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1 Week in Vietnam Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

Vietnam is a varied and vast country full of interesting history and astonishing natural beauty. With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to decide where to go in Vietnam if you only have one week to spend in this amazing country.

This one-week Vietnam itinerary ensures you get the most out of your short adventure. From the disappearing colonial architecture of Hanoi to the breathtaking landscape of Halong Bay to the charming town of Hoi An, there’s plenty of wonders that await you.

1 Week in Vietnam Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Your first day will be arriving in Hanoi. If you have time (and aren’t too tired from your flight), you can take a cyclo tour or an electric tram tour of the Old Quarter. Of course, you could also just walk around the Old Quarter, if you’d like. This area has become the most central quarter of the capital city, and is where you’ll find plenty of Vietnamese cuisine, traditional architecture, and culture.

Hanoi Streets

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Spend your second day in Vietnam taking a city tour of Hanoi, a place where tradition and modernity meet. There are plenty of organized, guided city tours available or you can choose to set out on your own self-guided walking tour. Most city tours take visitors to the highlights of Hanoi, such as the Temple of Literature, the iconic One-Pillar Pagoda, and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square. You can also catch a water puppet show in the evening, a traditional folklore art of Vietnam, among several other things to do in Hanoi.

Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise

Travel to Halong Bay for a cruise through one of the great wonders of the world, an iconic landscape of greenish water and limestone islands. It’s better two take a two-day cruise to really experience the famous bay, so stay overnight on the water and head back to Hanoi in the morning. Many Halong Bay cruises include a visit to Sung Sot Cave, also known as Surprising Cave. Tours may also possibly include kayaking excursions, swimming, Tai Chi classes, a visit to a floating village and more.

Day 4: Back to Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang

Return to Hanoi and take a flight to Da Nang. Spend the evening enjoying the city’s nightlife. Take in the busy street food scene, modern ambiance, and sparkling bridges.

Day 5: Hoi An – Travel to Hue

The charming UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An is only around thirty minutes from Da Nang. Spend the day walking through the Ancient Town, one an important trading port from the 15th to the 19th century. Colorful lanterns adorn the ancient houses and prominent Chinese architecture. After spending the day in Hoi An, travel to Hue for the night.

How to Get to Hoi An from Danang

Hoi An is about 15 miles from Da Nang and will take about 30-40 minutes by taxi or car. The easiest way to get to Hoi An is to hire a driver or take a Grab car. If you prefer, you can see the town as a day trip from Da Nang, or choose to stay overnight in Hoi An, and head to Hue in the morning.

Hoi An

Day 5: Hue

Another one of Vietnam’s world heritage sites, Hue preserves quintessential traditional royal Vietnamese architecture. The imperial citadel’s Forbidden Purple City was based on the Forbidden City in Beijing and still maintains a feeling of importance and scale. A stop at the Thien Mu pagoda during a boat ride along the Perfume River is a must as Hue’s most famous religious site with its seven-tier chedi. After exploring Hue for the day, take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

How to Get to Hue from Danang or Hoi An

The best way to get to Hue from either Hoi An or Da Nang is to hire a car.


Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in the country, however, the main sites can be seen in one day, such as the War Remnant Museum. You could also spend the morning or afternoon visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, which are only around an hour outside of the city. 

Day 7: Depart from Ho Chi Minh City

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