Situated on the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam is a small country located in the southwest region of Asia, this country, along with Laos and Cambodia, is known as Indochina. The cities of Vietnam were under colonial rule for a long time, starting from the Chinese who ruled for 500 years, followed by the French and the Americans. As a result of the external influences from these countries and other factors, such as great philosophers like Confucius, the country’s innate culture is incredibly rich. It is also a very tourist-friendly nation. The name Vietnam means ‘a group of people’ living in the south of China and came into being in the 2nd century BC. The geography of the country is as interesting as the culture and the places to visit as the country appears to be in the shape of a dragon. It is popularly called ‘the ascending dragon’ with the head of the dragon being the capital of Hanoi and the tail being Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon. So, make sure you have enough days with you to soak in all that this intriguing country has to offer while you plan your trip to Vietnam. Here are the top cities in Vietnam that you really should try and visit:
List of Cities in Vietnam to be Visited
Hanoi is a resolute survivor of the many wars fought on its land and is now the capital of Vietnam. The city is packed with rustic beauty and romance and lies on the banks of the Red River. It is a mix of old-age charm and a modern cosmopolitan outlook and is culturally and economically growing at a rapid rate. A vast metropolis – Hanoi still holds relics of its French-occupied past in its French Quarters, and displays a distinguished class in its Old Quarter, centred around the Hoan Kiem Lake. This city in Vietnam is a postcard-perfect vision of stunning pagodas, peaceful boulevards, and upbeat streets with sumptuous food options.
This charming capital was also awarded the title of ‘City of Peace’ by the UNESCO in 1999. It is rich in culture with ever-growing infrastructure bustling with crowds and voices. Also known as – ‘City of Lakes’, about two dozen such water bodies add to the beauty of this already gorgeous city. There is a strong essence of nostalgia apparent all over Hanoi amid the thriving economy and a continuing sense of transition. No wonder then that it is also called ‘Paris of the East’!
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2. Ho Chi Minh City
Also known by its former name of Saigon, this city is famous for the role it played in the Vietnamese War. It has some interesting places and numerous tourist attractions that showcase the rich culture of the city. The War Remnants Museum is a symbol of The war between America and Vietnam that carried on for 30 years and will be relieved when you visit this place. There are tanks, planes, war machines, and written incidences of all that transpired between the armies of both nations. The Cu Chi Tunnels are another tourist spot wherein tourists can go inside the tunnels to see how the soldiers planned, fought, and lived during the war. A guided tour and an informative movie tell you all about the tenacious Viet Cong soldiers’ tactics during the war.
Bitexco Financial Towers is counted in one of the major attractions in the capital city standing at 262 metres (859.6 feet) tall and comprising 68 stories, this structure is a refreshing change from the historical places around the city. You can view the whole of the city from its sky deck and enjoy a drink at their refreshing bar, called Alto. Notre-Dame Basilica is a religious structure built by the French in this best city of Vietnam. All the material used for its construction was imported from France. The statue of the Virgin Mary and the architecture of the place is similar to typical Gallic architecture.
3. Hoi An
Hoi An is one of the oldest cities located all over Asia. This city has been known to be around 2000 years old. This city is known to be established in the 15th century and is now declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO. This city now is known to attract thousands of tourists worldwide and was once a popular port. Hoi An is a popular heritage sight which is located in the country of Vietnam. In the 15th century, this beautiful city in Vietnam is considered to be established and consists of some beautifully designed buildings as well as flaunts a great architecture. This site has been declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO and has quickly become one of the most loved tourist sights in the country. Being to this place you would see a mixture of numerous customs as well as numerous traditions which are the key part of its history. This place doesn’t have any airport or any rail network and the only way to reach here is through a taxi or cab service.
4. Da Nang
Da Nang sits pretty on the east coast of Vietnam, right between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Da Nang is truly stunning – filled with beaches, museums, evolving nightlife and world-class infrastructure, popularly known as the tourist capital of South-Central Vietnam. On the coast of the South China Sea, with the Han River flowing through its midst, Da Nang is beautified by multiple bridges. The most striking among them is, of course, the Golden Bridge beautified by a sculpture of two giant hands holding it up. Also known as Danang, its proximity to My Son, Hue and Hoi An is another one of its many tourist draws. Such as Marble Mountains, Bach Ma National Park, and the Dragon Bridge, this popular city in Vietnam is also popular for its own share of tourist attractions. Laid Back beaches, vibrant nightlife, and sunny riverfronts – That’s Da Nang for you!
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Da Lat is a refreshing hill station located in the southwestern highlands of Vietnam and is about 6 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. A far cry from the tropical heat of the south, Da Lat’s crisp and cool weather attracts honeymooners, backpackers as well as luxury travellers. Surrounded by pine trees, lofty hills, blossoming flowers, world-class golf and relics of French architecture, Da Lat is often called Mini Paris for its relaxing environs. The climate of Da Lat also makes it a great place for farming local produce such as fruits, vegetables and of course, the Robusta Coffee. Surroundings of Da Lat are embellished with hills, gardens, lakes, coffee plantations and waterfalls. No wonder then that Da Lat is also famous for hiking, canyoning and trekking among backpackers. It is also a local favourite when it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination. From history to sightseeing, and from quiet cafe nooks to bustling markets filled with locally grown fruits and vegetables; this famous city in Vietnam has everything to keep a tourist happy and satiated!
Once the capital of Vietnam, Hue is one of the oldest cities in the history of Vietnam. While it suffered a lot during the American war, the city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best to see Vietnam’s glorious past. Although not completely surrounded by rivers, this city in Vietnam does contain some wonderful beaches. Hue is known to be the city of emperors and there are numerous monuments which were built by the rulers of the Nguyen dynasty. During the starting of the 19th century Hue was also the capital of Vietnam. However, most of these monuments were destroyed during the American war and what you see today are merely the remains of those times. This top city in Vietnam is known for its famous perfume River and would surely not disappoint anyone who is into a bit of history.
