When we decided to base ourselves in Da Nang, Vietnam for two weeks, we envisioned spending long, relaxing days at the beach, idling away our time by watching the local fisherman come and go in their basket boats. What we discovered, however, is that there are many incredible and fun things to do in Da Nang! Our days were quickly filled with city sights, natural wonders, day trips from Da Nang and, of course, the delectable cuisine.
Da Nang: What To Do & How Long To Stay?
The sights and attractions in Da Nang appeal to all types of travelers. From contemporary architecture and fairytale theme parks to ancient temples tucked into hidden caves, there is certainly a variety of things to do around Da Nang. When planning a trip, it is not only important to decide what to do in Da Nang, Vietnam, but how long to stay.
We think visitors should stay at least three days in the city to really get a feel for it. However, we know many travelers are limited on time. Therefore, in addition to providing our top tips on must-do things in Da Nang – we also offer itinerary suggestions for how to spend 1 to 3 days in the city.
The Best Things To Do in Da Nang, Vietnam
Our list of Da Nang, Vietnam things to do includes top attractions, city highlights and nearby sights that we think should be on every travel itinerary! Additionally, we provide essential travel tips – like how to get there, what to pack and where to stay in Da Nang.
Our Da Nang Travel Blog includes everything you need to plan your trip! Save, Pin or Bookmark this Da Nang Travel Guide so that you can easily access it!
#1 Spend the Day at a Da Nang Beach
The beaches in Da Nang are some of the best beaches in Vietnam – and spending time on the sandy shoreline is one of the top Da Nang things to do! The long stretch of coastal beach extends for 20 miles from the Son Tra Peninsula to the north, all the way south to Hoi An.
Along the Da Nang strand, high-rise hotels and posh resorts overlook the beach and waterfront eateries offer fresh seafood specialties. At the beach, visitors can partake in top Da Nang activities, like parasailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, boating, swimming and sunbathing.
My Khe Beach Da Nang (China Beach)
With white sand and clean water, My Khe Beach has long been touted as one of the best beaches in Da Nang. During the Vietnam War, My Khe was a popular R&R beach for American soldiers, who gave the beach it’s better-known moniker, China Beach.
During the day, the beach is swarmed with foreign visitors – but the big beach seldom feels crowded (although the partitioned safe-swim areas do get quite congested!). Locals prefer going to the beach early in the morning – when the temperatures are coolest – to walk and exercise.
South of My Khe Beach visitors will find more beaches – like Bac My An Beach and Non Nuoc Beach.
Unspoiled Da Nang Beaches
Travelers seeking quiet beaches away from the crowds can make their way to hidden beaches. The Son Tra Peninsula boasts a few gems along the more rustic shoreline (which is best explored by motorbike). Further north, Lang Co Beach features a lagoon of turquoise sea and nearby natural springs.
#2 Visit Ba Na Hills Park and Golden Hand Bridge
Visiting the Ba Na Hills theme park is one of the most popular things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam! Established as a mountain resort for French colonists, the holiday retreat was revitalized into a fairytale theme park in the early 2000s.
The park’s most recognizable attraction is the Golden Hand Bridge – a mountainside golden bridge held by two giant stone-carved hands. However, there are numerous things to see and do at the park – like visiting the replica French Village, strolling through manicured gardens, playing classic games in the 3-story arcade and riding the award-winning cable cars.
For detailed tips – including ticket options, how to get there and how to plan your time – use our Ba Na Hills Da Nang Blog Post!
#3 Explore the Top Attractions
City sightseeing is a must-do in Da Nang! The sights are spread out across the city – from the Linh Ung Pagoda on the Son Tra Peninsula to the caves and temples on the Marble Mountains to the architectural gems in the city center.
Son Tra Peninsula: Linh Ung Pagoda
From the coastline, visitors can see the white Lady Buddha standing on the hillside of the Son Tra Mountain. The 220-foot-tall statue is part of the Bai But Linh Ung Pagoda, an expansive and lavish Buddhist temple complex built in 2010 – that is open (and free!) to visit!
Marble Mountain: Caves and Temples
Of the five hills that constitute the Marble Mountains, the Water Mountain is most popular with visitors. Featuring vast caves, interesting temples and phenomenal viewpoints, Marble Mountain is a top tourist attraction in Da Nang.
City Center Sights
The Da Nang city center is a blend of old and new. Historic structures, like the Cathedral, stand in contrast to modern marvels, like the Dragon Bridge. Visiting the city sights is an intriguing education to the city and its current development.
