Da Nang is paradise.

Surrounded by idyllic beaches and scenery, Da Nang (also known as Danang to international tourists) is a fast developing port city situated between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Although travellers once overlooked Da Nang as a stepping stone to popular tourist destinations like Hoi An and Hue, the city has become a fantastic destination in its own right.

In this Da Nang travel guide, we'll show you 12 things to do in Da Nang so that when your next holiday comes around, you won't have to think twice about where it will be!

Hue - Danang - Hoi An In One Day

Da Nang's location near landmark destinations such as Hue and Hoi An means a trip to this region is packed full of things to do. See what Danang and the central coast have to offer in just 24 seconds and get inspired for your central Vietnam exploration!

Credit TUDOITV

12 Things To Do When You Visit Da Nang

1. Da Nang's Beaches

Pristine, vast, and uncrowded, Da Nang's many beaches have everything. As you drive or walk along the beach promenade with palm trees overhead and a soft breeze, you'll feel like you're in Gold Coast, Australia or Miami beach. So, let's take a closer look at three great paradise beaches to check out!

Da Nang city
Da Nang city, Vietnam. Cityscape view at Son Tra peninsula // Photo by Nguyen Quang Ngoc Tonkin / Shutterstock

My Khe Beach

Protected by the Son Tra peninsula, My Khe has calm and shallow waters most of the year, making it one of the best swimming spots. Restaurants and kiosks line this Da Nang beach promenade - perfect if you need a bite or some shade.

My Khe beach
My Khe beach which is one of the most beautiful beach in the worl // Photo by Tang Trung Kien / Shutterstock

As one of Da Nang's most gorgeous beaches, and located closest to the city center, My Khe Beach is a top Da Nang attraction.

Best Hotel Near My Khe Beach

Pullman Danang Beach Resort

Pullman Danang Beach Resort

101 Vo Nguyen Giap Street, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, 550000 DanangVietnam

Pullman Danang Beach Resort Central Vietnam’s silver shores provide seaside fun for your holiday. And the up-and-coming city of Da Nang is your urban playground, just waiting to be explored.

Non Nuoc Beach

Situated near the marble mountains and about a 15-minute drive from Da Nang city centre, Non Nuoc beach features soft white sands and gentle waves. Many guests staying at nearby high-end resorts enjoy this stretch of sand, but there is also plenty of space for you to enjoy the beach.

Non Nouc beach. Photo by Sorin George

Lang Co Beach

One of Da Nang's most hidden beaches, Lang Co is located between Truong Son peninsula and the Southern end of the Hai Van Pass - around 1 hour from Da Nang. As well as its vast 10km of white sandy beaches, the area has stunning views of the surrounding Hai Van mountains and to get here you must conquer the Hai Van Pass - a top thing to do when in Da Nang. 

 

When you arrive at Lang Co Beach, there are some amazing seafood restaurants perched on the water's edge. Sit back, and enjoy!

Check out our guide for a more detailed look at Da Nang's many beaches.

2. Take Advantage Of Da Nang's Fresh Seafood

With such a glorious coastline, it is unsurprising Da Nang also has some of Vietnam's best seafood. Much of the tasty local cuisine features seafood, and the city is home to countless restaurants serving up the latest catch as well as classic Vietnamese food.

Here are some of the best spots to get your seafood fix:

Bé Mặn Seafood Restaurant

This huge restaurant is usually packed from the afternoon until the early hours with seafood lovers. Expect the freshest ingredients, and make sure you try the prawns and oysters - they are highly recommended.

The early hours with seafood lovers // Photo on FB Bé Mặn Seafood Restaurant

Nem Restaurant

For a more upmarket and luxury experience, head to Nem, one of Da Nang's best seafood restaurants. Pick your favourite crab, fish or lobster from the tank, give the chefs 20 minutes, and voila!

Nem Restaurant
Nem Restaurant is one of Da Nang's best seafood restaurants // Photo on FB Nem Restaurant

Fatfish Restaurant And Lounge Bar

As Lonely Planet's top choice for seafood dining, Fatfish restaurant is up there with the best! You'll find the highest quality ingredients and a level of sophistication in their dishes unparalleled in Da Nang. If you want a bit of everything, go for the seafood platter!