7. Nha Trang
Located in the country of Vietnam, Nha Trang is one of the most famous tourist spots. This most visited city in Vietnam city is known to be situated along the coast lines and is known to contain abundant sea animals as well as aquatic life. This is one of the oldest human settlements in all of Vietnam and is also known as one of the most popular scuba diving spots in the country. This destination over the years has become one of the favourite vacation spots for the people of the world. Nha Trang is an urbanised section of Vietnam which is known to be situated across the shores of water. This place over the years has become one of the most loved tourist spots for people across the world. This place has plenty of Marine life situated within it and is one of the most renowned scuba diving sections of the country. This place is famous for its scenic beauty while at the same time tends to be one of the prime destinations for numerous recreational activities and water sports.
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8. Dong Hoi
A pleasant seaside city, with easy access to the Phong Nha Ke Bang caves, Dong Hoi is a rapidly rising tourist destination. Apart from its proximity to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Dong Hoi has its own tourist attractions, authentic cuisine and unique history that beckon people to explore and unearth its mysteries. As the Capital of the Quang Binh province and the city closest to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, this best city in Vietnam to visit is rapidly gaining popularity as a calming tourist retreat. The sun-kissed beaches of Dong Hoi have the capability to hold your attention especially in the summer months of April to September.
The Nhat Le Beach houses a number of residences, hotels and charming villas that will definitely persuade you to extend your beach holiday. The beach itself paints a striking picture of serenity with the sun-kissed sand, glistening waves and the numerous stalls selling pineapples, shrimp and mushrooms along the seaside. Apart from the beaches, Dong Hoi’s historical remains aren’t to be missed. The ruins of the Tam Toa Church and the Quang Binh gate are a painful reminder of the destruction brought upon the city. Cycling through Dong hoi wet market will give you a unique insight into local life. Dong Hoi is the best place to unwind for a day or two before starting the arduous trek into Phong Nha Ke Bang.
9. Mui Ne
The picturesque city of Mui Ne is located at a four-hour train ride away from the capital city of Ho Chi Minh. This top city to visit in Vietnam is perfect for beach lovers dotted with quaint fishing villages and azure sea waters. This place houses sand dunes right next to the beach making it unique. With its laid back beaches and fascinating sand dunes, the town of Mui Ne is the perfect weekend getaway away from the din of the city. This town is also quite famous for the amazing variety of adventure sports that it offers such as kite surfing, sailing, surfing among others. This coming together of these cultures and people is another factor that adds to the uniqueness of this town. One can go for various sports from KiteSurfing in the sea to Quad Biking on the dunes. If you’re a backpacker and not ready to spend much on these sports, you can do dune walks and sea swims. If you’re on a romantic / family trip, look no further, the town has a host of resorts with private beaches all along the main strip. If you’re a backpacker, worry not, you can stay in your own tents for as cheap as $4 per night, right at the beach and wake up to the sound and the view of the beautiful sea. All in all, spend a weekend in Mui Ne and you might come back with a lot of sand in your hair, but you will not regret a minute of it.
10. Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu, formerly known as Thaeng, is the capital of Dien Bien Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is among the most historically eminent cities in Vietnam. It is here that the French were finally defeated in the year 1954 by the Viet Minh Communist Revolutionaries. Currently populated by only a handful of locals, it acts as a commercial trade centre of Vietnam. The laidback rhythm of Vietnamese life can still be witnessed here as you see locals mill about their daily chores and businesses in traditional dresses. This small town resides in the lap of Muong Thanh valley and is bordered by Vietnamese provinces Lai Chau and Son La in east and south, Chinese Pu’er City in the north and Phongsaly in Laos in the west. After the fierce battle in 1954, the city has witnessed humongous change, and many civic buildings and promenades have been constructed since then. The spirit of the city is like a phoenix rising after the war and it is slowly but surely catching up to its current status as an economic hub.
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11. Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh is the Capital City of the Hoa Binh province of Vietnam. This hidden gem offers spectacular natural beauty, coupled with a rich culture located but a short distance from Hanoi. The unique culture, natural beauty, and rich history have made Hoa Binh a tourist attraction. The Da Bac caves in this par beautiful city in Vietnam offer the perfect getaway for adventure junkies and trekkers to climb and explore the multicolour stalactites. Kim Boi hot spring offers you the opportunity to rid yourself of all your ailments by bathing in the hot water. The Hoa Binh Hydroelectric plant provides the perfect location to learn about modern technologies of power generation.
12. Ca Mau
Ca Mau is Vietnam’s southernmost town and the only city in the Ca Mau province. Braced against the Bac Lieu Canal, Ca Mau is a town that is still trying to decide its identity. While on one hand, it is a trade hub and a bustling metro, on the other, it is a quiet town with a bird sanctuary. The silky silt deposited by the Mekong River creates swamps which are home to a variety of wading birds. Peculiarly, the entire area is dotted with rice fields and shrimp cultivation farms. Just about 360km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, this most famous city in Vietnam can easily be reached by road. A complex network of houses, markets, beaches and trade hubs; it is best navigated on foot. The city is also famous for its relatively unpopulated beaches and is an offbeat favorite among travelers
So far we have discussed some best towns to visit in Vietnam which must be visited at least once, here best cities in Vietnam to visit provides the information regarding the top cities in Vietnam with their brief description. We love to provide the travel tips as per your vacation so head to other articles too and don’t forget to share your views.