Top 10 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam in 2021

Planning a trip to Vietnam? There are many best cities to visit in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the most captivating countries in Southeast Asia.  

It captures travelers’ hearts from all over the world with its blend of Urban modernism and natural beauty.  

From sea cost to hill stations and vast rice terraces, Vietnam has it all. Vietnam is also a backpacker’s paradise.  

It is the most affordable country in all Southeast Asia, from food to transportation to just about everything, your money goes very far here.  

However, the country is relatively large, and like most places, the more time you have, the more you will do, see and eat.  

Most people travel either north to south or south to north. The main reason behind this logic is because the two largest cities are located at opposite ends of the country.  

You will find Hanoi in the north, and in the south, you will discover Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City. For those of you who will be visiting Vietnam for one week or less, your trip is going to feel a little bit rush.   

What we recommend is researching some cities that are interesting to you and make your call from there.   

To make it easy for you, we have done the research and put together the ten best cities to visit in Vietnam, and you’ll see why this country in Southeast Asia’s would be an excellent idea. 

What is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam?

It is best to time your Vietnam trip between December and February when the weather is pleasant, and rainfall is minimal.  

If you go before December, it will be raining too heavily for you to enjoy activities like trekking. And if you visit in February, the weather will be humid and sultry. So, plan your trip accordingly

What Currency is Used in Vietnam?  

The local currency is the Vietnamese Dong, and One US dollar is equal to roughly around 23,000 Vietnamese Dong.  

I would recommend you download a currency converter app that you can use offline. It will help you get ahead around the difference in currency.  

These are the 10 Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

1- Hanoi  

Known as the heart of Vietnam, Hanoi is the country’s capital city. It is among the oldest cities in Asia.  

With lovely locals, an incredible food scene, and a welcoming atmosphere, it is an affordable and fun destination for travellers.  

Hanoi is located on the Red River banks around 1700 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City, and it is known as the heart of Vietnam for a few reasons, including its geographical location.  

There is a population of around 7.7 million people that call Hanoi home. So, expect to see lots of others when you are visiting.  

vietnam cities to visit

You will also see a few different cultural influences, including French, Chinese, and even Russian. 

The city has undergone a series of name changes, from Flying Dragon City to Dong Kinh (Eastern Capital).  

Admiring its beauty and knowing its history is best done by foot, strolling its beautiful streets, witnessing its evolving architecture from centuries of Chinese rule, a period of French colonialism until its modern-day.  

Hanoi is about discovering new things, seeing, hearing, and tasting the delicious foods, from its vibrant nightlife to the bold flavours available at the countless street vendors.  

Moreover, the city is rich in culture, and it is a fantastic destination to visit and getaway to the famous Halong Bay.  

There are many popular tourist destinations to explore. Ho Chi Minh Museum is one of them.  

It is dedicated to the beloved Vietnamese leader, and it’s a complete representation of his life and legacy. And it is an exciting museum to learn about Vietnamese history. 

Where to Stay in Hanoi? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Hanoi. 
Best Budget Hotels in Hanoi. 

Best Hostels in Hanoi. 

2- Ho Chi Minh City – Places to See in Vietnam 

Ho Chi Min Ho Chi Minh, the largest and most populated city in Vietnam, is located by the Saigon River in the South foreign country and is home to around 10 million people the majority of Buddhists.

Formerly known as Saigon until 1976 the city was renamed Ho Chi Minh after the revolutionary leader.  

The city is famous for its war with the Americans, Pagoda temple’s, traffic, bustling markets and French colonial architecture.  

Although Ho Chi Minh is rich in history, it has one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

Modern buildings like skyscrapers are developing very quickly; And if you don’t get there soon, you may miss some of the city’s charm.  

best places to visit in vietnam

When it comes to getting around the city, motorbikes rule the road, and the motorbike taxis are the quickest way to get from one place to another.  

Other forms of transport include buses, bicycle and taxis and if you are thinking of using taxis.   

There are many places to explore in Ho Chi Minh, such as Notre Dame Cathedral located in Paris Commune Street in district one the cathedral was built in the late 1880s.  

