Where to stay in Vietnam for first-time visitors? Which are the best places in Vietnam for couples, families, solo travelers? In this post, I will help you to decide the best areas to stay in Vietnam for tourists, best hotels in Vietnam for all budgets, and best thing to do in each city.
Vietnam is a long, narrow country with a diverse range of landscapes, cultures, and attractions. The best area to stay in Vietnam will depend on your interests and the type of vacation you are looking for. Whether you want to explore the country’s vibrant cities, relax on the beach, or trek through the mountains, Vietnam has something for everyone.
Vietnam is a country in Southeast East Asia known for its rich culture and history, beautiful natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine. Some of the things that Vietnam is famous for include:
The Vietnam War: Vietnam is known for its role in the Vietnam War, which took place in the mid-20th century and involved the United States and other countries fighting against the communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.
Delicious cuisine: Vietnamese food is known for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and balance of sweet, sour, and spicy tastes. Some popular dishes include pho (a noodle soup), banh mi (a sandwich made with baguette bread), and spring rolls.
Natural beauty: Vietnam is home to a variety of natural landscapes, including mountainous regions, tropical forests, and long stretches of coastline. The country is also home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Culture and history: Vietnam has a long and fascinating history, with influences from various cultures such as Chinese, French, and American. The country is known for its vibrant and colorful culture, which is reflected in its art, music, dance, and traditional festivals.
Handicrafts: Vietnam is known for its handmade crafts, such as silk, lacquerware, and bamboo products. These crafts are often sold as souvenirs and are popular among tourists visiting the country.
Economy: Vietnam is a rapidly developing country with a growing economy. It is known for its low-cost labor and manufacturing industries, which have attracted many foreign investors.
Where to stay in Vietnam for the first time?
The best areas to stay in Vietnam for first-timers are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Sapa, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh and Hoi An, but there are so many other places worth noting such as Ha Giang, Mui Ne, Dalat, and Phu Quoc.
These areas provide a diverse range of experiences, from cultural immersion in historic cities to stunning natural landscapes, ensuring that first-time visitors to Vietnam have an unforgettable trip.
A tip: I recommend installing the Grab App on your phone. It is similar to Uber which will help you to order food, motorbike rides, or car rides without bargaining the prices. You can use it to book a car from the Tan Son Nhat International airport in Ho Chi Minh City, and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
|💖 Best Area for First-Timers:||Hanoi|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||La Passion Hanoi Hotel & Spa|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Hanoi Amorita Boutique Hotel & Travel|
Map of cities and places to stay in Vietnam:
Overviews of the best places to stay in Vietnam for tourists
Here is an overview of recommended areas in Vietnam for first-time visitors:
|Best areas in Vietnam for tourists||Why should you stay in this area?|
|Hanoi||The capital city of Vietnam offers a blend of traditional and modern experiences, including historic sites like the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Temple of Literature. Best for: History and Culture Enthusiasts, Food Lovers.|
|Ho Chi Minh City||This bustling metropolis in southern Vietnam is known for its vibrant street life, historical landmarks like the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum, and the lively Ben Thanh Market. Best for: Urban Explorers, History Buffs.|
|Danang||Located on the central coast of Vietnam, Danang boasts beautiful beaches, such as My Khe Beach, as well as attractions like the Marble Mountains and the iconic Golden Bridge. Best for: Beach Lovers, Adventure Seekers.|
|Sapa||Nestled in the mountains of northern Vietnam, Sapa is a popular destination for trekking and exploring the picturesque rice terraces. The town is home to ethnic minority communities and offers a unique cultural experience. Best for: Nature Enthusiasts, Trekking.|
|Halong Bay||A UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is famous for its stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters. Taking a cruise through the bay is a must-do activity for any visitor to Vietnam. Best for: Nature Lovers, Cruise Experiences.|
|Ninh Binh||Often referred to as Halong Bay on land, Ninh Binh is known for its dramatic landscapes, with limestone mountains and tranquil rice fields. It’s a great place for cycling, boat trips, and exploring ancient temples. Best for: Nature and History Enthusiasts.|
|Hoi An||This charming town in central Vietnam is renowned for its well-preserved ancient architecture, lantern-lit streets, and vibrant night markets. Hoi An is also famous for its tailoring shops and delicious local cuisine. Best for: Culture and Architecture Lovers, Foodies.|
|Ha Giang||For adventurous travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, Ha Giang in the far north is a paradise of rugged mountains, ethnic minority villages, and breathtaking landscapes, including the famous Ma Pi Leng Pass. Best for: Adventure Seekers, Scenic Drives.|
|Mui Ne||Located on the southern coast of Vietnam, Mui Ne offers beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and water sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing. The area is also known for its unique red and white sand dunes. Best for: Beach and Water Sports Enthusiasts, Relaxation.|
|Dalat||Situated in the central highlands of Vietnam, Dalat is known for its pleasant climate, flower gardens, French colonial architecture, and scenic lakes. It’s a great place for outdoor activities like hiking and canyoning, and Romantic Getaways.|
|Phu Quoc||Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc, is a tropical paradise with pristine beaches, clear waters, and lush forests. It’s perfect for relaxation, snorkeling, and exploring the vibrant marine life in the surrounding waters.|
There are many great options for accommodation in Vietnam, and the right choice for you will depend on your budget, location preferences, and desired amenities. Here are a few things to consider when choosing where to stay in Vietnam:
Location: If you want to be in the heart of the action, consider staying in the cities of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. If you prefer a more peaceful setting, you might consider staying in a beach town like Nha Trang or a mountain town like Dalat.
