10 Unmissable Da Nang Tourist Attractions – A Complete Guide To The City
Are you planning a trip to Da Nang, Vietnam? I hope you’re ready to have an amazing time! If you’re wondering about the top Da Nang tourist attractions, scroll down to find my complete list, together with some hand-picked hotel recommendations, as well as what to eat (and where to eat it) and how to get around the city!
Da Nang? What’s that?
In case you never heard of this city, you have no idea what you’re missing out on! I think it’s such a shame that Da Nang (also spelled Danang) is often omitted in most Vietnam itineraries, although the city has SO much to offer! A trip to Da Nang can be as exciting as one to Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, trust me!
Where is Da Nang in Vietnam, after all? To which I answer: on the coast! It’s actually halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and it’s the third-largest city in the country. Which means Da Nang is an excellent destination if you want to soak up some sun on the beach and enjoy both the modern and traditional side of Vietnam.
This being said, let’s find out about the best things to see in Da Nang city:
10 Best things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam
There are SO many things to see and do in Da Nang! Although it’s hard to choose, here are the 10 top things to do in this city:
1 - Linh Ung Pagoda
D’uhhhh, of course I’m recommending a pagoda as the first thing on this list – after all, we’re in Vietnam! No, really, this is actually one of the main attractions in Da Nang, located at Son Tra Peninsula / Son Tra Mountain (more info below). The Linh Ung Pagoda is nationally famous for its Lady Buddha statue, the tallest of its kind in Vietnam. Enter through the giant Buddha, only to find… more buddha statues! The courtyard is filled with beautiful bonsai trees and you’ll find references to the Buddhist religion in the architecture, gates, stairways, and more.
2 - Son Tra Peninsula / Son Tra Mountain
The Son Tra Peninsula (which translates to the ‘Monkey Peninsula’ or ‘Monkey Mountain’ in English) is part of Da Nang National Park. The Peninsula has an altitude of around 600 meters above sea level, which means you’ll find some great hikes up here, along with stunning viewpoints. And the name wasn’t randomly chosen. No, sir! The peninsula is the habitat of a rare species of red monkey – the macaques.
TIP: Sadly, tourists have taken to feeding these monkeys over the years and there have been reports that they can get a bit aggressive with humans. Be careful and keep your distance unless you want to be chased off the peninsula!
3 - Da Nang Fresco Village
Created to promote tourism to Danang, it was only recently (March 2018) that the Da Nang Fresco Village project was opened. A local area of alleyways was painted with murals of traditionally Vietnamese scenes to create a kind of ‘street art treasure hunt’. These bright, colourful murals took three months to complete and feature the work of fifty different artists.
You’ll find rice pickers tending their fields in the countryside, a crowd cheering on a coconut boat race, two young ladies sitting in a flower field and much more on this cultural experience through art and time.
4 - Bac My An Market
The Bac My An Market is a great place to come for a wander, check out the goods on sale and try a few local snacks from some of the food vendors. You’ll find all sorts on sale here from fake designer watches to sunglasses, fresh fruits and live frogs. Heh, trust me, exploring the market is a real experience! You’ll also find many street food stalls here where you can try some local dishes such as bahn xeo (savoury egg pancakes), pho (noodle soup), oc len xao dua (stir-fried snails). Often for cheap prices, too!
TIP #1: My favourite, which I recommend you all to try, is the avocado ice cream! They mix fresh, pureed avocado with frozen coconut ice cream. Yes, it sounds a bit bizarre and not very appetising, but trust me, it is delicious!
TIP #2: Alternatively, you can also go to Con Market, which is just as good.
5 - Dragon Bridge
There is no way you can miss the Golden Dragon bridge on your trip, as it’s one of the top places to visit in Da Nang city. You will probably cross it many times when travelling between the different attractions across town.
On Saturday and Sunday, walk down to the waterfront at 9.00 PM to see the light show. The dragon changes colour while breathing fire, before changing to spurt water from its mouth. In short, this bridge is one of the most exciting things to see in Danang!
FUN FACT: The dragon is a symbol of good luck in Vietnam and the gold colour represents wealth, prosperity, royalty, happiness and change.
TIP: If you want to see the Dragon Bridge show while sippin’ on a beer, I recommend reserving a table at 7 Bridges Brewery – it offers an amazing view of the bridge!
6 - Love Lock Bridge
This cute little bridge, lined with love-heart lamp posts and home to many couples’ declarations of love padlocks, isn’t actually a bridge… at all. It’s more of a short jetty, as it doesn’t connect the two sides of the river. It’s the perfect place to get a good view of the Dragon Bridge for a more parallel perspective and one of the greatest spots to watch the weekend light show in Danang as well.
RELATED READ: 9 Things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam
7 - Marble Mountains
RELATED READ: Da Nang Marble Mountain – Everything You Need to Know Before You Go
Here’s a fun fact: the Marble Mountains are a cluster of five hills made of limestone, named after the elements wood, metal, water, fire and earth. The hills were once the main place of exportation of marble. They now are a famous tourist spot where you can find several Hindu and Buddhist Sanctuaries and a viewpoint guaranteeing a fantastic view of Da Nang! One of the best places to visit if you’re into photography for sure!
