Touropia Logo

Touropia Travel Experts

Tours & Top Tens

17 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Last updated on February 14, 2024 by Becky Griswold - 1 Comment

Adventurous and advancing, Vietnam is a rapidly developing nation. Its cities are crammed full of culture, creativity and colonial architecture and they continue to push into the future.

Many of Vietnam’s cities boast a medley of architectural styles and modern Asian construction. With its amazing geographical natural vistas, innovative cityscapes and traditional cultures, the best cities in Vietnam are waiting for you to be explored.

In this post, we'll cover:

17. Kon Tum

Kon Tum

Up in the remote north of the country’s central highlands, Kon Tum is a cool breezy city. Kon Tum, despite good access by road to popular destinations, is distinctly non-touristy which allows visitors who want to learn more about the real Vietnam to soak in the culture. Located along the Dakbla River, the city is an unpretentious and quiet place that oozes tranquility.

16. Vung Tau

Vung Tau

Situated on a peninsula, this once French colonial city has become a popular weekend break getaway destination. Visitors arrive for short breaks on the hydrofoil boat from Ho Chi Minh to spend a few nights enjoying the vacation vibes, drinking in the city’s bars and eating in the many restaurants. Vung Tau’s beach is a bustling spot where cool kids hang out, where bars and clubs spill out onto the sands as the evening activities start to commence.

15. Haiphong

Haiphong

This booming industrial city is crammed full of colonial architecture. Haiphong is in fact a lot lovelier than simply an industrial port: the northern city is a metropolitan centre of trade and is well known for its beautiful flame flower trees that line the streets.

The pleasant city is a great base for explore the scenic spots in the local area such as Halong Bay, but the city has some interesting sites of its own. Temples, pagodas and shrines are nestled along the pathways and the beach is a great place to kick back and soak up some sun.

14. Ha Giang

Ha Giang

On the banks of the Lô River and surrounded by misty mountains, the city of Ha Giang is a place where time stands still. This lesser visited city in the north of Vietnam is surrounded by hills and valleys which are home to many different ethnic minorities. The cultural heritage of the area is evident in the city. On Sunday its lively market brims with people selling animals, fresh food and handmade goods.

The city is the beginning of a famous journey called the Ha Giang loop that is a road that goes through the very top of the mountains of the surrounding area, next to the border with China. To fully immerse into the landscapes it is advised to travel by motorbike.

13. Cao Bang

Cao Bang

The beautiful part of Vietnam is reminiscent of paradise: lush hills, flourishing valleys and gushing waterfalls. The Bang Giang River snakes its way through the environment and into the cool city of Cao Bang.

The area is home to many ethnic hill tribes, which is also evident in the city itself; the markets here are full of goods made by the rural communities – women arrive from small villages to sell their fresh produce alongside the river.

Cao Bang city offers visitors the chance to experience the lives of the people of Vietnam and is a fantastic gateway into the arcadian countryside.

12. Tay Ninh

Tay Ninh

Bordered by Cambodia on three sides, Tay Ninh city’s horizon is overpowered by the eminent Black Virgin Mountain. The city is the center of the Cao Dai religion – an indigenous belief system that peppers this part of the country.

Cao Dai Great Temple is a site to behold in the city itself, an unusual and unique mix of various architectural styles that needs to be seen to be believed.

11. Dong Hoi

Dong Hoi

Close to the dividing line between north and South Vietnam, Dong Hoi city was badly damaged during the war with America. It was rebuilt to become a top class destination along the coast and has been attracting attention in recent years for its stretch of sandy beach.

New sea-view hotels have started to pop up, as well as fantastic fresh seafood restaurants. The surrounding area is packed full of adventurous activities, such as exploring the strange and mystical cave networks of Phong Nha Cave.

My Tho

Close to Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho offers the chance for visitors to explore riverside living in Vietnam. The city was established by Taiwanese refugees in the late 1600s and evidence of Chinese culture can still be seen today in its architecture. The breezy and cheerful market town perches on the banks of the Mekong.

Shops selling all types of goods open up to the river and a boat ride on the water reveals the true beauty of the nearby countryside. Don’t forget to try out the My Tho soup whilst you are in town – it’s delicious!

9. Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh

Sweeping natural landscapes entice travelers to discover the rural scenery of Vietnam. Life for the locals in this quiet agrarian city is centered around farming. Lesser visited than other Vietnamese destinations, Ninh Binh sits inside jutting towers of limestone karst, similar to the iconic Halong Bay .

The city is a languid place, great for meeting locals and making new friends and works perfectly as an entrance into exploring the surrounding stunning countryside. Trang An Grottoes is a network of caves situated just outside of the city, an easy bike ride away – or take a day trip to the Tam Coc Area of Natural Beauty.

Can Tho

Famed for its floating markets, Can Tho is a merchant trading hub on the confluence of the Can Tho and Hau rivers. Life in this city is centred around the rivers and its trade along the connecting Mekong; food is bought and sold on the water at Cai Rang floating market.

The area has been labelled the rice bowl of Vietnam and rightly so: fresh vegetables, rice and fish are all traded through the city and as such the town’s restaurants are overflowing with delicious offerings. Evenings in the city consists of dreamy sunset walks along the riverside promenade with friendly locals to chat to along the way.

7. Nha Trang

Nha Trang

The resort town of Nha Trang is a thriving city on the South China Sea. The city sits on a long stretch of sandy beach that attracts tourists (too many for some) with its diverse marine life, clean waters and healthy reefs.

The coastal city is packed full of Champa Kingdom architecture and temples as well as Catholic churches and Vietnamese restaurants. The area surrounding the city is famous for its beautiful waterfalls and natural hot springs and are an easy day trip from the city center.

Khai Dinh Tomb at Hue

Hue was once Vietnam’s imperial capital, home to the ruling class, but much of its once resplendent palace was destroyed during the war with America. The town is now a place for tourists to stop off and spend a few days ambling around ruins . Some of the Imperial Palace remains in tact and some of it has been painstakingly rebuilt, while much of it is in ruins but makes for an interesting place to explore.

Take a bike ride outside of the city to visit the excessive self-built tombs of the emperors and then return to the city to spend the evening having dinner alongside the Perfume River.

Linh Phuoc Pagoda in Dalat

In the south of Vietnam’s central highlands, Dalat is a cool spring city. With a fresher climate than other cities in the country, Dalat is an elegant rural city that is scattered with French colonial villas. Initially developed as a French holiday resort , the city has become somewhat of a romantic holiday destination for Vietnamese couples.

The streets filled with horse-drawn carriages and there’s a somewhat tacky Eiffel Tower-type structure overlooking the city. It isn’t all about romance though, those who are into adventure sports find their way here to try out a spot of mountain biking, trekking in the mountains or perhaps some white-water rafting.

Da Nang

Da Nang’s sandy beach and colonial buildings have been attracting visitors for years. Sat halfway between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh in the south, the city serves as a holiday destination for people who want to spend days relaxing on white sand.

My Khe Beach is a built up coastline that is perfect for water sports enthusiasts, and although it can get very crowded the atmosphere is always fun. If you need some space, try out the tree-lined Lang Co Beach with its sparklingly clear waters and gentle lapping waves.

Hoi An

Hoi An’s glowing red ambience is like Vietnam’s Kyoto. The ancient city is laced with charming canals that are edged with quaint Chinese shophouses, pretty pagodas and colonial villas. A unique mix of strong national identity is fused with French, American, Chinese influences.

Not just famous for its attractive architecture and colorful streets, Hoi An draws visitors with its culinary delites. The town’s restaurants and street stalls seve up fabulously fresh food in riverside restaurants. Enjoy days exploring the city’s temples and its beautiful beaches​ and then tuck into a well deserved sloshing bowl of pho.

2. Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon

The southern city has had its fair share of complicated history. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon to many of the locals, takes its names from the great communist leader himself and serves as a reminder of the Vietnamese military and social powers.

Less beautiful than the capital, the city today is a modern mix of expats, tourists and locals who all live and work along the old alleyways. The military museum here provides an insight into Vietnamese powerful might, while the Independence Palace is an accolade to modern design. Evenings in the city are frantic and fun packed, bars and restaurants come alive as travelers and locals mix and chat in the busy streets.

Hanoi

The Vietnamese capital of Hanoi is a city brimming with beautiful architecture, an enigmatic youth scene and layers of history. Staying in the city’s old town means living amongst the crumbling, vine-covered facades of the French colonial architecture.

See also: Where to Stay in Hanoi

Street food remains a huge part of the culinary landscape of the city with street stalls selling delicious dishes that reflect the wealth of culture and vibrancy. Sit in street side cafes, sip on ice coffees and enjoy a banh mi sandwich.

Hanoi’s many sights and museums are eclipsed by the sheer vibrancy of its streets and the welcoming smiles of its people. Spend days here simply walking the city streets, along the lakes and shopping in the food markets. Just watch out for the motorbikes – they are everywhere!

Map of cities in Vietnam

Map of cities in Vietnam

Share this post:

top tourist cities in vietnam

10 Most Beautiful Islands in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

5 Best Day Tours in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

12 Most Beautiful National Parks in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

25 Top Tourist Attractions in Vietnam

2 Weeks in Vietnam Itinerary

How to Spend 2 Weeks in Vietnam: DIY Itinerary

top tourist cities in vietnam

10 Most Underrated Destinations in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

10 Best Beaches in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

10 Best Vietnam Luxury Resorts

top tourist cities in vietnam

11 Most Amazing Hotels in Vietnam

Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

Reader interactions.

' src=

August 17, 2018 at 1:56 am

Awesome country . Needs to be visited.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

PlanetWare.com

17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

Written by Jess Lee Updated Aug 30, 2023

Vietnam is an astonishing mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity.

The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down to verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette, while Vietnam's long history and multicultural population (with over 50 ethnic minority groups) make a trip here rich in heritage.

Outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, where hiking, biking, and kayaking are popular things to do, but Vietnam's most famous natural tourist attraction, the spectacular karst seascape of Halong Bay, is one natural sight that even the more slothful can experience up close on a cruise.

While the rural areas brim with lush panoramas, the big cities buzz with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to get stuck into Vietnam's tasty culinary highlights.

This fascinating country is full of surprises and is one of Southeast Asia's most underrated destinations. Plan your sightseeing with our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

1. Halong Bay

2. ho chi minh city, 4. phong nha-ke bang national park, 7. sapa countryside, 9. nha trang, 10. cu chi tunnels, 11. ba be national park, 12. mekong delta, 13. cat ba island, 14. ha giang, 15. phu quoc island, 16. con dao islands, frequently asked questions, when is the best time to visit vietnam.

Halong Bay

The karst seascape of Halong Bay is one of the best places to visit in the world for spellbinding sea views and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thousands of limestone islands sit within this bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, eroded into jagged pinnacles by wind and water action over millennia.

With the bay's scenery best seen by boat, this is prime cruising territory. Opt for at least an overnight tour to see Halong Bay's iconic views as a day trip doesn't do it justice.

There are plenty of caves in the bay that can be entered including the Hang Sung Sot, with three mammoth caverns, and the Hang Dao Go, with superbly weird stalagmites and stalactites. For most people though, the highlight is simply cruising amid the karsts and soaking up the changing scenery of pinnacles as you pass by.

There are plenty of different cruise tours to choose from. Check the different itineraries offered before booking as many travelers have left Halong Bay underwhelmed by their cruise.

Author's Tip: If possible, book a tour that takes in neighboring Lan Ha Bay as well as Halong Bay. The karst scenery is just as dramatic here but fewer cruise trips visit. And check if your cruise offers included activities such as guided kayaking (which allows you to experience an up-close view of the scenery).

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

For big city fans, no visit to Vietnam is really complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the buzzing commercial hub of the country.

The streets are an insane clog of motorbikes and cars, the restaurant and café scene is incredibly cosmopolitan, and the shopping is the best in the country.

At its center is Dong Khoi, a relatively small and easily navigable central district, which holds most of the city's sights.

Here, you'll find the HCMC Museum, with a brilliant collection of artifacts that weaves together the story of the city, and the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 19th century.

Check out the old district of Da Kao nearby for some of the best surviving examples of the city's French colonial architecture and also to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its dazzling array of Buddhist and Taoist religious iconography.

Afterwards, the History Museum is a must-do for history fans with stacks of relics on display from various archaeological sites.

For many visitors, the two big-hitter tourist attractions not to miss are just a little out of the center, along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. The Reunification Palace, then known as Independence Palace, was the residence for South Vietnam's president. It's chiefly famous as the spot where North Vietnam's tanks stopped on 30 April 1975, officially ending the war. It's a completely fascinating place to visit complete with 1960s furnishings still in situ.

Nearby is the War Remnants Museum, which although very obviously biased, paints a disturbing picture of the brutality of war and the many atrocities committed by US Forces during their Vietnam campaign.

Hue

One of Vietnam's most historic towns, Hue is packed to the brim with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors.

Sitting along the banks of the gorgeous Perfume River, the Imperial Enclosure is a huge site set within walls that sprawl for 2.5 kilometers.

While touring the grounds check out the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its finely lacquered interior detailing, the Dien Tho Residence where the Queen Mothers would live, and the Halls of Mandarins with its preserved ceiling murals.

A dazzling number of historic sites lie outside the Imperial Enclosure walls as well.

One of the nicest ways of visiting a collection of outlying sites is by taking a riverboat cruise on the Perfume River. A day cruise can take you to visit several royal tombs along with some pagodas.

If you're short on time, the best tomb to visit is the Tomb of Tu Doc and the most important pagoda in the area is the Thien Mu Pagoda, with its tower that soars for 21 meters high.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

One of the best places to visit in Vietnam for caving, World Heritage-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a dramatic karst mountain formation honeycombed with huge caverns, which are home to superb stalactite and stalagmite displays.

It's best known for its caving activities , which range from multi-day hiking and caving tours for the more adventurous, to simpler half-day trips to caves with easy access provided by boat trips and modern boardwalks, but the national park also offers mountain biking and trekking activities.

The most popular destinations within the park are the Paradise Cave , which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground, and the Phong Nha Cave, where the interior is accessed by boat. Half-day tours can be easily arranged once you're in the area.

The national park's most renowned caverns though are Son Doong Cave (the world's largest cave) , and the Tu Lan Cave with its cavern river system. Access to these, and to certain other caves in the park are restricted to organized tours (ranging from one-day to multi-day expeditions) which are all run by Phong Nha's expert adventure tour company Oxalis . It's well worth booking in advance to secure your spot.

To make the most of your time here, time your visit for outside the rainy season, which runs from October to December, when many of the national park's caves are closed to the public.

You can access Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park from Son Trach (also known as Phong Nha village).

Hindu temple ruins at My Son

Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is a ruined Cham era temple city that dates from the 4th century.

This old Hindu religious center was still very much in use during the 7th to 10th centuries and only fell into complete decline and abandonment during the 13th century.

There are around 20 temple structures still standing here, all built of brick or sandstone blocks and showing interesting influences from various Asian empires, including Indian and Malay.

Note that the temples of Group B are the oldest, while Group A once contained the site's most important monument but was destroyed deliberately by US forces during the Vietnam War.

A good museum on-site houses plenty of information on the Cham.

Access to My Son is from Hoi An.

Hoi An

Beautiful Hoi An is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, with bags of surviving historic architecture.

The old town quarter is a joy to explore, packed to the brim with well-preserved merchant houses that hark back to Hoi An's trading center heyday of the 15th century, when the town was a major meeting point for Japanese and Chinese merchants who flocked here for the local silks.

Plenty of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public, so you can get a taste of these times. The best is 17th-century Tan Ky House, with fascinating architectural and decorative elements.

Hoi An's major symbol is the delightful Japanese Bridge at the western end of Tran Phu Street, while nearby, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation is the old town's most highly decorated temple.

There are numerous small pagodas and museums dotted about town, but Hoi An's true charm is found in simply rambling the old town streets admiring the well-preserved facades.

Sapa Countryside

The verdant rice field countryside surrounding Sapa, bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still known by their French colonial era name of the Tonkinese Alps), are home to Vietnam's most beautiful rural vistas.

The deep valleys here are home to a diverse mix of the country's ethnic minorities, including the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao people, while the rippling hills are terraced with rice fields and overlooked by the country's tallest peak, Fansipan Mountain.

This is the top trekking destination in Vietnam with oodles of options to trek or day hike between tiny villages and experience the staggering mountain views.

Sapa itself is the main base here - an old hill station and now a bustling and forever growing tourist center that is a stark contrast to the sumptuous tranquil countryside right on its doorstep.

Author's Tip: Keen trekkers looking for more of northern Vietnam's lush mountain vistas may want to skip the busy Sapa scene completely and nudge further 95 kilometers northwest to Bac Ha , where the terraced hill views on hikes between hill villages are just as beautiful. Bac Ha's Sunday market is also a very popular day trip from Sapa.

Hanoi

Vietnam's capital is the frenetic heartbeat of the nation and a place that befuddles travelers as much as it charms them.

The motorbike frenzy, pollution, and constant clamor of street vendors can get too much for some travelers, but if you want to dive into Vietnamese city life, Hanoi is the place to do it.

The old town quarter has plenty of dilapidated charm on offer, while history fans should make a beeline here simply to see the bundle of excellent museums.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Fine Art Museum are both brilliant introductions to the diverse artistry of the country, while the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam.

Author's Tip: It's well worth adding extra time into your itinerary to use Hanoi as a base for exploring the many sights within day tripping distance. In particular, the Tay Phuong and Thay Pagodas (30 kilometers west from the central city), Co Loa Citadel (24 kilometers northeast), and the Huong Pagoda (also known as the Perfume Pagoda; 60 kilometers southwest).

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

Nha Trang

For sandy fun in Vietnam, Nha Trang is king. The well-maintained beach trundles for six kilometers along the shoreline of central Nha Trang city and during summer is jam-packed with local families on vacation, as well as foreign visitors.

There is excellent swimming here with designated swimming areas and manicured lounging areas that make this a great option for relaxing days soaking up the sun and sand.

If you do get bored of sunbathing, the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers are just to the north across the Xom Bong Bridge and have been used as a place of worship here since at least the 7th century (with some historians saying the site itself has been a place of active worship since much earlier).

There is also an excellent museum dedicated to the work of Alexandre Yersin who discovered the cause of the bubonic plague and founded Nha Trang's Pasteur Institute (which still carries out vaccination programs in Vietnam today).

Cu Chi Tunnels

An absolutely fascinating experience for all travelers, not just those interested in Vietnam's modern military history, the Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive tunnel network that during the war, stretched for more than 250 kilometers, allowing VC troops to operate and communicate in the area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City.

Two short sections of the network can be visited with a guide who'll take you down into the narrow unlit confines, which definitely are not for claustrophobia sufferers.

You will literally be crawling on your hands and knees and some points. You can access the tunnels at either Ben Dinh village (the more popular choice) or Ben Duoc village.

Ba Be National Park

Tranquil Ba Be National Park is absolutely stunning with the three interlinked Ba Be Lakes at its heart, rimmed by jagged karst peaks and thickly forested slopes.

Most visitors come here to take peaceful boat trips or kayak on the lake and explore the caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity, but for the more active, there's also excellent hiking and trekking in the hills here between ethnic minority villages.

This is one of the most peaceful spots in Vietnam, and travelers who spend the night here sleep in traditional stilt-house homestay accommodation along the lakeshore, allowing an experience of simple rural life.

Mekong Delta

The far south of Vietnam is where the mighty Mekong River finally finds its way to the sea in a maze of waterways that crisscross the floodplain.

Incredibly lush, with paddy field vistas and mangroves, and full of local life, with chaotic floating markets to explore by boat, the delta is one of the most interesting regions for travelers to discover.

Can Tho is the most popular town to use as a base, as it's close to the floating markets of Phong Dien and Cai Rang, while boat trips from Ca Mau allow you to explore the U Minh Mangrove Forest and Cau Mau Nature Reserve.

This area of Vietnam is one of the best to visit for keen bird watchers and nature lovers , as it is home to both Tra Su Bird Sanctuary Forest and Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary.

View from the top of Cat Ba Island

One of Vietnam's major centers for activities and adventure travel attractions, Cat Ba Island sits on the western edge of Halong Bay.

This is the best place to visit if you want to organize cruises and kayaking trips in Lan Ha Bay, which lies off Cat Ba's southern coast. Lan Ha Bay is a less visited seascape of karst islets and outcrops that makes for a quieter alternative to Halong Bay.

Off the water, much of Cat Ba's dense jungle interior is part of Cat Ba National Park, where hikers can spot plentiful birdlife, as well as animals such as macaques.

For many visitors, though, Cat Ba is all about climbing opportunities. Climbing excursions here utilize both the island's limestone cliffs and Lan Ha Bay's outcrops, providing experiences to suit both complete climbing beginners and experienced climbers.

Scenery along the Mai Pi Leng Pass

The emerald-green karst mountain landscapes along Ha Giang's mountain passes make this far-north province prime territory for scenic road-tripping by either motorbike or car.

In particular, the twisty Quan Ba Pass between Ha Giang town and Tam Son provides panoramic vistas of the karst plateau and its jagged limestone outcrops, while the zigzagging Mai Pi Leng Pass between Dong Van and Meo Vac offers dizzying views of the lush mountain scenery and narrow valleys below.

Time your visit to coincide with one of the area's market days, when traders from the surrounding mountain villages pile into town. Dong Van's Sunday market is one of the best.

View of colorful fishing boats from the Phu Quoc cable-car

Sitting 45 kilometers off the southern coast of the country, in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is a densely forested island, speckled by sweeps of white-sand beach that attract plenty of sunseekers during the winter dry season.

Dry season (November to May) is also when the island's underwater and on-the-water tourism attractions spring into action, with plenty of dive sites in the waters just offshore, as well as opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, and boat trips.

Many of the main boat excursions head to the An Thoi Islands, just to the south of Phu Quoc, which is home to the best snorkeling in the area.

Off the water, the Phu Quoc cable-car provides bird's-eye views for eight kilometers, soaring over the seascape and islands, all the way from Phu Quoc to the island of Hon Thom in the An Thoi Islands.

Phu Quac is accessed by plane or regular ferries from the mainland towns of Rach Gia and Ha Tien. As Ha Tien lies very close to the southern border crossing with Cambodia, the island is a popular first (or last) stop-off in Vietnam for overland travelers.

An Hai Beach on Con Son Island

This remote island group lies around 160 kilometers offshore in the South China Sea and is renowned among divers as one of the best places to visit in the country, both for the variety of sea life and for the coral reefs.

Much of the Con Dao Islands, and the surrounding water, is a protected wilderness area, with the island shores home to nesting turtles, and dense forest still covering the island interiors.

The main island, and prime base for visitors with all the accommodation and things to do, is Con Son Island, which has sweeps of sand strung out across its coast that attract beachgoers looking for a relaxed sun-soaked getaway, as well as divers.

Even if you're here mostly for the beach, make sure to explore the historic sites of Con Son Town (the island's only settlement) including Phu Hai Prison, Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, and the prison known as the Tiger Cages, which document the dark history of this isolated island group.

Con Son's remote position led to the island being used to incarcerate political prisoners during the era Vietnam was occupied by French colonial forces, and later by both the South Vietnamese government and the occupying American forces.

Preserved sites including Phu Hai Prison and the prison cages used by the US forces, known as the Tiger Cages, along with Con Son Town's Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, do an excellent job of documenting this history for visitors.

Access to Con Son Island is either by flight from Ho Chi Minh City or by ferry from the coastal city of Vung Tau.

Fishing boats on the beach in Mui Ne

Once a sleepy coastal fishing town, Mui Né has developed into a beautiful beach resort town and a prime destination for windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing.

Compared to other beach destinations in Vietnam , however, Mui Né remains relatively unknown - and this means pristine beaches and a quiet retreat for most of the year.

Red cliffs and river in Mui Ne

One of Mui Né's most unique attractions is the natural Red Sand Dunes just outside town, where visitors can practice sand-sledding or rent dune buggies for a more adrenaline-charged experience.

Tucked away between nearby fishing villages and towering orange limestone formations, there's the fairy stream, a slow-moving warm stream that almost feels like a walkway because it's so shallow - follow it to the end to reach a waterfall.

For those wishing to explore beyond the coastline, there are also the ruins of the Po Shanu Cham Towers - remnants of the Cham Empire that dominated the area many centuries ago.

Vietnam experiences strong monsoon seasons, where heavy rains hit the cities and the countryside, often causing floods and mudslides. If you're planning to travel around, the best time to visit Vietnam is during the dry season, which lasts from December to February – but there are some exceptions.

The south of Vietnam – where Ho Chi Minh city is located – experiences a more tropical climate, with high temperatures and high humidity year-round. Visiting these areas in the cooler months means less humidity and temperatures in the high 20s rather than the high 30s and 40s, which makes it more comfortable to walk around.

In the north, however, many areas experience an actual winter. Hanoi sees temperatures in the mid- to high teens in December and January – and in the mountains of Sapa in the north, you'll even get to see some snow during these months.

