HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaVietnam20 Places to Visit in Vietnam + Things To Do By Marcos Detourista. Updated on March 17, 2018.Where to go in Vietnam? Achieve your travel goals with this guide to the best Vietnam attractions, places to visit, things to do & more. Vietnam is most known for its turbulent wartime history, delicious food, and Ha Long Bay. Before arriving in the country and traveling around its countrysides, little did I know that it is also home to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Southeast Asia, and charming heritage sites that are worth a peek.Vietnam’s tourist spots are broadly spread out in its northern, central, and southern regions. The country isn’t overwhelmingly massive, but unless you’re traveling long-term or plan to stick to just one or two regions, you will have to pick destinations to skip or prioritize.To make it easy for you to decide on where to go, here’s a list of my favorite places to visit in Vietnam:1. Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge under the sunset twilight in Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam Colorful lanterns and local craftsman, in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam Dusk view along the riverside in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, VietnamIf you’re planning to visit Central Vietnam, this is a heritage city that you shouldn’t miss. Hoi An is a small and compact town with an old-world charm. The riverside setting is like a more relaxed version of Malacca, but of course, Hoi An’s vintage buildings are heavily influenced by Vietnamese, French, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Delicious local food is also a major attraction here. The city’s magical atmosphere comes alive under the romantic sunset light and at night when the houses, temples, and shops are lit up.Show moreHow to goThe most popular gateway to Hoi An is Da Nang in Central Vietnam. nearest major city. There are a lot of convenient transport options between the two cities. Travel time is only around 45 minutes. To get around Hoi An’s old city, you can either join an organized tour or go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) tour by bicycle or on foot.See moreHoi An travel tips2. Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake at Night in Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi , Vietnam Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, in Old Quarter, Hanoi, VietnamLike Bangkok, there seems to be something interesting to discover at every street corner in Hanoi, especially in the old quarter of the city. It’s one of the best cities in Southeast Asia to explore on foot. In addition to a river that runs through the city center, Hanoi also has scenic lakes that are best viewed from rooftop restaurants or bars with a traditional Vietnamese coffee or chilled beer on hand. Hanoi is a destination worth visiting on its own and not just a flight hub in Northern Vietnam.Show moreHow to goHanoi along with Ho Chi Minh is one of the major international gateways in Vietnam, so getting by air is very easy. Hanoi-Noi Bai International Airport found 45 minutes away from the city center serves frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing. As well as major cities in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Middle East and more. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, VietJet, Vietnam Airlines.From the Philippines, Manila-Hanoi flights are served by Cebu Pacific and Vietnam Airlines. Flight duration is around 2.5 hours.See moreHanoi travel tips 3. Ho Chi Minh Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Hall in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam Notre Dame Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), VietnamHo Chi Minh on its own may pale as a travel destination in comparison to other cities in Southeast Asia, but it is a necessary transport hub if you plan to explore Southern Vietnam. In case you find yourself in Ho Chi Minh, the city center offers interesting cultural and urban experiences in addition to worthwhile day trips to the Mekong Delta.Show moreHow to goHo Chi Minh’s International Airport is the busiest airport in Vietnam. Found 45 minutes away from the city center, this airport serves frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Melbourne & Sydney. As well as major cities in New Zealand, Europe, Middle East and more. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, VietJet & Vietnam Airlines.From the Philippines, Manila-Hanoi flights are served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Vietnam Airlines. Flight duration is around 2.5 hours.Where to stay Tours & discounts Flights to Ho Chi MinhSee moreIndochina ItineraryHo Chi Minh Travel GuideHo Chi Minh travel tips4. Mekong Delta Mekong floating market and river cruise, in Can Tho, VietnamSee also 20 Places To Visit in Thailand 20 Places To Visit in Malaysia Laos Tourist Spots Hong Kong Travel Guide 5. Mui Ne Red Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam Fairy Stream in Mui Ne, Vietnam White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam6. Da Lat Crazy House in Da Lat, Vietnam Pongour Waterfall in Da Lat, Vietnam Da Lat Coffee Farm, Vietnam 7. Da Nang Carp Statue and Dragon Bridge lit up at night in Da Nang, Vietnam Cathedral-like Huyen Khong Cave, Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam Da Nang People's Committee building and Da Nang Administrative Center tower in Da Nang, VietnamDa Nang is one of the biggest surprises on my first visit to Central Vietnam. It’s a major tourist hub with its own set of attractions and convenient direct domestic and international flight connections. Da Nang is a great place to visit for travelers who aren’t ready to leave their urban comfort zones. This clean, modern, and laid-back city is bordered by a long white sand beach that is lined with top-notch resorts. The riverside area of the city center feels more like a huge outdoor theme park with well-maintained promenades, iconic bridges lit up at night, and the Sun Wheel (giant Ferris Wheel).Show moreHow to goAfter Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang’s airport is the next most well-connected international airport in Vietnam. Da Nang International Airport (DAD) serves direct flights from Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo-Narita. As well as flights from major domestic destinations including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Buon Ma Thuot, Hai Phong, Pleiku, Vinh, Can Tho, Da Lat & Nha Trang. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, China Eastern, Silk Air, Vietjet & Vietnam Airlines. Travel time by flight to Da Nang is around 1.5 hours from Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh.See moreDa Nang travel tips8. Hue Roadside view of Thien Mu Temple, along the Perfume River, in Hue, Vietnam Green view at Lang Minh Mang (tomb), in Hue, Vietnam Side view of Cua Ngo Mon (gate), the main tourist entrance, at the south side of the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam, on September 2015Hue is central Vietnam was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802-1945. It is home to a massive royal citadel called the Forbidden Purple City, which admittedly sounds more interesting than the actual war-ravaged site. For travelers who love visiting heritage sites, a more tempting incentive to visit Hue are exquisite imperial tombs scattered around the outskirts of the city.Show moreHow to goHue, in Central Vietnam, is located two hours north of Danang. The best way to get there is by train, which offers scenic coastal views along the Hai Van Pass. If you want to fly directly, Hue-Phu Bai Airport (HUI) serves flights from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Lat & Nha Trang. Airlines include Vietjet, Jetstar & Vietnam Airlines. Travel time to Hue-Phu Bai Airport takes around 1 hour from Hanoi and 1.5 hours from Ho Chi Minh.See moreHue travel tipsSee also Taipei Travel Guide Indochina Itinerary Myanmar Tourist Spots India Tourist Spots 9. Phong Nha Phong Nha Cave, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh, Vietnam, on September 2015 Paradise Cave formations, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh, Vietnam Near Phong Nha Village Center, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh, Vietnam, on September 2015If this is your first time to know about Phong Nha, join the club! Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng National Park located in Central Vietnam might not be popular as other places featured on this list, but it has something special to offer that is unrivaled not only Vietnam, but all of Southeast Asia, and maybe even the World — it’s massive and insanely beautiful caves.Show moreHow to goPhong Nga, in Central Vietnam, is 4–5 hours north of Hue by land or 7 hours north of Da Nang. If you are coming from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, consider a flight or train to Dong Hoi. Then, continue the 45-minute land trip to Phong Nha by shuttle. Flights are operated by Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, and VietjetAir. Flight duration to Dong Hoi Airport (VDH) is around 1 hour from Hanoi (HAN), and 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh (SGN). Tours & discountsSee morePhong Nha travel tips10. Ninh Binh Overlooking the massive limestone mountains and winding river at Tam Coc, in Ninh Binh, Vietnam Local on a boat filled with gathered firewood, at dusk, at Trang An riverside, Ninh Binh, Vietnam Dinh Tien Hoang Temple at Hua Lu Ancient Citadel, in Hua Lu Ancient Citadel, Ninh Binh, Vietnam, on September 2015 Facade of Phat Diem Cathedral, located on the outskirts of Ninh Binh City, in Vietnam, on September 2015.Touted as “Ha Long Bay on land,” Ninh Binh is filled with steep karst mountains soaring amidst tranquil rice paddies, meandering rivers, and dotted with temples and ancient settlements. The best way to explore the area is on a scenic boat ride that passes through the mountainscape or by following the riverside path by bicycle. Ninh Binh is two hours away from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam.Show moreHow to goNinh Binh is around 2 hours south of Hanoi by land. You can go on the bus from Giap Bat (Southern) Bus Terminal or a train on the Reunification Express. To get around Ninh Binh, you can either join an organized tour or go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) tour by bicycle/motorcycle.See moreNinh Binh travel tipsSee also Brunei Tourist Spots 20 Places To Visit in Hong Kong Nepal Tourist Spots 33 Places To Visit in Singapore 11. Ha Long Bay Cruise boats and