Fatfish Restaurant And Lounge Bar
You'll find the highest quality ingredients here // Photo on FB Fatfish Restaurant And Lounge Bar

Da Nang Local Food To Look Out For

Grilled stingray (Ca duoi nuong): Cooked with garlic, ginger, lemongrass and spring onion, the grilled stingray is a must-eat in Da Nang.

Crab (cua rang me): cooked and sauteed with tamarind. Yum!

Seafood hotpot (lau hai san): perfect if you want a broth filled with all the delicious seafood Da Nang has to offer!

Mi Quang: Slices of pork in a rich soup with thick noodles, this dish is very famous in the neighbouring province of Quang Nam which includes the ancient city of Hoi An. This is a must-try dish for non-seafood lovers!

Seafood hotpot
Seafood hotpot (lau hai san) // Photo on Hải sản biển Đông

Markets play an important role in Vietnamese cuisine. So, if you want to buy the freshest seafood, head to Da Nang's central market!

4. Take A Food Tour In Da Nang

With all the delicious seafood and other dishes that this lovely city has to offer, it's a good idea to book a food tour. Food tours are not only a great way to explore Da Nang, but a guided tour like this also takes you to some of the best places to visit according to the locals.

Recommendation: Da Nang Food Tour

5. The Marble Mountains

Located 7km down the coast from Da Nang city centre, you'll find one of the most popular attractions, The Marble Mountains, or Ngu Hanh Son to Vietnamese locals.

The Marble Mountains are a group of five mountains named after the five elements of ancient oriental philosophy: kim son (metal), moc son (wood), hoa son (fire), tho son (earth) and thuy son (water). These are important to Vietnamese and their belief in mythology.

Over the centuries, locals have built various pagodas and shrines to honour this important spiritual site. The network of caves, pagodas and shrines stand out for their peace and tranquillity, and you'll often see Buddhist monks use the site to practice their faith. As you get lost ducking in and out of caves, you'll also understand how Vietnamese revolutionaries used the mountains as hiding places during the country's turbulent historical wars.

There are several drink sellers and shaded areas to rest under as you make your way around the mountains. And if you're feeling up for it, make your way up the snaking steps to the summit of Thuy Son. At the top, you'll find stunning panoramic views across Da Nang, Hoi An and the South China Sea - a fantastic reward for all your effort!

The Marble mountains make a great half-day trip, and we suggest climbing them in the early morning to avoid the midday sun. Afterwards, head to the nearby Non Nuoc beach to cool down with a coconut!

Best Hotel Near Marble Mountains

Vinpearl Luxury Da Nang

Vinpearl Luxury Da Nang

No 7, Truong Sa Street, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang

5. Hai Van Pass

One of Vietnam's most famous roads, the Hai Van Pass offers picture-perfect views that typify the country's mountainous and aquatic beauty. The road connects Da Nang to the old imperial capital Hue, and it is perfect for motorcyclists and cyclists looking for beautiful scenery.

 

Aside from the beauty of the Hai Van Pass, the region has a long history as a frontier between North and South. Centuries ago, the area saw ferocious battles between the Dai Viet kingdom, who ruled Northern Vietnam, and the Champa kingdom to the south.

Later, during the Vietnam war, the highway and region were fiercely contested as a crucial linking point between the war-torn cities of Hue and Da Nang. Thankfully today, the area only serves as the dividing point between the subtropical northern and tropical southern climates - a difference you'll notice during your journey.

A tunnel constructed in 2005 through the mountains means the highway has limited traffic, leaving you to enjoy the splendid road stress-free.

As you snake your way around the road's hairpin bends, hoping your motorbike copes with the steep gradient, you'll be in awe of the tropical splendour.

Top tip: It's a great idea to stop where it's safe, so you can take a photo to remember what promises to be a magical ride.

Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass is one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Vietnam // Photo by kid315 / Shutterstock

6. My Son Ruins

The My Son Ruins, which date back to the 4th century, represents a unique period of Vietnam's history.

Today, it's a UNESCO world heritage site, but the ruins were once an important place of worship for the Champa kingdom that ruled Central and southern Vietnam from the 2nd century until 1832.

My Son temple
My Son temple ruins in Da Nang // Photo by salajean / Shutterstock

With spiritual origins in the Indian subcontinent, the Champa people adhered to Hinduism (and later Islam), dedicating the My Son complex to Shiva, an important Hindu deity.