If you're visiting Danang for some beach time or to travel through the ancient town of Hoi An, it's best to arrive between February and May, when water and air temperature are in the 20s – perfect beach weather for enjoying the sand or a dip in the water. The rainy season, and especially the months of September and October, see very heavy rains and often very strong wind storms on the coast, so it's better to stay away from Danang during this time.

instagram logo

More on Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Guide

Top 15 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Photo of author

June 21, 2023

If you’re a cosmopolitan little metropolis hopper and you’re looking for the best cities in Vietnam, we’ve got your back. In this guide, we’ve unpacked everything you need to know about the best 15 cities to visit in Vietnam.

We’ve included the big boys of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An along with under-the-radar secrets like Vung Tau, Tay Ninh and Haiphong. Haven’t heard of them? You will have soon.

Grab yourself a bowl of pho, pour a bia hoi and join me on a little plastic chair as I give you a rundown of Vietnam’s most alluring cities.

In descending order, here are the 15 best cities in Vietnam…

15. Vung Tau

14. cao bang, 13. tay ninh, 11. nha trang, 10. haiphong, 8. ha giang, 5. ninh binh, 2. ho chi minh city.

Where: Southern Vietnam, just south of Ho Chi Minh City

The cosy little city of Vung Tau is one of Vietnam’s best hidden beachside getaways. Situated on a tiny peninsula, this diminutive green port city is surrounded by deep-blue seas on three sides.

Lots of weekenders (expats and locals alike) descend upon Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City every weekend. But while it bustles from Friday to Sunday, it’s always quiet during the week, offering a welcome slice of respite after the beeps, beers and boulevards of Ho Chi Minh City.

With quaint colonial buildings, laid-back nightlife and a way more relaxed atmosphere than Vietnam’s bigger cities, Vung Tau is a great place to relax. Some intrepid travelers hire motorbikes here to scoot along on some charming little road trips to Mui Ne and other popular beachside spots.

If you like quiet beaches and small seaside getaways, you’ll love Vung Tau. If you’re not interested in beaches, there’s not much else on offer here, so don’t bother.

Where: Northern Vietnam, pretty close to the Chinese border – and close to Ha Giang

They say that Sapa is the new Pai. And that Ha Giang is the new Sapa. And that Cao Bang is the new Ha Giang.

Hope you’re following.

If you’re the type of traveler who likes seeking out relatively unexplored natural regions of whatever country you’re visiting, consider Cao Bang.

The city itself is cosy and quaint, while the surrounding areas offer some of the best natural wonders in the entire country. A mountainous region packed with peaks, valleys, mists and waterfalls , it’s one of Vietnam’s last bastions of crowd-free tourism. But it won’t stay that way for much longer.

In a country famous for karsts, caves, mountains, lakes and waterfalls, Cao Bang is a gateway to some of the best in the whole nation. The highlight is Ban Gioc waterfall, which might just be the best waterfall in Vietnam. It’s definitely the biggest.

Though much of the region’s beauty lies a little further afield, the city itself is an excellent way to enjoy a large Vietnamese settlement which doesn’t exclusively cater to beer-swigging backpackers.

Where: Southern Vietnam, north west of Ho Chi Minh City

You’ve heard of Buddhism. And Christianity. And Hinduism.

But you probably haven’t heard of CaoDaism, a modern religion which was founded in the Vietnamese city of Tay Ninh. Established in the 1920s, CaoDaism is basically a big hybrid of lots of other religions, and incorporates various aspects of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and more.

Its bizarre selection of idols includes normal names such as Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and Buddha along with wackier inclusions like Shakespeare, Victor Hugo and Joan of Arc.

There are an estimated 2.5 million CaoDaists in Vietnam (or more, depending on who you ask), and lots of them live in Tay Ninh. If you want to visit the religion’s biggest and first temple, it’s – unsurprisingly – situated in the city, and it’s one of the world’s most unusual religious buildings.

A giant pink and yellow extravaganza of bold, bright colors, it’s somewhere between a cathedral, a mosque, a Russian Orthodox church and a kid’s Lego experiment. Sort of garish, sort of beautiful, it’s one of the most striking religious complexes in Southeast Asia (and that’s saying something). In short, if you like unique or unusual religious stuff, you’ll absolutely love Tay Ninh.

Lots of tourists visit My Tho’s region on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City, though few stop off in the city itself. But they should. Rugged and rudimentary, the city is small, humble and charming, and its compact center has a beautiful riverside location.

If you like laid-back cities, you’ll love it here – and it’s a decent access point for reaching the nearby floating markets (though Can Tho, which I’ve covered later in this list, is usually a better pick). Aside from floating market missions, other popular day trips from My Tho include visits to bee farms, candy workshops and fruit gardens.

There’s not a whole lot in My Tho, but for a relaxing city stay which doesn’t revolve around lying on a beach, it’s one of Vietnam’s best options. And it’s an atmosphere you can’t fully appreciate on a one-hour breakneck trip from Ho Chi Minh City.

Dip your Tho in and enjoy.

Where: Southern Vietnam, north of Ho Chi Minh City and close to Da Lat

Most famous for great beaches and its impressive selection of quaint little islands, Nha Trang is a good pick if you like beachside lazing, fresh seafood and snorkelling.

It also offers some of Vietnam’s best nightlife, with venues running the gamut from budget bia hoi spots to high-class luxury bars. Lots of Nha Trang is a little classier than many other famous cities in Vietnam, and it caters shamelessly to the resort seekers who visit the city.

With spas, cruises and boutique stories and eateries, Nha Trang is popular with middle-class Asian and Russian tourists, and doesn’t really offer the backpacker vibe so heavily associated with other parts of the nation.

In short, if you like something a little more luxurious and indulgent than the typical Southeast Asia atmosphere, you’ll probably love Nha Trang.

Where: Northern Vietnam, sandwiched somewhere between Hanoi and Halong Bay

One of the most laid-back cities in the whole of Vietnam, Haiphong is outrageously underrated. Most tourists who visit Halong Bay travel there directly from Hanoi. And though that’s an understandable choice, I’d recommend stopping in Haiphong en-route.

There’s not too much to do here, but if you’re looking for a city which offers something slightly different to the non-stop tooting and scooting that is most Vietnamese city centres, Haiphong is a good choice. If you’re the sort of tourist who likes to eschew sightseeing in an indulgent quest to sip coffee, gobble down on street food and people-watch instead, you’ll love Haiphong.

With colonial buildings, tiny cafes, and an endearing coffee culture, Haiphong is an endlessly-adorable place to stop off for a couple of days before you move on to Halong Bay. You won’t do anything, you won’t see anything and you won’t get involved in any activities. But that’s exactly the point.

Where: Southern Vietnam, south of Ho Chi Minh City

Ever wanted to buy all the things you can buy in a normal market, but while drifting along on a ramshackle wooden boat instead?

If the answer to that question is a big resounding yes, make Can Tho your base. The epicentre of Vietnam’s iconic Mekong Delta, Can Tho is the biggest (and usually best) place to stay if you want to explore the waterways of southern Vietnam and its mega-famous floating markets.

Aside from these riverside markets, Can Tho is also an excellent access point for exploring the region’s endless agricultural attractions, with a brilliant cocoa farm the top pick.

But beyond being a brilliant base for lots of regional exploration, Can Tho has lots of attraction in its own right. With humble colorful fishing boats, endless spots for glistening sunsets and a quaint riverside setting, Can Tho in places feels like a big village rather than a city.

Can Tho Floating Markets

Bigger than My Tho (which we’ve featured earlier in the list), and with better access to the biggest and best markets, Can Tho is the most famous city in the iconic sprawl of the Mekong Delta region. It’s full of countless crowds of tourists, which is the only real downside, but you’re gonna be one of them too.

If you fancy it, Can Tho is also one of the best places in Vietnam to eat rats. No, I’m not joking.

Yum yum yum.

Where: Northern Vietnam, pretty close to the Chinese border – and close to Cao Bang

Okay, Ha Giang isn’t anything special in itself. The city, though welcomingly temperate and relatively charming, isn’t anything extraordinary. But it’s the starting point for Vietnam’s most exciting (and popular) road trip: the Ha Giang Loop .

And you can’t hit the Ha Giang Loop without first hitting Ha Giang. The city itself offers a tiny taste of what’s to come, with views of distant karsts bewitchingly obscured by dense mists.

But as you venture outside of the city to the smaller towns, villages and tribal settlements which make the region so iconic, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

The Ha Giang Loop is a beautiful scenic road trip in Vietnam

The multi-day road trip which departs from the city is best (and pretty much only) tackled by bike. It’s packed with mountains, sheer cliffside drops, local homestays, steep ascents and some of the country’s most incredible views.

If you’re looking for a proper adventure, the Ha Giang Loop offers it – and Ha Giang city is the only logical gateway to its twists and turns.

Where: Central Vietnam, very close to Hue

Da Nang has a slightly unfair reputation for being the thorn in the crown of Vietnam’s beach scene. And I sort of get it. It’s developing at a pace it can’t maintain, it’s packed with construction sites and about 50% of its tourists are beefy Russian men who seem determined to squeeze into the tightest Speedos they possibly can.

But beyond all that, there’s plenty to love in Da Nang. With great beaches, a stunning neon nightscape and some of Vietnam’s best food, it’s not all excessive overdevelopment.

If you’re looking for ridiculously affordable luxury, Da Nang is a good spot to find it, with mega-modern hotels, flashy resorts and high-end restaurants, but all at outrageously affordable prices.

There are also some pretty unusual experiences on offer in Da Nang. There’s an excellent selection of mega-tasty Russian food, and two ridiculous (but very famous) bridges. One has a giant dragon running across its length, while the other is cradled in a pair of rusty hands. No, I don’t know why either.

Where: Central Vietnam, very close to Da Nang

Many tourists combine a visit to Hue with a visit to Da Nang, but if you rush through Hue, you’re not giving it the attention it deserves (assuming you’re interested in history).

The former capital of Vietnam, this place is brimming with heritage, and it still retains much of its former elegance and class. If you’re interested in museums, emperors, tombs, temples, pagodas, ancient citadels and once-important buildings, you’ll likely find this the most interesting city in the whole of Vietnam.

If you’re not, you’ll probably be bored to death by much of what Hue has to offer.

But for even the most vociferous of I-hate-history tourists (myself included), there are some other great draws in Hue – it has some pretty cool nightlife and an abandoned waterpark, which is one of the nation’s most unusual attractions. Ever wanted to look at a crumbling plastic dragon which lives on a log flume? I didn’t either, until I visited Hue.

Hue park entrance in Vietnam

For food lovers, Hue is brilliant – in a country packed with tantalising culinary experiences, many people claim that Hue is the gastronomic epicentre of Vietnam. Want real local food? Visit Hue. Hyper-local specialities include Bun Bo Hue (the city’s answer to Pho), lemongrass skewers and Vietnamese crepes. If you can find it in Hue, you’ll likely want to stuff it into your big fat mouth.

Oh, and if you’re interested in tackling the Hai Van Pass, you’ll find it nestled between Hue and Da Nang, so make sure you ride over it on your journey between the two.

Where: Northern Vietnam, just south of Hanoi

Famous for cave trips, bright-yellow rice fields and towering limestone karsts, Ninh Binh is a relatively popular stop for tourists seeking their next destination from Hanoi.

Its biggest draw is Tam Coc, a nearby area which resembles Halong Bay on land (but in my opinion, it’s way better). Cave trips here are one of the most incredible natural wonders that the entire country has to offer. These two-hour boat tours are headed by diminutive hat-wearing local women whose tiny size belies their massive strength.

These women masterfully guide their boats through UNESCO-listed narrow cave formations and beyond vivid rice fields for an experience somehow both exciting and relaxing.

Ninh Binh is also great for some mini outdoor adventures, including great short hikes and gentle bike trails.

If you’re interested in temples, there are also some excellent ones here – the most popular is Bai Dinh, the biggest temple in the whole of Vietnam. It houses over 500 carved statues of Buddha, all with big bellies and bigger smiles.

Tam Coc in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. Couple of hours from Hanoi.

More popular with local tourists than foreign ones, Ninh Binh is a little less-known than some of Vietnam’s other popular destinations. Of all the entries in our top 5, Ninh Binh is the least explored – though it won’t stay that way for too much longer.

Where: Southern Vietnam, north of Ho Chi Minh City and close to Nha Trang

Misty, mountainous and a welcome break from the often-sweltering heat offered in other parts of Vietnam, Da Lat in many ways feels European rather than Asian.

With French-colonial architecture, temperate climes and flower sellers on every corner, strolling through Da Lat feels like you’ve somehow stumbled into Paris – but a Paris much more charming and rudimentary than the one which sits in France. If you want to experience an alternative side of Vietnamese life, Da Lat is pretty much always your best option.

Da Lat is also full of weird and wacky attractions, including its legendary ‘crazy house,’ a labyrinthine mish-mash of staircases, narrow passageways and hidden rooms. If you’re interested in anything unusual, you’ll love it. The city even has a themed bar which is based on the disorienting design of the house.

If you’re interested in adventure sports, Da Lat is southern Vietnam’s most appealing destination. With trekking, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning and other outdoor adventures on offer, there’s plenty here. If you’re interested in gentler pursuits, the city is packed with horse-drawn carriages, perfect for a laid-back romantic adventure.

Vietnam’s most quaint city is also it’s most touristic, a dynamic which has given Hoi An a reputation fraught with contradictions.

Yes, you’ll have endless touts trying to sell you conical hats. Yes, you’ll be offered a cheap suit on every corner. Yes, you’ll hear ‘hello mister’ more than you’ve ever heard your own name.

But in a city this charming, that’s almost all irrelevant. The most endearing and atmospheric city that Vietnam has to offer, Hoi An’s Old Town is home to colorful houses, charming bike rides and gently-illuminated riverside photo opportunities. It’s by far the most alluring and photogenic city in Vietnam.

Hoi an city in Vietnam

It’s also the only city in Vietnam with laws created seemingly to ensure the city retains its otherworldly charm, with strict motorbike restrictions and laws which insist upon the use of storefront lanterns. Though it’s been years since the city was an important trading port, Hoi An retains an enchanting timelessness which gives it an almost surreal atmosphere.

Yes, it’s the most frustratingly-touristic city in the entire country, but it almost doesn’t matter.

A juddering, clanking sprawl of gargantuan proportions, some people love Ho Chi Minh City, while some people hate it.

I’m not quite in the hate camp, but it’s certainly not a city I love.

That said, it’s impossible to ignore the city’s magnetic energy, and some people think it’s the most exciting part of Vietnam.

With brilliant nightlife, huge boulevards and roads which stretch on for miles, it’s by far the most westernised city in the whole of Vietnam. If you like busy metropolises, you’ll love it here – it’s Vietnam’s most populated city, and it has an effervescent energy which just doesn’t stop.

One of the city’s biggest draws is its diversity. Want a 50 cent sandwich? No problem. Want a 5-star luxury dining experience? You can get that too. With a proud past but a burgeoning economy, there aren’t many cities which run a gamut as diverse as the one on offer in Ho Chi Minh City.

Once known as (and still sometimes known as) Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the best place to explore the consequences, actions and atrocities of the deadly and disastrous Vietnam War. Its War Remnants Museum is one of the most distressing museums in the world, while the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels are a ridiculous testament to the tenacity and resilience of the Vietnamese people.

I’ve saved Vietnam’s most famous city for first place on this ranking.

And I know that’s a cliche, but I absolutely love the place.

I’ve been there twice as a tourist, I lived there for a few months, and it won’t be too long until I’m strolling through its streets again.

The iconic capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a relentlessly charming maze of sidestreets, street food and smiling faces. Despite its massive proportions, it’s quaint and cosy, and it somehow feels like home.

But here’s the best bit: with thousands of street food stalls, endless numbers of legendary bia hoi joints and lots of on-street coffee shops, Hanoi is a people-watcher’s paradise. It’s so easy to perch yourself on a plastic chair here and become acquainted with one of the busiest but most charming cities in the whole of Southeast Asia.

It’s also a city of numerous expats, as endless streams of young foreigners come here to nab a job teaching English. No qualifications? Doesn’t matter! Hate kids? Doesn’t matter! What matters is Hanoi has a magnetism that draws long-term expats from around the entire world.

Beyond all the atmosphere, the city is packed with temples and lakes, while the massive mausoleum here is the burial ground of the famous Ho Chi Minh himself. And the food scene iis incredible – you could munch your way through Hanoi for a month without eating the same meal twice.

Imagine someone took a tiny village and inflated it to city-sized proportions. You’re now imagining Hanoi, and you’re imagining one of the most exciting cities in the world.

… there they are: the 15 best cities to visit in Vietnam.

Now before you say anything, we know we’ve missed out some absolute bangers.

We haven’t included Sapa, Halong Bay, Phong Nga or Mui Ne – but those places aren’t cities, so they aren’t allowed a spot on our prestigious list. So stop whining.

But don’t worry, we’ve covered all them and more elsewhere on our site .

Want to know more about Vietnam? You can do all your learning here. We have articles on Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, markets and fruits , along with helpful stuff you need to know about vaccines before going to Vietnam – and the top 21 things which the nation is famous for . Sling the guidebook in the bin – we’re your guidebook now baby!

About the author

Photo of author

Senior Travel Reporter

Paul is a handsome and hilarious travel writer and travel journalist from the UK. He's hiked, hitchhiked and laughed his way through more than fifty countries, and he's always looking for a new place to call home. Originally from Newcastle, he's lived all over the UK, spent more than three years in Asia, and most recently lived in Vietnam and then in Georgia.

Latest Posts

Is There Uber in Vietnam

Is There Uber in Vietnam? The Best Alternatives Compared

Read more →

Mu Cang Chai Rice Terraces

Vietnam , Outdoors

Top 10 Most Beautiful Rice Fields in Vietnam

Thac Bac Waterfall

The 19 Most Magnificent Waterfalls in Vietnam

Travel Guides You Can Trust

About Travelness

Brand Assets

Recent Posts

Tours & Activities

Tours in Europe

Digital Security

© 2024 Travelness. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use - Privacy policy

Join our Adventure: Get all my insider tips for traveling on a budget

Wanderlust With Lisa

Top 12 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich culture, fascinating history, and stunning natural scenery. From bustling cities to charming ancient towns and beautiful beaches, Vietnam has something for everyone. The cuisine is also exceptional, and the people are warm and welcoming. A visit to Vietnam is an unforgettable experience.

Below I am detailing the best cities to visit in Vietnam, from Northern, Central, to Southern regions of Vietnam.

Top 12 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam:

  • Halong Bay – one of my favorites!
  • Hoi An – one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam!
  • Ho Chi Minh City

Can Tho (Mekong Delta)

Location : Northern Vietnam, 2 hours from Halong Bay Most Known For : Capital City; Train Road Best Hotel: LeaH Silk Hotel

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the country. The city is known for its rich history, French colonial architecture, and vibrant street life.

Some of the top attractions in Hanoi include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets lined with shops, cafes, and street vendors, where you can sample some of the best street food in Vietnam. In fact, you can take a Street Food tour that gives you access to the famous Train Road in Hanoi!

I also loved going to the Water Puppet Show – this is a great way to learn about the culture of Vietnam through a unique form of art!

Temple of Literature in Hanoi Vietnam - best cities to visit in vietnam

Location : Northern Vietnam, 2 hours from Hanoi Most Known For : Towering Limestone Cliffs Best Hotel: Book an Overnight Boat!

Visiting Halong Bay is a must-do experience for anyone traveling to Vietnam. Located in the northeast of the country, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its emerald waters and towering limestone cliffs that rise majestically from the sea.

A trip to Halong Bay offers the opportunity to explore the bay’s many islands and caves, go kayaking through hidden lagoons, and take in stunning panoramic views from the top of its many cliffs.

The best way to experience the beauty of Halong Bay is on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat, where you can relax on the deck while cruising through the bay’s breathtaking scenery.

Whether you choose to take a day trip or spend a few nights on a boat, visiting Halong Bay is sure to be a highlight of your Vietnam adventure.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Location : Northwest Vietnam Most Known For : Lush Rice Fields Best Hotel :

Sapa (Sa Pa) is a mountainous town located in the northwest region of Vietnam. The town is known for its terraced rice fields, hill tribes, and trekking activities. It is likely that when you think of Vietnam, you think of Sapa, which is exactly why it should be on your list of cities to visit in Vietnam!

Some of the top attractions in Sapa include the Fansipan Mountain, the Muong Hoa Valley , and the Love Waterfall. While in Sapa, be sure to enjoy panoramic views over the rice terraces!

Location : Central Vietnam Most Known For : Floating Lanterns, Custom Made Suits Best Hotel : Cozy Savvy Boutique

Hoi An is the most beautiful city in Vietnam. You absolutely must add this to your list of cities to visit in Vietnam – I promise you won’t regret it!

Hoi An is a charming ancient town located in central Vietnam. The town has preserved its traditional architecture, narrow streets, and beautiful lanterns, making it one of the most picturesque places in Vietnam. You can take a Lantern Making Class in Hoi An to learn more about this beautiful art form!

Some of the top attractions in Hoi An include the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Tan Ky Old House, and the night market. The town is also famous for its tailor shops, where you can get custom-made clothing at a reasonable price. I recommend going to Yaly!

Read More: Best Things To Do in Hoi An

top tourist cities in vietnam

Location : Central Vietnam Most Known For : Imperial City Best Hotel : Hue River Side Villa

Hue is a former imperial capital city located in central Vietnam. The city is known for its historical monuments, temples, and cuisine.

Some of the top attractions in Hue include the Imperial City, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and the Tombs of the Emperors. Hue is also famous for its cuisine, which is a fusion of royal cuisine and street food.

Be sure to end the day in Hue with a Sunset River Cruise that includes traditional music and singing!

top tourist cities in vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Location : Southern Vietnam Most Known For : Largest City, War Museums & War Tunnels Best Hotel: Orchids Saigon Hotel

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and a hub of commerce, culture, and nightlife. The city has a mix of modern skyscrapers and historical landmarks, such as the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

For a taste of local culture, head to the bustling Ben Thanh Market or sample some street food in one of the many food stalls scattered around the city.

Near Ho Chi Minh City, be sure to check out the War Tunnels (offsite from the Museum listed above).

top tourist cities in vietnam

Location : Southern Vietnam Most Known For : Island Hopping Best Hotel : Azura Gold Hotel

Nha Trang is a coastal city located in southern Vietnam. The city has beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and water sports activities, making it a popular destination for beach lovers.

Some of the top attractions in Nha Trang include the Hon Mun Island, the Po Nagar Cham Towers, and the Long Son Pagoda. One of my personal favorite activities in Nha Trang was the mud baths and spa !

top tourist cities in vietnam

Location : Central Vietnam, near Hoi An Most Known For : Caves, Mountains, and More! Best Hotel : Sofiana My Khe Hotel

Da Nang is a modern city located in central Vietnam. The city has stunning bridges, beautiful beaches, and popular attractions like the Marble Mountains (glorious system of caves, temples, etc) and Ba Na Hills (iconic bridge with hands).

Marble Mountains in Vietnam

Location : Southern Vietnam Most Known For : Sandy Beaches Best Hotel : Villa Aria Boutique Muine

Mui Ne is a coastal town located in southern Vietnam. The town has beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and kite surfing activities. Some of the top attractions in Mui Ne include the Fairy Stream, the Red Sand Dunes, and the Fishing Village.

Location : Southern Vietnam Most Known For : Floating Markets Best Hotel : Mekong Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa

Can Tho is a bustling city located in the Mekong Delta. The city is known for its floating markets, fruit orchards, and traditional rural life. Some of the top attractions in Can Tho include the Cai Rang Floating Market, the Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary, and the Binh Thuy Ancient House.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Location : Island South of Vietnam mainland Most Known For : Beautiful Beaches Best Hotel : SOL by Melia OR JW Marriott Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand, famous for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and seafood. This island has the longest ocean Cable Car that will take you to Pineapple Island for more beaches and views!

From pristine beaches and stunning landscapes to cultural attractions and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Final Thoughts on Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Each city has its unique charm and attractions, making Vietnam a great destination for a diverse range of experiences.

If I had to pick my two favorite cities to visit in Vietnam, I would pick Halong Bay and Hoi An. Both are so unique to the country of Vietnam and something you won’t get to experience anywhere else! Share your your favorite cities to visit in Vietnam in the comments below!

Want more? Read about my best travel tips and things you should know before you go to Vietnam .

xoxo lisa

Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide on best cities to visit in Vietnam are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps me keep the content on my website free, like this guide on the best Cities to Visit in Vietnam.

Save this post on Pinterest: Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

12 best cities to visit in vietnam

Similar Posts

14+ Important Thailand Do’s and Dont’s for Tourists

14+ Important Thailand Do’s and Dont’s for Tourists

Chiang Mai City Guide – Including the Top 10 Things To Do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai City Guide – Including the Top 10 Things To Do in Chiang Mai

Important Thailand Travel Tips to Know Before You Go to Thailand

Important Thailand Travel Tips to Know Before You Go to Thailand

Top 10 Tourist Travel Tips for Japan – great for first time visitors in Japan

Top 10 Tourist Travel Tips for Japan – great for first time visitors in Japan

20 Unique Hoi An Things To Do in Vietnam

20 Unique Hoi An Things To Do in Vietnam

20 Unique Things To Do in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

20 Unique Things To Do in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

One comment.

