How To Spend 2 Weeks In Vietnam (Printable Itinerary)

Vietnam is a great destination to visit in South East Asia with a beautiful landscape and unique history and culture.

What to do if you have 2 weeks in Vietnam?

Two weeks in Vietnam is undoubtedly not enough to see this beautiful country, but with this detailed Vietnam itinerary below, you will be able to explore the best of Vietnam in 14 days.

What to see for 2 weeks in Vietnam (from North to South)

This two-week itinerary will take you to discover all the best places in Vietnam, from the North to the South.

  • Day 1 – 2: Wander around the capital
  • Day 3 – 7: Explore nature
  • Day 8 – 12: Learn about the culture
  • Day  13 – 14: See Saigon and the surroundings

From ancient towns to tasty food and breathtaking landscape, there are many places to see and tons of things to do in Vietnam, so it can be a bit intense to plan and see the best of Vietnam in 14 days.

To follow this itinerary, you will spend lots of time on buses, and trains (or you can save time by flying), so you might want to opt-out of one or two places to relax and chill.

If you’re traveling to Vietnam for a shorter period, you can skip a few places that I recommend. If you’re going for longer, follow some extra options.

This itinerary is from the North to the South, but you can choose vice versa if you arrive in Ho Chi Minh city first.

Ky Co beach Quy Nhon Vietnam

2-week Vietnam itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, wander around Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Day 2: Visit Hanoi’s attractions
  • Day 3: Get on a bus to explore Sapa
  • Day 4: Sapa trekking & Back to Hanoi
  • Day 5: Travel to Cat Ba island & go swimming
  • Day 6: Day trip around Lan Ha Bay
  • Day 7: Get from Cat Ba to Ninh Binh & visit Hang Mua
  • Day 8: Visit highlights in Ninh Binh & take a night train to Hue
  • Day 9: Discover Hue
  • Day 10: Experience Hai Van Pass & Da Nang
  • Day 11: Wander around Hoi An
  • Day 12: Explore My Son
  • Day 13: Fly to Saigon and explore the city
  • Day 14: Take Mekong Day Trip
  • Day 15: Fly home

Day 1 & 2 – Hanoi

Hanoi is a great place to start your Vietnam trip. The capital of Vietnam has a rich history with ancient relics and peaceful life.

If you’ve traveled to Hanoi, you surely cannot forget its charming atmosphere with Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake), quiet cafes, small streets, and street vendors.

The best time to visit Hanoi is around Autumn or during spring.

Hanoi Vietnam

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter

On your first day in Hanoi, take a stroll around Hanoi Old Quarter and visit its famous attractions. Don’t forget to try Trang Tien ice cream and a delicious bowl of Pho on your first day in Vietnam.

Daytime:

  • Places to visit: Hoan Kiem Lake, Bach Ma Temple, Ancient House, Dong Xuan Market, and Long Bien Bridge.
  • What to eat: Pho Bat Dan, Egg Coffee, Trang Tien Ice-cream
  • Budget: From $5/person

Read more: Explore Hanoi Old Quarter.

Night: Ta Hien street

You can experience nightlife in Hanoi at night like a local while drinking 5000 VND (20 cents) beer on Ta Hien street.

  • Things to do: Try beer on Ta Hien street and shop at the night market
  • Budget: From $5 per person

Day 2: Hanoi City tour

Morning

  • Places to visit:  Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and One Pillar Pagoda
  • What to eat:  Bun Cha (43 Hang Buom)
  • Budget: From $5 per person

Afternoon

Evening

Hanoi train street Vietnam train

Recommended activities to do in Hanoi

Where to stay in Hanoi?

Hanoi Old Quarter is arguably the best and most convenient place to stay in the capital.

There are several budget hostels in Hanoi, and I recommend staying at Little Charm Hanoi Hostel. Located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, this hostel provides facilities similar to a hotel except with a shared room. You can also enjoy a lovely swimming pool after a long day exploring Hanoi.

For a trendy hotel, you can check out Aira Boutique. This hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness room, and a garden. The staffs are friendly and welcoming, and tasty breakfast will make your trip enjoyable.

Day 3 & 4 – Sapa

Option 1: Sapa Tour from Hanoi

If you only have two days for Sapa, the easiest option is to book a Sapa trekking tour that includes transportation service, accommodation, food, and an English tour guide.

Get Your Guide offers a great two-day-one-night Sapa trekking tour that takes you to explore the most popular attractions in Sapa: Cat Cat village, Lao Chai – Ta Van, and Giang Ta Chai.

Lao Chai Ta Van Sapa Vietnam
Lao Chai – Ta Van is a beautiful area to visit in Northern Vietnam.

Option 2: Sapa tour DIY

Alternatively, you can book a night train from Hanoi to Sapa and enjoy an amazing time at Topas Ecolodge.

