Da Nang (or Danang) is such a special city that you need a complete Da Nang travel guide to explore all its coolest features.
If you’re a big foodie, Da Nang is a gastronomic paradise.
If you’re a culture buff, the city will take you back in time.
And if you just want to lounge on the beach, Da Nang is your heaven on earth!
What’s so great about this so-called middle of Vietnam that travellers from all over the world want to see it at least once in their lives? Check out this ultimate Da Nang travel guide and you’ll understand why!
A look at Da Nang – A vibrant and modern city
Da Nang is not a big city, but it has so much in it that keeps people entertained and surprised. Located in central Vietnam, facing the East Sea, Da Nang is an important port city with a rich history.
What you see in Da Nang is a lively and vibrant life. It is not as hectic as Hanoi or Saigon, but it is still modern and full of life.
The city of Da Nang is wedged between the old quarter of Hoian – a UNESCO heritage site and Hue – the imperial city. What Da Nang is famous for is its extensive coastline, heavenly local cuisine, nightlife, history and a rich culture that has been nurtured for thousands of years.
Da Nang weather
Da Nang is a coastal city in Vietnam, so it is often hot and windy. There are two times of the year to watch out for:
The dry season
The dry season in Da Nang, Vietnam, generally runs from March to September, with the hottest months being June to August. Temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, but the heat is fairly dry (compared to Ho Chi Minh City) and a little shade and the salty ocean breeze will keep you cool. June to August is also high season for domestic and international tourists and the city will be a bit busier – which isn’t really a problem as there are so many beaches to walk on!
The wet season
The wet season runs from October to March. During this time, the region experiences heavy rainfall and a few typhoons. The skies can be grey but the temperature is always warm, although a little cooler than in the dry season. From January to March the weather improves and temperatures are always lower, around 25 degrees (Celsius).
Best time to visit Da Nang
The best time to visit Da Nang is between March and September with calm sea, blue sky and mild weather. During this period, the climate is pleasant and varies between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius, while the night is cooler and windy, between 18 and 23 degrees.
With the gentle ocean waves, you can engage in the best sea sports of your life, such as snorkelling and diving.
The months between November and February see the colder weather of winter. Although Vietnamese people always visit Danang during these months, don’t forget to put on an extra coat.
Summer is another great time to travel to Danang. This is the summer holiday period for local students, so you can expect to see more Vietnamese families lounging on the beach.
High season is from May to August and from Christmas to Lunar New Year (Tet). Prices for all services rise a little higher these days.
How to get to Da Nang
Top 3 ways to get to Da Nang from other cities in Vietnam.
Da Nang has an international airport and is well connected to other major airports in the country. You can fly in daily from Hanoi or Saigon, as well as from the neighbouring cities of Dalat and Nha Trang.
The average flight time from Hanoi or Saigon to Da Nang is less than an hour. The price of a single ticket varies between 55 and 90 USD depending on the season.
Taking a bus to Da Nang is an ideal choice if you are currently in Hue, Hoi An or Quang Binh. Daily buses leave every hour. You can buy tickets directly at the bus stations before departure time, or contact the hotline of each bus line to book the ticket in advance.
Apart from the cities I mentioned above, there are buses available between Da Nang and Dong Hoi (Quang Binh), Quy Nhon, Kon Tum and Hanoi…etc. As these provinces are further away from Danang, you can expect to spend three to six hours in a sleeper bus.
The last option I want to mention is the train. It’s certainly not a time-saver, but if we’re talking about scenery and low cost, nothing can beat the train!
As Da Nang is located in the middle of the National North-South Railway, you can choose to leave from anywhere in the city where there is a train station.
Most carriages are equipped with air conditioning and soft beds, so you don’t have to worry about hurting your back! Be sure to visit the Hai Van Pass on the way to Da Nang. It is one of the most picturesque landscapes in all of Vietnam!
Best hotels in Da Nang
Da Nang, the fifth largest city in Vietnam, has no shortage of hotels to suit the needs of different travellers. In fact, it can be a little difficult for first-time visitors to decide where to stay, given the abundance of options. Look no further – here are the best resorts and hotels in Da Nang.