  • Pingback: 20 Unique Things To Do in Phu Quoc, Vietnam | Wanderlust With Lisa

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

itourvn.com

Modal title

Top 15 cities to visit in vietnam.

top-cities-to-visit-in-vietnam

With beautiful forests, bustling streets, white sandy beaches, and delicious street foods, Vietnam deserves to be on every traveler’s bucket list. In this guide, we will give you options of the top 15 best cities to visit in Vietnam, with no particular priority.

1. Can Tho – The City of Nine-Dragon River Delta

As the fifth-largest city in Vietnam and the largest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho deserves to be on the list of one of the top cities to visit in Vietnam. This city is also where transportation to different regions is most convenient. You can go by car or mini-van in approximately 4 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. There is an international airport (VCA) offering routes to Taipei and Bangkok, and it plans to add routes to Singapore in the near future.

The highlight of a trip to this city is the floating market, the rice paper-making village, and picturesque rural canals. A pleasant boat ride to shop for authentic goods in the floating markets will give you an excellent countryside memory. You can also go to the night market to try street foods and see the locals’ nightlife here. We suggest you visit Can Tho from December to April to avoid the tropical monsoon climate.

Buy bus tickets to Can Tho

2. Ben Tre – The Land of Coconuts

15 cities in vietnam to visit ben tre

Ben Tre, located in the Mekong Delta , is famous as the land of coconuts. Cruise the sampan down the river, and you will see ranges of coconut trees along the sides. Besides the waterway exploration, the coconut workshop is the most-visited place in this city and province.

The city is known for products from coconuts, such as carpets made from coconut fibers, coconut candy, coconut oil, and cosmetics made from coconut oil. The workshop shows how the coconuts are processed, divided into different parts, and made into various products.

Buy bus tickets to Ben Tre

3. Ho Chi Minh City – The City That Never Sleeps

Ho Chi Minh City is fascinating in the daytime and comes alive at night. If you are in this sleepless city – one of the top cities to visit in Vietnam, here are the things to do at night. The first thing is go to the backpacker district, the area formed from the streets of Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien, and Do Quang Dau, with rows of pubs, bars, and restaurants lining up one next to another. Its lively rhythm, bustling sounds, and colorful lights are what most people come to enjoy in Ho Chi Minh City.

15 cities in vietnam to visit saigon 1

Secondly, you can walk and take selfies on Nguyen Hue Walking Street . Many joyful activities are organized in this perfect place, such as music bands playing, joined by youngsters practicing roller skating or performing their dances.

15 cities in vietnam to visit saigon 2

Last, besides all the destinations above, you can discover Ben Thanh Night Market starting at 7 PM. It is located in the area around Ben Thanh Market’s building. There are many stalls of handicrafts, souvenirs, and delicious street foods. You can easily find all kinds of Vietnamese gifts symbolic of different regions. And it would be best if you did not miss out on many delicious dishes here, such as BBQ, seafood, and soup noodles.

4. Con Dao Islands – Tranquil Islands

To get to Con Dao Islands , located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, you must take a boat from Vung Tau or a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City. But this trip is worth your time if you’re looking for a remote island away from it all. Con Dao Islands are one of the most natural tropical paradises where you can immerse yourself in the clear ocean, bathe on the sunny and sandy beach, and enjoy fresh seafood.

Water activities are not the only options. A trip to explore the forest exploration could be a highlight of your vacation to the top cities to visit in Vietnam. You will get to see different kinds of animals and sea creatures. Besides, there are other things you can experience in this city, like the locals’ lifestyle and history. One of the must-visit destinations is the Con Dao Prison and Tiger Cages, where a dark period in the  Vietnam War ‘s history is contained.

Find tickets to travel to Con Dao here

5. Phan Thiet – The City of Fishing Villages and Beach Resorts

top-cities-to-visit-in-vietnam-mui-ne

Phan Thiet is a coastal city that is not only famous for its beautiful tropical paradise beaches and dunes but also a place where you can see the locals’ daily life, earning a living hood with their fishing skills. Suppose you are looking for a luxury getaway among the top cities to visit in Vietnam. In that case, you will find beautiful white sandy beaches and various resorts. But at the same time, if you want an authentic experience, you can head to the fishing village and watch the fishermen sailing their boats and catching seafood. Besides, there are plenty of activities like walking along the Fairy Stream, learning kite surfing, riding quads on White Sand Dune, visiting nearby attractions like Poshanu Cham Tower, and eating delicious seafood.

Find limousine bus tickets to Phan Thiet

6. Da Lat – The City of Flowers

Da Lat is the capital city of Lam Dong Province, about 300km from Ho Chi Minh City. Each year, flower festivals are held in Da Lat to display and promote their flowers as products.

15 cities in vietnam to visit da lat

Surrounded by a calm, fresh, tranquil, and charming atmosphere, with valleys covered by a thin layer of mist almost all year round, Da Lat is an ideal local honeymoon spot. At the center of the city is a pretty lake named Xuan Huong, which means the fragrance of spring. This highland is also decorated with rows of pine trees, waterfalls, and evergreen forests.

Not only is it famous for its beautiful nature, but Da Lat is also a place with many attractive architectural structures. The two most well-known buildings are King Bao Dai’s Palace, a French colonial-style villa, and Hang Nga Villa (also known as Crazy House), a unique design built by a Vietnamese architect.

Check out these travel options to Da Lat

7. Buon Ma Thuot – The City of Coffee

15 cities in vietnam to visit buon ma thuot 1

Buon Ma Thuot is the largest city in central Vietnam’s highlands and is famous for its coffee. You can easily find the best coffee in local cafes in Buon Ma Thuot. You will also learn about the history of coffee, the difference in coffee-drinking cultures of Vietnam and other countries, and especially the art of tasting. It is an off-the-beaten-track trip that is worthwhile. Buon Ma Thuot is the place to go if you need a “little black” to start your day.

15 cities in vietnam to visit dray nur

8. Nha Trang – The Coastal City

top-cities-to-visit-in-vietnam-nha-trang

Nha Trang is the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, located on the south-central coast of Vietnam. It is well known for its pristine beaches with 6 km along the shoreline and magnificent scuba diving. The stunning coastline here explains why Nha Trang proudly deserves its title as one of the top cities to visit in Vietnam. Additionally, the weather is a big factor that makes Nha Trang one of the most desired tourist destinations. It has a cool temperature of around 23 degrees Celcius, the least rainfall in the country, and, unlike other cities in Central Vietnam, it experiences fewer storms. Thus, it quickly becomes a popular destination for local and international tourists.

You can choose to swim in the designated swimming areas or to soak up in the sun and sand. Another option is going to the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers, a place of worship since the 7th century. Otherwise, you can visit the Alexandre Yersin Museum, who dedicated to his work in discovering the cause of the bubonic plague and in the establishment of Nha Trang‘s Pasteur Institute.

Buy sleeper bus tickets to Nha Trang

9. Hoi An – The Ancient City of Colorful Lanterns

15 cities in vietnam to visit fujian assembly hall hoi an

Hoi An is a small city about 30 km south of Da Nang and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This little city was originally a trading port for Chinese and Japanese merchants. So, it is easy to understand their influences through spectacularly mixed architecture, with wooden houses, mossy walls, and street vendors. One of the most visited attractions is the Japanese Bridge, which has a small shrine inside. If you want to travel a bit further back in time, My Son Sanctuary and Hindu temples are your places.

Hoi An’s scenery is completed with beautiful lanterns at night. When the sun goes down, the city streets, restaurants, and shops are lighted with colorful lanterns. You can walk along the river and try delicious street foods, or go for a boat ride along the river to relax and enjoy the romantic atmosphere that Hoi An brings.

See how to travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

10. Da Nang – The City of Bridges

15 cities in vietnam to visit da nang

In Da Nang , as the economy and tourism are growing, many bridges are built to connect all the locations in the city. And that is how it got the nickname – the city of bridges. Among them, the Han River Bridge is the first bridge designed by Vietnamese architects.

Another bridge worth mentioning is the Thuan Phuoc Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge, across the Han River in Vietnam. Its primary function is to facilitate the transportation of goods between the local markets and ports. Besides, Nguyen Van Troi Bridge is an old bridge renovated to an unusual design with a single supporting inclining tower. Last but not least, a new symbol of Da Nang, the Dragon Bridge, in the shape of a golden dragon, showcases a dazzling display of lights, fire, and water every Saturday and Sunday at 7 PM.

11. Hue – The Imperial City

15 cities in vietnam to visit hue

Hue is in Central Vietnam, about 700 km south of Hanoi and 1,100 km north of Ho Chi Minh City. The fact that the city was known as an Imperial City makes it one of the top cities to visit in Vietnam. Most of the things you see here largely reflect its exciting history. Attractions that you can miss out on are the Imperial Citadel, the Imperial Tombs, and Thien Mu Pagoda.

You can take a bike ride through the countryside, stream d own the Perfume River on a dragon boat, visit the local markets, or even go as far as the Demilitarized Zone in Quang Tri Province, where there is the border used to divide the North and South of Vietnam.

See how you can travel to Hue

12. Hanoi – The City for Peace

15 cities in vietnam to visit hanoi

Hanoi , the capital of Vietnam, is the most famous place for tourists coming to the country. UNESCO gave it the title “City for Peace” in 1999. With its long history and cultural traditions, Hanoi emerges as a fascinating blend of East and West. Its bustling streets are now full of bicycles, motorbikes, and cars, and the Old Quarter is crowded with backpackers at night. However, there are many places where you can look for a tranquil atmosphere, like museums, pagodas, and old French-style architecture.

Some famous attractions in Hanoi are Hoan Kiem Lake, One Pillar Pagoda, and museums like the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and the Vietnam Fine Art Museum. Another prominent location is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – a place to learn about the life of Vietnam’s first and most-talked-about president.

Find flight tickets to Hanoi

13. Ha Giang – The Gate to Heaven

15 cities in vietnam to visit ha giang

Sharing a border with China, Ha Giang is the northernmost point of Vietnam. It has majestic and poetic scenery for those seeking nature’s pure beauty. Mountains and valleys covered with evergreen grass and trees and carved with curvy rivers and roads are truly Mother Nature’s works of art. From Ha Giang City, you can go to Quan Ba District, about 50 km north, in about 1 hour and a half. This place has the best mountainous views among the top cities to visit in Vietnam. At Heaven Gate’s highest peak, you can see rice paddies, mountains, and zigzag roads weaving between clouds and mountains. And on top of Quan Ba’s Twin Mountain (Fairy Mountain), you will feel immersed in a sea of clouds.

14. Sa Pa – The City Hidden in the Clouds

15 cities in vietnam to visit sa pa

Near China’s border, Sa Pa is a small town situated 300 km northwest of Hanoi. At the height of 1,600 meters above sea level, the weather in Sapa is quite pleasant for some Westerners. It is cool in summer and cold in winter, with an average temperature around 15 – 18°C. In Sa Pa, it is not rare to see the city covered in clouds, fog, and snow in winter.

Not only the mysterious fog that makes Sa Pa’s landscape stunning, but many mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and rice terraces are breathtaking views as well. Sa Pa also has excellent routes for hiking and trekking, such as Hoang Lien Son Range, Muong Hoa Valley, Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest, and Ta Phi Cave. If your physical health can withstand the harsh conditions, you can go as far as to conquer the Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam, 3,143 meters high. Otherwise, there is now a cable car option to reach Indochina’s highest peak.

See how you can travel to Sa Pa

15. Ha Long Bay – The City of Smiles

15 cities in vietnam to visit ha long

To celebrate 20 years of Ha Long Bay as a UNESCO–recognized natural heritage site, Quang Ninh Province authority has officially launched a campaign with the message “A smile coming from the heart.” The primary purpose is to improve service providers’ attitudes, behavior, and professionalism, thus creating an attractive destination.

At Ha Long Bay, there are numerous caves and caverns with diverse geology and historical and cultural sites to visit. Its fresh seafood and proximity to international gateways are other things that make Ha Long Bay one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations. The best time to come here is from September to November and April and May. It is when the weather is dry, and the temperature is pleasant for all activities.

Find bus tickets to Ha Long

Summary of Top 15 Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam has an S-shaped stretching of over 3,200 kilometers, with most of its mainland border facing the sea. The climate is diverse from north to south, deltas to highlands, mainland to islands on the sea. Besides the big names like Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang, there are many cities to visit in Vietnam, such as Hoi An, Hue, Sapa, Mui Ne, and Con Dao. You will have unique experiences and things to do at each place. Note them on your travel wishlist and visit one or all of them.

Have a blood-rushing feeling to discover all the magnificent cities in Vietnam? Check out more travel information in Vietnam with our guides to prepare for your journey.

More Vietnam Travel Guides

Wildlife tours in vietnam, must-see temples and pagodas in hanoi, a guide to vietnamese herbs, a local guide to tran quoc pagoda in hanoi, where are the beaches in ho chi minh city, phu chau – the floating temple in saigon.

© i Tour Vietnam Travel Guides (2013 - 2024) Privacy Policy

Best cities in Vietnam to visit

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

  • roughguides.com
  • vietnam-cities-an-at-a-glance-guide-for-first-timers

written by SarahGibbons_

updated 26.05.2023

facebook

There’s nowhere quite like Vietnam – a land of true contrasts, from the frenetic and fascinating capital of Hanoi to the idyllic rice terraces of mountainous Sapa . With so much to see in this beautiful country, it can be hard to know which places to visit. Here is our guide to the best cities in Vietnam.

1. Hoi An, Central Vietnam

2. dalat, central highlands, 3. ho chi minh city (saigon), southern vietnam - one of the best cities in vietnam for foodies, 4. sapa, northwest vietnam, 5. hue, central coast, 6. hanoi, north vietnam, 7. da nang, central coast, 8. nha trang, southern vietnam, 9. ninh bình, northern vietnam.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guides to Vietnam — your essential guide for travelling to Vietnam.

Tailor-made travel itineraries for Vietnam, created by local experts

Vietnam Culinary Discovery

10 days  / from 2150 USD

Vietnam Culinary Discovery

Vietnamese cuisine can be divided into three categories, each pertaining to a specific region, namely the North, Centre and South. You will visit all of these on this culinary tour of Vietnam. Awaken all of your senses to the wonderful sights sounds and aromas of this fascinating country.

Very Vietnam

16 days  / from 2150 USD

Very Vietnam

Vietnam is full of surprises, seamlessly mixing both ancient and modern. See rice paddies, traditional villages, markets, temples and pagodas. Discover romantic cities, cruise around mystical Halong Bay, laze on pristine beaches and get out and about in exuberant Ho Chi Minh City.

Cultural Saigon

4 days  / from 550 USD

Cultural Saigon

Southern Vietnam is home to modern Ho Chi Minh City, a vibrant southern capital full of historic attraction and old Saigonese charm. Soak up some café culture, enjoy authentic street food, and get a taste of the city’s thriving markets.

Southern Vietnam Explored

5 days  / from 890 USD

Southern Vietnam Explored

Discover the charms of Southern Vietnam. From the excitement of Ho Chi Minh City to the sleepy scenic canals of the Mekong Delta with its traditional villages and floating markets, Vietnam’s deep south is one of the most appealing parts of the country.

Vietnam Culinary Experience

9 days  / from 2100 USD

Vietnam Culinary Experience

Embark on a Vietnamese culinary adventure, taking cooking classes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Get cultural in the imperial city of Hue with a visit to some royal tombs, cruise around stunning Halong Bay a final stay in nostalgic Hanoi before your return home.

Ancient Meets Modern

12 days  / from 2100 USD

Ancient Meets Modern

A trip to Vietnam offers a unique adventure. From ancient Hanoi to imperial, romantic Hue, coastal Hoi An with its atmospheric ruins to burgeoning Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is known today, Vietnam is both an exciting and a rewarding destination.

The Wonders of Vietnam

10 days  / from 1780 USD

The Wonders of Vietnam

See Vietnam's top attractions in this tour of the country that will take you from the buzzing capital Hanoi down to magical Halong Bay. Enjoy lazy river cruises along the Perfume River, delve into the history of famous tombs and temples and get caught up in the excitement in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Ultimate Southeast Asia Grand Tour

22 days  / from 4799 USD

The Ultimate Southeast Asia Grand Tour

Explore the highlights of four countries in a bit over 3 weeks: Halong Bay & the Mekong Delta in Vietnam combined with the cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Proceed to Cambodia with Angkor Wat before watching the monks in Luang Prabang/Laos. Your trip ends in Thailand with elephants and Bangkok.

Retrace the Vietnam War

13 days  / from 2260 USD

Retrace the Vietnam War

Visit the highlights of Vietnam while tracing parts of the war across the country. Notable sights include Cu Chi Tunnels, Ba Den Battlefield, Son My, the Demilitarized Zone that divided North and South Vietnam, as well as museums and more in Hanoi. End your trip with a leisurely Halong Bay cruise.

Impressions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

21 days  / from 4545 USD

Impressions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Start and end your trip in Ho Chi Minh City and visit highlights such as the Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh with the Killing Fields, Angkor Wat, the historic city of Luang Prabang in Laos before heading back to Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay and Hoi An await.

A Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Adventure

15 days  / from 4400 USD

A Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Adventure

Make the most of your time in South East Asia and discover not 1 but 3 exciting countries. From Vietnam to Cambodia and Laos you will get the know the locals, visit ancient temples, relax on a cruise, get a taste of Buddhism and so much more. This itinerary will show you the wonders of Asia.

Indochina's Unique UNESCO Treasures

11 days  / from 1950 USD

Indochina's Unique UNESCO Treasures

Experience Indochina's finest UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Marvel at magnificent limestone karsts at Vietnam's Halong Bay, wander the winding colonial streets of Luang Prabang, a bastion of Laotian culture, and of course, be inspired by Cambodia's stunning Angkor temple complex!

Vietnam Family Adventure

10 days  / from 2950 USD

Vietnam Family Adventure

Visit Northern Vietnam, anchored by the ancient city of Hanoi, go east and take in the stunning island-studded Halong Bay. As you make your way down the country, stop in charming coastal Hoi An before venturing south to experience exciting and bustling Ho Chi Minh City.

Luxury Vietnam

12 days  / from 4150 USD

Luxury Vietnam

Brilliant beaches, verdant national parks, ancient ruins and temples, hill-tribe communities, the best museums, private transfers, speedboat tours and world-class hotels, Vietnam is as surprising as it is rewarding.

Vietnam and Laos - Highlights and Exploration

14 days  / from 2947 USD

Vietnam and Laos - Highlights and Exploration

Start your trip in Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon) and explore the city and the Mekong Delta. From here, you make your way to Central Vietnam with Hue and Hoi An before Hanoi and Halong Bay await. Afterwards, catch a flight to Laos and spend your remaining nights in fascinating Luang Prabang.

Vietnam for Families

12 days  / from 2499 USD

Vietnam for Families

Travelling with family? Explore the best areas of Vietnam with suitable activities for the whole family. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are of course part of it, so is Halong Bay, a boat tour in the Mekong Delta, as well as the beautiful ancient town of Hoi An.

Vietnam and Cambodia by Rail

15 days  / from 2800 USD

Vietnam and Cambodia by Rail

Discover Vietnam and Cambodia on this multicentre trip. Explore Hanoi’s charming quarters on foot; then take to the waters and cruise around Halong Bay. Then take the night train to Hue before continuing on your rail adventure through Hoi An and Nha Trang before you cross the border into Cambodia.

Quintessential Vietnam

9 days  / from 1650 USD

Quintessential Vietnam

Uncover the secrets of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City and the colonial charms of Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. Explore the lush rice paddies and traditional villages of the Mekong Delta and former imperial Hue. Complete your trip with an overnight cruise to the stunning limestone caves of Halong Bay.

Classic Vietnam and Cambodia

14 days  / from 2469 USD

Classic Vietnam and Cambodia

Start your Southeast Asia adventure in Hanoi with a city tour and then proceed to Halong Bay for a luxurious cruise. In Central Vietnam, you will visit Hoi An and Hue before flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Discover the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels before your final stop - Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Authentic Vietnam

12 days  / from 1850 USD

Authentic Vietnam

Start your Vietnam adventure in Hanoi, discovering the capital before heading to the natural paradise Ninh Binh. Stops in Hue and Hoi An allow you to explore Central Vietnam before flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Eat your heart out in the city before relaxing on the beaches of Phan Thiet.

Vietnam - Hanoi to Halong

5 days  / from 1200 USD

Vietnam - Hanoi to Halong

Take in two of Vietnam’s most treasured spots. Get your fill of culture and history in Hanoi with its wonderful museums, Old Quarter and pockets of nostalgia. Then explore enchanting caves and swim from secluded beaches in Halong Bay.

Vietnam for Romantics

14 days  / from 2655 USD

Vietnam for Romantics

Planning a special trip with your beloved? Vietnam is the ideal mix of culture (Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City) paired with nature (Halong Bay, Mekong Delta) and ending the trip on picturesque Phu Quoc - crystal clear water and white sandy beaches included!

Signature Vietnam & Thailand

15 days  / from 3715 USD

Signature Vietnam & Thailand

Discover 3 main areas in each country: Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and the Halong Bay. Thailand with Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Discover authentic food experiences, historic city tours with knowledgeable guides and much more on this two week itinerary.

Three Day Sapa Tour from Hanoi

3 days  / from 544 USD

Three Day Sapa Tour from Hanoi

Your private guide and car will take you through winding roads and terraced rice fields to Silver Waterfall and Heaven Gate for stunning views of Lai Chau Valley and Fanxipan mount. Spend a night in Sapa and visit the bustling market to see ethnic minority groups selling their handicrafts.

Unique Mekong Delta from Saigon

2 days  / from 405 USD

Unique Mekong Delta from Saigon

Visit the bustling floating markets, local workshops, fruit orchards, and rice paddies, as well as cycle through the countryside and mingle with the friendly locals. You will cruise along the Mekong river to An Binh island, cycle through the orchards, visit floating markets and much more.

Premium Halong Bay Cruise

2 days  / from 419 USD

Premium Halong Bay Cruise

Sail through the emerald waters of Halong Bay and marvel at the limestone cliffs, scattered islets, and floating fishing villages. Enjoy a range of activities, including kayaking, swimming, and cave exploration, while indulging in delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Sightseeing, shopping and café hopping

Don’t miss: Seeing the thousands of lanterns on an evening stroll around the Old Town

If you want to combine sightseeing with a spate of shopping, then the charming UNESCO world heritage city of Hoi An should be top of your list. Dating back to the 15th century, character positively oozes out of its ancient, ochre-hued walls. It’s not hard to see why the city is often dubbed the 'Venice of the East’.

Spend your afternoons strolling along the main canal and exploring the labyrinth of winding streets, lined with market stalls, tailors, cafés and boutique shops. You can get almost anything made here – and for incredibly little money by Western standards – so be warned, you may be going home with far more than you came with.

If shopping doesn't interest you, escape the crowds and pedal down to the ocean for some relaxing beach time – the beach is only a 15-minute cycle away. Hoi An really comes alive at night, when thousands of brightly-coloured silk lanterns illuminate every nook and cranny of the Old Town creating a magical glow – a photographer’s paradise. See why Hoi An was voted as one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia .

Where to stay in Hoi An:

  • For a luxurious stay with a spa and swimming pool: Anantara Hoi An Resort
  • For a stay with traditional Vietnamese-style rooms: Hoi An Ancient House

Or browse accommodation of all kinds in Hoi An

Hoi-An-bridge-Vietnam-cities

Hoi An is lined with picturesque canals © Sarah Gibbons

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Countryside romps and canyoning thrills

Don’t miss: The hair-raising canyoning experience

If baking on the beach is something you’d rather avoid, then make sure Da Lat – known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ – is on your itinerary. Located in the picturesque Central Highlands, this quaint mountain city enjoys far cooler temperatures than its coastal counterparts. Here, you're surrounded by pine forests, open meadows and coffee plantations.

A popular weekend break destination for domestic tourists, this city is built for romance, with its French colonial architecture, horse-drawn carriages and even an Eiffel Tower-lookalike radio pylon. However, it’s got a serious adventure streak too, with travellers from all over the world coming to experience one of the most adrenaline-inducing canyoning experiences in Southeast Asia.

Not for the faint of heart, this involves scrambling, jumping and abseiling down 20-metre waterfalls – a hair-raising, but utterly thrilling activity that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Ready to immerse yourself in Vietnamese cuisine? Our tailor-made trip service makes travelling easy by taking care of the planning and booking. Our Vietnam Culinary Discovery trip takes you through the many cuisines of the North, Centre and South. Our trips are crafted by local travel experts and are completely customisable.

Canyoning-Dalat-Vietnam-cities

Canyoning in Dalat – not for the faint-hearted © Sarah Gibbons

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Buzzing culture and cheap eats

Don’t miss: Exploring the city’s best street food on a motorbike tour

You haven’t experienced chaotic traffic until you’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City (still known by many locals as Saigon) – a high-octane, positively pulsating city of over eight million people. One of the first things you’ll no doubt experience is the blaring horns and clatter of thousands of bikes zipping around; it seems like pandemonium yet somehow everyone seems to know where they’re going.