Budget: Vietnam has a range of accommodation options to fit every budget. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider staying in a hostel or guesthouse. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, there are many luxurious hotels and resorts throughout the country.
Amenities: Consider what amenities are important to you when choosing where to stay. If you’re traveling with a family, you might want to look for a hotel with a pool or other family-friendly amenities. If you’re a solo traveler, you might prefer a hostel with a social atmosphere.
The 20 Best places to stay in Vietnam for tourists are:
1. Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam
As the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a great place to stay if you want to experience the country’s rich history and culture. There are many reasons to consider staying in Hanoi, Vietnam. Here are a few:
Culture and history:
Hanoi has a rich cultural and historical heritage. The city’s Old Quarter is a great place to explore and get a sense of the city’s history, with narrow streets lined with merchants selling everything from silk to street food.
Hanoi is also home to several temples, museums, and parks, including the Temple of Literature, the Vietnam Military History Museum, and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Street food and markets:
Hanoi is known for its vibrant street food scene and bustling markets. The city’s Old Quarter is a great place to try a variety of local dishes, including pho (noodle soup), banh mi (sandwiches), and bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles).
The city is also home to several bustling markets, including the Dong Xuan Market and the Hang Be Market.
Nightlife: Hanoi has a lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. The city’s Old Quarter is a great place to explore, with many bars and clubs located in the area.
Hanoi is a transportation hub, making it a convenient base for exploring other parts of Vietnam. The city is home to Noi Bai International Airport, and it is easy to travel to other destinations in Vietnam by bus, train, or plane.
Nearby, you can take a day trip to Sapa, Ha Giang, Ninh Binh, and Halong Bay, which is one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature.
Advantages: Rich cultural experience, historical landmarks, diverse and delectable street food; and bustling street life; a convenient base for exploring nearby destinations.
Disadvantages: can be crowded and chaotic, with heavy traffic and motorbikes dominating the roads; air pollution; not directly located on the coast.
Overall, Hanoi is a great destination for anyone interested in exploring Vietnam’s rich culture and history, trying local street food, and experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife. It’s important to consider personal preferences and priorities when choosing where to stay in Vietnam.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Hanoi:
- Luxury ($$$): Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel, 5-star hotel, located in the heart of Ha Noi, close to Dong Xuan Market, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater and St. Joseph Cathedral.
- Mid-range ($$): La Passion Hanoi Hotel & Spa, 4-star hotel, located in central Hanoi in Old Town, close to Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, Hanoi Old City Gate and Hanoi Opera House. The area is popular for cycling and the hotel offers bike hire.
- Budget ($): Hanoi Amorita Boutique Hotel & Travel, 3-star hotel, located in Hanoi Old Quarter, a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Dong Xuan Night Market.
2. Ho Chi Minh, the most populous city in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and is a popular destination for travelers. Here are a few reasons to consider staying in Ho Chi Minh City:
Vibrant city: Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling, vibrant metropolis with a mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial-style architecture. The city is known for its markets, street food, and lively nightlife.
Cultural attractions: Ho Chi Minh City is home to several cultural attractions, including the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. The city is also a good base for exploring the nearby Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Beach access: Ho Chi Minh City is located in the south of Vietnam and is a short drive from several sandy beaches, including Vung Tau and Mui Ne.
Transportation hub: Ho Chi Minh City is a transportation hub, with an international airport and easy access to other parts of Vietnam by bus, train, or plane.
Overall, Ho Chi Minh City is a great destination for travelers who want to experience the energy and culture of a large city, as well as access to nearby beaches and cultural attractions.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Luxury ($$$): Fusion Original Saigon Centre, 5-star hotel centrally located in district 1 of Ho Chi Minh, within walking distance from Takashimaya, Vincom Shopping Center, and Ho Chi Minh City Hall.
- Mid-range ($$): Orchids Saigon Hotel, 4-star hotel, conveniently located close to major attractions such as the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, Diamond Plaza, and Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
- Budget ($): The Akoya Saigon Hotel, a great 3-star hotel, located in central HCMC, in the popular Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. It is a short distance from the famous Ben Thanh Street Food Market, Takashimaya Vietnam, Vincom Shopping Center, and Union Square Saigon Shopping Mall.
