If you are bored of Thailand and New York and London are too cosmopolitan for you, consider Vietnam as your next travel destination.

A world where history is compelling, and hues are vibrant; Vietnam is a charming destination for tourists from all corners of the world. It’s beautiful, astonishingly mysterious, and home to many compelling destinations.

Whether you want to indulge in something surreal like cruising through the serene waters of the Mekong Delta or do something thrilling like riding a motorcycle through tightly packed alleys a trip to Vietnam is packed with charming attractions for all rovers.

We have decoded an epic 7-day Vietnam itinerary for you. This Vietnam itinerary suits every traveller, from exploring UNESCO Heritage cities to visiting splendid landscapes.

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Arrive in Vietnam’s capital city, a place of grand architecture and kick-start your holiday.

Hanoi is a bustling city with history, culture, delectable food, and amiable locals. Whether you are here for cheap shopping or its famous Vietnamese coffee, you will fall in love with the capital city.

Arrive in Hanoi

Once you land at Noi Bai International Airport, check in to your hotel and prepare to discover what the famed capital of Vietnam has to offer to vacationers.

After finishing a power-packed breakfast at your hotel, head to all popular Vietnam landmarks and famous destinations in Hanoi.

Things to do in Hanoi

Let’s start the day by going to the famous Old Quarter in the Hoan Kiem district. You can find delicious food, sights, and things to do here!

It is a famous Vietnam landmark in the centre of Hanoi, where you can genuinely experience Vietnamese culture. From road shopping to appreciating the perfect French-pioneer design, you won’t ever regard yourself as worn here out!

Try some Hanoi street delicacies for lunch, like Banh Mi, a toasted baguette filled with meat and vegetables; Bun Cha, grilled pork and noodles; and Cha Ca, fried fish and dill served with rice noodles.

Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi’s largest indoor market, is another option you should try on your Vietnam trip. Within its four-story structure, you can find a diverse selection of goods.

The next stop is Hoan Kiem Lake, a picturesque lake in Hanoi’s historic centre. Many people come to this area, which is loved by people of all ages, to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.

If you still have a lot of energy, go to the Old Quarter’s Bia Hoi Junction to enjoy Hanoi’s fantastic nightlife.

Places to stay

Our recommendation,

  • Queen Hotel (47.77 New Zealand Dollars or $29.75 per night**)
  • Reddoorz Near Big C Thang Long (48.65 New Zealand Dollars or $30 per night**)
  • Lenka Hotel (53.67 New Zealand Dollars or $33.78 per night**)

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Day 2: Explore the architectural marvels at Hanoi

On your 2nd day, you will also continue to explore Hanoi and its landmarks.

Things to do

After breakfast, head to the Ho Chi Minh Museum and learn more about Vietnam’s revolutionary struggle against foreign powers. This Vietnam landmark depicted Ho Chi Minh’s life in detail and was built in the 1990s. (Pic needed)

Your next stop is Hoa Lo Prison, a prison turned into a museum. It’s also known as the Hanoi Hilton, a sarcastic nickname among American POWs. During the Vietnam War, it was used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and by the US prisoners in North Vietnam.

Also, for the best late-night shopping experience, end the night shopping at Hanoi Weekend Night Market! Experience the raucous, bustling, and welcoming atmosphere of the roadside stalls and local food vendors lining the street, which are only open Friday through Sunday.

Pro tip

The well-known “36 Streets” are a shopper’s paradise with a touch of local flavor. Explore silks, stuffed toys, watches, silk goods, artwork, embroidery, food, coffee, and more!

Is Hanoi better than Ho Chi Minh City?

Some believe that Hanoi gives a better view of Vietnamese life and culture. On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh is more vibrant and colorful. The city is jam-packed with skyscrapers, wider roads, trendy shopping malls, rooftop bars, and a plethora of international restaurants. Both cities are worth visiting during your Vietnam trip.

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Day 3: Immerse in the celestial beauty of Ha Long Bay

Arrive in Da NangToday, you will go to Ha Long Bay, a 3-hour drive (180 km) from Hanoi, and the taxi cost is $75-$95.

Your Vietnam itinerary won’t be completed without conquering Halong Bay!

Ha Long Bay is a popular destination for locals and tourists due to its stunning seascape surrounded by rocky limestone cliffs. Ha Long Bay is one of those lovely places that gloat a mind-boggling climate and an array of natural sights and mythical attractions. (Pic needed)

Ha Long Bay, which means “Bay of Descending Dragons”, is home to a magical and enchanting legend passed down through the ages. According to the famous legend, the Ha Long Bay islands were formed when a family of dragons descended to help the locals defend their land from the rushing hordes of Chinese invaders.

The dragons spit jade and jewels into the sea, and these jewels turned into thousands of islets and islands studding the bay, creating an unyielding fortress that prevented the invaders from taking the land.

With such mystical scenery and a beautiful legend, it is not surprising that the bay has been renowned as one of the world’s natural heritage sites.

Things to do

You can find various activities nearby this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including kayaking around various islands and grottos and visiting a cave.

