The 11 Best Things to Do in Da Nang, Vietnam (2019 Edition)

Last updated on: 63 Comments

From the Marble Mountains to the Son Tra Peninsula, here is the ultimate list of the best things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Da Nang in Central Vietnam is one of those incredible backpacking destinations that is unfortunately skipped by so many travellers.

Many people find themselves being short on time, and rush through Vietnam only aiming for the main destinations like Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay.

Such a shame, because lots of people just don’t realise that there are so many amazing things to do in Da Nang!

The common theme is to fly or catch the train into Da Nang and head straight to the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An, only 30km away. People often use the city simply as a transit stop, and they miss out on so much.

For those that know about what to do in Da Nang, this hip and thriving Vietnamese city proves to have a lot going for it. It definitely deserves catching some of your time.

The city of Da Nang is the third largest in Vietnam and has had a tragic yet fascinating history.

Don’t miss our guide to help you Travel To Vietnam.

From the 16th century Da Nang has steadily grown in size and importance from being a small trading port to becoming a large shipbuilding site in the 19th century.

Eventually Da Nang became the largest commercial port in the region. It was in Da Nang that the French first landed to conquer the country.

It was also the first place that Europeans arrived in Vietnam, when the Portuguese explorer António de Faria anchored off the coast in 1535.

In 1965 the US military arrived and began building air and army bases around the area. The vicinity around Da Nang was heavily affected by the chemical Agent Orange.

The harsh chemical was primarily stored at the international airport in town by the United States, eventually seeping into the soil and water supply.

The Americans used Da Nang, and its gorgeous China Beach, as a place for rest and recuperation for soldiers fighting elsewhere in the country.

These days its history is all but a distant memory for the youth and travellers who grow up and visit the city.

There is a booming restaurant and food scene developing and its proximity to natural attractions like the Hai Van Pass and the Marble Mountains make it a great place to get out and explore the outdoors.

If you are looking for the best things to do in Da Nang, then look no further than this article!

Don’t miss our complete guide on the best things to do in Vietnam!
Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
Epic views from the Marble Mountains – one of the best things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam.

The Top Things to Do in Da Nang

You’ve found yourself in the city and are curious about what to do in Da Nang. Do you hit up the coast first, or wander the bustling streets?

Maybe you’re feeling hungry and want to try the famous Vietnamese cuisine!

Or if you are an adventurous person perhaps you long desire to rent a motorbike and hit up the Hai Van Pass.

The list of things to do in Danang just goes on and on, but let’s start with the five best activities in Da Nang.

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son or “Five Elements Mountains) are a cluster of marble and limestone hills just 7km from the city, and one of the best things to do in Da Nang!

The mountains are full of caves, tunnels and Buddhist shrines just waiting to be explored!

Ancient folklore says that a dragon emerged from the sea and laid an egg on the beach. 1000 days and nights passed and eventually a exquisite lady was born.

The remains of the egg shells grew into the Marble Mountains that you can see today.

Over the centuries the Marble Mountains were used as a safe haven for soldiers and a place of worship for Buddhists. Today it is one of the most popular attractions in the city!

For years the hills were mined for their valuable stone, although that has been recently banned. You can see examples of intricate stonework in the roadside workshops surrounding the Marble Mountains.

If you are feeling energetic you can climb to the summit of one of the mountains, offering absolutely spectacular views over the entire area.

Marble Mountains Entrance Fee: 20’000 VND

If you’re interested in going on a guided tour of the Marble Mountains, then the company Get Your Guide offers great value, all-inclusive tours.

Marble Mountains View Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
The view from the top of the Marble Mountains – A must do for anyone wondering what to do in Da Nang.

Take a Snorkelling Tour to Cham Island

Not too far from the coast of Da Nang is Cham Island, a place that not too many tourists get to, but well worth a visit.

This spectacular island is known for having some of the best snorkelling in Vietnam, and is a perfect way to spend a day outside of the city.

There’s a few different ways to get out there, but the best and most enjoyable way is to join a tour.

