How Long Do You Need To Visit Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Trip

A diverse group of tourists exploring the busy streets of Hanoi with colorful buildings and vibrant atmosphere.

So, you’re hoping to unravel the timeless allure of Vietnam but unsure how long it takes? You’re not alone. This South-East Asian gem cannot be thoroughly explored overnight. Our in-depth guide will help you gauge your ideal length of stay in Vietnam, planning a worthy itinerary and practical tips on accommodation and transportation.

Ready for an adventure like no other? Let’s dive right in!

Key Takeaways

  • When planning your trip to Vietnam, consider factors such as the destinations you want to visit, your available time and budget, and your travel preferences.
  • recommended length of stay in Vietnam is around 10 days to see the best sights and experience the country’s unique culture. However, you can stay longer if you wish.
  • Depending on how much time you have available, there are various options for planning your Vietnam itinerary, including 5-day trips that cover major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, or longer trips that allow for exploration of places like Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta.
  • Popular destinations in Vietnam include Sapa, Hanoi, Haiphong, Dien Bien Phu, and Halong Bay. The country offers a diverse range of natural beauty from rice terraced mountains to exotic beaches.
  • Accommodation options in Vietnam cater to all budgets. From budget accommodations like hostels and guesthouses to boutique hotels and luxury resorts, there is something for everyone’s preferences and financial constraints.

Determining Your Ideal Length of Stay in Vietnam

A panoramic shot of the vibrant city of Hanoi at sunset, showcasing its bustling atmosphere and diverse population.

Factors to consider when determining your ideal length of stay in Vietnam include the number of destinations you want to visit, your available time and budget, and your travel preferences.


Factors to consider

A diverse group of tourists exploring a bustling market in Vietnam captured with a high-quality camera.

Thinking about your trip length in Vietnam needs good planning. You should look at:

  1. The places you want to visit. Some areas need more time than others.
  2. How much time you can take off work or school. You may have only a short break.
  3. What types of things you like to do. If you love beaches, you might stay longer in coastal towns.
  4. Your budget for the trip. Some people can afford a long holiday while others can’t.
  5. The visa rules for your country. For example, some don’t need a visa for visits of 15-30 days. On the other hand, Americans must get a visa for any stay length.
  6. The best time to go to Vietnam changes with regions and seasons.
  7. If you’re okay with fast travel or want to take it slow and easy.

Recommended length of stay

A picturesque river flowing through a vibrant rainforest, capturing the beauty of nature and diverse individuals.

You will need about 10 days to visit Vietnam. This is the best time frame to see all the cool things and places there. But you can stay longer if you want. More time means more fun and learning! If you also plan on seeing Cambodia, make sure your trip has enough days for both countries.

Planning a Vietnam Itinerary: Options for Different Timeline

A group of diverse travelers exploring the vibrant streets of Hanoi.

When it comes to planning your Vietnam itinerary, you have various options depending on how much time you have available.

HOW TO TRAVEL VIETNAM - The ONLY guide you'll need in 2023!

Vietnam in 5 days

Vietnam in 5 days 132836158

Visiting Vietnam in five days is a rush, but you can still see lots.

  1. Start your trip in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City. See the ancient temples and taste yummy street food.
  2. Spend day two exploring the Mekong Delta. See how locals live and work on the water.
  3. On day three, fly north to Hanoi, a city full of history.
  4. Use day four to venture out to Halong Bay for a day cruise among the stunning limestone islands.
  5. Take your last day to wander through Hanoi’s Old Quarter for last – minute shopping and more great food.

Vietnam in a week

A group of friends having a great time on a street food tour in Hanoi.

If you have one week to visit Vietnam, here are some places you can include in your itinerary:

  • Hanoi: Explore the capital city and visit popular attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature.
  • Halong Bay: Take a cruise and marvel at the stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters.
  • Hue: Discover ancient imperial palaces, tombs, and pagodas.
  • Hoi An: Wander through the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Old Town with its well-preserved architecture.
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Experience the bustling energy of this modern metropolis and learn about Vietnam’s history at the War Remnants Museum.

Vietnam in 10 days

A diverse group of tourists exploring the bustling streets of Hanoi in a well-lit, vibrant cityscape.

