Da Nang is the third biggest city in Vietnam from economic and political points of view, not in the size of the city. Da Nang in central Vietnam is a popular destination for Vietnamese tourists. However, for Westerners, many people choose to skip this city and go straight to Hoi An Ancient Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Many people ask me this question is it worth visiting Da Nang city? Because I only have a few days, so I want to select the best places. What a pity! Da Nang has many fantastic things to do and see, from its history to its lifestyle and cuisine.
In 1835 Ming Mang King decreed that all the trading ships had to stop in Han port, nowhere else in the region. Then, Da Nang has become the main port in the centre of Vietnam instead of Hoi An. Under the French colony, in 1889, Da Nang was separated from Quang Nam province. Then, in 1965, the US military built its army bases in the city. Nowadays, there are still remains of these bases around Da Nang. You can see some of them on the way to Hoi An if you use the coastal road.
Da Nang is known as a worth living city in Vietnam. So, it is worth your time to visit the city.
Apart from the 5 best places to visit in Da Nang, here are the 10 best things to do in Da Nang:
1. Visit Cham Museum
The Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture was built in 1915, following the design of two French architectures – Delaval and Auclair used some dominant structures of the Cham people. The Cham people are our indigenous in central and southern Vietnam. In the old days, we referred to the Cham people and the areas they lived in as the Cham Kingdom.
The museum has a large collection of Cham sculptures with more than 300 pieces. The items are from different archaeological sites in central and southern Vietnam, especially from the nearby site My Son Sanctuary – A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you love art and history this is a must-go place in Da Nang. You can visit the Museum independently or combine this place in a one-day tour in Da Nang.
The official website of the museum is at the link: https://chammuseum.vn/
Entrance fee: 60,000VND (US$ 3)
Add: Số 2 đường 2 tháng 9, Đà Nẵng
2. Visit the local markets
For the cultural adventurers – I think the markets would be the places to show the local daily life. There are many good markets that you can visit whether shop or not it is worth visiting.
Hàn Market – located in the city centre. This market is very popular with tourists, so not so many local people come here to shop. However, there are certain things you can only buy in this market. So local people come here to shop for those things, e.g., beautiful bamboo products, fresh flowers, and daily shopping for veggies and seafood.
Đầu Mối Market – this is my favourite market. It is not only near my house, but also it is a wholesale market. It opens very early in the morning (3 AM, I think). Vendors buy in bulk and resell in small markets in and around the city. You can your daily food in this market at good prices, things you can buy here are fruits, veggies, seafood, meat etc., and packaging materials. Although the market will open for the whole day for essential daily purchases, wake up early and discover the trading activities in the city.
Cồn Market – is located in the heart of the central business district. During the day, this market is the busiest market. It is popular with locals and tourists. Many small business owners from provinces around Da Nang come to this market to buy their products. Street foods are also served here. If you want to try local foods in one place this is the right place for you. Also, be aware that not so many people can speak English, double check the price before you eat.
If you are looking for second-hand clothes, second-hand clothes stalls will be open in the afternoon. Here is an article about second-hand clothes shops in Hanoi, in case you need to find out.
3. Da Nang specialities
I mean food, here is a list of local Da Nang food and places that you can try: The Best Foods in Da Nang. Food would be at the top list of things to do in Da Nang. Many special dishes in Da Nang that you should try. You can either have an adventure yourself or book a food tour.
Many people suggested that you should try to ride a motorbike in Vietnam (Da Nang in this case). But please note that you need a licence to ride a motorbike legally. unless you ride a bike under 50cc. Well, in case you don’t have a licence and still want to try to sit on a motorbike. Why not book a motorbike food tour and let another person drive you?
4. Visit Da Nang Museum and Have a cup of coffee
Da Nang museum is located behind the Da Nang Business Centre (a famous building in Da Nang). The museum displays the history, culture, and people in Da Nang from the old days to modern life. There are three topics displayed at the museum: an overview of Da Nang, during the invaders’ time, and Sa Huynh culture.
The museum helps people understand the history of the formation and development of Da Nang city. You would be surprised when you look at the history of the city and the city that you see nowadays.
