Located in the heart of Central Vietnam, Danang is not only an alluring tourist destination but also plays a significant role in connecting three unique UNESCO World Heritage sites: the ancient capital of Hue, the charming old town of Hoi An, and the sacred My Son Sanctuary.
If you are planning a trip to this beautiful coastal city, make sure to explore the “best things to do in Da Nang“. This will allow you to immerse yourself in every moment in one of the most picturesque cities in Central Vietnam. The perfect blend of beaches and mountains forms a captivating backdrop, and the diversity in cuisine is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Best Things To Do In Da Nang
Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills is regarded as one of the premier resorts and entertainment complexes in Vietnam, playing a significant role in attracting tourists to Danang.
Sitting at an altitude of 1,487 meters above sea level, Ba Na Hills enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to experience all four seasons in just one day and admire the breathtaking natural scenery along with unique architectural structures.
You can explore the quaint French village, discover the Golden Bridge – a structure listed by TIME magazine as one of the world’s top 10 amazing destinations. Additionally, you can indulge in exciting activities at the country’s leading modern amusement park.
Located just about 8 km from the center of Danang, you will arrive at Marble Mountain – a picturesque place with sacred temples and remarkable natural caves. If you travel along the coastline towards Hoi An, you will come across a massive “mini mountain range” known as Marble Mountain. This is where five mountains are named after the five elements: Kim Son (Metal), Moc Son (Wood), Thuy Son (Water), Hoa Son (Fire), and Tho Son (Earth). Each mountain carries within it mythical stories and unique beauty.
To explore all the caves and temples, from Quan Am (Kim Son) and Huyen Vi (Hoa Son) to Am Phu, Hoa Nghiem, Linh Nha, Huyen Khong, Van Thong, Thien Long, Thien Phuoc Dia (Thuy Son), it might take a few days. Although not extensive in size, these sites evoke different emotions due to their sacred and mystical beauty.
As you traverse the paths along the mountains, you will encounter various surprises entering caves or temples. At Kim Son, you can visit the Quan Am Pagoda and its corresponding cave. In Hoa Son, you’ll find Linh Son Pagoda, Huyen Vi Cave, and Pho Da Pagoda. For Tho Son, Long Hoa Pagoda and Hue Quang Pagoda await. Thuy Son, also known as Water Mountain, offers attractions like Tam Thai Pagoda, Linh Ung Pagoda, Tam Ton Pagoda, and Tu Tam Pagoda.
Most of the temples here are nestled along the mountain slopes, not overly high yet exuding a serene and sacred ambiance. With the cool sea breeze rustling through and the lush green scenery of the forested mountains, you’ll feel a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.
If you’re inclined towards adventurous experiences, you can attempt mountain climbing at Van Thong Cave or take a 25-meter plunge from the mountain’s peak.
My Khe beach
My Khe Beach has been honored by Forbes magazine in the United States as one of the six most alluring beaches in the world and was listed among TripAdvisor’s 25 most beautiful beaches in Asia for 2021. The approximately 900-meter-long beach stretches along Pham Van Dong Street, in Son Tra District.
If you come to enjoy the sunrise at My Khe Beach, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the life of the local fishermen.
Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien)
The Fairy Stream carries within it the exquisite beauty of a stream originating from the peak of Son Tra – a place that seems to have been graced by enchanting landscapes. The scene of the pristine white waterfalls cascading down like delicate ribbons of silk, the curious rock formations creating a rustic and unique image, and the gentle, alluring fragrance of blooming wildflowers add a touch of sweetness to the surroundings.
Upon setting foot in the Fairy Stream, you will sense a harmonious fusion between yourself and the lush, vibrant natural world. This is where you can fully indulge in the splendor of nature, adorned with a myriad of vibrant hues.
Located within the Ba Na – Chua mountain conservation area, Sky Well presents an untouched landscape brimming with inspiration for nature enthusiasts. Here, you can indulge in various outdoor activities, such as mountain climbing, long-distance hiking, camping, or even immersing yourself in the cool, refreshing waters of the stream.
