Da Nang (or Danang) is such a special city that you need a complete Da Nang travel guide to explore all its coolest features. If you are a big foodie, Da Nang is a gastronomy heaven. If you’re a culture-vulture, the city will take you back in time. And if you just want to laze back on the beach, Da Nang is your paradise on Earth!
What is so great about this so-called center of middle Vietnam that travelers worldwide want to see it at least once in their life? Check out this ultimate travel guide to Da Nang and you will understand why!
A Sneak Peek into Da Nang – A City of Vibrancy and Modern
Da Nang is not a large city, but it has so many things in it that keep people entertained and surprised. Located right in the middle of Vietnam facing the East Sea, Da Nang is an important port city that is rich in history.
What you see in Da Nang is a busy and vibrant life. It’s not as hectic as Hanoi or Saigon, but still modern and full of lives.
The city of Da Nang is sandwiched between Hoian Old Quarter – a UNESCO Heritage Site, and Hue – the Imperial City. What makes Da Nang famous is an extensive coastline, heavenly local cuisine, nightlife, history, and a rich culture that has been nourished for thousands of years.
Best Time to Visit Da Nang
The best time to visit Da Nang is between March and September with a calm sea, high blue sky, and mild weather. During this time, the temperate is pleasant and varies around 26 to 30 Celsius while nighttime is cooler and breezy at 18 to 23 degrees.
Thanks to the mild ocean waves, you can embark on the best sea sports of your life such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
The months between November and February see the colder weather of winter. Even though the Vietnamese still visit Danang within these months, remember to put on an extra coat.
Summertime is another great season to travel to Danang. This is the summer break for the local students, so you can expect to see more crowds of Vietnamese families hanging out on the beach.
The peak seasons are from May to August and from Christmas to Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday). The prices of all services climb a little higher these days.
How to Get to Da Nang? 3 Best Ways to Travel to Da Nang from Other Vietnam Cities
Traveling to Da Nang by Plane
Da Nang owns an International Airport and is well connected with other primary airports in the country. You can catch the flight every day if starting further from Hanoi or Saigon, as well as the nearby cities of Dalat and Nha Trang.
The average duration of flying from Hanoi or Saigon to Da Nang is less than an hour. It costs from 55 USD up to 90 USD one way depending on the season.
Traveling to Da Nang by Bus
Taking a bus to Da Nang is an ideal choice if you are currently in Hue, Hoi An, or Quang Binh. Daily buses depart every hour. You can buy the tickets directly at the bus stations before departure time, or contact the hotline of each bus line to book the ticket in advance.
Apart from the cities I mentioned above, available buses are starting between Da Nang and Dong Hoi (Quang Binh), Quy Nhon, Kon Tum and Hanoi…etc As these provinces are further away from Danang, you may expect to spend from three to six hours on a sleeper bus.
Traveling to Danang by Train
The last option I want to mention is by train. It’s definitely not a time saver but speaking of scenery-rewarding and low cost, nothing can beat the train!
As Da Nang is located in the middle of the national North-South Railway, you can choose to start anywhere from the city whose train station is available.
Most of the train cars come along with air-con and soft sleepers, so you don’t have to worry about hurting your back! Make you check out the Hai Van Pass along the way to Da Nang. This is one of the most scenic landscapes all over Vietnam!
How to Travel around Da Nang? 4 Means of Transportation to Help You Conquer Da Nang Like a Local
Walking around Da Nang
As I mentioned earlier, Da Nang is a small city. Most of the main attractions are located close to one another. The best services chain up around the beach areas.
As it is a modern city, all of the streets are paved with sidewalks and boulevards, which makes it a lot easier to sightsee around. You can walk along the beach around the night market, or freely stop at a seafood restaurant with a snap of a finger.
However, there are some specific attractions in town that are not in the city center, such as Ba Na Hills or My Son Sanctuary. So in this case, I highly recommend taking a taxi, Grab, renting a scooter, or simply booking a day trip from Da Nang!
Taking Public Bus around Da Nang
Even though most of the travelers just go ahead and rent a scooter for a day, if you want to explore the real local life then taking a public bus is the best option! It does not only save your cash, but you also have a chance to observe the scenery around you without rushing.
The bus services in Da Nang begin at 5:30 Am and stop at 4 Pm. They take you around the main attractions and thoroughfares downtown. Yet, if you just land in Da Nang with loads of luggage to handle, then a public bus may not be the best choice!
Using Traditional Taxi to Get around Da Nang
Without explaining too much, taxi is widely available in big cities around the world. One thing that most people wonder about is the cost. So rest your worries as they all equip a meter at the front seat and you pay after using the service.