This one from Get Your Guide includes pick up from your hotel, the boat cruise, snorkelling and underwater walking (a pretty unique experience) and a delicious seafood lunch.

Check Out the Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge is one of the best known Da Nang attractions thanks to its unique design and interesting light show.

When the local government built it, they hired an artist to make it stand out, and the end result was this fantastic dragon-themed design.

It is 666m in length, and is the longest bridge of its kind in all of Vietnam.

Make sure you time your visit to be a weekend, because at 9pm every Saturday and Sunday they turn the lights on and the dragon breathes actual fire!

Son Tra Peninsula

The beautiful rainforest that juts out into the sea from the city of Da Nang is called the Son Tra Peninsula. At a size of over 4000 hectares, this place is massive!

Rent a scooter or motorcycle to ride along the newly-built road to the end and check out the nature reserve, and stop off to visit one of the most important religious sights in the area, Quan Am.

Keep an eye out for the red shanked duoc langars that live on the Son Tra Peninsula. They are quite beautiful if you catch a glimpse of one!

Son Tra is a perfect getaway from the city and perfect for those wondering what to do in Da Nang.

There are plenty of untouched beaches along the peninsula and some excellent viewpoints, making this one of the most pristine beautiful places in Da Nang.

Son Tra Peninsula View Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
One of the viewpoints along the gorgeous Son Tra Peninsula.
Nature Reserve Son Tra Peninsula What To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
When you reach the end of the road on the Son Tra Peninsula you get to a cool nature reserve. Be sure to go for a hike in a side of Da Nang that few ever see.

Relax at My Khe Beach

The beaches here are truly lovely and a real solid reason to visit Da Nang.

The long stretches of white sand are a perfect place to chill out on a hot afternoon, and with so much space it’s easy to find a spot all to yourself.

My Khe is the longest beach in Da Nang, and arguably one of the top ones in the entire country.

Head down for sunrise to see locals making the most of the start of the day, or come back in the afternoon for some delicious seafood served up in the restaurants.

If you’re a surfer, this is a perfect spot to come down to catch some small swell.

Visit the Cham Museum

Vietnam has a fascinating indigenous history, and one of the best places to experience this is the area around Hoi An and Da Nang.

The Cham people lived in this region nearly 1000 years ago, and built some of the most iconic structures in all of Vietnam, such as the My Son ruins.

If you love your history and want to check out another cool idea for what to do in Da Nang, head to the Cham Museum.

This museum has the largest collection of Cham artefacts in the country, and the statues and carvings you’ll find here are mind blowing.

If you have more of an interest in Cham history, definitely book yourself into a tour of My Son ruins from Da Nang.

Hai Van Pass

Made famous in an episode of the TV show, Top Gear, the Hai Van Pass has now become a bucket list item for thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts (and amateurs) and adventurers looking for alternative things to do in Da Nang.

This 21km mountain pass between Da Nang and Hue offers some of the most incredible ocean views in all of Vietnam.

A new highway tunnel that has been built to bypass the road ensures that traffic numbers now are low, although the ride can still be quite technical; especially if you are inexperienced or the weather turns bad.

Rent a scooter from town and leave early in the morning if you plan on being back in Da Nang the same day.

There are also a number of tour companies that can help you ride the Hai Van Pass if you aren’t a confident motorbike rider.

Check out our guide on riding the Hai Van Pass.

You can book a full-on motorbike tour of the Hai Van pass on Get Your Guide.

Hai Van Pass Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
The famous Hai Van Pass.
Hai Van Pass View Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
Another side of the Hai Van Pass.

Explore the Markets and Do a Cooking Class

One of the best things to do when travelling around Vietnam is to explore the thousands of markets you can find in every town.

They are an assault on the senses, and it feels as though you can find just about anything you could ever need in them.

Fruits, meats and vegetables are common of course, but so are electrical equipment, housing supplies, health supplements and everything else under the sun.