The journey commences from the parking lot at the Ba Na cable car station, where visitors face a winding, 7.5 km uphill route. It’s truly a challenge, involving crossing icy forest streams and navigating intriguing bends.
However, as you conquer the initial ascent, you’ll find the remainder of the journey significantly more manageable. This creates a sensation of truly escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life, immersing yourself in a wholly separate realm.
At this location, two streams from the western part of the Bà Nà forest converge, forming a refreshing watercourse that flows through a mountain passage, creating a truly beautiful and romantic landscape.
Hai Van pass
Situated between the two cities of Hue and Danang, the Hai Van Pass is renowned as the “most marvelous scenic wonder in the world,” an honorary title bestowed by King Le Thanh Tong. When you arrive here, you will be captivated by the natural beauty of the mountains, with one side featuring a mountain range and the other a deep valley, enhanced by clouds resting at the mountain’s base, forming a remarkable natural tableau.
Upon setting foot on the Hai Van Pass, you can marvel at the expansive seascape, watch as drifting clouds cascade down from the pass’s peak, and witness the beauty of both sunrise and sunset. These undoubtedly will be unforgettable experiences that you won’t want to miss.
Phong Nam Ancient Village
Phong Nam Ancient Village is located about 10km from the city center, in Hoa Chau Commune, Hoa Vang District. This village has been in existence for over 100 years, carrying numerous memories of the lives of its past inhabitants.
Upon arriving here, you immediately sense the rustic and simple beauty of Vietnam’s ancient countryside. The rows of bamboo, village gates, and houses built from antique bricks give the village a distinct and charming appearance.
If you visit during the appropriate time, you can partake in local festivals and savor the simple yet unique dishes of the locals. This will undoubtedly leave a memorable impression on your journey of discovering Da Nang.
Hoi An ancient town
When in Danang, you must not miss the opportunity to experience Hoi An Ancient Town. Located just about 30km from the city of Danang, this is a familiar and beloved destination for both new visitors and those who have been before.
Hoi An Ancient Town holds its own allure with a tranquil ambiance, where centuries-old architectural buildings are remarkably preserved. Truly, from any angle in Hoi An, you can capture breathtaking scenes for photography.
Upon visiting Hoi An Ancient Town, you not only have the chance to explore and revel in the romantic atmosphere of its streets but also can visit famous landmarks like the Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky Ancient House, and Quan Thang Ancient House. Don’t forget to savor renowned local delicacies like “Mot” broth and Hoi An’s signature dish “Cao Lau noodle soup” – they are truly delightful.
My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary is a renowned destination in Quang Nam Province, recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site since 1995.
This archaeological site spans approximately 2km and includes over 70 temple towers representing the different developmental periods of the ancient Champa kingdom. The towers at My Son Sanctuary are constructed with unique architecture, reflecting various historical stages, offering an intriguing source of inspiration for travelers to explore.
Upon arriving here, you can witness the traditional Apsara dance of the Cham people and indulge in delicacies like “Cau Mong” grilled goat, “Phu Chiem” noodles, and “Banh Dap” rice paper pancakes. Immerse yourself in the wonderful experiences that My Son Sanctuary has to offer.
Nam O Reef
Located around 17 km from the city center, Nam O Rock Reef is situated in Hoa Hiep Nam Ward, Lien Chieu District, Danang City. The name “Nam Ô” comes from the southern gate of Đại Việt land over 700 years ago. This area is densely populated, primarily engaged in fishing and traditional fish sauce production.
Nam O Rock Reef is a stretch of rocks adorned with peculiar shapes, covered in a vibrant layer of green moss, lining the coastline. Sunset and sunrise are two moments that attract many to this rocky expanse to capture stunning photographs. In this region, you can also savor the specialty dish “Nam O fish salad” and the renowned Nam O fish sauce, a delicacy passed down from generation to generation in this coastal village.
Ghenh Bang has become a popular destination for independent travelers in Danang over the past three years. This location is situated on Son Tra Peninsula, approximately 15 km away from the city center of Danang, along the Hoang Sa route. Alongside Mui Sung, Mui Nghe, Golden Sand Beach, and Black Rock Beach, Ghenh Bang contributes to captivating natural landscapes that entice visitors to explore.