A 10-day trip to Vietnam allows you to experience a mix of mountains, cities, coast, islands, and rice paddies. Here are some destinations to consider for your itinerary:

  1. Hanoi: Start your trip in the capital city of Vietnam. Explore the old quarter, visit historical sites like Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Temple of Literature, and indulge in delicious street food.
  2. Ninh Binh: Take a day trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. Discover the stunning landscapes of Trang An or Tam Coc by boat, visit ancient temples, and explore the scenic countryside.
  3. Halong Bay: Embark on a cruise or a day tour to Halong Bay. Marvel at the limestone karsts jutting out of the emerald waters, go kayaking, and enjoy breathtaking sunsets.
  4. Hoi An: Fly from Hanoi to Da Nang and travel south to the charming town of Hoi An. Wander through its narrow streets lined with colorful lanterns, visit ancient temples and pagodas, and get clothes tailored by local craftsmen.
  5. Ho Chi Minh City: Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). Immerse yourself in bustling markets like Ben Thanh Market, learn about Vietnam’s history at the War Remnants Museum, and take a trip back in time at Cu Chi Tunnels.
  6. Mekong Delta: Take a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to explore the lush Mekong Delta region. Cruise along the canals, visit floating markets, taste tropical fruits, and experience rural life in Vietnam.

Vietnam in 14 days

A stunning sunrise over a vibrant rice paddy field with diverse people in different outfits.

A two-week trip to Vietnam offers plenty of time to explore the country’s highlights. Here are some recommendations for your 14-day itinerary:

  1. Start your trip in Hanoi, the bustling capital city known for its rich history and vibrant street life.
  2. Take a cruise through the stunning limestone karsts of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. Visit the ancient town of Hoi An, famous for its well-preserved architecture and lantern-lit streets.
  4. Explore the imperial city of Hue, where you can visit historic palaces and temples.
  5. Head south to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam’s largest city and economic hub.
  6. From Ho Chi Minh City, take a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extensive underground network used during the Vietnam War.
  7. Explore the Mekong Delta region, known for its lush landscapes and floating markets.

Where to Go During Your Vietnam Itinerary

A stunning panoramic view of Ha Long Bay with its famous limestone karsts.

Discover the popular destinations and recommended places to visit during your Vietnam trip. From bustling cities to tranquil coastal towns, there’s something for everyone. Read on to find out more!

How to travel Vietnam | 1, 2, 3 & 4 Week Itinerary BREAKDOWNS

Popular destinations

A diverse group of friends in traditional Vietnamese attire explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi.SapaHanoiHaiphongDien Bien Phu, and Halong Bay are some popular destinations in Vietnam.

  • Sapa
  • Hanoi
  • Haiphong
  • Dien Bien Phu
  • Halong Bay

Recommended places for a 2 week trip

Group of diverse tourists enjoying a traditional Vietnamese meal in a bustling street food market.

For a 2-week trip in Vietnam, here are some recommended places to visit:

  • Hanoi: Explore the vibrant capital city and its historical sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.
  • Halong Bay: Take a cruise through the stunning limestone islands and enjoy activities like kayaking or visiting floating fishing villages.
  • Ninh Binh: Experience the picturesque landscapes of this region, known as the “Halong Bay on land”. Visit Trang An or Tam Coc for boat rides through caves and rice paddies.
  • Hue: Discover the imperial history of Vietnam by visiting the Imperial City and magnificent pagodas such as Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Hoi An: Wander through the charming Old Town with its narrow streets, ancient homes, and beautiful lanterns. Don’t miss trying local specialties at the famous food stalls.
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Immerse yourself in the bustling energy of this modern metropolis. Visit iconic landmarks like Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and War Remnants Museum.

Accommodation Options in Vietnam

A charming wooden bungalow surrounded by rice paddies in the Vietnamese countryside.

From budget accommodation to luxury resorts, Vietnam offers a wide range of lodging options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Read on to discover the best places to stay during your trip!

Budget accommodation

Accommodation in Vietnam offers great options for travelers on a budget, without compromising on quality or comfort. Here’s a quick guide to budget accommodations in the country:

Accommodation TypeAverage Price Per NightDescription
Hostels$5-15Most cities and towns in Vietnam have hostels. They offer basic amenities and dormitory-style rooms. Private rooms may also be available.
Guesthouses$10-30These are family-run establishments offering private rooms. Some may also include a simple breakfast in their rates.
Budget Hotels$20-50Budget hotels provide private rooms, often including amenities like a private bathroom, air conditioning, and sometimes breakfast.
Airbnb$15-40There are plenty of Airbnb listings throughout Vietnam, ranging from private rooms in shared apartments to entire homes. Prices can vary widely based on location and type of accommodation.

Remember to include both accommodation and transportation costs when planning your budget for Vietnam. A bit of research can help you find cost-effective solutions that suit your preferences and budget.

Boutique hotels

Boutique hotels in Vietnam are a popular choice for travelers who want a unique experience with a touch of luxury. These establishments often provide personalized services and stylish, tasteful decoration that reflects Vietnamese culture. Usually, they are located in prime areas, making them convenient for sightseeing and exploring the local life.

