Ho Chi Minh City head
Home Travel Guide Vietnam Travel Guide Top 10 Cities in Vietnam with Rich Natural and Cultural Landscapes

Top 10 Cities in Vietnam with Rich Natural and Cultural Landscapes

SKIP AHEAD

Vietnam is a country that has attracted countless visitors from all over the world. It is worldwide famous for its rich culture, history, and Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you’re looking to learn about southeast Asian history, a nature lover seeking the world’s best sceneries, or a food expert seeking authentic flavors, you’ll find what you came for in the dynamic cities in Vietnam.

From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the ancient town of Hoi An, this guide will take you through the top 10 cities to visit in Vietnam, their must-visit attractions, best travel times, flights from major cities, and more. We hope this helps with planning your Vietnam tour.

1. Ho Chi Minh City – the Largest City in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is the Vietnam city formerly known as Saigon. It is the largest city in Vietnam and probably the most famous city in south Vietnam. Rich in commerce and culture, you’ll see as you walk down the city streets, a mix of skyscrapers and historic French colonial buildings. Unique urban landscape is a distinct characteristic of this major city in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City has many worth-visiting attractions, including the War Remnants Museum, the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, and the bustling Ben Thanh Market. If you want to experience nightlife in Vietnam, this is the best place to do so with rooftop bars, nightclubs, high-end restaurants, and busy street food stalls.

Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh
Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: direct flights from San Francisco (17 hours) and Los Angeles (16.5 hours).
    2. China: direct flights from Beijing (5 hours), Shanghai (4.5 hours), Guangzhou (3.5 hours).
    3. Europe: direct flights from Paris (13 hours) and London (12.5 hours).
  • Suited to: families, war history lovers, those who love nightlife
  • Best time to visit: December till April (dry season has nice weathers)
  • Best things to do: Go to the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels, shop at Ben Thanh Market, see the city from above at Bitexco Financial Tower, have fun nightlife on Bui Vien Street.

Recommended Itinerary

2. Hanoi – the Capital City of Vietnam

Hanoi is the capital as well as one of the best tourist cities in Vietnam. You’ll see its rich history in the many ancient temples and the bustling Old Quarter. It has both eastern and western influences in its architecture, cuisine, and cultural sites.

Famous attractions of Hanoi include Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is also known to have the best Vietnamese street food in the country. You should definitely try pho, bun cha, and egg coffee.

Vietnam Hanoi Old Quarter Cyclo
Cyclo through the Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from New York (20 hours with layover in Seoul or Tokyo) and Los Angeles (18.5 hours with a layover in Hong Kong or Taipei)
    2. China: direct flights from Beijing (4 hours), Shanghai (3.5 hours), Guangzhou (3 hours).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (14 hours with a layover in Dubai or Bangkok) and Paris (13.5 hours with a layover in Doha or Kuala Lumpur).
  • Suited to: history lovers, couples, anyone that loves local foods
  • Best time to visit: October till April (cooler temperatures with less humidity)
  • Best things to do: See Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, stroll through the Old Quarter, watch a water puppet show.

Recommended Popular Vietnam Tour Itineraries:

9 Days South Vietnam Tour with Mekong Delta & Angkor Wat

10 Days Vietnam Cooking Tour from Hanoi to Saigon

3. Hue – the Historic Imperial Capital

Hue is a central Vietnam city with a rich history. It was once the imperial capital of Nguyen Dynasty. Today, it is a popular Vietnam city to visit with the historic Citadel, royal tombs, and pagodas. Hue’s cuisine is famous for its complex, imperial style.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from San Francisco (20 hours with layovers in Seoul and Hanoi) and New York (21 hours with layovers in Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City).
    2. China: indirect flights from Beijing (8 hours with a layover in Hanoi) and Shanghai (7 hours with a layover in Ho Chi Minh City).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (16 hours with layovers in Dubai and Hanoi) and Paris (15.5 hours with layovers in Doha and Ho Chi Minh City).
  • Suited to: history lovers, families
  • Best time to visit: February till April (dry season has nice weathers)
  • Best things to do: Go to the Imperial Citadel, the royal tombs, take a boat trip on the Perfume River, taste Hue’s traditional cuisines.