The food scene here is thriving and if you can muster the courage, join a motorbike street food tour (as a passenger, naturally) and take a whistle-stop tour of the city’s best street food, from Bánh mì (filled baguettes) to bánh xèo (crispy rice-flour pancakes).

Ho Chi Minh City is also the gateway to exploring the fascinating, and highly claustrophobic, Cu Chi Tunnels – used by Vietnamese guerrilla fighters during the war with America – as well as the hard-hitting War Remnants Museum.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

  • For a 5-star stay with panoramic city views: The Reverie Saigon
  • For a stay in the city centre with a gorgeous rooftop: Caravelle Saigon

Or find your dream accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City

banh-xeo-vietnam-shutterstock_448215304

Bánh xèo, a crispy rice-flour pancake filled with a variety of delicious choices © Alphonsine Sabine/Shutterstock

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Trekking through the iconic rice terraces

Don’t miss: The view from the top of Fansipan Mountain

Established as a Hill Station by the French in 1922, Sapa is the tourist hub of the mountainous north – famed for its dramatic rice terraces that cling to the steep hillsides. The region is also home to a number of ethnic minorities, namely the Red Dao and Black Hmong, who still wear their distinctive traditional dress – each village wears different clothing.

Spend your days exploring the region on one of the multitude of hiking trails and if you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can tackle Mount Fansipan itself, the highest peak in Indochina at 3,143m. If you don’t fancy the trudge, then you can still soak up the incredible views thanks to the Fansipan Legend cable car – reportedly the highest and longest in the world.

sapa-vietnam-shutterstock_479423002

Rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam © This Is Me/Shutterstock

Related articles from the blog

cao lau vietnam vietnam food

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Exploring Vietnam’s imperial history

Don’t miss: Biking along the Hai Van Pass

Get a taste of Vietnam’s imperial past on a visit to Hue, the Vietnamese capital (1802-1945) during the time of the Nguyen Dynasty , which dissolved at the end of the war with America. Straddling the Song Huong (Perfume River), the city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to The Imperial City – a vast network of temples, museums and pavilions that will definitely keep you busy all day long.

If you're travelling to Hue from Da Nang and Hoi An or vice versa, make sure to travel the Hai Van Pass: a stunning mountain road of hairpin turns and panoramic vistas of deserted beaches and mist-clad hills. Some may recognise it from Top Gear , who named it one of the best coastal roads in the world in their Vietnam special. You can either rent a motorbike and experience it solo or join an ‘Easy Rider’ tour as a passenger.

Where to stay in Hue:

  • For a stay with spacious villas and bungalows with stunning views: Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa
  • For an elegant stay with a spa and pool: Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa

Or find accommodation at any budget in Hue

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Our tailor-made service allows you to travel without the hassle. Our Quintessential Vietnam trip will take you through Ho Chi Mihn City, and Hanoi as well as through traditional villages of the Mekong Delta.

vietnam-sapa-shutterstock_1099674629

Hue, one of the best cities in Vietnam © Efired/Shutterstock

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Pho-loving and bargain hunting

Don’t miss: A stroll around the serene Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi’s historic district – a hub of activity for tourists and locals alike.

Vietnam’s attractive capital is a city of contrasts, from the wide, elegant streets of the French Quarter to the colourful chaos of the Old Quarter. Most of the activity is found in the latter – the UNESCO-protected heart of the city. Packed with hundreds of shops and market stalls spilling out onto the streets (and thousands of motorbikes!) the best way to explore is to just dive in and see what you discover.

Make time to stop off and sample a Pho; Hanoi is the home of this famous noodle soup, after all. You can easily spend several days in Hanoi itself, but most also use it as a springboard to exploring the iconic Halong Bay and its thousands of towering limestone pillars – a four-hour drive away.

The peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake is well worth a visit, and it's steeped in history too: legend has it that Emperor Le Loi obtained a magical sword from the Dragon King to fight against Chinese oppressors in 1428.

Where to stay in Hanoi:

  • For a stay with colonial grandeur and modern luxury: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
  • For a stay on the serene waters of West Lake: I nterContinental Hanoi Westlake

Or find your perfect accommodation in Hanoi .

hanoi-vietnam-shutterstock_447620650

Tran Quoc temple in Hanoi, Vietnam © martinho Smart/Shutterstock

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Beach breaks and cosmopolitan city culture

Don’t miss: The Marble Mountains and the Golden Bridge

Vietnam’s third-largest city, just up the coast from Hoi An, cosmopolitan Da Nang is changing fast and steadily gaining a reputation with visitors . Known for its white-sand beaches, stylish bars and restaurants and picturesque surrounding mountains, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a few days.

One of the most popular things to see is the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five mountains named after the earth’s elements: Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth). The main attraction is Nui Thuy Son Mountain, the largest in the group and home to a series of caves; you can also climb up one of the winding staircases in the rock to enjoy the vistas of the surrounding countryside.

One of the newest attractions is the Golden Bridge, a 150-metre-long pedestrian bridge in the Bà Nà Hills resort. Supported by two gigantic hands it looks like something out of a fantasy film set.

The Rough Guides to Vietnam and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to the A-Z of Travel

Want to experience Vietnam but without the hassle of booking and planning? Our Vietnam for Romantics trip is the ideal mix of culture (Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City) paired with nature (Halong Bay, Mekong Delta) and ending the trip on picturesque Phu Quoc.

Golden Bridge

The Golden Bridge, Da Nang's Instagram-friendly new construction © charnpui/Shutterstock

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Beach activities, water sports, and nightlife

Don't miss: Snorkeling or diving in the vibrant coral reefs of Nha Trang Bay

For those seeking a mix of sun, sand, and vibrant nightlife , Nha Trang is a must-visit destination in Southern Vietnam. Known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Nha Trang offers a range of beach activities and water sports that cater to all tastes.

One of the highlights of Nha Trang is the opportunity to explore the remarkable marine life beneath the surface. Embark on a snorkelling or diving adventure to discover the vibrant coral reefs of Nha Trang Bay. Dive into an underwater wonderland teeming with colourful fish, graceful sea turtles, and a myriad of other fascinating marine creatures.

Apart from its beautiful coastline, Nha Trang is renowned for its lively nightlife scene. As the sun sets, the city comes alive with an array of bars, clubs, and beachside parties that cater to both locals and tourists. Indulge in delicious seafood dinners, sip tropical cocktails, and dance the night away under the starlit sky.

nha-trang-vietnam-cable-car-shutterstock_631106138

Nha Trang cable car © Shutterstock

One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Natural landscapes, scenic boat rides, and cultural exploration

Don't miss: Taking a boat tour through the breathtaking Trang An Grottoes

Ninh Bình, located in the northern region of Vietnam, is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape into nature. Often referred to as the "Halong Bay on land," Ninh Bình is characterized by its stunning karst landscape, limestone cliffs, and emerald green rice paddies. It's also an affordable getaway.

One of the best ways to explore the natural beauty of Ninh Bình is by taking a boat tour through the Trang An Grottoes. Hop aboard a traditional sampan boat, and navigate through a network of limestone caves, lush valleys, and winding rivers.

As you glide through the calm waters, you'll be mesmerized by the breathtaking vistas and the intricate system of caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a glimpse into the region's rich natural history and cultural heritage.

Aside from its natural wonders, Ninh Bình is also home to historical landmarks and ancient temples. Visit the iconic Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, and marvel at its grandeur and intricate architecture.

Ninhbinh Ninh-Binh, Vietnam © John Bill/Shutterstock

Ninh-Binh, Vietnam © John Bill/Shutterstock

There is much to do and see in Vietnam — even beyond the country's vibrant cities. Ready to start planning your trip? Check out the Rough Guide to Vietnam.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Vietnam without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

SarahGibbons_

  • Authentic Experiences
  • History Culture Heritage
  • Architecture
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Inspiration
  • See & Do
  • Where to stay

Planning your own trip? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Travel advice for Vietnam

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Vietnam

  • Crime and personal safety tips Vietnam
  • Eating and drinking in Vietnam
  • Getting around Vietnam: Transportation Tips
  • How to get to Vietnam
  • Travel Health Vietnam
  • Shopping tips for Vietnam
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Vietnam
  • Travel Tips Vietnam for planning and on the go
  • Best time to visit Vietnam
  • Vietnam Weather in September
  • Vietnam Weather in November
  • Vietnam Weather in June
  • Vietnam Weather in July
  • Vietnam Weather in December
  • Vietnam Weather in August
  • Vietnam Weather in January
  • Vietnam Weather in February
  • Vietnam weather in March
  • How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay
  • How To Get From Hanoi To Da Nang
  • How to get from Hanoi to Sapa
  • Vietnam Weather in April
  • How to get a Vietnam visa

Find even more inspiration for 5 here

Ready to travel and discover vietnam, get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Itineraries
  • Travel advice

when in vietnam logo

Major Cities in Vietnam: A Comprehensive Travel Guide 2024

PLANNING TO VISIT FAMOUS CITIES IN VIETNAM?

Hey there, fellow traveler! 🌍 Ever thought about exploring the mesmerizing cities of Vietnam? Well, you’re in for a treat! Vietnam is a tapestry of vibrant cities, each with its own unique flavor and charm. 

Why trust us? Because we’ve been doing it since 2015!

From bustling urban hubs to serene coastal towns, there’s a city for every kind of wanderer.

Cities in vietnam

But here’s the thing: to truly appreciate the beauty of Vietnam, you’ve got to understand the heartbeat of its cities. It’s like meeting someone new. You’ve got to know their story, right? 

Each city in Vietnam tells a tale, and trust me, you’ll want to hear them all!

The Bustling Southeast

Ah, the Southeast! This region is like the energetic younger sibling of Vietnam, always buzzing with activity. Let’s dive into its major cities:

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh statue in front of People's Committee Building

Once known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has seen a transformation like no other. From its pivotal role during the Vietnam War to its current status as a bustling metropolis, this city has stories etched in every corner.

  • The War Remnants Museum paints a vivid picture of the city’s past.
  • The Reunification Palace stands as a symbol of a united Vietnam.
  • Saigon Skydeck offers panoramic views of the city.
  • Ben Thanh Market is a haven for foodies. Ever tried a Banh Mi? Now’s your chance!

Ba Ria and Vung Tau

Ho Coc beach, Ba Ria, Vietnam

Ahoy, beach lovers! 🏖️ Ba Ria and Vung Tau are your coastal dreams come true.

  • Front Beach and Back Beach are perfect for sunbathing and water sports.
  • The Vung Tau Lighthouse offers breathtaking sunset views.
  • The Jesus Christ Statue overlooks the city, reminiscent of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer.
  • The White Palace, a colonial-era mansion, whispers tales of the past.

Bien Hoa (Dong Nai)

Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam

Bien Hoa might not be on every traveler’s list, but it’s a hidden gem!

  • Known as the industrial heart of Vietnam, its rapid growth is evident.
  • Home to many factories and businesses, it’s the engine of the Southeast.
  • Buu Phong Temple, nestled atop a hill, is a serene escape.
  • Dong Nai River offers picturesque boat rides.

Cao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh, Vietnam

Ever heard of the Cao Dai religion? Tay Ninh is its birthplace!

  • Cao Dai Temple is a riot of colors and a blend of world religions.
  • The daily ceremonies are a sight to behold.
  • Ba Den Mountain beckons trekkers and nature lovers alike.
  • The legends of this mountain? Oh, they’re as intriguing as the views from its peak!

The Fertile Mekong Delta

Welcome to the “Rice Bowl” of Vietnam! The Mekong Delta is a watery wonderland, with rivers, swamps, and islands galore. It’s where life revolves around the water, and every dawn brings a new adventure.

Can Tho, Vietnam

Ah, Can Tho! The beating heart of the Mekong Delta. This city is all about the river vibes.

  • Cai Rang Floating Market is a must-visit. Imagine shopping on a boat!
  • The gentle sway of the river houses and the call of the boat vendors create a melody like no other.
  • Can Tho Bridge, an engineering marvel, offers panoramic views of the city.
  • Ong Pagoda and Ninh Kieu Pier are perfect spots for a leisurely evening.

Long Xuyen and Chau Doc (An Giang)

Sam mountain, An Giang, Vietnam

These twin cities are a blend of cultures and traditions. From Khmer pagodas to floating villages, there’s so much to explore!

  • The Cham communities add a unique flavor to the region.
  • Phuoc Dien Temple and the Sam Mountain are steeped in history and legends.
  • The floating fish farms are a sight to behold.
  • Hungry? Try the grilled fish or the Khmer-style hotpot!

Ben Tre, Vietnam

Welcome to the land of coconuts! 🥥 Ben Tre is where the coconut palms sway, and the river whispers tales of old.

  • From coconut candies to coconut crafts, this place has it all.
  • Ever tried coconut wine? It’s a local specialty!
  • Hop on a boat and explore the maze-like waterways.
  • The traditional mat weaving villages are a testament to the region’s rich craft heritage.

The Cool Central Highlands

Nestled amidst rolling hills and lush forests, the Central Highlands is Vietnam’s refreshing retreat. It’s where the air is crisp, the vibes are chill, and every path leads to a new discovery. Let’s embark on this highland adventure!

Da Lat (Lam Dong)

Da Lat Railway Station, Vietnam

Ah, Da Lat! Often dubbed the “City of Eternal Spring,” this place is a dreamy escape from the tropical heat.

  • The cool breeze, misty mornings, and mild temperatures make it a year-round destination.
  • Perfect for those cozy sweater-weather moments!
  • The French left their mark with charming villas and the iconic Da Lat Railway Station.
  • Don’t miss the Valley of Love, Crazy House, and the serene Tuyen Lam Lake.

Buon Ma Thuot (Dak Lak)

The World Coffee Museum, Buon Ma Thuot,Vietnam

Coffee lovers, rejoice! ☕ Welcome to Buon Ma Thuot, the aromatic heart of Vietnam’s coffee country.

  • Wander through vast coffee plantations and learn the art of brewing the perfect cup.
  • The annual Coffee Festival is a caffeine-fueled celebration you won’t want to miss!
  • Home to the Ede and M’nong ethnic groups, their rich traditions add depth to the region.
  • Experience traditional longhouses, gong performances, and vibrant festivals.

The Scenic Central Coast

Ah, the Central Coast! It’s where history meets the horizon, and every sunset paints a new masterpiece. From ancient towns to modern cities, this stretch of Vietnam is a coastal dream. Let’s dive in!

Hue (Thua Thien – Hue)

Ancient imperial city, Hue

Welcome to Hue, the former imperial capital! This city is a blend of grandeur and grace.

  • The Imperial Citadel stands tall, echoing tales of emperors and dynasties.
  • The Royal Tombs are a serene journey through time.
  • Ever tried Bun Bo Hue? It’s a spicy noodle soup that’s a local favorite!
  • Don’t miss the delicate Hue royal cakes, a treat fit for kings!

Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills, Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang is where the mountains meet the sea, and the city lights dance with the waves.

  • The iconic Dragon Bridge breathes fire every weekend!
  • My Khe Beach is perfect for a sun-soaked day.
  • Marble Mountains offer a blend of nature, spirituality, and history.
  • The Cham Museum showcases the rich heritage of the Cham civilization.

Hoi An (Quang Nam)

Ancient town in Hoi An, Vietnam

Step into Hoi An, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

  • Lantern-lit streets, wooden bridges, and age-old shophouses create a magical ambiance.
  • The Japanese Covered Bridge is an iconic symbol of Hoi An’s history.
  • Tailor shops are aplenty, crafting custom outfits in record time!
  • Savor Cao Lau, a noodle dish that’s unique to Hoi An.

Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa)

Nha Trang beach, Vietnam

Sun, sand, and seafood! Nha Trang is the coastal paradise you’ve been dreaming of.

  • Dive into the clear waters and explore the vibrant coral reefs.
  • Vinpearl Land is an island of fun and frolic!
  • Grilled lobsters, squids, and a plethora of seafood await.
  • Wash it down with some local sugarcane juice. Refreshing!

The Historic North

The North of Vietnam is a treasure trove of tales, traditions, and timeless beauty. From ancient capitals to mesmerizing bays, it’s a region that beckons with its rich heritage. Let’s set forth on this northern adventure!

hoan kiem lake - is hanoi safe

Ah, Hanoi! The millennial capital that’s a blend of the old and the new.

  • The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets and colonial buildings, tells tales of bygone eras.
  • Hoan Kiem Lake, with the Turtle Tower, is steeped in legends and lore.
  • The Lotte Tower offers panoramic views of the city skyline.
  • The Hanoi Opera House is a testament to the city’s cultural renaissance.

Cao Linh pagoda, Hai Phong, Vietnam

Welcome to Hai Phong, the vibrant port city that’s a gateway to the sea!

  • As Vietnam’s major port, it’s the lifeline of the country’s trade.
  • The colonial-era architecture is a nod to its storied past.
  • Cat Ba Island is a slice of paradise, just a short ferry ride away.
  • The Du Hang Pagoda is a serene spot for some soul-searching.

Ha Long (Quang Ninh)

Ha Long Bay, North Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is where nature paints its most magnificent masterpiece.

  • Limestone karsts rise majestically from emerald waters, creating a surreal landscape.
  • Explore the Sung Sot Cave and Ti Top Island for some breathtaking views.
  • Freshly caught seafood, grilled to perfection, is a treat for the senses.
  • Try the local squid sausages, a delicacy that’s uniquely Ha Long!

Read also: Hanoi airport to Ha Long Bay vv.

Conclusion: Major Cities in Vietnam

Wow, what a journey! 🎉 From the north to the south, Vietnam’s cities are a delightful blend of history, culture, and modernity. Each city offers a unique experience, a different story, and a world of adventures waiting to be explored.

So, what’s stopping you? Pack those bags and set out on your Vietnamese adventure! Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just someone looking for a good time, there’s a city in Vietnam calling your name. Go on, answer the call! 🌆

Recommended Tours and Activities: Popular Cities in Vietnam

Ready to dive deep into Vietnam’s cities? Here’s a quick list to get you started:

Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels and savor some pho in a local eatery.

Take a rickshaw ride around the Old Quarter and catch a water puppet show.

Sunbathe at My Khe Beach and visit the Marble Mountains.

Wander through the Imperial City and taste some local Bun Bo Hue.

Join a lantern-making workshop and cruise along the Thu Bon River.

A few pro tips for you:

  • Always check the local weather before planning your day. Vietnam’s climate can be quite diverse!
  • Try to visit during the local festivals. Trust me, it’s a whole different experience!
  • And lastly, always keep an open heart and mind. The best adventures are often unplanned! 🌟

Read also: Solo Travel in Vietnam Travel Guide

Similar Posts

Hanoi to Luang Prabang: 3 Ways to Travel in 2024

Hanoi to Luang Prabang: 3 Ways to Travel in 2024

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy PLANNING A TRIP FROM HANOI TO LUANG PRABANG? You’ve come to the right place — as we have traveled around Vietnam and Thailand since 2015! Hello, adventurous spirit! Have you ever wondered about the journey from Hanoi, the bustling heart of Vietnam,…

Da Nang, Vietnam Best Beach Resort: Top 16 Unmissable Resorts in for a Luxurious Getaway

Da Nang, Vietnam Best Beach Resort: Top 16 Unmissable Resorts in for a Luxurious Getaway

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT MAKES DA NANG BEACH RESORTS SO SPECIAL? 🌍 Since our first visit to Vietnam in 2015, the country has captivated us. Join me as we explore Da Nang’s paradise. Picture golden beaches, stunning sunsets, and the vibrant…

Traveling from Hanoi to Bangkok: Your Ultimate Guide 2024

Traveling from Hanoi to Bangkok: Your Ultimate Guide 2024

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy PLANNING A TRIP FROM HANOI TO BANGKOK? You’ve come to the right place — as we have traveled around Vietnam and Thailand since 2015!  Ready for a journey of a lifetime? From the bustling city of Hanoi to the vibrant metropolis of…

Top 20 Hanoi Hotels with Pool You Must Experience

Top 20 Hanoi Hotels with Pool You Must Experience

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT HANOI HOTEL WITH A POOL?🌍 Have you ever fantasized about navigating the lively streets of Hanoi? Imagine a cityscape filled with bustling markets, delectable street food, and ancient pagodas that echo stories from centuries past. Hanoi, Vietnam’s pulsating…

The Top Hanoi Pottery Classes for an Authentic Experience

The Top Hanoi Pottery Classes for an Authentic Experience

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy LOOKING TO BOOK ONE OF THE TOP HANOI POTTERY CLASSES? Ever thought about diving hands-first into the world of pottery? Well, there’s no better place to start than Hanoi, the heart of Vietnam’s rich pottery tradition. Having journeyed through Vietnam since 2015,…

Getting from Hanoi to Phong Nha: Travel Guide 2024

Getting from Hanoi to Phong Nha: Travel Guide 2024

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. More info in our Privacy Policy PLANNING A TRIP FROM HANOI TO PHONG NHA? You’ve come to the right place — as we have traveled around Vietnam since 2015!  From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the awe-inspiring caves of Phong Nha! Buckle up because we’re about to…

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Be Inspired
  • Destinations
  • Things to do
  • Eat & Drink

Logo

10 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in 2022

Coming to the S-shaped country, you can admire the poetic and charming scenery wherever you go. The natural beauty and unique culture have made Vietnam become a tourist destination worldwide. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Vietnam nominated in 2022.

Map of the best places to visit in Vietnam

1. Ha Long Bay

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Halong Bay

Off Northeast Vietnam , Ha Long Bay was designated as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1994. For many reasons, Ha Long Bay has to be on your list when you travel to Vietnam.

Having been known for thousands of limestone islands that emerged from the emerald water, the bay is surrounded by a spectacular seascape. You will want to sign up for a boat trip to cruise along the maze of channels and uniquely shaped islets. You can also go kayaking and caving to experience the enchanting beauty of this wonderland.

Although it can get very touristy during the high season, with what it has to offer, Ha Long Bay is totally worth your visit.

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is in the summer (May – October) when its weather is warm, less rain, convenient for outdoor activities and exploring.

2. Ninh Binh

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Ninh Binh

Used to be one of the hidden gems in the north of Vietnam, Ninh Binh has become more and more popular among both local and foreign visitors after being chosen as the blockbuster Kong’s filming location. But Ninh Binh is not all about that.

This is home of one of the biggest temples in South East Asia (Bai Dinh Pagoda), which is solemnly situated amid the lush paddy fields and breathtaking rock formations. The best way to explore the renowned landscape complex is by rowboat to bit-by-bit take in the majestic and poetic scenery. Ninh Binh will truly give you a sense of the spiritual calmness coming from the splashing water under your boat and distant temple bells echoing.

You can visit Ninh Binh at any time of the year, each season in Ninh Binh has a unique beauty that is nowhere to be found.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Hoi An

Noted as another World Heritage Site of the long-stretching nation, the Ancient Town of Hoi An  carries not only the diversity of settings but also the history of hundreds of years of cultural interference between the three countries of China, Japan, and Vietnam. You will need to be ready to fall in love with the mix of vibrant lifestyle and ancient architecture of this little town.

Hoi An is also famous for a wide range of delightful cafes and restaurants of those overlooking peaceful views. Even for a local, the town’s delicacies are definitely one-of-a-kind, and it will give you a hard time picking among all the good food.

As the most beautiful city in Vietnam, Hoi An is crowded year-round, the tourist season starts from November to the end of February. If you want to enjoy a “real” Hoi An, April to June is the right time for you, when there are the least tourists.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Da Nang

Further north of Hoi An is a beautiful coastal city – Da Nang . Da Nang is a tropical sea paradise in Vietnam; it has some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches such as Non Nuoc Beach, which is almost never too busy. It would make you extend your staying here with its spectacular mountain temples, well-decorated bars and restaurants, and so much more. It is not random that many expats choose to relocate here as you can easily find a hint of the modern lifestyle of a big city blended into the tranquility of the natural surroundings.

If you are an adventurous soul, get on a motorbike and go for a road trip around Son Tra Peninsula, then set out to conquer the Hai Van Pass or simply walk the majestic  Golden Bridge .

The ideal time to visit Da Nang is the dry season from January to July, and the most perfect is between February and May. During this period, the weather is pleasant and less rain.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Hue

Hue  is the former imperial capital of Vietnam under the prosperous reign of the Nguyen Dynasty, which explains a rich collection of tombs, palaces, and royal buildings. That is also the highlight of this romantic city.

Strolling along the gorgeous Perfume River, crossing Trang Tien Bridge just to later sit down and take a sip of cold Huda beer.

Hue is definitely not a tourism hub but if you are keen on an atmosphere with a breadth of history, then Hue would be your perfect choice.

Located between the South and the North, Hue weather is characteristic of both regions. Hue has four seasons, but the most obvious are sunny and rainy seasons. The dry season lasts from March to August, it is quite bright and hot. From August to November is the rainy season. Especially from October onwards, there are prolonged rains and storms.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Sapa

In 6th place, Sapa meets all the elements to become one of the best places to visit in Vietnam: the small villages like the picture painted on the majestic hills, upland markets, and the identity of ethnic minority communities.