Spanning about 2 km of coastline, Ghenh Bang stands out with its smooth sandy shores, scattered large and small rocks hugging the coastline, and exquisite coral reefs. When visiting Ghenh Bang, tourists often bring firewood, light food, and drinks for camping or organizing day excursions.
Da Nang is considered a city with many famous bridges in Vietnam. The Dragon Bridge, the rotary bridge on the Han River, the Tran Thi Ly Bridge, and the Love Bridge are captivating sightseeing spots that attract tourists to enjoy and take photos.
+ Near the Love Bridge, you’ll come across a statue of a carp turning into a dragon, a symbol of love and luck.
+ The Dragon Bridge comes alive on weekend evenings with a water and fire-breathing dragon show. From 9 pm, both tourists and locals gather on the bridge, on both sides of the Han River, and in nearby high-rise buildings to enjoy this unique performance.
During the show, traffic on the bridge stops for 15 minutes. If you want to enjoy the best view of the performance, choose a suitable location or prepare raincoats or umbrellas to avoid getting wet.
+ The Han River Bridge is Vietnam’s first swing bridge, measuring 487.7 meters in length and 12.9 meters in width. The bridge has the ability to rotate 90 degrees to make way for large ships to pass through. What’s special is that this bridge is not just an engineering marvel but also a symbol of unity between the government and the community, as Danang residents contributed money to build it.
+ The Thuan Phuoc Bridge is the largest cable-stayed bridge in Vietnam, stretching 1,856 meters in length and 18 meters in width. The bridge has two cable-stayed towers at its ends and can be lifted to allow ships to pass.
+ The Tran Thi Ly Bridge is named after a female hero in the anti-American resistance in Quang Nam. Located south of the Dragon Bridge, about 1.5 km from the Dragon Bridge, this bridge replaces the old one with the same name.
Exploring Museums in Danang
The Champa Sculpture Art Museum is located at 2/9 Street, Hai Chau District. This is the only place in Danang that preserves the cultural heritage of the Champa people, with artifacts dating back to the Champa Kingdom era. The museum is open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM, and the admission fee is 60,000 VND per person. You can also easily explore the exhibits with the self-guided audio tour and QR code scanning application for 4D technology-enhanced artifact information.
The Danang Fine Arts Museum is situated at 78 Le Duan Street, Hai Chau District. Here, you have the opportunity to admire over 1000 modern artworks along with traditional folk creations and handicrafts. The museum is open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, with an entrance fee of 20,000 VND per person (students receive a 50% discount).
For those interested in Buddhism, the Buddhist Museum is located within the Quan The Am Pagoda compound at 48 Su Van Hanh Street, Ngu Hanh Son District. Here, you can explore more than 200 ancient artifacts related to Buddhism. The museum is open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM and is free of charge for visitors.
Da Nang Cathedral
Tourane Cathedral, also known as the Sacred Heart Cathedral or the Cathedral of Danang, was initiated during the French colonial period and construction began in February 1923 on an empty plot of land along what is now Tran Phu Street in the city of Danang. This project was designed and overseen by Father Vallet.
After nearly a century of construction, the Rooster Church remains a beloved destination for many travelers visiting the city of Danang. The distinctive feature of this church is its main bell tower, soaring to a height of 70 meters, surrounded by ten smaller towers. At the peak of the church’s roof, atop the lightning rod, stands a gray-colored rooster emblem made from an alloy. This is why locals affectionately refer to this place as the “Rooster Church.”
According to the explanation from the parish priest, the rooster emblem atop the church does not symbolize France but carries the meaning of repentance and awakening. “Today, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times…” as in the Bible. According to folklore, the rooster also helps predict wind direction—people often look at the rooster’s orientation to determine when it will rain or when the sun will shine.
The Cathedral of Danang is constructed in the style of classical Gothic architecture, featuring characteristic round arches. The stained glass windows illustrate important stories from the Bible, reflecting the harmonious blend of Vietnamese, French, and Western cultures.
