Best Places to Visit in Vietnam - Greatest Holiday Destinations
If you're planning a sightseeing trip, why not check out the best places to visit in Vietnam? This country represents the perfect combination of beautiful scenery and cultural highlights. The remarkable diversity of the landscape also explains why it ranks among the top Asia tourist places to go to.
Visiting Vietnam, you can explore a wide range of scenery. Have a walk among the paddy fields to take in the pastoral painting of different shades of green, or head further to end up in the ancient towns. Here you can thoroughly enjoy the nostalgia slipped through every red brick and old lantern.
Compared to its Northern neighbour, another well-known travel destination - China, Vietnam is generally cheaper and warmer. Which one will give you more bang for your buck? Hard to say. Vietnam may not be as diverse and massive as China, but it is a magical place offering just the right experience for many travellers.
This beautiful country has more to offer than you think. Let's tour this hidden gem of South East Asia and see which attractions in Vietnam will fit your sightseeing plan.
Interesting Facts About Vietnam
Sunshine lighten up a part of Son Doong cave. Photo by Andrew Svk on Unsplash
Before jumping right into the list of Vietnam's famous places, why not learn about the country through fun facts? The trip may not be as fun without a bit of research. And some wild stories in this peaceful country will pique your interest.
Vietnam has been playing the leading role in agricultural products. The statistics show that Vietnam ranks second after Brazil regarding coffee exporting at the beginning of 2022. At the same time, the country also provides a consistently high number of cashew and pepper, along with tropical fruits.
This beautiful country is home to the largest cave in the world, Son Doong. Located in the centre of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, the cave is a natural wonder to explore. No adventure can resist the surreal experience of advancing into the unknown, surrounded by mist and unknown species.
This fact may not appear surprising to you, yet it shows the beauty of Vietnam's culture. Banh mi, Pho, and Ao dai were added to the Oxford dictionary in 2011. This proves the world's recognition of the popularity and uniqueness of these Vietnamese foods and culture.
The surprises will continue as you find more fun and exciting stories when reading further into our list of Vietnam tourist spots. Let’s dive in!
Top Holiday Destinations in Vietnam
Hanoi is undoubtedly an excellent point for your tour of the S-shaped country. Being one of the most thriving cities in the country, Hanoi has a profusion of cultural delights that attracts both locals and tourists in Vietnam.
Hanoi's bustling, chaotic daily life can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Yet once you get used to it, you'll gradually fall in love with the place. From the crowded streets full of vehicles to the sounds of street stalls in the morning, they're all a part of its charm.
Visitors who want the authentic experience of Hanoi make sure to visit the Old Quarter. Take a leisure walk around the 36 guild streets to pick up some high-quality goods before sitting down for a refreshing cup of Vietnamese iced coffee. It will be a shame not to enjoy pho or bun cha, the legendary Hanoi dishes.
Hop on one of these cyclos and enjoy your tour around Hanoi! Photo by Anh Hoang on Unsplash
A tour by cyclo may be preferable for a sightseeing plan. Hop on one of these old horses and enjoy a relaxing time around Hoan Kiem Lake. Or direct your way to the museums scattered around Hanoi. Vietnam Fine Art Museum and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology are perfect destinations for culture lovers.
Ho Chi Minh City
It's hard not to mention Ho Chi Minh City among the famous Vietnam tourist places. The city offers a lively, vibrant nightlife with great shopping centres and an endless chain of restaurants and coffee. Tourists won’t get bored exploring this cosmopolitan city for days on end.
It's also home to the largest international airport in Vietnam: Tan Son Nhat. You may have recognised the insane traffic flow when you first arrive, but we say it’s a part of the city’s characteristics.
Stunning view of Ho Chi Minh city at nighttime. Photo by Tron Le on Unsplash
Remarkable architectural structures are common in Ho Chi Minh city. Built in the late 19th century, the grand Notre Dame Cathedral is among the city's iconic symbols. Jade Emperor Pagoda is also a solid choice if you want to appreciate the gorgeous Buddha statues and sophisticated religious patterns.