And all the materials to build a church were imported from France visiting hours are from 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.  

Conveniently located next to the church is the Saigon central post office also designed by the French, it’s one of Ho Chi Minh’s oldest buildings.  

If you consider yourself a foodie, then there’s plenty of choices when it comes to eating around the city. You will find plenty of cheap restaurants and street foods around the famous Benton market area.  

And if you’re a coffee lover you’ll be spoilt for choice there are tons of coffee shops all over the place. It is one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam. 

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. 
Best Budget Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Best Hostels in Ho Chi Minh City. 

3- Da Nang 

We’ve always learned about how lovely Da Nang is, and I have to say it is as impressive as advertised. Pristine beaches, panoramic temples and mountain views await you in Da Nang. 

It’s among the favourite cities in Vietnam, Da Nang has a beautiful beachfront, and I highly suggest taking advantage of it by obtaining a beachfront resort. 

You won’t regret getting views of the hills and the sea, and a rooftop pool never hurts too. 

Being the renowned tourist destination in Vietnam, Da Nang has lots of beautiful areas to see, such as Bana Hills a must-see place. 

Bana Hills is a renowned mountain resort; this place has been discovered a century ago from the French and now is the popular sports and entertainment complex. 

You’ve got to have a cable car to go up, which can be around1,500 meters over sea level. Once on top, you will see the French Village, Pagoda, Amusement Park and French Gardens. 

Next great place to go to at Da Nang is Marble Mountain, situated on 7km of Da Nang downtown; Marble Mountain include five hills representing five components Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Soil. 

The mountain of water would be the greatest among all, and the primary attraction is lots of caves and Buddhist temples. These are also Vietnam’s famous pilgrimage places. 

Additionally, voted among the world’s most luxurious beaches by Forbes Magazine, Da Nang beach is a stunning white sand beach. 

There are many accommodation options on the beach. And it provides various adrenaline activities like fishing, water sports, swimming or just chilling on the beach. 

The beach can be found in the city, therefore it’s convenient to visit here, and it is one of the best Vietnam attractions. 

Where to Stay in Da Nang? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Da Nang. 
Best Budget Hotels in Da Nang. 

Best Hostels in Da Nang. 

4- Dalat – Best Cities to Visit in Vietnam

This magnificent small city in the south of Vietnam is just a little bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City. It sits on an elevation of 4921 ft above the sea level on the Langbian Plateau.  

The city is considered the central highlands region and Dalat provides a very fertile landscape that makes it one of Vietnam’s premier agricultural areas.  

Producing a selection of vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee beans and flowers. There are loads of unique sights that you can see from Dalat.  

The famous Crazy House is a distinctive building. Often called a fairy tale home, the unique shapes and sculptures of the construction have been inspired by the work of greatest artists such as Dali and Walt Disney.  

Ensure that you climb all of the ways to the top to receive a gorgeous view of the whole city.  

Another popular fascination of Dalat is your excellent Truc Lam cable car that takes you to the top to Thein Vuong Pagoda.  

This gorgeous scenic cable car provides you with a panoramic view of the whole city.  

Moreover, Dalat has cool weather year-round which is ideal for agriculture. As a result of this, be sure that you take a light jacket or sweater to use during the night.  

Following the beautiful cable ride, you’ll arrive in the beautiful Truc Lam Temple.  

This gorgeous well-kept monastery is among the most tranquil places you’ll ever visit in Vietnam. 

Where to Stay in Dalat? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Dalat. 
Best Budget Hotels in Dalat. 

Best Hostels in Dalat. 

5- Ninh Binh 

Ninh Binh is an amazing destination to visit for the beautiful Vietnamese countryside. Vietnam’s first capital was established here, and today area is a protected UNESCO world heritage site.  

From the capital city of Hanoi, you can reach Ninh Binh in less than two hours. You can get here by train, bus, taxi, private car or even rent a bike.  

Once you reach this beautiful district, the best way to experience Ninh Binh’s scenic views is by boat.  

best places to visit in vietnam

I highly recommend a paddleboat tour in Tam Coc, which is a small village in Ninh Binh.

