Danang Itinerary: 3 Days in Central Vietnam’s Coastal City

by Jackie
View of the golden Dragon Bridge and motorcyclists in Danang, Vietnam

Traveling to Danang, Vietnam is a much-needed getaway from the crowds and noise of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. As the fifth largest city in Vietnam, Danang (Đà Nẵng in Vietnamese) has a relaxed coastal city vibe. From the easy access to beaches, local attractions (such as the Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills), beautiful mountains, and of course – delicious food, it’s no wonder this place is a top destination in the country.

Here is a recommended Danang itinerary in 3 days to give you an introduction to central Vietnam. With this 3 days in Danang itinerary, we’re including the top things to do in Danang in each day, places to eat, transportation, accommodations, and helpful tips.

We decided to base ourselves in Danang versus Hoi An, the popular neighboring city, as my sister participated in the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship event. Both of us have stayed in Hoi An before and wanted to fully explore the best activities that Danang has to offer.

In this 3 days Danang itinerary, click on the links below to jump to the various areas in this guide:


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Danang Itinerary: Day 1 – Arrival & Local Sights

It’s your first day in Danang! Once you’ve arrived in the city, head to your accommodations and drop off your luggage. Afterward, we’re hitting the ground running with the Danang’s local attractions on the My An and Son Tra areas.

Marble Mountains

Marble Mountains (Núi Ngũ Hành Sơn) is one of the top highlights in Vietnam. What better way to start out your day than to go up a mountain! Located in the south of the city while you’re en route to Hoi An, Marble Mountains is a collection of five mountains named after the elements – water, metal, earth, fire, and wood.

While we didn’t get the chance to visit all of the mountains, we visited the largest and most popular mountain – Water Mountain. All the sights are at the top so you can either climb up a steep set of stairs or take an elevator. We opted to get some early morning exercise so we walked up. Expect to spend around 10 minutes to reach the top.

Head to the Sea Watching Tower where you’ll get a picturesque view of the other four mountains.

The mountain has several pagodas – Linh Ung Pagoda (Chùa Linh Ứng) and Tam Thai Pagoda (Chùa Tam Thai). Check out the Lady Buddha while you’re at the Linh Ung Pagoda as it’s one out of the three Lady Buddhas in Danang.

If you’re interested in caves, head to the large Linh Nham Cave (Động Linh Nham) and the Van Thong Cave (Động Vân Thông). The Van Thong Cave has a hidden path in the back which leads to the peak for additional views of the coastline.

Tip: Bring water if you decide to take the stairs up the mountain due to the heat humidity. Also, come early as it gets crowded with visitors on tour buses. 

While a tour isn’t necessary, you can choose to participate in a tour. Reserve a spot for a tour here. Or, you can join the free city tour from OneTrip which is what we did!

Admission: 40,000 VND ($1.70 USD) per person; additional 15,000 VND ($.60 USD) for elevator access

Address: 52 Huyền Trân Công Chúa, Hoà Hải, Ngũ Hành Sơn

Opening Times: 7:00am – 5:30pm

If you're on the Marble Mountains' Water Mountain, head to the sea watching tower to see the views of the four other mountains in the area.

Check out the other four mountains from the Sea Watching Viewpoint.

Linh Ung Pagoda

Located along the Son Tra peninsula is the Buddhist temple, Linh Ung Pagoda (Chùa Linh Ứng). As you enter the temple grounds, you’ll see beautiful arrangements of manicured bonsai trees. If you visit this place around Buddha’s birthday in May, the temple is decorated with colorful streamers and decor.

The main highlight of the pagoda is seeing the iconic Lady Buddha with an impressive height of 67 meters (219 feet). It’s the tallest Lady Buddha in the city – Marble Mountains and Ba Na Hills. We didn’t have a chance to go inside Lady Buddha to see a higher view of the coastline. However, you can easily find a spot to see the amazing views of the city.

Tip: Watch out for the monkeys around Lady Buddha. They aren’t aggressive but will grab any food or bright shiny objects. We saw a baby monkey eating a refreshing ice cream cone in the tree. (These monkeys must be related to the monkeys at Can Gio Island since they stole someone’s ice cream too.)

Admission: Free; donation optional for motorbike parking

Address: Chùa Linh Ứng, Hoàng Sa, Thọ Quang

Linh Ung Pagoda is a lovely place to visit during your 3 days in Danang, Vietnam. Lady Buddha stands tall at 67 meters (219 feet). She's a popular icon to take a photo with.