blue sky, in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh, Vietnam Tourist on a kayak, in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh, Vietnam Sunrise, in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh, VietnamNo doubt Ha Long Bay is beautiful. With over 1,600 towering karst islands and islets, it’s a natural wonder worth a peek. However, if you’ve been to Krabi (Thailand) or El Nido (Philippines), do not expect too much with the quality of the water. The area that surrounds the bay is simply not as pristine, even under the bluest of skies. If you’re already traveling in Hanoi & Northern Vietnam, consider a trip to nearby Ha Long bay.Show moreHow to goHa Long City is the main jump-off point to the islands surrounding Ha Long Bay. The land journey from Hanoi takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. There are many shuttle/bus companies operating this route with pick-up directly from your hotel. You can easily book one at your hotel or by shopping around the travel agencies in Hanoi Old Quarter. To get around the bay, you have many options including sightseeing day trips to multi-day overnight cruises. Flights to Ha Long BaySee moreHa Long Bay travel tips12. Ban Gioc Waterfall & Cao Bang Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang, VietnamIf you’ve read my other best places to visit lists, you may already know about my fascination for beautiful waterfalls. Cao Bang in Northern Vietnam is home to Ban Gioc Waterfall, the most majestic in Vietnam. Half of this massive cascade sits on the Chinese border and is called Delian Waterfall on the other side.Show moreHow to goTotal travel time from Hanoi to Ban Gioc is around 8 to 11 hours. If you want convenient transfers, consider booking an organized tour. If you want to go on your own, local buses to Cao Bang depart from My Dinh Bus Terminal in Hanoi. Travel time is 7.5–8 hours. From Cao Bang, minibus and shuttles go all the way to Ban Gioc Waterfall. Travel time is 2.5–3 hours.See moreCao Bang travel tipsOn My Bucketlist13. Sa Pa & North Vietnam Sa Pa, Vietnam14. Nha Trang Nha Trang, Vietnam15. Phu Quoc Phu Quoc, Vietnam16. Can Dao Islands Con Dao Islands, Vietnam. Photo by vanlaphoang1945 via FlickrTop Tourist Spots & Places to Visit in Vietnam + Map1. Hoi An2. Hanoi3. Ho Chi Minh4. Mekong Delta5. Mui Ne6. Da Lat7. Da Nang8. Hue9. Phong Nha10. Ninh Binh11. Ha Long Bay12. Ban Gioc Waterfall & Cao Bang13. Sa Pa & North Vietnam14. Nha Trang15. Phu Quoc16. Can Dao Islandshttps://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/embed?mid=1mKSlO2q8IBlXUtnK_Bi41f2cYk21ho-3Map of Top Vietnam Travel DestinationsClick here to expand.Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.What places did you add to your bucketlist? How many travel goals have you achieved? Got places in mind that should be included? Share your photos/videos & tag #detourista. Click below to see more travel goals in Asia & beyond on:Instagram @detouristaHQFacebook @detouristaDon’t stop hereSee more Indochina/Vietnam travel blogs & guidesIndochina ItineraryHo Chi Minh Travel GuideCheck out these pages for more inspiration on places to go in Asia.20 Places To Visit in Thailand25 Places To Visit in Indonesia20 Places To Visit in Malaysia17 Places To Visit in Cambodia Don’t leave yet. There’s more!26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the PhilippinesIndochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…11 Best Countries to Visit in Asia for First-Timers12 Best Places to Visit in Palawan for First-TimersDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:Ho Chi MinhVietnamHanoiNinh BinhDa NangHa Long BayHoi AnHuePhong NhaCao BangSoutheast AsiaAsia See all placesFind more posts about:FeaturedBest TravelBest PlacesBest Things To DoLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Comments Manuel Sia saysOctober 16, 2015 at 10:48 pm Thanks for sharing your travel to Vietnam. Been to Saigon in 2011 and been wanting to go to Hanoi. Never knew about the other worth visiting places until you shared your wonderful pictures. Is it hard to tour Halong Bay? Would it be just fine skipping Halong Bay when I go to Hanoi?Reply Marcos Detourist saysOctober 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm My pleasure Manuel :) There are still more potentially worthy places to visit in Vietnam. I want to go back as well, particularly, for Sa Pa and Da Lat. I booked an overnight boat cruise in Ha Long Bay for $80. I had a very bad experience with both the booking and tour agency. Touring Ha Long Bay is easy since you just have to turn up at the travel agencies in Hanoi or Ha Long City at least a day before (or book online). It’s finding a decent tour agency / boat operator that is the tricky part.If the weather is too cloudy or rainy, I would skip Ha Long Bay. I enjoyed Ninh Binh and Phong Nha a lot more than Ha Long Bay.Reply Raquel saysOctober 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm Amazing Vietnam!!!!Reply Jhon roach saysDecember 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm What an amazing and informative blog marcos.One should definitely go through the blog if he/she is travelling to vietnam.This country has a blend of chinese as well as french culture so anyone can feel the presence of both the cultures.Reply Start A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.