If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you’re probably wondering which landmarks of Vietnam to visit.
Well, the good news is that Vietnam is home to a whole host of fascinating points of interest! From breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders to sacred historical sites and interesting museums and monuments. You name it – Vietnam has it all!
However, Vietnam is also a HUGE country spanning more than 1600km from north to south! So seeing all of Vietnam’s incredible landmarks can be challenging, especially with limited time.
To help you find the very best sights in Vietnam, we’ve compiled this carefully curated guide. Here are the top 16 Vietnamese landmarks that absolutely have to be on your list of must-sees in Vietnam!
Visiting Vietnam for the first time? Check out these 16 essential travel tips for Vietnam for a stress-free trip!
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16 Famous Landmarks of Vietnam Not to Miss
Halong Bay is the most famous landmark in Vietnam and an obligatory stop on any Vietnam itinerary. Revered for its thousands of limestone karts jutting out from the sea and amazing treasures on land and underwater, it is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.
Home to varied ecology, Halong Bay covers a massive area spanning more than 1500 square kilometers. So, it’s no surprise that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also among the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Some of the best activities in Halong Bay include exploring the various caves, canoeing, visiting the floating villages, snorkeling, diving, and simply taking in the ridiculous views! More adventurous travelers can also go parasailing or join a helicopter tour to experience the beauty of Halong Bay from above!
Although most travelers join a day tour from Hanoi, it’s worth booking an overnight cruise to really get acquainted with the beauty of Halong Bay. By doing so, you’ll get to watch the sun melt away over hundreds of limestone islands and wake up to one of the most jaw-dropping sunrises imaginable!
Halong Bay is located roughly 2.5 hours from Hanoi. And it’s advisable to book a reputable tour well in advance as boats fill up quickly.
- Entrance fees: n/a included in all tour packages
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Address: Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
Hanoi Old Quarter
One of the best places to visit in Hanoi, Vietnam is the city’s vibrant Old Quarter. This massive maze-like market area is full of history dating back more than 1000 years. There are dozens of alleys and streets to explore, each lined with merchant shops selling absolutely everything under the sun! But if you really want to experience authentic Hanoi, head straight to the 36 Pho Phuong (merchant streets), where you’ll find local merchants grouped by the wares they sell. Here you’ll find everything from flowers and jewelry to silks and toys – you name it!
Further afield, pop into the spectacular Saint Joseph Cathedral, the oldest roman catholic church in the city. Then enjoy a gentle stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake to get a close-up look at the Turtle Tower right in the center of the lake. Other incredible landmarks to visit nearby are Ngoc Son Temple, the Opera House, the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the One Pillar Pagoda, and Hoa Lo Prison.
- Entrance fee: free
- Opening hours: 24/7
- Address: Hàng Ngang, Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An is a charming city located in central Vietnam famous for its beautiful coastline, hand-made lanterns, delicious street food, and rich history. If you’re interested in seeing one of the most well-preserved trading ports in South East Asia, then you definitely need to spend some time in Hoi An’s Ancient Town.
Hoi An was a prominent trading port from the 15th to 19th century with the Ancient Town right at its center. Today it is a UNESCO heritage site with much of its traditional wooden architecture, street plans, quays, canals, and bridges still beautifully intact.
There are several points of interest within the Ancient Town and it’s great place to really slow down and take it all in. Some of the most prominent features include wooden shophouses, crumbling French colonial buildings, Vietnamese tube houses and the Japanese Covered Bridge built during the 17th century.
The Ancient Town is a must-visit Vietnam landmark and a great place to see a mix of eras and influences seamlessly intertwined. The best way to explore the Ancient Town is to get lost in all its nooks and crannies on foot. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, this bike and bite tour is a fun way to see all the highlights and eat your way through Hoi An!
- Entrance fee: 5 USD
- Opening hours: 8 am – 9:30 pm
- Address: Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnels
Just an hour’s drive northwest of Saigon is one of Vietnam’s most famous landmarks – the Cu Chi Tunnels.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are part of an intricate and expansive network of tunnels that span over 250km underground. It is believed that the earliest tunnels were dug during the 1940s, but it was not until the 1960s when guerrilla troops expanded these tunnels stretching as far as the Cambodian border. The tunnels played a significant role during the Vietnam War and were the base of Viet Cong soldiers. Besides housing troops, the tunnels were also used to store supplies, lay booby traps, and mount surprise attacks.
It’s hard to believe, but these narrow 10 feet deep tunnels even housed make-shift hospitals, bomb shelters, a massive theatre and became very much like homes complete with living quarters and kitchens.
Today, the Cu Chi Tunnels is a Vietnam War Memorial Park, where visitors can get a glimpse into the Vietnam War. The park is quite big, and there are loads of interesting displays along the way, from command centers to booby traps. If you’re brave enough, you can crawl through some of the tunnels to get a close-up look at what was life was like for these soldiers. That’s if you can squeeze through the tiny entrances!
Since the Cu Chi Tunnels are a highlight on any visit to Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll have no trouble finding a day tour there!