Because these Da Nang, Vietnam things to do are scattered around the city, it is recommended that visitors join one of the tours in Da Nang – like this one! On a DaNang local tour, participants get an introduction to the top sights and learn about the history from a guide. However, travelers who like to explore on their own can create their own self-guided tour using our Attractions Guide.
Read our comprehensive Da Nang trip blog – Tour Da Nang Attractions – for our best tips on city sightseeing and top tour options.
#4 See the Region on Day Trips from Da Nang, Vietnam
Looking for things to do around Da Nang? The city is well-connected to numerous nearby cities – and Da Nang day trips are the perfect way to discover more of the region. Visitors can join highly-rated Da Nang day tours – or, in some cases, can plan a self-guided DaNang day tour.
Whether you go with a guide or go on your own, day trips are one of the top things to do in Da Nang. The best places to visit near Da Nang are the ancient city of Hoi An, the Imperial City of Hue, the Cham Islands and My Son Sanctuary.
Hoi An Day Tours from DaNang
One of the top day trips from Da Nang, visiting Hoi An – a UNESCO World Heritage city – is an absolute must! The picturesque Old Town is a jumble of appealing lanes sitting alongside a lazy river.
Visitors on a Hoi An day trip from DaNang have plenty of time to see the Old Town sights – like the Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kein Fujian Assembly Hall, Cam Pho Communal House and the Central Market. After sightseeing, visitors can go shopping for Hoi An specialties – like paper lanterns and tailored clothing – and can complete the day trip by feasting on local cuisine and Fresh Beer.
Read our Things To Do in Hoi An Blog Post for more detailed sightseeing information.
How To Get from Da Nang to Hoi An
Visitors can easily book a tour to Hoi An – every Da Nang tour operator offers the day trip. We recommend choosing a highly-rated tour – like this one – that gives guests the freedom to choose what they want to see with the local guide.
However, tourists can almost as easily plan their own travel from Da Nang to Hoi An. The two cities are just 30km (20 miles) apart. A Taxi between Da Nang and Hoi An is the easiest way to travel, but also the most expensive at about $30 USD per ride. Private van transport can be booked in advance online for less. However, using the Grab App for a taxi might be cheaper. The least expensive way to travel to Hoi An from Da Nang is via the local bus – Bus #1 – which costs about $1.50 USD.
Hue and Hai Van Pass Tours from Da Nang
The Imperial City of Hue is located 90km (55 miles) north of Da Nang – and is a perfect day tour from Da Nang! The city sights – collectively known as the Complex of Hue Monuments – have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city served as the capital of the country and home of the reigning Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 until 1945. Although the city suffered during the Vietnam War, many of the city’s most significant structures still stand.
Top sights in Hue include the Citadel and Emperor’s Palace, the historic Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb.
Hai Van Pass
One of the perks of taking a day trip from Da Nang to Hue is that some tours (like the one we took!) make the trip via the Hai Van Pass. The twisting road – which is both the most beautiful and the most dangerous in the country – climbs through the Annamite Mountain Range and provides stunning views of the sea.
Read our complete Hue City Tour blog post for sight descriptions and information to best plan a Hue Tour from DaNang.
How To Get from Da Nang to Hue
There are three routes between the two cities: Via the picturesque Hai Van Pass (this route is used by tour operators), through the Hai Van Tunnel (public bus or hired driver) or by rail (which is not useful for day trips).
Cham Islands Boat Tours from Da Nang
The Cham Islands are a chain of eight islands just nine miles off the coast of Hoi An in the East Vietnam Sea. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the islands are a perfect escape from the busy mainland.
Tours from Hoi An and Da Nang visit Hon Lao Island – the biggest and only inhabited island in the archipelago. Sights on the island include the traditional fishing village, temples and beaches. The best Cham Island tours – like this one from Da Nang – include a snorkeling stop and locally prepared beach lunch, too.
Read more about the Cham Island Tour Itinerary in our Cham Island Tour blog post.
How To Get to Cham Islands from Da Nang
The Da Nang Boat Tours depart from the Cua Dai Wharf in Hoi An (mini-van pick up in Da Nang is included in the price of the tour). There are both speed boats (fastest) and traditional wooden boats (slower) that are used by tour operators. DIY day trippers who want to organize their own Da Nang boat trip can catch a ride to the Cua Dai Port and hop on the slow ferry for an inexpensive ride to the islands.
My Son Sanctuary Trips from Da Nang
Located inland from Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary is an ancient Hindu temple complex of the Champa Kingdom. Once featuring more than 70 temples, much of the valley complex was destroyed during the Vietnam War. Although many of the temples are in ruins (much like some of the temples in Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia), the site gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999.