8 - My Khe Beach
Looking for some beautiful beaches in the city of Da Nang? I got you! Running from the Son Tra Peninsula down to the Marble Mountains, this 20-mile stretch of silky white sand is the reason that Da Nang is such a well-known destination for international and domestic tourists alike! For the active traveller, there are excellent surf opportunities here from September to March, along with numerous beach clubs and spas along the coast for those who prefer a leisurely pace in need of pampering. The seafood restaurants found on the waterfront are a bit more pricey than the ones you find in town, but the fish is fresh and you get panoramic views of the ocean!
9 - Ba Na Hills / Golden Bridge
The Ba Na Hills is one of the most popular Da Nang attractions due to the fact that they home the Insta-famous Golden Bridge, a fabulous place for the snap-happy to visit year round. Two Hands erupt from the mountainside, holding up the bridge, which passes through the hills. It’s definitely an impressive sight, but it’s not 100% the authentic experience it’s portrayed to be.
GOOD TO KNOW: To access the bridge you’ll need to pay an entrance fee of 750,000 VND (around 36$) into a kinda kitschy theme park (Ba Na Hill Fantasy Park) and then take a cable car up to the summit. By the way, the cable car up to the summit has the world record for being the LONGEST cable car ride (non-stop, single track)!
To save you time and hassle, my recommendation is to visit this attraction with an organised day trip such as this one – Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge Day Tour.
10 - My Son Ruins
My Son Ruins, also known as My Son Sanctuary, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features the most important sanctuaries of the My Son civilisation – a civilisation that existed in coastal Vietnam from the 4th to the 13th centuries. These sanctuaries were the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom and feature many references to the Hindu religion. They also showcase some of the Cham engineering, religious and political advancement.
BONUS: Extra things to do in Da Nang if you have more time
In case this is not your first time in the city or if you have some more days on your hands to fully experience and understand Da Nang, rest assured that you simply cannot run out of things to do here! So in case you’re bored of lying on the beach, here are some more activities in Da Nang that are definitely worth trying:
- Phap Lam Pagoda – another beautiful pagoda in Danang, full of many Buddha statues and a perfect place to explore and chill;
- Da Nang Cathedral – a gorgeous pastel-pink cathedral and one of the most famous catholic churches in the country. It is also known as the “Rooster Church” among locals, which translates to Con Ga;
- Cham Sculpture Museum – a very nice museum opened during the French colonial times. The Museum of Cham Sculpture is indeed a great idea if you want to find out more about the Cham people in the country;
- Da Nang Museum – visit this museum if you want to find out more about the history and culture of Danang;
- Hai Van Pass – known to be the highest pass in Vietnam, this is one of the best places to go if you want to see Da Nang from above. This place is also called “Sea of Clouds”, which I think it’s super cute!
- Pham Van Dong Beach – I talked about My Khe Beach and Non Nuoc Beach before, but these are not the only good beaches in Danang! Another gorgeous one is Pham Van Dong, ideal for a barefoot walk after a full day of exploring Danang;
- Fifth Military Division Museum – an informative museum, recommended in case you’re interested in the history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War especially;
- Han River Bridge – another famous bridge in Da Nang is Han River Bridge, considered to be the first cable-stayed swing bridge in Vietnam. After all, Da Nang is not known as the City of Bridges for nothing!
- Sun World Da Nang Wonders – one of the best things to do in Da Nang with kids and home of the Golden Bridge (mentioned above).
RELATED READ: Travel Guide to Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Tours VS Visiting By Yourself
Best tours of Da Nang by type of traveller
Da Nang is a complex destination that offers plenty of things to do for all tourists out there. In case your bucket list is getting longer and longer and you find yourself unable to fit everything into your itinerary or if you simply want to make the best out of your given time, I have a suggestion. You can book some organised tours with professional guides! This is a great idea if you want to truly experience Danang and learn about its history and culture. And an excellent way to save some precious time as well, why not?
Here are my recommended tours for different types of needs and travel styles:
- City, Scenery, and Attractions Tour by Jeep – for tourists that want to see everything in a short time;
- Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge Day Tour – If you want to go to Ba Na Hills with no hassle;
- Da Nang Local Food Tour – if you want to taste everything there is to taste in Danang;
- Basket Boat and Cooking class – for all foodies that want to learn how to make some authentic Vietnamese dishes as well;
- River cruise with dinner included – if you want to explore Da Nang from a different perspective.
Organised day trips from Da Nang
When you’ll organise your itinerary for Danang, you’ll quickly realise that some of the top attractions here such as the Marble Mountains, My Son Sanctuary and the Monkey Mountain are not located inside the city, but a bit outside of it. This means you’ll have to either go there by yourself, or you’ll have to take some organised day trips. I totally recommend going for the organised tours, as this means no stress and hassle from your side! Tours usually have transportation included, so you just need to wake up in the morning and get ready for a day of exploration!