Upon entering the interior of the church, you will find a simple yet solemnly adorned space. The columns are intricately carved with delicate floral patterns, creating a unique sense of beauty. Furthermore, behind the church, there is a stone grotto dedicated to the Virgin Mary, modeled after the Lourdes Grotto in France. This imparts a serene and peaceful ambiance, evoking a sense of sanctity for those who come to visit.
Participating in Local Markets
Cho Con Market, located on Ong Ich Khiem Street, is considered one of the largest and oldest markets in the coastal city of Da Nang. This place is often seen as a paradise for street food enthusiasts, offering a wide variety of delicious dishes from early morning until late at night. You can indulge in dishes like “banh beo” (water fern cake), “banh trang cuon thit heo” (pork rolled with rice paper), “mi Quang” (Quang-style noodles), snails, sweet soups, and many other delicacies, all priced from just 10,000 VND. Not only food, but you can also find local specialties such as fish sauce, dried squid with tamarind, beef sausage, and “tre” (fermented bamboo shoot) for souvenirs.
Han Market is situated in the city center, close to the Han River Bridge, at the intersection of Hung Vuong, Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao, and Bach Dang Streets. Although it has been around since the 1940s, the market continues to thrive and bustle due to its convenient location for both road and waterway transportation.
Da Nang also boasts numerous seafood markets, with the most interesting being the area along Vo Nguyen Giap Street and the coastal streets in Son Tra District. Here, you will come across stalls brimming with freshly caught seafood, from clams, snails, and scallops to fish, shrimp, and squid. What’s special is that everything is fresh and enticing.
Moreover, Da Nang has vibrant night markets such as Helio Night Market (2/9 Street, Hai Chau District), Son Tra Night Market (Ly Nam De Street intersecting with Mai Hac De Street, Son Tra District), Thanh Khe Tay Night Market (Yen Khe 1 Street, Thanh Khe District), Le Duẩn Night Market (Lane 144 Le Duẩn, Hai Chau District), and Hoa Khanh Night Market (Nguyen Canh Chan Street). These are excellent places for shopping and enjoying fantastic nighttime cuisine, attracting both locals and tourists alike.
Admiring the Panorama of Da Nang from a Helicopter
Gazing at the panoramic view of Da Nang from a helicopter is a fascinating experience you should try when visiting this city. The flight will take off from Nuoc Man Airport and take you on a journey to explore the city’s beauty from an entirely new perspective.
The helicopter will take off from Nuoc Man Airport and hover around Ngu Hanh Son, allowing you to admire the natural beauty of these mountains. Then, the journey will lead you to the Dragon Bridge, along the Han River, offering you the opportunity to behold the splendid scenery of the Han River Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge, along with the impressive skyscrapers of the city.
Continuing the journey, the helicopter will take you to Son Tra Peninsula, circling around the coastal area, so you can admire the Lady Buddha Statue – the largest Buddhist statue in Vietnam. Afterward, you’ll fly along Da Nang’s coastline to feel the refreshing breeze of the sea and savor the breathtaking views from above. Finally, we will return to Nuoc Man Airport, concluding a wonderful aerial journey. For just 2,140,000 VND per passenger, you can join this 12-minute transfer flight.
Surfing, rowing SUP
One of the exciting experiences you shouldn’t miss when visiting Da Nang is participating in surfing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) classes at the Da Nang Surf School, located right on My Khe Beach. This is the first school in Vietnam with instructors certified by the International Surfing Association (ISA), so you can be confident that you’ll be learning from individuals with practical knowledge and experience in this sport.
When joining the classes, all you need to prepare are simple items like swimwear and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Especially, the SUP class is suitable for people of various fitness levels, so you don’t have to worry about whether this sport suits you or not. You will undoubtedly find comfort and enjoyment during the learning and experiencing process.
The Cham Islands, a captivating tourist destination near Da Nang, are a must-visit. Renowned for their rich ancient Chăm – pa cultural heritage, pristine and alluring natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and pleasantly cool climate year-round.