3. Danang, the city of the bridges
Da Nang is a city located on Vietnam’s central coast and is a popular destination for travelers. Here are a few reasons to consider staying in Da Nang:
Beaches: Da Nang is known for its sandy beaches, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The city has several beaches to choose from, including Non Nuoc Beach, My Khe Beach, and My An Beach.
Cultural attractions: Da Nang is located near the ancient city of Hoi An, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hoi An is known for its well-preserved ancient buildings, including temples, pagodas, and houses.
Scenic landscapes: Da Nang is located in a region with beautiful landscapes, including the Marble Mountains, which are a series of marble and limestone cliffs, and the Ba Na Hills, which are a mountain range with a cable car and several temples.
Transportation hub: Da Nang is a transportation hub, with an international airport and easy access to other parts of Vietnam by bus, train, or plane.
Overall, Da Nang is a great destination for travelers who want to relax on the beach, explore cultural attractions, and enjoy beautiful landscapes.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Da Nang:
- Luxury ($$$): Novotel Danang Premier Han River , 5-star hotel, centrally located in Downtown Da Nang, on the west bank of the Han River, short distance from Da Nang Railway station and Da Nang International Airport.
- Mid-range ($$): G8 Luxury Hotel and Spa Da Nang, 4-star family-friendly hotel located in Da Nang City Center, short Grab ride from Cham Museum, My Khe Beach, and other popular attractions.
- Budget ($): Avora Hotel, 3-star hotel, located in Hai Chau district of Danang downtown area, offering easy access to Indochina Riverside Mall, Love Lock Bridge, and Cham Museum.
See more: Where to stay in Da Nang
4. Sapa, town of clouds
Sapa is a mountain town located in the northwest of Vietnam and is a popular destination for travelers. Here are a few reasons to consider staying in Sapa:
Trekking and outdoor activities: Sapa is located in a beautiful mountainous region, making it a great base for trekking and exploring the surrounding countryside. The town is also a good place for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
Cultural attractions: Sapa is home to several ethnic minority communities, including the Hmong, Dao, and Tay, and is a good place to learn about their culture and traditions. The town is also home to several temples, pagodas, and markets.
Scenic landscapes: Sapa is surrounded by misty mountains, rice terraces, and waterfalls, making it a great destination for anyone who enjoys beautiful landscapes.
Transportation hub: Sapa is a transportation hub, with a train station and easy access to other parts of Vietnam by bus or plane.
Overall, Sapa is a great destination for travelers who want to experience Vietnam’s natural beauty and learn about the country’s cultural diversity. It is also a good base for outdoor activities and trekking.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Sapa:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel de la Coupole – MGallery, 5-star hotel, centrally located right next to the funicular station that transports guests to Fansipan cable car. It also has easy access to Sa Pa Bus Station, Sa Pa Lake, Sa Pa Central Square and Sa Pa Stone Church.
- Mid-range ($$): Sapa Mountain Queen House, 4-star hotel, located close to Sa Pa Lake, Sa Pa Bus Station and Ham Rong Garden – Ham Rong Mountain.
- Budget ($): Saparis Hotel, 3-star hotel, situated near popular Sa Pa Lake, Sa Pa Stone Church, and Sa Pa Bus Station. It offers 24-hour front desk and airport transfers.
5. Halong Bay, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Halong Bay is a popular tourist destination located in northeastern Vietnam. It is known for its stunning landscapes and serene beauty, with thousands of limestone karsts rising out of the clear blue waters of the bay.
There are many reasons to stay in Halong Bay, including the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the area, participate in a variety of outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and cave exploring, and visit nearby cultural and historical sites.
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its stunning natural beauty. The area is home to thousands of small islands, many of which are covered in dense vegetation and surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Ha Long Bay is a great place for kayaking, rock climbing, and cave exploration.
Many people choose to stay in Halong Bay to relax and unwind in a peaceful and serene setting, and to experience the unique culture of the region.
There are also many accommodation options available in Halong Bay, ranging from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Halong Bay:
- Luxury ($$$): Wyndham Legend Halong,5-star hotel, located in Bai Chay in the Quang Ninh Region, offering views of either the sea or the Ha Long Bay. You can also easily take a day trip to Cat Ba and Hai Phong.
- Mid-range ($$): Muong Thanh Grand Bai Chay, 4-star hotel, located in Ha Long, within easy reach from Ha Long Queen Cable Ca, Vincom Plaza Ha Long, and Cat Bi International Airport.
- Budget ($): Draha Halong Hotel, 3-star hotel in Ha Long that has a garden, terrace, a restaurant and bar. There are 24-hour front desk, a tour desk and currency exchange.