Danang’s Beaches

My Khe (Bãi biển Mỹ Khê) or Non Nuoc Beach (Bãi biển Non Nước) are the two popular beaches in Danang. My Khe is 30 kilometers (over 18 miles) and is located right in the heart of the My An area. Non Nuoc Beach is shorter at 5 kilometers (3.2 miles) is closer towards Marble Mountains. Both of the areas have super fine sand, while the waters can be choppy depending on the time of day. Rent a lawn chair and enjoy the sunshine for a few hours.

Admission: Free

Address: Along the oceanside of Võ Nguyên Giáp and Trường Sa

My Khe Beach in Danang, Vietnam

Relax at My Khe Beach during your Danang itinerary. Photo credit: saiko3p via Depositphotos.com

Dragon Bridge

The famous Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng) is a unique local attraction to see in the city. The bridge opened in March 2013 on the 38th anniversary of the city’s liberation. It’s easy to spot this bridge along the Han River with the golden dragon’s curved body from head to tail.

Take a stroll along the 666 meters (2,185 feet) bridge and check out the views of the Han River. The walk will take about 10-15 minutes across depending on your speed. In the evenings, the bridge glows with different colors of the rainbow.

On Saturdays and Sundays, there is a show at 9:00pm where the dragon spits fire and water from its mouth. Hundreds of locals and tourists wait for this show. Therefore, it’s recommended that you find a spot 15 minutes before it starts either on the bridge or at the Riverside Park (along Trần Hưng Đạo Street). If you’re taking a river cruise, your boat may also stop by the bridge for the show.

To be honest, the show is only five minutes long and it’s a bit of a letdown. Yet it’s cool to see people excited about the show and also use the opportunity to hang out with friends and family.  

Admission: Free

Address: Cầu Rồng Bridge

Son Tra Night Market

Son Tra Night Market (Chợ Đêm Sơn Trà) is a five-minute walk from the Dragon Bridge and is a good spot to hang out to have dinner, drinks, or buy souvenirs. Head to this place before or after the Dragon Bridge show. The popular food items include grilled seafood, ice cream on a stick, and sugarcane drinks.

Do not mistake this place for the Danang An Thuong Night Market (Đà Nẵng An Thượng Night Market) which is closer to the My Khe beach and only serves food.

Admission: Free

Address: Intersection of Lý Nam Đế and Mai Hắc Đế, An Hải Trung, Sơn Trà

Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 11:30pm


Danang Itinerary: Day 2 – Local Sights

On the second day in Danang, we’re exploring the attractions on the Hai Chau area.

Danang Cathedral

Love seeing pink buildings? You need to visit the Danang Cathedral (also known as the Rooster church) which is a pastel pink Catholic church tucked along the main street. You’ll also see the rooster at the top of the belltower. It was constructed by the French in 1923 and continues to serve the Catholic community with daily services.

If you want to find another pink church in Vietnam, visit Dalat’s Domaine de Marie.

Admission: Free

Address: 156 Đường Trần Phú, Hải Châu 1, Hải Châu

Opening Times: 5:00am – 5:30pm

The Danang Cathedral is a pastel pink church that caters to the Catholic people. It's a popular place to visit when visiting Danang, Vietnam.

Cham Museum

During the 2nd to the 15th centuries, central and south Vietnam was a part of Champa. While you travel through the country, you’ll see the Cham Towers which are tall towers made from red bricks and stone carvings. You’ll see the restored towers at Quy Nhon’s Banh It and Twin Towers, Nha Trang’s Po Nagar Towers, and Phan Thiet/Mui Ne’s Po Shanu Towers.

Due to the Cham people’s influences, the Cham Museum highlights over 2,000 Cham statues and artifacts collected over the years. You’ll notice that many of the artwork has influences from Hinduism. It’s well worth the time to learn about Vietnam’s indigenous people.

Admission: 60,000 VND ($2.60 USD)

Address: Số 02 2 Tháng 9, Bình Hiên, Hải Châu

Opening Times: 7:00am – 5:00pm

Danang Fresco Village

Finding street art is our go-to activity for any city, and the Danang Fresco Village (Làng Bích họa Đà Nẵng) is highly recommended. The city, Danang’s Fine Arts Association, and the Danang Association of Architects supported this art street. The one kilometer (.62 miles) narrow alleyway highlights the Vietnamese daily lifestyle, sceneries, and traditional games. You can see the pride of the Vietnamese culture through the artwork. Please do not disturb the residents while you explore the area.

If you’re looking for another spot for street art, check out the area along Hồ Nguyên Trừng.

