Welcome to Da Nang, a must-see destination on Vietnam’s central coast. Known for its lively beaches, delicious cuisine and great nightlife, there is plenty to do in Da Nang. Here are the top 15 best things to do in Da Nang on your next visit.
1. Enjoy the beach
The first thing to do in Da Nang is to visit some of its splendid beaches. Depending on the time you visit them, you will be able to enjoy a totally different experience.
The best-known beach in the city is My Khe, six kilometers to the east. Picturesque and lively, it has several luxury resorts, seafood restaurants and activities such as fishing, snorkeling and jet-skiing.
Another great option is the beautiful Non-Nuoc beach, twenty minutes from Da Nang, with white sand, clean water, and excellent food.
2. Get to know the Son Tra peninsula
Another experience not to be missed from Da Nang is going to the Son Tra peninsula, a little more than half an hour away. This national park offers lush jungle vegetation and perfect trails for motorbike or walking and is home to several interesting animals, such as long-tailed macaques, pygmy lorises, rhesus macaques and marbled langurs. Here you will find the Linh Ung Pagoda (see below).
3. Explore My Son Sanctuary
Located a couple of hours from the city, My Son Sanctuary is the gateway to the fascinating Cham culture. This archaeological site surrounded by jungle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a group of abandoned temples built between the ninth and fourteenth centuries.
4. Cham Museum of Sculpture
A perfect complement to the shrine is the Cham Museum of Sculpture, one of the best museums in Vietnam. Located on the banks of the Han River, it is a beautiful building from 1915 that is worth a visit in itself,
The museum contains about 300 stone sculptures from the 12th to 15th sites of the ancient Cham village, obtained from archaeological sites such as My Son, Tra Kieu, Dong Duong and Thap Mam.
5. Taste its delicious gastronomy
Another of the best things to do in Da Nang is to enjoy its cuisine. Although the city has many excellent restaurants of Vietnamese and international cuisine, it is known for its street food. The basics you have to try are the Banh mi – a baguette filled with pickled vegetables, meat or tofu, and patepaté – and the mì Quảng – a combination of rice noodles with pork broth, shrimp, peanuts, quail eggs and herbs.
More classics to eat at Da Nang are bánh bèo and bánh nậm (rice pancakes with various fillings), bún thịt nướng (a mixture of grilled pork, rice noodles, herbs, canned green papaya, cucumber, and lettuce), and bún chả cá (grilled pork noodles).
If you go to the Cho Bac My An market, look for the avocado ice cream stand. You’ll love it!
6. Spend a day in the Marble Mountains
If you have more than one day in Da Nang, go explore the nearby Marble Mountains, a collection of five peaks named after natural elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal). Attractions include 17th-century Buddhist pagodas, mysterious caves and great views.
Also worth a visit is the Ba Na Hills theme park, with a five-kilometer cable car with incredible views, a golf course and an iconic hand shaped bridge.
7. Motorcycle ride at Hai Van Pass, the best thing to do in Da Nang
If you want to enjoy amazing views and enjoy a bike ride, nothing like the Hai Van Pass, one of the highest mountain passes in the country. The 21-kilometer long coastal road zigzags through the mountains towards the city of Hue, offering majestic views of the sea, the jungle and the city.
To end the tour with a flourish, take a walk around the Lang Co Lagoon and taste the delicious seafood in its floating restaurants.
8. Go to Linh Ung Pagoda
Fifteen minutes from Da Nang, on Son Tra Mountain, the Linh Ung Pagoda is an icon of the city. Built-in the 18th century, it is a huge complex with a 67-metre statue of the Goddess of Mercy (Lady Buddha), built on a lotus-shaped platform and 21 sculptures of Buddha, who is believed to protect the city from storms and bad weather.
9. Walking around Bach Dang St.
If you want to know a little more about the city, a great option is to walk down Bach Dang Street. Starting at the Han River Bridge, you can enjoy the colonial architecture, visit souvenir shops, see sculptures and stop for lunch at some great restaurant, such as Madame Han.
10. Admire the Phap Lam Pagoda
Despite being in the centre of the city, this beautiful Buddhist pagoda has a serene atmosphere, with peculiar trees, surprising sculptures and well-tended gardens. In addition to its beautiful architecture, it offers the opportunity to discover a more authentic side of the local culture.
Around the pagoda there are several street food stalls, ideal for discovering the most authentic flavors of the city.
11. Have a good cup of coffee
If you love coffee or just want to take a break between visits, you’ll find plenty of attractive cafes at Da Nang. There are all kinds of styles, from nice terraces to industrial facilities. The coffee is also exceptional, no matter if you want craft options or traditional flavors.
12. Getting to know Da Nang’s bridges
Since Da Nang is known as “the city of bridges”, it is only natural to include some of them in your visit. The best known is the Dragon Bridge, one of the longest in Vietnam, easy to distinguish by its yellow color and its dragon shape, which lights up at night.
Another popular option on Instagram is the Love Bridge, decorated with multicolored locks.
Da Nang is one of the best cities in Vietnam to go out at night. With countless sunset terraces, artisan breweries, nightclubs and bars with great atmosphere, your nights will be as unforgettable as your days.
14. Cao Dai Temple
Caodaism is a Vietnamese religion that integrates elements of the world’s major religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. This temple is the largest in the central region of Vietnam and offers both quite unique architecture and decoration, and a fascinating experience, especially when it is time for prayer.
15. Da Nang Cathedral
Another must-see in Da Nang is a visit to its cathedral, known locally as Con Ga Church or the Church of the Rooster. With a pink façade and a weather vane shaped like a bird, it was built for French residents in 1923.
Take advantage of your visit to Da Nang to see the iconic Hoi An, one of Vietnam’s must-see destinations.