6. Ninh Binh, the Ha Long Bay on land
Ninh Binh is a province in northern Vietnam, located about 90 kilometers south of Hanoi. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, and Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. Some of these reasons include:
Natural beauty: Ninh Binh is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including karst formations, rice paddies, and limestone cliffs. The area is also home to several national parks and nature reserves, such as Cuc Phuong National Park and Tam Coc-Bich Dong, which offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
Cultural attractions: Ninh Binh is home to several important cultural and historical sites, including the Hoa Lu Temple, which was the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries. The area is also known for its traditional craft villages, where visitors can see artisans at work and purchase handmade products.
Relaxation: The slow pace of life in Ninh Binh makes it a great place to relax and unwind. The area is known for its natural hot springs, which are said to have healing properties, and there are several spas and resorts where visitors can pamper themselves.
Food: Ninh Binh is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes such as banh cuon (rice rolls), bun rieu (crab and tomato soup), and goi cuon (fresh spring rolls).
Convenience: Ninh Binh is relatively easy to access from Hanoi, and the area has a good range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and homestays.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Ninh Binh:
- Luxury ($$$): Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort, 5-star hotel that has a children’s playground, Bike hire and car hire and the area is popular for cycling.
- Mid-range ($$): Lalita Boutique Hotel & Spa Ninh Binh, 4-star hotel located within a short ride from Bai Dinh Temple, Phat Diem Cathedral, Ninh Binh Stadium, and Thung Nham Bird Park Ecotourism.
- Budget ($): Tam Coc Wonderland Bungalow , 3-star hotel, offering free bikes, featuring a restaurant serving Vietnamese, local and Asian cuisine.
7. Ha Giang, the gate to Heaven
Ha Giang is a province located in the northeastern region of Vietnam. It is known for its rugged, mountainous terrain and stunning natural beauty, with a number of national parks and protected areas that are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The province is also home to a number of ethnic minority groups, which adds to its cultural richness and uniqueness.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Ha Giang:
To explore the natural beauty: Ha Giang is a paradise for nature lovers, with its stunning landscapes and diverse range of plant and animal life. From the rice terraces of the Ma Pi Leng Pass to the towering peaks of the Lung Cu Flag Tower, there is plenty to see and do in the region.
To learn about the culture: Ha Giang is home to a number of ethnic minority groups, each with their own unique customs and traditions. By staying in the region, visitors can learn more about these cultures and participate in traditional festivals and events.
To experience the food: Ha Giang is known for its delicious cuisine, which is influenced by both local and regional flavors. From savory grilled dishes to sweet and spicy soups, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
To relax and unwind: Ha Giang is a peaceful and tranquil place, with a slower pace of life compared to some of Vietnam’s more developed cities. It is the perfect place to relax and escape the stresses of daily life.
Overall, Ha Giang is a great destination for those who want to experience the beauty and culture of Vietnam’s northeastern region, and to spend time surrounded by nature and immersed in local traditions.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Ha Giang:
- Budget ($): Ha Giang Hostel , great backpacker accommodation, organizes a Ha Giang motorbike loop tour, which is an amazing way to explore the landscape and learn about the local culture.
- Mid-range ($$): Phoenix Hotel Hà Giang, 4-star hotel in Ha GIang that has a fitness center, garden, a shared lounge and terrace.
- Budget ($): Silk River Hotel Ha Giang, 3-star hotel, located in Nguyen Trai Street, Ha Giang, great location with beautiful views.
8. Hue, the Imperial city
Hue is a city in central Vietnam that is known for its rich history and cultural significance. It was the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945, and as a result, it is home to many important historical and cultural landmarks. The city is located on the banks of the Perfume River and is surrounded by lush green rice fields and mountains.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Hue:
Cultural attractions: Hue is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hue Citadel, which is a complex of palaces, temples, and defensive structures that were built in the 19th century. The city also has several museums and temples that showcase the history and culture of Vietnam.
Natural beauty: The surrounding area of Hue is known for its natural beauty, with rice fields, mountains, and the Perfume River all within easy reach. The city is also a gateway to the Hai Van Pass, which is a scenic mountain pass that offers breathtaking views of the coast.
Food: Hue is known for its delicious cuisine, which is characterized by its use of fresh herbs and spices. The city is particularly famous for its bun bo hue, a spicy noodle soup made with beef and lemongrass.
Relaxation: Hue is a relatively small and peaceful city, making it a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of larger cities. The city’s slower pace of life and friendly locals make it a great place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Vietnam.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Hue:
- Luxury ($$$): Melia Vinpearl Hue, 5-star hotel, located in Hung Vuong Street, Hue, short distance to popular Trang Tien Bridge, Dong Ba Market, Museum of Royal Antiquities, and An Dinh Palace.
- Mid-range ($$): White Lotus Hue Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in central Hue, within a short distance from Trang Tien Bridge, Dong Ba Market and Museum of Royal Antiquities.
- Budget ($): The Scarlett Boutique Hotel, 3-star hotel, located close to the Museum of Royal Antiquities, An Dinh Palace and Redemptorist Church.