On a guided My Son tour from Da Nang, participants will learn about the history of the Champa Kingdom and the temples they built. Find out more about this half-day tour!
#5 Eat the Best Food
Don’t miss one of the absolute best things to do in Da Nang: Eat the fabulous food! The local cuisine is a mix of iconic Vietnam food, Central Vietnamese specialties and international cuisine.
During our trip, we made it our mission to seek out the best food in the city. Not only did we find the top places to eat local specialties – like Mi Quang, Banh Xeo and Central Vietnamese Home Cooking – but we also indulged in global fare – like Indian food, Mexican tacos (with a twist!) and American-style burgers.
Use our Da Nang Food Guide for our top tips on what and where to eat!
More Things To Do Da Nang, Vietnam
Our above list features our favorite Da Nang activities – but there are a few more things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam that might appeal to fellow travelers.
Shopping in Da Nang
From traditional markets to modern malls, there are plenty of places to go shopping in the city! Travelers looking for a local shopping experience should go to the Con Market, which is packed with vendor stalls selling just about everything under the sun. Tourists looking for inexpensive souvenirs and packaged goods should check out the Han Market.
Vincom Plaza is a modern mall with brand name stores intermingled with local shops. For everyday shopping, the LOTTE Mart and always-crowded Big C Supermarket are good choices.
Da Nang Museums
We didn’t visit any museums during our trip – we were too enthralled by the city and people. That said, there are a few museums that come highly-rated by other travelers.
Featuring Cham sculptures that date to the 5th century, the Cham Museum houses the largest collection of Cham artifacts in the world.
Zone 5 Military Museum
Visitors can learn about Vietnam’s military history at the Zone 5 Military Museum. A highlight of the museum is the military equipment that is on display, as well as a dedicated section to Ho Chi Minh.
Art in Paradise 3D Museum
An entertaining and interactive space, the Art in Paradise Museum displays interactive 3D wall murals that make for fun photo ops!
Da Nang Museum
The ultra-modern Da Nang Museum presents visitors with a history of the city, the people and the culture.
Da Nang Itinerary: Planning Your Da Nang Vacation
Now that you know all of the best things to do, it’s time to plan your Da Nang, Vietnam Itinerary! To help other travelers see the best of the city, we have created a sample 3-Day Itinerary for Da Nang. We designed the Da Nang travel itinerary to build on each day – so it is perfect for visitors who have just one day in Da Nang or three days in the city!
On Day 1, see the top city sights during the day, go to the beach in the afternoon and indulge in the fabulous fare at night. Use our Guide to Tour Da Nang Attractions to plan what to see – or book a convenient Da Nang One Day Tour – like this highly-rated tour. For tips on what to eat, use our Da Nang Food Guide.
On the second day, venture outside the city on a day tour from Da Nang. Take a trip to Hoi An or join a tour to Hue. Alternatively, visitors who want to stay in the city can spend the day relaxing at the beach.
With 3 Days in Da Nang, visitors can spend their last day at the Ba Na Hills theme park. Travel on your own or join a tour for a full day of adventure at the fairytale park. Use our Ba Na Hills Guide to plan your day!
How To Get To Da Nang
Getting to Da Nang is fairly easy; the city can be reached by plane, train, boat, bus, car or scooter. We prefer to fly in Vietnam – and the airport is conveniently located near the city center.
Da Nang Airport
The airport in Da Nang has flights from all major cities in Vietnam, as well as several international destinations, like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei. Find the best prices on flights to Da Nang on SkyScanner.
Airport transfer Da Nang
The Da Nang Airport is just 2km from the city center – and the ride takes only 5-10 minutes. Taxis are available at the airport and some hotels provide transportation. Visitors can also book their own airport transfers in advance (at a set price) online.
Bus Station Da Nang
The main Da Nang bus station is located west of the city center (which is actually less convenient than the airport). The busy station services both northbound and southbound domestic routes.
Bus Hoi An to Da Nang
The Route #1 Da Nang Yellow Bus transports passengers from Hoi An to the Da Nang bus station. The ride takes longer than an hour, but only costs about $1 USD. Buses operate frequently from 5:30am until about 6:00pm.
Bus Hue to Da Nang
The bus from Hue to Da Nang takes 2-3 hours, depending on which carrier is used, and costs less than $10 USD. Trains make the journey between the two cities in about 2 hours and 45 minutes – and cost the same as the bus.