Naman Retreat located on a beach about halfway between Da Nang and ancient Hoi An, is a five-star resort that promises a totally relaxing and soothing stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Spend a day (or a week) at Naman Retreat’s Pure Spa, which offers multi-day wellness programmes in addition to the usual spa treatments, or indulge in one of its four beautifully designed bamboo-clad restaurants and bars.
You can stay in the spacious Babylon rooms, with private balconies and luxurious amenities, or in the large pool and beach villas. Service is detailed and personalised, and you can request anything from a personal DJ to walks in the surrounding countryside.
Sofia Suite Hotel
This boutique hotel in Da Nang’s Son Tra district offers comfortable and stylish accommodation and a convenient location. Only 5 minutes from the beach and is surrounded by all the amenities of the city.
Although the decor is simple and the facilities are typical of a three-star hotel, the Sofia Hotel shines with its excellent service. The friendly staff speak good English and will cater to your every need, whether it is a special breakfast or arranging a private car for sightseeing.
At the five-star Fusion Maia Da Nang, there are no ordinary hotel rooms, but all-inclusive private pool villas with daily spa treatments.
To add to the feeling of total relaxation, breakfast is served at any time you wish, whether it’s at sunrise or even in the evening.
The food and drinks offered in the dining room and bar are a fusion of traditional local ingredients and international flavours. A shuttle bus to Hoi An makes this hotel an ideal location for exploring both cities.
The Ocean Villas
For a sportier version of the usual seaside experience, head to the Ocean Villas, another large resort located on the coast between Da Nang and Hoi An.
The Da Nang Golf Club is right next door and offers one of the best new golf courses in the world, a driving range, pro shop and professional training studios.
The resort itself offers a beach club with canoes, windsurfers and other water sports equipment for hire, as well as a tennis court. After a day of activities, guests can enjoy refreshments at the White Caps fusion restaurant. Guests can choose to stay in one to five bedroom villas.
Samdi Hotel has one of the best locations of any hotel in Da Nang – right in the centre of the city, on busy Nguyen Van Linh Street, but also only minutes from the beach and the airport.
The hotel offers a wide range of accommodation including standard rooms (ideal for business travellers), fully equipped flats and the spacious Samdi Studios. The centrepiece of the hotel is the sumptuous swimming pool and bar on the 19th floor, where guests can lounge or swim under a huge skylight.
Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Part of the Intercontinental group, the Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is a hillside resort on the Son Tra Peninsula, northwest of the city.
The resort is beautiful from a distance, with white Vietnamese-influenced buildings scattered across the green hillside. The elegant design continues inside, with latticework mirrors, traditional architectural elements carved from dark wood and sleek modern furnishings.
Expect to enjoy the quality of service of a typical Intercontinental hotel, but in an exceptional setting, as almost every room has a panoramic ocean view.
Get around Da Nang
4 ways to get around to help you conquer Da Nang like a local.
Walking around Da Nang
As I mentioned earlier, Da Nang is a small city. Most of the main attractions are located close to each other. The best services are strung around the beach areas.
As it is a modern city, all streets are paved with pavements and boulevards, which makes sightseeing much easier. You can stroll along the beach, around the night market, or stop off at a seafood restaurant with the snap of a finger.
However, there are some specific attractions in town that are not in the city centre, such as the Ba Na Hills or My Son Shrine. In this case, I highly recommend taking a taxi, a Grab, renting a scooter, or simply booking a day trip from Da Nang!
Taking the public bus
Although most travellers are happy to rent a scooter for the day, if you want to explore the real local life, taking a public bus is the best option! Not only do you save money, but you also get to see the scenery around you without rushing.
Bus services in Da Nang start at 5:30am and stop at 4pm. They take you around the main attractions and thoroughfares of the city centre. However, if you have just landed in Da Nang with a lot of luggage to handle, the public bus may not be the best choice!
