Vietnam, a nation with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural wonders, beckons travelers with its enchanting mix of bustling cities, verdant mountains, pristine beaches, and vibrant markets. Whether you’re seeking solitude along the coastline or adventure in the highlands, Vietnam promises a myriad of unforgettable experiences. As we delve into the top places to visit in Vietnam, prepare to be amazed by the country’s treasures.
See The List Below For the 20 Places to Visit in Vietnam;
1. Hanoi: The Timeless Capital
Hanoi, the capital city, is the epitome of Vietnam’s age-old culture, blending seamlessly with modern innovations. Wander through the Old Quarter, where narrow streets teem with life, and every corner reveals a story. Historical landmarks like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum stand as a testament to the country’s past, while institutions like the Temple of Literature remind us of Vietnam’s deep-rooted education traditions.
- Ancient architecture in the Old Quarter
- Morning Tai Chi sessions near Hoan Kiem Lake
- Traditional water puppet shows
Travel Tip: While in Hanoi, try the local delicacy “Pho” from a street-side vendor for an authentic experience.
- West Lake – 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
- Tran Quoc Pagoda – 2.5 miles/4 kilometers
2. Halong Bay: A Natural Wonder
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay captivates with its emerald waters dotted with thousands of limestone islands topped with rainforests. Cruising among these limestone karsts provides a serene experience, while the allure of exploring hidden caves and grottoes promises adventure at every turn.
- Sunset views from the deck of a traditional junk boat
- Kayaking through serene waters
- Visiting the picturesque Ti Top Island
Travel Tip: Opt for an overnight cruise to experience both sunrise and sunset amidst the bay’s ethereal beauty.
- Cat Ba Island – 15 miles/24 kilometers
- Bai Tu Long Bay – 30 miles/48 kilometers
3. Sapa: The Mountainous Retreat
Perched in the northern highlands, Sapa offers breathtaking vistas of terraced rice fields stretching into the horizon. Hiking enthusiasts can explore trails leading to the peaks while interacting with the H’mong and Dao tribes who’ve made the hills their home.
- The scenic trek to Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak
- Colorful tribal markets showcasing intricate handicrafts
- Traditional homestays with hill tribes
Travel Tip: Consider hiring a local guide for treks, ensuring you get insider knowledge and support local communities.
- Bac Ha Market – 50 miles/80 kilometers
- Hoang Lien National Park – 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
4. Hue: The Ancient Imperial City
Hue exudes a regal charm, having once been the imperial capital. The Hue Imperial Citadel stands as a monumental testament to the Nguyen Dynasty’s grandeur. Meanwhile, the Thien Mu Pagoda, overlooking the Perfume River, offers a serene spiritual experience.
- Boat rides on the tranquil Perfume River
- Visits to the royal tombs of Nguyen emperors
- Sampling the city’s unique royal cuisine
Travel Tip: If you’re visiting during summertime, be prepared for frequent rainfall. Pack accordingly.
- Dong Ba Market – 1 mile/1.6 kilometers
- Lang Co Beach – 18 miles/29 kilometers
5. Da Nang: The Coastal Gem
Da Nang, often referred to as the ‘Tourist Capital’, enthralls visitors with its modern ambiance juxtaposed with rich cultural heritage. The Marble Mountains, a cluster of limestone and marble hills, are adorned with pagodas and caves waiting to be explored. Not too far off, My Khe Beach beckons sun-seekers with its golden sands and clear waters.
- Panoramic views atop Marble Mountains.
- Strolls along the Dragon Bridge, especially during its fire-breathing display on weekends.
- Da Nang’s vibrant street food scene.
Travel Tip: Plan your visit to My Khe Beach during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun.
- Son Tra Peninsula – 6 miles/9.6 kilometers
- Han Market – 3 miles/4.8 kilometers
6. Hoi An: The Historic Port Town
Time seems to slow in Hoi An, with its lantern-lit streets and ancient architecture. The town’s heart, Ancient Town, offers a maze of cobblestoned streets and historical buildings, transporting visitors to a bygone era. Close by, An Bang Beach offers a coastal respite with its relaxed vibe.
- Participating in lantern-making workshops.
- Tasting the legendary Hoi An Banh Mi.
- A tranquil boat ride along the Thu Bon River.
Travel Tip: Hoi An is famous for its tailor shops. If you’re interested in bespoke clothing, allow a few days for fittings.
- Cua Dai Beach – 3 miles/4.8 kilometers
- My Son Ruins – 25 miles/40 kilometers
7. Nha Trang: The Beach Paradise
Nha Trang, with its crescent beaches and turquoise waters, is a haven for beach enthusiasts. The city’s lively boulevard is lined with palm trees and vibrant establishments, while Vinpearl Land, on a nearby island, promises a day of fun with its water parks and amusement rides. For shopping enthusiasts, the Nha Trang Night Market offers a variety of souvenirs and treats.
- Snorkeling and diving among vibrant coral reefs.
- Relaxing in the Thap Ba Hot Springs.
- Visiting the iconic Po Nagar Cham Towers.