The monuments at the My Son sanctuary are a remarkable architectural ensemble that showcases the artistic skills and beliefs of the Champa civilisation. And despite mother nature and damage from American bombing during the Vietnam war, the complex of temples has largely stood the test of time.

There are three main complexes to see at My Son. The first is in the best condition, with the architecture and intricate carvings of Shiva still visible. The second site still has damage from the American bombing. The third site is under repair, letting you see the lengths architects and archaeologists go to in their work to restore the Champa kingdom's greatest architecture.

7. Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge
Dragon Bridge at sunset // Photo by Tang Trung Kien / Shutterstock

An icon of Da Nang, the Dragon Bridge is revered amongst Vietnamese and foreigners alike. First opened in 2013 to celebrate the 38th anniversary of Da Nang's liberation in the Vietnam war, the bridge is an important crossing point over the Han river. 

Its design is also rich in symbolism. The lotus flower-designed tail represents the rebirth of Vietnam, and the dragon symbolises good luck and good fortune.

The best time to visit is at night when you can witness the dragon light up in brilliant orange and red. And if you're in town for New Year, local festivals or the weekend, you're in luck! The fantastic Dragon Bridge takes centre stage, dazzling onlookers with its fire and water show.

Best Hotel Near The Dragon Bridge

Vinpearl Condotel Riverfront Da Nang

Vinpearl Condotel Riverfront Da Nang

341 Tran Hung Dao Street, An Hai Bac Ward, Son Tra District, Da Nang, Viet Nam

8. Ba Na Hills - Best Day Trip And Overnight Stay

Nestled in the mountains above Da Nang, there is a curious world of castles, french buildings and pagodas. Built by French colonialists in the early 20th century as a retreat, the Ba Na Hills mountain resort is surreal and fun. It is unlike any other place in Vietnam.

The resort itself is a replica French village, complete with French-style architecture and an amusement park called Sun World Da Nang, where you can enjoy exciting rides and a trip on the sun wheel - Vietnam's answer to the London eye. Also, make sure you check out the following two attractions:

Ba Na Hills Cable Car

Ba Na Hills is also home to the longest non-stop single rail cable car in the world. The 5.8km long cable, built to European standards, is a fantastic experience, taking you to Ba Na Hills. With a cooler climate than Da Nang and the surrounding areas, it's a good idea to bring a fleece or light jumper to keep you warm.

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge

Built in 2018, the Golden Bridge is a stunning engineering feat. The bridge, which is 150 meters long and 12.8 meters wide, curves beautifully around the giant hands that hold it up.

It has fast become a popular romantic destination, with flocks of newlyweds choosing the bridge as the venue for their wedding photos. Go during sunset, and you'll see mesmerizing light and views across the surrounding hills and countryside.

Although just 30 minutes from Da Nang, Ba Na hills takes more than 5 hours to explore, so make your trip a full day out.

Best Hotel In Ba Na Hills

Mercure Danang French Village Bana Hills

Mercure Danang French Village Bana Hills

An Son Hamlet, Hoa Ninh Commune, Hoa Vang Dist, Da Nang, Vietnam

Mercure Danang French Village Bana Hills features a 19th century European village and a cable car. 

9. Monkey Mountain (Discover Son Tra Peninsula)

Monkey mountain, known as Son Tra mountain to locals, juts out above the Son Tra peninsula and has stunning views of My Khe Beach and the surrounding Son Tra jungles

With many amazing views and twisting and turning roads, Son Tra Mountain is accessible by motorbike and car.

A cruisy 15-minute drive from Da Nang, the road to Son Tra mountain is winding and one of the best things to do if you're into driving motorbikes!

Once you arrive, though, you'll be far from the busy streets of Da Nang city center and in peaceful surroundings. The Son Tra peninsula's trails and beautiful beaches make it an ideal spot for hiking, swimming and cycling.

And as you walk or cycle along the paved trails in the northern part of Son Tra Mountain, you'll likely spot the various monkeys that inhabit the peninsula, including rare species of macaques, langurs and pygmy loris.

At the top of the mountain, there are great views of Da Nang and the Cham islands, and you'll also see the famous Linh Ung pagoda, a 60 metre tall Goddess of Mercy constructed in the 18th century.

Visible from the surrounding coastline, the statue, also known as Lady Buddha, is an icon of Da Nang and an important spiritual site for locals. It sits amidst a network of smaller pagodas and shrines that become especially busy during festivals like Tet.