4. Hoi An – Ancient Trading City in Vietnam

Hoi An was once an ancient trading city in central Vietnam. It is best known for its well-preserved ancient architecture and folk culture. Its streets are lit by lanterns, with tailor shops and vibrant markets. Hoi An’s cuisine is also a highlight you mustn’t miss when you travel to Vietnam. Specialties include Cao Lau and Banh Mi.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from Los Angeles (19 hours with layovers in Seoul and Da Nang) and New York (21 hours with layovers in Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City).
    2. China: indirect flights from Beijing (8 hours with layover in Da Nang) and Shanghai (7.5 hours with a layover in Ho Chi Minh City).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (17 hours with layovers in Dubai and Da Nang) and Paris (16 hours with layovers in Doha and Ho Chi Minh City).
  • Suited to: couples, culture lovers, anyone that loves local foods
  • Best time to visit: February till May (with weather ideal for outdoor activities)
  • Best things to do: visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, shop at the night market, take a cooking class, relax at An Bang Beach.

Recommended Itinerary

5. Da Nang – the Most Livable City in Vietnam

Da Nang is a coastal city near Hoi An in central Vietnam. With beautiful beaches, nearby Marble Mountains, as well as modern city developments, it is ranked the most livable city in Vietnam. At night, visit Da Nang’s famous landmark, the Dragon Bridge, for a spectacular view of this Vietnam city.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from San Francisco (18 hours with layovers in Seoul and Hanoi) and Los Angeles (19 hours with layovers in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City).
    2. China: direct flights from Guangzhou (3 hours) as well as indirect flights from Beijing (6 hours with a layover in Hanoi).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (16 hours with layovers in Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City) and Paris (15.5 hours with layovers in Doha and Hanoi).
  • Suited to: families, adventurers, anyone that loves beach holidays
  • Best time to visit: February till May (warm temperatures with low humidity)
  • Best things to do: Relax on My Khe Beach, hike in Marble Mountains, see the Dragon Bridge, take a day trip to Hoi An.

Recommended Classic Vietnam Tour Itineraries:

10 Days Classic Vietnam Tour with Mekong Delta

12 Days Vietnam Family Tour with Mui Ne Beach

6. Bien Hoa – Experience Traditional Vietnam Culture

Bien Hoa is a lesser-known city in Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City. It is an industrial city with a growing expat community. It is a great place to unwind and visit parks, temples, and the Dong Nai River.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: direct flights from San Francisco (17 hours) and indirect flights from New York (20 hours with layovers in Tokyo or Seoul). Or fly to Ho Chi Minh City then drive for 1 hour to Bien Hoa.
    2. China: direct flights from Beijing (5 hours) and Shanghai (4.5 hours). Or fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
    3. Europe: direct flights from London (12.5 hours) and Paris (13 hours). Or fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Suited to: expats, business travelers, culture lovers
  • Best time to visit: December till April (dry season has comfortable weathers)
  • Best things to do: see the Dong Nai River, shop at local markets, have Vietnamese cuisines at local restaurants.

7. Ninh Binh – City in Vietnam with Karst Landscapes

Ninh Binh in northern Vietnam, is nationally famous for its stunning natural sceneries, including karst landscapes, hundreds of limestone cliffs, lush rice paddies, and winding rivers. It is the shooting site for the famous Hollywood movie “Kong: Skull Island.” In Ninh Binh, don’t miss the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Tam Coc, and the ancient capital of Hoa Lu.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from Los Angeles (18 hours with a layover in Seoul or Tokyo) and New York (20 hours with a layover in Hong Kong or Taipei). Or fly to Hanoi, then drive for 2 hours to Ninh Binh.
    2. China: direct flights from Beijing (4 hours) and Shanghai (3.5 hours). Or fly to Hanoi.
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (14 hours with a layover in Bangkok or Dubai) and Paris (13.5 hours with a layover in Doha or Kuala Lumpur). Or fly to Hanoi.
  • Suited to: nature lovers, photographers, couples
  • Best time to visit: February till April, September till November (nice weather ideal for going outdoor)
  • Best things to do: take a boat ride in Tam Coc or Trang An, visit the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and Bai Dinh Pagoda