Travel Tip: For a less touristy experience, consider visiting the northern beaches of Nha Trang.
- Hon Chong Promontory – 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
- Long Son Pagoda – 1 mile/1.6 kilometers
8. Da Lat: The City of Eternal Spring
Perched high in the Central Highlands, Da Lat offers a refreshing temperate climate amidst rolling pine-covered hills. The whimsical Crazy House is an architectural wonder that fascinates visitors with its unconventional designs. For nature lovers, the Da Lat Flower Gardens bloom with vibrant colors, offering a visual treat.
- Riding the Da Lat cable car for a bird’s eye view of the region.
- Exploring the Valley of Love, a picturesque landscape.
- Sampling locally-grown coffee at quaint cafes.
Travel Tip: Pack a light jacket. Despite its tropical location, Da Lat’s higher altitude can make evenings chilly.
- Xuan Huong Lake – 1 mile/1.6 kilometers
- Datanla Waterfall – 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
9. Phu Quoc: The Tropical Island Oasis
Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc Island entices with its pristine beaches and lush landscapes. VinWonders Phu Quoc is a world-class entertainment hub, with theme parks, water parks, and an aquarium. Meanwhile, Long Beach, with its palm-fringed coastline, offers the perfect setting for a serene retreat.
- Sunset watching at the Dinh Cau Night Market.
- Snorkeling in the clear waters of Starfish Beach.
- Sampling the island’s famous fish sauce.
Travel Tip: Renting a motorbike can be an efficient way to explore the island’s less frequented spots.
- Sao Beach – 15 miles/24 kilometers
- Vinpearl Safari – 8 miles/13 kilometers
10. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): The Bustling Metropolis
The vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh, often referred to as Saigon, pulsates with energy and dynamism. The War Remnants Museum offers poignant insights into the Vietnam War, while the iconic Ben Thanh Market is a bustling hub of commerce, where myriad colors, flavors, and aromas merge.
- Sauntering along the Nguyen Hue Walking Street.
- Exploring the underground tunnels of Cu Chi.
- Relishing the city’s eclectic street food, especially pho and banh xeo.
Travel Tip: While crossing streets, move slowly but steadily, allowing the traffic to flow around you.
- Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon – 0.5 miles/0.8 kilometers
- Independence Palace – 0.6 miles/1 kilometer
11. Mekong Delta: The Riverine Adventure
The Mekong Delta, often referred to as the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Vietnam, is a mesmerizing network of rivers, swamps, and islands. Traditional floating markets buzz with activity as vendors on boats peddle fruits, vegetables, and other goods. Exploring the traditional villages gives a glimpse into the daily life of the locals.
- Enjoying a sampan boat ride through the narrow canals.
- Visiting the Cai Rang Floating Market, one of the largest in the region.
- Tasting the delectable coconut candy from local factories.
Travel Tip: Consider staying at a homestay to immerse yourself in the local culture and customs.
- Can Tho – 25 miles/40 kilometers
- Vinh Trang Pagoda – 30 miles/48 kilometers
12. Cat Ba Island: Nature’s Sanctuary
Part of the larger Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island is a serene escape known for its rugged landscapes and dense forests. Cat Ba National Park is home to diverse fauna, including the endangered Cat Ba langur. The waters surrounding Lan Ha Bay are dotted with limestone karsts and floating fishing villages.
- Trekking through the verdant landscapes of Cat Ba National Park.
- Kayaking amidst the limestone formations in Lan Ha Bay.
- Relaxing at the secluded Cat Co beaches.
Travel Tip: If visiting during November to April, pack some warm clothing as temperatures can dip during these cooler months.
- Hospital Cave – 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
- Monkey Island – 6 miles/9.6 kilometers
13. Phong Nha-Ke Bang: The Cave Explorer’s Dream
A testament to Earth’s grandeur, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is renowned for its staggering limestone karst landscapes and colossal caves. The famed Son Doong Cave, recognized as the world’s largest, is a surreal realm of its own, with its own jungles and weather systems. Adjacently, Paradise Cave astonishes with its stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations.
- Venturing into the depths of Dark Cave, equipped with zip-lines and mud baths.
- River boating to the entrance of Phong Nha Cave.
- Witnessing the ethereal sun rays in the early morning at Hang En Cave.
Travel Tip: While many caves are accessible to tourists, some require specialized tours. It’s best to book in advance, especially for the more popular caves.
- Mooc Spring – 6 miles/9.6 kilometers
- Bong Lai Valley – 15 miles/24 kilometers
14. Mui Ne: The Desert by the Sea
Mui Ne uniquely juxtaposes vast sand dunes with azure waters, creating an enchanting desert seascape. The Red Sand Dunes present a mesmerizing panorama, especially during sunrise and sunset. In contrast, the Fairy Stream cuts through the landscape, with its banks revealing layers of red and white sands and limestone.
- Sandboarding down the sweeping dunes.
- Walking along the Mui Ne fishing village, observing the local life.
- Witnessing the sun cast its golden hue over the endless sands.
