The Ultimate Vietnam Itinerary For 30 Days: A Complete Guide To Exploring The Country’s Highlights

A photo of a serene sunset over Halong Bay with traditional Vietnamese boats floating on calm waters.

Dreaming of a Vietnamese adventure, but overwhelmed by the planning process? Vietnam, a country teeming with vibrant citiesstunning landscapes and rich history, offers far too many attractions to fit into a single trip.

This comprehensive guide simplifies your journey from North to South by providing a detailed 30-day itinerary dotted with popular sights – Hanoi’s bustling markets, mystical Halong Bay and the ancient town of Hoi An.

Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • The Ultimate Vietnam Itinerary provides a detailed 30 – day plan to explore the country’s highlights from North to South.
  • March to April is the best time to visit Vietnam, with mild temperatures and less rain in most places.
  • Travelers will need a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be obtained upon arrival at the main airports or through land/sea entry points.
  • Budgeting for 30 days in Vietnam is affordable, with options for cheap foodhostel accommodations, and many free activities.

Best Time to Visit Vietnam

A woman explores a vibrant field of blooming sunflowers with different poses and outfits.

You should go to Vietnam from March to April. The rain is little and the weather is cool during that time. Still, Vietnam’s long shape makes for big changes in the weather. If you plan a 30-day trip, then look at each place’s best time.

For north spots like Hanoi, February to April works well due to mild temperatures. In the south like Ho Chi Minh city, November until April usually gives warm and dry days with less rain.

Seeing Vietnam takes careful timing but worth it for clear skies and comfy heat. On a side note, some people ask “what are bad times?” or “when can I see Cambodia too?” That will need more planning which we can talk about later in this guide!

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Getting to Vietnam and Visa Requirements

A collection of travel-related items surround a passport in a beautifully captured and vibrant photo.

Getting to Vietnam is easy from many places in the world. Here are the things you need to know:

  1. Most travelers will need a visa.
  2. You can get your visa when you reach Vietnam.
  3. The visa can last for 3 or 6 months.
  4. You must have a passport that works for six more months.
  5. Many airlines fly to Vietnam from different parts of the world.
  6. The main airports are in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  7. It’s also possible to enter Vietnam by land or sea from nearby countries such as Cambodia or China.
  8. Keep in mind, you might need extra visas if you come this way.
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Budgeting for 30 Days in Vietnam

A vibrant local market filled with a variety of fresh produce and street food stalls.

Vietnam is a place easy on your pocket. You can enjoy cheap food on the street and stay in hostels that do not cost much. There are also many free things to do here. To stay 30 days, you should make a budget plan first.

Staying the whole month will most likely cost around $1178 for one room. This means you will spend about $42 each day or $21 if two people share one room. Your Vietnam itinerary for 30 days should fit this budget nicely.

Sticking to your plan lets you have fun while saving money too!

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Getting Around Vietnam

A motorbike driver wearing a traditional Vietnamese hat drives through the bustling streets of Hanoi.

To explore Vietnam, you need to know how to get around. Here are some ways to travel within the country:

  • Domestic Flights: You can fly between major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. Airlines like Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific offer domestic flights.
  • Trains: Vietnam has a well-connected railway network that links many popular destinations. The Reunification Express is the main train line, running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Buses: Buses are a common mode of transportation in Vietnam. There are both public buses and tourist buses available, offering routes to various cities and towns.
  • Motorbikes: Renting a motorbike is a popular choice for travelers who want more freedom and flexibility. Just make sure you have an international driver’s license and follow local traffic rules.
  • Taxis and Ride-hailing Apps: Taxis are widely available in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Grab is a popular ride-hailing app in Vietnam, offering convenient transportation services.
  • Cyclos and Xe Om: Cyclos (tricycle taxis) and xe om (motorbike taxis) provide unique experiences for short distances within city centers.

Recommended Accommodation Options

'A couple enjoying a luxurious resort poolside with a tropical backdrop.'

Finding suitable accommodation is an essential part of planning your trip. Number of options varies depending on your budget, from affordable hostels to luxury resorts. Here, we have compiled a list of recommended accommodations in various cities across Vietnam.

CityHostelMid-Range HotelLuxury Resort
HanoiRepublik Backpackers’ HostelHanoi Marvellous Hotel & SpaInterContinental Hanoi Westlake
Ha Long BayHa Long BackpackersParadise Suites HotelMon Chéri Cruises
Sa PaGo Sapa HostelSapa Centre View HotelVictoria Sapa Resort & Spa
Tam CocNinh Binh Family HomestayTam Coc BungalowNinh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort
HueHue Charming HotelRomance Hue HotelAzerai La Residence Hue
Hoi AnTripHouseHoi An Ancient House Village ResortFour Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Da LatMr. Peace Backpacker’s HouseNgoc Phat Dalat HotelDalat Edensee Lake Resort & Spa
Ninh BinhTrang An Eco Homestay Ninh BinhNinh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & ResortEmeralda Resort Ninh Binh
Ho Chi Minh CityLong HostelAlagon Saigon Hotel & SpaPark Hyatt Saigon
Phu Quoc Island9Station HostelPhu Quoc Ocean Pearl HotelJW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

As part of your itinerary, be sure to allocate a considerable portion of your budget for your accommodation. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’re sure to find a place that provides comfort and convenience during your 30-day exploration of Vietnam.