8. Phu Quoc – Largest Island in Vietnam

Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam, located in the Gulf of Thailand. This city in Vietnam is known for white sandy beaches, clear waters, and luxury resorts. It is a popular destination for beach vacations. You’ll also find chances to go snorkeling, dive, and explore local markets.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from San Francisco (19 hours with layovers in Seoul and Ho Chi Minh City) and Los Angeles (18.5 hours with layovers in Hong Kong and Hanoi).
    2. China: indirect flights from Beijing (8 hours with a layover in Ho Chi Minh City) and Shanghai (7.5 hours with a layover in Hanoi).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (17 hours with layovers in Doha and Ho Chi Minh City) and Paris (16.5 hours with layovers in Dubai and Hanoi).
  • Suited to: anyone that loves beach holidays, couples on honeymoon, families
  • Best time to visit: November till March (dry season has ideal beach weather)
  • Best things to do: relax on Sao Beach, visit Phu Quoc National Park and the Vinpearl Safari, have fresh caught seafoods at the night market

Recommended Best Vietnam Tour Itineraries:

14 Days Vietnam Honeymoon Tour with Phu Quoc Island

14 Days In-depth Family Tour in Vietnam

16 Days Vietnam Panoramic Tour: Halong Bay, Mekong River…

9. Ha Long – City in Vietnam with Thousands of Islands

Ha Long in northern Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its stunning Ha Long Bay. Thousands of limestone islands and islets form a breathtaking seascape. You can board cruises, go kayaking, and explore caves.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from New York (20 hours with layovers in Tokyo and Hanoi) and Los Angeles (18.5 hours with layovers in Seoul and Hanoi). Or fly to Hanoi, then drive for 4 hours to Ha Long.
    2. China: direct flights from Beijing (4 hours) and Shanghai (3.5 hours). Or fly to Hanoi.
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (14 hours with a layover in Dubai or Bangkok) and Paris (13.5 hours with a layover in Doha or Kuala Lumpur). Or fly to Hanoi.
  • Suited to: anyone that loves nature, photographers, couples
  • Best time to visit: October till April (cooler temperatures plus low humidity)
  • Best things to do: board a cruise on Ha Long Bay, explore Sung Sot Cave, visit Ti Top Island, kayak through amazing limestone karsts

Recommended Itinerary

10. Da Lat – Summer Resort City in Vietnam

Da Lat in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is a famous place for summer resorts because of its cool climate. It has beautiful natural landscapes and French colonial architecture. This gorgeous city in Vietnam is surrounded by pine forests, waterfalls, and flower gardens.

  • Flights to and from major cities:
    1. United States: indirect flights from Los Angeles (21 hours with layovers in Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City) and New York (23 hours with layovers in Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City).
    2. China: indirect flights from Beijing (9 hours with layovers in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) and Shanghai (8 hours with layovers in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City).
    3. Europe: indirect flights from London (17.5 hours with layovers in Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City) and Paris (17 hours with layovers in Doha and Hanoi).
  • Suited to: anyone that loves nature, couples, families
  • Best time to visit: November till March (dry season has cooler temperatures)
  • Best things to do: visit the Crazy House, Dalat Flower Gardens, take a boat ride on Xuan Huong Lake, hike Lang Biang Mountain

Contact us on

code

More Travel Tips & Ideas

Sample Itineraries for Your Inspiration

Plan your tailor-made trip with 1-1 help from our travel experts.

Lost your password?

A TripAdvisor award-winning China travel agency organizing diverse private and mini-group China tours. We offer in-depth experience, free cancellation, flexible & safe trips.

Email

WeChat/Whatsapp

Call

(+86)17392484719
(08:00-21:00 Beijing Time)

Send us a quick inquiry

    I prefer to be contacted via: