In 2020, Sapa slips to the bottom of the list, mainly because of the many under construction. In contrast, the coastal alluring town of Hoi An becomes a must-see destination in Vietnam. Vietnam might look small on the map, but this fascinating country has enough beauty to fill a continent. From jagged mountains in the north to tropical beaches in the south and the wealth of history and culture in between, these are the best destinations to visit in Vietnam.
Most travelers to Vietnam are attracted by the country’s wonderful natural beauty: Vietnam is an astonishing mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity. From the green rice fields in the north to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south. Vietnam however is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic attractions and old temples. An overview of the most amazing tourist attractions in Vietnam.
Hikers, bikers, and outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, while 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 fantastic panoramas, the big cities breathe with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to get stuck into Vietnam’s tasty culinary highlights.
There are numerous things to see in Vietnam. None should be skipped. Here is a detailed list of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Scroll down and pick your choices before planning a holiday to Vietnam. 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.
Sapa is one of the best places to visit in North Vietnam. The picturesque destination is surrounded by lofty hills and overlooks the rolling plush green valleys with plenty of things to do in Sapa. The topography, the terraced paddy cultivation, and the serene-yet-colourful countryside together has made Sapa an idyllic holiday retreat.The steep, sharp mountains contrast with the deep, green valleys and terraced rice fields of the region, with long winding roads weaving in and out of the hills.
Throughout the region live a multitude of diverse, vibrant ethnic minority groups, such as the Hmong, Dao, Giay, and Tay to name only a few. The hill-tribe villages are hidden in bamboo forests, behind waterfalls, and within fertile valleys, making every town more beautiful than the last. The Roof of Indochina, Mount Fansipan, stands here at 3,143 m (10,300 ft.), offering a glimpse through the clouds and mist into the numerous valleys of North Vietnam and China.
Located near the border with China, Sapa countryside is amongst the attractive places to visit in Vietnam. It attracts visitors from across the world for its rice paddy fields, tribal communities, and surreal beauty. The area is packed with lush landscapes and home to many ethnic minorities like Muong, Hmong, and Tay.
Sa Pa has always been on the top of the list of tourists who want to visit Vietnam. But, this village has been made its place recently on that list. Located 17km west of Sa Pa, this village belongs to the Red Dao’s people who have maintained their traditional lifestyle, away from the touch of modernity.
Tips: The roads towards the village aren’t suitable for cars. So, you can hire bikes and visit the village. The journey is also beautiful with astounding views of the road.
This mountain is the highest in the Indochinese Peninsula and is famously known as the roof of the Indochina. It has stunning sceneries and a beautiful landscape surrounding it that makes it ideal for trekking expeditions for adventure junkies. If you’re not up for a trekking excursion then you can also choose to take the cable car ride to witness the panoramic views of the Indochina region. Explore the rich flora and fauna of this mountain and marvel at the views of the swirling clouds and forested slopes on your way.
The Silver waterfall is a mesmerizing waterfall that has white water cascading down the giant slope of a hill. The sunlight falling on the waters gives it a shining colour and makes it look like silver, hence, the name Silver Waterfall. This waterfall can be visible from afar, and is ideal for hiking in Vietnam adventure.
One of the most important national parks of Vietnam, it is situated at a height of 3,000 m above sea level. The Hoang Lien National Park boasts ecotourism and it’s also a hub for scientific research with an extensive range of forests and exotic wildlife. You can explore the wilderness of this national park with trekking expeditions and enjoy your time in the lap of nature.
As a place of the former political centre of the country for 13 uninterrupted centuries, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is one of the most famous Vietnam tourist spots. A World Heritage Site since 2010, this place is a glorious vintage fortress that reflects the remnants of Vietnamese military power. Archaeological expeditions have found relics of age-old roads, palaces, wells, ponds, potteries, coins, and many other war remnants. It one of the most famous Vietnam tourist attractions.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam, the place is known for its collection of ruins of over seventy ancient Hindu temples. These temples were constructed between 4th and 14th AD by Champa rulers and display the strong heritage of the Cham Clan. The temples are mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva and got destroyed during the Indochina war.