The small town offers such a unique experience, where your boatman or woman will paddle you along the gentle current in the shadow of these gigantic jungle-covered limestone hills. On the way, you can spot so many temples under high cliffs.  

A visit to Trang An Grottoes is a must during your journey to Ninh Binh, and it is among the most well-known areas in Ninh Binh.  

The Trang An Grottoes is a gorgeous combination of valleys and cross water caverns.

The boat is always the best way to admire the beauty of Trang An Grottoes rivers and you will also get a chance to see the extraordinary natural scenery, hidden caves, and gorgeous riverside temples. This makes it one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam. 

Where to Stay in Ninh Binh? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Ninh Binh. 
Best Budget Hotels in Ninh Binh. 

Best Hostels in Ninh Binh. 

6- Cao Bang 

Cao Bang is perhaps the most beautiful province in Vietnam and rather close to China. 

With five significant river systems and 47 lakes, water plays an essential role in forming the region and local life. Much of Cao Bang is safeguarded as UNESCO Global Geopark.  

The city’s phenomenal diversity makes it an incredible place to check out, especially for adventure lovers.  

There are three different locations within the city, consisting of the eastern area with several rock hills, the western location with a lot of limestone and mountains, and the southwestern area with mountains and also dense forests.  

One of the most famous tourist attractions in the area is Ban Gioc waterfall, which has gained popularity worldwide.  

Gam River in the West and Bang River in the heart of Cao Bang are the two biggest rivers in the region, which have developed the Peninsular valley of the Cao Bang Province.  

What is the best time to visit? Each season, you can see and do many incredible things in Cao Bang Province. 

However, the most effective time to visit is from August to September. Likewise, you can take a trip to this site from November to December to view various sort of flower that is opened all over right here.  

It would be best if you did not visit this district in the summer, considering it is very sunny and hot. 

Where to Stay in Cao Bang? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Cao Bang. 
Best Budget Hotels in Cao Bang. 

Best Hostels in Cao Bang. 

7- Vung Tau 

A popular weekend break getaway from Ho Chi Minh City, many people visit the Vung Tau beach during the weekend, and foreigners come in numbers.  

However, it is reasonably silent during the week. The city enjoys a fantastic area on a peninsula, with water on three corners; the light and ocean air make it an energizing break from sultry Saigon.  

Oil is the primary source of income in the city, so the horizon is frequently dotted with tankers, and petrodollars rule the economy, and pumping up prices significantly.  

Vung Tau has four recognized coastlines– Front Beach, Back Beach, Pineapple Coastline, and Paradise Beach. Each is incredibly gorgeous and packed with the crowd from others.  

The Christ, the King Statuary, placed on top of Mount Nhỏ facing the sea in Vung Tau, is a second copy of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil.  

The two sculptures are similar in dimension– Vung Tau’s Christ the King stands at the height of 36 meters overall, and his arms span 18 meters.  

Although the height is the same, the statue in Brazil has wider arms of 28 meters.

Once you hike to the statue, you’ll be awarded the best views of Vung Tau from the little, cramped checking out point on the statue King’s shoulders.  

To get there, you’ll need to go 800 stairs up to the base of the statue and also after that another 133 steps once inside.  

The spiral staircase within the statue is small and even commonly crowded, so you’ll likely require to wait your turn to get out to the checking out the platform. 

Where to Stay in Vung Tau? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Vung Tau. 
Best Budget Hotels in Vung Tau. 

Best Hostels in Vung Tau. 

8- Hoi An 

Hoi An is an ancient riverside town and a great place to get away from the heavy traffic.

There is something special about this graceful little city from the ancient architecture and the canoes scattered all on the river.  

And the colourful silk lanterns that light up the night, Hoi An, is simply beautiful. It has a population of around 120,000 people, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.   

Also, it is a world heritage site because it is a remarkably well-preserved city. It has a broad range of influences, which make the architecture and the vibe unique.  

vietnam places to visit

Also, it makes the food very unique, which is probably the most important thing for many tourists.  

