Affordable Adventures: Exploring The Best Budget-Friendly Finds In Vietnam

A lively local market featuring a wide variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, and street food stalls.

Trying to plan a fantastic adventure in Vietnam without breaking the bank? Did you know that Vietnam is renowned for its affordable travel experiences, with some places offering lodging for less than $10 a night? This guide will take you through the maze of budget-friendly finds, from must-visit spots and sightseeing options to exciting souvenirs and curios.

Let’s dive into this journey of affordable Vietnamese adventures!

Key Takeaways

  • Vietnam offers affordable travel experiences with lodging options for less than $10 a night.
  • Budget – friendly activities in Vietnam include visiting the Old Quarter, Central Post Office, Precious Heritage by Réhahn, and Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • Must – visit spots for budget travelers are Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh City’s Central Post Office, and Precious Heritage by Réhahn in Hoi An.
  • Affordable sightseeing options in Vietnam include exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels, Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoan Kiem Lake, and watching a Thang Long Water Puppet show.
  • Top affordable things to buy in Vietnam are tailored clothing from Hoi An, Vietnamese coffee grounds and phin filter for an authentic brew at home, lanterns from Hoi An’s lantern market for good luck, and traditional paintings as unique souvenirs or gifts.
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An,and Hanoi offer budget – friendly accommodations with various options available.

Exploring Vietnam on a Budget

A vibrant street market with a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Discover the best budget-friendly activities in Vietnam that will allow you to explore this beautiful country without breaking the bank.

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Recommended budget-friendly activities

A diverse group of travelers captures the local culture while exploring the bustling streets of the Old Quarter.

Vietnam is full of fun things to do that don’t cost a lot of money. Here are some low-cost activities you can try.

  1. Visit the Old Quarter: This part of town is full of history and charm. It’s a great place to walk around and soak in the local culture.
  2. Stop by the Central Post Office: This historic building is a must-see. It’s free to enter and you can send postcards home from here.
  3. Check out Precious Heritage by Réhahn: This art museum shows off stunning photos taken by famous French artist, Réhahn. The best part? Entry is free!
  4. Relax at Serene Spa: Pamper yourself with an affordable spa treatment. Prices start at $7.50!
  5. Explore Cu Chi Tunnels: These historic tunnels played a big part in Vietnam War history.
  6. Visit Hoi An Ancient Town: You will love this well-preserved piece of Vietnamese history that dates back centuries.
  7. Take a stroll around Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake): Enjoy its peaceful scenery without spending any money.
  8. Watch Thang Long Water Puppet show: A unique cultural activity for under $15 per person.
  9. Shop for Vietnamese Coffee Grounds and Phin Filter: A perfect gift for coffee lovers, these are good quality and cheap!
  10. Stay Overnight in Budget Accommodations: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, or Hoi An offer plenty of budget-friendly places to stay.

Must-Visit Spots for Budget Travelers

A diverse group of budget travelers exploring the bustling streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter.

Explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, marvel at the stunning architecture of the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, and immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture at Precious Heritage by Réhahn.

Read on to discover these budget-friendly spots and more!

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Old Quarter

A photo of the vibrant streets of the Old Quarter, showcasing traditional architecture and a bustling atmosphere.

The Old Quarter is a fun part of town in Hanoi. It has many old buildings that show Vietnamese style and history. You can walk around the green spaces, see ancient shops, and eat street food.

Places to have fun include mini pubs, small clubs, and lots of street vendors. These places offer good food and drinks at cheap prices for tourists and locals alike. If you like history, visit Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the Old Quarter for its legends and natural beauty.

For free or cheap things to do here, try a walking tour or explore Turtle Lake. You could also watch a Water Puppet Show.

Central Post Office

The Central Post Office in a bustling city, showcasing the grandeur of French colonial architecture.

You will love the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a beautiful building built by French Colonialists between 1886 and 1891. You can see that it has styles from both Renaissance and French history.

The outside of this building is stunning, perfect for taking photos with your friends or family. Once you head inside, there are even more lovely bits to see and snap pictures of! It’s an easy spot to visit when looking at cheap things to do in Vietnam.

Precious Heritage by Réhahn

A photo featuring an elderly woman in traditional dress surrounded by vibrant textiles, showcasing different faces, hairstyles, and outfits.

Réhahn’s Precious Heritage museum in Hoi An is a must-visit spot for budget travelers exploring Vietnam. The museum showcases the rich history of indigenous tribes in Vietnam through their heritage dress and captivating presentations.

Réhahn, who has documented all 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam for the Precious Heritage Project, displays diverse costumes and emotional photos at the museum. It offers free entry and houses the world’s largest collection of Cham artifacts, combining French-colonial architecture with the exhibition space.

You can take a journey through various regions of Vietnam and gain insight into the country’s vibrant ethnic culture at this remarkable museum.

Serene Spa

A woman enjoys a relaxing massage surrounded by tranquil spa decor.

Serene Spa is a well-known spa in Vietnam that offers a serene and relaxing environment for visitors. It is one of the must-visit spots for budget travelers looking to unwind and pamper themselves without breaking the bank.

In Vietnam, you can find affordable spa experiences like Serene Spa, where you can enjoy rejuvenating massages and treatments at reasonable prices. Soothe your tired muscles and let all your stress melt away as you indulge in a blissful escape at Serene Spa, making it one of the top budget-friendly finds for travelers in Vietnam.

Affordable Sightseeing Options

A group of diverse tourists exploring the colorful streets of Hoi An Ancient Town.

Explore the history and culture of Vietnam without breaking the bank by visiting popular budget-friendly attractions like the Cu Chi Tunnels, Hoi An Ancient Town, Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake), and enjoying a traditional Thang Long Water Puppet show.

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Cu Chi Tunnels

Tourists explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, a bustling underground complex in Vietnam, in a well-lit and vibrant atmosphere.

The Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam are an important part of the country’s history. These tunnels were used by Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War and have now been preserved as a historic site.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a massive underground complex that can be explored, offering visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the war firsthand. This budget-friendly adventure allows you to see the ingenuity and resilience of the Vietnamese people while experiencing an important piece of history.

Hoi An Ancient Town

A young woman wearing a traditional Vietnamese ao dai, walking along lantern-lit streets in Hoi An Ancient Town.

Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO site located on Vietnam’s east coast. It’s known for its rich history and well-preserved trading port. This charming town offers a mix of high-end European restaurants and budget-friendly Vietnamese street food, making it a perfect destination for budget travelers.

There are plenty of affordable sightseeing options to explore, including the ancient houses, temples, and museums scattered throughout the town. Hoi An also has a variety of cheaper accommodation options available for those traveling on a budget.

Soak up the atmosphere as you stroll along the lantern-lit streets and immerse yourself in this historical gem without breaking the bank.

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

A young woman enjoys reading a book under a willow tree by Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the Lake of the Restored Sword, is a beautiful natural freshwater lake located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It holds great historical and cultural significance in the city.

Legend has it that an emperor was given a magical sword by a divine turtle living in the lake. The emperor used this sword to defeat foreign invaders, and after his victory, he returned the sword to the turtle.

This legend has made Hoan Kiem Lake an important symbol of Hanoi.

Surrounded by charming temples and pagodas, Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. You can take leisurely walks around its peaceful shores or visit Ngoc Son Temple situated on an island within the lake.

Thang Long Water Puppet

Thang Long Water Puppet is a traditional Vietnamese performing art that you must experience on your budget-friendly adventure in Vietnam. The puppeteers stand in water throughout the show, skillfully manipulating wooden puppets to create mesmerizing performances.

These puppets are intricately designed to portray legends and imagery, including fire dragons that seem to dance on the water’s surface. You can catch this enchanting performance at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, conveniently located at 57B Dinh Tien Hoang street.