Ho Chi Minh City is a place for history enthusiasts. Situated in the centre of district 1, Independence Palace witnessed significant changes in Saigon. It was once the residence of the South Vietnamese President and is now the historical monument to Vietnam's victory and freedom.
After the war, scars and bruises are inevitable. The War Remnants Museum was designated for that very purpose, to reveal the brutal truth about the Vietnam war and its long-term damage. The museum houses a collection of up to 20,000 documents and films, along with outside exhibitions.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a place to visit in Vietnam at least once in your life. The breathtaking sea views and superb limestone islands contribute to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The natural beauty of this place is out of this world.
It doesn’t take much imagination to understand the charm of Ha Long Bay. Thousands of magnificent limestone karsts emerging from the gorgeous emerald water surface enchant wanderers worldwide. It’s a world-class destination whether you long for an adventure into the place’s mysterious caves and islands or a healing trip.
Limestone karsts gorgeously standing amid the water's surface are a sight to behold in Ha Long Bay. Photo by Lewis J Goetz on Unsplash
There are many ways to enjoy your holiday at this natural wonder. Yet the best way to take in the landscape can only be by boat cruises. Ha Long Bay offers a wide selection of transportation, from small, traditional junk to luxurious boats, a promising joy to all customers, day or night.
Here’s a tip: ensure to keep up with the weather forecast. Holidays involving water may contain unprecedented risks, mostly from natural factors. The best time for sightseeing falls between March and June. However, the off-season can provide some great discounts.
No one can deny the irresistible charm of Hoi An compared to other Vietnam places to visit. Situated in the South corner of Da Nang, this ancient town offers a scenic, poetic scenery of old streets and beautiful rows of lanterns.
One of Hoi An’s historic highlights is the merchant houses, a part of the trading centre in the 15th century. It’s where Japanese and Chinese merchants gathered to get the best batch of silks. These houses have been opened to the public so tourists can stop by and learn about their historical significance.
Hoi An boasts some of the most exciting, lively shopping markets in the area. Here tourists can purchase high-quality handicraft items and tailored suits handmade by renowned tailors. Remember to visit the stunning Japanese Covered Bridge and the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese temple.
Unlike the unique shrines in Japan’s popular destinations, Vietnam temples and pagodas are known for their elaborate and elegant designs. They are not as vibrant in colours, but the details in the simplicity of the design are mind-blowing.
Beautiful rows of lanterns brighten up Hoi An’s streets. Photo by laudibi - stock.adobe.com
There’s a reason why Hoi An became an endless inspiration for numerous artists and poets. The ancient tea warehouses and lounge bars brilliantly blend into the aesthetic setting of old town streets. It’s even more gorgeous at nighttime when Hoi An shines in the mellow lights of lanterns. Such a feast for your eyes.
Ha Giang is a top place for solivagant among Vietnam tourist spots. Separate from the buzzing cities, the site provides panoramic views of the mountain landscape and scenic roads. It’s where you can take a deep breath and let your worries be washed away.
There’s so much you can do in this beautiful land. Fearless cyclists can take this chance to challenge the dizzying paths leading up to Quan Ba Pass. For relaxing purposes, it’s best to take a ride between Dong Van and Meo Vac to immerse in the breathtaking scenery.
Tham Ma pass, a challenging path for fearless cyclists in Ha Giang. It’s where people used to test their horses. Photo by Quang Anh Vũ on Unsplash
Visitors should take some time to browse the local markets. Traders from the neighbouring villages will flush down to the place with unique goods. Beautiful hair ornaments or handmade bags will be perfect gifts for friends and relatives back home.
Make your trip even more memorable with another adventure to Lung Cu Flag Tower. The satisfaction of conquering the most northern point of Vietnam is a one-of-a-lifetime experience.
Undoubtedly, the imperial city of Hue deserves a place among popular destinations in Vietnam. The impressive collection of ancient relics and the remarkable setting along the Perfume River's bank can cast a spell on any visitor.
Visitors should combine the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate and the majestic Thai Hoa Palace in their Hue trip. The imposing outlook of the gate and the marvellously detailed interior of the palace will not disappoint you. Halls of Mandarins are also a must-see for stunning ceiling decorations.
