Đà Nẵng is Vietnam’s third largest city, but often overshadowed by the heavily visited Hội An. The city itself has neither the atmosphere of Hanoi nor the hustle-bustle of Saigon, yet it has a lot to offer all types of visitors. Đà Nẵng is one of those incredible backpacking destinations with great prices on hotels, food and attractions, a truly perfect city for a unique and memorable trip.
#1 Hangout on a rooftop pool
Live the lush life on top of one of Đà Nẵng’s many rooftop pools. A city full of hotels, with more being built every single day, means there’s a whole lot of rooftop pools to be visited. Some of these pools can be accessed with a small fee without having stayed in the hotel.
#2 People-watching while having dessert
Đà Nẵng is a perfect hub to experience modern Vietnam. It’s more authentic than bustling Saigon, and less rough than the capital of Hanoi. You can easily find gorgeous-themed cafes in city centre or traditional low chairs stalls along the riverside.
#3 Enjoy deliciously sweet coconut coffee
It’s a must to try the sweet coconut ice blend with shot of rich Vietnamese coffee, and lastly topped with toasted coconut.
#4 Watch the waves at My Khe Beach
During the Vietnam War, this beach used to be a chill and relax location for the American Army. Today, it is an ideal place for surfing, relax on the beach, enjoy the sun and clean sand.
#5 Enjoy Cool Climate at Bà Nà Hills
Enjoy four seasons within a single day: Spring in the morning, Summer by noon, Autumn by evening and Winter at night! With refreshingly cool weather and gorgeous countryside views, Bà Nà Hills is a real treasure of Đà Nẵng.
Don’t miss: A Guide To Spend One Day In Bà Nà Hills
#6 Summit the Marble Mountains
Located 20-minutes South of Đà Nẵng, the Marble Mountains (Ngũ Hành Sơn) is a cluster of five limestone and marble mountains representing 5 elements: Kim (metal), Moc (wood), Thuy (water), Hoa (fire), and Tho (land). Situated along between Da Nang and Hội An, you can catch a local Bus #1 to get here.
Entrance fee: 40,000 VND (<US$2)
#7 Go on a day-trip to Hội An
This ancient trading town is unlike anywhere else in Vietnam, retaining its ancient architecture and feel. You can easily take a local Bus #1 from Đà Nẵng for a fare of 20,000 VND. Note that Bus #1 only runs from 05:30 a.m to 17:30 p.m.
Read more: 5 Unnecessary Expenses To Avoid In Hội An
#8 Eat like a local at Cồn Market
There’s a wide range of authentic Vietnamese dishes available, including Bánh Mì (Vietnamese-style baguette), Gỏi Cuốn (spring rolls), Bánh Xèo (crispy pancake), and Mì Quảng (Vietnamese noodles). Take a short stool and squeeze with the locals for a cheap filling meal.
#9 Snap at selfie at Đà Nẵng Cathedral
Đà Nẵng Cathedral was built by French priest Louis Vallet in 1923, with a pink-painted edifice that earns its reputation as one of the most unique catholic churches in Vietnam. Standing at 70-meters, it’s also known as Con Gà Church (Rooster Church) due to the imposing bell tower that’s topped with a rooster weather vane.
#10 Sleep in Unique Hostels
PACKO Hostel is a container inn with 16 colorful rooms, 5-minutes walk to My Khe Beach. There are 4 types of rooms, with room rates from 180,000 VND/person (US$8). Bedrooms have wooden floors and bunk beds. The toilets are very clean and fully equipped.
The Memory Hostel is located in the heart of the city, 800-meters from the Han River. The entire building is paved with refined bricks with attractive earthy colors and unique vintage touch.
#11 Pamper yourself with a Mud Bath
Claiming to have all sorts of healthy, therapeutic properties, locals believe that going for a mud bathing can make your skin soft. Other than mud bath, the facilities usually include Jacuzzi, mineral water swimming pools and other novelties for a full day hydrotherapy extravaganza.
#12 Catch a Light, Fire, & Water Show at Dragon Bridge
Measuring at 666-metres in length, Dragon Bridge in Đà Nẵng is the longest bridge in Vietnam. Every weekends evening at 9 p.m, there will be a dazzling display of lights, fire, and water that no first-time visitor to Đà Nẵng should miss out on.
#13 Indulge on a meal at Pizza 4P’s
If you’ve been travelling across Vietnam for awhile and got bored of Phở, Đà Nẵng has a wide variety of international cuisine to offers! I would highly recommend Pizza 4P’s while you’re here. It is Vietnam-based Japanese-Italian pizza restaurant, and probably has the best pizza in Southeast Asia!
#14 Stroll along Hàn River
Did you know there are as many as 10 bridges crossing over the Hàn River? Instead of getting on a touristy Hàn River cruise, why not stroll along and catch a glimpse of local lifestyle?
#15 Take the scenic train ride to Huế
Whether you are travelling from Đà Nẵng to Huế or vice versa, you can’t miss this scenic route: Hải Vân Pass. The more preferred way is to ride along this road by motorbike only if you’re an experienced rider. Alternatively, take a train and enjoy the view. I wouldn’t recommend this as a day-trip as it’s a 3-hours journey just for one way.
Lastly, if you want to keep a track of all my photos and travels, remember to follow @wanderrsaurus on Instagram!