for vacation in Vietnam. This resort city is easy to reach by flights from other cities in Vietnam such as Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh.

 

Mui Ne

Traveling in Vietnam

You can see red sand dunes in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a lovely beach resort city with beautiful red sand dunes and nice coastline. Many travelers go here for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and other water sports.

 

Da Lat

No one has ever denied the beauty and charm of Da Lat. Even the rains of Dalat during the summer days also have its own beauty. The ancient roof tiles, the rocky streets hidden behind the hills, temperate flower gardens with cool weather help visitors get out of the chaos and enjoy the relaxed feeling.

places to travel in Vietnam

 

Ho Chi Minh city

Some people say that Saigon is the most lookalike European city in Vietnam. That’s true!

Wandering around Saigon, you still can see the charming vibe of French architecture and the development of infrastructure in the city.

places to travel in Vietnam

Saigon is really busy. There are several shops and restaurants open till late at night, or people having drinks and talking at 3 am on the street even though it’s a weekday. Saigon never sleeps.

>> Check availability and read reviews of accommodation in Ho Chi Minh

 

Mekong Delta

Have you heard of Vietnam’s bloating markets in Mekong Delta? Visiting the bloating market in the early morning is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. Also, you can ride buffalo and go fishing like a local here.

Mekong Delta floating market Vietnam

It is recommended to take a tour when you visit the Mekong Delta because the infrastructure and transportation in this area are not well-developed and most people cannot speak English.

 

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc is a popular getaway destination in the South of Vietnam. Famous for its white sand beaches and resorts, Phu Quoc is a great vacation place to relax and chill.

places to visit in Vietnam travel

Along with relaxing on the beach all days, visitors can explore mountains, dense tropical jungle, wildlife and hiking trails in Phú Quốc National Park.

If you’re interested in History, Phu Quoc island is a remarkable historical place in Vietnam. In Phu Quoc Prison, Vietnamese military soldiers were detained by the colonial regime and savagely tortured. Therefore, you can learn about the history of Vietnam, especially about the Vietnam War, while visiting Phu Quoc island.

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16 replies
  1. Kavita Favelle says:

    This is a great starting point for thinking about a trip to Vietnam. We’ve been considering which country in this part of the world to visit next, after a wonderful trip to Thailand this year, and Vietnam keeps coming to the top of the list. Thanks for the introduction!

    Reply
  2. Sarah says:

    This brought back happy memories of my travels through Vietnam although I never made it to Dalat nor Mui Ne. Phu Quoc was my favourite place at the time, but I expect it’s changed since I was more than 15 years ago. Think it’s time for a revisit!

    Reply
  3. Rachelle says:

    I’m planning a trip to SEA for my birthday next year and want to spend some time in Vietnam. Thank you for breaking down all the major cities! I’m really interested in visiting Hue for the history and obviously Hanoi for the culture. The Mekong sounds like it would be fun to visit, especially for the floating market. Thanks for the heads-up about how long it takes to get to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi!

    Reply
  4. Chloé says:

    Ahhh Vietnam is one of my favorite countries in the world! LOVE this list. Hoi An is the best!!! We never made it to Mekong Delta or HCM, but it looks like we need to make a trip back!

    Reply
  5. Annick says:

    I’ve been considering going to Vietnam for a while. I’d like to go before it gets too touristy. I hadn’t realized how many UNESCO sites and beaches there were. What a perfect combination!

    Reply
  6. Yukti says:

    Wow, you have given a complete list of places to visit in Vietnam from North to South. I have heard only about Hanoi and Halong Bay, but would love to explore the beautiful landscapes of Sapa. Mountain scenery and temple of Ninh Binh is also worth visiting.

    Reply
  7. Alouise says:

    Vietnam looks amazing. I didn’t realize there were so many UNESCO sites in the country. I’d love to check out all of these places, but I would really love to see the Cai Beo floating village.

    Reply
  8. Lisa says:

    I really loved visiting Vietnam when I was there a few years ago. I went to Saigon and to the center in Hoi An, but would love to see more! Sapa, Ninh Binh, and Hue are incredible. Hopefully, I’ll see it one day soon!

    Reply

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