Traveling to Vietnam can be an incredible experience that allows you to explore rich culture and tastes like nowhere else. It has many similarities to neighboring countries in the southeast, but offers a flavor unlike anywhere else I’ve been.
After a month of traveling all around the country, I decided that this is the place for me. It’s hot, welcoming, and I’m never going to leave. What we thought would only last a year turned into three.
We spent the first year living in Ho Chi Minh City but really settled into a fantastic lifestyle once we moved to Da Nang.
I really love Da Nang. With its mix of beautiful nature and skyscrapers, the perfect balance I love in cities is never too far away.
While I’m sure that Da Nang would be worth exploring in a greater detail, if your visit only lasts for a few days, you’re still going to have an amazing time.
Here are the most popular things to do in Da Nang on a 3-day vacation.
The city is so vibrant!
Day 1 in Da Nang
It’s easy to arrive in Da Nang.
The beautiful international airport is right in the downtown area, so you won’t need to worry about being too far from your accommodation. You should have no trouble getting there before your 10 minutes are up. Just come here to book your private transfer!
Rent a Motorbike and Drive it Yourself
For those who are comfortable driving a motorbike or scooter, biking around Da Nang is the way go.
Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, while chaotic at times, are not nearly as chaotic as some other cities in Vietnam, like Saigon. If you’re not comfortable driving or this is your first time trying it, I wouldn’t recommend trying it on Day 1.
If you are outside of Bangkok, keep in mind that Grab isn’t available here. Another option for you is to hire a motorbike taxi by downloading the app Grab and ordering one directly from your phone.
A great way to see Da Nang is not on a map, but by getting into your car and driving around. The alleyways are endless and you’ll have fun simply exploring all the little shops, cafes, and temples that you find.
When you’re traveling for business, don’t forget about exploring the city and making the most of your leisure time. You’ll find that Da Nang has enough history, culture, and natural beauty to keep you occupied for days. Start by checking out both the tourist sites in the city and those located on the beachside. The iconic Dragon Bridge is one of seven from which you can cross the Han River.
Stop by a coffee place while you’re wandering around. Coffee is something they do very well in Vietnam.
For the quintessential Da Nang coffee experience, order a ca phe sua da or iced coffee with condensed milk. Or for something really special, try a ca phua dua or coconut coffee. These are both fantastic and worth tasting while you’re visiting Da Nang.
Get into the Vietnamese dish, mi quang.
My first bowl of mi quang was so good. I want to travel back in time just for a taste! In Vietnam, there are a lot of delicious dishes but mi quang is my favorite.
Mì quảng cá is a type of soup that is made with a rich broth and chewy rice noodles. There are options for the meat: chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Personally, I recommend fish (mì quảng cá).
This is a traditional street food, so you can find it on every street corner in Quang Nam. I wouldn’t stress about finding it at a specific place.
One of the best things to do in Da Nang is to visit this street and order a meal. If you see that name on any cart, go for any one with a lot of locals eating there. It’s easily one of the most delicious things to eat in Da Nang.
Now that you’re done exploring Da Nang, it’s time to head to the beach. The entire coastline of Da Nang comes with a huge sandy beach, which means that you’ll have space to relax wherever you go.
Keep in mind that the best beaches with amenities, like seats and umbrellas, are found in the middle of My Khe Beach.
The northern beaches feel like a fishing village with old-fashioned powerboats and people fishing for squid, whereas the southern beaches are more upscale with only a few luxury resorts.
Thang An Thuong
If you’re done catching some sun and want to wind down your day or start off with a night out, head to An Thuong. It’s a small neighborhood right off the beach that is known as the expat hub.
While I don’t typically recommend expat neighborhoods to tourists, it can be a great place to grab a drink. Plus, the locals and foreigners who live there are great sources of insider information on what’s new and cool in the season you’re visiting.
Whereas some bars charge way too much for drinks, this is a great place to get a drink on the cheap while you listen to live music.
Remember to stay active and on your feet, but not too long. Day 2 will be a big day when we start exploring the city of Da Nang.
Day 2 in Da Nang
Today is an adventure day – perfect for exploring nature. Da Nang has plenty to offer, from waterfalls to beaches to rivers and mountains all just a short distance away. You’re guaranteed to find incredible views no matter where you go today!
Go on a monkey hunt in Son Tra Peninsula
My favorite place in Da Nang is Son Tra Peninsula or Monkey Mountain. It’s absolutely stunning and feels like you’re hours away from the city center once you get deep into its natural surroundings.
If you’re exploring tourist destinations, it’s best to hire a local driver with a van instead of taking a motorbike. Keep in mind that you might have to drive manual or semi-automatic because some of the hills are quite steep. It’s best for one person to drive and the rest of the group can look out from the back seat around this time of the year.
Hiking around the peninsula will take a while, but it’s well worth it. The road is narrow at times, but you’ll most likely be alone on the trail. It gets pretty scenic when you get to the coast. You might even see a few monkeys!
The gorgeous and incredibly endangered Red-Shanked Doucs call Son Tra home. I’ve been to the peninsula a few times, and seen about 10 of them each time. Just be patient, and you’ll spot one of these adorable critters.