The warmest months are from June to August; for cooler temperatures and the least amount of rainfall, plan your visit between February and June.  

Hoi An is one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam. There are many tourist attractions to see, one of them is to visit the Fujian assembly hall. 

Fujian is a South Eastern province in China, and this place was built by the Fujian Chinese back in the 17th century.  

It serves as a meeting place for the Fujian colony. Originally this place was an assembly hall, but it was later transformed into a temple for worship; this is one place worth checking out when you are in Hoi An.   

Another one of the things that you have to do in Hoi An is to visit the historic Japanese bridge, this bridge was built in the 17th century, and now it’s been restored by the Chinese and the Vietnamese.  

One of the best ways to experience Hoi An is to wander around the town and explore the different shops and food stands.   

Where to Stay in Hoi An? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Hoi An. 
Best Budget Hotels in Hoi An. 

Best Hostels in Hoi An. 

9- Hue – Vietnam Cities to Visit

Hue’s ancient imperial city on the banks of the Perfume River is full of history, culture, and things to see and do.  

The downtown area is charming, there is plenty of little shops to visit, and there is a hostel area downtown where you can stay.  

Hue is a backpacker’s paradise because you will find many cheap accommodations to stay in and food to eat.  

One of the main things to see is the imperial city (the old walled city), and this is an extensive complex that takes quite a while to walk through.  

Even if you are not stopping and looking at all of the things, but if you love history, you should play a full day here.  

Furthermore, there are two tombs outside of the city, Tu Duc’s tomb and the tomb of Khai Dinh.  

These are also impressive and elaborate complexes with multiple structures that you can enjoy and take a couple of pictures.  

The fascinating history is surrounding all of these areas. So, depending on what your interests are? This could be a great day or two for you to explore.  

Take a boat ride on the Perfume River, and the river spans approximately 80km in length.

Perfume River was given its name over a hundred years ago by the locals. This is due to flowers that would fall from the orchids from upstream of the river and carry their scent down the river. So, you can only smell it more during the autumn month. 

Where to Stay in Hue? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Hue. 
Best Budget Hotels in Hue. 

Best Hostels in Hue. 

10- Halong Bay

Out of all the beautiful places in Vietnam, Halong Bay is the most unforgettable, fascinating and one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam.   

Halong Bay is known for its famous floating islands with about 1,600 limestone islands in this Bay.  

Additionally, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a top-rated travel destination. This place is so gorgeous.  

It is one of the best cities to visit in Vietnam, and the name translates to where the dragon descends.   

And according to historical legend, the best islands were formed when the dragon charged from the mountain towards the coast.   

This Bay is located on Vietnam’s northern, eastern coast and has incredibly serene emerald and crystal-clear waters home to multiple small limestone islands covered by forests.    

best cities to visit in vietnam

Summer is the best time to visit Halong Bay, which is from April to September, this is before monsoon season, and the water tends to be a little warmer.  

Getting to this destination, you will have to take a private car, taxi, or a bus from Hanoi, which will take around 3 hours to get here.  

You can stay on the cruise during your visit to Halong Bay, which is a very popular option.  

There is one day to multi-day cruises, and there are many different companies for organizing the cruise.  

But if you don’t end up staying overnight on a cruise, I highly recommend booking a day tour.  

These tours are a very convenient way to see the different bays, kayaking, hike, and explore the islands. 

Where to Stay in Halong Bay? 

Best Mid-Range Hotels in Halong Bay. 
Best Budget Hotels in Halong Bay. 

Best Hostels in Halong  Bay. 

Final Thoughts: 

There are many Vietnam tourist places; in fact, the country is a jewel of Southeast Asia, and you simply cannot stop falling in love with this country.  

I highly recommend taking a trip to Vietnam if you have the opportunity to do so.  

You will be amazed by lush locations, mesmerizing nature, tons of activities, great food, and some of the warmest and most welcoming people you will ever meet.

Also, Vietnam is one of the most affordable countries in Southeast Asia. Once you visit, certainly you will fall in love with this place, and you will come back to re-visit. 

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