9. Hoi An, ancient city and lantern town
Hoi An is a city in central Vietnam known for its ancient town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River and is known for its well-preserved architecture, including old houses, temples, and pagodas. Hoi An is a popular destination for tourists due to its rich history, cultural significance, and beautiful natural surroundings.
There are several reasons why Hoi An, Vietnam is a popular destination for travelers. Some of the main reasons include:
History and culture: Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved ancient town, which dates back to the 16th century. The town is home to a number of historic landmarks, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, as well as traditional Vietnamese houses, temples, and pagodas.
Scenic beauty: Hoi An is located on the central coast of Vietnam, and is known for its beautiful beaches and waterways. The town is surrounded by rice paddies and is crisscrossed by several small rivers and canals, which add to its charm and make it a great place to relax and unwind.
Shopping: Hoi An is a great place to shop and eat, with a wide variety of local and international goods and foods available. The town is known for its silk and tailor-made clothing, and there are many local markets and shops where you can find handmade crafts and souvenirs.
Food: There are also many restaurants and cafes in Hoi An that offer a variety of local and international dishes. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area that serve local specialties, such as Cao Lau, a type of noodle dish that is unique to Hoi An.
Friendly locals: Hoi An is known for its friendly and welcoming locals, who are happy to share their culture and traditions with visitors. This can make it a great place to visit if you want to immerse yourself in local life and experience Vietnam’s unique culture firsthand.
Easy to get around: Hoi An is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or by bicycle. There are also plenty of local transport options available, including boat trips, motorbike rentals, and tuk-tuks. This makes it a convenient place to visit if you want to get around and see the sights without the hassle of driving or navigating a large city.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Hoi An:
- Luxury ($$$): Bel Marina Hoi An Resort, 5-star hotel, located in An Hoi island, 7-minute walk from Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Mid-range ($$): Hoianan Boutique Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in Hoi An Old Town, within easy reach from major attractions such as Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Historic Museum and Assembly Hall of Chaozhou Chinese Congregation.
- Budget ($): Hoian Central Hotel, 3-star hotel, located within easy distance from the Assembly Hall of Chaozhou Chinese Congregation, featuring free bikes, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a garden.
See more: Where to Stay in Hoi An First time
10. Dalat, city of spring
Dalat is a city in Vietnam known for its temperate climate and beautiful natural surroundings. It is located in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam and is known for its scenic mountain views, waterfalls, and lakes. Some of the popular attractions in Dalat include the Dalat Flower Gardens, the Crazy House, and the Lang Bian Mountain.
There are also many outdoor activities to enjoy in Dalat, such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The city is also known for its coffee and wine production, and there are several local wineries and coffee plantations that offer tours and tastings.
Additionally, Dalat has a rich cultural history and is home to many minority ethnic groups, making it a great place to learn about local customs and traditions. Overall, Dalat is a popular destination for tourists looking to escape the heat and humidity of Vietnam’s coastal cities and enjoy a more laid-back and peaceful atmosphere.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Da Lat:
- Luxury ($$$): Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel, 5-star hotel, set in a private park in the heart of Dalat, within a short walk from Bao Dai Palace. You can enjoy French dishes and wine at the Le Rabelais, as well as drinks, enjoy Dalat’s unique Palace high-tea, and snacks at Palace Club.
- Mid-range ($$): Mercure Dalat Resort, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located close to Xuan Huong Lake, Yersin Park Da Lat, and Lam Vien Square.
- Budget ($): Be U Hotel, 3-star hotel, located close to Dalat Palace Golf Club, Dalat Flower Gardens, and Lam Vien Square.
11. Buon Ma Thuot, capital of coffee
Buon Ma Thuot is a city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region. It is known for its coffee plantations, as well as its rich culture and history. Some reasons people might choose to stay in Buon Ma Thuot include:
To explore the natural beauty of the region, which is home to several national parks and reserves, including Yok Don National Park and Dray Nur Waterfall.
To learn about the culture of the ethnic minority groups that live in the area, including the Ede, M’nong, and K’ho people.
To try local specialties such as coffee, tea, and pepper, which are all grown in the region.
To participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping in the surrounding natural areas.
To experience the local markets and festivals, which are an important part of the region’s culture.
Overall, Buon Ma Thuot is a great destination for those looking to experience the beauty and culture of Vietnam’s Central Highlands region.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Buon Ma Thuot:
- Luxury ($$$): Muong Thanh Luxury Buon Ma Thuot Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Elephants Hotel
- Budget ($): Thanh Mai Hotel
12. Nha Trang, seafood capital of Vietnam
Nha Trang is a city located on the south-central coast of Vietnam. It is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and its lively atmosphere. There are many things to do in Nha Trang, including visiting the Hon Chong Promontory, touring the Po Nagar Cham Towers, and snorkeling or diving in the beautiful waters around the island.
