Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Ray Roman
More and more people are turning to Asia as a vacation spot – immersing themselves in the deep variation of cultures, sights, climates, and experiences.
One of the most popular countries in Asia at the moment is Vietnam – a country with a complicated history but much to offer locals and tourists alike.
With some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, delicious cuisine, exciting sights, and incredible city experiences, Vietnam has it all.
But what are the best cities in Vietnam, and what makes them so special?
Where Is Vietnam?
Officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vietnam is a country in southeast Asia – located on the eastern edge of the mainland of southeast Asia, where it borders China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west.
Occupied since the Paleolithic age, Vietnam has a long and storied history – consisting of many distinct and different cultural developments, which have continued to survive and be maintained despite growing Chinese influence in the way of Buddhism and Confucianism.
At present, Vietnam has a population of 99 million, making it the fifteenth most populated country in the world and the eighth largest in Asia itself.
What Is The Weather Like?
Many people head to Vietnam for the scenery and the culture but also for the climate. Like most of southeast Asia, Vietnam experiences a tropical climate – one consisting of consistent heat the year round, usually accompanied by periods of rain and dryness.
This means that tourists heading to Vietnam can rest easy about the heat, but they might need to pay attention to the weather reports to decide whether they need to pack an umbrella or not.
The 10 Best Cities In Vietnam
Now that we know a little more about Vietnam and the statistics surrounding the country, it is now time to take a closer look at some of the best cities that the country has to offer and what exactly makes them such special places to visit for locals and tourists alike.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is one of the most popular cities in the country and is a must-see place for locals and tourists alike – of which millions visit every single year.
As with any capital city, Hanoi is bristling with things to try, see, and experience, which is why it remains one of the most popular capital cities in the world.
Combining beautiful traditional architecture, vibrant nightlife, and counterculture scenes, not to mention natural beauty and historical scenes, Hanoi really is one of the most fascinating combinations of the old world and the new – showing the sheer variety that Vietnam has to offer all in one place.
Full of welcoming people, eye-catching sights, and all the local food and culture you can consume, Hanoi has a little something for everyone – which is why people keep returning year after year.
2. Hoi An
Next on our list, we have the city of Hoi An – an ancient city interlaced with intricate systems of canals, traditional/historical buildings, and culture around every corner.
This really is a great place to experience the history of ‘real’ Vietnam, and it is a place that celebrates its long and storied history with pride, enthusiasm, and vibrancy.
Hoi An also combines this strong sense of national heritage with reflections of influential cultures that have occupied Vietnam over the years – including France, China, and America.
These can be seen in the Chinese stalls and pagodas, as well as colonial-era villas and buildings, and numerous glimpses of the complex yet important part of the country.
3. Da Nang
Attracting visitors from all over the world, Da Nang is a fascinating place to visit and one that is full of sights to see and surprises to experience.
Located on the sandy beaches and coastal areas of the country, Da Nang is home to countless historical, colonial buildings, fascinating and breathtaking national artworks (such as the Golden Bridge), and all the experiences, sights, and sounds you would ever want from a thriving city.
This is a great place to immerse yourself in nature, experience the thrills and spills of city life, and sample some of the best cuisines in Southeast Asia.
Once Vietnam’s imperial capital, Hue is one of the oldest cities in the country, and it is home to much in the way of historical sites and ancient cultural traditions.
What this city represents is the perfect coming together of the old and the new, showcasing the oldest ruins in the country, the breathtaking natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, and a thriving city in its own right.
For budding hikers, there are also ancient tombs built into the surrounding woodland for people to explore and learn about.
5. Da Lat
There are no two ways about it: Da Lat is a cool city and one that is full of all the vibrancy, color, and life that people have come to associate with Vietnam.
Laden with French colonial villas and with a milder climate than other parts of this hot country, this is a place of elegance, culture, and adventures to be had – all within a romantic setting that keeps couples returning year after year.
6. Nha Trang
This thriving city on the South China Sea is one of the most heavily populated cities in the country and very much represents the significant growth that Vietnam has experienced (both financially and culturally) in the last fifty years.
As well as the city itself, Nha Trang is a bustling beach town with plenty of water sports, ocean adventures, and excursions to be had to the surrounding islands and coastal regions.
There are also a series of beautiful natural sights – including the famed nearby waterfalls!
7. Ho Chi Minh City
One of the most famous locations in our list of the best cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a city with a complicated history – one named for the communist leader Ho Chi Minh, which still bears the scars of that violent and complex part of the country’s history.
However, the city has come in leaps and bounds over the past few decades, becoming an urban hub for culture, the arts, nightlife, and youth culture – a city that doesn’t forget its past but which doesn’t forego its future either.
8. Vung Tau
This French colonial city is the perfect place to check out the sights, relax, and experience some traditional Vietnamese culture.
What else can you say from an oceanside marina city? Full of beaches, ocean views, ocean excursions, and activities to be experienced, this is a great place for young and old alike to relax and enjoy what the country has to offer.
9. Cao Bang
Known for its stunning natural waterfalls and rock pools, Cao Bang is another city that all budding tourists should check out at least once.
Located on the Bang Giang River, this city represents the coming together of the old and new, offering historic woodland trails that were once home to many hill tribes of the region, as well as the burgeoning new city that has its own share of historic tales to tell.
10. My Tho
Last on this list, but by no means least, My Tho is another great, river city that locals and tourists alike can enjoy.
Originally founded by Taiwanese refugees in the late 1600s, My Tho has come to represent the complexities of Vietnam and the struggles that have become all too common in the history of its people.
But what came from the ashes of hardship was a vibrant, blossoming city filled with wonders and excitement to be experienced, as well as hard-working, welcoming people that are proud of their culture, and want the world to see it.
Is Vietnam Safe?
Something that might come as a surprise to most people is that, yes, Vietnam is remarkably safe for both locals and tourists alike – possessing one of the lowest crime rates in the continent.
People only need to be weary when they are in populated cities like the ones on this list.
While crimes against tourists are especially low within Vietnam, cities are natural hot spots for pickpockets and thieves – regardless of where you are in the world – and as such, some care is needed in busy areas (such as markets and metros) if you want to keep a hold of your personal belongings.
Best Cities in Vietnam Final Thoughts
And there we have it, everything you need to know about Vietnam and the best cities you need to visit right now.
Vietnam indeed has much to offer to locals and tourists alike – including breathtaking natural beauty spots, delicious cuisine, sightseeing, and some of the best cities in the world.
So if you are looking to visit Vietnam, then be sure to check out these cities!