Only 45 min outside Sapa town, Topas Ecolodge is a charming mountain lodge located on a beautiful hilltop deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park.

While staying in Sapa, you can join a trekking tour that takes you to explore the Waterfalls and Tribal Villages.

Useful links:

Cat Cat village Sapa Vietnam

Where to stay in Sapa?

Topas Ecolodge is a great place to stay if you’re looking for an unforgettable trip to Sapa.

Alternatively, there are several homestays or ecolodge in Sapa you can choose from, such as The Little Hmong House and Hmong House – Sapa Homestay.

Day 5 & 6 – Cat Ba island

On your 5th and 6th day, have a great time on Cat Ba island, the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago.

Below is how to make a DIY trip for two days, but you can join a one-day Cat Ba island tour from Hanoi and visit Lan Ha Bay.

The tour includes

  • Transportation service (pick up and drop-off at Hanoi Old Quarter)
  • English-speaking guide
  • Kayaking or bamboo boat trip
  • Cooking class
  • Meals & snack
Lan Ha Bay fish village Cat Ba island Vietnam

Below is how to have a DIY trip to Cat Ba island. 

Day 5: Get to Cat Ba & Beach time

  • Things to do: Get to Cat Ba and swim
  • What to eat: Seafood
  • Budget: $16 (bus) + $5 (hostel bed) + $1 (electric car) + $10 (meal)

A trip to Vietnam without seeing the bay is a huge miss. Instead of going to Halong Bay, I suggest going to the alternative but superb option – Cat Ba Island.

It takes approximately 4 hours to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island. After getting to Cat Ba town, you can check in your hotel, get on an electric car or walk to one of the beaches on Cat Ba island.

Useful links:

Cat Ba Island Vietnam

Day 6: Lan Ha Bay

  • Things to do: Take Lan Ha Bay day tour (day time) + walk around Cat Ba town (night)
  • What to eat: Seafood
  • Budget: $ (Lan Ha tour) + $10 (food)

On the next day, take a tour around Lan Ha Bay. A tour will cover the transportation fees (bus + ferry + kayak) and take you around the bay with different hidden beaches and Monkey Island.

At night, you can visit the market in Cat Ba town. The seafood restaurants offer a wide range of choices, so don’t forget to try some tasty dishes.

best things to do in Cat Ba Monkey island

Where to stay on Cat Ba island?

I would recommend staying in Cat Ba town for your convenience. Located just a few steps from Cat Co 3 beach, Cat Ba Oasis features an outdoor swimming pool, on-site restaurant, and bar.

If you’re looking for an affordable stay, Dai Thuy hotel offers lovely rooms at a reasonable price. The staff is friendly and welcoming.

Day 7 & 8 – Ninh Binh

Day 7: Ninh Binh & Hang Mua

  • Things to do: Take a bus to Ninh Binh & discover Hang Mua
  • What to eat: Mountain goat + Scorched rice topped with pork floss
  • Budget: $15 (bus) + $5 (Hang Mua) + $5 (Hostel bed) + Taxi/ Bike rental fee + $10 (Food)

Tips: If you still have enough energy, you might want to wake up early to catch the sunrise before heading to Ninh Binh by bus.

The journey takes about 5 hours from Cat Ba island to Ninh Binh by bus.

After checking in at your hotel, you can rent a bike and visit Hang Mua (Mua Cave) – a scenic mountainside spot in Ninh Binh. Although you will need to climb 500 steps to get to the top, the view is worth it.

-> Read related: Best things to do in Ninh Binh

Trang An Vietnam boat trip

Where to stay in Ninh Binh?

It depends on where you want to go. You should choose to stay either near Trang An or Tam Coc.

Trang An Retreat features an outdoor swimming pool and a sun terrace. The staffs are very accommodating, bringing you a mini-resort experience with a homestay feeling.

best places to stay in Ninh Binh Trang An Retreat

Day 8: Ninh Binh and train to Hue

Day time

Evening: Get to Hue

One of the best options to get from Ninh Binh to Hue is by train. Vietnam Railways offers several trains daily to Hue from Ninh Binh, and the journey takes 10 hours and 43 minutes.

You should take a train that departs at 9:47 pm so you will be able to sleep on the train and get to Hue the following day at 8:30 am.

If you’re looking for a comfortable ride, Livitrans and Violette are private trains that offer high-quality service.

-> Read more about the Vietnam train travel.

Hai Van Pass Vietnam train

Day 9 – Hue

Hue Imperial City Vietnam photo

Where to stay in Hue?

Located in the city center, Hue Nino Hotel is a budget hotel with comfortable rooms and a great breakfast.

If you’re looking for a trendy hotel, Rosaleen Boutique Hotel is one of the top picks in Hue. The hotel features a fabulous outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers.

Day 10 – Da Nang

In the morning, take a train ride passing Hai Van Pass from Hue to Da Nang.