Booking a Grab
Just like Uber, Grab is more reasonable than traditional taxis. All you need to do is to get the Grab app ready on your smartphone before traveling (plus mobile data).
One downside of using Grab is that the fee increases during rush hours and rainfalls. So you can switch between traditional taxis and Grab as long as it’s convenient for your trip!
Must-see Attractions in Da Nang: 10 Iconic Destinations in Danang for First-timers
Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son)
Also known as Ngu Hanh Son (Five Element Mounts) in Vietnamese, Marble Mountain is not only a site of nature, culture but also a heaven for sporty kinds of travelers.
The destination is 7 kilometers away from the city center and houses an extensive system of caves and tunnels. It boasts a magnificent view towards the panorama of Da Nang featuring the sea on the horizon.
One last feature that attracts tourists to the Marble Mountains is the marble stone village located around the foot of the mountains. These stores express a fancy-looking collection of stone artworks for sale. Jewelry, statues, religious items are the most common arts displayed on the premise.
Cham Island (Plus Snorkeling)
The Cham Island can never be missed in any good Da Nang travel guide. Most people include Cham Island as a day trip from the mainland of Da Nang. This island is heaven on Earth for snorkeling, which allows you to admire the great coral reefs at the bed of the ocean.
You can choose to get there by yourself but it’s quite a hassle! So I highly recommend joining a half-day tour. It’s reasonable, easy and everything is included so you don’t have to haggle for a cheap price of the service that you want.
Without a doubt, Dragon Bridge is the symbol of Da Nang. The most iconic feature of the bridge comes from the spectacular design and the mesmerizing water-fire show every weekend at 9 Pm.
In addition, the excellent location – crossing the Han River, makes it a selling point that no one wants to miss when visiting Da Nang.
Linh Ung Pagoda – Son Tra Peninsula
Whenever we talk about Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula, we will think of the picture of a towering Lady Buddha statue overlooking the East Sea. Linh Ung is a typical Buddhist temple in Vietnam that boasts traditional oriental architectural beauty.
Not only is the vista from the site incredible but the huge collection of statues on the inside also makes it an irresistible destination. The path leading to the main hall of the pagoda houses 18 Arhats statues. Each of them illustrates a different human emotion, which connects to the 18 types of personalities and stories behind.
Talking about the Son Tra Peninsula, this area is great biodiversity that you can only understand to the fullest as long as you have a local guide with you. Son Tra was once an attacked point of the French – Spanish armed ally in 1859. This event marked the official colonization in Vietnam and kicked start the war between Vietnamese and French for the next 100 years.
Tam Thanh Mural Village
The village of Tam Thanh only came to sight a few years back, when a group of Vietnamese and Korean artists put a new outfit on the houses. They created over 100 paintings on the walls of the houses in vibrant colors. Each painting depicts the colorful and hopeful life of the locals, as well as expresses the rich culture of the fishing village. Tam Thanh is now located towards the Southern side of Hoian. If you are a big fan of photography, then you definitely cannot skip this hidden gem.
If you are a big history buff, then the Cham Museum is the brightest highlight in your Da Nang vacation. Da Nang once belonged to the Champa Kingdom which existed 1000 years ago. Every artifact, religion, and culture of the Champa civilization is now perfectly preserved within the Cham Museum.
Apart from the museum, don’t forget to check out the ancient My Son Ruins to understand more about the history and religion of the Champa civilians.
My Son Sanctuary
Let’s take a ride out of town and visit the holy My Son Ruins after visiting the Cham Museum. Coming to life between the 4th and 14th centuries AD, My Son comprises numerous Hindu temples and tombs. The entire complex is surrounded by the lush forest with a small stream sneaking through the land.
The total number of temples at My Son is 70 stretching for over 2 kilometers in width. Thanks to such magnificent beauty and mystery behind the construction, My Son becomes even greater. It is renowned for being one of the most wonderful temple complexes in Southeast Asia.
The best way to explore this historical relic is by booking a My Son sanctuary tour half day from Da Nang.
My Khe Beach
I won’t waste too much time complimenting how gorgeous My Khe Beach can be. It has been recalled in so many prestigious travel magazines worldwide thanks to such stunning beauty it has. Most travel connoisseurs list the destination as one of the best beaches in Vietnam.
My Khe is also the lengthiest beach in Da Nang, where you can watch the sunset or take a long walk on the beach beside your loved one.
Located around the beach are dozens of seafood restaurants, café, and bars where you can chill by nightfall.
