As the 3rd largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is on the travel list of many people. The Da Nang airport is where you would land if you were visiting Hoi An. Due to the convenience, I decided to make Da Nang our stop as the “beach resort” portion of my 2 week Vietnam trip. I created this ultimate Da Nang travel guide to share with you things to do, what to eat, where to stay, and how much it costs for a 3 day vacation.
Things to Do in Da Nang
1. Visit the Beach
If you plan on spending time on the beach in Vietnam, the main cities to look at are: Da Nang, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc. Since all the other cities required a separate flight, we decided on Da Nang. My Khe beach stretchs along almost the entire coastline. The beach is so wide and the sand feels wonderful on the toes. I loved how warm the temperature of the water is! I usually never go in the ocean as I find it too cold. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy how warm the water is!
On the negative side, I found that there’s garbage washed up ashore and the water is not as clear as people describe it to be. The waters in the Caribbean and Greece are definitely nicer (check out these gorgeous beaches in Curacao and in Folegandros). I also didn’t find there’s any facilities at the beach that’s directly across from our hotel. If I was to do Da Nang again, I’d definitely stay at a beach resort instead of a hotel by the beach.
2. Visit Sunworld Ba Na Hills
My second recommendation for things to do in Da Nang is to take a day trip to Ba Na Hills. There are lots of tours and packages that are offered, but you can just take a grab (Vietnamese Uber) for about 360,000 VND and have more freedom with your schedule. We arrived just after 8:00am and was one of the first up the amusement park.
Admission tickets are 750,000 VND which includes cable car access (the longest and highest in the world!). You can’t choose to enter another way and there’s just one set ticket price. I was really confused about the different names but essentially Ba Na Hills is operated by Sunworld. Once you enter and get up to the top with the cable car, you’ll find the Golden Bridge, French Village, and Le Jardin D’Amour.
I actually really enjoyed myself. There were so many photogenic spots and the whole ground was perfectly manicured. You can also try your hand at over 100 arcade games FOR FREE in French Village. We spent over 6 hours here and only ended the day before it was completely pouring.
3. Go on a Street Food Tour
Although Da Nang is not known as the biggest street food city (that honour goes to Hanoi, check out everything I ate there), I’d highly recommend the Da Nang Food Tour. The Vietnamese city layout twists and turns, and many delicious spots are hidden in alley ways. Anh is the owner and tour guide for this company, and he took us to some delicious spots that only locals would know. I don’t even know if a few of them are real restaurants or just mom and pop cooking food for friends!
4. View the Fire Breathing Dragon
Every Saturday, the dragon bridge in Da Nang will put on a fire show at 9pm. It’s quite the spectacle as people are lined up on the bridge and along the water to watch.
As I wanted to relax in this portion of the trip, I didn’t push too hard for other activities. But here are some other attractions in Da Nang you may be interested in:
- Lady Buddha: The tallest buddha statue in Vietnam! Located in Chua Linh Ung
- Danang Cathedral (pink church as pictured above): Located in the city, this view is from a gift shop across the street
- Marble Mountains: 20 minutes south of the city, great for temple and nature lovers
- My Son Sanctuary: UNESCO sight of ancient temple complex
- Hai Van Pass: hire a driver and drive down the winding scenic pass
- 3D Museum Art in Paradise: good way to pass time if the weather is not cooperating
Where to Eat
There are lots of delicious food in Da Nang. The hard part is getting to them. I found that the best food is on the city side, whereas most tourists would be staying on the beach side. With that said, you can always use Grab for food delivery or a ride. It’s about 40,000 VND to get from the beach to the city side. Here are my recommendations!
- Taco Ngon – Tripadvisor
- Chay Corner Vietnamese Dumlings – Tripadvisor
- Umm Banh Mi – Tripadvisor Great to pick up and go! I had one as a snack
- An Nyeong – Tripadvisor Cheap, delicious kimchi fried rice. Huge Korean tourist population in Da Nang!
Moderate/Fine Dining Restaurant
- Kome’s Restaurant – Tripadvisor I went here and the prices are actually quite affordable. It’s right across the street from Danang catherdral and the interior is clean, spacious, and equipped with AC
- Table 88 – Tripadvisor
- Pizza 4 P’s – Tripadvisor I ate at Pizza 4Ps in Ho Chi Minh city but this one should be just as good! Honestly, I hate recommending “white” food in Asian cities but the pizza and pasta were out of this world!
- Nen – Tripadvisor If you want to treat yourself to a tasting menu, this is one of the best!
- Con Kopi – Tripadvisor Expensive but I had the most delicious avocado coffee drink!
- Cong Ca Phe – Tripadvisor A chain in Vietnam but their coconut coffee is one of my favorites on the whole trip!
- Maison Alnam – Tripadvisor
- Trinh Caphe – Tripadvisor Where locals would go with vintage decor and delicious coconut coffee
- Wonderlust Bakery & Coffee – Tripadvisor The one coffee shop I didn’t actually go to on this list but it looks so cute!
Where to Stay
The most popular place for tourists to stay is along My Khe beach. I stayed at HAIAN Beach Hotel & Spa because of this gorgeous infinity pool and ocean view room. I liked my stay although it clearly catered towards Korean tourists (not sure if this is the case for all hotels).
As I touched on earlier, I would highly recommend staying at a beach resort further south in the city. You’ll have a cleaner beach, access to beach chairs, and more of a vacation feel. My favorite part about Da Nang was the day trip to Ba Na Hills which you can easily do even if you don’t stay in the city. And honestly, although I had some good food in Da Nang, it does not compare to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or even Hoi An.
A few of the beach resorts are absurdly priced but here are some reasonable priced options!
- Hyatt Regency Danang Resort
- Melia Danang Beach Resort
- Centara Sandy Beach Resort Danang
- Grandvrio Ocean Resort Danang
If you would like to stay along My Khe Beach, here are my recommendations from North to South. These all have a pool, modern or unique decor, and rated above 9.0 on booking.com. The price ranges between $80 for no views to $175 for ocean views.
How Much to Budget
You can do Da Nang on the cheap just like any other part of Vietnam. But I feel like the pricing is mid range here for food and hotels. Transportation also added up because it’s not as walkable as Hoi An. Let’s take a look at how much I spent in 5 days. The exchange rate is 17,500 VND to $1 CAD.
Hotel: 8,820,000 VND for 4 nights
Food: 1,194,000 VND (I had free breakfast buffet at the hotel)
Beer: 205,000 VND (only 2 glasses at 7 Bridges, craft beer is expensive!)
Coffee, Water and Snacks: 444,000 VND
Transportation: 347,000 VND
Ba Na Hills: 2,320,000 VND (2 admission tickets and 2 grab rides)
Total: 13,330,000 VND or $761.55 CAD for 2 people for 4 days
I’ll be working on a Vietnam travel itinerary soon (it’s live now, click here to read it!) I would recommend coming to Da Nang if you’d like a beach break! It definitely had the best beach out of all the cities we visited. But if you are not interested in hanging out by the pool and sand, it’s totally fine to skip this city and head straight to Hoi An from the airport. YOU MUST GO TO HOI AN! It’s my favorite city in Vietnam and click here for my travel guide.