Although the main town itself has been said to be too touristic and going through lots of construction, it gives you a reason to go out of town and immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful highland cities in the country. Meeting up with the innocent local minority people and being amazed by terraced fields – breathtaking scenery will be your unforgettable memory.

Sapa is a mountainous region with a cool climate all year round. The weather in Sapa has four seasons. The average temperature of Sapa is 15 °C. Summer in Sapa is not too hot; winter is often cloudy and cold, and sometimes it snows.

The best time to visit Sapa is from September to early November, at this time, rice begins to ripen, and the scenery of Sapa turns to the brilliant golden colour of the rice, a picturesque view.

7. Nha Trang

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Nha Trang

As one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Vietnam , Nha Trang has been recognized as a tropical sea paradise. Not only do long blue beaches and dozens of large and small islands remain untouched, but Nha Trang is also an ideal destination for those who love culture – history as it is also the land of the flourishing Champa Kingdom in the past.

Visit Nha Trang, immerse yourself in the refreshing water, dive down to the coral reefs, discover islands by canoe, and enjoy fresh seafood.

The most significant advantage of this city is the long sunny season during the first eight months, the temperature difference is not considerable. The rainy season of Nha Trang lasts from September to December and reaches its peak in October and November.

Nha Trang is definitely an indispensable name when it comes to the best places to visit in Vietnam.

8. Ho Chi Minh City

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City

When talking about the best places to visit in Vietnam, it’s impossible to ignore the biggest city in the country: Ho Chi Minh City .

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the most developed and somehow chaotic city across the country once known as the Pearl of the Far East. Although Saigon is not rich in natural resources, it has a wide range of street food and nightlife activities to choose from.

And if your heart is up for knowledge, there is a list of museums and galleries scattered around the city so you can check them out and explore the city at the same time.

Chinatown is also the soul of the dynamic city filled with century-aged temples and shops – where you can give yourself a break after play-hard days. It is no exaggeration to say that Saigon has it all.

Ho Chi Minh City weather does not have four seasons like Hanoi but only two: rainy and dry. The rainy season is from May to November. In general, you can visit Ho Chi Minh City at any time of the year, the rainy season is also the most beautiful season of this city.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Hanoi

It is always worth visiting the capital city of any country. In  Hanoi , your mind will be blown away by the subtly busy Old Quarter – 36 Streets. You will live the historic moments walking along Long Bien Bridge.

You will love every single second of riding around Truc Bach Lake and finding yourself a good coffee spot to sit down and enjoy a hot egg coffee. And when the sun goes down, get yourself to the Main Cathedral, sit on those red stools and join the locals for lemon tea and sunflower seeds.

Hanoi is one of the few places in Vietnam that has four seasons. Because of the characteristics of a humid monsoon tropical country, Hanoi’s climate in the winter and summer is quite harsh. The winter in Hanoi is so cold; sometimes the temperature drops deeply below 10 °C, meanwhile, the summer is very hot, sometimes stormy. According to the experiences of many travellers, you should visit this city in the autumn.

Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam - Mui Ne

Mui Ne is another coastal city to add to your list. Unlike any other beaches, Mui Ne is a paradise for those into extreme water sports. You can do from snorkeling, diving to surfing and parachuting. Riding past miles of white and red stunning sandhills on one side and feeling the ocean breeze blowing from the sea from the other side, you will know why this destination keeps popping up in travel conversations. And of course, live seafood is freshly brought to restaurants from the fishing boats will fulfill your visit.

Mui Ne is not only good for motorbike trips but also the best place across the country for water sports. November to April is the windy season making it perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Other activities such as parasailing, kayaking, and motorboating can also be spotted. Make sure you eat at one of the food stalls set on the beach for an unforgettable dining experience.

  • places to visit in vietnam
  • Vietnam travel guide

spot_img

Related Articles

List of countries that enjoy vietnam’s visa exemption (updated).

Logo

12 Best Places In Vietnam | Bucket List Destinations 2024

Avatar photo

Vietnam – The Next Top Destination?

Why visit Vietnam? Vietnam is at that sweet spot as a travel destination where unique luxury resorts meet cheap street eats, where untouched rural nature gems are increasingly well connected to hyper bustling cities.

On the cusp of becoming the next top global travel spot, Vietnam offers an array of holiday options. From pristine beaches to historic sites, from mountain ranges to skyscrapers, these are the top 12 best places to visit in Vietnam.

Table of Contents

Majestic mountain destinations.

For a country strongly associated with the hot, humid, equatorial climate and flat landscape of Ho Chi Minh City, actually, Vietnam has many amazing mountains to offer.

Most of the mountain ranges lie in North Vietnam, the tallest peaks are close to the Chinese border. You can even experience snow here during winter. Central Vietnam is also home to some mountains, offering a refreshing escape from the surrounding cities.

1. Fansipan, Sa Pa

Fansipan

Fansipan is the tallest peak in Indochina, often called the roof of Indochina, standing at an impressive 3147 metres in height.

Adventure lovers should take hiking Fansipan as a challenge in stride, with options to conquer it in a day, or two days with camping. From the peak, you will get incredible sweeping views of Sa Pa , of rice paddies etched into the mountain ranges, buffalos and children at play, and unique villages belonging to the ethnic minorities.

There is also an easy way to the top – by cable car! If you choose this method, you will find a scenic landscape complex comprising of temples, amusement areas, and restaurants.

Fansipan is 9 kilometres away from Sa Pa town, a mountain town, which most foreign tourists used as a base to visit the Lao Cai province region, one of the most remote and untouched places to visit in Vietnam.

Love hiking in mountainous paradises? Check out our article on the best hiking and trekking in Sapa Vietnam 

best places in vietnam

Based in Ho Chi Minh City and looking to escape to the mountains? The good news is Da Lat is just around the corner.

Da Lat is one of the popular tourist destinations from Saigon because of its ideal temperate climate. Sitting at 1,500 metres above sea level, Da Lat is a blend of natural beauty and man-made landmarks. Come here to visit beautiful flower gardens, wild pine forests, and vast peaceful lakes.

Da Lat is the fresh food capital of the country, coffee, wine, strawberries, avocados, and many other fruits and vegetables, are all grown in this fertile area. Make sure you set aside some time to visit the local market to taste everything the region has to offer.

Hungry for more? Explore the  best food in Da Lat.

3. Ha Long Bay

halong bay

Ha Long , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place of mystical beauty, a myriad of limestone karsts and blue waters. Legend has it that this is the place where dragons decided to descend to rest, as ‘ha’ means to descend in Vietnamese, and ‘long’ is dragon.

Taking an overnight cruise through the ancient channels of Ha Long Bay is the best way to explore this breathtaking wonder of the world. There are 3 general zones of travel – the three neighbouring bays of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay.

Visitors are free to explore thousands of limestone mountains and islands of Ha Long Bay, with plenty of opportunities to go swimming, kayaking, or caving. One can also visit floating villages, pearl farms, and One could even Sun World Halong Complex, an amusement park in North Vietnam. 

Most cruises start off from Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the region. Cat Ba Island will give you a taste of local life and is home to a variety of bars, hotels, and restaurants. It also houses the Cat Ba National Park, which is definitely worth a visit. A trip to Halong Bay isn’t complete without trying out the food. Top dishes include chả mực (squid sausage), sam (horseshoe crab). These specialties are unique to this region of Vietnam.

The legendary beauty of Halong Bay makes it one of the wondrous places to visit in Vietnam. 

Planning a trip? Here’s our round-up of the best attractions in Halong Bay

4. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

phong nha

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is Vietnam’s well-kept secret. Often skipped over for Halong Bay or Ninh Binh, Phong Nha has a lot to offer. Picture limestone formations, underground rivers, overland lakes, tropical lush jungles, and over 100 kilometres of caves. The natural wonder of Phong Nha is not to be overlooked.

The limestone formations here have evolved since the Palaezoic period, 400 million years ago, making Phong Nha home to the oldest karst mountains in Asia.

The gem of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is Paradise Cave, often called the underground royal palace for its majestic awe-inspiring beauty. It is 31.4 kilometres in length and has a height of 60 metres, it is an impressively large cave, and is in fact the longest dry cave in Asia. Filled with stalactites and stalagmites, it is illuminated with floodlights. You can book a tour to go deeper into the cave, and this includes a swim through the underground river and lunch under these ancient rocks.

Sun and Sea Destinations

With well over 3,000 miles of coastline coupled with several reputable island destinations, Vietnam has no shortage of gorgeous beaches. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to  white sand beaches , snorkelling, tourist attractions, and all-around tropical paradises.

Whether you are looking for laidback full-service beach resorts or adrenaline-packed water sports, Vietnam has it all.

5. Phu Quoc Island

du an sun premier village phu quoc resort - 12 Best Places In Vietnam | Bucket List Destinations 2024

Seating at the tip of southern Vietnam is the idyllic Phu Quoc Island . A densely forested island shrouded by clear blue waters, this beach lover’s paradise is less than an hour’s flight away from Ho Chi Minh City.

The largest island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc boasts infinite stretches of beautiful white sand, thriving coral reefs, and lush green forests, it is also home to a number of Cao Dai and Buddhist temples, vibrant local markets, traditional fishing villages, and pepper plantations – perfect for visitors looking to try their hand at island living.

Of course, the main attraction of this sunny island is its immaculate beaches. Some are quiet pristine white sandy stretches, and some are packed full of life with fishing boats and seafood restaurants. The best way to see some of the loveliest beaches (and sample the catches of the day) is by motorbike, we suggest you take day trips to the northern side and another to the south, to experience them all! 

Feel like a vacation in paradise? Check out our guide to the best beaches in Phu Quoc.

6. Con Dao Islands

con dao island

The Con Dao archipelago is a collection of 16 islands famous for its unspoiled beaches and lagoons. The great thing about the Con Dao Islands is that it is off the beaten path and not that easily accessible as one can only reach there by a 45-minute turboprop flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

Con Son Island is the main island in the Con Dao archipelago, with only 5000 locals living there. This rustic getaway is filled with white sand beaches and amazing seafood.

Only a single main road goes about halfway around Con Son, and the best way to get around is of course by motorbike. Catch views of jaw-dropping cliffs, tropical plants, and the perfectly calm sea. Best places to visit include the small fishing village and fresh seafood market.

War history is embedded into the everyday life of Con Son Island. During the Vietnam War, prisoners were kept in poor conditions by the French in  Phu Hai Prison . The main prison walls is still a landmark in Con Son Town and is regarded as a monument to those who died during the war and to Vietnam’s resilience. Come here to enjoy beautiful beaches while taking in important lessons from history.

Con Doa is a hidden gem. Discover more in our guide to the best activities on Con Doa Island.

7. Nha Trang

best places in vietnam

Nha Trang offers a six-kilometer stretch of beautiful coastline where one can enjoy a day of scuba diving, swimming, island hopping, or just relax and take in the lovely sunset views. This coastal town has been a well-kept secret of Vietnam and has only recently become a tourist hot spot.

There are also 19 untouched islets that are just a short boat ride away. Popular things to do in Nha Trang include mud baths, cooking classes, bicycle tours, boat cruises, and scuba diving. Nha Trang’s vast countryside is also great for exploring on foot, by bicycle and motorbike. Take a day trip out to find new beaches on the tourist trail.

For those who are looking beyond sunning on the beach, pay a visit to the salt fields at the nearby Hon Khoi Peninsula. Take in the amazing sight of women in conical hats farming salt mounts along the incredible coastline. Otherwise, spend some time at closely historical sites including the  Po Nagar Temple , a remnant of the Cham kingdom.

Discover more in our guide to the best beaches in Nha Trang

Culture Filled Destinations

Vietnam is home to some of the world’s earliest civilisations in the early Bronze Age, which started to cultivate rice along its rich and welcoming riverbanks. With this long history and 53 different ethnic groups living here, Vietnam is a fascinating destination to learn about different cultures and ways of life. Travel to understand Vietnamese culture through food, dress, language, architecture, crafts and art.

best places in vietnam

The ancient imperial capital Hue in Central Vietnam is considered the historic treasure chest of Vietnam, and the top destination to discover the fascinating culture of the country.

Hue was the capital of the imperial Nguyen Dynasty for 143 years till 1945. Sitting on the banks of Perfume river, the waters shroud Hue in charm.

At the heart of Hue is of course the Imperial City – a must-visit for all visitors to this old town. It is ringed by a moat fed by the Perfume River and houses a complex series of gated courtyards, gardens, pavilions and palaces. The most important monument is the Forbidden Purple City, a term identical to the Forbidden City in Beijing, reflecting its Chinese influence. This is the innermost enclave, which was restricted to the imperial family.

In addition, tourists must visit the mausoleums and tombs of old emperors, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and the Trong Tien Bridge.

Central Vietnam has some of the most unique cuisines in Vietnam , here are the  must-try dishes of Hue .

9. Mekong Delta

A boat in the early morning Phong Dien floating market 1 - 12 Best Places In Vietnam | Bucket List Destinations 2024

Hailed as the rice bowl of Vietnam, over 50% of the country’s rice is produced in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta has more than 2000 years of history and is home to Vietnam’s early civilisation along its fertile banks. Understand and experience the riverine culture of Vietnam by visiting the Mekong region.

Ben Tre is one of the best places to visit in the Mekong region due to its cultural diversity. Known as Vietnam’s coconut capital, you will see many handicrafts and trade-related to the coconut industry. The lush greenery of Ben Tre also produces plenty of other fruit. Depending on what is in harvest, do make time to visit different fruit farms, and get to experience picking ripe fruit off trees!

The floating markets are a great cultural symbol of the mighty Mekong river, being the trade lifeline of many who have lived along its banks for centuries, and for other seafaring visitors in the region. The Cai Rang floating market is the largest of its kind in the Mekong Delta. Boat trips are the way to go here, jostle with the other boats selling fruits, freshly cooked Vietnamese food, flowers, knick-knacks, and more, and get ready to haggle!

Today, the Mekong remains an important symbol of power and prosperity in Vietnam and is called the ‘River of Nine Dragons’ (Song Cuu Long) in Vietnamese. 

Looking for a cultural adventure? Follow our guide to the best things to do in the Mekong Delta.

Amazing City Destinations

Vietnam is a nation developing at a rapid pace. Its cities are overflowing with cultural richness, which includes Vietnamese, Chinese, French, and other global influences.

Cities are attractive to Vietnam’s young, eager, and ambitious population, and the Vietnamese youth flock to the country’s hubs for further education and better career prospects. Likewise, many foreigners come here to join up-and-coming industries. It is no wonder Vietnam’s cities offer an exciting snapshot of ongoing life.

10. Da Nang / Hoi An

best places in vietnam

A coastal city along the central coast of Vietnam, Da Nang has something for everyone. A bustling city tropical paradise known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port, it has good restaurants, upmarket shopping, and plenty of cultural sites to visit. Popular beaches include An Bang Beach and My Khe Beach , which are known by travellers of Southeast Asia as some of the most beautiful destinations.

A short half hour’s drive away is Hoi An ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a prime example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th century. Its unique architecture includes Chinese assembly halls, French colonial buildings, Vietnamese timber shophouses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. 

Both Da Nang and Hoi An are popular bases for visiting the Bà Nà hills to the west of the city. Here the hillside Hải Vân Pass offers stunning views of Da Nang Bay and the Marble Mountains, which are 5 limestone outcrops topped with pagodas and hide caves containing Buddhist shrines. The Ba Na Hills also has the famous Golden Bridge which is a 150-metre-long pedestrian bridge.

Looking for the best spots in Da Nang? Check out the best beaches Da Nang has to offer. 

2K5A3280 2a 1 - 12 Best Places In Vietnam | Bucket List Destinations 2024

Located in northern Vietnam, the capital city Hanoi is well over a thousand years old. Hanoi offers everything from temples to ancient pagodas, unique art, culture, and amazing wilderness within a day-trip distance.

The old quarter is the heart of Hanoi and also the most fascinating part of this ancient city. The old town is a maze of craft streets, where lanes and lanes of streets specialise in only selling one item. Here you can find silk street, traditional medicine street, paper street, and more.

The history of Vietnamese street hawkers has its origins in pre-colonial Hanoi, and here you can try the widest variety of delicious street food in Vietnam .

The list of things to do in Hanoi is endless. This can include visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, The Perfume Pagoda, Hanoi Old Quarter, Ba Vi National Park, Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, and Hanoi Opera House. Traffic is hectic and fast-paced in this bustling city, but you’ll be happy to know that Hanoi can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle, especially the famous and stunning west lake.

12. Ho Chi Minh City

best places in vietnam

Economic hub Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. It’s a place where the old meets the new with striking contrast. Temples are hidden among skyscrapers and cuisines with Vietnamese and global influences are consumed with gusto.

Each district of Ho Chi Minh City has its own unique flavour. District 1 is of course the city center neighbourhood and home to many of the famous historic and cultural sites, such as Ben Thanh Market, the Independence Palace (Reunification Palace), and the War Remnants Museum. It is also wonderful to simply walk around this district and take in the mishmash of brutalist and French colonial architecture.

Take a day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels, to see the large network of tunnels used by Communist troops in the war against Southern Vietnamese and American forces in guerrilla tactics. You can even try to wriggle through one of the tunnels for a memorable experience.

Discover Vietnam

There are endless places in Vietnam to discover. From spots with majestic natural beauty to cities pumping with nightlife, there is something for everyone. This bucket list of 12 best places in Vietnam covers the wide spectrum of delights Vietnam has to offer.

Whether you are an expat living in Vietnam, a holidaymaker planning your next heart-stopping vacation, or simply someone who is curious about Vietnam, discover the culture of Vietnam in our handy guide.

If you want to have a staycation in Saigon , but still want to be underwater, and to explore a scenic view of the skyline, be sure to check out these awesome rooftop swimming pools .

Our publication is powered by our community. Join the conversation on Facebook.

Book Tours on Vietnam Is Awesome

top tourist cities in vietnam

Ba Na Hills – Golden Bridge Full Day Tour

top tourist cities in vietnam

Da Nang – Monkey Mountains – Marble Mountains – Coconut Jungle – Hoi An City Full Day Tour

top tourist cities in vietnam

Sunset Photography Half-Day Tour – Travel Through History And Time

top tourist cities in vietnam

Halong Bay Day Cruise – 8 Hours Halong Bay Discovery + Premium Lunch + Jacuzzi & Cooking Class

top tourist cities in vietnam

Lan Ha Bay Day Cruise – 6 Hours Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay Discovery + Luxury Lunch & Transfer

top tourist cities in vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Half-Day City Tour

top tourist cities in vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels Guerilla Warfare Half-Day Tour

top tourist cities in vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels In Depth Day Trip

Photo contributors.

Avatar photo

You might also like

top tourist cities in vietnam

Top Cities in South Vietnam: The Ultimate Travel Guide

top tourist cities in vietnam

Central Vietnam Guide: 7 Must-Visit Destinations Await!

top tourist cities in vietnam

BEST Tours in Da Nang in 2024: A Snapshot of Beautiful Sites & Experiences

© 2024 Vietnam Is Awesome. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of use

Northern Vietnam

Central vietnam, southern vietnam.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Tripadvisor traveler choice

10 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is a country of diverse landscapes, rich culture, and fascinating history. From bustling cities to the serene countryside, Vietnam has something to offer for every type of traveler. With so many incredible destinations to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That's why we've compiled a list of the 10 best cities to visit in Vietnam . Whether you're interested in exploring ancient temples, indulging in delicious street food, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, these cities are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So get ready to discover the beauty and charm of Vietnam's most captivating cities. 

top tourist cities in vietnam

7. Nha Trang 

8. can tho and the mekong delta, 9. ho chi minh city , 10. phu quoc.

Hanoi , the charming capital city of Vietnam, is one of the must-visit destinations for travelers. It is a blend of antiquity and modernity, a mixture between traditional Vietnamese culture and French architecture. 

You can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of city life by attending weekend events at Hoan Kiem Lake , strolling through the vibrant streets of the Old Quarter , grabbing a beer at Ta Hien Street, and enjoying the nightlife. Or you can take in the serene sunset over Westlake or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the romantic tree-lined Phan Dinh Phung Street if you are seeking a peaceful escape. Alternatively, exploring the rustic beauty of suburban areas such as Duong Lam Village with its ancient architecture and local lore, or visiting the colorful Bat Trang Pottery Village and Van Phuc Silk Village are also great experiences in Hanoi. 

Hanoi Old Quarter

Immerse Yourself in the Vibrant Hanoi Old Quarters

Hanoi is also an ideal destination for those interested in history and culture. Visit the Museum of Ethnology to learn about the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam, discover the Thang Long Imperial Citadel to observe relics dating back to the 7th century, or go to Hoa Lo Prison to witness a vivid portrayal of Vietnam's history and the indomitable spirit of revolutionary soldiers. You can also admire the subtle French architecture in Long Bien Bridge , the Hanoi Opera House , and St. Joseph's Cathedral . Additionally, make sure to add Van Mieu , the first university in Vietnam to your itinerary. And don't miss out on the chance to see water puppetry, a Vietnamese folk cultural art form that tells stories of the local’s life. 

Admire The French Architecture Of Hanoi Opera House

Admire The French Architecture Of Hanoi Opera House

A food tour in Hanoi is also an incredibly unique experience. Try Egg Coffee, Pho, Bun Cha, Banh Mi, La Vong Grilled Fish, Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls), or Vietnamese Shrimp Fritters . All of which will surely leave an unforgettable impression on you. 

Every street, every destination, and every dish holds a unique story about the history and culture of this place. Book a Hanoi City Tour to explore the most distinctive things of this city!

Sapa is one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam, offering a unique and authentic experience for travelers. This picturesque city is surrounded by picturesque mountains, lush forests, and terraced rice fields, making it a popular destination for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. 

Visitors can admire one of the most beautiful terraced rice fields in the world in the Muong Hoa Valley , immerse in the peaceful and majestic scenery when visiting villages such as Cat Cat , Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Giang Ta Cha, or Supan. Along the way, you can observe the daily life of ethnic minorities, witness their daily work, learn about their customs, or try their colorful traditional costumes. Local people here also welcome visitors to stay in homestays with their families. You will have the opportunity to participate in their daily life and enjoy traditional local dishes such as Salmon, Stream Fish, Bamboo-Tube Rice, Jungle Fowl, Con Sui (Noodles Dish), Hazelnut Cake , and more. 

Majestic Scenery Of Muong Hoa Valley

Majestic Scenery Of Muong Hoa Valley

Visiting Ethnic Markets in Sapa is another must-do activity for any visitor who wants to experience the unique culture of the local people. The markets are usually held on specific days of the week, and each market has its own characteristics and specialties. There is a variety of traditional handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs made by locals in these markets. You can also taste local food and drinks such as Corn Wine, Grilled Meat, and Sticky Rice . The markets are bustling with activity, and you will have the chance to interact with the friendly locals and learn about their unique customs. The most famous markets in Sapa are Bac Ha Market , Can Cau Market, Coc Ly Market, and Muong Hum Market.

Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Market

In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, Sapa also offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors. From exploring the breathtaking view of the Silver Waterfall, soaking in the hot springs at Ban Ho , to conquering the peak of Fansipan mountain and admiring the majestic mountainous landscape blending with the white clouds and mist. So plan your trip to explore this city with our Sapa Tours .

Hue is a city located in central Vietnam with its rich history, culture, and stunning scenery. The city was once the capital of Vietnam, known as the Imperial City , which was the seat of power for the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The complex includes palaces, temples, and gardens that offer a glimpse into the lives of the emperors and their families.

The Imperial Capital City Of Vietnam During The Nguyen Dynasty

The Imperial Capital City Of Vietnam During The Nguyen Dynasty

Another must-visit attraction in Hue is the Thien Mu Pagoda , the oldest and most beautiful pagoda in Vietnam. It is located on a hill overlooking the Perfume River and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Besides, the best way to experience the city is by taking a stroll across the Truong Tien Bridge . This iconic bridge spans the Perfume River and offers stunning views of the city's skyline. You should take a traditional wooden boat and enjoy the scenery while listening to the stories of the local tour guide. 

For those who love nature, a visit to Bach Ma National Park is a must. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the saola and the Truong Son muntjac. Visitors can hike through the park's lush forests, swim in its waterfalls, and enjoy the panoramic views from its mountaintops.

Finally, no trip to Hue would be complete without sampling the city's famous cuisine. This city is known for its royal cuisine, which features dishes that were once served to the emperors. Some must-try dishes include Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup), Banh Khoai (a type of savory pancake), and Nem Lui (Grilled Pork Skewers).

If you are looking for the best Hue Tours , visit our website for more detail.

Da Nang is a coastal city located in the central region of Vietnam. It is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists due to its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage. 

One of the most popular attractions in Da Nang is My Khe Beach . The beach boasts crystal-clear water and white sand, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, or trying out some water sports. Visitors can also enjoy fresh seafood at the beachside restaurants while taking in the breathtaking views of the ocean.

