Da Nang is a coastal city in central Vietnam, and the countries third largest metropolitan area. The city is famous for it’s sandy beaches and breathtaking views, but it’s also a good base for those who wish to explore central Vietnam, for example Hue, Hoi An, Ba Na hills and Hai Van pass.
With 1.4 Million residents, Da Nang is a fairly large city but for most visitors there are only two areas of interest: the beach and the city center. The beach is located on the east side of the Han river (blue circle), and the city center is on the west side (red circle), stretching from Dragon bridge to Han River Bridge.
Strangely enough, many visitors choose to skip out on Da Nang, which I think is unfortunate. Da Nang is one of Vietnam’s top destinations and offers so much more than just beach and sunny weather. Hence I have decided to help my fellow travelers by sharing some of my favorite things to do in Da Nang Vietnam in this comprehensive guide.
So let’s dive right in!
Best Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
My Khe Beach
Located on the east side of the Han river, My Khe is Da Nang’s most famous beach. It stretches for 20 miles and considered as one of the most scenic beaches in Vietnam. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, My Khe also offers excellent surfing starting from the month of September.
If you want some beach chairs you’ll find many for rent just across the street from Holiday Beach Danang Hotel. The price for one chair is 40k VND and you can use it all day. The chair doesn’t come with a towel, so bring your own, or borrow from your hotel. In addition, the area has a small restaurant where you can buy food and drinks.
One of the major landmarks of Da Nang is the white 67 meter statue of Bodhisattva of Mercy, also known as Lady Buddha. The statue has 17 floors, and on each floor you can pay respect to a different Buddha statue. In addition to Lady Buddha, this area also have a pagoda named Linh Ung and stunning views of Da Nang.
Lady Buddha is located a 15 minutes drive from central Da Nang, and the easiest way to get here is by motorbike or with Grab/Uber. At the time of my visit the inside of the statue was closed off to visitors.
Hai Van Pass
Hai Van pass is a 21 km coastal road located between Da Nang and Hue. It’s one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world and offers amazing views of the Vietnamese coastline. Hai Van pass is best experienced by motorbike.
For further reading, check out my extensive guide to Hai Van pass by motorbike.
It’s hard to imagine now, but back in the 16th and 17th century, sleepy Hoi An was the international trading center for all of Southern Vietnam. The town was swarmed with Japanese, Dutch, Indian and Chinese traders and they each established their own neighborhoods in the city. Today, Hoi An is very well preserved and offers a rare glimpse into life of old Vietnam. In addition, Hoi An is famous for it’s excellent tailors, and it’s one of the best places in Vietnam to get tailored clothes made.
The easiest way to get to Hoi An is by using your own motorbike or with Grab/Uber. You can also check with your hotel if they can arrange transportation. For instance, our hotel (Titan) could arrange transportation for $10/person.
The best way to get around Hoi An is to rent a bicycle, and you’ll find many places around town that rent them out.
Finally, don’t miss the excellent traditional art performances that takes place daily at 10.15am and 3.15pm.
Marble mountains are 5 marble-rich rock formations located 20 minutes south of central Da Nang. Each of the 5 mountains are named after the 5 elements: Thuy Son (Water), Moc Son (Wood), Hoa Son (Fire), Kim Son (Metal) and Tho Son (Earth). In addition, the mountains are famous for it’s many cave temples and stunning views.
The easiest way to get to Marble mountains is by motorbike or with Grab/Uber. In addition your hotel may be able to arrange transportation.
Wear good shoes and take care if you’re visiting the mountains in bad weather. The rocks can be slippery on rainy days.
Ba Na Hills
Much has changed since the French first established Ba Na hills in the early 1900s as a resort for the colonial elite. Today it features a copy of a French medieval town, lush green gardens, stunning views and a small theme park. To get to Ba Na hills you’ll be riding a cable car, which is the current world record holder for longest non-stop single track at 5801 meters. In my opinion, Ba Na hills is great if you want to take a break from the beach, or if you have children.
For further reading, check out my extensive visitors guide to Ba Na hills.
The nightlife in Da Nang is surprisingly good, and the best bars are located in the waterfront area, north of the Dragon bridge. One of the more upscale places is Novotel Hotel which has a great skybar featuring stunning views and good cocktails. If you’re a group of people I recommend to get a table and bottle service, since the prices for individual drinks are quite high.
Another favorite is Oq Lounge Pub. Despite it’s name, it’s a beer club (with reasonable prices) visited mostly by local Vietnamese. In fact, you’ll likely be one of the few foreigners in here, which will be a fun experience! I recommend to get a table, buy a beer tower and mingle with the people at the tables next to you.
Other bars worth a visit are Luna Pub and Bamboo 2 Bar.
Where To Stay In Da Nang Vietnam
#1: Titan Hotel
In my opinion, Titan Hotel offers the best value in Da Nang Vietnam. Titan is a 3 star hotel located just a short walk from the beach and close to many good restaurants. In addition, the hotel has modern, clean rooms and very friendly staff. I stayed here on my last trip to Da Nang.
#2: Avatar Danang
If you’re looking for a mid range luxury hotel I recommend Avatar Danang. Avatar is located a short walk from My Khe beach and is very popular with tourists and business travelers alike. In addition, the hotel has a famous skybar that offers stunning views of the city and My Khe beach.
#3: InterContinental Danang
Finally, if you’re looking for a luxury 5-star resort, I recommend to stay at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. In my opinion InterContinental is the best 5-star resort in Da Nang and you won’t miss anything here.
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PS: If you are looking for other things to do in Da Nang Vietnam, check out my travel section.