Hai Van Pass
Travelers worldwide have heard of the Hai Van Pass since it was featured in the Top Gear TV show. Ever since Hai Van has become a must-see destination for anyone visiting Da Nang. And many locals love to conquer Hai Van Pass on a motorcycle during their day trip between Da Nang and Hue.
The entire pass runs for 21 kilometers. Most of the large vehicles nowadays travel along the highway tunnel to make way for smaller vehicles to travel atop the mountain. It’s such a rewarding experience to ride a scooter and admire the vista of the sea and the peaceful Lang Co Bay from the summit of the pass. Because of such, the pass is also known as one of the most thrilling riding routes in Vietnam.
All you need to remember is to check the weather before the ride. Because bad weather can ruin your trip at any time and affect your safety. It is highly advised you start early in the morning. During this time, the sky is clear and it’s not as hot as noontime. This way allows you to enjoy the ride to the fullest.
If you’re into culture and history (plus not being able to ride by yourself), look for the best tour agency that offers Vietnam motorbike tours to help you enjoy it the most!
Ba Na Hills
If you’ve seen a picture of a giant pair of hands offering a bridge to the sky, there’s a chance that you’re seeing the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills.
Apart from feeding your Instagram with this special corner, don’t forget to embark on a European journey at the French village, and get the best laughter in your life at the amusement park!
You can get a taxi and visit Ba Na Hills on your own. But the best advice to explore the destination to the fullest is by joining a Ba Na Hills tour 1 day from Da Nang.
Best Adventure Outdoor Activities in Danang
Waterfall sliding is a newly emerging outdoor activity in Da Nang that I would like to mention in this Da Nang travel guide. Thanks to the special terrain of jungle, mountains, and stream, Da Nang can bring you a lot more fun with waterfall sliding.
Hoa Phu Thanh Ecotourism Site offers this type of sport given its stunning location and meandering streams amid the lush tropical forests. The slopes are not too steep which is a perfect bonus point to ensure the safety of the participants. Life jackets and helmets are fully equipped before the game begins. The experts are available to instruct you on how to paddle and avoid squeeze water.
Another worthy adventure experience in Da Nang which is offered by most of the resorts and beachside accommodations is kayaking. It is a type of water sport that requires you to wave the paddles, strengthen your muscle and get some ocean air!
The top reason to get people engaged in this very sport is a challenging feeling. It requires you to ride the raging river and the craggy cliffs to be rewarded with the majestic scenery around.
What to Eat in Danang?
Banh Beo (Bloating Fern-shaped Cake)
Little do you know that Banh Beo is listed as one of the top local cuisines in Vietnam. The Da Nang style of Banh Beo is eaten straight from the small bowl with a spoon.
Remember to add a squeeze of cooked fish sauce atop and some fresh chilies before the go! Banh Beo is a type of steamed rice cake and is usually topped with pork rinds, fried breadcrumbs, and green onion.
The best Banh Beo eatery in town is at 100 Hoang Van Thu street.
My Quang (Quang Noodle)
My Quang is the most talked-about local dish in Da Nang. Visiting Da Nang without eating My Quang equals the fact that you haven’t been to Da Nang ever!
My Quang is a “half-soup-half-salad” dish that features a good portion of thick noodles. It’s covered with plenty of toppings, which you can choose amongst pork, chicken, or beef. The broth is savory, while the herbs are fresh, fragrant, and healthy. Added into the bowl is roasted peanut oil. A typical bowl of My Quang will come along with rice crackers, chili, and lemon.
The best My Quang in Da Nang is located at 166 Le Dinh Duong street.
Banh Xeo (Crispy Pancake)
Without a doubt, Banh Xeo brings fame to Da Nang just as equally as My Quang. Different from Mekong Delta Banh Xeo, the Da Nang version is smaller and usually wrapped inside rice paper.
Bánh Xèo is a crackling rice flour crepe. The chefs will fill it with shrimps, pork, bean sprouts, green onions, mung beans, and many more. They fry it atop charcoal fire for a few minutes until it turns crispy on the outside while tender and fully cooked on the inside.
A good plate of Banh Xeo cannot go without homemade fish sauce. You will find peanut, hoisin sauce, peanuts, chilies, and pork liver all mixed into the sauce.
The best Banh Xeo in town is Ba Duong restaurant at K280/23 Hoang Dieu street.
With the ultimate Da Nang travel guide above, you don’t need anything else to complete your trip! All you need to do is pack your bags, find a great local guide, bookmark my article and get ready for the best fun!