There are several reasons why Nha Trang, Vietnam might be an attractive destination for travelers. Some of these reasons include:
Beautiful beaches: Nha Trang is known for its long stretch of sandy beach and clear blue waters, making it a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities.
Scenic landscapes: The surrounding area is home to stunning landscapes, including islands, mountains, and waterfalls, which are great for exploring and taking in the natural beauty of the region.
Cultural attractions: Nha Trang is home to a number of cultural attractions, such as the Po Nagar Cham Towers, which are a series of ancient towers that were built by the Cham people and are now a popular tourist destination.
Delicious food: Nha Trang is known for its delicious food, which includes a variety of seafood dishes and traditional Vietnamese specialties.
Affordable cost of living: Nha Trang is generally considered to be an affordable destination, with relatively low costs for accommodation, food, and other necessities.
Overall, Nha Trang is a beautiful and culturally rich destination that offers something for everyone, from beach lovers and adventure seekers to foodies and history buffs.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Nha Trang:
- Luxury ($$$): Regalia Gold Hotel, 5-star hotel located close to Nha Trang Beach, Nha Trang Cathedral and Nha Trang Centre Shopping Mall. The nearest airport is Cam Ranh International Airport.
- Mid-range ($$): Dendro Gold Hotel, 4-star hotel, located within a few minutes’ walk from a beautiful public beach. It has an on-site restaurant and bar that offers billiards and darts.
- Budget ($): Amber Hotel managed by HT, 3-star hotel, situated close to Nha Trang Beach, Tram Huong Tower and Nha Trang Centre Shopping Mall.
13. Mui Ne, unique white sand dunes
Mui Ne is a coastal town in Vietnam known for its beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and abundance of outdoor activities. It is located in the Phan Thiet province, about 200 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Mui Ne:
Beaches: Mui Ne is home to several beautiful beaches, including Mui Ne Beach, which is known for its clear water and white sand. The area is also home to several other beaches, including Hon Rom and Suoi Nuoc.
Outdoor activities: Mui Ne is a great destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sandboarding. The town is also home to several golf courses.
Relaxation: Mui Ne is a laid-back and peaceful destination, making it a great place to relax and unwind. The town is also home to several spas and wellness centers where you can enjoy massages and other treatments.
Food: Mui Ne is known for its seafood, and the town is home to a number of restaurants serving fresh, delicious seafood dishes.
Culture: Mui Ne is located near several cultural attractions, including the Cham Tower Museum, which features artifacts from the ancient Cham civilization.
Overall, Mui Ne is a great destination for those who are looking for a beach vacation with plenty of opportunities for relaxation, outdoor activities, and cultural exploration.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Mui Ne:
- Luxury ($$$): Centara Mirage Resort Mui Ne, 5-star hotel in Mui Ne, a few steps from Ham Tien Beach, fearting kids’ club, children’s playground, 24-hour front desk and luggage storage. You can hire a bike and explore the area.
- Mid-range ($$): Muine Bay Resort, 4-star hotel, located right on the beach, in a tranquil garden and green landscape. It offers complimentary shuttle service to Ham Tien Beach. Also a short distance from Red Sand Dunes, Mui Ne Local Market, and Phan Thiet City.
- Budget ($): Gia An Hung Guest House, a sustainable guest house set in Mui Ne, within easy walk from Ham Tien Beach.
14. Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Vietnam
The Mekong Delta is a region in southern Vietnam that is located at the mouth of the Mekong River and is known for its abundant rice production, waterways, and small villages. It is a major agricultural area in Vietnam and is often referred to as the “rice bowl” of the country.
The region is made up of a network of canals, rivers, and small islands and is home to a diverse population of ethnicities and cultures. The Mekong Delta is known for its rich history, traditional handicrafts, and natural beauty, with attractions including floating markets, rice paddies, and bird sanctuaries.
The region is also a popular destination for tourists, who come to experience the local culture, visit the many temples and pagodas, and explore the waterways by boat.
Here are some reasons why you might want to consider staying in the Mekong Delta:
Cultural experiences: The Mekong Delta is home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, each with their own unique traditions and customs. Visitors can learn about local cultures by visiting traditional villages, attending cultural festivals, and participating in cultural activities such as cooking classes and basket weaving workshops.
Natural beauty: The Mekong Delta is known for its picturesque waterways and lush rice paddies, making it a great destination for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the region by boat, bike, or on foot, taking in the beautiful landscapes and stopping at local markets and villages along the way.
Delicious food: The Mekong Delta is known for its fresh, flavorful cuisine, with dishes such as bun rieu (crab and tomato soup) and banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes) being particularly popular. Visitors can try local specialties at street food stalls and local restaurants, or take a cooking class to learn how to make these dishes at home.
Affordable prices: The Mekong Delta is generally more affordable than other parts of Vietnam, making it a budget-friendly destination for travelers. Accommodation, transportation, and food are all relatively inexpensive, making it a great place to stretch your travel budget.