Hotel NameLocationAverage Price per Night
Hotel Des Arts SaigonHo Chi Minh CityApproximately $100
La Siesta Hoi An Resort & SpaHoi AnBetween $50 and $100
Apricot HotelHanoiApproximately $100
Victoria Sapa Resort & SpaSapaAbove $100 due to the prime location
Dragon Legend CruiseBai Tu Long BayAbove $100 due to the unique cruise experience

Please note, the cost of staying in boutique hotels can bring your average accommodation expense to around $42 per day, but it’s definitely worth it considering the comfort, services, and memorable experiences they provide.

Luxury resorts

Luxury resorts in Vietnam offer lavish accommodations and unparalleled service for travelers looking for a bit of luxury during their stay. They are strategically located in popular destinations such as Sapa and Bai Tu Long Bay. Here are few options to consider:

Resort NameLocationApproximate Price per Night
Victoria Sapa Resort & SpaSapa$150
Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha LongBai Tu Long Bay$175
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula ResortDa Nang$450
Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & SpaNha Trang$110
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & SpaPhu Quoc Island$260

These luxury resorts offer amenities such as spa services, infinity pools, private beaches, and gourmet restaurants. The average daily cost of staying in a luxury resort in Vietnam is around $42. However, prices can vary greatly depending on the location and the amenities offered.

Getting Around in Vietnam

A busy city street in Vietnam captured in a vibrant and bustling photograph.

To get around Vietnam, you have several transportation options such as buses, trains, and domestic flights.

Transportation options

Getting around in Vietnam is convenient and diverse. Here are some transportation options to consider for your trip:

  1. Domestic flights: Vietnam has several domestic airlines offering flights between major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. It’s a quick and efficient way to cover long distances.
  2. Trains: The train system in Vietnam is extensive, connecting many popular destinations. It offers a scenic and comfortable journey, especially for overnight trips.
  3. Motorbikes: Renting a motorbike gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, it’s important to have experience riding one and follow local traffic laws.
  4. Luxury minivans: Private minivan services are available for hire and provide a comfortable option for traveling in small groups or with luggage.
  5. Local buses: Buses are a common mode of transportation in Vietnam and are usually affordable. They operate on fixed routes and can take you to both popular tourist spots and off-the-beaten-path locations.
  6. Ferries: If you plan to visit islands or coastal areas, ferries are often the most convenient way to get there.

Costs and communication

Transportation options in Vietnam cater to different budgets, ranging from bikes and buses to trains and motorbikes. Domestic flights can cost between $30 to $60 or more, depending on the distance and season. Buses are a popular mode of transportation in Vietnam, with a 10-hour trip typically costing around $7. When it comes to communication, SIM cards, SMS messages, local calls, and data packages are affordable in Vietnam. It is recommended to learn basic Vietnamese phrases for effective communication with locals.

Money, Costs, and Communication in Vietnam

A diverse group of people exchanging money at a busy street market.

When it comes to money, costs, and communication in Vietnam, there are a few things you should know.

Currency exchange

Currency exchange in Vietnam is relatively easy, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind. There are currency exchange stalls available at the airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but be aware that the exchange rates may not be very favorable.

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND), so it’s recommended to have some local currency for larger travel expenses. As of January 5th, 2015, the exchange rate was 1 EUR = 25,510.74 VND.

It’s also worth noting that visa upon arrival is possible for travelers visiting as part of a tour group led by a Vietnamese international travel operator.

In summary, when traveling to Vietnam, it’s advisable to have some local currency on hand and be cautious about exchanging money at the airport stalls due to potentially unfavorable rates.

Average costs

Visiting Vietnam can be an affordable adventure. On average, round-trip tickets to Vietnam can range from $500 to $1,500. Domestic flights within the country can vary from $30 to $60 and up. If you prefer buses, they are a cheaper option with average costs at around $7 for a 10-hour trip. As for accommodation, the average cost is about $42 per day. When it comes to meals, past travelers have spent an average of just $14 per day on food in Vietnam. So whether you’re on a budget or looking for luxury options, there are choices available that won’t break the bank during your trip to Vietnam.

Staying connected

When traveling to Vietnam, it’s important to stay connected and online. Many hotels and restaurants in the country accept Mastercard and Visa, making it convenient for you to make payments without hassle.

Additionally, there are useful tips available for staying connected while traveling in Vietnam. You can find updated information on visa, accommodation, weather, tourist attractions, transit, shopping, and more through the Vietnam Travel Guide.

If you have any queries about your trip to VietnamVietnam Travel and Tours can provide answers to common questions about travel in the country. So be prepared and enjoy a well-connected trip to beautiful Vietnam!

Important Practicalities

A traveler stands outside a Vietnamese embassy holding a map and passport, ready for an adventure.

