Vietnam travel guide

Vietnam Tourism | Vietnam Guide

You're Going to Love Vietnam

A destination of complex culture and history and the home of to-die-for cuisine, Vietnam is a feast for the senses.

Vietnam is the perfect destination for travelers seeking to combine historical sites with gorgeous natural landscapes.

What to do in Vietnam

1. Celebrate the Vietnamese New Year in Hoi An

Every year, Hoi An celebrates the New Year with the colorful and bright Lantern Festival. This one-week celebration is one of the top reasons travelers choose to visit Vietnam.

2. See the Rock Formations in Halong Bay

Over 1,000 limestone rock formations rise from the clear blue water in Halong Bay. This postcard-perfect spot is one of the must-sees in Vietnam.

3. Go on a Quest for the Best Pho

A Vietnamese staple dish, you can have pho at street food stalls or high-end restaurants. Find out who cooks it better.

4. Visit Sapa

Head to the hilly north to explore the town of Sapa and shop around the Saturday market.

5. Experience Ho Chi Minh City

Busy and chaotic, Ho Chi Minh City is the embodiment of Vietnam's vibe. It's the perfect place to learn to go with the flow.

1. Celebrate the Vietnamese New Year in Hoi An

Every year, Hoi An celebrates the New Year with the colorful and bright Lantern Festival. This one-week celebration is one of the top reasons travelers choose to visit Vietnam.

2. See the Rock Formations in Halong Bay

Over 1,000 limestone rock formations rise from the clear blue water in Halong Bay. This postcard-perfect spot is one of the must-sees in Vietnam.

3. Go on a Quest for the Best Pho

A Vietnamese staple dish, you can have pho at street food stalls or high-end restaurants. Find out who cooks it better.

4. Visit Sapa

Head to the hilly north to explore the town of Sapa and shop around the Saturday market.

5. Experience Ho Chi Minh City

Busy and chaotic, Ho Chi Minh City is the embodiment of Vietnam's vibe. It's the perfect place to learn to go with the flow.

When to visit Vietnam

Vietnam in August
Estimated hotel price
$54
1 night at 3-star hotel
Vietnam in August
Estimated hotel price
$54
1 night at 3-star hotel

Every two years in April, Vietnam holds its largest cultural event: Hue Festival. If you can't make it in time for this event, plan your trip between December and March when the weather is milder.

How to Get to Vietnam

Entry Requirements

Nationals from some European and Asian countries can enter Vietnam without a visa and stay from 15-30 days. Travelers from other countries need to apply for an e-visa before their trip.

Plane

Most international flights to Vietnam will land at one of the three international airports: Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Local airline Vietnam Airlines operates most of the nonstop flights.

Train

The only way to get into Vietnam by train is from China. There are regular daily connections to the capital Hanoi.

Passengers are requested to disembark the train and pick up their luggage at the border for customs inspection, and board again once they cross into Vietnam.

Car

In theory, it's possible to drive into Vietnam from Laos, Cambodia, and China, but check the latest updates regarding this way of crossing the border. Bureaucracy and different rules at different borders can make the process quite difficult.

Bus

There are regular bus connections between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia, Hue and Laos, and Hanoi and China.

Passengers must disembark the bus with their luggage at the border for customs processing, and board again on the Vietnamese side.

Boat

You can enter Vietnam by fast boat from Cambodia via the Mekong River.

Entry Requirements

Nationals from some European and Asian countries can enter Vietnam without a visa and stay from 15-30 days. Travelers from other countries need to apply for an e-visa before their trip.

Plane

Most international flights to Vietnam will land at one of the three international airports: Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Local airline Vietnam Airlines operates most of the nonstop flights.

Train

The only way to get into Vietnam by train is from China. There are regular daily connections to the capital Hanoi.

Passengers are requested to disembark the train and pick up their luggage at the border for customs inspection, and board again once they cross into Vietnam.

Car

In theory, it's possible to drive into Vietnam from Laos, Cambodia, and China, but check the latest updates regarding this way of crossing the border. Bureaucracy and different rules at different borders can make the process quite difficult.

Bus

There are regular bus connections between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia, Hue and Laos, and Hanoi and China.

Passengers must disembark the bus with their luggage at the border for customs processing, and board again on the Vietnamese side.

Boat

You can enter Vietnam by fast boat from Cambodia via the Mekong River.

Popular airlines serving Vietnam

Lufthansa
Good (4,685 reviews)
KLM
Good (849 reviews)
SWISS
Good (945 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,551 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,620 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,301 reviews)
Air France
Good (983 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,590 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,968 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,119 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,456 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,887 reviews)
Finnair
Good (873 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (925 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,179 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (5,682 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (830 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (406 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (507 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (722 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Vietnam

In popular tourist destinations, it's easy to find budget-friendly hostels, all kinds of hotels, and family-owned guesthouses.

Where to stay in popular areas of Vietnam

Most booked hotels in Vietnam

Fusion Resort Cam Ranh
5 stars
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
$386+
Amiana Resort Nha Trang
5 stars
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
$283+
Furama Resort Danang
5 stars
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$218+
Vinpearl Resort & Spa Nha Trang Bay
5 stars
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$154+
Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa
5 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$257+

How to Get Around Vietnam

Public Transportation

Most cities are served by a network of city buses, metered taxis, and inexpensive motorcycle taxis ("xe om").

Although slowly disappearing, you can still find cyclos (bicycle rickshaws) in some cities in Vietnam. It's one of the cheapest modes of transportation, costing approximately 12,000-25,000 VND (0.50-1.10 USD) for a short-distance trip.

Trains

Vietnam Railways operates the network of reliable and comfortable trains, ideal for long distances. SE class trains are usually faster and better equipped than the TN class trains.

Bus

Due to traffic, traveling by bus is not the fastest option. However, most destinations in Vietnam are connected by several bus routes that allow travelers to reach more remote locations.

The main cities are connected by comfortable, high-end buses. Local buses are used mostly by locals for short distances.

Car

Renting a car in Vietnam always means hiring a driver. If you're planning to drive around Vietnam in your own vehicle, you'll need an International Driving Permit and local insurance.

Plane

Domestic flights between the main cities in Vietnam are a faster and, in most cases, a cheaper option to get around. Flights are operated by local airlines, including Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Airways.

Public Transportation

Most cities are served by a network of city buses, metered taxis, and inexpensive motorcycle taxis ("xe om").

Although slowly disappearing, you can still find cyclos (bicycle rickshaws) in some cities in Vietnam. It's one of the cheapest modes of transportation, costing approximately 12,000-25,000 VND (0.50-1.10 USD) for a short-distance trip.

Trains

Vietnam Railways operates the network of reliable and comfortable trains, ideal for long distances. SE class trains are usually faster and better equipped than the TN class trains.

Bus

Due to traffic, traveling by bus is not the fastest option. However, most destinations in Vietnam are connected by several bus routes that allow travelers to reach more remote locations.

The main cities are connected by comfortable, high-end buses. Local buses are used mostly by locals for short distances.

Car

Renting a car in Vietnam always means hiring a driver. If you're planning to drive around Vietnam in your own vehicle, you'll need an International Driving Permit and local insurance.

Plane

Domestic flights between the main cities in Vietnam are a faster and, in most cases, a cheaper option to get around. Flights are operated by local airlines, including Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Airways.

The Cost of Living in Vietnam

ATMs are widely available, and locals prefer payments in cash, but debit or credit cards can be used in large hotels and restaurants. A local transportation ticket costs approximately 7,000 VND (0.30 USD). A daily run to the grocery store can cost around 100,000 VND (4.30 USD).