And don’t worry about breaking the bank because tickets for the water puppet show are priced at an affordable 60,000 Vietnamese dong.

Top Affordable Things to Buy in Vietnam

A vibrant street market showcasing a variety of colorful handmade crafts and textiles.

When visiting Vietnam on a budget, there are several affordable souvenirs and items you can purchase to remember your trip.

Tailored Clothing

Hoi An, Vietnam is famous for its custom-designed clothing and shoes. With over 200 tailor shops available for shopping, it’s a must-visit destination if you’re looking to buy affordable and cheap custom clothing.

The Hoi An tailors are skilled in creating beautiful, hand-made clothes that are worth the investment. Both locals and tourists flock to these tailor shops, offering a unique shopping experience and giving you the opportunity to get customized clothing at a reasonable price.

So when you’re in Vietnam, don’t miss out on getting tailor-made clothes in Hoi An!

Vietnamese Coffee Grounds and Phin Filter

When it comes to affordable things to buy in Vietnam, Vietnamese coffee grounds and a phin filter are definitely worth considering. Vietnamese coffee is known for its rich and bold flavor, which is achieved through a unique brewing process using the phin filter.

The phin filter is a cup-shaped tool made of stainless steel or aluminum that allows coffee to be slowly brewed, drop by drop. It consists of a filter chamber and lid, creating the perfect conditions for extracting maximum flavor from the coffee grounds.

With this traditional brewing method, you can enjoy an authentic cup of Vietnamese coffee at home without breaking the bank. So next time you’re in Vietnam, make sure to pick up some Vietnamese coffee grounds and a phin filter to bring a taste of this delicious brew back with you.


The lanterns in Vietnam are a must-buy when you’re exploring the country on a budget. Hoi An’s lantern market is the perfect place to find these beautiful and colorful decorations.

Vietnamese people believe that lighting and floating lanterns on the river can bring good fortune and love. The lanterns in Hoi An are handmade, symbolizing love and good luck. They are made from paper or silk, with intricate designs and vibrant colors.

These lanterns make for unique souvenirs or gifts to take home with you. Don’t miss the chance to experience the charm of Hoi An, known as the “City of Lanterns.”.


Vietnamese artists create a variety of paintings, including beautiful landscapes, abstract designs, realistic portraits, and modern artworks. You can find traditional Vietnamese paintings in Hanoi’s Old Quarter along with other souvenirs.

While galleries may have pricier works by well-known artists, smaller shops offer more affordable options by lesser-known artists. If you’re interested in traditional art, keep an eye out for Vietnamese silk paintings which are highly sought after by visitors.

The art scene in Vietnam is a fascinating blend of both traditional styles and contemporary influences.

Where to Find Affordable Accommodations

The photo shows a cozy room in an affordable hotel in Hoi An, with diverse people and a bustling atmosphere.

Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, and Hanoi offer a wide range of budget-friendly accommodations that won’t break the bank. Read on to discover the best affordable places to stay in Vietnam!

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, is a wonderful destination for budget-conscious travelers. The city offers a range of affordable accommodations, from guesthouses to budget hotels, ensuring that you can find a place to stay without breaking the bank.

There are also plenty of inexpensive restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Vietnamese cuisine without emptying your wallet. While Ho Chi Minh City may be slightly more expensive compared to other parts of Vietnam like Hanoi, it still provides many opportunities for exploring on a budget.

So pack your bags and get ready to discover the vibrant streets and cultural treasures of this bustling city without worrying about overspending.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a great destination for budget travelers, as it offers some of the most affordable accommodation options in Vietnam. The city is known for its Central Market, which is considered one of the best in the country.

Here, you can find delicious local food at reasonable prices and shop for unique souvenirs. Hoi An also has beautiful natural scenery and stunning views that you can enjoy while exploring on a rented bike.