- Entrance fee: VND 110 000
- Opening hours: 7:30 am – 5 pm
- Address: Tổ 6 -ấp QL22, Phước Thạnh, Củ Chi, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
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One of the most iconic landmarks in Vietnam is Golden Bridge. This is the infamous hand bridge that everyone has seen on the Internet. The instagrammable 150-meter long curved pedestrian bridge located in the mountains of Ba Na Hills is an iconic site near Da Nang. You’ll be surrounded by panoramic views of the countryside from the bridge.
Although Golden Bridge has no historical significance, it’s a very impressive architectural masterpiece. One of the main architects, Vu Viet Anh, said he wants visitors to feel like they’re walking through God’s hands. It was part of a $2 billion effort to attract more tourists to the area.
Golden Bridge is located within an amusement park, Ba Na Hills SunWorld. Most people visit as a day trip from Hoi An or Da Nang. The bridge is at the top of Ba Na Hills, and you’ll have to take a 20-minute cable car ride from the base to the bridge.
Keep an eye on the weather because the views won’t be great if you go on a cloudy or rainy day. If you want photos without lots of people in the background, visit earlier in the morning. You can also snap crowd-free pictures near the first hand on the bridge.
- Entrance fees: Approximately USD 30
- Opening hours: Every day from 7 am-10 pm
- Address: Tuyến cáp treo lên Bà Nà Hills, Hoà Ninh, Hòa Vang, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Sapa Rice Fields
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You have not visited Vietnam if you haven’t experienced its jaw-dropping rice terraces situated in the northern part of the country. The small town of Sapa is an excellent base for exploring Vietnam’s epic rice paddies, and hands down one of the most beautiful places in Asia!
Sapa is home to five different ethnic tribal groups that originally were in charge of the area. You can easily spot them in town because they often wear colorful traditional outfits and sell hand-made souvenirs. The best way to explore this idyllic region and its villages is to go on a hiking tour. The area around Sapa belongs to Hoang Lien National Park, with its highest peak – Fan Si Pan being its main attraction.
You can get to Sapa by taking an overnight train from Hanoi, situated 350 km south. The journey takes the whole night, but trains are super nice with comfortable beds and even breakfast in the morning.
- Entrance fees: free
- Opening hours: n/a
- Address: Sapa, Lao Cai Province
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Ban Gioc waterfall is one of the most impressive and beautiful natural wonders of Vietnam. The falls are 30 meters high and span 300 meters across. You’ll find the falls in the Cao Bang region of Northern Vietnam, with Ban Gioc waterfall sitting right on the border with China. It is a truly off-the-beaten-path place in Vietnam, and its remote location makes it quite a journey to get here.
The easiest route is to take a bus from Hanoi to Cao Bang, where you can stay for a couple of nights. From Cao Bang, you can join a tour or go by bus, but the best way to get to the falls is to rent a motorbike and drive yourself.
Once at the falls, you can enjoy the impressive sights from the edge of the water as you get blasted by the cool spray of the water cascading down. You can also hop on a wooden raft to get up close with the falls to really experience the power of the water and ensure you get soaking wet from the spray. The waterfall is surrounded by tall karst cliffs and is absolutely breathtaking no matter where you view it from.
- Entrance fees: 40,000 VND
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Address: TL 211, Đàm Thuỷ, Trùng Khánh, Cao Bằng
Imperial City of Hue
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Set in the historical and cultural city of Hue, the former Imperial City is one of the most famous landmarks of Vietnam. The Nguyen dynasty reigned here for almost 150 years, starting in 1802, and the city itself has seen much turmoil and intrigue. The square fortress was enclosed by 6 meter high walls and was created to emulate the Forbidden City in Beijing. Hue was chosen to be the capital city at this time because of the many rivers and mountains surrounding it.
The historical Imperial City (or citadel) of Hue has a lot to offer. Make sure to visit the impressive Meridian gate, the largest and most beautiful gate of the four entrances. It is a great example of Nguyen dynasty architecture. Thai Hoa Palace, considered the most miraculous thing to see here, is a royal building decorated with lacquer, gilding, and bronzeware. You will also find images of dragons and clouds throughout. Last but not least, stroll over to the Hien Lam pavilion, a three-story wooden structure of artistic significance.
Visit independently if you value your freedom, or join a day trip if you don’t feel like planning a thing,
- Entrance fees: $6.60 USD / 150,000 VND
- Opening hours: 8:00 am-5:30 pm Friday to Wednesday, 8:00 am-10 pm Thursdays
- Address: Imperial City, FH9H+M5 Thành phố Huế, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Crazy House in Dalat
Recommended by Lotte of Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog.
The Crazy House in Dalat isn’t something you would expect to see in Vietnam, as it’s completely different from the usual building style. This fun Vietnamese landmark most closely resembles a house from a fairytale.
With its spiral staircases, colorful flowers hanging from the roof, and intricate drawings in the maze of hallways, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into a story of the Grimm brothers or Hans Christiaan Andersen.