Located in Phan Thiet city, Mui Ne is a coastal fishing town in southern Vietnam, the perfect getaway from Ho Chi Minh City. The coastline is filled with a string of beach resorts ranging from budget to pricey and chic. Popular for the numerous wind-surfing camps in the area, check out Mui Ne between October and April to try this adventurous sport. Other interesting activities include surfing the gigantic sand dunes outside the city with sandboards and ATVs or taking a half-day gentle walk through the charming Fairy Stream Canyon.
One of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is a piece of spectacular marble construction, built with materials collected from all over the country. This monumental marble architecture is quite popular and one of the most famous places to visit in Ho Chi Minh city. It is home to the well-preserved body of Uncle Ho, the great president of Vietnam who led the country to Independence This place is closed from September 4th to November 4th when Ho Chi Minh’s body is taken to Russia for annual maintenance and preservation procedures. People of Vietnam regard this as a sacred place hence there are certain restrictions for visitors. It is amongst the most visited Vietnam tourist spots.
Popularly known as the Hanoi Citadel, it is a UNESCO world heritage site from where a wide variety of ancient artefacts, ruins, coins, weapons, relics, etc., were extracted. The excavated collection belongs to different civilizations and has items as old as the 6th century. The citadel was a vintage fortress where major political decisions were taken by Vietnamese rulers for 13 consecutive years. Visit this one of Vietnam beautiful places to discover the historical and cultural significance of the country.
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a world heritage site and biosphere reserve that must be visited during your trip to Vietnam. The place houses evergreen forests, diverse species of fauna, exotic birds, and wild animals.
Phu Quoc is a tropical island, 40 kilometers away from the south coast of Vietnam, in the Gulf of Thailand. With sandy palm-fringed beaches and turquoise water, this island is one of the best beach destinations in Vietnam. The northern part of Phu Quoc is a part of a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve while the southern coastline is filled with luxury resorts, funky bars, and quaint cafes. Phu Quoc is also famous as the top producer of fish sauce – an essential spice in Vietnamese cuisine.
There is a bunch of activities on this paradise island. Do hiking in the dense forest and look out for wildlife. Tour the fish sauce factory and local villages. Dive the offshore coral reefs, kayak in the bays, watch the romantic sunset, or just lounge on the beach, followed by a fresh seafood dinner.
Looking for Vietnam beautiful places to spend some relaxing moments with the family of friends then head to Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is home to several turtles and offers pristine surroundings that mesmerize the visitors with their splendid charm. The lake is also popular as Turtle Lake and is famous for the natural beauty around and is one of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam. And to emphasize the beauty more, there is Ngoc Son Temple in the middle of the lake. Linked by a small bridge to the mainland, the island and the temple is the awesome place where you can take some great pictures with a fantastic background.
This museum in Vietnam is one of the few that are based on the various ethnic groups of the country. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was constructed in 1997 and many changes have been brought to the place over a period of time. The architect Ha Duc Linh has done a brilliant job in designing the building and was himself a member of one of the ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Da Nang, from a transit point, has redefined itself into a worthy destination of Vietnam. Boasting long coastline with beautiful beaches and recently incredible bridges, Da Nang definitely worth a visit. Da Nang is among a few destinations that can offer both beach and mountain. Some of the must-see attractions are My Khe beach, Non Nuoc beach, Son Tra Peninsula, Marble Mountains, Ba Na Hills, Golden Bridge, The world cultural heritage My Son, Linh Ung pagoda. You can find excellent local street food as well as good western restaurants here. The city is located a 40 – minute drive from Hoi An and 2 – hour from Hue, which are both notable destinations.
This history museum is amongst the 7 national museums in the country of Vietnam. If you have a thing for military weapons, then this place is a must-visit for people like you. The museum was constructed on July 17th in the year 1956. There are various things on display that reminds the visitors of the Vietnam war.
