The best cities to visit in Vietnam
Vietnam’s varied cities have lots to offer travelers, from street food vendors to brilliant beaches, and excellent nightlife. If you want to really get to know Vietnam, its cities are a great place to start.
What makes Vietnam’s cities unique?
Vietnam is a diverse country, and its cities reflect this. From thriving Ho Chi Minh City in the tropical south, a region known for its prosperity, to the capital Hanoi in the north, which has long been the center of power in this country, there are fascinating and thrilling experiences to be had throughout Vietnam. Throughout central Vietnam, a number of smaller cities have their own unique characteristics, such as the historic capital of Hue, with its extensive palaces, and the enchanting old silk port of Hoi An.
The top cities in Vietnam to include in your trip itinerary
If you’re planning to explore Vietnam, don’t miss a visit to a few of these top cities, known for their historic attractions, fabulous street food and dynamic nightlife.
Experience the thriving metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City
The largest of all Vietnamese cities, Ho Chi Minh City is a thriving metropolis of nearly nine million people. Historically known as Saigon, this is now the center for commerce and business in the country. Its scooter-packed streets, busy markets, and street vendors all come together to create an intoxicating and thrilling atmosphere.
Encounter history and nature in Hanoi
If you want to see some of Vietnam's heritage as a former French colony, with influences from China, head to Hanoi's Old Quarter. The nation's capital features many historical buildings and temples, as well as being a great base from which to visit Halong Bay, considered one of the world's greatest natural sights.
Explore palaces and temples in Hue
Hue was once the capital of Vietnam. Although its lofty status has long since passed, many of the royal palaces and temples remain. Visit the semi-ruined Imperial City, as well as several historic pagodas and tombs.
Enjoy the quaint city of Hoi An
The city of Hoi An has a beautiful historic center with cobbled streets lined by fabric shops and tailors, reflecting its legacy as an important and prosperous silk port. The historic, sandstone buildings and elegant bridges are lit with bright paper lanterns for the monthly lantern festival.
Switch between the mountains and the beach in Da Nang
Da Nang is a bustling coastal city in central Vietnam, but it’s also a great place to enjoy nature. Here visitors will find beautiful sandy beaches, the stunning Marble Mountains and hiking routes along the Hai Van Pass.
Tips for planning a city break in Vietnam
There are good buses and trains between all major cities in Vietnam, but taking domestic flights to cover some of the ground is recommended if you’re short on time. Book excursions or multi-day trips with an English-speaking guide to really make the most of your time here.