In Da Nang the markets are truly amazing, but they can be overwhelming to wander through them if you’re not used to the hustle and bustle of Southeast Asian markets.

A great Da Nang activity is to join a cooking class that includes a visit to the markets.

On this tour you’ll be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the markets to pick up the ingredients you’ll need to make some delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Afterwards you head to a real working farm so you can see how the locals tend to their fields, pick some more vegetables, and then it’s time to head to the kitchen!

You’ll be taught how to make a range of popular Vietnamese dishes, like pho, spring rolls and papaya salad. You can then take this new knowledge home with you to make your own food (and wow your friends)!

It’s a great day out, and one of the top things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Eat The Food

We didn’t know that Da Nang had such a happening food scene until we stayed at the amazing Funtastic Hostel, which is sadly now closed.

Owned by Summer from Danang Cuisine, one of the most famous food blogs in the country, she really opened our eyes to the culinary delights around the city.

Naturally, being so close to the ocean, fresh sea food is on many restaurant’s menus. There are plenty of awesome street food to try as well if you are on a budget. For our biggest and best recommendation go eat at Tam’s Pub And Surf Shop.

Make sure you have a few hours spare to listen to Tam’s fascinating stories of what life was like growing up during the war (and try her vegetarian burgers). If you’re hungry, don’t miss these best places to eat in Da Nang.

If you’re more of a street food type of person, then you’ll have no shortage of restaurants to eat at. Just cruise up and down the road and grab a chair at any of the busy spots!

Tam's Pub And Surf Shop What To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
Lesh and Tam – Da Nang’s coolest resident, and maker of delicious vegetarian burgers!

Head to the Ba Na Hills

You’ve probably seen a photo on Instagram of a long bridge high above a mountainous landscape, with huge concrete hands seemingly holding it up.

That spot is in the Ba Na Hills, and you can go visit it yourself!

Besides walking across the bridge and getting your Insta pics, a real highlight in the hills here is checking out the Linh Ung Pagoda and visiting a minority village.

If you don’t want to ride your own scooter up there, you can book a tour that includes the cable car here.

Non Nuoc Beach

When people think of Vietnam, surfing is not something that immediately springs to mind. But still, it is possible to go surfing in Vietnam!

There is a growing surf community here who take advantage of the consistent and fun beach breaks along My Khe Beach, commonly known as China Beach.

If surfing isn’t your scene you can always go for a swim or simply relax on the spotlessly clean sand.

No missing out on some chill out time when you’re at the beach! Seriously – spending time at the beach is one of the best things to do in Da Nang!

If you really feel like splurging out make sure you check out all the incredible beachside resorts in Da Nang (and use the code: AGODANMD10 to get 10% off your hotel stay).

China Beach Things To Do In Da Nang Vietnam
Non Nuoc Beach stretches for 20 miles meaning it is easy to find your own private area away from the crowds.

Where To Stay In Da Nang

There are tonnes of great accommodation in Da Nang, from 5-star beachside resorts to funky backpackers and cheap guesthouses. Really the only thing you are limited by is your budget!

NOMADasaurus readers receive an exclusive 10% off when booking their accommodation with agoda. Use the coupon: AGODANMD10

Best Backpacker Hostel In Da Nang – $8 Per Night

Our favourite hostel in Da Nang has now closed, but a new one has just opened up and is getting amazing reviews thanks to its trendy, funky style.

Rom Casa Hostel Da Nang is a shipping contain hostel located between the beach and the Han River, giving it brilliant access to just about everything you would need on your stay in the city.

They know all of the top things to do in Da Nang, so you know you’re visit to the city is going to be perfect.

Best Budget Hotel In Da Nang – $15 Per Night

One of Da Nang’s best kept secrets in terms of budget places to stay is the Da Nang Beach 2 Hotel. We stumbled across this place the first time we rode into town and couldn’t believe our luck!

It’s only a few minutes stumble to the beach, the staff are amazing, the rooms are bright and clean and the wifi rocks. There’s also heaps of good bars and restaurants within walking distance as well. Highly recommended!