30 Days in Vietnam Itinerary

A woman wearing a traditional Vietnamese hat in a lush green rice field.

Explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi, cruise through breathtaking Ha Long Bay, trek in the stunning rice terraces of Sa Pa, and experience the charm of ancient Hoi An. Discover all this and more in our ultimate 30-day Vietnam itinerary!

Hanoi (3 days)

A stunning photo of Ngoc Son Temple reflecting on the tranquil waters of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Explore the vibrant city of Hanoi during your 3-day trip to Vietnam. Hanoi is a fantastic blend of history, culture, and delicious food that will leave you wanting more. Start your adventure by visiting the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, where locals gather to exercise and relax.

Don’t forget to check out the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple located on an island in the middle of the lake.

Immerse yourself in Vietnamese history by exploring the historical sites of Hanoi. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum are must-see attractions, offering insights into the life and legacy of Vietnam’s beloved leader.

Wander through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets filled with shops selling traditional crafts, souvenirs, and mouthwatering street food.

Indulge in local cuisine by trying famous dishes like pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles), or banh cuon (steamed rolled rice cakes). Sample these delectable treats at local eateries or grab a bowl from one of Hanoi’s bustling street vendors.

Ha Long Bay (2-3 days)

A breathtaking aerial view of Ha Long Bay, showcasing its limestone islands and emerald waters.

You’ll want to make sure you include Ha Long Bay in your 30-day Vietnam itinerary. It’s a must-visit destination! To get there, you can join a cruise or take a shuttle from Hanoi. One popular shuttle service is Galaxy Cruise, which picks up tourists and takes them directly to Ha Long Bay.

The shuttle van can fit around 14 people, so it’s a great option if you’re traveling with a small group. During your stay in Ha Long Bay, consider spending two to three days exploring the stunning limestone islands and emerald waters.

It’s truly an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed!

Sa Pa (2-3 days)

A diverse group of hikers explore the beautiful mountain scenery of Sa Pa.

Sa Pa, located in the northern part of Vietnam, is a peaceful and scenic destination that offers a great contrast to the busy cities. This area is famous for its beautiful green fields and opportunities for trekking.

If you’re planning to visit Sa Pa, it’s recommended to spend 2-3 days exploring the region. During this time, you can embark on a trekking adventure through the mountains and valleys, immersing yourself in the stunning natural landscapes.

Authentic homestays are also available for those seeking an immersive cultural experience. Sa Pa is particularly popular among budget travelers and backpackers who are looking for an affordable yet memorable experience in Vietnam.

Tam Coc (2 days)

A woman wearing a traditional Vietnamese hat poses in lush green rice fields.

Explore the natural beauty of Tam Coc during your two-day visit. Located in the Ninh Binh province, Tam Coc is famous for its stunning limestone karsts and picturesque winding rivers.

Hop on a boat and venture through the Tam Coc caves, where you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery at every turn. Don’t miss the chance to visit temples and pagodas like the Bich Dong Pagoda, which add cultural depth to your experience.

To fully immerse yourself in all that Tam Coc has to offer, it’s recommended to spend at least two days exploring this enchanting destination.

Hue (1 day)

The Thien Mu Pagoda is depicted in a vibrant and bustling landscape, showcasing its iconic beauty and serenity.

Hue is a city in Vietnam that you can explore in just one day. It’s famous for its well-preserved Imperial City, which used to be the royal capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. When you visit Hue, you’ll have the chance to discover beautiful temples and places of worship.

You can also take a boat trip along the Perfume River and enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Hue is conveniently located between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, making it an ideal stop on your Vietnam itinerary.

Many popular itineraries include Hue because of its historical significance and cultural attractions. So, make sure to spend at least one day exploring this charming city when you’re in Vietnam!

Hoi An (7-8 days)

Colorful lanterns brighten the bustling streets of Hoi An at night, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Spend 7-8 days in Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its beautiful yellow-walled streets and picturesque scenery. Explore the local markets, where you can find unique crafts and souvenirs.

Immerse yourself in the culture by taking part in cooking classes or traditional lantern-making workshops. Visit historical sites like the Japanese Covered Bridge or take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River.

Hoi An is a must-visit destination for any Vietnam itinerary, offering a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Da Lat (2 days)

A photo of a woman walking through a vibrant flower market capturing the bustling atmosphere and diverse individuals.

Explore the offbeat city of Da Lat during your 30-day Vietnam itinerary. Spend 2 days in this charming destination, known for its unique climate and picturesque landscapes. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by visiting local markets and trying traditional cuisine.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a cooking class and learn how to prepare authentic dishes. With its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery, Da Lat is a perfect place to relax and unwind before continuing your adventure through Vietnam.