Admission: Free

Address: Alley 75 Nguyễn Văn Linh, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu

Love the Vietnamese culture? Add a visit to see street art during your time in Danang. Danang's Fresco Village highlights Vietnamese culture and lifestyle such as the women wearing ao dai dresses. Danang has a vibrant street art scene. In your Danang itinerary, check out the Danang Fresco Village alleyway which highlights the Vietnamese daily lifestyle and culture. This artwork has two men relaxing along the coastline.

Sun World Danang Wonders

Now we’re off to Sun World Danang Wonders Amusement Park. If you love theme park rides (children and high thrill rides), then you have to visit this place. It’s a family friendly place and has few crowds, so you can easily go on the rides many times without waiting in line.

Check out the Sun Wheel, one of the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, and to see awesome views of Danang city. Other highlights include taking a monorail ride for a better view of the Sun Wheel, riding on the Queen Cobra roller coaster ride, and walking through Vietnam’s miniaturized versions of Asian countries. The idea is similar to Disney’s Epcot where you travel through Vietnam, South Korea, China, Nepal, India, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia. This place is well worth the price to spend a few hours in the late afternoon/evenings.

Admission: 200,000 VND ($8.60 USD) adults; 150,000 VND ($6.40 USD) children between 1-1.3 meters (39-51 inches).

>> Buy discounted tickets here & save money for Sun World Danang Wonders! (We bought tickets this way.)

Address: 1 Phan Đăng Lưu, Hoà Cường Bắc, Hải Châu

Opening Times: 3:00pm – 10:00pm

Sun World Danang Wonders' main attraction is the Sun Wheel Ferris Wheel which you can see from Danang City. Plus, you can see the water reflection and colorful lights when you're taking the Monorail.

One of the best views of the Sun Wheel Ferris wheel is from the Monorail. It’s stunning.

Lotte Mart

Behind the Sun World Danang Wonders is the Lotte Mart. If you want to grab something to eat or need to buy groceries or snacks, then visit this mall with five levels of shopping. The grocery store floor has a large section for coffee and L’ang Farm Farms products (which is from Dalat).

Address: Số 06 Nại Nam, P. Hòa Cường Bắc, Quận Hải Châu

Opening Times: 8:00am – 10:00pm


Danang Itinerary: Day 3 – Ba Na Hills

On the third day in Danang, we’re headed to Sun World Ba Na Hills. Enjoy a memorable day at this famous destination.

Sun World Ba Na Hills

Sun World Ba Na Hills is the hottest destination to visit in Danang. Located over 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from the city center, the Ba Na Hills resort is a European inspired theme park. The newest attraction is the iconic Golden Bridge (also known as the Hands Bridge) where two giant hands hold up a bridge. The bridge is at an impressive altitude of 1414 meters (4639 feet) above sea level. While you’re there, check out the amazing views of the mountains from the bridge.

Other fun activities include visiting a French village and eating European inspired foods, walking through well-manicured flower gardens, and even seeing a Buddhist temple. You’ll spot the third Lady Buddha in Danang at the temple. (The other two are at the Linh Ung Pagoda and Marble Mountains).

As with any theme park, many of the rides and games for children and adults are free to participate in. You must try the Alpine coaster ride!

Since Ba Na Hills is on a mountain, everyone needs to ride cable cars to travel between the areas.

For the full experience, consider staying overnight at the Mercure Hotel in the French Village. Check availability and reserve a room at the Mercure Hotel.

Tip: Visit this place as early as possible as the Golden Bridge gets crowded with visitors once the tour buses arrive.

A tour isn’t needed to visit this place. However, if you prefer to take a tour, check out these two options:

Admission:  Adults: 750,000 VND ($32 USD); Children between 1-1.4 meters: 600,000 VND ($25.60 USD)

>> Buy discounted tickets to Ba Na Hills here & save money! (We bought tickets this way.)

Address: An Son Village, Hoa Ninh Commune, Hoa Vang District

Opening Times: 7:00am to 10:00pm for the cable cars

Sun World Ba Na Hills is a popular destination in Danang. The famous attraction is the Golden Bridge where two hands hold up the bridge.

We’re going bananas on Ba Na Hills!

For the rest of the afternoon, feel free to relax at the beaches or visit places that you didn’t get to see on the first two days of the itinerary.


Day Trips From Danang

If you have extra days, consider adding these day trips to your Danang travel itinerary. We’ve been to Hoi An, and would love to visit the other three places that we listed on a return trip. 