Best Mid-Range Hotel In Da Nang – $30 Per Night

If you want to stay somewhere that is a bit nicer, a bit more modern and has a bit more character, then make sure you head to Sofia Boutique Hotel.

Located right on the beach and only a few kilometres from the city centre, this hotel has room-service, daily housekeeping, safes in the rooms, TVs and just about everything else you could need to kick back and relax in the city, without breaking the bank!

Best Luxury Hotel In Da Nang – A Lot Per Night

Da Nang just happens to have one of the best luxury hotels in all of Southeast Asia – The Intercontinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort.

Now we’ll be honest – this is the kind of place you look at if you are going on a honeymoon, money isn’t an option or you just want to splash out on somewhere that will blow your mind. Our friends got married there so we got lucky and had a chance to check out the property. All we say is: WOW!

How To Get To Da Nang

There’s a whole bunch of different ways to get to Da Nang. The easiest, and most efficient, is to fly in.

Da Nang has an international airport that services a whole bunch of different countries, and has excellent connections with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

If you want to travel by land Da Nang is well connected with all of Vietnam via its coastal train system and bus network. You can also check out the options on Bookaway.

If you find somewhere else that is worth staying at in Da Nang make sure you leave a comment below and let us know so we can check it out next time we’re in town! We hope you found tonnes of great information in this post on what to do in Da Nang! All the best and happy travels.

For those looking for comfortable airport transfers from the airport to Hoi An, you can book it on Get Your Guide for cheap.

Have you visited Central Vietnam? What were your favourite things to do in Da Nang?

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Best Things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam
Things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam

About the author

Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award winning writers and photographers behind this blog, and we have been travelling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is our passion, and through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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63 COMMENTS

  1. Great post! Thank you so much.
    Beside you can visit Sen Boutique Spa, The best spa in Da Nang

    I also enjoyed these all fabulous fun things during my last journey and came back with great experience.

      Hi Harley, so awesome. Glad you had a great time. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

    Hi Alesha and Jarryd, it was great to find your blog; stunning pictures & helpful tips! This is really useful. Hope that you will provide us with the more interesting articles about this beautiful country. Thank you so much!!!

    Haha I was so lucky to not miss Danang city. It’s truely amazing city in Vietnam. I have followed your post to visit all places as you did, Alesha and Jarryd. I met Mrs Tam and shown her the pic you took. She was so happy. Now, in Danang, it had a stunning Golden Bridge- you should visit when you come back. I also did a cooking class at Jolie Da Nang Cooking Class. Jolie and her family were so welcoming. They helped me to learn how to cook Pho and rice pancake. What amazing Danang is!

      Thank you so much for your message Kenny. We are so happy you visited Tam. She is such a special lady. Thank you for these other tips. So glad you enjoyed your time there. 🙂

    Hi,
    Be patient. This is especially pertinent when visiting popular tourist destinations. Everyone is there for the same reasons as you, but don’t expect them all to be considerate of you.

    Da Nang is awesome! Moving from Da Nang to Hoi An is not a bad idea.
    Many thank for information 😀

    I jusr saw a pixtures of some rock giant hands holding a bridge in da nang …. i was in da nang and never heard about that bridge does anybody know about it

      Its on the way to Bana hill from danang

      They just opened it this summer.

    If you’re in Da nang, its a must to see the dragon bridge at night. The dragon is covered with beautiful and bright lights, looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye and it also blows water and fire at 9 pm.

      Thank you so much for your tip. Dragon Bridge is beautiful at night with it’s lights. Have a great day

    Thank you for your efforts. Just arrived at our hotel in DA Nang and going to use your list to explore 

      Thank you for reading. We hope you have a great time there. If you are into to food, check out Funtastic Hostel for their great food tour.

    Danang is probably the ‘most livable’ city for foreigners but still plagued by poor infrastructure, service, pollution, and industrial waste blatantly discharged into the seas/rivers.