Getting a Vietnam visa is an important practicality to consider when planning your trip.

How to get a Vietnam visa

To get a Vietnam visa, there are a few options for you to consider. Here is a list of the different ways you can obtain a visa for your trip:

  1. Apply for an e-visa: The easiest option for US citizens is to apply for an e-visa. Make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining, a digital passport-sized photo, and payment for the visa fee. The e-visa will be issued with a validity of up to 90 days.
  2. Apply for a standard tourist visa: If you prefer not to apply for an e-visa, you can also apply for a standard tourist visa. These visas can be valid for 30 or 90 days and can be single entry or multiple entries.
  3. Emergency situations: In case of emergency travel, the Department of Immigration may be able to grant a Vietnam visa within two to three hours.

Where to stay in Vietnam

Finding the right place to stay in Vietnam is an important part of planning your trip. Here are some options for accommodation:

  1. Budget accommodation: Vietnam has numerous guesthouses and hostels that are affordable and comfortable for budget travelers. These places provide basic amenities at a reasonable price.
  2. Boutique hotels: If you’re looking for a unique and stylish experience, boutique hotels are a great choice. They often have personalized servicetrendy designs, and offer a more intimate atmosphere.
  3. Luxury resorts: For those seeking luxury, Vietnam offers many high-end resorts with stunning views and top-notch facilities. These resorts often have private beaches, pools, spas, and fine dining options.

Best time to visit Vietnam

The best time to visit Vietnam is from April to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is generally pleasant with mild temperatures and low rainfall.

If you prefer cooler weather, November to April is a good time to go as it cools down and becomes drier. However, do take note that December can still be rainy in central Vietnam. For those who want to explore the coast, June, July, and August are the best months with August being peak season.

So plan your trip accordingly!

Is Vietnam Worth Visiting?

A diverse group of tourists explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi, captured in a crystal clear and immersive photograph.

Vietnam is definitely worth visiting with its rich history, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and welcoming locals. Don’t miss out on this incredible destination!

Reasons to visit

Vietnam offers a wide range of reasons why you should visit. Here are some key ones to consider:

  • Diverse landscapes: From stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters to picturesque mountains and lush rice terraces, Vietnam has it all.
  • Rich history: Explore ancient temples, imperial cities, and the remnants of the Vietnam War to gain insight into the country’s fascinating past.
  • Delicious cuisine: Sample the incredible flavors of Vietnamese food, known for its fresh ingredients, aromatic herbs, and unique blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.
  • Warm hospitality: Experience the friendly and welcoming nature of the Vietnamese people who are known for their kindness and generosity towards visitors.
  • Affordable travel: Enjoy exploring Vietnam without breaking the bank as it is considered one of the most affordable destinations in Southeast Asia.
  • Vibrant cities: Discover bustling markets, vibrant street scenes, and modern skyscrapers in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Natural wonders: Marvel at breathtaking natural wonders such as Ha Long Bay’s limestone islands or trek through the stunning landscapes of Sapa.
  • Cultural heritage: Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage through traditional festivals, art performances, and local customs.

Potential drawbacks

Vietnam is generally safe to travel to, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Scams: Be cautious of scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging or fake tour agencies. Always research and choose reputable businesses.
  • Traffic: The traffic in Vietnam can be chaotic and overwhelming, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Take caution when crossing the road.
  • Pollution: Vietnam’s major cities often have high levels of air pollution. If you have respiratory issues, it may affect your health.
  • Language BarrierEnglish is not widely spoken in Vietnam, especially outside of tourist areas. It can be challenging to communicate if you don’t know Vietnamese.
  • Cultural Differences: Like any foreign country, Vietnam has its own cultural customs. It’s important to respect and understand these customs during your visit.


A diverse group of tourists exploring the vibrant streets of Hanoi.Planning your trip to Vietnam can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. With so much to see and do, it’s important to determine how long you want to stay. From a quick 5-day visit to an immersive 14-day adventure, there are options for every timeline.

Consider factors such as your interests, budget, and desired destinations when deciding on the ideal length of your stay. No matter how long you choose, Vietnam offers a rich cultural experience that is definitely worth exploring!


1. How long do you need to visit Vietnam?

The time you need to visit Vietnam can vary, but a good trip could be from two weeks up to a month.

2. Is it hard to plan a trip to Vietnam?

No, planning your trip is easy if you have the right guide.

3. What will help me in planning my ultimate trip to Vietnam?

Having an ultimate guide will give you all the information needed for visiting Vietnam.

4. Can I see all of Vietnam in one trip?

Yes, if your stay is long enough and well planned out, you can enjoy most of what Vietnam has to offer.

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