Hoi An

Everyone falls in love with this charming city, and for good reason. Hoi An Ancient Town is a recommended UNESCO World Heritage site to visit. It’s a quick 30-minute car ride from Danang which we did via Grab. From the walkable area to the incredible things to do in Hoi An such as visiting the Japanese bridge and Phuoc Kien Pagoda, you can easily spend one full day or a few days here. You can also purchase unique arts and crafts or get customized clothes made. During the evenings, the city is beautiful with the lit lanterns along the walking area.  

If you prefer a tour, here are some awesome tour options for Hoi An:

Hoi An is known for their beautiful lanterns that light up in the evenings. If you have extra days in your Danang itinerary, visit Hoi An as a day trip.

Hoi An is a great place for a day trip from Danang. The lit up silk lanterns are stunning!

My Son Sanctuary

My Son (Mỹ Sơn) Sanctuary is a top UNESCO World Heritage Site to visit in Vietnam. If you visited the Cham Museum, consider checking out this place so you can see a unique Cham tower. Located over an hour from Danang’s city center, either go a tour or hire a driver to get to this place.

Here are some tour options for My Son Sanctuary:

Hai Van Pass

A popular way to travel between Danang and Hue is through the Hai Van Pass. It’s a 21 kilometers (13 miles) scenic drive through the windy hillside with beautiful viewpoints along the way. While you can experience the drive in a car, riding your motorbike or taking a motorbike tour provides a unique adventure.

If you’re not heading to Hue, you can still take a motorbike tour which starts and ends in Danang. Reserve your spot for a motorbike tour.

Cham Islands

Cham Islands is a part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Most visitors spend the day swimming, snorkeling, diving, visiting the marine park, or hanging out at the undisturbed beaches.

Here are some tour options for Cham Islands:


How to Get to Danang

If traveling in Vietnam, the easiest way to get to Danang is via a short one hour 20 minutes flight to Danang International Airport (airport code: DAD). Daily flights are available from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other domestic cities via VietJet Air, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Airlines, or Bamboo Airways. We suggest that you reserve the flights on the low-cost carriers at least 1 month in advance so you can get the cheapest price possible. International flights are also available.

Taking the train is a cheaper option yet will take a lot longer. You can take the train from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and other cities. The Reunification Express train ride will take 17 hours from Hanoi and 18-19 hours from Ho Chi Minh City. Check the schedule and cost for the train ride here.

The third and cheapest option is to take a sleeper bus. It’s a comfortable ride as you get to lie down in your reclined seat and relax for the entire journey. It’ll take a full day to arrive from Ho Chi Minh City. Futa bus is one of the companies that you’ll take you to Danang.


How to Get Around Danang

Danang is a walkable city, especially if you stay around the My Khe beach area. Plus, it’s a healthy way to travel around. Remember to hydrate a lot as the heat and humidity can be brutal during the summertime.

Riding a motorbike is one of the best ways to travel around the city. Ask your guesthouse about renting a motorbike. Danang has a lot of lanes on the road and the traffic isn’t as crazy as in Ho Chi Minh City.

Taking a metered taxi is easy. Many of the metered taxis hang out in front of the resorts and hotels. Choose either a Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi service as these are reputable taxi companies with consistent meters in Vietnam.

Using the Grab ride-hailing app is a convenient way to travel in the city. We used this mode of transportation every day. Everything is through the app from pick-up/drop off, price, and payment. You can use your credit card through the app or pay cash to the driver. If you use cash, ensure that you have the exact change.

You can also consider hiring a driver for a half day or full day. Create your own itinerary and travel through the city without worrying about navigating. Reserve your private car with the driver for your trip here.

Danang also has a pink double-decker hop and off Coco Bus Tour bus that will take you to over 50 stops. The one day or two-day pass covers three routes – city tour, beach tour, and Hoi An tour. Save money and buy your Coco Bus bus pass here!


Where to Eat in Danang

This city has plenty of food options available whether you want traditional Vietnamese, street food, to Western food. You can also check out the food options at the local markets and night markets. Here is a list of recommended places to eat in Danang.

  • Kem Bơ Cô Vân is located in the Bac My An Market (Chợ Bắc Mỹ An). The local market is perfect if you want to try the famous avocado ice cream. Sit on a tiny bench and enjoy your avocado ice cream mixed with your choice of fruit (durian, jackfruit, soursop, etc) and topped with dried coconut shreds. This delicious Vietnamese dessert has a texture that is more smoothie-like than a hard ice cream scoop. Yet it’s so refreshing to eat on a hot day. Plus it’s affordable at 15,000 VND ($.65 USD).

