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10 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam - A Guide to the Top Attractions

Vietnam is a country filled with stunning natural beauty, vibrant cities, and fascinating history and culture. From serene beaches to bustling urban centers, majestic mountains to enchanting caves, there are so many amazing places to explore in Vietnam. This diverse Southeast Asian gem has so much to offer visitors.

In this blog post, we will highlight the 10 best places to visit in Vietnam and provide a guide to the top attractions in each destination. Whether you want to relax on tropical beaches, sample delicious cuisine, or immerse yourself in history, Vietnam has something for every type of traveler. Read on to discover the very best of what this incredible country has to offer!

Hanoi - The Animated Capital City

The capital city of Hanoi tops the list as one of Vietnam's most visited cities. From its historical landmarks like the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long to vibrant markets and street food stalls, Hanoi perfectly blends the old and the new. Wander through the bustling Old Quarter to see French colonial architecture, soak in the peaceful atmosphere at Hoan Kiem Lake, and visit the Temple of Literature or Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Don't miss trying delicious Vietnamese dishes like pho and banh mi! With its intoxicating energy, Hanoi is a can't-miss stop on any Vietnam itinerary.


Key Attractions in Hanoi:

  • Hoan Kiem Lake

  • Temple of Literature

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

  • Old Quarter

  • Hoa Lo Prison

  • Tran Quoc Pagoda

  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Ho Chi Minh City - The Cosmopolitan South

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's largest and most modern metropolis. From the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral to the sobering War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City offers a look into the country's French colonial past and the Vietnam War. Check out top attractions like the Reunification Palace, stroll along the Saigon River, shop at Ben Thanh Market, and visit Cu Chi Tunnels just outside the city. And don't miss out on the amazing food - Ho Chi Minh City is considered Vietnam's culinary capital!

Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh

Top Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City:

  • Notre Dame Cathedral

  • Reunification Palace

  • War Remnants Museum

  • Saigon Central Post Office

  • Ben Thanh Market

  • Cu Chi Tunnels

  • Saigon Opera House

  • Dong Khoi Street

  • Ho Chi Minh City Hall

Halong Bay - Breathtaking Limestone Islands

With its emerald waters dotted with over 1,600 limestone islands and islets, it's no wonder Halong Bay is one of Vietnam's top attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northern Vietnam, Halong Bay's mystical scenery is best viewed on a cruise. Spend a few days sailing around the bay, passing floating villages, exploring caves like Hang Sung Sot, and kayaking between the majestic karst formations rising from the sea. An overnight cruise in Halong Bay is an absolute must for any Vietnam trip.

What to See and Do in Halong Bay:

  • Cruise through the bay stopping at islands and caves

  • Kayak around striking limestone karst islands

  • Visit floating fishing villages

  • See Sunset Peak, Fighting Cocks Islet

  • Explore Hang Sung Sot cave

  • Relax on the sundeck of your cruise and take in the views

Hoi An - Charming Historic Port Town

Once a major port town, the enchanting streets of Hoi An are lined with colorful lanterns, wooden shophouses, and historic sites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An oozes old-world charm with spots like the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese. Wander through the Ancient Town to see wonderfully preserved architecture, shop for souvenirs, and admire views of rice paddies and the Thu Bon River from Cua Dai Beach. Hoi An is one of Vietnam's most atmospheric towns.

Hoi An
Hoi An

Top Sights in Hoi An:

  • Japanese Covered Bridge

  • Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese

  • Old House of Tan Ky

  • Phung Hung Old House

  • Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall

  • Cua Dai Beach

  • Hoi An Central Market

  • Quan Cong Temple

Sapa - Trekking Paradise in the Mountains

In far northern Vietnam near the Chinese border, Sapa offers superb trekking opportunities amid stunning mountain scenery. The towering peaks around Sapa are home to diverse hill tribes and terraced rice fields. Go on guided hikes to visit remote tribal villages of ethnic groups like the H'mong, Dao, and Giay. Or take the cable car up Mount Fansipan for jaw-dropping valley views. Whether you come for the great outdoor activities or cultural immersion, Sapa is one of Vietnam's most memorable mountain destinations.

Top Things to Do in Sapa:

  • Trek to hill tribe villages like Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Ta Van

  • Ride the cable car up Mount Fansipan

  • Visit Sapa Market and Sapa Church

  • Go on a full or multi-day trek with a guide

  • Check out epic viewpoints like Tram Ton Pass

  • Relax in natural spots like Silver Waterfall

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park - Spectacular Caves

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains some of the world's most magnificent caves and underground rivers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Vietnam is home to large caverns and cave systems, including Son Doong, Hang En, and Paradise Cave. Go on tours to admire the stalactites, underground lakes, and massive chambers. You can also explore by kayak, hike through lush jungle, and bike to minority villages. With its untamed natural beauty and fascinating grottoes, Phong Nha-Ke Bang is one of Vietnam's natural highlights.