Since the time is limited, we recommend you take a cruise from Halong City to see the best of the area.

On your visit, you could pass by Sung Drunkard Cavern, the most renowned cavern in Northern Vietnam!

Sung Sot Cave, or Surprised Cave, is one of Halong Bay’s most magnificent grottoes on Bo Hon Island. Visitors will undoubtedly be awestruck by the cave’s natural beauty, which features a “royal garden” with a clear pond and two partitions containing stalactites and stalagmites older than 100,000 years.

One of the four floating fishing villages in Halong Bay, Ba Hang Fishing Village, is another fantastic attraction that you shouldn’t miss. Ba Hang Village is a small, close-knit community with approximately 50 families whose primary source of income is fishing.

Admire the rustic, well-kept fishing village and observe the fishermen’s straightforward way of life here.

Cua Van is another popular attraction you can see while on a cruise tour to Ha Long Bay, and it’s one of the sights you shouldn’t miss out on when you visit Vietnam. Cua Van Village has inscribed its name as one of the world’s most enchanting fishing villages.

You will certainly be fascinated by the beauty of the craftily woven bamboo basket boats, unique floating homes and bolstering primitive scenes.

With the unique charm of this vibrant community, a perfect Vietnam cruise is certainly an experience to remember.

Another famous action that sightseers appreciate doing is kayaking in Halong Bay! Kayaking is a great way to see the islands.

Pro tip

Don’t forget to take selfies while taking in the stunning views.

Places to Stay

Our recommendations,

  • Sojo Hotel Bac Giang (109 New Zealand Dollars or $69 per night**)
  • Korea 2 Hotel (160 New Zealand Dollars or $100 per night**)
  • Sojo Hotel Ha Long (180 New Zealand Dollars or $113 per night**)

Day 4: Arrive in Da Nang

It takes slightly more than an hour to fly from Ha Long Bay to Da Nang, compared to 16 hours of driving, so book your flight in advance for more convenience!

The gentle sea breeze will greet you as you step foot into this beautiful coastal city, known for its mesmerizing sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port. Da Nang is modern and vibrant.

Things to do

The Marble Mountains, a mysterious collection of five limestone and marble hills south of Da Nang, is a must-see in Da Nang. One of Da Nang’s most well-known vacation spots, the Marble Mountains are named after metal, wood, fire, water and earth components and are worth looking at.

The place also has a lot of pagoda temples, Buddhist sanctuaries, and even a unique circular cave with a chimney that leads to the top and offers incredible views.

After spending hours exploring the Marble Mountains, you now head to the My Khe Beach, one of Da Nang’s most idyllic beaches. My Khe Beach is famous for its crystal-clear water, white sand, and majestically blue sky, and it is one of the ten most popular beaches in Asia.

It’s the perfect spot for a swim in the afternoon, a surf session, or even paddle boarding because there are no big waves, and the water is warm all year. Whether you partake in watersports activities or want to spend quality time on the beach, you will undoubtedly enjoy My Khe Beach’s full glory.

Da Nang comes to alive at night. After dinner, stroll to the Dragon’s Bridge in the city centre and marvel at the giant and glorious dragon that the entire bridge is designed to be.

The bridge is lit at night and on weekends; you will be delighted to see the exciting show of the dragon spitting fire.

Places to Stay

Our recommendations,

  • Tulip Motel (28 New Zealand Dollars or $ 17 per night**)
  • Spot On 1021 Dai Thang Motel (28.93 New Zealand Dollars or $18 per night**)
  • Oyo 238 Luxury Motel (30 New Zealand Dollars or $19.31 per night**)

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Day 5: Explore Hoi An

Explore Hoi AnYou can take a bus or cab from Da Nang and reach Hoi An. The distance is 42 km, and it will take 1hr 15 minutes.

If you are fed up with your unstoppable working days and want to refresh your soul, Hoi An could be the best choice. Set on the Thu Bon River, Hoi An – or Faifo – has a peaceful lifestyle.

It once played an essential role as an international trading port in the early 17th century and was widely known as the gateway for Chinese, Japanese and European to access Vietnam. This historical position has deeply influenced its culture, which is currently preserved and reflected in local architecture, art, food & drink.

When you visit Hoi An, the first impression is the long street containing many old houses with ancient roofs, blurred in the foggy air of the early morning or the fuzzy lights of the lantern in the late evening.

Things to do

Your Vietnam itinerary won’t be completed without visiting the Tan Ky House and the Japanese Covered Bridge – two magnificent architectures in the Old Town of Hoi An.

Tan Ky House is a lovingly preserved house since the 19th century which once belonged to a Vietnamese merchant. You can easily see the Chinese and Japanese influences in this construction.

The Japanese Covered Bridge (built in 1593) is a special structure with a shelter roof and a small temple on its northern side. It is an impressive religious architecture that you should witness at least once. There was a myth that monkeys guarded one entrance of the bridge, and dogs protected another one.

Hoi An is well-known for its fabulous fabrics and skillful tailors, which can satisfy the most fastidious customer.

Also, it boasts a line of art galleries and handicrafts, especially on the West side of the Japanese Covered Bridge, selling various antiques, wood carvings and reproductions of famous paintings.