Da Nang City

Da Nang City

Another must-visit destination in Da Nang is the Marble Mountains . These five limestone hills are located just outside of the city and offer stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can climb to the top of the mountains and explore the caves and pagodas that are scattered throughout the area. You can also explore Son Tra Peninsula, which offers stunning views of the ocean and the city. Taking a drive or a motorbike ride to the top of the mountain can offer a great chance to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are also many hiking trails and beaches on the peninsula that visitors can explore.

If you are looking for more adventurous activities, there are many options in Da Nang like taking a helicopter tour of the city, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), booking a cruise on the Han River, taking a leisurely drive through the Hai Van pass, etc.

You will also love Da Nang for its delicious cuisine. The city is known for its fresh seafood, and visitors should not miss trying some of the local specialties such as Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake), Mi Quang (Noodle Dish), and Cao Lau (Pork Noodle Dish). There are many street food stalls and local restaurants where visitors can sample these dishes.

Last but not least, visitors can take a day trip to Ba Na Hills , a mountain resort located just outside of Da Nang. The resort offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and features a French-style village, a Golden Bridge, and a cable car ride. It is a great place to escape the city and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Let's find the best Da Nang Tours at BestPrice Travel.

Hoi An is an ancient town located in central Vietnam, known for its well-preserved architecture and known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the best things to do in Hoi An is to explore the town's historic streets and buildings. The Ancient Town  is filled with beautiful yellow-walled buildings, narrow alleys, and traditional shops selling handmade crafts and souvenirs. Tourists can visit historical relics such as the Japanese Covered Bridge , and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall , or simply stroll through the old streets to enjoy the peaceful and romantic atmosphere. 

Take A Stroll Through The Hoi An Ancient Town

Take A Stroll Through The Hoi An Ancient Town

For those looking for a bit of relaxation, Hoi An has some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Cua Dai Beach and An Bang Beach are both just a short drive or bike ride from the town center. Visitors can spend the day lounging on the beach, swimming in the clear blue waters, or trying out water sports like surfing and paddleboarding.

One more destination that you should not miss is The Seven-Acre Coconut Forest . There are hundreds of green coconut trees, creating a beautiful and peaceful scenery. Tourists can participate in activities such as cycling, boating, or enjoying dishes made from coconut such as fresh coconut water, coconut cake, etc.

Hoi An is also famous for its unique cuisine. Tourists can join food tours to discover the typical dishes of the region such as Pha Lau , Cao Lau , and Quang noodles .

Finally, Hoi An is also known for its lantern festival, which takes place on the 14th day of every lunar month. During this time, the town is lit up with colorful lanterns and visitors can release their own lanterns into the river for good luck.

You might be interested in our Hoi An day trip & excursion .  

Located in the Central Highlands and known as the "City of Eternal Spring", Da Lat boasts a cool climate and stunning natural scenery that make it a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.

You can visit the famous Xuan Huong Lake, stroll through the lush flower gardens, or take a cable car ride to the top of Lang Biang Mountain for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also go trekking in the nearby forests or explore the many waterfalls in the area.

Visit The Romantic City Of Da Lat

Visit The Romantic City Of Da Lat

For those interested in culture and history, Da Lat has a number of fascinating sites to visit. The Bao Dai Summer Palace , once the residence of the last emperor of Vietnam, is a must-see attraction. The city also has several beautiful temples and pagodas, including the Linh Phuoc Pagoda, with its intricate mosaic designs.

Foodies will also love Da Lat's vibrant culinary scene. The city is famous for its fresh produce, including strawberries, avocados, and coffee. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as Banh Trang Nuong (Grilled Rice Paper) and Nem Nuong (Grilled Pork Sausage).

Nha Trang is a coastal city located in the south-central region of Vietnam. Known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Nha Trang is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.

One of the main attractions of Nha Trang is its beautiful Nha Trang beach, which stretches for six kilometers along the coastline. Visitors can relax on the sand, swim in warm waters, or take part in water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing.

The Stunning Beach Of Nha Trang

The Stunning Beach Of Nha Trang

Another popular activity in Nha Trang is island hopping. There are several nearby islands that can be visited by boat, including Hon Mun Island , which is known for its coral reefs and marine life. Visitors can go snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the underwater world.

If you are interested in culture and ancient buildings, Nha Trang has several interesting sites to visit. The Po Nagar Cham Towers , built between the 7th and 12th centuries, is a must-see attraction. These ancient towers were once used for Hindu worship and are now a popular tourist destination.

Additionally, you should not miss Nha Trang's culinary scene. The city is famous for its seafood, particularly its fresh fish and shrimp. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as Banh Can (Mini Rice Pancakes) and Bun Cha Ca (Fish Noodle Soup).

Find The Best Tour At BestPrice Travel

Can Tho is a bustling city located in the heart of the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Known for its vibrant floating markets, lush rice paddies, and friendly locals, Can Tho is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vietnam.

One of the best experiences of Can Tho is exploring famous Floating Markets . Visitors can take a boat ride along the river to experience the bustling atmosphere of these markets, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to handicrafts. The most popular floating market is Cai Rang , which is open every day from early morning until around noon.

Tra On Floating Market

Tra On Floating Market

Another popular activity in Can Tho is cycling through the countryside. Visitors can rent a bike and explore the surrounding rice paddies and fruit orchards, stopping at local villages along the way to meet friendly locals and sample delicious food.

Can Tho boasts several fascinating sites to visit for those who are interested in culture and history. The Binh Thuy Ancient House , built in 1870, is a beautiful example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. The city also has several pagodas and temples, including the Munirangsyaram Pagoda , which is known for its intricate carvings and colorful decorations.

Beyond Can Tho, the Mekong Delta region offers even more opportunities for exploration. Visitors can take a boat tour through the narrow canals and waterways, stopping at local villages to learn about traditional crafts such as coconut candy making and rice paper production. The region is also famous for its fruit orchards, with durian, rambutan, and mangosteen among the many fruits grown here.

Ho Chi Minh City , also known as Saigon , is the largest city in Vietnam and a hub of culture, history, and commerce. 

One of the main attractions of Ho Chi Minh City is its historical sites. The War Remnants Museum , which documents the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese perspective, is a must-see attraction. The Reunification Palace , where the North Vietnamese Army famously crashed through the gates in 1975, is also worth a visit. Other historical sites include the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office , both of which are beautiful examples of French colonial architecture.

The Bustling City Of Ho Chi Minh

The Bustling City Of Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City also has several museums and galleries to explore. The Museum of Vietnamese History and the Fine Arts Museum are both excellent places to learn about the country's rich cultural heritage. The city also has a thriving arts scene, with many galleries showcasing the work of local artists.

Finally, Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to experience the energy and excitement of modern Vietnam. Visitors can explore the city's many markets, shop for souvenirs, or take part in the city's vibrant nightlife scene.

You might look for the best Ho Chi Minh city tours .

Phu Quoc is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Vietnam. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests, Phu Quoc is a paradise for nature lovers and beachgoers.

One of the best attractions of Phu Quoc is its stunning beaches. Long Beach , located on the west coast of the island, is the most famous one that stretches for 20 kilometers. Visitors can relax on the sand, swim in the warm waters, or take part in water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling.

The Pearl Island Of Phu Quoc

The Pearl Island Of Phu Quoc

Exploring the island's natural beauty is another option for travelers. The Phu Quoc National Park , located on the north of the island, is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species. Visitors can hike through the forest, spot wildlife, and visit the beautiful waterfalls.

One interesting site to visit in Phu Quoc is the Dinh Cau Temple . It is located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea and is a beautiful example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. The island also has several fishing villages, where visitors can learn about the local way of life and sample fresh seafood.

Phu Quoc is a great place to relax and unwind. Visitors can indulge in a spa treatment, take a yoga class, or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The cities mentioned above are just a few of the many amazing destinations that Vietnam can offer. Whether you're interested in history or culture, or just want to relax on a beautiful beach, Vietnam always has an ideal destination for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best cities in Vietnam. And if you are looking for customized Vietnam Tours to travel to these destinations, please do not hesitate to contact BestPrice Travel to tailor a wonderful trip for you & your family.

Questions & Answers (30)

is it possible to get to Sihanoukville from Phu Quoc by boat? If not, could you tell me the best way to travel? Tks.

No you should travel to Rach gia via Chau Doc.

we are a couple from Australia looking for the best time to travel to Vietnam. we plan to go to the North, Central, South but these areas have different climate. Can u give us some advice?

Hi! The best time to vist Vietnam from North to South should be from Jan till April when the North is cool and it's dry season in the South & Central area.

I will stay in Danang for a week at the end of this year, coinciding with NYE. will there be fireworks and countdown in this time like before COVID? tks in advance

Hi! Usually, the firework happens almost every year. However, sometimes, the government may release late cancelation for the event.

We will travel to Da Nang on NYE for 4 days. Looking for a good bar/club type place with music for NYE party. Thank you

Hi! You can check some good suggestions with our list of 5 Most Chilling Rooftop Bars in Da Nang

hello, I'm in Hoi An, can I visit Marble Mountain in Da Nang by myself, or do I need a guide?

Hi Theodore, you can travel to Marble Mountain on your own from Hoi An by taking Grab /shuttle bus (click here to see the detailed prices). There are 2 attractions in Marble Mountain with different entrance fees: Water Mountain - 40,000 VND /person, and Am Phu Cave - 20,000 /person

8 Unique Places to Visit in Vietnam [Updated]

top tourist cities in vietnam

Updated top 6 must-visit cities in Vietnam

top tourist cities in vietnam

The best city in Vietnam to visit in 2024: Which city should be on your travel bucket list? If you are looking for a destination with stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture, Vietnam is the perfect choice for you. This country has many amazing cities that cater to different tastes and interests, from ancient heritage towns to modern metropolises. 

According to the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism, the country received more than 11 million international visitors in the first eleven months of 2023, a 47.7% increase from December 2022 and 3.8 times higher than the same period last year. With such impressive numbers, Vietnam is definitely a place worth visiting. But which city should you choose in 2024? Let us help you decide by introducing you to the best cities in Vietnam to visit for everyone. 

1. Ha Long: Nature's Masterpiece and Coastal Gem Of Vietnam

If you are looking for the best city in Vietnam to visit, then Ha Long is the perfect destination for you. Ha Long is located in Quang Ninh Province, about 160 kilometers away from Hanoi. It is famous for its stunning Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features over 1,600 limestone islands and islets rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Ha Long - The best city in Vietnam to visit with family

Ha Long - The best city in Vietnam to visit with family

Halong Bay is a natural wonder that has been formed over millions of years by the erosion of the sea and the wind. The islands have various shapes and sizes, creating a spectacular scenery that will take your breath away. 

Some of the islands have caves, grottoes, and lakes that you can explore and admire, such as Surprised Cave, Luon Cave, Dau Go Cave, Thien Cung Cave, etc. 

Besides, travelers can also learn about the legend of the bay, which says that a dragon descended from the sky and spat out jewels that turned into the islands to protect the country from invaders.

Halong Bay is not only a place of natural beauty but also a place of cultural heritage

As you can see, Halong Bay is not only a place of natural beauty but also a place of cultural heritage. Humans have inhabited the bay since prehistoric times, and you can find traces of their ancient cultures and civilizations in the archaeological sites, museums, and markets around the bay. 

Furthermore, travelers can experience the modern life of the local fishermen who live in the floating villages and depend on the bay for their livelihood. They are friendly and hospitable, and they will welcome you to their homes and share their stories and traditions with you.

Cua Van - floating villages in Halong Bay

Cua Van - floating villages in Halong Bay

Moreover, this stunning city offers an adventure paradise with lots of fun activities. You can do things like kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, biking, scuba diving, and parasailing. 

What's cool is that you get to pick how you cruise – on a traditional Halong Bay boat , a modern yacht, or a fancy cruise ship. 

Each gives you a different view of the bay. There are also many beaches to chill on, feel the sun, and enjoy the sea breeze. At night, the stars and bioluminescent plankton make the bay magical. So, Halong Bay is more than just a daytime delight. It's incredible at night, too!

What's cool is that you get to pick how you cruise – on a modern yacht or a luxury cruise ship. 

What's cool is that you get to pick how you cruise – on a modern yacht or a luxury cruise ship. 

Ha Long is a city that has developed rapidly in recent years thanks to its tourism potential. The city has a modern transportation system that makes it easy to access from Hanoi and other places. You can take a bus, a train, or a car, or you can fly to the nearby Cat Bi International Airport or Van Don International Airport. 

In terms of Halong Bay weather, the best time to visit Halong Bay is from October to December, when the weather is dry and cool and the visibility is good. However, you can see the bay all year round, as each season has its own charm and beauty.

Read more The Ultimate Halong Bay Cruise Overnight Itinerary: Top Tips and Must-See Sights

2. Ha Noi: The capital of culture, history, and charm in Vietnam

Hanoi is the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam, with a long and fascinating history that goes back to the third century BCE . The city is a significant tourist attraction in Vietnam, with its well-preserved French colonial buildings, religious sites, historical monuments, and museums.

Ha Noi is a significant tourist attraction - the best city in Vietnam to visit

Ha Noi is a significant tourist attraction - the best city in Vietnam to visit

Take a stroll around the serene Hoàn Kiếm Lake, where you can admire the Turtle Tower and the Ngọc Sơn Temple. Dive into the lively atmosphere of the Old Quarter, a maze of narrow streets filled with charming shops, cozy cafes, tasty restaurants, and friendly street vendors.

Is Vietnam safe for tourists ? What do you need to know when visiting this country?

When it comes to food, Hanoi is a culinary paradise. Indulge in local delights like phở, bún chả, bánh mì, and don't miss out on the unique egg coffee. And when the sun sets, experience the vibrant nightlife – from water puppet shows to live music, or simply join the locals for a refreshing glass of bia hơi, the city's affordable and delightful beer.

When it comes to food, Hanoi is a culinary paradise.

When it comes to food, Hanoi is a culinary paradise.

In Hanoi, every corner is a new adventure, and every dish tells a story. This city will capture your heart with its captivating culture, rich history, and undeniable charm. It's not just the best city in Vietnam to visit, it's an experience that will stay with you forever.

3. Ho Chi Minh: The city of energy, innovation, and diversity in Vietnam

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh, also known as Saigon – Vietnam's biggest and most bustling city. This is home to about 9.3 million people as of 2023. Situated in the southeast, it's nestled by the Saigon River and close to the Mekong Delta. HCM is the heart of Vietnam, buzzing with life and drawing millions of visitors each year.

Ho Chi Minh - one of the best cities in Vietnam to visit

Ho Chi Minh - one of the best cities in Vietnam to visit

This must-visit city boasts the Ho Chi Minh Botanical Garden and Zoo, the country's oldest, where rare plants and animals reside in a tranquil setting. For a glimpse into history, you can delve into the Cu Chi Tunnels, an intricate underground network used by the Viet Cong during the war. Indulge your taste buds in the diverse cuisine of Ho Chi Minh, from the iconic banh mi to the comforting pho and flavorful com tam. 

Ho Chi Minh is a city that never sleeps, brimming with energy, innovation, and diversity. With its dynamic atmosphere, this city promises an unforgettable experience that you'll always find intriguing and exciting.

4. Hue: The City of Culture, History, and Romance in Vietnam

Located in central Vietnam, Hue is a city with around 500,000 folks calling it home in 2023. It sits snugly by the Perfume River and hugs the coast of the East Sea. Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, it proudly housed the Nguyen Dynasty, the country's final royal ruler. 

Many travelers confirmed that Hue is the best city in Vietnam to visit in 2023

Many travelers confirmed that Hue is the best city in Vietnam to visit in 2023

Now, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hue boasts loads of historical and cultural gems that shine a light on Vietnam's rich past. From royal tales to cultural wonders, this city is a living testament to the grandeur of Vietnamese civilization.

With a history stretching over a thousand years, Hue is a city that's seen a lot. To soak up its stories, you should head to the Imperial City. It's a mix of palaces, temples, and monuments that once housed the Nguyen emperors. 

Explore further Best Places To Visit In Vietnam With Family In 2024: Adventures Await

From royal tales to cultural wonders, Hue is a living testament to the grandeur of Vietnamese civilization.

From royal tales to cultural wonders, Hue is a living testament to the grandeur of Vietnamese civilization.

Besides, Hue is a beautiful city with lots of cool stuff for visitors. The Perfume River is a lovely spot to chill, and it gets its name from the sweet-smelling flowers that drop into the water in the fall. And make sure to try tasty local food like bun bo hue, com hen, and banh beo. 

Discover the charms of Da Nang, the best city in Vietnam to visit. It's got loads of cool stuff for visitors. And if you're into chilling on the beach, soaking up culture, or having an adventure, Da Nang's got you covered. It's the place to be!

This wonderful place is a lively coastal city known for its beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters, perfect for water sports enthusiasts. While it has temples and government buildings, it's the modern bridges that have really put Da Nang on the world travel map.

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge - one of the best delightful hot spots in Da Nang 

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge - one of the best delightful hot spots in Da Nang 

Travelers should discover delightful hot spots in Da Nang, like the Marble Mountains, Ba Na Hills, My Khe Beach, and Hoi An. There are a bunch of luxurious resorts, fancy malls, and lively clubs for your entertainment and accommodation needs.

Sapa, a key tourism hub in northwest Vietnam, boasts breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural diversity, and various ethnic groups. It's a perfect combo of nature and culture, making it a must-visit for nature lovers. 

The highlight? Conquering Mount Fansipan, the Roof of Indochina, offers an incredible adventure. At the summit, explorers find not strange creatures but a stunning world of clouds, mountain ranges, green fields, and a serene pagoda for worship.

Sapa is a key tourism hub in northwest Vietnam.

Sapa is a key tourism hub in northwest Vietnam .

Nestled among mountains and surrounded by lush green terraced rice fields, Sapa provides a refreshing retreat. Strolling through the cool weather in Sapa town is incredibly comfortable and relaxing. This charming town is a definite delight for every tourist to explore.

Exploring the Top 10 Best Places to Visit in North Vietnam

Must-try Activities when Visiting Vietnam

Vietnam is a country with a rich culture, history, and natural beauty. It offers a variety of experiences for travelers who want to explore its diverse landscapes, cuisine, and people. Here are some of the must-try activities when visiting the best city in Vietnam:

1. Cruise the bay

A trip to Halong Bay is at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists, and for good reason. From the majestic limestone karsts, the largest in the world, to the floating villages, cultural heritage, and biodiversity, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this UNESCO World Heritage. 

To truly see it all, the best way to explore Halong Bay is by ship, and the best Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay cruises have quickly made Paradise Vietnam one of the most in-demand cruise operators in the region.

 Paradise Vietnam’s Cruises is one of the most in-demand cruise operators in Ha Long.

 Paradise Vietnam’s Cruises is one of the most in-demand cruise operators in Ha Long.

  • Recommended Itinerary: Paradise Vietnam, 3-day 2-night Halong Bay or 3-day 2-night and Lan Ha.
  • Departures: Year-round 
  • All-Star Amenities: Spacious cabins with private balconies, luxury bedding and toiletries, kayaking and biking activities, cooking classes and tai chi sessions,  four dining options, spa and wellness center,  sunset party, and live music.
  • Luxury cruise options: Paradise Elegance, Paradise Sails, and Paradise Peak cover the Ha Long route, while Paradise Grand sails through Lan Ha Bay.

With a luxury heritage that dates back to 2008, it’s no wonder Paradise Vietnam found its way to Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. The cruise operator with a keen focus on elegance, comfort and culture, has 4 exquisite ships – Paradise Elegance, Paradise Sails, Paradise Peak, and Paradise Grand – sailing the waters that surround the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each of the ships features a spacious cabin, private balcony, luxury bedding and toiletries, spa and wellness center, as well as a dining option with panoramic views so you never miss a thing. 

Each of the cruises features a spacious cabin, private balcony, luxury bedding, toiletries and more.

Each of the cruises features a spacious cabin, private balcony, luxury bedding, toiletries and more.

A cruise team of Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay experts join each voyage, hosting cooking classes and tai chi sessions about the areas the ships visit and guiding passengers on outings like kayaking trips around the limestone karsts and biking tours through the Viet Hai Village. 

Find more information about Halong Bay River Cruise

Guests learn about the cultural heritage of local communities and focus binoculars to spot monkeys, birds, fish, and more. The Paradise Elegance cruise offers both a 2-day-1-night and a 3-day-2-night itinerary through Halong Bay, while the Paradise Grand ventures through Lan Ha Bay. These itineraries cover the highlights of both bays, including Titov Island, Luon Cave, Tien Ong Cave, Cua Van Fishing Village, Dark and Bright Cave, and Viet Hai Fishing Village.

2. Participating in water sports

Vietnam has a long coastline that stretches over 3,000 kilometers, as well as many rivers, lakes, and islands. This makes it an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts.

In Vietnam's clear waters, you can have fun with various water sports like surfing, kite surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. Top-notch locations for these activities include Halong Bay, Nha Trang, and Da Nang. Additionally, travelers can opt for a cruise tour to discover the picturesque landscapes and marine wonders of Vietnam.

3. Hiking and Rock Climbing

If you are looking for some physical challenges and outdoor adventures, you can try hiking and rock climbing in Vietnam. Vietnam has many mountains, hills, and forests that offer stunning views and trails for hikers and climbers of all levels. 

Whether you fancy scaling the limestone cliffs of Cat Ba Island or exploring the karst formations in Ha Long Bay, there's something for everyone. For hiking enthusiasts, the Fansipan Peak awaits, standing as the tallest mountain in Indochina. Alternatively, you can embark on a trek to the Ban Gioc waterfall, which happens to be the largest waterfall in Vietnam. 

4. Adventure and Outdoor Activities

Vietnam is an excellent place for adventure and outdoor fun. There's a lot to try, like zip-lining, bungee jumping, paragliding, rafting, cycling, and motorbiking. You can feel the excitement of zip-lining over the Chay River or sand sliding in Quang Binh.

Moreover, travelers can try paragliding above the Muong Hoa Valley or rafting down the Da River. If you prefer cycling, explore the Ho Chi Minh Trail or take a motorbike ride across the Hai Van Pass. 

Tips for Tourists When Visiting Vietnam

  • Sort out your visa

Check the visa requirements and procedures on the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department and apply for an e-visa, a visa on arrival, or a visa in advance.

  • Don’t underestimate the size of the country

Vietnam is a long and narrow country, and traveling between regions can take a lot of time and money. Therefore, you should plan your itinerary carefully and choose the destinations that suit your interests and budget. 

  • Be smart about your itinerary

Our country has a lot to offer, from the stunning landscapes of Halong Bay and Sapa, to the charming towns of Hoi An and Hue, to the vibrant cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. However, you don’t have to see everything in one trip, as that can be exhausting and overwhelming. Focus on the places that interest you the most, and spend enough time to enjoy them fully. 

  • Prepare for the weather

Vietnam has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild and dry winters. However, the weather can vary a lot depending on the region and the season. 

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you travel, and pack accordingly. Besides, you should bring a raincoat or an umbrella, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent, to protect yourself from the elements.

  • Respect the culture and etiquette

Vietnam is a country with a rich and diverse culture, influenced by various ethnic groups, religions, and historical periods. You should respect the local customs and traditions and avoid any actions that might offend or upset the Vietnamese people. 

Some of the basic etiquette rules are:

  • Take your shoes off when you enter someone’s house or a temple.
  • Wear modest clothing and remove your shoes and hat when visiting temples.
  • Greet someone with a handshake or a slight bow, and address them by their title and surname.
  • Use chopsticks or a spoon when eating, and avoid sticking your chopsticks upright in your bowl.
  • Be polite and friendly when bargaining, and avoid using your index finger to point at something.

So, that's it! Where will you go? Vietnam has many incredible cities to explore in 2024, each with its unique charm. Pick one that suits your taste, or visit a few to see the diverse beauty of the country. For a smooth trip, check out Paradise Vietnam , a leading luxury cruise and hotel firm that can help you plan your amazing trip. Just visit their website or reach out via email or phone. Wishing you a fantastic and memorable journey!

Related Post

top tourist cities in vietnam

Best Places To Visit In Vietnam With Family In 2024: Adventures Await

Looking for the best places to visit in Vietnam with family? Well, Vietnam is like a hidden treasure in Asia, and we're here to tell you why! In this article,...

top tourist cities in vietnam

Public Holidays in Vietnam: Exploring Vietnamese Vibrant Culture and Traditions in 2024

Vietnam is a culturally rich and diverse country that celebrates various public holidays in Vietnam throughout the year. These holidays are an excellent opportunity to experience the vibrant culture and...

top tourist cities in vietnam

How much to tip in Vietnam: A comprehensive handbook for travelers

In Vietnam, tipping is not customary, particularly at home-style eateries and from street vendors. If you try to tip, some locals could be shocked or perplexed. The kindness and provision...

top tourist cities in vietnam

Is Vietnam safe for tourists? What do you need to know when visiting this country?

Undoubtedly, anyone who has been to Vietnam cannot help but be impressed by a beautiful tropical country blessed with magnificent natural landscapes, a diverse culture, and rich cuisine. However, before...