Using a traditional taxi
Without wanting to explain too much, taxis are widely available in major cities around the world. Most people wonder about the cost. So don’t worry, they all have a meter on the front seat and you pay after using the service.
Booking a Grab
Like Uber, Grab is more reasonable than traditional taxis. All you have to do is prepare the Grab app on your smartphone before you travel (plus mobile data).
One drawback of using Grab is that the fare increases at peak times and when it rains. So you can alternate between traditional taxis and Grab as long as it suits your trip!
Must-see attractions in Da Nang: 10 iconic destinations for beginners
Also known as Ngu Hanh Son (Five Elements Mountain) in Vietnamese, the Marble Mountain is not only a natural and cultural site, but also a paradise for sports travellers.
The destination is located 7 kilometres from the city centre and is home to a vast system of caves and tunnels. It offers a magnificent view of the Da Nang skyline with the sea on the horizon.
A final feature that attracts tourists to the Marble Mountains is the marble stone village located at the foot of the mountains. These shops display a collection of stone art for sale. Jewellery, statues and religious objects are the most common items of art displayed in the premises.
Cham Island (with snorkeling)
Cham Island can never be missed in a good Da Nang travel guide. Most people include Cham Island in a day trip from the mainland of Da Nang. This island is a paradise on earth for snorkeling, which allows you to admire the large coral reefs on the ocean floor.
You can choose to go there by yourself, but it is quite complicated! So I highly recommend you to take a half-day trip. It’s reasonable, easy and everything is included, so you don’t have to haggle to get a good price for the service you want. Read more Cham Island: Travel Guide Things to do
The Dragon Bridge is undoubtedly the symbol of Da Nang. The most iconic feature of the bridge is its spectacular design and the mesmerising water fire show that takes place every weekend at 9pm.
In addition, its excellent location – it crosses the Han River – makes it a selling point that no one wants to miss when visiting Da Nang.
Linh Ung Pagoda – Son Tra Peninsula
When you think of the Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula, you think of the image of a towering statue of Lady Buddha overlooking the East Sea. Linh Ung is a typical Vietnamese Buddhist temple with a traditional oriental architectural beauty.
Not only is the view from the site incredible, but the huge collection of statues inside also makes it an irresistible destination. The pathway leading to the main hall of the pagoda houses 18 statues of Arhats. Each of them depicts a different human emotion, which refers to the 18 personality types and stories behind them.
As for the Son Tra Peninsula, it is a great biodiversity that you can only fully understand if you are accompanied by a local guide. Son Tra was once a point of attack by the Franco-Spanish armed ally in 1859. This event marked the official colonisation of Vietnam and kicked off the war between the Vietnamese and the French for the next 100 years.
Tam Thanh Mural Village
The Tam Thanh village only came into being a few years ago when a group of Vietnamese and Korean artists revamped the houses. They created over 100 paintings on the walls of the houses in bright colours. Each painting depicts the colourful and hopeful life of the inhabitants, and expresses the rich culture of the fishing village. Tam Thanh is now located towards the southern side of Hoian. If you are a great lover of photography, you certainly can’t miss this hidden gem.
Address: No. 02 E. September 2, Binh Hien, Hai Chau district
Open: 7:30 am – 5pm
If you are a history buff, the Cham Museum is the highlight of your holiday in Da Nang. Da Nang used to belong to the Champa kingdom, which existed 1000 years ago. All the artifacts, religion and culture of the Champa civilization are perfectly preserved in the Cham Museum today.
Outside the museum, be sure to visit the ancient ruins of My Son to better understand the history and religion of the Champa civilians.
My Son Shrine
After visiting the Cham Museum, let’s take a drive outside the city and visit the sacred ruins of My Son. Originating between the 4th and 14th centuries AD, My Son contains many Hindu temples and tombs. The entire complex is surrounded by lush forest and a small stream that winds its way through the land.
The total number of temples at My Son is 70, stretching over 2 kilometres wide. With this magnificent beauty and the mystery behind the construction, My Son becomes even greater. It is known to be one of the most beautiful temple complexes in Southeast Asia.