Here are the BEST day trips options (with great prices!) I have selected for you:
Where to stay in Da Nang, Vietnam
RELATED READ: If you want to read more about the absolute best hotels in Danang and the best areas where tourists can stay in Da Nang, make sure to check out this article before your visit: Where to stay in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Of course, the best area to stay in the city if you want to explore all the main attractions in Danang is the city centre (or Hai Chau District). Or you can choose to stay as close to the beach as possible if you want a vacation of relaxation under the sun.
Here’s my recommended accommodation, hand-picked for all types of travellers:
LUXURY: Pullman Danang Beach Resort – if you want the absolute best in the city.
MID-RANGE: Danang Boutique Hotel – if you prefer to be in the centre of Danang but also not far from the beach;
BUDGET: Danang Beach 2 Hotel – this one’s located close to My Khe Beach;
HOSTEL: Rom Casa Hostel Da Nang – located between Han River and the beach;
ENTIRE APARTMENT: Minh Tran Apartment and Hotel – in case you’re dreaming of an apartment with an outdoor swimming pool;
What to eat in Da Nang & Best restaurants in the city
Of course, you simply cannot visit Da Nang without indulging in some traditional food, am I right? Vietnam is known for its ah-mazing cuisine and unique dishes, and Da Nang is a special place full of local dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s my list of unmissable dishes to try during your visit, as well as the BEST places in Danang to taste each of them:
Beefy broth, rice noodles and different types and meats. Surprisingly enough, this is what people in Da Nang eat for breakfast! Some of the best bowls of Mi Quang are served at Mi Quang Ba Mua.
This is a dish consisting of prawn and garlic paste, wrapped on a sugarcane, usually served as an appetiser, grilled to deliciousness. Quan Com Hue Ngon is a good place to go for this dish, as well as traditional Vietnamese BBQ.
BUN CHA CA
This is basically a fish ball noodle soup with rice noodles, veggies, pineapple (yes, it’s delicious!) and shrimp paste. And fish balls as well, of course. It’s funky and super delicious! Go to 109 Nguyễn Chí Thanh for one of the most flavourful versions of this dish.
You can find this dish, together with the famous Banh Mi sandwich and Pho soup, all around Vietnam. Banh Xeo is a sizzling savoury pancake made of rice flour, filled with veggies, pork, shrimp and crunchy bean sprouts. The best Da Nang restaurant for this dish is Banh xeo Ba Duong.
Butter cakes! These are pretty similar to little round, fried doughnuts, only they’re a bit savoury as well and they’re served with chili sauce. Exciting and so yummy! I recommend going to Quán Bánh Bơ for the most delicious ones.
TIP: In case you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, I recommend opting for this Da Nang Local Food Tour.
Getting around Da Nang
Getting around Da Nang is, as you will find, not a hard task at all! There are multiple ways of travelling around town and its surroundings and I have listed them all below:
TAXI. Taxis are probably the best way to explore Danang, as they’re easy to find and pretty cheap as well. Fares start at 0,50$ and you’ll be charged around 0,65$ per kilometer. The most reliable taxi companies in Danang are Mai Linh Taxi (green), Vinasun Taxi (white) and Tien Sa Taxi (yellow). Alternatively, you can get a Grab – the equivalent of Uber in Vietnam.
MOTORCYCLE TAXI / XE OM. A famous means of transportation in Vietnam, these are very similar to taxis, only they’re motorcycles – I bet you weren’t expecting that! The advantage here is that they’re faster, as they can successfully avoid hectic traffic, unlike cars.
BUS. Although this is a valid option (and a super cheap one as well, as a ride only costs about 0,20$), it’s not that convenient, as buses are usually super slow and kind of crowded as well.
RENT A MOTORBIKE. This option is excellent for adventurous travellers that want to go everywhere by themselves. Riding a motorbike through Da Nang is exciting and not that expensive either – the price is about 6$ per day (130,000 VND). A good place to rent your motorbike is at The Motorbike Station.
HOW TO GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CITY. Luckily for travellers, Da Nang International Airport is located extremely close to the city center (around 2.5 km away). For your convenience, you can look for private airport transfers such as this one if you want to travel hassle-free to your hotel. It’s pretty cheap as well!
TIP: Before booking your airport transfer, please check with your hotel – some of them can arrange free pick-up for their guests!
RELATED READ: 12 Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Phew, this was my complete Da Nang travel guide in Vietnam! This is one of the best tourist spots in the country if you’re planning an adventurous, culture-rich vacation. Danang is a famous beach destination and, regardless if you’re going to do some sunbathing, admire the best view over Danang from the top of Hai Van Pass, explore the wonderful Ba Na Hills, visit some pagodas or taste some authentic food, rest assured that you won’t be disappointed.
I hope this guide will be useful for your upcoming visit! In case you want to further explore the country of Vietnam, I recommend reading all about my adventures here in this section.