So if you’re looking for an affordable adventure in Vietnam, don’t miss out on experiencing all that Hoi An has to offer.


Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a fantastic destination for budget travelers. With its affordable accommodations, food, and activities, you can explore this vibrant city without breaking the bank.

Hanoi is known for its cheap hostel rates and delicious local cuisine that won’t hurt your wallet. You can enjoy free or cheap activities like taking advantage of free walking tours or watching a Water Puppet Show.

Don’t miss exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter, which is filled with historical sites and cultural landmarks waiting to be discovered. And make sure to visit popular attractions like Hoàn Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple while you’re in Hanoi.

Other Budget-Friendly Finds

A family of four enjoys their time exploring a lively Vietnamese market.

Indulge in the local culture by purchasing traditional Vietnamese items such as conical hats, bamboo products, and delicious coconut candy.

Conical Hat

The conical hat, known as Non-La in Vietnamese, is a popular symbol of Vietnam and its culture. These hats are handmade and can be worn throughout all four seasons. They have a unique shape and form, with variations that make each set one-of-a-kind.

Originally originating in the center of Vietnam near Hue, the conical hat is closely associated with the country’s wet rice cultivation heritage. When visiting Vietnam on a budget-friendly adventure, don’t forget to grab yourself a conical hat as a charming souvenir or accessory!

Bamboo Stuff

Bamboo is a significant part of Vietnamese culture and can be found in various products throughout the country. It symbolizes vitality and resilience, known for its ability to withstand strong winds and storms.

In addition to being used for construction and furniture, bamboo is also prevalent in Vietnamese cuisine, with bamboo shoots being widely used due to their nutritional value. Visitors can explore the Voyage to Vietnam exhibition to see how bamboo is showcased in different ways.

With Vietnam being home to many different types of bamboo, it has a rich history of cultivation and use. So when you’re in Vietnam, don’t forget to check out the unique bamboo products available!

Coconut Candy

Coconut candy, or kẹo dừa in Vietnam, is one of the most beloved candies in the country, especially in the South. It is often enjoyed alongside banana candy, another popular sweet treat.

To make Vietnamese Candied Coconut Ribbons, also known as Mứt Dừa, you’ll need a 20oz can of young coconut shreds in syrup, sugar, food coloring (if desired), and vanilla sugar.

This delightful treat offers a taste of Vietnam’s tropical flavors and makes for a perfect souvenir to bring back home.

Luxurious Finds on a Budget

A woman explores a vibrant market stall filled with affordable accessories and handmade crafts.

Indulge in custom footwear, original Vietnamese art, and exquisite wood-carvings without breaking the bank.

Custom Footwear

In Hoi An, Vietnam, you’ll find a special treat for your feet – custom footwear. This charming town is known for its skilled craftsmen who can create beautiful and comfortable shoes tailored just for you.

Whether you want boots, sandals, or sneakers, the artisans in Hoi An can bring your design to life. The best part? Custom footwear in Hoi An is surprisingly affordable compared to other places around the world.

So go ahead and indulge yourself with a unique pair of shoes that will make everyone jealous of your style.

Original Vietnamese Art

Vietnamese art is a beautiful blend of local Vietnamese culture and Han culture. During the Dynasties of Lý and Trần, Vietnam experienced a golden age in art and architecture. Various forms of art emerged, including lacquer on wood painting and silk painting.

These forms showcase intricate details and vibrant colors that represent the rich heritage of Vietnam. Today, Vietnamese art and artists are gaining popularity worldwide for their unique style and craftsmanship.

If you’re interested in owning original Vietnamese artwork, platforms like Artisera offer a global marketplace where you can browse and purchase stunning lacquer on wood paintings by internationally renowned artist Bui Huu Hung.


Hoi An, Vietnam is known for its vibrant arts and crafts scene, including the beautiful art of wood-carving. In this charming town, you’ll find a variety of intricate wood-carvings that make for unique and special gifts.