Immerse into the beautiful scenery, live the island life and plunge into the crystal clear waters of the most beautiful island in Cua Lo. The white sand beaches and the blue waters are ideal for a relaxing time on this island. The locals call it the Ru Coc (toad) island because it looks like a giant toad towards the sea. The steep cliffs and the rock formations on this island make it famous.
The Mekong Delta is a floating world made up of a vast maze of rivers and fertile, alluvial soil in southern Vietnam. Referred to as Dong Bang Song Cuu Long in Vietnamese, or the river delta of nine dragons, this haven for lush rice paddies, wildlife, and tropical fruits and vegetables is a biological treasure trove of the world. The colorful floating markets and shimmering Khmer Pagodas of the largest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho, showcase a proud Vietnamese and Cambodian heritage. In addition, to the natural wonder of the area, the culinary delights abound in regional delicacies such as Lau Mam, a hotpot with fermented fish, and Banh Xeo, a Vietnamese-styled crispy pancake. As much of the lifestyle in the area revolves around the river, many of the villages are often only accessible by canals and boat, creating the atmosphere of land frozen in Cochinchine time.
If you want to learn about the cultural aspects of Vietnam, then a visit to this place is a must. Temple of Literature is considered the Temple of Confucius. This temple is also a host to the first national university of Vietnam, the Imperial Academy. The construction of this temple started in the year 1070 during the reign of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông. The architecture and aura of this place define Vietnamese historicity.
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.
One of the most impressive places to visit in Vietnam, the Ban Gioc Waterfall gushes water from a height of 30 meters. It emerges from the Quay Son River and is 300 meters wide. The melodious sound of cascading water, pristine beauty of waterdrops and captivating backdrop scenery of lime mountains make this location picture perfect.
One of the popular tourist places in Vietnam, the War Remnant Museum displays various items and relics of different wars of world history. A variety of weapons, armoured vehicles, bombs, bunkers, tanks, infantry weapons, and artillery items are displayed here. Being one of the must-visit places in Vietnam, the museum also houses a section dedicated to photographs and posters of different anti-war movements and drives that happened globally.
The lush Red River Delta in northern Vietnam creates the dreamy landscape of Ninh Binh, often referred to as “Ha Long Bay on land”. Known for its karst mountains and hidden grottoes, cave temples, green valleys and shimmering rice fields, Ninh Binh is an incredible insight to the simple beauty of the Vietnamese countryside. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trang An Scenic Landscape complex and Tam Coc are best visited by rowing boat, while the Cuc Phuong National Park contains incredible vistas along its hiking trails.
For an epic panoramic view of the river running through rice fields, climb the stairs to the top of Mua Cave. Nearby is the river gateway to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. The largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam exists here, consisting of Bai Dinh and Bich Dong Pagoda, as well as Phat Diem Stone Cathedral.
Mekong Delta has a geographical significance, not only because of its delta features but also due to the abundance of rice cultivation on the both the banks. It is one of the must places to visit in Vietnam. The most mesmerising feature of this popular tourist destination is that the houseboats and markets float on rivers & canals that intersect the land.
Phu Long Nature Reserve is the best place for tourists looking for an offbeat place. Home to a large number of rice paddies and stunning limestone Panoramas. Located roughly 170 km from Hanoi. Trekking in the forest alongside the rice paddies, cycling in the reserve and exploring the small villages are some of the common activities that one can do. It is a hidden gem amongst all the other Vietnam visiting places.
Ancient, peaceful, colorful, it’s why the charming city of Hoi An in central Vietnam is such a popular destination for travelers and locals alike. Indeed, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An’s Ancient Town is filled with traditional Vietnamese tube houses, heritage Chinese shophouses, a famed Japanese Covered Bridge and beautiful French colonial buildings, often painted in a sunny yellow.
Hoi An is not only famous for its romantic ambiance but also its wonderful local cuisine, especially Com Ga (chicken rice), Cao Lau (a traditional noodle soup), and Banh bao – Banh vac, a secret recipe only available in the area. The vibrant handcrafted lanterns glowing in the evening dusk as small rowing boats gently glide down the Thu Bon River, and large amount of bespoke tailors and original handicrafts make this cute town the highlight of any trip to Vietnam.
