A rising star with glorious beaches and marble mountains
The secret’s out: Da Nang is much more than a quick stop on the way to UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hoi An or Hue. With its natural beauty and eye-catching architecture, this up-and-coming seaside city is a must-see destination in its own right.
Nestled between the coast and the Central Highlands, Da Nang’s main attraction is, of course, the beach. Da Nang boasts 35 kilometres of beautiful coastline, distinguished by silken sand and translucent waters.
But there’s plenty to do away from the surf, too. Just south of the city centre, the iconic Marble Mountains are dotted with caves, walking trails and Buddhist structures. To the west, you’ll find the towering Ba Na Hills, accessible via a vertiginous cable car. Take in the jaw-dropping views from the famous golden bridge (supported by giant stone hands!) and the captivating replica French village while you’re there.
Da Nang is easy to navigate, with famously friendly residents. Don’t miss out – give this vibrant city the time it deserves.
Things to do: Da Nang
Hit the beach
You’re never far from a dreamy beach in Da Nang. One of the closest to the city centre is My Khe Beach, famous for its calm, clear water, its pristine sand and incredible sunrises. Popular with locals and tourists, it’s surprisingly peaceful on weekdays. Non Nuoc’s reputation precedes it. Regularly voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, it’s a perfect, palm-fringed swimming spot, and home to some great seafood restaurants. Other fabulous beaches worth checking out include Bac My An, Tien Sa and Xuan Thieu.
Walk the walk on Bach Dang Street
If you visit just one street in Da Nang, make it Bach Dang Street. Running along the west bank of the Han Van River, it’s home to the eye-popping Rong (Dragon) Bridge, which is lit up at night and breathes fire on weekends! Wander the Han Market, where you’ll find delicious snacks to keep you going as you explore all the stunning French colonial architecture, and don’t miss the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Just off Bach Dang Street, this fascinating museum hosts an extensive collection of artefacts from the Champa kingdom, which ruled the region for centuries.
Get your history fix in Hoi An
Journey back in time to Hoi An Ancient Town, a beautifully preserved trading port that dates back to the 15th century. With its old Japanese merchant houses, ornate Chinese temples and other quintessential glimpses of historic Vietnam, Hoi An is one of the country’s must-see places and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hoi An Riverside precinct comes alive at night, with bars and restaurants galore. Just 30km from Da Nang, Hoi An is an easy day trip by taxi or bus.
Commune with nature at Son Tra
An area of outstanding natural beauty, Son Tra Peninsula is a nature preserve that’s home to more than 1000 species of flora and fauna, many of them endangered. Visit stunning, secluded beaches and explore coral reefs just offshore. Pay your respects to the spectacular Lady Buddha statue at Linh Ung Pagoda and scale the jungle-clad slope to the peak of Son Tra mountain. Towering 700m above sea level, it offers breathtaking panoramic views. And keep your eyes peeled for monkeys: there’s a reason Son Tra’s nickname is Monkey Mountain…
Soak up imperial Hue
Hue’s rich imperial legacy is hard to miss. Ancient palaces, temples, tombs and pagodas dot the city, imbuing it with history and grandeur. Though crumbling, the Imperial Enclosure provides an intriguing glimpse into feudal Vietnam. Overlooking the poetically named Perfume River, the Thien Mu Pagoda is a national icon, while the Thanh Toan Bridge is absolutely exquisite. And then there’s the cuisine! Delicate and flavourful, Hue street food is rightly famous. Less than 100km from Da Nang, Hue makes a great day trip or overnight stay.
Distance to city centre 2kmBack to top
When to go
Compared to other parts of Vietnam, Da Nang is relatively mild. June to late August is dry but can get very hot, while the rainy season lasts from September to January (October and November being the wettest months). The best time to visit is from February to May, with plenty of sunshine guaranteed.
In February, Da Nang hosts hosts a spectacular international fireworks competition, where the skies literally explode with colour. Also in February is Quan The Am, an important three-day Buddhist celebration spanning folklore, art and religious tradition. In the third month of the lunar year (March-April), the city’s fishermen stage the joyous Cau Ngu festival.Back to top
Da Nang is small and easy to get around; you should be able to do plenty of exploring on foot. Taxis are plentiful and will usually use their meters – look out for reliable Mai Linh, Taxi Xanh and Vinasun brands. Alternatively, download the Grab app and book a ride (car or motorbike) with that.
Motorcycle taxis are a great way of getting outside the city on a budget; you’ll find them parked and waiting for a fare in tourist areas. You’ll need to haggle to get a good deal – a 2km ride should cost around VND 10,000-15,000. Settle on the fare before you get on the bike (and be sure your travel insurance covers motorbike travel).Back to top