The Hai Van Pass is an approximately 21-km long mountain pass on National Route 1A in Vietnam. Hai Van Pass or Sea Clouds Pass offers a stunning landscape of clear blue skies and mountains overlooking the blue sea. 

Hai Van Pass Vietnam travel guide

The ideal train to enjoy the best of Hai Van pass is SE1, SE3, and SE19 that depart at 10:59, 8:37, and 9:31, respectively.

If you’re going from Hue, don’t forget to choose the left seat so you can enjoy the view.

Exploring Da Nang

Since you’ve been traveling around Vietnam for ten days, take this day at Da Nang to relax and enjoy a lovely time on the beach.

  • Things to do: Swimming, Seeing the Dragon bridge at night
  • What to eat: Banh Trang Thit Heo (Pork wrapped in rice paper), Mi Quang
  • Budget: From $5
Best things to do in Da Nang Vietnam

Where to stay in Da Nang?

Several hotels are located along the coast of Da Nang, offering an excellent experience for those who love relaxing on the beach.

Located conveniently across from the beach, A La Carte Da Nang Beach is one of the best hotels in Da Nang. This hotel has a fantastic rooftop pool and a dining area with a fitness center and a spa.

Day 11 & 12 – Hoi An

Day 11: Explore Hoi An

After a relaxing day in Da Nang, you can get a shuttle bus or a private transfer from Da Nang to Hoi An.

Hoi An Vietnam tour

Day 12: My Son Morning Tour

Located on the mountainous border of Duy Xuyen District of Quang Nam Province, My Son Sanctuary is known as an “Angkor Wat” in Vietnam.

Seeing the sunrise over the Hindu temples built between the 4th and 14th century AD by the Kings of Champa would be an amazing experience.

Where to stay in Hoi An?

Hoi An is a lovely town with a wide range of accommodations.

Little Riverside Hoi An is an excellent stay if you’re looking for a relaxing time in the ancient town.

If you’re a solo traveler and plan to meet other travelers, the Wanderlust hostel is a great choice. The bed is comfortable, the staff is helpful, and the vibe there is amazing and chill.

Day 13 & 14 – Ho Chi Minh

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh city tour

If Hanoi still has the friendly vibe of the city of thousand years old, Ho Chi Minh City is a growing and vibrant city with a modern rhythm.

At first glance, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh city will leave you an impression of the largest, busiest, and most dynamic city in Vietnam.

In Saigon, activities, and entertainment last until late at night. The streets are busy with the hustle and bustle of vehicles.

things to do in Saigon Vietnam

Daytime:

  • Places to visit: Ben Thanh market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, Independence Palace, War Remnant Museum
  • What to eat: Hu Tieu Nam Vang, Com tam (Rice with grilled pork)
  • Budget: From $10

-> Read more: Amazing things to do in Ho Chi Minh city

best things to do in Vietnam itinerary two weeks

Night:

  • Things to do: Enjoy drinks at a rooftop bar
  • Budget: From $10

Where to stay in Saigon?

The best area to stay in Saigon is District 1 near Ben Thanh market. Since most of the attractions are located in District 1, you can save money and walk around comfortably.

The Like Hostel & Cafe is an excellent option for those seeking a fun time in Saigon.

If you’re looking for a quiet hostel, the Long hostel is a family-run accommodation providing complimentary breakfast, free beer with clean beds, and a pleasant atmosphere.

For a luxury option, consider Rex Hotel, with a beautiful swimming pool and great view from the rooftop bar.

Day 14: Mekong Tour

On your last day in Vietnam, explore the beauty of the Mekong Delta with a day tour from Saigon.

Mekong Delta tour includes

  • English-speaking guide
  • Boat cruise in Mekong Delta
  • Entrance fees
  • Lunch
  • Fruits and honey tea
  • Mineral water

The Mekong tour will take you to visit Buddhist Vinh Trang Pagoda and get on a My Tho boat trip to see stilt houses, fruit plantations, and fishing villages.

You will also get an excellent opportunity to visit a coconut candy family-run business and try some.

My Tho boat tour Vietnam Thoi Son islet boat tour
Vietnam itinerary - How to spend 2 weeks in Vietnam

Are two weeks in Vietnam enough?

Not really. Vietnam is a beautiful country and has so many things to offer, so spending two weeks in Vietnam will only give you a glimpse of it.

As a Vietnamese, I would suggest traveling for at least one month in Vietnam.

However, if you only have 14 days in Vietnam, you can follow the Vietnam itinerary that I list above to discover the best of Vietnam in 2 weeks.

I hope you have a great time in Vietnam!

To help you plan the best trip in Vietnam

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2 Comments

  1. Stefanie Sampl says:

    Hello – your post is very great – thank you so much. Could I ask you when would you recommend doing this 14 day trip?

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