One of the best places to visit in Vietnam, Hoi An is an ancient coastal town and the former trading post of south-eastern Asia. The vintage town is one of the must-see places in Vietnam. The style and architecture of the buildings reflect a perfect amalgamation of the east and the west. Chinese Temples, Japanese Designed Bridge, Pagoda, Old Canal, and French Colonial Houses still reflect the old world charm.
An ancient coastal town in central Vietnam, Hoi An is amongst the UNESCO world heritage sites in the country. It is known for its serene location and matchless appeal of its marvellous architecture that showcase a perfect amalgamation of different Asian countries.
The natural beauty and aesthetic importance of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural wonder, is a true jewel in the crown of Vietnam’s beauty. Boasting a spectacular seascape filled with thousands of towering limestone islands, karst grottoes, and quaint junk boats cruising the sparkling emerald waters, visiting this area truly is like stepping into a fairy tale, the stuff of legends.
Complete with surreal elegance, the Halong Bay is a picturesque destination and tops the list of best places to visit in Vietnam. It is known for its turquoise blue water, sinkhole lakes, marine cliffs, limestone caves, grottoes, and islets. This amazing area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features a wide spectrum of biodiversity.
Located on the Lang Biang highlands, around a lake and a golf course, Dalat is a cool and serene place for a perfect holiday retreat. Dalat has pleasant days and soothing cool nights. Therefore, the climate here is rightly tagged as ‘eternal spring.’ This perfect holiday destination boasts of its stunning lakes, waterfalls, and lush green valleys with vibrant flower beds that have put it among the most amazing places to visit in Vietnam.
Locally known as Cu Lao Cham, this is a small pristine island with amazing landscape and one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. One of the upcoming places to see in Vietnam, the island is rich in marine biodiversity and comprises of many endangered species. A 30 minutes’ speedboat ride from Hoi An is all it takes to reach this Vietnam tourist attraction. The island is known for coral spotting, swimming, diving, and snorkelling. One should spend overnight on the island to experience the most photogenic sunrise.
Mui Ne boasts of its spectacular white and red sand dunes, eroded by oceanic wind. The winds have carved out mind-blowing formations, such as Barchans & Sieve, and display amazing desert topography. As one of the most fascinating Vietnam tourist places, it is crowded during the peak season. Yet, it is quite challenging to explore the entire area by trekking. Hence, people need to hire sledge, quad bikes, and buggies or take an ostrich ride
Vietnam is not only about beaches and mountains but has dramatic white and red sand dunes in Mui Ne. Complete with incredible beauty the place showcases striking formations, like Barchans & Sieve, that were created by the oceanic winds.
Blessed with natural beauty, the Ba Be National Park is known for its stunning caves, breathtaking cascades, and limestone karsts. The park covers nearly 39 square miles of area and houses a diverse range of exotic birds, wild animals, and several tribal villages.
Ninh Binh is another topographical splendour on the southern end of the Red River Delta. The place represents a typical Vietnamese rural scene with lush green paddy fields, verdant mountains, and winding rivers cutting through the village. The former capital of Vietnam, Ninh Binh is one of the popular Vietnam tourist places.
The place is yet to be unravelled or excavated by mass tourists. It’s still a hidden gem in Vietnam popular for its natural beauty. This place is the home for ninety per cent of the ethnic minorities who have a noticeable influence over the culture predominant in this place. Due to the political turmoil this region has remained unaffected by the economic uplift in Vietnam for the past 20 years.
Located in Cam Ha Ward in Hoi An, the Phuoc Lam Pagoda belongs to Lam Te-Chuc Thanh Buddhist sect and is home and training centre of Buddhist monks. It attracts visitors for its impressive ancient Asian architecture and peaceful ambience.While you are in Hoi An, you will be amazed to see lots of pagodas and temples. You should not miss Phuoc Lam Pagoda which is really unique in its design and architecture. It is the tranquillity around the place that will keep you calm and quiet while you will enjoy the serene beauty of the pagoda. Decorated with potted plants on the porch and the religious statues on the walls, this pagoda is really awesome to spend a day here.