Overall, the Mekong Delta is a great destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in local culture, experience beautiful natural landscapes, and enjoy delicious food at an affordable price.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Mekong Delta:
- Luxury ($$$): Diamond Stars Ben Tre Hotel, 5-star hotel set in Ben Tre.
- Mid-range ($$): Mekong Lodge Resort, 4-star hotel offering free bicycle rentals, Mekong Lodge is a charming nature getaway surrounded by gardens and the Tien River, free 2-way transfers from Cai Be Tourist Pier, short drive by car from Cai Be Floating Market, Cai Be Church.
- Budget ($): Mekong Daniel Homestay Can Tho, 3-star hotel, located within a short driving distance from Ninh Kieu Pier and Vincom Plaza Hung Vuong.
15. Phu Quoc, beautiful beaches, romantic sunsets
Phu Quoc is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Vietnam. It is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush forests. There are many reasons to visit Phu Quoc, including:
Relaxation: Phu Quoc is a perfect place to relax and unwind, with its peaceful and serene atmosphere. The island is home to many luxury resorts, spas, and wellness centers, making it an ideal destination for a restful vacation.
Beaches: Phu Quoc is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, with fine white sand and crystal clear waters. Popular beaches include Long Beach, Sao Beach, and Khem Beach.
Nature: Phu Quoc is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including a national park and several nature reserves. The island is also home to the Phu Quoc Ridgeback, a breed of dog that is native to the island.
Cuisine: Phu Quoc is known for its seafood, particularly its famous fish sauce. The island is also home to a variety of local restaurants and markets, where you can try traditional Vietnamese dishes and local specialties.
Activities: There are many activities to enjoy in Phu Quoc, including diving, snorkeling, fishing, and boat trips. You can also visit the island’s temples, markets, and local villages to learn more about the culture and history of the region.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Phu Quoc:
- Luxury ($$$): Ocean Bay Phu Quoc Resort and Spa, 5-star beachfront resort in Phu Quoc, a few steps from Ong Lang Beach.
- Mid-range ($$): Lahana Resort Phu Quoc & Spa, 4-star eco-friendly hotel, surrounded by natural greenery, in Duong Dong town in Phu Quoc. Offering an outdoor infinity pool and on-site restaurant Ca Go. You can take day trips to nearby Su Muon Pagoda, Cau Temple, Phu Quoc Prison, and Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc.
- Budget ($): Ancarine Beach Resort, 3-star hotel that has a private beach, and rooms and bungalows with views of the sea. Short drive from Duong Dong Town, Duong Dong Night Market, Vinpearl Amusement Park, and Phu Quoc International Airpor.
16. Con Dao Islands, The hell on Earth
The Con Dao Islands, also known as the Con Dao National Park, are a group of small islands located off the coast of Vietnam in the East Sea. The islands are known for their natural beauty, with sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. There are several reasons why someone might want to stay in the Con Dao Islands:
Relaxation and rejuvenation: The Con Dao Islands offer a peaceful and serene setting, making them a perfect place to relax and unwind. The islands are also home to a number of spas and wellness centers that offer massages, yoga classes, and other relaxation treatments.
Scenic beauty: The Con Dao Islands are home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Dam Trau Beach, Hang Duong Beach, and Bay Canh Beach. The islands are also home to a number of nature reserves, including the Con Dao National Park, which is home to a variety of plants and animals, including rare species of sea turtles and dugongs.
Adventure and outdoor activities: The Con Dao Islands offer a range of outdoor activities, including snorkeling, diving, fishing, and hiking. There are also several bike trails that allow visitors to explore the islands on two wheels.
Cultural attractions: The Con Dao Islands have a rich history, with a number of historical sites and landmarks to explore. These include the Con Dao Prison Museum, which is dedicated to the former French prison that was used to hold political prisoners during the Vietnam War, and the Con Dao Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many former prisoners.
Overall, the Con Dao Islands offer a unique and peaceful destination for those looking to relax, explore the great outdoors, or learn about the region’s rich history and culture.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Con Dao Islands:
17. Can Tho, floating markets
Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam and is known for its beautiful waterways, bustling markets, and rich cultural history. It is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike due to its picturesque setting and many attractions. Some reasons to visit Can Tho include:
The floating markets: Can Tho is home to several bustling floating markets where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, and other goods. These markets are a unique and interesting way to experience the local culture and see how the people of the Mekong Delta live and work.
The food: Can Tho is known for its delicious cuisine, which includes a variety of dishes made with fresh, locally grown ingredients. There are many restaurants and street food stalls in the city where you can try traditional dishes like banh xeo (a savory crepe filled with shrimp, pork, and beansprouts) and bun rieu (a tomato-based noodle soup).
