20+ Best Places To Visit In Vietnam

Vietnam North to South Itinerary

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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

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.

Hanoi Vietnam

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.

The best time to visit Hanoi is during the fall. Please read this guide to know more.

 

Sapa

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

best things to do in Sapa Vietnam

 

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 views.

Taking a boat trip around Ha Long Bay is a memorable experience when traveling in Vietnam.

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.

 

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 especially 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.

Cat Ba Island Vietnam

 

Ninh Binh

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.

Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam travel guide

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.

 

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.

Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam Travel Guide

Here is the list of some places that you should not miss on your trip to Phong Nha

 

Hue

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 tons of 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 also an exciting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.

Hue Imperial City Vietnam photo

 

Da Nang

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?

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge Vietnam

 

Hoi An

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 with European influences.

best time to visit Hoi An Vietnam ancient town

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.

UNESCO recognizes the Cham Islands as a biosphere reserve of the world 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. 

 

Nha Trang

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

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 related: Easy ways to get from Saigon to Mui Ne

 

Da Lat

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 amazing activities to do in Da Lat include:

 

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 still can see the French architecture and the development of infrastructure in the town.

Saigon is busy. 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.

Saigon at night Vietnam

 

Mekong Delta

Have you heard of Vietnam’s floating markets in Mekong Delta?

Visiting the Cai Rang floating market in the early morning is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. 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.

Cai Rang floating market Can Tho Vietnam travel guide

 

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

 

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Best places to visit in Vietnam

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

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