There is no entrance fee, and as one of the most popular things to do in Da Nang, it can be a little busy on the weekend and during a festival holiday. 

Best Hotel Near Son Tra Peninsula

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Vietnam

A Place Where Myth Meets Luxury Established since June 2012, the 39-hectare InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort nestled in the myth-filled hills of the famous Son Tra Peninsula nature reserve is a work of art as much as a resort. 

10. Cham Islands - White Sand Paradise Beaches

The Cham Islands are a beautiful set of islands lying in the South China Sea, just 15km off the nearby Hoi An coast!

The islands take their name from the Cham people, one of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam and the modern-day descendants of the Champa kingdom. Hon Lao, the only inhabited island, has many fun activities. These include:

Snorkelling and diving - home to the only coral reef in the region, several tour companies offer trips for all abilities. One site you'll likely see is the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, a stunning UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. 

Walk on the ocean floor - the company, Seatrek, offer this unique experience. You will wear a special helmet that lets you breathe underwater, leaving you to admire all the fish and reefs.

Visit the cham villages - although there isn't a whole lot to do in Bai Huong and Bai Lang villages, that's the point. There are a few restaurants, pagodas and souvenir shops, but the laidback atmosphere is the main highlight.

11. Museums

Da Nang is home to some fantastic museums, and they are a great way to explore the city's storied past.

Fifth Military Division Museum And Ho Chi Minh Museum

Fifth Military Division Museum And Ho Chi Minh Museum
Fifth Military Division Museum And Ho Chi Minh Museum // Photo on avatardanang.vn

Constructed in 1976, this museum pays tribute to the Vietnamese resistance against historical enemies China, France and America. There are a range of indoor and outdoor displays across the museum's 9 hectares showcasing weapons, military equipment and memorials. Plus there is a replica of Ho Chi Minh's residence, and a dedicated Ho Chi Minh Museum inside.

Address: 01 – 03 Duy Tan street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang city

Opening time: 07:30 – 16:30 everyday

Fee: Free for Vietnamese people, VND 20,000/foreigner

Cham Museum

Cham Museum // Photo by Todamo / Shutterstock

As the world's largest museum of Cham artefacts, the Cham Museum offers fascinating insights into Vietnamese history. There are nearly 2000 artefacts of different shapes and sizes, including the statue of Goddess Tara, considered a national treasure in Vietnam.

Address: 02 2/9 street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang city

Opening time: 07:00 – 17:00

Fee: 40,000đ/adult, 5,000đ/student and free for kids under 16.

Da Nang Museum

Da Nang Museum
Da Nang Museum // Photo by saiko3p / Shutterstock

As the main city in central Vietnam, this museum pays tribute to Da Nang's history and culture. There are three main sections with more than 1,900 artefacts. These date back to before and after the city's 1975 liberation, telling the story of how modern Da Nang came to be.

Address: 24 Tran Phu strict, Hai Chau District, Da Nang city

Opening time: 07:30 – 16:30 every day (except Monday)

Fee: 20,000đ/person, free for citizens of Quang Nam, Da Nang

12. Asia Park - A Vietnamese Theme Park

A day trip to Asia Park is one of the best things to do for kids in Da Nang. Located between the Han River Bridge and the Dragon Bridge, Asia Park features many fun things to do with over 22 attractions including a Ferris wheel, roller coaster and a cultural park.

The cultural park is designed with the architecture of 10 different kinds of Asian cultures such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

Credit - Sun World Asia Park

Top tip: From the top of the Asia Park Ferris wheel there are great views of the Han River Bridge, the limestone hills of Marble Mountains, and other famous Da Nang attractions.

How to get to Da Nang?

Da Nang airport frequently operates flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and smaller Vietnamese cities and international destinations like Hong Kong and Thailand. Some of the most popular airlines include Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet and Bamboo Airways.

Check out our guide for more on how to get around Da Nang.

Visit Da Nang Now!

With such a storied history and paradise island vibes, Da Nang has developed into a vibrant 21st-century city full of activities for travellers. Whether you come for the beaches, the food or the museums, any trip to Da Nang is bound to be packed full of fun and different activities. So what are you waiting for?

If you're looking for amazing destinations such as Da Nang, check out our guide to the best places in Vietnam for an epic bucket list!

If you're ready to start traveling, then why not book an experience?