Bus from Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang
Traveling by bus – Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang – is not advised. The ride takes more than 20 hours. Travel by train is only slightly better, with some journeys taking less than 16 hours. On the other hand, the flight takes just a little over an hour.
Bus from Hanoi to Da Nang
Buses from Hanoi to Da Nang take about 15 hours. The train between the two cities takes just as long, but is, perhaps, a more comfortable ride. When we traveled from Hanoi to Da Nang, we opted for an inexpensive and easy hour-long flight.
Getting Around Da Nang
The city of Da Nang is much bigger than we anticipated and not conducive to walking. That said, it is easy to get around using inexpensive Grab Taxis. The Grab App makes it easy to request a car to a specific destination and most rides within the city cost less than $5 USD.
Other alternatives for getting around are the public bus, the Hop On Hop Off tourist bus and regular (but more expensive) taxis.
Where To Stay in Da Nang
We spent a lot of time carefully considering the best area to stay in Da Nang. We wanted to be close to the beach, but in a local neighborhood. Also, because we were staying for two weeks, we wanted a small kitchen so that we could prepare a few meals at home.
That said, every travelers’ version of the best place to stay in Da Nang will be different…and the city offers a wide range of accommodations to fit every style and budget.
Airbnb Da Nang
During our Da Nang visit, we stayed in a serviced unit in Kua Casa Apartments that we found on Airbnb – if you are not already an Airbnb member, use this link to join and save money on your first stay!
Located just a short walk from the beach, the boutique Kua Casa accommodations are stylishly decorated, clean and comfortable. In addition to the kitchen, we also had a small balcony where we could enjoy morning coffee and there is a shared rooftop balcony that is available for guest use. For travelers basing themselves in the city for a few days, we think Kua Casa Apartments is a great place to stay.
Best hotels in Da Nang
There are hundreds – probably thousands – of hotels in Da Nang. With options ranging from posh resorts on the beach to cheap hotels in Da Nang city center, visitors have ample choices.
Start your search for the perfect place to stay in Da Nang on Booking.com!
Pro Tip: You can also use Booking.com to find the best hostels in Da Nang – or a Da Nang homestay for a truly local experience. Just adjust the filters to find exactly what you are looking for.
Da Nang Weather
The weather in Da Nang is seasonal; summers are hot and winters are slightly cooler. The hottest month is June, when the Da Nang temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the wintertime, the high temperature in Da Nang is usually in the high 70s. It is rainiest in the autumn.
We visited the city in August and had mostly sunny, hot days with a few rain showers. Many visitors say the best time to visit Da Nang, Vietnam is from December until March, when the Da Nang weather forecast calls for cooler temps and little rain. Check the Da Nang forecast on Weather.com before your trip!
What To Pack for Your Da Nang Trip
As you get ready for your trip to Da Nang, Vietnam, make sure you pack the following items! For more packing tips, take a look at my detailed Packing List.
Packing the right clothes for your trip is important! Visitors traveling in the warmer months will want to pack loose-fitting, modest clothing that can be worn in temples. But, don’t forget your swimsuit, too! Pro Tip: Pack a multi-functional wrap that can be used as a beach towel and to cover shoulders when visiting temples.
It’s always best to be prepared! Back lightweight weather gear – like a packable raincoat and a travel umbrella – that don’t take up too much space in your suitcase. Remember to also pack sun protection – like sunscreen and a wide-brimmed travel hat. And, don’t forget the insect repellent to keep the mosquitos away!
Da Nang Tourist Map
We highly recommend that visitors purchase a Da Nang Map – like this one –before their trip. It is so much easier to navigate the city when you have an understanding of the layout and where the sights are located.
We think WiFi is a MUST when traveling through Vietnam. An internet connection is needed to order Grab Taxis and we often used it confirm we were at the right address when seeking out the best restaurants in the city. We use a GlocalMe mobile WiFi hotspot – which is perfect for families or groups traveling together and frequent travelers, too.
With the GlocalMe hotspot, we can connect up to five devices at one time. The best feature, however, is that we can either buy a SIM card and insert it into the device or we can purchase WiFi data online – so we can top up as needed without having to buy new SIM cards. Buy a GlocalMe Hotspot on Amazon!
We think Travel Insurance is essential! While it is nice to have for cancellations or lost luggage, it is extremely useful in the case of illnesses or injuries abroad. Check the coverage offered on different plans and rates at World Nomads.
We Want To Know: Is there anything you would add to our list of what to do in Da Nang? What are your favorite things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments!
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