Planning a two-week adventure to Vietnam can feel overwhelming. With so much to see and do, it’s easy for anyone to get lost in guidebooks and travel blogs. This article cuts through the clutter providing you with a comprehensive itinerary that includes both well-known sights and hidden gems.
Stay tuned as we help turn your dream of exploring Vietnam into quite an achievable reality!
- Spend about two weeks in Vietnam to see the highlights from north to south and adjust your itinerary according to your preferences.
- Consider starting your journey in Hanoi and explore its vibrant streets, historical sites, and delicious street food.
- Take an optional trip to Sapa for breathtaking views and unique cultural experiences.
- Embark on a Ha Long Bay cruise for stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters.
Planning for Your 2-Week Vietnam Itinerary
When planning your 2-week Vietnam itinerary, consider how long you want to spend in the country and whether you prefer exploring the north or south. Don’t forget to check visa requirements and take weather considerations into account.
How long should you spend in Vietnam?
You should spend about two weeks in Vietnam to get the full experience. This time lets you see the big highlights from north to south. You can change this plan if you want a slower pace, and stretch it out to three weeks or more.
With two weeks, you can visit places like Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City. But remember, it’s your trip so make sure it matches what you want to do!
North or south?
You face a big choice in your Vietnam travel itinerary. You can start from the north or south. Each part has its own charm. North Vietnam boasts places like Hanoi, Sapa, and Ha Long Bay.
These spots show off bright green rice fields and huge mountains.
South Vietnam gives you city life with Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). There are also beach towns like Nha Trang and Mui Ne here. A route from Hanoi to HCMC lets you see highlights like Phong Nha and Hoi An too! This is why many choose a north to south Vietnam itinerary.
You need a few things for your Vietnam trip. First, start the visa application process. You pay a fee and get a visa letter by email in three days. Next, you need to pay a stamping fee of $25 USD when you arrive in Vietnam. Another thing is a cash payment of $27 USD. This is for them to put your tourist visa in your passport.
- Apply for the visa
- Wait for the visa letter in your email
- Pay the $25 USD stamping fee at arrival
- Have $27 USD cash for the tourist visa
- Make sure you have all these before getting on the plane
When planning your 2-week Vietnam itinerary, it’s important to take weather considerations into account. The climate conditions in Vietnam vary throughout the year, so it’s essential to know what to expect during your visit.
You’ll want to be aware of the weather patterns, temperature variations, precipitation levels, and seasonal changes that may impact your travel plans. By understanding these meteorological factors and checking climate forecasts beforehand, you can better prepare for any weather fluctuations and ensure a more enjoyable trip.
It’s also worth considering how environmental elements like humidity or rain might affect your chosen activities and attractions along the way.
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Upon arriving in Hanoi, immerse yourself in the bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere of this historical city. Explore its rich culture and indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine as you begin your two-week adventure through Vietnam.
Exploring the city
When you arrive in Hanoi, the first day of your 2-week Vietnam itinerary, there are many exciting things to do. Here are some recommendations for exploring the city:
- Visit the Hoan Kiem Lake and take a stroll around its scenic surroundings.
- Explore the vibrant Old Quarter with its narrow streets filled with shops, markets, and food stalls.
- Don’t miss out on tasting the famous Vietnamese street food like pho, banh mi, and egg coffee.
- Visit the Temple of Literature, which is Vietnam’s first national university and an important historical site.
- Take a cyclo ride around the city to experience the bustling streets from a unique perspective.
- Learn about Vietnam’s history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum.
- Enjoy a traditional water puppet show that showcases Vietnamese culture and storytelling.
Best places to stay in Hanoi
Hanoi, known as the “City of Lakes,” offers a wide range of accommodation options for travelers. Whether you’re budget-conscious or seeking luxury, you’ll find a variety of comfortable and well-located places to stay.
|Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa||Luxury Hotel||Old Quarter|
|Hanoi Backpackers Hostel||Budget Hostel||Old Quarter|
|The Oriental Jade Hotel||Luxury Hotel||Old Quarter|
|Hanoi City Hostel||Budget Hostel||Old Quarter|
|InterContinental Hanoi Westlake||Luxury Hotel||West Lake|
|Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi||Luxury Hotel||Old Quarter|
|Sunline Paon Hotel & Spa||Mid-range Hotel||Old Quarter|
|Hanoi Old Quarter Homestay||Guest House||Old Quarter|
Please note, the Old Quarter and West Lake areas are among the best places to stay thanks to their proximity to numerous attractions and vibrant ambiance.
Days 2-3: Optional Trip to Sapa
When you’re in Vietnam, consider taking an optional trip to Sapa on days 2 and 3. Sapa is located in the mountains of northern Vietnam and offers breathtaking views and unique cultural experiences.