The Imperial Royal Palace of the Nguyen dynasty is a must-visit historical site in Hue. Photo by Curioso.Photography - stock.adobe.com
One of the best ways to enjoy outdoor attractions is by taking a cruise on the Perfume River. A day trip on the boat should be enough to take you to the Tombs of the Emperors. In addition, impressive pagodas and other historic sites can be easily spotted along the way.
Located on the southern side of the country, Phu Quoc is among the best attractions in Vietnam. Tourists can immerse themselves in the scenic view of lush green forests, white-sand beaches, and waving hills. It's also ideal for those looking for a tropical holiday during the dry winter.
It's the prime destination for water activities, such as swimming, diving, kayaking, and surfing. There's nothing more exciting than having fun with the ocean blue at Sao and Ong Lang beaches. In addition, tourists can take boat excursions to the An Thoi Islands for incredible scenery and high-class snorkelling sites.
Sunbathing at this gorgeous beach in Phu Quoc doesn’t seem bad at all! Photo by Paul Szewczyk on Unsplash
Ensure to bring a big appetite; you will need it to feast on the delicious seafood. Plenty of restaurants here serve delicious dishes made from the fresh batch in the day. Eating them with the famous speciality, fish sauce, is even better.
Nha Trang is an all too familiar name when talking about Vietnam tourist attractions. The famous seaside resorts and excellent scuba diving spots praise its name. And tourists are sure to love the vivid summer vibe, with picturesque ocean views and bright sunshine.
Three days is just the ideal duration to explore the charm of Nha Trang. There are plenty of things to do. Visiting VinWonders Nha Trang and Central Park for fun sculptures is a good idea to lighten your mood. Similarly, you can enjoy the nighttime at seaside bars or restaurants with an exceptional front view of the beach.
The top of Po Nagar Cham appears vividly on a fine morning in Nha Trang bay. Photo by Arvydas Arnasius on Unsplash
Besides sunbathing and underwater activities, Nha Trang is home to numerous significant buildings. The finest example is the sacred Po Nagar Cham tower, an ancient structure dating back to the 7th century. It has long been the holy worship site for many Cham, Chinese, and Buddhists.
The Alexandre Yersin museum is perhaps not the most incredible architectural wonder, but it has a fascinating history. It’s a tribute to Alexandre Yersin, who succeeded in finding the cause of the bubonic plague. He’s also the founder of Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute, which specialises in treating animal diseases.
Sapa is undoubtedly among the best places in Vietnam. It’s hard to resist the fabulous view of verdant rice fields surrounded by the striking peaks of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.
The beautiful countryside is even more fascinating thanks to the year-round moderate climate. Sapa is also home to the tallest mountain in Vietnam, Fansipan.
The gorgeous high view of Sapa, spotted with tiny houses. Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash
Taking a leisure stroll around, tourists can instantly realise the diversity in population here. The roads are filled with crowds from different ethnic groups, from Hmong, Nung, and Tay to Red Dzao. They’ve spent most of their life here, among the rippling hills, dedicated to farming works.
Yet the people here enjoy their lives to the fullest. They hold festivals occasionally to celebrate a bountiful harvest and express their gratitude to nature. There are open outdoor markets from time to time. Make sure to take the chance and get some beautiful handicrafts as souvenirs.
Tourists may feel surprised to find French architectural buildings along the way. From the gothic church and the town square to the city hall, they’re all full of charm with unique and detailed patterns. Don’t forget to visit the Sapa culture museum to learn more about the land’s history and cultures.
It's not an exaggeration to consider Dalat one of Vietnam's beautiful places you must visit at least once. Blessed by the captivating scenery and cool weather all year round, Dalat was the favourite summer hideout for Vietnamese emperors. Nowadays, it's the perfect destination for getaway holidays and honeymoons.
History lovers should add Bao Dai King Palace 1 to their itinerary. It's the residence owned by the last Vietnamese emperor. With an affordable entry cost, tourists can freely explore the palace, packed to the brim with sophisticated interior designs and luxurious furniture.