Popular posts

top tourist cities in vietnam

STAY & PLAY PACKAGE AT PARADISE SUITES HOTEL & TUAN CHAU GOLF COURSE

Experience our stay & play package, combining golf at the expansive 18-hole Tuan Chau Golf Course in the North with a delightful stay at the enchanting boutique hotel, Paradise Suites Halong. In just a 2.5-hour drive from Hanoi, our exclusive package offers a range of privileges.

top tourist cities in vietnam

DELIGHT DINNING CRUISE - TOP NOTCH CULINARY EXPERIENCES

As a unique 5-star super-dining cruise with a capacity of up to 360 people, Paradise Delight is an iconic rendezvous for epic art shows, parties, events, conferences, seminars, and weddings, thanks to its modern European style and an itinerary that includes scenic spots around the natural heritage of Halong Bay. Embarking on a Ha Long cruise aboard Paradise Delight guarantees an unforgettable experience.

top tourist cities in vietnam

GETAWAY 2-DAY-1-NIGHT TRIP ON PARADISE ELEGANCE

The 2-days cruise on the leisure masterpiece - Paradise Elegance - includes a number of activities such as visiting Sung Sot Cave - the largest cave in Ha Long Bay, kayaking around the Tung Sau pearl farm, or conquering the peak of Titop Island for a panoramic view of Ha Long Bay.

@paradisevietnam

  • Let's discover Halong Bay with Paradise Vietnam Travel Guide

top tourist cities in vietnam

hanoi office

A:Unit 903, 9th Floor, Gelex Tower, No. 52 Le Dai Hanh St., Hai Ba Trung Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam Hanoi, Viet Nam

T: +84 24 3941 6666

Hotline: +84 906099606

halong office

A: Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam

T: +84203 384 2368

E: [email protected]

top tourist cities in vietnam

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

top tourist cities in vietnam

EXCLUSIVE OFFER JUST FOR YOU

Sign up for Paradise Vietnam's newsletter to get exclusive offers just for you and keep up to date with our latest and most useful travel information!

PARADISE EXPRESS

top tourist cities in vietnam

PARADISE DELIGHT

top tourist cities in vietnam

PARADISE SAILS

Paradise peak, paradise explorer.

BEST PROMO GUARANTEE

Enter the special code SUPERSALE to get further from 40% to 60% DISCOUNT on all current rate plans

15 of the most incredible experiences in Vietnam

Joe Bindloss

Aug 7, 2023 • 12 min read

top tourist cities in vietnam

Taking a cruise along the Mekong Delta is an incredible experience not to be missed © Cultura Exclusive / Rosanna U / Getty Images

Vietnam takes the imperial grandeur of China and the waterlogged landscapes of Southeast Asia, stirs in a double dose of rich history and fabulous flavors and serves the resulting cocktail over ice as the sun dips behind the mountains.

From pearl-white beaches and coral-fringed islands to teeming megacities and emerald jungles, this is Asia as you’ve probably imagined it, sprawling for 1650 km (1025 miles) along the shores of the East Sea.

For many travelers, the big decision is not whether to visit Vietnam, but where to go after arriving. Do you start off in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)? Do you swap the big city experience for the beaches and seafood suppers of Phu Quoc island? Do you dive headlong into the history of a dozen rival empires, or embrace the dynamic, modern Vietnam that has emerged from the aftermath of conflict?

Whether you have your heart set on learning to make prawn summer rolls in historic Hoi An or trekking from homestay to homestay in the lush hills west of Hanoi, here are the best things to do in Vietnam.

1. Embrace past and future Vietnam in historic Hanoi

The vibrant capital of the former North Vietnam – and today the capital of the nation – Hanoi is where old and new Vietnam come together. Traces of the imperial past float like ghosts in a city surging skywards – hawkers drift through the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter selling snacks from traditional yoke baskets, while the surrounding buildings are lit up with advertising displays and strip lights.

Exploring at street level is highly atmospheric and fantastic fun – mix up days visiting wartime and imperial relics with evenings feasting on some of Asia’s finest food and late nights dousing the sticky summer heat with glasses of bia hoi (local draught beer).

Planning tip: As they say, Hanoi rocks, and the best places to rock out like a local are lively live music venues such as the moody Binh Minh Jazz Club and keep-it-loud Hanoi Rock City .

2. Find your own karst island in the sun in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay

Okay, we concede that Halong Bay – the atmospheric sprawl of rocky coves and eroded karst islands to the east of Hanoi – is firmly discovered, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to discover away from the cruise ship crowds. If a tour on a diesel-powered luxury junk doesn’t appeal, consider hiring a kayak to potter around Lan Ha Bay near Cat Ba Island , where outcrops sculpted by wind and waves emerge from the water like the teeth of sea monsters.

Alternatively, leave the diesel fumes behind in calmer Bai Tu Long Bay to the north, where more jungle-capped islands shelter low-key resorts and languorous beaches.

High angle close up of a bowl of bun bo hue, or beef noodle soup.

3. Get your fill of imperial cuisine in handsome Hue

Vietnam’s Nguyen Dynasty held court in Hue until 1945, and the city’s damaged but still impressive historic relics feel somehow closer to imperial China than to the rest of Southeast Asia. However, for many travelers, it’s all about the food. More than half of Vietnam's estimated 3000 local dishes are believed to have originated in Hue, from the vermicelli-noodle-based bun bo Hue and crispy banh khoai pancakes topped with shrimp and pork to canapé-like, soft-and-crunchy banh ram it dumplings. The lavish imperial cuisine known as am thuc cung dinh – created by the emperors’ loyal chefs – can still be sampled in some of Hue's top restaurants, such as Thin Gia Vien and Hoang Phu .

Planning tip: Don’t restrict yourself to posh imperial banquets; for less than 100,000 dong you can gorge on tasty Hue staples at busy stalwart restaurants such as Madam Thu or at mobile food stalls on the streets.

4. Meet Vietnam’s imperial leaders in the Hue tombs

Hue gets a second spot on the list thanks to the astounding imperial tombs, which preserve the mortal remains of a string of Nguyen emperors and empresses, from dynasty-founding Gia Long to Khai Dinh , the last Nguyen emperor to be buried on Vietnamese soil (his son, Bao Dai, the final emperor of Vietnam, was interred in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris ).

While crowds mob the Citadel and Imperial Enclosure, you can still find peaceful moments for contemplation by skipping the boat tours and renting a motorcycle to visit the extravagant mausoleums along the Perfume River. Don’t miss the towering  Thien Mu pagoda , looming over the north bank on the city fringes.

Detour: Equipped with two wheels, you can also buzz north from Hue to enjoy unspoiled dune beaches on the sandy barrier island stretching north and south from Thuan An.

5. Learn to make soups, stir-fries and salads on a Vietnamese cooking course

There’s no better souvenir to bring home from Vietnam than being able to prepare your own Vietnamese feast. Indeed, Vietnamese food arguably has a bigger dinner-party cachet than more familiar Thai cuisine.

Up and down the country, you’ll find cooking courses that start with a fragrant market trip to buy fresh ingredients and local herbs and end with a banquet of the dishes you’ve prepared, covering everything from summer rolls to pho noodle soup.

Hoi An is the most popular destination for aspiring chefs – small and personal Green Bamboo Cooking School is highly recommended. There are also good cooking schools in Hue, Hanoi and HCMC.

A woman approaches a ruin surrounded by jungle

6. Unravel Vietnam’s complex religious history in My Son

While travelers mob the regal assembly halls, pagodas and historic homes of Hoi An, nearby My Son offers a calmer vision of Vietnam’s rich and layered past – particularly if you come in the afternoon. The big lure here is the atmospheric collection of Unesco-listed Hindu temple ruins surrounded by jungle in a loop of the sacred Thu Bon river.

Sharing many architectural features with the Khmer temples of Cambodia and Thailand, these crumbling, red-brick shrines were built between the 4th and 14th centuries by the Hindu kingdom of Champa, whose descendants – the Cham people – can still be found in pockets in central Vietnam. With only birdsong to disrupt the quiet, the site scores highly for atmosphere as well as history,

Detour: If you use Hoi An as a base for exploring My Son, set aside a day to explore the nearby Cham Islands , an impressive marine reserve whose granite islands are still inhabited by Cham people, most now followers of Islam.

Explore My Son effortlessly with GetYourGuide.  Book your tour today .

7. Visit the Cao Dai Holy See in Tay Ninh

One of the world’s youngest faiths, the Cao Dai religion was founded in the Mekong Delta town of Tay Ninh in 1926, fusing elements of ancestor worship, folk religions, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Roman Catholicism, with the ultimate goal of freeing the soul from the endless cycle of reincarnation.

To explore its complex customs, head to the cathedral-like Cao Dai Holy See in Tay Ninh. Inside, you’ll see weapon-toting statues, an all-seeing eye, and even a Communist-looking red star – the sect reveres, amongst other figures, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and even French novelist Victor Hugo.

Planning tip: Visitors can enter the shrine to witness prayers four times a day; if you have time to kill before or after a visit, detour 15km (9.3 miles) northeast to Nui Ba Den mountain. You can take a gondola then hike to reach its summit cave temples, then whoosh back downhill on a luge-style slide.

Dense, crowed scene of city traffic in rush hour, crowd of people wear helmet, transport by motorcycle,

8. Rumble through the highlands by motorcycle

Vietnam largely moves on two wheels, and a motorcycle is by far the most enjoyable way to explore the hill country of the northwest , even if it takes some courage to adjust to the driving conditions, the errant livestock, and the steep, winding roads. Rent a quality bike in Hanoi and pop your wheels on the train to Lao Cai , to avoid the nerve-jangling ride out of the capital.

Once you reach the heart of the hill country, you can rumble out to outlying villages far from the tourist crowds for epic views and stays in charming homestays run by members of Vietnam’s tribal minorities.

Planning tip: You’ll need an international driving permit to ride legally in Vietnam, and this is only available for some nationalities. Many travelers manage to rent a motorcycle without a permit, but if things go wrong, you won’t be covered by your travel insurance.

9. See the American War through Vietnamese eyes

Modern-day Vietnam is moving on from conflict, but the battlefields from the American War still linger as a sobering reminder of what people had to go through to get to this point. Sites of American losses such as Hamburger Hill in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are etched into the popular consciousness, but the wartime tunnels at Cu Chi near HCMC and Vinh Moc near Hue offer a glimpse of the Vietnamese experience, as ordinary people went to extraordinary lengths to resist the world’s greatest superpower.

10. Explore minority villages in the "Asian Alps"

The former French Hill station of Sapa is surrounded by mountains so impressive that French colonizers called them the “Tonkinese Alps,” and the surrounding villages of the H'Mong and Dao ethnic minorities have become popular destinations for hikers – and somewhat commercialized in the process.

For a taste of the scenic serenity that first drew travelers to these lush green hills, head instead to drier, calmer Bac Ha , or the trails and mountain roads around Ha Giang province, tucked against the border with China and seemingly sculpted by the hands of the gods. Stay in hospitable homestays and explore minority markets, peaceful stilt-house villages, French-era relics and soaring limestone pinnacles, away from the maddening crowds.

Planning tip: Various viewpoints vie for the title of best vista in Vietnam – yes, that’s a lot of ‘v’s – but the lookouts gazing over the Dong Van Karst Plateau are strong contenders. The area is designated as a Unesco Geopark, and the trip from Yen Minh to Dong Van and over the Mai Pi Leng Pass to Meo Vac is particularly spectacular.

11. Find a perfect cup of coffee in the Central Highlands

It was the French who brought coffee from the Arabian peninsula to Vietnam, but it was the farmers of the Southwest Highlands who mastered the art of coaxing quality beans from these undulating hills. Rising to 1600m (5250ft), Dak Lak Province provides the perfect terroir for growing Robusta beans, and the regional capital of Buon Ma Thuot is a great place to tour plantations and track down a quality cup of ca phe, particularly during the annual coffee festival in March. If you insist on arabica beans, head to Dalat and visit the community K'Ho Coffee cooperative, supporting local coffee growers from the K’Ho minority.

Planning tip: The best time to visit coffee country is from September to the end of December when the harvest season is in full swing and plantations are filled with baskets of red beans.

Transform your visit the Central Highlands by  booking with GetYourGuide.

Man at the cave entrance in Son Doong Cave, the largest cave in the world in UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

12. Enter the world’s largest cave in Phong Nha

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in jungle-choked north central Vietnam is a lost world of jungles and caverns, including the world’s largest, Hang Son Doong. The scale of this wonder of nature is simply mind-blowing – a 747 airplane could fly through the cave’s main tunnel, even a mile from the entrance.

Parts of the limestone ceiling have collapsed, bringing in natural sunlight, so Hang Son Doong contains an entire rainforest ecosystem with flying foxes, rare langurs, and even a small population of tigers. Since 2012, one tour company – Oxalis Adventure – has been allowed to take a strictly limited number of visitors into Hang Son Doong on challenging four-day treks; the price is stratospheric but so is the scenery.

13. Walk with the ghosts of French Indochina in Ho Chi Minh City

The former capital of South Vietnam may have changed its name from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) , but the past remains close to the surface, from the American War relics in the HCMC Museum and War Remnants Museum to the city’s elegant French-built mansions and civic buildings – many now housing museums, restaurants and boutique hotels.

To get a feel for vintage Saigon, stop for a cup of ca phe sua (milk coffee) at the elegant Hotel Continental Saigon , sample cutting-edge French cuisine at La Villa , and take a stroll past the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the People’s Committee Building – built as HCMC’s Hôtel de Ville but rebranded as the Vietnamese sent their colonial overlords packing.

Planning tip: To fully appreciate the marvelous, lip-tingling variety of HCMC street food, join a foodie-focused scooter tour with Saigon Street Eats .

Explore Ho Chi Minh City effortlessly with GetYourGuide.  Book your tour today .

14. Bask on beautiful beaches

It was the beaches of Phu Quoc Island and Danang – developed as a playground for GIs during the American War – that put Vietnam on the map for seaside vacations, but both have developed into lively resorts. To find unspoiled stretches of sand, modern-day castaways aim their sights at the kitesurfing beaches around Mui Ne , the island sands of the Con Dao archipelago and long, languorous Hong Van Beach on Co To Island in Bai Tu Long Bay .

Planning tip: The best time for a beach trip varies as you move around the country. In central Vietnam, skies are brightest from January to August, while December to April is the beach window on the south coast, and northern Vietnam sees plenty of dry days from October to April.

15. Float on the Mekong Delta

Reaching out into the East Sea like an enormous hand, the mighty Mekong Delta marks the end point of Southeast Asia’s longest river – a 4350km (2700 mile) monster, rising on the Tibetan plateau and emptying to the south of Ho Chi Minh City. This waterlogged wonderland is Vietnam’s rice bowl, nurturing a network of sleepy towns and stilt villages whose residents use the river as their primary artery for life and trade.

For comfortable exploring, book an overnight cruise along the main channel near Can Tho or a cross-border trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia. For a less commercial experience, take a day trip to the backwaters near Ben Tre with Mango Cruises or make your own arrangements with boat owners in Delta villages.

This article was first published September 2021 and updated August 2023

Explore related stories

Paris-in-5-Shops.png

Jan 10, 2024 • 5 min read

Discover architectural jewelry, local design, vintage finds, and tiny treasures in Paris' independent shops and markets.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Nov 16, 2023 • 7 min read

top tourist cities in vietnam

Nov 13, 2023 • 5 min read

A boat among the karsts at Halong Bay in Vietnam, as seen from Ti Top island.

Nov 6, 2023 • 5 min read

top tourist cities in vietnam

Sep 28, 2023 • 6 min read

top tourist cities in vietnam

Sep 20, 2023 • 3 min read

France, Paris, view to Eiffel Tower with back view of young woman standing in the foreground

Aug 10, 2023 • 12 min read

Gay male couple family spending a day outdoor in Paris downtown with young daughter, France.

May 8, 2023 • 10 min read

Take in some of Brittany's majestic coastline at Pointe du Pen-Hir on Crozon's peninsula or indulge in the picturesque Mont Sainte Michel in Normandy.

Apr 13, 2023 • 8 min read

top tourist cities in vietnam

Feb 27, 2023 • 15 min read

Places To Visit in Vietnam

Here are the top 47 tourist places in vietnam.

top tourist cities in vietnam

1 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 83 Tourist attractions

Perched on the banks of the Red River in Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is Vietnam's capital and one of the world's most ancient cities. Boasting well-preserved colonial buildings, golden pagodas, unique museums, mouthwatering cuisine, entertainment destinations, and traditional bazaars, Hanoi is a melting...

Best Time: October to April

2. Ho Chi Minh City

2 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 84 Tourist attractions

Popularly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam is the largest city and the financial and cultural capital of the country. Ho Chi Minh City is a fast-paced city deeply rooted in its cultural roots whilst quickly having adapted to the demands of urbanisation. Here you will find o...

Best Time: November to April

3. Halong Bay

3 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 51 Tourist attractions

Characterised by towering karst limestone pillars and small islets of various shapes and sizes amidst crystal blue waters, Halong Bay's ethereal beauty is a sight to behold. Located in northern Vietnam, it is the most popular tourist spot this side of the country. Halong Bay, where 'Halong' translat...

Best Time: April to September

4 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 37 Tourist attractions

One of the oldest cities in Asia, Hoi An is a town in central Vietnam which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Located south of Danang, Hoi An translates to 'a peaceful meeting place'. It is culturally and historically one of Vietnam's most important towns and also one of the r...

Best Time: February to July

Vietnam Travel Packages

Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free

Vietnam Package Tour 7 Days - Walk on the Golden Bridge

Best of vietnam tour including halong bay cruise.

Majestic Vietnam Holiday Trip with Halong Bay Cruise

Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days - Experience Hoi An

Experience the Best of Vietnam - 11 Nights 12 Days

Vietnam Itinerary 5 Days - Including Halong Bay Cruise

5 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 48 Tourist attractions

Da Nang sits prettily on the east coast of Vietnam, right between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Popularly known as the tourist capital of South-Central Vietnam, Da Nang is truly stunning - filled with beaches, museums, evolving nightlife and world-class infrastructure. On the South China Sea coast, wi...

Best Time: February to May

6. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

6 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Phong Nha ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its many cave systems, old karst mountains, thick green forests and scintillating underground rivers. There are many spectacular caves in the region, including the most extensive cave network on earth. Spread across 10,000 hec...

Best Time: February to August

7. Nha Trang

7 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 41 Tourist attractions

Home to some of the most beautiful bays in the world, Nha Trang on the coast of Southern Central Vietnam, is a popular beach resort city. While the fine powdery white crescent beach is a highlight of the shoreline, regular makeovers have produced parks, sculpture gardens, bright promenades and beach...

Best Time: February to April

8 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 34 Tourist attractions

Hue, the former royal capital of the Nguyen empire in central Vietnam, is one of the oldest cities in the country. Set on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue is a primarily a historical city which famously houses the Imperial City (declared a World Heritage Site in 1993) within the Citadel, which ac...

Best Time: January to April

9 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 28 Tourist attractions

Situated atop the Hoang Lien Son Mountains, Sapa is a colonial-era town in northwest Vietnam overlooking the terraced rice fields of Muong Hoa Valley. At an elevation of 1,500 metres, this small market town shares its border with China and offers some of Vietnam's best trekking. Arguably offering th...

Best Time: March to May

10. Phu Quoc

10 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 28 Tourist attractions

Phu Quoc is the biggest island in Vietnam, boasting the most beautiful white sand beaches, surrounded by palm and coconut trees. It's the largest island in Vietnam and is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Located just 45 kilometers from...

Best Time: November to March

11. Mekong Delta

11 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

The Mekong Delta in south-east Vietnam is one of the world’s greatest river regions. The Mekong River is the twelfth longest river in the world and the seventh longest river in Asia. The delta is a hive of activity and serves as an important transport and agricultural hub. Known as the ‘rice bowl of...

12. Ninh Binh

12 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 9 Tourist attractions

Rich in natural landscapes and a myriad of historical destinations, the city of Ninh Binh and its surrounding regions is a nature lover's dream destination. Capital of its namesake province, it is one of the oldest regions of Vietnam and is regarded as the sister destination of Halong Bay....

Best Time: Throughout the year

13 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 29 Tourist attractions

Da Lat is a refreshing hill station located in the southwestern highlands of Vietnam and is about 6 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. It is the capital of Lam Dong Province, known as the 'City of Eternal Spring' for its distinctive temperate climate. A far cry from the tropical heat of the...

Best Time: December to March

14. Ba Be National Park

14 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 5 Tourist attractions

Located at a distance of 240 kilometres from the city of Hanoi, Ba Be National Park is a stunning national reserve blessed with rolling hills, tall limestone karsts and over 550 plant varieties. It is also populated by 353 types of butterflies, 65 types of mammals and the rare Vietnamese Salamander.

15 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 14 Tourist attractions

The picturesque beach resort town of Mui Ne is located at a four-hour train ride away from the city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Once a sleepy fishing beach village, the town is now dotted with swanky beach resorts, posh cafes and restaurants, attracting a large number of seaside-loving tourists and loc...

16. Bai Tu Long Bay

16 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Bai Tu Long Bay in Northeastern Vietnam is an extension of Ha Long Bay - A UNESCO World Heritage site -  located at a mere 30 km from it. However, this small distance creates a vast difference in the experience that you can have here! The same limestone karsts, teal blue waters and languid crui...

17. Bach Ma National Park

17 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Bach Ma National park is a verdant paradise, located about an hour-and-a-half drive away from the city of Hue. Home to a varied range of flora and fauna with about 358 bird species, it is also proclaimed to be one of the wettest areas in Vietnam. One of the most popular spots on the touris...

Best Time: June-August

18. Con Dao Islands

18 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

A picturesque archipelago of 16 Islands, Con Dao lies off the southern coast of Vietnam. Out of the 16, Con Son is the largest and the only inhabited island. However, even the uninhabited islands are rich with stunning beaches. Emerging out of its past as prison islands for prisoners of war, the de...

Best Time: November to February

19. Vung Tau

19 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 13 Tourist attractions

Vung Tau translates into 'The bay of boats'. Sitting on a hilly strip of land that juts into the Ocean, Vung tau is one of the best beach towns located around 100 Km from Ho Chi Minh City. It primarily serves as a weekend getaway from Saigon and other cities in the nearby region. The two main beache...

20. Dong Hoi

20 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

A pleasant seaside city, with easy access to the Phong Nha Ke Bang caves, Dong Hoi is a rapidly rising tourist destination. Apart from its proximity to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Dong Hoi has its own tourist attractions, authentic cuisine and unique history that beckon people to explore an...

21. Dien Bien Phu

21 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Formerly known as Thaeng, Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is among the most historically eminent cities in Vietnam. It is here that the French were finally defeated in the year 1954 by the Viet Minh Communist Revolutionaries.Initially, jus...

Best Time: April to June, September to November

22 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Son La is a picturesque Vietnamese town hidden amidst towering mountains. The town has a dark past as it played house to one of the most brutal prisons in the world. Today, all that remains is the ruins and a tiny town with ghosts of its past deceptively hidden behind its natural rivers, trees and f...

23. Cat Tien National Park

23 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Cat Tien National Park is located in the Southern region of Vietnam, approximately 155 kilometres away from Ho Chi Minh City. This forest reserve covers around 720 sq.km. of the few surviving tropical low-lying woodlands of Vietnam. The national park is home to exquisite flora and fauna such as the ...

Best Time: December to May

24 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 3 Tourist attractions

Bac Ha is a village located in the Northwest of Vietnam and is a sleepy little town, the economy of which is centred around its Saturday and Sunday markets. The exchange, the colours, the local wares and an ever-bustling affair, these markets are usually visited on a day trip from the neighbouring S...

Best Time: December to April

25. Phan Thiet

25 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 2 Tourist attractions

Playing house to an amalgamation of heated sand dunes, lush mountains filled with greenery, golden beaches with blue water and gurgling streams, Phan Thiet is the perfect escape into the beauty of Mother Nature.

Best Time: September to December

26. Lai Chau

26 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Nestled in the midst of sloping mountains and plateaus, Lai Chau is a quaint town with monumental government buildings. This town offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the mystic scenery of the Vietnamese countryside. In addition to that, you can learn about the locals, go trekking, backp...

27. Hoa Binh

27 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 5 Tourist attractions

Hoa Binh is the Capital City of the Hoa Binh province of Vietnam. Located but a short distance from Hanoi, this hidden gem offers spectacular natural beauty, coupled with a rich culture. The natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture have made Hoa Binh a tourist attraction.

Best Time: October to January

28. Lao Cai

28 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 7 Tourist attractions

Nestled in the midst of mountains and valleys, Lao Cai, an obscure yet well developed Vietnamese region offers you something out of the ordinary - rich Vietnamese culture sans the sultry tropical heat. Lao Cai offers you a picturesque scenery, adventure and a peek into the rich culture and history o...

Best Time: September to October

29. Haiphong

29 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 19 Tourist attractions

Haiphong is Vietnam's third largest city and a major port. Haiphong is an industrial city and you can feel it in the air as soon as you enter. However, Haiphong also offers you with hidden relaxation, tucked and hidden away in the industrial town. It has a number of beaches and markets in addition t...