For adventure lovers, this place is the right location, the freshwater lake located in Back Kan province in Vietnam is the most suitable place for adventure lovers to indulge in various outdoor activities which include boating, kayaking and even climbing through tropical jungles.
The island away from the crowd located in the North-East direction of Halong Bay The place with its natural beauty and aura will leave tourists awestruck. The Karsts made limestone are the main attraction for the tourists.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Complex Of Hue Monuments served as the former cultural, administrative, and spiritual hub of the Nguyen dynasty. It is located in Hue City and amongst the most notable historical Vietnam places to visit.
The island belonging to the Quang Ninh Province of Vietnam with fine white sand, blue waters acts as a favourable place for tourists to spend their leisure. It is an Archipelago located in the Gulf of Tokin. It is one of the most romantic places in Vietnam with tranquil blue waters, white sandy beaches and golden sunshine. It is quite famous amongst all the other Vietnam tourist attractions.
An astonishing archipelago in the east of the Quang Ninh province, the Co To Island consists of around 50 tiny isles. It is an unspoiled place to visit in Vietnam to enjoy a nature retreat away from the madding crowd and chaotic life.
Feel the romance in the air with a boat cruise on the Perfume River, a must visit place in Vietnam for couples, honeymooners to all sorts of tourists. The river gets its aroma from the flowers that get dropped in the water from orchards upwards in autumn months.
Located in the city of Da Nang, Han River Bridge is considered to be a treat to the eyes. It is one of the 4 bridges in the city. The cable-supported swing bridge is an ideal place to enjoy a peaceful evening stroll. During the night, this bridge lights up magnificently and gives one all the reasons to stay a little longer. It is one of the most famous Vietnam visiting places.
An ancient site of worship, the Pagoda Of The Celestial Lady is amongst the most beautiful pagodas to be visited in Vietnam. Famously known as the Thien Mu Pagoda, it is the highest stupa in Vietnam and carries an important historical significance.
As the name suggests, this place rightly depicts the old charm of the city of Hoi An and Vietnam as a whole and one of the must-visit places in Vietnam. Old House of Phun Hung is full of elements that represent the aspects like trade as well as different local values of the country of Vietnam quite effectively. Since this place appropriately displays the old values of the country, it has been recorded as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Known as the last royal tomb constructed in the Nguyen Dynasty, the Tomb Of Khai Dinh is different from other tombs of this dynasty. The architecture of the tomb is unique in itself as it is the fusion of Asian and European styles. Other unique attractions of this mausoleum are the use of cement and steel in the structure, elaborate designs and bold decorations.
This cave is one of the largest caves in Halong Bay and one of the most famous tourist attractions of Halong Bay. Known as the Cave of Marvels, this cave features unique striking rock formations including a Buddha, a tortoise and phallus that are illuminated by lights. Once you get inside the cave, you’ll be awestruck by its grandeur and mesmerizing beauty. Spot different kinds of shapes that almost seem real. Exploring this cave is a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t miss while in Halong Bay.
Po Nagar Cham temple complex dates back to the 8th and 11th centuries and is built by the Cham people. These are dedicated to the goddess Po Nagar, known as ‘The mother of the Country’. The towers are grand square red-brick structures which were 10 in numbers but now only four remain.
This is the largest island in Halong Bay, it is the hub for all water sport activities like swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, diving, and caving as well. If you want to experience the best of snorkelling in Vietnam then this is the place to be. Other adventures include trekking, hiking and rock climbing. The beaches might feel overcrowded, but there’s plenty of space to relax, unwind and sunbathe without getting disturbed. You can find your own secluded spot to lay your beach mat and just relax amidst serene views.
Located on Vietnam’s beautiful east coast, Ninh Van Bay is a chic beachfront offering a perfect setting for a rejuvenating vacation. The place is a hidden gem and takes about 20 minutes to reach by a speed boat from Nha Trang.