The journey from Hanoi to Sapa takes about 4.5 hours by car, but there are also tour options available if you prefer not to drive. You can explore the picturesque rice terraces, hike through scenic trails, visit local villages, and interact with ethnic minority groups.
There’s a comprehensive guide available for planning your trip to Sapa, which covers everything you need to know about this beautiful destination in Vietnam. Make sure to add this optional trip to your itinerary for an unforgettable experience in Vietnam!
Day 4: Ha Long Bay Cruise
Embark on a breathtaking Ha Long Bay cruise, immersing yourself in the stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters.
Tips for choosing a cruise
Choosing the right cruise for your trip to Ha Long Bay is important. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:
- Consider the duration of the cruise, whether it’s a 1 or 2-day overnight trip.
- Check reviews and ratings of Halong Bay cruise operators before making a decision.
- Opt for a 3-day/2-night cruise for a more immersive experience in Ha Long Bay.
- Check if transfers to and from Hanoi are included in the cruise package.
- The best time to visit Ha Long Bay for clear days is from March to June.
Day 5: Return to Hanoi
On Day 5 of your Vietnam trip, it’s time to return to Hanoi. Whether you started your journey in Hanoi or are ending here, this is the day to make your way back. You can choose to fly from Ho Chi Minh City or take a bus or train, depending on your preference and budget.
Once you arrive in Hanoi, you can relax and explore more of this vibrant city. There are plenty of accommodation options available for all budgets, so finding a place to stay won’t be a problem.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Hanoi before moving on to the next leg of your adventure.
Days 6-7: Ninh Binh
Explore the breathtaking attractions of Ninh Binh, including the stunning Trang An Grottoes and the ancient temples in Hoa Lu.
Ninh Binh, a must-visit destination in Vietnam, offers several must-see attractions and activities that you won’t want to miss during your two-week trip. Here are some highlights:
- Trang An Scenic Landscape: Take a boat tour through this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, which features limestone mountains, caves, and lush greenery.
- Hang Múa Viewpoint: Climb up the stairs to this viewpoint for breathtaking panoramic views of Ninh Binh’s landscape, including rice fields and Tam Coc.
- Mua Cave Viewpoint: Explore the beautiful Mua Cave and hike up to the top for another stunning view of the surrounding area.
- Bai Dinh Pagoda: Visit one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, known for its grandeur and intricate architecture.
- Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: Discover the historical site of Hoa Lu, former capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, with its ancient temples and ruins.
- Van Long Nature Reserve: Embark on a boat trip through this tranquil wetland area, home to diverse wildlife and scenic landscapes.
- Tam Coc – Bich Dong: Enjoy a boat ride along the Ngo Dong River and marvel at the karst formations while passing through beautiful caves.
- Cuc Phuong National Park: Immerse yourself in nature as you explore Vietnam’s oldest national park, home to diverse flora and fauna.
- Phat Diem Cathedral: Admire the unique architecture of this Catholic church that blends Vietnamese and European styles.
In Ninh Binh, you will find a wide array of accommodations that cater to a variety of preferences and budgets. Below is a breakdown of the different types of accommodations available:
|Type of Accommodation||Description|
|Hostels||These are perfect for budget travelers. They offer dormitory-style rooms, but you may also find private rooms in some hostels.|
|Guesthouses||Guesthouses offer a more comfortable and personal experience than hostels. They may also provide meals and can help arrange transportation or tours.|
|Boutique Hotels||For a more luxurious experience, boutique hotels offer personalized services, well-appointed rooms, and often, an in-house restaurant.|
|Resorts||If you’re looking for a luxury getaway with all the amenities, there are a few resorts located in and around Ninh Binh. These offer opulent rooms, swimming pools, restaurants, and spa services.|
Remember, Ninh Binh is a popular destination, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodation in advance.
Days 8-10: Hoi An
Explore the highlights of Hoi An, including its ancient town and beautiful beaches.
Highlights of the city
Hoi An is a charming and ancient town in Vietnam. Here are some highlights of the city:
- The Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- You can explore the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.
- The well – preserved architecture includes old city walls and pagodas.
Where to stay
When deciding where to stay in Hoi An, it’s crucial to consider your preferences for location and convenience. If you delight in walking through the colorful streets and exploring the local markets, then choosing a place to stay in Cam Pho or Old Town is ideal. These central neighborhoods offer easy access to most of the attractions and are perfect for those who prefer exploring on foot.
|Accommodation Area||Features||Attractions Nearby|
|Cam Pho||Vibrant and bustling area, great for on-foot exploration||Japanese Covered Bridge, Cantonese Assembly Hall|
|Old Town||Cultural heritage site with preserved buildings, walkable streets||Hoi An Market, Hoi An Museum, Quan Cong Temple|
|Tra Que||Quiet and peaceful, known for organic vegetable farms||Tra Que Vegetable Village, Hoi An Kayak Center|
|The Beaches||Relaxing seaside location, perfect for beach enthusiasts||An Bang Beach, Cua Dai Beach|
Remember, Hoi An also offers a range of day trips to surrounding areas, including the lush green paddy fields and tranquil waterways of the countryside. Choosing the right accommodation area is your passport to a delightful and memorable Vietnamese adventure.