Ninh Binh (5 days)

A wooden boat peacefully drifts along a river surrounded by towering limestone cliffs in a bustling atmosphere.

Ninh Binh is a peaceful town near Hanoi, often called “Halong Bay on land.” It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a few days. In Ninh Binh, you can explore beautiful natural landscapes, visit ancient temples and pagodas, take boat rides through limestone caves, and cycle around scenic countryside.

Don’t forget to try local delicacies like goat meat and rice cakes. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery, Ninh Binh is definitely worth including in your 30-day Vietnam itinerary for at least 1-2 days.

Ho Chi Minh City (3 days)

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination in Vietnam, especially if you have limited time. In just 3 days, you can explore the main highlights of the city and get a taste of its vibrant atmosphere.

One of the best ways to discover Ho Chi Minh City is by walking around. Take a stroll through the bustling streets and immerse yourself in the local culture. Don’t miss iconic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, and Ben Thanh Market.

You can also delve into Vietnamese history at the War Remnants Museum or take a relaxing boat ride along the Saigon River. If you have more time, consider visiting other popular destinations in Vietnam too.

But for a short trip, spending 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City will give you an unforgettable experience.

Phu Quoc Island (3 days)

Phu Quoc Island is a stunning destination in Vietnam, known for its beautiful beaches and tropical jungle. It’s located off the bottom coast of Vietnam and offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

When you visit Phu Quoc Island, make sure to explore the northern part on your first day, where you can relax on pristine white sand beaches and take in the breathtaking views. The island is popular among tourists, with beach bungalows scattered along the coastline and plenty of natural beauty to discover.

Throughout your three-day stay, follow our detailed itinerary and travel guide to get the most out of your time on Phu Quoc Island.

Alternative Itineraries for 7, 10, 14, 21 days

A vibrant night scene in Hanoi's bustling streets showcasing various individuals and their unique styles.

If you don’t have 30 days to explore Vietnam, don’t worry! There are alternative itineraries available for shorter trips. Here are some suggestions:

  • 7 days:
  • Hanoi (2 days)
  • Ha Long Bay (2 days)
  • Hoi An (3 days)
  • 10 days:
  • Hanoi (2 days)
  • Ha Long Bay (2 days)
  • Hoi An (4 days)
  • Ho Chi Minh City (2 days)
  • 14 days:
  • Hanoi (2 days)
  • Ha Long Bay (2 days)
  • Hoi An (5 days)
  • Ho Chi Minh City (3 days)
  • Mekong Delta day trip (1 day)
  • 21 days:
  • Hanoi (3 days)
  • Ha Long Bay (3 days)
  • Sa Pa and Tam Coc combined visit(5 – 6 Days).
  • Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An combined visit(8 Days).

Useful Tips for Traveling in Vietnam

A diverse group of travelers are seen exploring the vibrant streets of Hanoi in a bustling atmosphere.

Here are some useful tips for traveling in Vietnam:

1. Pack light: Since you will be moving around a lot, it’s best to pack light and bring only the essentials. This will make it easier for you to navigate through crowded streets and public transportation.

2. Be cautious with street food: Street food is a must-try in Vietnam, but it’s important to choose wisely. Look for vendors with clean cooking practices and opt for dishes that are cooked hot and fresh in front of you.

3. Bargain at markets: Bargaining is a common practice at markets in Vietnam, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices. Start by offering half or two-thirds of the original price and work your way up from there.

4. Stay hydrated: The weather in Vietnam can get quite hot and humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

5. Take precautions against scams: While most people you encounter will be friendly, there may be some scammers targeting tourists. Be cautious of anyone offering unsolicited help or trying to sell you something at inflated prices.

6. Learn basic Vietnamese phrases: It’s always helpful to learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases such as “hello”, “thank you”, and “how much does it cost?”. Locals will appreciate your effort, even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect.

7. Respect local customs and traditions: Vietnam has a rich culture with its own customs and traditions. Make an effort to learn about them before visiting so that you can show respect towards the local people and their way of life.

By following these tips, you’ll have an enjoyable and hassle-free experience while traveling in Vietnam!


A couple explores the vibrant floating markets of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.Explore the best of Vietnam in just 30 days with our ultimate itinerary! From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the stunning landscapes of Ha Long Bay and Sapa, this guide has got you covered.

Immerse yourself in the rich culture, sample delicious cuisine, and create unforgettable memories on your journey through this beautiful country.


1. What is the Vietnam Itinerary for 30 days about?

The Vietnam Itinerary for 30 days is a guide to exploring all the top places and highlights in Vietnam over a month.

2. Why should I use this itinerary for my trip?

By following this 30-day itinerary, you ensure that you visit every important highlight in the country of Vietnam.

3. How does this guide help travelers?

This complete guide gives step-by-step details on where to go, what to see and do during your 30 days stay in Vietnam.

4. Is it possible to modify parts of the 30 days Vietnam Itinerary based on personal preference?

Yes! You can change or swap out parts of this itinerary as per your liking while still making sure not to miss out any major highlights.

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