    The consequence of this are a myriad of food safety issues resulting in countless number of dead fish and other marine life washing up on beaches not long ago.

    This combined with poor food safety standards and general lack of awareness/education on proper hygiene makes food consumption very those visiting.

    Great blog. I will be in Da Nang for one day, arriving by cruise ship, Nov 3. What do you suggest we do? Is there a city tour company that might be independent of the ship? There will be 6 in our group. I would love to do a cooking class, but the guys won’t agree to that if they can’t also get their walking tour in.

      Hi Diana, not too sure about city tours. For transport, maybe hire a van to get around? Sorry we can’t help. Have fun on your cruise. Enjoy Danang.

    During my month in Vietnam i had no time left to see da nang, but it looks pretty.
    x

      It was an awesome place. Very different to it’s neighbour, Hoi An. You will have to return and explore Da Nang next time. 🙂

    I was researching on what to do in Da Nang and where to stay , thanks for the article. I will be there in december. And hope i can add some more to this thread of comments .

    thanks

    I’m Da Nang right now, so agree that it’s an amazing place. I’ve done most of the things you’ve mentioned, Ban Co Peak on the peninsula is also a must as is watching the dragon breath fire and water every weekend at 9pm.

    Plus the locals are so friendly here. Vietnam is definitely my most favourite country in the region so far. ☺

    Dear Alesha and Jarryd,

    Thank you very much for visiting Vietnam and introduce Da Nang to everyone. This is a beautiful article for travelling. There is one small thing I would like to mention. Please don’t use the term China Beach to describe the beach in Da Nang. It is a wrong name which indicates that the beach belongs to China. The beach in Da Nang belongs to Vietnam, not China. Please change that name so that other visitors will not misunderstand it.

    Thank you very much,
    Sincerely,

      Thank you Long Hoang, you are absolutely right,
      Da Nang never have any beach call China Beach,
      Please use correct name If you want introduce about Da Nang, thanks

    Thank you so much for your interesting post :)) We can’t deny that Da Nang is awesome place.

      Thank you so much for sharing Cherry. We really loved Da Nang and are so happy we stopped off there. 🙂

    Hi Lesh & Jazza, thank you for this post. You inspired us to discover. Yes, Da Nang is a wonderful city! We’ve been there last week and now I miss the food there so much. Vietnamese pancake and nem lui (ground pork skewers) are really something very amazing that you shouldn’t miss. We had chance to do a food tour there and a home cooking class as well which were all fantastic. We will sure be back to Da Nang!

    Once again, thanks for all! 🙂

      Oh you are making us hungry Katie. We do miss the Vietnamese food. The food tour sounds amazing. We are so happy we inspired you to go Da Nang. Like you said, it is a wonderful city and a lot of people miss out on it. Thank you so much for reading. Happy travels

    Hello,

    Thanks for your post. This is a wonderful city. I and my husband had a great time on the back of motorbikes food tour with girls from Danang foodie. That was fantastic!!! We’ve been too many places that I just saw from your list. All the food was so yummy!! Highly recommend this city 🙂

      That sounds amazing Nadia. We missed out on the food tour but will be sure to check it our next time. The food that we did have in Da Nang was divine. We got some great tips on where to go from a local and it was perfect. Thanks for reading.

    Wonderful post. Da Nang is wonderful city. Sadly many people have passed it. We truly loved Da Nang with beautiful beaches, wonderful mountains, romantic bridges, friendly people and yummy food…Travellers should not miss out this awesome city. I was impressed by Danang food. My mouth is watering when think about it. In Da Nang, i had chance to to do a Home cooking class with madam Thu and her daughter and had dinner at Tam’s Pub And Surf Shop. Fantastic!

    Danang is a good place to travel, we have a lot of choice to go in Da Nang such as Bana Hills, Asian Park, Hai Van Pass, or go Hoi An – 35km far from Da Nang.
    I really love the seasides in Danang.

    Da Nang has a great surf School now! The My khe beach has perfect conditions to surf or Stand up paddle, don’t hesitate to visit Da Nang surf school if you like sport and adventure.