When you visit here, you’ll immerse yourself in vast natural landscapes, fresh air, and experience the life of a fishing village with activities like night squid fishing, snorkeling to admire coral reefs, island exploration, and more. Especially, the fresh seafood offerings, including mantis shrimp, grilled tuna, and clams, are irresistible to travelers from all around.
Cruise on Han River
Embark on a unique river cruise along the Han River and immerse yourself in a captivating journey. Set your gaze upon the sparkling city lights of downtown Da Nang as the night falls, and marvel at the distinctive beauty of the various bridges stretching across the river.
Onboard the boat, you can relish in delicious meals and lose yourself in endless music. Everything is adjustable to cater to your desires and needs.
For those seeking an extra special experience, there are exclusive tours that provide a one-of-a-kind scenic view, along with a delightful dinner and the spectacular sight of the Dragon Bridge spouting fire. What’s even more fantastic is the flexible pricing, ranging from 150,000 to 500,000 VND per person, allowing you to enjoy this remarkable experience without any worries about costs.
Indulge in Traditional Dishes at Super Affordable Prices
Mi Quang (Quang Noodles)
Mi Quang doesn’t follow a fixed recipe; it’s truly diverse in flavors. You can savor Mi Quang with shrimp and meat, snakehead fish Mi Quang, crab cake Mi Quang, and many other varieties. Mi Quang is typically a dry dish and is always accompanied by roasted peanuts and crispy sesame rice crackers.
In terms of price, a small bowl of Mi Quang usually costs around 15,000 VND, while a large bowl ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 VND. If you opt for a special bowl with more distinctive ingredients, the price can go up to 40,000 VND.
Pork Rice Paper Rolls
This is a relatively simple dish, but its uniqueness lies in carefully selecting ingredients. To create its distinctive taste, the chef needs the best parts of pork, such as the hindquarters or shoulder, combined with fresh and delicious herbs like lettuce, mint, coriander, fish mint, banana flower, cucumber, green banana, and bean sprouts.
A special dipping sauce called “mam nem” is essential when enjoying pork rice paper rolls. The price of pork rice paper rolls typically ranges from 50,000 to 200,000 VND per serving, depending on where you purchase them.
Nam O Fish Salad
This dish can be made from various types of fish such as anchovy, rice paddy fish, and ponyfish, but the best is sandworm-caught ponyfish. The distinct feature of Nam O fish salad is the special dipping sauce, made from boiled fish broth combined with Nam O fish sauce, chili, starch, and MSG. In addition to common vegetables, Nam O fish salad includes forest coconut, mint, “lành ngạnh” leaves, “lá trâm” leaves, and “tim lan” leaves – plants that usually grow only on Hai Van Pass.
When enjoying it, you can wrap the fish with vegetables in rice paper or just mix the fish with vegetables and dipping sauce. Moreover, wet Nam O fish salad is also attractive, with slices of fresh and tasty fish soaked in a flavorful broth made from famous Nam O fish sauce. The price of Nam O fish salad is usually around 80,000 VND per serving, suitable for two people.
Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Pancake)
The best banh xeo eateries are concentrated in areas like Hoang Dieu Street, Trung Nu Vuong Street, Chau Thi Vinh Te Street, and Dong Da Street. Prices usually range from 20,000 to 100,000 VND per portion, depending on the number of pancakes and nem (spring rolls) in each portion.
Banh xeo in Da Nang is typically small-sized, just enough for a plate, which makes them crispier and more suitable for wrapping in rice paper. To enhance the flavor, you can dip banh xeo in moderately hot soy sauce.
We hope that the “Best Things to Do in Da Nang” list from Vietnam Travel Agency will assist you in planning your trip effortlessly. We anticipate that you will relish the pleasant weather, breathtaking landscapes, azure seas, majestic mountains, diverse cuisine, unique culture, vibrant lifestyle, rich history, and many other intriguing aspects that this beautiful Central Vietnamese city has to offer. Believe that as long as you’re prepared to embark with your luggage and follow the recommendations, joy awaits you here!