Address: 25 Nguyễn Bá Lân, Bắc Mỹ An, Ngũ Hành Sơn

Opening Hours: 6:00am – 7:00pm

In the Bac My An Market in Danang, Vietnam, there is a famous kiosk that sells avocado ice cream with your choice of fruit topping. It's a popular place and also affordable at less than $1 USD.

You must try this droolworthy avocado ice cream during your Danang itinerary.

  • Bếp Hên Restaurant is a small restaurant with retro decor and delicious Vietnamese food. It’s one of our favorite places that we’ve eaten during our trip. Everything that we ordered had so much good flavor compared to the more touristy restaurants. We enjoyed cá lộc (fish in clay pot) with a spicy caramelized sauce and garlic shrimp with a mountain of garlic on top.

Address: 47 Lê Hồng Phong, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu

Opening Hours: 10:00am – 2:30pm; 5:00pm – 9:00pm

  • Bánh Béo Bà Bé is a local spot to eat cheap Vietnamese snacks such as bánh bèo (steamed rice and tapioca flour cake), bánh ram ít (steamed rice cake with a crunchy rice cracker), bánh lọc (translucent tapioca dumpling with shrimp or pork in a leaf), and bánh lọc nậm (similar to bánh lọc but not in a leaf). These snack foods are a central Vietnam specialty so try them all! Grab a seat on the tiny plastic chairs and you’ll receive the plates of food. The food will keep on coming until you stay stop. You can eat quite a bit for 100,000 VND ($4.30 USD).

Address: 100 Đường Hoàng Văn Thụ, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu

Opening Hours: 6:00am – 6:30pm

Banh beo is a delicious snack made from flour and tapioca flour and famous in central Vietnam. Try this place when you visit Danang.

Try the delicious and affordable Vietnamese snacks at Bánh Béo Bà Bé.

  • Happy Heart Cafe is a small cafe that serves Western-style food from brunch items, pastas to sandwiches. What makes this place special is that the restaurant hires people with hearing disabilities and also has homemade bread. We had French toast and vegetarian black bean burgers and both were yummy. Another plus is that the restaurant also uses bamboo straws for their drinks.

Address: 9 Lý Tự Trọng, Thạch Thang, Hải Châu

Opening Hours: 7:30am – 9:00pm; closed on Sundays


Where to Stay in Danang

Danang has a variety of accommodations from budget hostels to all-inclusive resorts. Choosing where to stay in Danang depends on your budget and your location. If you’re looking specifically to hang out at the beaches, then stay on the My An area. Otherwise, the Hau Chau area has more of the local environment.

>> Check out the accommodations options in Danang here.

Here are some recommended places to stay based on the positive reviews.

Budget

Splurge


Overall, we had an incredible time in Danang and wouldn’t hesitate to come back again. From your experiences with the historical and spiritual aspects to getting some relaxation, we hope you’ve made some incredible memories from your visit to this city.

Looking for more Vietnam travel ideas? Check out our Vietnam post below:

Planning a trip to Danang? What are you the most interested in seeing in this 3 days in Danang itinerary? If you have questions, let us know in the comments below.

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In this Danang itinerary, we're highlighting the top things to do and see in 3 days in Danang, Vietnam. We're headed to the popular tourist attractions and also where to find good food, where to stay, and more. 3 days in Danang, Vietnam itinerary with a photo of the Dragon Bridge This Danang, Vietnam post highlights the top things to do in Danang in 3 days including the Dragon Bridge and the beach.

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4 comments

Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions June 25, 2019 - 2:34 pm

This is such a useful post for me! I’ve heard many friends and acquaintances mention and recommend Danang, but other than the Hands Bridge, I didn’t really know much about it. I’ll definitely be visiting at some point, and three days sounds like the perfect amount of time here. I’m surprised that this is the first I’m hearing of the Dragon Bridge, but that looks like another cool place I wouldn’t want to miss. The snacks at Bánh Béo Bà Bé also look delectable!

Reply
Jackie June 26, 2019 - 11:49 am

Thanks Kevin! It’s a shame that more people don’t stop by Danang to stay for a few days versus going straight to Hoi An. Let us know if you have any questions when you’re planning your future Danang trip.

Reply
Erin October 21, 2019 - 2:31 pm

Amazing content! It’s no doubt that Danang is named the most worth-living city in Vietnam. It has both amazing landscapes (hills and beaches) and developed infrastructure. I enjoyed the city and tasting local cuisine. Can’t wait to visit this lovely city again! By the way, keep up your awesome work!

Reply
Jackie October 21, 2019 - 5:40 pm

Thank you Erin! We can’t wait to go back to Danang and visit My Son Sanctuary.

Reply

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