    Just returned from 10-day trip to Vietnam, where we stayed the majority of days in Danang. Coolest side trip was definitely the Linh Ung Pagoda and the Son Tra Peninsula. We spent a night at the Pullman Beach Resort, which was an oasis of relaxation! Just loved the people, the vibe, the food and the whole essence of Danang!

    I never was to Vietnam. But reading your post I think it was just a super place to see mountain. Is there the facility to climb mountain? I like to know about this. And also Marble Mountain is this is the real marble or looking like the marble.

    Great Blog guys,
    What about a 7th being Ba Na Hills?i believe it has the longest cable car ride in the world! something like 5km, with glorious views and a theme park at the top along with cafes etc.
    The marble mountains was great too, seeing your photos makes me want to go back again..i remember driving a motorbike from the most northern end of China beach to Hoi An (about 30km) , and then stopping at Marble Mountains on the way home to the hotel, in about 38 deg heat, we were toasted by the end of the day,and then went for dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on China Beach with a few 333’s made it a perfect day

      We never made it out to Ba Na Hills, but definitely sounds like it deserves the be the 7th thing to do in Da Nang! Thanks so much for reading Shannon! Happy travels.

    Once again thanks for this excellent article… I truly loved Danang, which was one of the highlights of the trip to Vietnam.
    I would definitely add a 6th reason: the Champa Sculpture Museum, which is in my opinion of the the most stunning ones in Southeast Asia. The audio guide offers a wealth of information on this (at least for me) not well known culture.
    Cheers
    Gilles

      Ah of course, the Champa Sculpture Museum! We never made it to that unfortunately as I was catching up with my best mate at the time. But I heard amazing things. I will make sure I get to it when we head back to Da Nang! Thanks for the tip buddy!

        Champa museum is FANTASTIC…. One of the best I have seen. I found it enchanting…

    Totally agree that it is a shame to miss Da Nang. I had an awesome time just walking around, meeting locals who were very curious and wanted to have a coffee or some rice wine, with the funny looking foreigner. 🙂

    Very cool adventure you guys are having btw! Thanks for sharing!

      Da Nang is such a vibrant, cool city. Glad to hear you loved it as well. Thanks for following along, Marcus. Happy travels 😀

    when going to marble mountain, or china beach, do stop in at Hoa’s place, famous food and great hospitality
    M.Hoa and his wife Giao are legends in serving great food

      We’re bummed that they were out of town when we came through. We’ll be back in the area soon enough though. Will make sure we meet up with Hoa and Giao. Thanks Sylvio!

    Hi Lesh & Jazza,

    Thanks for this input, I belong to the huge majority planning just to use Danang as a stop on the way to Hoi An.
    I would never have actually considered staying there, but your post made me curious. And with a good Hostel (Funtastic) and an owner who has real input to give, that can make it surely a really nice stay.
    Anyway, I will be in Vietnam in about 4 weeks (for 5 weeks) and might very well adapt my plans…
    Cheers
    Gilles

      If you end up hanging out in Da Nang (and staying at Funtastic with Summer and Leon), I promise you won’t regret it! 5 weeks is a good amount of time to spend in Vietnam. We’ll be chilling in Phong Nha – let us know if you end up coming through that place. You should, it’s incredible! Thanks for reading 😀

    China Beach looks perfect for a morning or late evening stroll, it’s so big that I like the idea of being able to find my own private area away from the crowds, as you said. One day we’ll make to Vietnam 🙂

      China Beach really is perfect. Because Da Nang has so many high-end resorts as well, the council spends a good amount of money on rubbish collecting, so the beach is really clean.

      Hi,
      Danang is a imazing place to travel. I love Bana Hills, Art in Paradise Danang (3D Trick Art museum), Hai Van Pass, Hoi An.Special We have My Khe beach (Not China beach, plz don’t use wrong name). Plz change that name.

      Thank you so much
      Huong

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