Top Attractions in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park:

  • Paradise Cave

  • Son Doong Cave (with tour)

  • Phong Nha Cave

  • Hang En Cave (with tour)

  • Dark Cave

  • Nuoc Mooc Eco Trail

  • Kayak through caves and rivers

  • Swing by Zipline in the jungle

My Son Sanctuary - Enigmatic Ruins

History and culture buffs shouldn't miss the Hindu temple complex of My Son Sanctuary located near Hoi An. Dating back to the 4th century, this archaeological site contains the evocative ruins of more than 70 structures devoted to the worship of the god Shiva. Although many temple towers were destroyed in bombing during the Vietnam War, there are still plenty of thought-provoking relics to explore at My Son. Wandering amid the crumbling remains of this once-thriving holy site is an impactful experience.

Highlights of Visiting My Son Sanctuary:

  • Admire the surviving Temple Towers, Steles, and stone sculptures

  • See examples of fascinating Cham architecture

  • Learn about the Cham civilization and Hindu religion in Vietnam

  • Appreciate the skilled brickwork and carvings

  • Imagine what the sanctuary would have looked like at its peak in the 10th century

Mekong Delta - Vibrant River Life

In southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta provides a look into the region's rural river life. The fertile delta is crisscrossed by canals and tributaries of the Mekong - perfect for floating market tours and relaxing boat rides. Visit islands like Ben Tre, try local fruits like mangosteen, see villages, and sample tasty Vietnamese dishes. Don't miss lively Cai Rang Floating Market! With its iconic river vistas and friendly locals, the Mekong Delta shouldn't be missed.

Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta

Top Things to Do in the Mekong Delta:

  • Take a boat tour of floating markets and villages

  • Cycle through emerald rice paddies and fruit orchards

  • Visit candy factories and coconut workshops

  • Try traditional Vietnamese dishes like banh xeo

  • See iconic stilt houses along the riverbanks

  • Relax on the white sand beaches of Phu Quoc Island

Con Dao Islands - Idyllic Beach Escape

If you're looking for pristine beaches and outdoor adventures far from the crowds, head to the remote Con Dao Islands off Vietnam's southern coast. This archipelago features curving bays with translucent waters, excellent diving and snorkeling among coral reefs, scenic hiking trails through nature reserves, and some of Vietnam's most beautiful beaches like Dam Trau. The main island Con Son is home to Con Dao National Park, where sea turtles come ashore to nest. With their laid-back vibe and natural appeal, the Con Dao Islands are an alluring tropical escape.

Top Attractions on the Con Dao Islands:

  • Laze on the white sand beaches of Dam Trau, An Hai

  • Dive or snorkel at coral reefs like Bay Canh Islet

  • Hike through Con Dao National Park and see black giant squirrels

  • Visit historic sites like Con Dao Prison, Hang Duong Cemetery

  • Admire the sea views along the coastal road by motorbike

Cat Ba Island - Outdoor Haven in Halong Bay

Just west of Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island combines spectacular scenery with excellent hiking, climbing, boating, and other active pursuits. Often used as a base for exploring Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island has dramatic limestone cliffs, dense jungle, mangrove forests, lakes, and beaches. Go trekking in Cat Ba National Park, cruise through Lan Ha Bay, or rock climb on the karst cliffs. And after an adventurous day, dine on fresh seafood in Cat Ba Town. With so much natural beauty and things to do both on land and water, Cat Ba Island is a must-visit.

Top Things to Do on Cat Ba Island:

  • Hike through tropical jungles and mountains in Cat Ba National Park

  • Kayak and sail around the limestone islands of Lan Ha Bay

  • Try rock climbing and deep water soloing on the karst cliffs

  • Bike along the coast and visit fishing villages

  • Dine on seafood in Cat Ba Town's waterfront restaurants

  • Relax on Cat Co Beaches 1, 2 and 3

Vietnam offers travelers so much variety - from enchanting natural landscapes and preserved historic towns to vibrant modern cities and idyllic tropical islands. The country's top destinations give a wonderful overview of what makes Vietnam such an amazing place to explore. Whether you're a culture vulture, nature lover, history buff, or foodie, you'll find endless attractions across Vietnam. Plan your own trip to the top places in Vietnam using this travel guide!

Summary of the Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

  • The energetic capital of Hanoi, with its historical landmarks and delicious street food

  • Cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's economic hub with cultural sights

  • Stunning limestone karsts rising from the sea in UNESCO-listed Halong Bay

  • Historic port town Hoi An, with colorful shophouses and Japanese Bridge

  • Hill tribe villages and terraced rice fields around trekking center Sapa

  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park's magnificent caves and underground rivers

  • Mysterious ruins of the Cham civilization at My Son Sanctuary

  • Mekong Delta's floating markets and river life in southern Vietnam

  • Con Dao Islands, with pristine beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves

  • Outdoor adventures await on Cat Ba Island in Lan Ha Bay

With its incredible mix of natural wonders, vibrant modern cities, historic sights, cultural attractions, and charming towns, Vietnam has so much to offer. These 10 spots give just a taste of everything that makes Vietnam such a fabulous travel destination.


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