20+ Best Places To Visit In Vietnam
Are you planning your trip 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 – the capital of Vietnam, witnessed the ups and downs of this country throughout history.
Visiting Hanoi, you can observe the ancient architecture and experience a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, contrary to the pace of life in Saigon.
People in Hanoi prefer the familiar so that you can see lots of small and long-established shops and restaurants along the streets.
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 visit 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.
The best time to visit Hanoi is during the fall. Please read this guide to know more.
Read more: How to explore Hanoi Old Quarter in one day.
Colorful and charming are how visitors describe this town.
Sapa is an excellent trekking base in Northern Vietnam with beautiful terraced rice paddy fields of the Muong Hoa Valley.
It’s also home to different ethnic groups, including the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, and Xa Pho.
On your Sapa trip, you shouldn’t miss Lao Chai Ta Van village, Cat Cat village, and O Quy Ho Pass.
Read more: The best time to visit Sapa, Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous places in Vietnam. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay has over 1600 limestone islands and islets with scenic ocean views.
Is Ha Long Bay worth visiting?
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 a Halong cruise trip in the morning.
Read more: How to get from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay.
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 UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba contains diverse natural scenery such as tropical rainforests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and cave systems.
Not only famous for biosphere reserve, but Cat Ba also has beautiful beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Ben Beo beach, etc.
Also, you can take a cruise ship exploring Lan Ha Bay, exploring rocky mountains with small hidden sandy beaches, Cai Beo floating village, and Monkey Island.
Read more: 10 incredible things to do in Cat Ba, Vietnam.
In your Vietnam travel itinerary, you should spend a few days or even weeks visiting 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 plenty of things to see and do in Ninh Binh: Trang An with Skull Island Village, Bai Dinh Temple, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, and Mua Cave.
Read more: How to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.
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 for hundreds of cave systems, but visitors can also explore mountains, tropical forests, and underground rivers in this area.
Here is the list of some places that you should not miss on your trip to Phong Nha
Hue was the last imperial city of Vietnam. So if you’re into Vietnamese history, Hue should be on your Vietnam bucket list.
There are many things to do in Hue, from exploring the Imperial City to visiting Emperor tombs such as Khai Dinh tomb and Minh Mang tomb.
Visiting an abandoned Thuy Tien Lake waterpark is an exciting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.
Read more: The best time to visit Hue, Vietnam.
You get from Hue to Da Nang easily in 4 hours.
Although many visitors skip Da Nang and head to Hoi An instead, Da Nang is also a remarkable place to travel in Vietnam.
Not only famous for My Khe beach, but Da Nang is also home to Marble Mountains, Ba Na Hills park, and Son Tra Peninsula. Street food here is fantastic, and also are people in Da Nang.
And, do you know that Da Nang is recommended as the best city to live in Vietnam?
Hoi An is probably on every list of Vietnam Travel Guide that you can find on the internet.
Designated as 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 European influences.
Wandering around Hoi An ancient town, you can spot several clothes shops with beautiful designs or numerous restaurants which serve traditional Vietnamese food and other countries’ dishes.
The Cham Islands
If you visit Hoi An’s ancient town and look 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.
UNESCO recognizes the Cham Islands as a world’s biosphere reserve beyond the sea.
You can do many activities on the Cham Islands, such as visiting the local market on the main island, having a great time on the beach, or diving to see the corals.
Cham island is a wonderful day trip from Hoi An, and you can book your Cham Island tour here.
Phan Rang – Thap Cham
Located in Ninh Thuan Province, Phan Rang – Thap Cham is famous for Po Klong Garai Temple. It’s a great stop if you’re traveling from Da Nang to Southern Vietnam.
In addition to Po Klong Garai Temple, you should visit the vineyard, Bau Truc pottery village, and explore the salt field.
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 is a lovely beach resort city with beautiful red dunes and a delightful coastline. Many travelers go here for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, and other water sports.
Read more: Easy ways to get from Saigon to Mui Ne.
No one has ever denied the beauty and charm of Da Lat. Breathtaking mountain views, beautiful flower gardens, and cool weather are what I love about Da Lat.
Also, this resort town is a perfect place to relax and chill if you’ve been traveling in Vietnam for a while. Some great activities to do in Da Lat include:
- Explore the Crazy House
- Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda
- Wander around Da Lat Railway station
- See the sunrise at Cau Dat tea hill
Ho Chi Minh city
Some people say that Saigon is the most lookalike European city in Vietnam. That’s true.
Wandering around Ho Chi Minh city, you can still see the town’s French architecture and infrastructure development.
Saigon is busy. Several shops and restaurants open till late at night, or people have drinks and talk at 3 am on the street even though it’s a weekday. Saigon never sleeps.
Have you heard of Vietnam’s floating markets in Mekong Delta?
Visiting the Cai Rang floating market in the early morning is one of Vietnam’s best things to do. You can see people trading goods and enjoying breakfast at a floating restaurant.
I would recommend taking 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 island 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.
Along with relaxing on the beach every day, you 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. So you can learn about the history of Vietnam, especially about the Vietnam War, while visiting Phu Quoc island.
To prepare for your trip to Vietnam
- Vietnam itinerary: How to spend two weeks in Vietnam
- Useful Vietnamese phrases and words you should know
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!
Thank you, Kavita. I hope you will consider visiting my beautiful country :)
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!
I think Phu Quoc has changed a lot lately, so it’s time to visit Vietnam again :)
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!
Spending great time traveling in Vietnam is definitely a good idea for birthday :)
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!
It’s great to hear that you love Vietnam! Hope you will come back one day and explore more :)
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!
There are so many UNESCO sites in Vietnam, and we have beautiful beaches along the country :)
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.
I hope you can visit Vietnam soon :)
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.
Ha Long Bay is probably the most famous place in Vietnam, but surely Vietnam has more to offer :) All the places in this list are worth visiting.
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!
Great to hear that you had an amazing time in Vietnam :)
Vietnam has always been on our bucket list! It looks like a beautiful part of the world!