The natural beauty: The Mekong Delta region is home to a number of beautiful natural attractions, including rice paddies, fruit orchards, and waterways. Can Tho is a great base for exploring these areas and getting a taste of rural life in Vietnam.
The cultural attractions: In addition to its natural beauty, Can Tho has a number of cultural attractions to explore, including temples, pagodas, and museums. The city is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, making it a great place to experience local traditions and customs.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Hanoi:
18. Vung Tau, beach close to HCMC
Vung Tau is a coastal city located in southern Vietnam, about 125 kilometers southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It is known for its beautiful beaches and seaside resorts, as well as its historical and cultural attractions. Some reasons to visit or stay in Vung Tau include:
Beaches: Vung Tau has several beautiful beaches, including Front Beach, Back Beach, and Ho Coc Beach. These beaches are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
Resorts: Vung Tau is home to a number of seaside resorts, providing visitors with a range of accommodation options, including luxury hotels, budget hotels, and vacation rentals.
History and culture: Vung Tau has a rich history and culture, reflected in its historical landmarks, temples, and museums. Visitors can learn about the city’s past at the Vung Tau Lighthouse, the Christ of Vung Tau, and the Museum of Military History.
Food: Vung Tau is known for its seafood, and visitors can enjoy a range of local dishes, including grilled seafood, banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes), and bun cha ca (noodle soup with fish).
Relaxation: Vung Tau is a popular destination for relaxation and rejuvenation, with a range of spas, yoga studios, and meditation centers.
Overall, Vung Tau is a great destination for beach lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking to relax and unwind.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Vung Tau:
19. Ben Tre, famous for coconut candy
Ben Tre is a province in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. It is located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The province is known for its abundant agriculture, including fruit orchards, rice paddies, and coconut plantations.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Ben Tre:
Location: Ben Tre is located in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, which is known for its abundant natural beauty and rich culture. The region is home to a number of interesting attractions, including floating markets, fruit orchards, and traditional villages.
Climate: Ben Tre has a tropical monsoon climate, with warm temperatures year-round. The weather is generally humid and hot, with temperatures ranging from the low to mid-30s Celsius (mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit) in the summer months.
Cost of living: Ben Tre is a relatively inexpensive place to live compared to some other cities in Vietnam. The cost of living is generally lower than in larger cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
Cultural experiences: Ben Tre is a great place to experience traditional Vietnamese culture and way of life. The region is known for its friendly locals and rich history, making it an interesting and authentic place to visit or live.
Food: The Mekong Delta region is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Chinese, French, and Cambodian flavors. Ben Tre is a great place to try traditional dishes like banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes), bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup), and goi ca (shrimp and vegetable salad).
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Ben Tre:
- Luxury ($$$): Diamond Stars Ben Tre Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Ben Tre Riverside Resort
- Budget ($): Mango Home Riverside
20. Chau Doc, capital of fermentation, fish sauce
There are several reasons why someone might choose to stay in Chau Doc, a city in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam:
Cultural experiences: Chau Doc is known for its rich cultural heritage, with a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cambodian influences. Visitors can visit local temples, markets, and cultural sites, such as the Lady Chua Xu Temple and Sam Mountain.
Natural beauty: The city is located on the banks of the Bassac River and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including rice paddies and fruit orchards.
Adventure activities: Chau Doc is a great base for exploring the surrounding region, with opportunities for boat trips, fishing, and birdwatching.
Food and drink: Chau Doc is famous for its fresh seafood, and there are many local restaurants and street food stalls serving a variety of delicious dishes. The city is also known for its snake wine, a traditional Vietnamese drink made with rice wine and venomous snakes.
Accommodation: There are a variety of accommodation options in Chau Doc, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury resorts.
Best places to stay in Vietnam in Chau Doc:
- Mid-range ($$): Victoria Chau Doc Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Victoria Nui Sam Lodge
- Budget ($): Hostel Đặng Lợi ホステルダンロイ
- Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City First Time
- Where to stay in Hanoi First Time
- 27 Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Vietnam is a country with a lot to offer, and there are many great places to stay depending on your interests and budget. Some the best areas to stay in Vietnam for first-timers to consider include:
Hanoi: The capital city of Vietnam, located in the north of the country. Hanoi is a great place to stay if you want to experience the country’s rich history and culture.
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon): Located in the south of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant, bustling metropolis with a mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial-style architecture. It is also a good base for exploring the nearby Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Da Nang: Located on Vietnam’s central coast, Da Nang is a popular destination for beach lovers. The city has several sandy beaches and is also close to the ancient city of Hoi An, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sapa: Located in the northwest of Vietnam, Sapa is a mountain town surrounded by rice terraces and misty mountains. The town is a popular base for trekking and exploring the surrounding countryside, and is also home to several ethnic minority communities.
So there you have it, where to stay in Vietnam for the first time and the best areas. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh CIty are the biggest cities in VIetnam and the most popular areas to stay in Vietnam for first-timers.