Your trip to Da Lat can only be completed with a visit to the Dalat night market. Here tourists can find the fresh vegetables and fruits grown at the site along with beautiful handicrafts and embroidered items. And nothing can beat the combination of hot soybean milk and grilled girdle cake on a breezing night.
Da Lat is renowned for its romantic quality and is known as the “honeymoon capital”. Photo by Red Nguyen on Pexels
Da Lat offers some of the best hiking trails and biking routes around Xuan Huong lake and the Golden Valley. Another destination for your sightseeing plan is the Valley of Love. Couples and newlyweds love to come here and enjoy pedal boating and leisure strolls.
With a surreal landscape and fascinating architecture, Ninh Binh welcomes flocks of tourists daily. It’s also home to Trang An Landscape Complex, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Visitors will not regret visiting this Vietnam famous place.
Surreal scenery of a small temple resting near the lake in Trang An, Ninh Binh. Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash
It’s ideal to start your journey at Bich Dong pagoda, one of Ninh Binh’s historical highlights. Situated at the foot of the mountain, the pagoda humbly hides behind a large lotus pond, only connected by a stone bridge. Inside the courtyard are the stairs leading to two other temples from the 18th century.
Take a 20-minute drive from the Trang An area, and Hoa Lu ancient Capital should be in your sight. The old structures were the remains of Vietnam’s first capital city. Walking under the banyan trees into the brick courtyards, tourists will get a round-trip ticket to the past.
If you’re searching for a private, less crowded holiday site, Mui Ne may be the place for you. This hidden gem is relatively unknown among places to see in Vietnam. Yet its beautiful resorts and excellent water sports conditions have drawn more attention from foreigners.
Beautiful sunset on top of a sand dune in Mui Ne. Photo by Melody Temple on Unsplash
There’s nothing more signature in Mui ne than the burning dunes. The joy of riding on these gorgeous stretches, from the gentle bumps to magnificent seaside scenery, is worth it. If you’re short on time, simply stopping by to catch the mesmerising sunset is enough.
Tourists who ever visited Mui Ne must have heard about the Fairy Stream. This seemingly ridiculous name fits the place very well. As you take off your shoes and advance through the stream, you’ll be caught up in the colourful limestone and the bright, massive trees before reaching a magnificent waterfall.
Water sports are unmissable in this beautiful seaside place. In fact, Mui Ne has the best sites for kitesurfing in entire Asia. Even if you are an amateur, there are beginner sessions you can take. After doing some adrenaline-charged exercises, don’t forget to treat yourself to scrumptious seafood and fruit desserts.
Can Tho can leave a stronger impression than other Vietnam tourist spots. No matter how often you visit Can Tho, the scenery is never the same. Sometimes it's a bustling city jam-packed with traders and merchants; at other times, it's a quiet, lazy town bathing in the mellow sunshine.
Vietnam may remain overlooked by the best destinations to travel to in Thailand for a long time. But the Land of Blue Dragon stands toe to toe with this nation with its diverse landscapes and rustic charm.
Perhaps it's the harmony between Can Tho and the Mekong Delta that tourists fall in love with. The best time to visit this city is between January and March. The mild weather around this time is ideal for exploration and outdoor activities.
Should you want an authentic experience of Can Tho, make sure to wake up early for the floating markets. Hundreds of boats will set their journeys at dawn, bringing exotic specialities to the customers. Cai Rang is among the most popular, but smaller markets will give you more space to enjoy the ride.
The bustling vibe from the traders in Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho. Photo by Huy Hung Trinh on Unsplash
Once you've explored the markets, it's time for cultural lessons at Binh Thuy ancient house. Initially built by the Duong family in 1870, it’s well-mixed between French and Asian architectural patterns. Duong Minh Hien, the family's sixth generation, now maintains this magnetic structure.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park
As one of the best places Vietnam, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park offers breathtaking scenery and a tranquil setting separate from the city. Its popularity hit its peak when the site was featured in the 2017 blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island”.
A marvellous scenery in a cave in Phong Nha - Ke Bang complex. Photo by gilitukha - stock.adobe.com
The authentic charm of Phong Nha - Ke Bang lies in the pristine beauty and the quiet atmosphere of nature. Take a walk through the jungle, and you will figure your pace has been slowing down. It’s because you’re moved by the striking karst mountain with countless caves and the sound of unknown rivers.