Travel Tip: The best time to visit the sand dunes is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the scorching heat.
- Hon Rom Beach – 6 miles/9.6 kilometers
- Po Shanu Cham Towers – 5 miles/8 kilometers
15. Con Dao Islands: The Hidden Jewel
Steeped in history and natural beauty, the Con Dao Islands are an idyllic escape from the bustle of mainland Vietnam. While the Con Dao Prison tells tales of the country’s tumultuous past, the pristine beaches and clear waters represent nature at its finest. Bay Canh Island stands out for its turtle nesting activity.
- Diving or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, exploring vibrant coral ecosystems.
- Paying respects at the Hang Duong Cemetery, a poignant reminder of the past.
- Observing sea turtles lay their eggs under the moonlight.
Travel Tip: Con Dao’s natural beauty is best experienced between March and September, during the dry season.
- Dam Trau Beach – 8 miles/13 kilometers
- Con Dao National Park – 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
16. Cao Bang: The Waterfall Wonderland
Located in the northern frontier, Cao Bang is a realm of verdant landscapes punctuated by magnificent waterfalls. The Ban Gioc Waterfall, among Asia’s largest and most beautiful, cascades over layers of limestone, creating a surreal vista. Nearby, the historic Pac Bo Cave served as a shelter for Ho Chi Minh during his revolutionary activities.
- Marveling at the multi-tiered Nguom Ngao Cave.
- Savoring local delicacies, such as sour noodles and bamboo-tube rice.
- Exploring the terraced rice fields during the harvest season.
Travel Tip: For the best views of Ban Gioc Waterfall, visit during the rainy season when the falls are at their most powerful.
- Thang Hen Lake – 18 miles/29 kilometers
- Phia Oac Mountain – 20 miles/32 kilometers
17. Tam Dao: The Misty Mountains
Nestled amidst the northern mountains, Tam Dao is a hill station known for its cool climate, mist-covered landscapes, and colonial architectures. The view from Silver Waterfall is both serene and breathtaking, providing visitors a vantage point to appreciate the expansive beauty of the region. The Tam Dao National Park, rich in biodiversity, is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts.
- Walking amidst the clouds on the Sky Bridge.
- Experiencing serenity at the Tam Dao Church, a relic from the French colonial era.
- Spotting endemic species in the dense montane rainforests.
Travel Tip: The weather in Tam Dao can be unpredictable. Carrying an umbrella or raincoat can come in handy.
- Tay Thien Pagoda – 10 miles/16 kilometers
- Tam Dao Golf Course – 3 miles/4.8 kilometers
18. Vung Tau: The Coastal Escape
Just a short drive from Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau offers an ideal coastal respite. The towering Jesus Christ’s Statue provides panoramic views of the city and the sea, making the uphill climb worthwhile. Back Beach, with its extended coastline, is a favorite spot for both relaxation and water activities.
- Watching ships sail by from the Vung Tau Lighthouse.
- Enjoying local seafood delicacies at the bustling night markets.
- Surfing and jet-skiing adventures in the blue waters.
Travel Tip: Weekends can be crowded as many locals from Ho Chi Minh City visit Vung Tau. Consider a weekday visit for a quieter experience.
- Bai Dau Beach – 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
- White Palace Historical Site – 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
19. Can Tho: The Heart of the Delta
Sitting at the nexus of the mighty Mekong Delta, Can Tho is a mosaic of waterways, floating markets, and lush rice fields. The Cai Rang Floating Market is a spectacle of colors, sounds, and flavors, offering an authentic taste of delta life. The Can Tho Bridge spanning the Hau River, is an architectural marvel and offers mesmerizing sunset views.
- Cruising along the serene canals and observing stilt houses.
- Tasting the region’s famed “Banh Tet” during the Lunar New Year.
- Visiting the Ong Pagoda, a Chinese-inspired temple in the heart of the city.
Travel Tip: The best time to visit the floating market is in the early morning when activity peaks.
- Binh Thuy Ancient House – 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
- Ninh Kieu Pier – 1 mile/1.6 kilometers
20. Cam Ranh: A Coastal Reverie
Known for its long, sweeping bay, Cam Ranh is rapidly emerging as a luxury resort destination. The untouched Bai Dai Beach offers miles of soft sands and crystalline waters. The coastal roads provide magnificent vistas, making every journey picturesque.
- Indulging in luxury spa treatments at world-class resorts.
- Jet-skiing and parasailing along the coast.
- Savoring freshly caught seafood in beachside shacks.
Travel Tip: While the area is growing in popularity, some parts remain untouched. Rent a scooter or bike to explore secluded spots.
- Binh Lap Peninsula – 20 miles/32 kilometers
- Ba Ngoi Port – 10 miles/16 kilometers
As we draw our journey to a close, we reflect on the myriad wonders and tales Vietnam has shared with us. Every destination, every place to visit in Vietnam, unravels a unique narrative, beckoning travelers to become a part of its tale. So, pack your bags, set forth with an open heart, and let Vietnam’s magic engulf you.