Entrance Fee: 20,000vnd
Check the updated fee on the museum website: http://baotangdanang.vn/gia-ve.html
Morning: 8:00 – 11:30
Afternoon: 13:30 – 16:30
After visiting the museum, head out to Bach Dang street – a popular street for coffee in Da Nang. 175 Cafe – 30 Bach Dang street is my favourite. The unique decoration and the atmosphere of the shop make me feel relaxed when I am out having a cuppa with my friends.
5. Visit Asia Park and enjoy amusement activities yourself
Asian Park is invested by Sun Corp, which is the same investor of the Ba Na hills tourism complex. It is located in the new development area of Da Nang. There are three main zones in the park: a modern outdoor park, a cultural park that consists of mini artworks to symbolise 10 Asian countries, and the Sun Wheel area. Sun Wheel is a dominant figure of the Park.
While visiting Asia park, you can enjoy activities in the amusement complex, from the hi-speed slide to the roller coaster. It is a great place for kids. This place is very popular with Da Nang people and domestic tourists, so make sure that you have a ticket before coming during the peak season.
Opening hours: 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Entrance Fees: 100,000vnd – 200,000vnd
Please check updated fees on their website: https://asiapark.sunworld.vn/gioi-thieu?lang=en
6. Visit Hai Van Pass
Hai Van pass is a popular tourist place for tourists and Da Nang people. From the top of the pass, it offers an incredible panorama view of Lang Co beach and forests with a snake shape road around the mountain.
The ride to the top of this mountain is quite a challenge. You can rent a scooter to go there, or the best way to travel to Hai Van Pass is with an experienced driver. A number of travel agents offer tours to Hai Van pass and Lang Co beach.
7. Check out Dragon Bridge
Dragon Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in Da Nang, thanks to the light shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 PM. It is a symbol of Da Nang city with a length of 666 metres.
The Dragon bridge is the most uniquely designed bridge in Vietnam. It is designed in the shape of a dancing dragon, symbolising the city goes beyond in the new immerging world. Make sure you visit the bridge on the weekends to see the light show when the dragon breathes actual fire and water.
8. International Cuisine Da Nang
There are many beautiful restaurants in Da Nang. From Korean restaurants to Japanese and Italian restaurants.
Pizza 4P’s – 8 Hoang Van Thu street, Hai Chau, Da Nang. The restaurant offers a beautiful atmosphere for customers with the wood oven in the centre of the restaurant. Their beautiful pizza cooks from the wood-fired oven. My favourite dish here is their house-made cheese made from their facility in Da Lat.
Family Indian Restaurant – 231 Ho Nghinh, Son Tra, Da Nang.
This is one of our family’s favourite restaurants in Da Nang. They offer different dishes at reasonable prices. It is the only Halal restaurant in Da Nang that I know of. You can dine in or order then the restaurant will deliver to your place.
Korean Hamburger Restaurant – 253 D. Đình Nghệ, An Hải Bắc, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng.
A beautiful hamburger with fresh ingredients. This place offers dining in or takes away. Our family often went to this place for lunch after our swims at My Khe Beach. Please check the address again because I think they have just moved to a new place.
It is a very popular place for Korean tourists. They often stop at this place for lunch before heading to the airport.
Limoncello Da Nang Pizza and Restaurant – 212Đ Tran Phu street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang.
An Italian friend took us to this restaurant when we first moved to Da Nang. He said the dishes in this place are authentic Italian dishes. Certainly, for me, I love their pizza and spaghetti.
9. How about a dental check?
I have one long article about dental tourism in Vietnam, in particular Da Nang. Every time when we go back to Da Nang we will definitely have our dental check with our family dentist – Dr Diep.
The cost of dental service is much cheaper than in Australia. For us, the quality is Australian quality, but Vietnamese price. You can find the detail of Dr Diep in the previous article that I wrote if you are keen to have your dental check.
10. Visit places around Da Nang city
There are many attractions around Da Nang that you can take on a one-day trip. Check out Da Nang Attractions – A one-day out from Da Nang article that I wrote before.
Snorkelling in Cham Islands or discovering the semi-tropical National Park. wandering in Hoi An Ancient Town, having a most delicious local meal. Or maybe just relaxing on one of the most beautiful beaches on earth.
All of the content in this blog is based on my own experience. However, I have included some links that you might find useful – and I do make a little money if you use them.