Tours can be a fun way to visit Mariposa and explore the peninsula. If you’re not comfortable or able to drive yourself, Corona del Sol offers tours of the area.
Come stop by the InterContinental
One of the best parts about living in Da Nang is that people are allowed to visit the InterContinental Resort. There are people who stay there, and then there are others who come in just for a drink or to eat at the bar with a view of the South China Sea.
Before making a trip to the zoo, call ahead and find out if they’re still open to visitors.
Step inside the beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind Goddess Gift Shop.
The Lady Buddha statue is on a hill near the end of your Son Tra Peninsula loop. It’s a popular Da Nang attraction that many people stop to visit, like you. You’ll want to not miss the Linh Ung Pagoda, which offers great views and beautiful architecture.
On your first day in Da Nang, you might have spotted Lady Buddha while taking a break at the beach. Now you can find her up close and personal. If you don’t plan on making it an all-day affair, plan to stop by around 6 P.M. for the perfect sunset view.
Eat the freshest seafood in town at a locally famous restaurant.
To celebrate your success, why not indulge in some mouth-watering seafood?
If you’re driving on the coast from Son Tra, you’ll pass countless seafood restaurants. Most of them offer a very similar menu so your best bet is to follow the crowds.
If you’re wondering what to order while in Vietnam, but you can’t decide, oysters and scallops should be on your shortlist! They grill them over a fire. Then they sprinkle them with peanuts, green onions, and fish sauce. I’m a huge fan of oysters but I really think the Vietnamese have perfected how to make shellfish!
Day 3 in Da Nang, Vietnam
You’ll be in Vietnam for your last day today. Don’t worry though – there’s plenty to keep you entertained here! Most of the sights in Da Nang are within the city limits, but Da Nang is most famous for the Golden Bridge and its incredible views, so let’s check it out!
We’re always up for a Banh Mi Breakfast
While in Da Nang, a great breakfast option is banh mi op la. “Banh mi” translates to “Vietnamese sandwich,” and it generally consists of a cozy roll or toasted French bread, with some type of meat, usually pork or chicken, along with a rich carrot-based spread–and don’t forget the fried egg. In Da Nang you’ll easily find these sandwiches on nearly every corner so be sure to keep your eyes peeled but if you’re staying at a hotel near the beach then go for the closest banh mi cart as they’ll have fresher ingredients.
The best bánh mì ốp las have pate, pickled veggies, greens, a delicious sauce, and soy sauce. Honestly, just thinking about it makes me hungry!
Visit Ba Na Hills Resort and spend the day relaxing with your friends and family.
Ba Na Hills is home to the Golden Hands Bridge, which is famous for being on Instagram. When people visit the park, it’s not just to see this one thing. There’s plenty more to see and do when you’re there, such as riding in an elephant carriage or feeding monkeys near the lake.
This summer, have the time of your life at the European Village! We have an arcade, plenty of restaurants and bars, and a few amusement park rides if the weather is clear.
To reach Ba Na Hills, take a taxi 30 minutes outside of Da Nang city center. If you can get your taxi driver to wait for you while you’re at the park, that could save some trouble getting back home because it’s difficult to find a ride.
Believe me, the few extra dong it’ll cost you will be well worth the hassle of trying to find another ride.
Cityside, the Four Seasons Dallas
After you’re done exploring Ba Na Hills, ask your taxi driver to drop you off in the cityside, ideally around Le Hong Phong street. That entire area is filled with fun places.
It’s an excellent idea to experience the culture of Da Nang by visiting a restaurant, bar or shop, or even taking an interesting tour. For example, you could check out Da Nang’s baby-pink church.
A great way to explore Vietnam is to walk around and get a feel for the different neighborhoods.
In Da Nang’s Speakeasy, you’ll be entertained as you play your favorite old-school games with experienced bartenders.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day of walking, stop by Da Nang’s coolest bar. It was voted the best bar in Da Nang and it has plenty of cool drinks on tap.
If you’re looking for a local, intimate experience, this is the place for you. You’ll have to go inside the cafe and up a few flights of stairs (including one that feels as if you’re trespassing). But don’t give up! It’s totally worth it in the end, I promise.
You’ll usually find the door to this bar in a dark room, behind a black curtain. When you go through it, you’re greeted by a swanky speakeasy that’s likely softly playing jazz music.
Kick back at the bar and enjoy some creativity from our bartenders or linger in a candlelit booth for an intimate setting.
What can you look forward to when you come to Da Nang?
I had an amazing 3 days in Da Nang, the 3rd largest city in Vietnam. Thankfully, I’m not done exploring yet- my Vietnamese adventures are far from over.
Hoi An is one of the popular places to visit in Vietnam, with its charming yellow town down south.
To the north of the city you can find Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital and culinary hub. You can reach it by taking Route 1A or Route 6A to experience some of Vietnam’s best scenery on your way through the Hai Van pass.
You’re in for an amazing adventure no matter which way you go. Vietnam is a warm and welcoming country with something great waiting at every corner. Be open-minded and ready to experience everything that this incredible Southeast Asian gem has to offer!
A Book Da Nang Accommodation
You have a tough decision when it comes to choosing your accommodation in Da Nang. When you see beautiful resorts, it can be tough to narrow down!