The best way to explore this historical relic is to book a day trip to My Son Shrine from Da Nang.
My Khe beach
I won’t waste too much time complimenting you on the beauty of My Khe beach. It has been recalled in so many prestigious travel magazines around the world because of such amazing beauty it has. Most travel connoisseurs rank the destination as one of the best beaches in Vietnam.
My Khe is also the longest beach in Da Nang, where you can watch the sunset or take a long walk on the beach alongside your loved one.
Around the beach are dozens of seafood restaurants, cafes and bars where you can relax after dark.
Hai Van Pass
Travellers from all over the world have heard of Hai Van Pass since it was featured on Top Gear. Since then, Hai Van has become a must-see destination for anyone visiting Da Nang. And many locals like to conquer the Hai Van Pass by motorbike or bike on their day trip from Da Nang to Hue.
The pass is 21 kilometres long. These days, most large vehicles use the highway tunnel to make way for smaller vehicles that travel up the mountain. It is such a rewarding experience to drive a scooter and enjoy the view of the sea and the peaceful Lang Co Bay from the top of the pass. For this reason, the pass is also known as one of the most exciting routes in Vietnam.
All you need to remember is to check the weather before the hike. Because bad weather can ruin your trip at any time and affect your safety. It is highly recommended to start early in the morning. At this time, the sky is clear and it is not as hot as midday. This allows you to enjoy the ride to the full.
If you love culture and history (and can’t ride alone), look for the best travel agency that offers motorbike tours in Vietnam to help you make the most of it!
Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge
If you’ve ever seen a photo of a pair of giant hands offering a bridge to the sky, there’s a chance you’ll see the Golden Bridge in the Ba Na Hills.
As well as feeding your Instagram with this special spot, don’t forget to embark on a European trip to the French Village, and get the best laugh of your life at the theme park!
You can take a taxi and visit the Ba Na Hills on your own. But the best advice to fully explore the destination is to join a day trip to the Ba Na Hills from Da Nang.
What to eat in Danang
Banh Beo (fern cake)
Little do you know that Banh Beo is ranked among the best local cuisines in Vietnam. The Da Nang style of Banh Beo is eaten directly from a small bowl with a spoon.
Don’t forget to add some cooked fish sauce on top and some fresh chillies before you go! Banh Beo is a type of steamed rice cake, usually topped with pork rind, fried breadcrumbs and green onions.
The best Banh Beo restaurant in town is at 100 Hoang Van Thu Street.
My Quang (Quang Noodles)
My Quang is the most talked about local dish in Da Nang. Visiting Da Nang without eating My Quang is like saying you have never been to Da Nang!
My Quang is a “half-soup, half-salad” dish that includes a good portion of thick noodles. They are topped with a variety of fillings, which you can choose from pork, chicken or beef. The broth is tasty, while the herbs are fresh, fragrant and healthy. Roasted peanut oil is added to the bowl. A typical My Quang bowl is accompanied by rice crackers, chili and lemon.
The best My Quang in Da Nang is at 166 Le Dinh Duong Street.
Banh Xeo (crispy pancake)
Without a doubt, Banh Xeo is as famous in Da Nang as My Quang. Different from the Mekong Delta Banh Xeo, the Da Nang version is smaller and usually wrapped in rice paper.
Bánh Xèo is a crackling rice flour pancake. Chefs fill it with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, green onions, mung beans and many other ingredients. They fry it over a charcoal fire for a few minutes until it is crispy on the outside and tender and fully cooked on the inside.
A good plate of Banh Xeo cannot do without homemade fish sauce. You will find peanuts, hoisin sauce, peanuts, chillies and pork liver mixed into the sauce.
The best Banh Xeo in the city is Ba Duong restaurant at K280/23 Hoang Dieu Street.
With the ultimate Da Nang travel guide above, you don’t need anything else to complete your trip! All you have to do is pack your bags, find a good local guide, bookmark my article and get ready to have a blast!