30 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 3 Tourist attractions

Ca Mau is Vietnam's southernmost town and the only city in the Ca Mau province. Braced against the Bac Lieu Canal, Ca Mau is a town that is still trying to decide its identity. While on one hand, it is a trade hub and a bustling metro, on the other, it is a quiet town with a bird sanctuary!The silky...

Best Time: June to October

31. Mong Cai

31 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Nestling on the very edge of Vietnam, Mong Cai is a small town located on the Vietnam-China border. It is filled with picturesque untouched beaches and a rich history of the Vietnam - China conflict. The town has booming trade owing to its proximity to the border. Mong Cai is also full of untou...

Best Time: April to July

32. Vinh Long

32 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Vinh Long has a vibe - a relaxed one. As soon as you step foot in this nondescript town in the Mekong Delta, you will physically feel your worries melt away as though you are stuck in a time lapse. The beautiful scenery coupled with the friendly locals, thatched huts, narrow lanes and fruit-laden or...

Best Time: January to March

33. Tuy Hoa

33 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 7 Tourist attractions

Flanked by the highway, the ocean and the Da Rang River, Tuy Hoa is a sleepy and nondescript city that does not see many tourists. This quiet Vietnamese city is the perfect place to relax, catch some waves or intent with friendly locals who are more than welcoming of tourists. The miles and miles of...

34. Mai Chau

34 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

The perfect location to cut yourself off from the world, Mai Chau is a quaint sleepy town that is not very well known and subsequently does not have as many tourists. If you want to drop off from the earth and land in a richly cultural land, in the midst of nature, then Mai Chau is the place for you...

35 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

A hidden gem in the Mekong Delta, the small sleepy town of Sa Dec belongs to the Dong Thap Province. The town has a sense of calmness in the air and does not draw too many tourists. Although a bit of a silent town, it can keep a tourist busy with places such as the old busy market by the river, old ...

Best Time: July to October

36. Quy Nhon

36 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Quy Nhon is characterised by diverse topography ranging from hills, mountains, peninsulas, lakes, beaches and much more. This small corner of Vietnam is an undiscovered gem for most tourists eliminating your worries about crowded and noisy beaches. 

37. Bien Hoa

37 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Bien Hoa is a busy town on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam. Close to the cultural heart of Vietnam, Bien Hoa is connected to it by Vietnamese Highway 1. At present, it fosters eco-tourism through its national parks and reserves. It is a huge industrial area that is expanding expon...

38. Cao Lanh

38 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

The refreshing town of Cao Lanh is the capital city of Dong Thap Province of Vietnam located on the southeastern coast of the country along the Mekong Delta. The newly flourishing city has a pretty good trade scene, especially in rice. The city does not give off a touristy vibe for the simple reason...

39. Hai Van Pass

39 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Hai Van Pass, between Da Nang and Hue, is said to be one of the most scenic and beautiful roads in the world. The road is flanked by the South China Sea on one side and the Annamite mountain ranges on the other. The pass stretches for 19 km and serves as a link between the north and south of Vietnam...

40 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Also known as the war city, Pleiku is the capital of Gia Lai province in Vietnam. The city has become the hub for tourists in Vietnam. This central highland offers a range of places to see, visit and eat. Famous for its cuisine and military campaign in 1965, Pleiku should especially be visited durin...

41. Tay Ninh

41 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Tay Ninh, the capital city of Tay Ninh province, is the site for the famous Cu Chi Tunnels built during the Vietnam War for military siege. It shares its borders with Cambodia and is only 90 kms from the largest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. The city’s crucial location gives it an economic advantage...

42. Kon Tum

42 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Due to the lack of a mainstream touristy vibe, the destination offers a calm off-centre experience to travelers and dwells them into the authentic Vietnamese culture. The city holds significance in the Vietnam War history and has many war sites open for visits by tourists and the locals. The surroun...

Best Time: January – March, October – December

Browse Package Collections

Vietnam package collections.

Vietnam Honeymoon Packages

Cambodia Vietnam Tour Packages

Top Destinations for Packages

Ho Chi Minh City

Phu Quoc Island

Nearby Countries for Packages

Philippines

Top Listed Packages

Vietnam & Cambodia Tour Package - Thrilling Package with Cruise

Vietnam Itinerary 6 Days: Best of Northern Vietnam

Vietnam Itinerary 8 Days - Beachside Visit to Mui Ne

Vietnam Itinerary 4 Days - Hanoi and Halong Bay

FAQs on Vietnam

What is the history of vietnam, how is vietnam divided into regions, top hotel collections.

Beach Resorts

Five Star Hotels

Luxury Hotels

Luxury Resorts

Nearby Countries

Cambodia

Related Posts

Currency Of Vietnam - Vietnamese Dong Exchange, ATMs and Useful Tips

Travel Tips

Currency Of Vietnam - Vietnamese Dong Exchange, ATMs and Useful Tips

Vietnamese Visa For Indians - A Complete Guide

Vietnamese Visa For Indians - A Complete Guide

New Year in Vietnam - How to Celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan Like the Vietnamese

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Vietnam - How to Celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan Like the Vietnamese

Major Religions in Vietnam - Facts And Details

Art & Culture

Major Religions in Vietnam - Facts And Details

Religion in Vietnam - Of Religious Tolerance and Acceptance

Religion in Vietnam - Of Religious Tolerance and Acceptance

18 Desserts in Vietnam for Your Sweet Tooth Cravings

Food & Drink

18 Desserts in Vietnam for Your Sweet Tooth Cravings

Beaches In Vietnam

Beaches & Islands

Beaches In Vietnam

Things to Do In Vietnam for a Wonderful Vacation

Experiences

Things to Do In Vietnam for a Wonderful Vacation

Vietnamese Culture Demystified!

Vietnamese Culture Demystified!

Street Food in Vietnam: 38 Must Try Vietnamese Dishes

Street Food in Vietnam: 38 Must Try Vietnamese Dishes

Culture of Vietnam - The Complete Guide

Culture of Vietnam - The Complete Guide

Get Customized Travel Packages

  • India (+91)

*All prices shown on the website are tentative. Final prices will be shared by our partner agents based on your requirements.

Log in to your account

Welcome to holidify.

Forget Password?

Share this page

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Spend a few days in its urban centres, and you'll see why so many travellers are taken with Vietnam's captivating energy. In the streets and you'll encounter chaotic markets and colonial-era cafes, sparkling malls, hip rooftop lounges, and tidy boutiques. At least once in your stay, do as the locals do and enjoy an evening of barbecue and beer on the sidewalk, or chat over a cup of tea in the shade of a city park.

changing cities

While Vietnam’s countryside casts a serene spell, its cities have an appeal all their own. Get a taste of urban Vietnamese culture by spending a few days in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Here you’ll have world-class dining alongside cheap-as-chips street food, ancient pagodas next to five-star hotels, and glittering shopping malls around the corner from bustling markets. Hanoi is a city of lakes, and its historical and cultural treasures will charm those with a penchant for the past. Ho Chi Minh City has an irresistible energy, and is home to uber-cool rooftop bars, trendy coworking spaces, and colonial-chic cafes. Don’t forget to hop on a scooter at least once in your visit to truly feel the pulse of urban Vietnam.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Each Vietnamese city exudes its own distinct character. Get a feel for Vietnam’s fascinating urban centres in these interactive tours.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Check out upcoming events in Vietnam

  • You are here:
  • Things to do

Create an account

Already have an account? Click here to sign in

By clicking submit, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Sign in with your social accounts

Sign in with your email

Forgot password? Click here to get it back

Don't have an account? Sign up here

Forgot Password

The entered email has subscribed for Vietnam Tourism monthly newsletter

top tourist cities in vietnam

Traveller's Choice Award 2023

  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Mumbai
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Delhi
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Kolkata
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Bangalore
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Chennai
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Hyderabad
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Pune
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Ahmedabad
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Kochi
  • Vietnam Tour Packages from Jaipur

Vietnamtour.in

  • Above 10 Days
  • Northern Vietnam Tours
  • Central Vietnam Tours
  • Southern Vietnam Tours
  • Northern & Southern Vietnam Tours
  • Northern & Central Vietnam Tours
  • Southern & Central Vietnam Tours
  • Vietnam Classic Tours
  • Vietnam Family Holidays
  • Vietnam Beach Holidays
  • Vietnam Honeymoon
  • Vietnam Luxury Tours
  • Vietnam Group Tours
  • Vietnam and Cambodia Tours
  • Vietnam and Laos Tours
  • Indochina Tours
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Mekong Delta
  • Latest Guides
  • Before Your Trip
  • About Vietnamtour.in
  • Meet Our Team
  • Why Choose Us?
  • Social Responsibility
  • Search for:
  • Get a Quote

Vietnam Travel Guide , Top Lists

Top 10 cities to visit in vietnam in 2024.

Cities to visit in Vietnam

There is a saying: “The world is a book and those who do not travel can read only one page.” So why don’t you take your time to read the whole book about Vietnam? Here is some interesting information about the 10 best cities to visit in Vietnam. Read on to find out!

Table of Contents

Sapa – The City in the Mist

Sapa

When is the best time to visit Sapa ? Hmm, it might be on the winter days from November and early December. Because at that time, you have a chance to immerse yourself in the bitterly cold of the Northern climate.

Sapa will be the first stop you should explore. It is not only famous for the white snow on the top of trees and forests, but also for its the secluded and unique scenery. Not convinced? You can also walk on the beautiful terraced fields resembling staircases to heaven.

Hanoi – The Capital of Vietnam

Mr. Harshit Shah and his family in Hanoi Train Street

Towards lowlands, Hanoi is the next ideal destination to enjoy your romantic autumn. Upon arrival, you can immediately feel the ancient atmosphere. The yellow leaves and aroma of blackboard trees are certain to leave an unforgettable impression on first-time tourists.

You might get surprised at a large number of attractions in Hanoi such as Guom Lake, 36 Pho Phuong Old Quarter, Long Bien Bridge, The Temple of Literature, The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, etc. Make sure to listen to the historical stories of each destination you arrive at. Some exciting facts are waiting for you!

Ninh Binh – The Land of Worldwide Famous Films

Mr Amish and his family join a boat tour in Ninh Binh

Have you ever watched Kong Skull Island? Do you know the movie was set in Ninh Binh province? So, do not miss such a highlight of northern Vietnam!

Spring is the greatest time to come to Ni nh Binh , especially between February and April. Tet holidays or Lunar New Year in Vietnam take place around this time. People tend to visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, a large temple complex with many famous records in Ninh Binh,  to wish for health and good fortune in the upcoming year.

If you come here from the end of May to early June, it is surely a great experience to see the fully ripe rice paddles in Tam Coc.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Mr Dhruv and his family in Hoi An Ancient Town

Only 25 kilometers away from the center of Da Nang City to the southeast, Hoi An Ancient Town is located on the north bank of Thu Bon River.

The streets in Hoi An are well decorated with a multitude of colorful lanterns. On the romantic Hoai river, the floating flower buds give a delicate touch to the picturesque scenery. Also, there are many ancient temples in the town. One of the most noticeable is the Japanese bridge, which is well known for its unique and charming appearance.

It doesn’t end there. You can take the time to visit the architectural monuments such as Quan Thang, Phung Hung, Tan Ky Ancient House, etc. These houses were built based on the old Western architecture about two centuries ago.

Danang – The Livable City

Mr Biplap and his family on Golden Bridge, Da Nang

Da Nang is recognized by the TripAdvisor website as one of the most worthwhile traveling destinations. So, put this coastal city on your go-to list now.

The best time you should visit Da Nang is in the summer, around June and August. There are plenty of destinations for you to choose from the popular list such as Cu Lao Cham Island, Ngu Hanh Son Mountain, My Khe Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in the world honored by Forbes, Linh Ung Pagoda, Han River, Love Bridge, etc. and entertainment areas such as Ba Na Hill, Asia park, etc.

In addition to that, security is a major plus point of this city. There, you can enjoy your best time without worrying about your safety and your belongings. Besides outstanding natural landscapes, Da Nang can also give off different vibes from classic and modern to exciting and dynamic.

>> Read more: Top 12 Bridges in Vietnam You Should Not Miss in 2024

Hue – The Imperial City

Hue Imperial Citadel

Do you know  Hue  was a former imperial capital of Vietnam in the 19th century? The remaining palaces and temples are the vivid evidence of the last feudal dynasty in Vietnam. You can also enjoy Ca Tru Hue , the King’s favorite kind of traditional songs, on the Huong River or in Duyet Thi Duong theater to deepen your understanding about the dynasty existing more than a century ago.

The most comfortable climate in Hue is in the summer-autumn period. So this is a great time for you to learn about the gentle and peaceful pace of life in this former capital.

If you like climbing, you can explore the Bach Ma Mountain to see the spectacular waterfalls. Standing on top of the mountain, you can witness the entire breathtaking scenery of Hai Van Pass and Cau Hai Lagoon. And it doesn’t stop there, there are many beautiful beaches in Hue for you to cool off and relax on your travel to this charming city.

Nha Trang – The Pearl of The East Sea

Nha Trang Beach

While Danang is a fresh coastal city, Nha Trang is considered as a symbol of the dynamic, youthful, and luxurious style. It’s warm all year round here. So, you can feel free to visit this city any time you want to fulfill your memorable beach holidays in Vietnam.

Not only is it famous for high-end and diverse tourist centers as Vinpearl Land but it also offers a multitude of recreational activities. They include underwater walking, paragliding, surfing, and flyboard. A big plus goes to the honest and hospitable local people who are always more than willing to help.

Da Lat – The City of Flowers

The interesting night market in Da Lat

Just as its name suggests, Da Lat is always fascinating, colorful, and poetic with thousands of flowers.

From the end of autumn to the beginning of the winter,  Da Lat is at its peak of beauty. The weather is nice, the sunshine is mild, and the flowers bloom everywhere. Still not convinced? What if I say it’s possible to experience all four seasons over the course of a day? The weather can change drastically from hot in the morning to cold at night.

There are many interesting destinations in Dalat such as Dalat Flower Garden, Cu Lan Village, Lang Biang Mountain, Love Valley, Truc Lam Monastery, Linh An Pagoda, Pongour Waterfall, Dambri Waterfall, etc. Remember to visit the bustling Dalat market at night. You can stop in a Vietnamese food court and drink a glass of warm milk or buy some handmade souvenirs for your friends.

Phan Thiet – The City of Sand Dunes

The splendid beach of Mui Ne, Phan Thiet

Where is Phan Thiet? Phan Thiet is a coastal city that is only about 180 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City. The city with a great number of beautiful sceneries surprisingly experienced a cultural integration between Chinese and Cham people.

Poshanu Cham Temple is a remnant of the ancient Cham individuals. The classical and artistic architectural style makes it truly different from other heritage. Although it has been renovated, the mystery and solemnity remain almost unchanged. Another recommendation is the sand dunes. This is also a suitable place for photographers to produce excellent artwork. Because the temperature is not high, you can spend all day in the “mini dessert” without suffering from sunstroke.

Can Tho – The City of Floating Markets

Floating market in Can Tho

Can Tho Province is an ideal destination for those who want to explore Western Vietnam. Tay Do, or the capital of the Western region is a casual name referring to Can Tho. It is said that the floating market is the spirit of Can Tho Province, especially Cai Rang Market. The local would gather and trade on the boat. And the most popular goods are fruits. You can choose and eat fresh fruits right on the spot.

Binh Thuy Old House, Nam Nha Pagoda, Can Tho Museum, Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary, etc. are also destinations that you may want to visit.

Above are my suggestions for the top ten cities to travel in Vietnam. Hopefully, with the information  Vietnamtour.in have provided, it is no longer a problem for you to choose the destinations. Have an interesting trip to Vietnam !

RELATED ARTICLES

Temples in Vietnam

Top 10 Famous Temples in Vietnam for Indian Travelers

vietnam mountain

Top 10 Vietnam Mountains: Ultimate Guide For An Exhilarating Adventurous Experience

Islands in Vietnam

The 10 Most Beautiful Islands in Vietnam From North to South

vietnam bridges

Top 12 Bridges in Vietnam You Should Not Miss in 2024

waterfalls in vietnam

Top 11 Best Waterfalls in Vietnam You Should Not Miss in 2024

Beaches in Vietnam

Top 10 Best Beaches in Vietnam You Should Not Miss in 2024

places-to-visit-in-vietnam

Top 21 Places To Visit In Vietnam For Indian Tourists

Festivals in Vietnam

Top 10 Traditional Festivals In Vietnam You Should Not Miss in 2024

' src=

Anthony Ngo

Hi, I'm Anthony - Co-founder of Vietnamtour.in. With me, traveling is an intense passion and promoting the charming beauty of Vietnam to international friends is a glory mission.

top tourist cities in vietnam

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

vietnam travel experts

Our travel experts are recommended by:

Viator-Logo

Customize Your Trip to Vietnam

Username or email address  *

Password  *

Remember me Log in

Lost your password?

IMAGES

  1. 10 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam

    top tourist cities in vietnam

  2. Best places to visit in Vietnam

    top tourist cities in vietnam

  3. 10 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam

    top tourist cities in vietnam

  4. 10 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam ~ The Vietnam Tourism

    top tourist cities in vietnam

  5. 17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

    top tourist cities in vietnam

  6. 5 Best places to visit in Vietnam

    top tourist cities in vietnam

VIDEO

  1. Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

  2. Top Tourist Cities Unveiled!

  3. #vietnam #tourism #travel

  4. The most famous tourist destination in Vietnam, Valley Cu flagpole

  5. Globetrotter's Delight: Exploring Earth's Most Frequented Cities

  6. Top 10 Places To Visit In Vietnam! 2023 Vietnam Travel Guide

COMMENTS

  1. 17 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam (+Map)

    1. Hanoi Map of cities in Vietnam Up in the remote north of the country's central highlands, Kon Tum is a cool breezy city. Kon Tum, despite good access by road to popular destinations, is distinctly non-touristy which allows visitors who want to learn more about the real Vietnam to soak in the culture.

  2. 17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

    Hoi An 7. Sapa Countryside 8. Hanoi 9. Nha Trang 10. Cu Chi Tunnels 11. Ba Be National Park 12. Mekong Delta 13. Cat Ba Island 14. Ha Giang 15.

  3. 10 of the best places to visit in Vietnam

    Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay Best for iconic photos The crowds mob Halong Bay but for our money, the shimmering bays to the north and south have a slight edge over Vietnam's most famous collection of outcrops and islands.

  4. Top 15 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam (2024)

    Top 15 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam Paul McDougal June 21, 2023 If you're a cosmopolitan little metropolis hopper and you're looking for the best cities in Vietnam, we've got your back. In this guide, we've unpacked everything you need to know about the best 15 cities to visit in Vietnam.

  5. 12 Best Cities & Towns In Vietnam: Beautiful ...

    1. Hanoi Perfect if you like: bustling cities, pho, old town vibes Vietnam's charming yet frenzy capital can be overwhelming for some, but it has a bustling charm that's easy to fall in love with after spending some time here.

  6. Top 12 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

    Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the country. The city is known for its rich history, French colonial architecture, and vibrant street life. Some of the top attractions in Hanoi include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is a maze of narrow ...

  7. Top 15 Cities to Visit in Vietnam

    1. Can Tho - The City of Nine-Dragon River Delta As the fifth-largest city in Vietnam and the largest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho deserves to be on the list of one of the top cities to visit in Vietnam. This city is also where transportation to different regions is most convenient.

  8. Best Cities In Vietnam To Visit

    1. Hoi An, Central Vietnam. One of the best cities in Vietnam for: Sightseeing, shopping and café hopping Don't miss: Seeing the thousands of lanterns on an evening stroll around the Old Town If you want to combine sightseeing with a spate of shopping, then the charming UNESCO world heritage city of Hoi An should be top of your list. Dating back to the 15th century, character positively ...

  9. Major Cities in Vietnam: A Comprehensive Travel Guide 2024

    Long Xuyen and Chau Doc (An Giang) Sam mountain, An Giang, Vietnam. These twin cities are a blend of cultures and traditions. From Khmer pagodas to floating villages, there's so much to explore! Unique Cultural Mix & Attractions: The Cham communities add a unique flavor to the region.

  10. 10 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in 2022 (with Map and Poll)

    1. Ha Long Bay Off Northeast Vietnam, Ha Long Bay was designated as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1994. For many reasons, Ha Long Bay has to be on your list when you travel to Vietnam. Having been known for thousands of limestone islands that emerged from the emerald water, the bay is surrounded by a spectacular seascape.

  11. 12 Best Places In Vietnam

    1. Fansipan, Sa Pa 2. Dalat 3. Ha Long Bay 4. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park Sun and Sea Destinations 5. Phu Quoc Island 6. Con Dao Islands 7. Nha Trang Culture Filled Destinations 8. Hue 9. Mekong Delta Amazing City Destinations 10. Da Nang / Hoi An 11. Hanoi 12. Ho Chi Minh City Discover Vietnam

  12. 10 BEST Places to Visit in Vietnam

    Places to visit in Vietnam Top Things to Do in Vietnam Places to Visit in Vietnam Explore popular experiences See what other travellers like to do, based on ratings and number of bookings. See All Bus Tours (6,179) Cultural Tours (2,422) Day Trips (2,029) Private and Luxury (2,078) 4WD Tours (1,288) Day Cruises (806) Kayaking Tours (1,116)

  13. 10 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

    1. Hanoi Hanoi, the charming capital city of Vietnam, is one of the must-visit destinations for travelers. It is a blend of antiquity and modernity, a mixture between traditional Vietnamese culture and French architecture.

  14. Updated top 6 must-visit cities in Vietnam

    1. Ha Long: Nature's Masterpiece and Coastal Gem Of Vietnam If you are looking for the best city in Vietnam to visit, then Ha Long is the perfect destination for you. Ha Long is located in Quang Ninh Province, about 160 kilometers away from Hanoi.

  15. 10 BEST Places to visit in Vietnam in 2024

    1. Ho Chi Minh City 2. Cu Chi Tunnel 3. Mekong Delta 4. Hoi An 5. My Son 6. Phong Nha 7. Ninh Binh 8. Hanoi 9.

  16. 15 best things to do in Vietnam

    4. Meet Vietnam's imperial leaders in the Hue tombs. Hue gets a second spot on the list thanks to the astounding imperial tombs, which preserve the mortal remains of a string of Nguyen emperors and empresses, from dynasty-founding Gia Long to Khai Dinh, the last Nguyen emperor to be buried on Vietnamese soil (his son, Bao Dai, the final emperor of Vietnam, was interred in the Cimetière de ...

  17. 47 Places To Visit In Vietnam

    1 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 83 Tourist attractions Perched on the banks of the Red River in Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is Vietnam's capital and one of the world's most ancient cities.

  18. Cities

    Ho Chi Minh City has an irresistible energy, and is home to uber-cool rooftop bars, trendy coworking spaces, and colonial-chic cafes. Don't forget to hop on a scooter at least once in your visit to truly feel the pulse of urban Vietnam. Cities. Enjoy bus rides back and forth between T1 and T2 Noi Bai International Airport free of charge!

  19. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Vietnam

    Popular Cities in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, Asia Hanoi Vietnam, Asia Hoi An Quang Nam Province, Vietnam Da Nang Vietnam, Asia Top Attractions in Vietnam These rankings are informed by traveler reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.

  20. Top 10 tourist destinations in central Vietnam

    The coastal central city of Da Nang is an ideal place due to the pleasant weather it offers all year round; its array of beautiful beaches such as My Khe and My An; along with other popular destinations such as Marble Mountains, Han River Bridge, and Ba Na Hills.Notably, My Khe beach has been named among the top 10 best beaches in Asia, as voted last year by readers of renowned travel website ...

  21. 15 Most Beautiful Places To Visit in Vietnam

    11. Mekong Delta. Known as the 'Rice Bowl of Vietnam', the Mekong Delta is one of the most scenic regions of Vietnam. A land of winding waterways, mangrove forests, floating markets and lush green rice fields, life here is governed by the ebb and flow of southeast Asia's most iconic river.

  22. Top 10 Cities To Visit In Vietnam For Indian Travelers

    Hanoi - The Capital of Vietnam Ninh Binh - The Land of Worldwide Famous Films Hoi An Ancient Town Danang - The Livable City Hue - The Imperial City Nha Trang - The Pearl of The East Sea Da Lat - The City of Flowers Phan Thiet - The City of Sand Dunes Can Tho - The City of Floating Markets Sapa - The City in the Mist

  23. Top 20 Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    Related: Top 10 Places to Visit in Vietnam. Once you reach the 79th floor, you have the top three floors to explore. Tickets include a small free drink (Vietnamese coffee, tea, or juice). 9. Ho ...

  24. Vietnam among top 10 destinations in Asia for Valentine's Day

    Travel website 12Go has announced a list of must-see destinations for Valentine's Day 2024 in Asia including Vietnamese cities of Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue. VNA Thursday, February 15, 2024 ...

  25. Enter the Year of the Dragon: A 2024 guide to Lunar New Year

    Tourists visit a Lunar New Year Lantern Festival in Shanghai on January 21, 2024. ... Nowadays, cities worldwide still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the festival's final day.