Day 11: Nha Trang
Day 11: Nha Trang offers the opportunity for an optional side trip to the beautiful city of Dalat, known for its romantic scenery and cool climate.
Optional side trip to Dalat
If you have some extra time during your two-week trip to Vietnam, consider taking an optional side trip to Dalat. Located about three hours away from Nha Trang on the coast, Dalat is a beautiful mountain city known for its cool climate and stunning natural landscapes.
While not included in every itinerary, this excursion allows you to experience a different side of Vietnam. In Dalat, you can explore picturesque gardens and lakes, visit colorful flower farms, and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
Overall, it’s a great addition if you’re looking for a break from the coastal beach resorts and want to experience something more unique during your trip.
Days 12-13: Ho Chi Minh City
Explore the bustling streets and iconic landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City, from the historic Reunification Palace to the vibrant Ben Thanh Market. Discover the city’s rich history and immerse yourself in its lively atmosphere.
Don’t miss out on trying some delicious street food and experiencing the city’s nightlife. There’s so much to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City, making it a must-visit destination during your 2-week trip to Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City is known for its popular attractions. Here are some must-visit places in the city:
- Reunification Palace: This historical site was the former presidential palace during the Vietnam War.
- War Remnants Museum: Learn about the history and impact of the war through powerful exhibits and displays.
- City Hall: Admire the French colonial architecture of this iconic building located in the heart of the city.
- Notre Dame Cathedral: Marvel at this stunning cathedral, a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City’s deep Catholic roots.
- The Mosque: Visit this beautiful mosque, one of the few Muslim places of worship in the city.
- Three pagodas (Giac Lam Pagoda, Thien Hau Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda): Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and spirituality by exploring these traditional Buddhist temples.
Best places to stay
For days 12-13 of your Vietnam itinerary, the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City are District 1, District 3, and Phu My Hung. In District 1, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to suit different budgets. From luxury hotels like Caravelle Saigon and Hotel Grand Saigon to more affordable guesthouses, there’s something for everyone. If you’re interested in exploring the local culture and admiring beautiful French colonial architecture, District 3 is the ideal choice for you. Finally, if you prefer a more modern and upscale atmosphere, consider staying in Phu My Hung. This planned urban area located in District 7 offers a relaxed ambiance for your stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
In summary: For an enjoyable experience during your two weeks in Vietnam, make sure to choose the right place to stay while exploring Ho Chi Minh City. Consider booking accommodation in District 1 for its diverse options catering to different budgets or explore rich local cultures along with stunning French colonial architecture by choosing accommodation at District 3 which has it all included altogether! Or else select Phu My Hung if modern & upscale atmosphere is what suits your preference instead; situated within district seven – this area offers relaxation within planned urban areas that might just be perfect during these couple day visits!
Day 14: Optional day trip to Mekong Delta
On Day 14 of your two-week Vietnam itinerary, you have the option to embark on a day trip to the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a must-visit destination in southern Vietnam, known for its vibrant river life and floating markets.
From Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), you can take a tour that will allow you to explore this unique region. During the day trip, you will get the chance to visit bustling riverside towns, cruise along the Mekong River, and experience the local way of life.
It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture before heading back to Saigon for your last night in Vietnam.
In conclusion, this ultimate guide provides a comprehensive itinerary for traveling Vietnam in just two weeks. Whether you’re interested in exploring bustling cities, cruising through stunning natural landscapes, or immersing yourself in local culture, this guide has got you covered.
With suggestions for accommodation, transportation tips, and must-see attractions, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in Vietnam and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing adventure!
1. Is 2 weeks enough time to travel Vietnam?
Yes, 2 weeks is a reasonable amount of time to explore the highlights of Vietnam, although you may not be able to visit every single destination.
2. What are some must-visit places in Vietnam for a 2-week trip?
Some must-visit places in Vietnam for a 2-week trip include Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), and the Mekong Delta.
3. What is the best way to get around Vietnam during a 2-week trip?
The best way to get around Vietnam during a 2-week trip is by using a combination of domestic flights and overnight buses or trains. Local transportation such as taxis or motorbike rentals can also be used within cities.
4. How should I plan my itinerary for a 2-week trip in Vietnam?
When planning your itinerary for a 2-week trip in Vietnam, it’s recommended to allocate at least two days each for major destinations and consider the travel distance between them.
5. Are there any important cultural customs or etiquette I should know before traveling to Vietnam?
Yes, it’s important to respect local customs and etiquette when traveling to Vietnam. Some tips include dressing modestly, removing shoes before entering someone’s home or temple, and showing respect towards elders and religious sites.