The fantastic display of stalactite and stalagmites inside the Phong Nha caves may amaze you. If you want something more exotic, go for Dark Cave. A journey through the muddy, narrow passageways and a scenic paddle to the cave’s jetty sounds very refreshing.
Yet more marvellous features can be found at other destinations. Cycling on the meandering tracks in Bong Lai Valley, through the local villages and beautiful rivers, is unmissable.
If you're longing for a fun exploration trip at a sandy beach, quickly add Con Dao to your list! Thanks to the diverse scenery and numerous outdoor activities, Con Dao is renowned among marvellous places to visit in Vietnam. The variety of marine life is phenomenal, and the food here is a chef's kiss.
Tourists looking for sunbathing spots and diving sites should make their way to Con Son Island. The main island of Con Dao provides some of the best sandy beaches and the highest-quality resorts with a gorgeous ocean view.
Con Dao promises its visitors a plethora of adventurous and relaxing opportunities. Photo by Dong Nhat Huy - stock.adobe.com
Con Son Town will be an excellent site if you're into history. The settlement includes the Con Dao Museum, Phu Hai Prison, and the notorious "Tiger Cages" prison. It recreated the scene where prisoners were trapped inside small cages and poked like tigers, partly revealing the dark history of the Vietnam war.
The thriving seaside city of Vung Tau has been attracting tourists in Vietnam for a while. It only takes a 2-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City to enjoy the sunny beaches and refreshing ocean breezes. In addition, the warm weather all year long makes it a paradise for water sports lovers and regular visitors.
Vung Tau is a popular destination among locals, where they can relax and enjoy seafood. Photo by nguyen khanh vukhoa - stock.adobe.com
Back Beach is an often recommended destination, and for good reasons. The softness of dark-coloured sand is incredibly tempting, and its constant waves may fit for surfing enthusiasts.
If you’re not into sports, try a leisure walk along the coast to catch the scenic view of fishing boats during the sunset.
Are you searching for unique architectural works? Better check out the impressive Jesus statue atop Mount Nho. Visitors can climb up to the statue’s shoulders via the spiral staircase to get a spectacular view of the city. However, keep in mind that you’re only allowed entry if you dress appropriately.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park is famous among Vietnam tourist places. People flock to this place to see with their own eyes the rich ecosystem and the habitats of endangered species. It’s also the perfect choice for those who desire a getaway trip to nature.
Cuc Phuong National Park is the ideal place for bird-watching thanks to its diverse bird fauna. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Being the first national park in Vietnam, Cuc Phuong consists of many botanical gardens and old trees. There is also a wide range of animals, including birds, reptiles, mammals, and beautiful butterflies. Following trekking routes is the best way to visit all these species, with a reliable guide of course.
You should avoid visiting the place in the rainy season (from July to September) as the trekking trails will be slippery. Additionally, February to April is the time for bird watching, while butterflies gather from late April to early May.
Mai Chau District
Among the beautiful places to see in Vietnam, Mai Chau is the perfect option to escape the bustling city. Nothing can be more reassuring than sitting amid the paddy fields and looking up at emerald mountains. The rural area always has its charm, and Mai Chau is undoubtedly very alluring.
The beauty of the Mai Chau rice fields is why many people put this place on their travel list. Photo by Elettra Stefani on Unsplash
The best way to enjoy your trip is to blend in with the rural culture. Mai Chau Valley offers some excellent homestay accommodations with a scenic setting. The landscape ranges from lush forest to breathtaking limestone and striking mountain peaks.
Take some time to eat with the locals; you will love their warm hospitality. The cooking skills and home-cooked dishes running in these families are marvellous. In addition, remember to stop by the morning markets to get some ethnic dresses with the finest patterns.
The best places to visit in Vietnam may be underestimated holiday spots, yet Their charm is undeniable. Whether you’re into an exciting adventure or a relaxing trip, it’s the right place. Have you decided where to go on your next trip to Vietnam? If yes, pack up your stuff and embark on the journey right now!
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