From delicate figurines to ornate furniture pieces, there’s something for everyone to admire and take home as a souvenir. Take your time exploring the shops and galleries in Hoi An to find the perfect wood-carving that captures the beauty of Vietnam’s craftsmanship.

It’s no wonder that wood-carvings are one of the top items sought after by visitors searching for the best things to buy in Vietnam.

Experiences to Splurge on

A couple enjoys a romantic candlelit dinner with a stunning view of a bustling city.

Indulge in luxurious spa treatments, savor fine dining experiences, and indulge in a bit of luxury shopping – because sometimes, it’s worth splurging on the finer things in life. Read on to uncover these hidden gems in Vietnam!

Spa Treatments

Vietnam offers a range of affordable spa treatments that are perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. For example, in Da Nang, you can find Panda Spa, known for its luxurious foot massages and indulgent full-body relaxation therapies.

In Sapa, you can escape to a tranquil oasis with hot springs and spas offering treatments like hot stone massages and natural facials. And if you’re looking for the best facials, Ho Chi Minh City is the place to be.

With signature treatments like aromatic bathsbamboo body brushing, acupressure foot massages, bamboo body massages, and pearl facials available throughout Vietnam, treating yourself to a spa day won’t break the bank.

Fine Dining

Vietnam offers an incredible culinary experience, and when it comes to fine dining, you won’t be disappointed. Even on a budget, you can indulge in luxurious meals without breaking the bank.

Vietnam is famous for its delicious dishes like pho, cao lau, and bánh xèo. Whether you’re in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, there are plenty of high-end restaurants that offer exquisite Vietnamese cuisine at affordable prices.

So go ahead and treat yourself to a memorable dining experience while exploring all that Vietnam has to offer.

Luxury Shopping

Vietnam offers an exciting array of luxury shopping options for travelers on a budget. From ornate vases to designer handbags, there’s something for everyone looking to indulge in a little bit of high-end retail therapy.

Ho Chi Minh City is the perfect place to start your luxury shopping adventure, with its abundance of shops offering unique and affordable luxury goods. Whether you’re searching for handmade shoes or original art, Vietnam has it all at prices that won’t break the bank.

Immerse yourself in the local culture while bringing back one-of-a-kind gifts by exploring the luxurious finds that Vietnam has to offer.


A diverse group of travelers enjoying a meal at a street food stall in Vietnam.

In conclusion, Vietnam offers a wealth of affordable adventures for budget travelers. From exploring the Old Quarter and visiting historical sites like the Central Post Office to indulging in tailored clothing and sipping Vietnamese coffee, there is something for everyone.

With budget-friendly accommodations available and plenty of free or cheap activities to do, Vietnam is a fantastic destination that won’t break the bank. So pack your bags, embrace adventure, and get ready to explore the best budget-friendly finds that Vietnam has to offer!


1. What are some budget-friendly activities to do in Vietnam?

Some budget-friendly activities to do in Vietnam include visiting local markets, exploring historical sites, trying street food, and taking part in outdoor adventures like hiking or biking.

2. How can I find affordable accommodations in Vietnam?

You can find affordable accommodations in Vietnam by researching budget hotels, guesthouses, or hostels. Booking websites and travel agencies often offer competitive rates for travelers on a budget.

3. Are there any cheap transportation options for getting around Vietnam?

Yes, there are cheap transportation options for getting around Vietnam such as using local buses or trains instead of taxis or private cars. Renting a bicycle is also an economical way to explore certain areas.

4. Can I enjoy the local cuisine without spending much money?

Yes, you can enjoy delicious Vietnamese cuisine without spending much money by eating at street stalls or small local eateries known as “Pho” (noodle soup) shops. These places often offer tasty and affordable meals.

5. What are some free attractions that should not be missed while in Vietnam?

Some free attractions that should not be missed while in Vietnam include walking tours of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, visiting Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City, and taking a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Da Nang or Mui Ne.

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