One more thing that you can never forget is the glow of shining lanterns, which are in line on the streets.

Last but not least, you should not miss out on the diverse local food and drink. There are mainly three local delicacies here; the most famous is caolau. It is a mixture of doughy flat noodles, croutons, bean sprouts and greens, topped with pork slices and served in a savory broth.

The traditional taste can only be found in Hoi An. The other two delicious dishes are white rose – a type of shrimp steamed dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose; and wonton dumplings – essentially the same as the Chinese kind, served up in soup or deep-fried.

After spending an entire day in Hoi An, you will return to your hotel at Da Nang.

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Day 6: Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City

Take an inbound flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh and explore this city, which played a pivotal role in the Vietnam War. The distance is 877 km, and it will take 1hr 30 minutes to reach Ho Chi Minh from Da Nang.

Things to do

Visit Ben Ben Thanh Market, a famous Ho Chi Minh City indoor market. Built by the French during colonial times, the market is home to hundreds of food, textile, furniture and houseware stalls.

Pro tip: Prepare to bargain hard as sellers push their goods like they are going out of fashion.

Ho Chi Minh City is home to some pretty spectacular-looking pagodas. Popular pagodas include Hoi Son, located on Quit Hill and classified as a National Treasure, and the Jade Emperor, home to hundreds of terrapins bathing in a pool. Best of all, they are open for visitors to walk around barefoot and burn incense sticks. (Pic needed)

One of the more obvious reminders of Vietnam’s French colonial past, Notre Dame Cathedral, or Duc Ba as the locals call it, is worth a stop during your Vietnam trip.

Standing opposite the cathedral is another of the city’s famous buildings, the National Post Office, where a huge portrait of Ho Chi Minh looks down as you send your postcard home.

Lastly, head into the centre of the city where the plush high-rise hotels loom and make your way down to Saigon River. Here grab a ride on one of the many floating restaurants that depart each night (around 8 pm) for a sail up the river.

Places to Stay

Our recommendations,

  • Dung Khanh Motel By Zuzu (35 New Zealand Dollars or $22 per night**)
  • Thanh Dat (44.92 New Zealand Dollars or $28 per night**)
  • Reddoorz Near Tan Huong Market 2 (55 New Zealand Dollars or $34** per night)

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Day 7: Visit Cu Chi tunnels and return to your place

Since this is the last day of your trip, we recommend you go for a half-day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, situated nearly an hour’s drive from Ho Chi Minh City.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an incredible destination for war and history buffs. During the Vietnam War, it was the principal battleground between the US and Viet Cong.

In the heart of the jungle, 200 km of tunnels were well hidden from American soldiers. Originally built to protect the Vietnamese from French air strikes in the late 1940s to 1950s, they were re-used during the 60s as a staging ground for attacks on American troops.

Things to do

You may receive a first-hand account from a former Vietnamese soldier if lucky. Guides will tell you stories of their time in the war and can give you information on intimate details of the war in this jungle.

Your tour will take you to all of the different types of living quarters and rooms. It is a comfortable tour, and the tunnel walls have even been blasted out to make it larger and more comfortable for tourists.

However, some original entrances are still available to be explored. You will have the opportunity to go into an original tunnel and crawl for 150 meters, experiencing what it was like during the war.

Your guide will show you how to enter, and then you are on your own to squeeze through and make your way to the other end.

You will also see how soldiers cooked only during the foggy mornings to hide their smoke, and you will learn how farmers smuggled food to the Vietcong.

Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels will give you a feeling about what life was like during the Vietnam War.

Now, it’s time to say goodbye to this magnificent country. Take your flight from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City Airport) and return home with sweet memories.

Conclusion

With such amazing things to see and do, Vietnam is undoubtedly on each voyager’s list of must-dos. There is much to discover and fall in love with, including stunning views, budget-friendly accommodations, and scrumptious food.

Are you all set to travel to Vietnam now? This Vietnam itinerary will inspire you to embark on an exciting journey by booking your flights and hotels with Bookit N Go.

Visit Bookit N Go’s website and find the best deals for Vietnam.

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FAQs

How many days is enough for Vietnam?

Based on your preferences and budget, you can set up the duration of your Vietnam trip. However, travellers, who have limited time, can still explore and enjoy Vietnam in a few days. But, the ideal time frame is between 7-10 days, as you need longer to explore Vietnam’s rich history and culture.

Which is the best month to visit Vietnam?

Though Vietnam is a popular year-round destination, spring (March to April) is the best time to explore this country. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the chances of rainfall are negligible.

Is the Vietnam trip expensive?

Vietnam is affordable compared to European and American countries. 1 Vietnamese Dong equals 0.000068 New Zealand Dollars.

How much will a trip to Vietnam cost?

A 7-day Vietnam trip will cost 770-1150 New Zealand Dollars ($487-$730) for a budget travel, 1150-1538 New Zealand Dollars ($730-$975) for a mid-range travel, and 1538-1920 New Zealand Dollars ($975-$1220) for a luxurious travel.