Give yourself an hour or two to explore this maze of narrow hallways and admire the view from the rooftop. Or, better yet, book one of the ten unique themed rooms! The Crazy House is officially known as the Hang Nga Guesthouse, and you can spend the night for just $35.
The regular entrance fee is 40,000 VND (around $1,75) per person, so visiting the Crazy House won’t break your Vietnam travel budget. Altogether visiting or spending the night at the Crazy House is a must-do on any Dalat itinerary.
- Entrance fee: 40,000 VND
- Opening hours: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
- Address: 03 Đường Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Phường 4, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng 66000, Vietnam
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The Huong Pagoda, more commonly known as the Perfume Pagoda, is one of the most beautiful famous landmarks of Vietnam. The Perfume Pagoda is located 50km south of Hanoi. To get to the site, you need to take a rowing boat down a small river. This boat trip is a brilliant experience in itself as you enjoy the stunning views of nature and wildlife surrounding the rice fields.
The Pagoda is set amongst several Buddhist temples that are nestled deep within the Huong Tich mountains. The temples and shrines have spiritual significance and attract local Vietnamese on pilgrimage. If you visit as a tourist, ensure that you dress in suitable clothing (shoulders and knees covered) to respect the local culture.
Due to the travel involved, the best way to make this trip is as part of a full-day organized tour from Hanoi. A trip here will typically include a tour of the Huong Tich Cave, which is popular with locals because of their belief that a visit helps fertility. If you wanted to make your own way to the Perfume Pagoda, the entrance is 130,000 VND per person (approx. ), including the return boat trip.
- Entrance fees: 130,000 VND
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Address: Hương Sơn, Mỹ Đức, Hanoi 100000
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Marble Mountains is a cluster of rolling marble and limestone hills, which serves as a perfect stopping point between the bustling city of Danang to the north and Hoi An to the south.
Since 1825, the tunnels and caves carved into the mountains’ limestone hills have been used by Buddhists to house intricate shrines, pagodas, and gardens dreamily spread along the mountaintops. Throughout history, the site has been used as a refuge, not only as a point of religious reverence but also in various other contexts – from a command post during the French Colonial War to a military hospital in the 1960s.
Now, the mountaintop caves have returned to their tranquil origins and are open for tourists to explore, soak in the Buddhist shrines’ peaceful environment, the lush fauna dotting the hills, and the stunning view of Danang and its beaches and surrounding mountains.
- Entrance fees: 40,000 VND (plus an additional 15,000 VND if you elect to take the elevator to the mountaintop, as opposed to climbing the stairs)
- Open hours: 7 am – 5:30 pm
- Address: 81 Huyền Trân Công Chúa, Hoà Hải, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
Linh Ung Pagoda
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The magnificent Linh Ung Pagoda complex, with its Lady Buddha located on the Son Tra Peninsula, is a famous Vietnamese landmark that you shouldn’t miss.
The locals call the Pagoda complex ‘the most peaceful place with a stunning view.’ The Lady Buddha stands at 67 meters high and is the tallest Lady Buddha structure in Vietnam. The Lady Buddha structure can be seen from all over the city of Da Nang. She is also known as the Goddess of Mercy, who is the protector of fishermen from storms and strong waves. The complex was constructed during the reign of Emperor Ming Mang from the Nguyen Dynasty during the 18th century and has recently undergone renovations.
During your visit, you can wander through the impressive courtyards with 18 statues, a bonsai garden, and the main pagoda complex. There are stunning views over the ocean and the mountains to enjoy. A fun way to explore the area is on a side car tour, but there are also many day tours on offer. If you prefer to explore this magnificent monument at your own pace, hiring a private driver is another option.
- Entrance: Free
- Opening Hours: From 6 am to 7 pm every day
- Address: Hoàng Sa, Thọ Quang, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng
- Visiting Tips: Dress respectively, and don’t wear shoes. The best time to visit is between March and September and at sunrise or sunset.
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Paradise Cave is one of the most beautiful caves that you will find in Phong Nha, the hidden paradise on the touristy route between Hue and Ninh Binh.
Getting to Phong Nha is easy, both from Hue and Ninh Binh, with transport arranged from your hotel. Daily tours from Phong Nha cover two or three caves in the area and cost between 20-30 USD. Paradise Cave is one of them, and it is one of the most beautiful in Phong Nha.
To reach the cave, you must hike up the mountain and then descent into the darkness on a long stair. Once you are inside, though, you will understand why this is called Paradise Cave. It used to be the largest cave in the world before Hang Son Doong, another cave in Phong Nha, was discovered. However, getting to Hang Son Doong is not really accessible to tourists. You need a special permit, and the waiting list is about two years long.
You can explore on your own one kilometer inside Paradise Cave. For more, you need to hire a professional guide. Visiting Paradise Cave is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Phong Nha. Even if you pass by the village on a day trip, try and visit it.
- Entrance fees: 250, 000 VND
- Opening hours: 7 am – 4:30 pm
- Address: Km 16 Đường Hồ Chí Minh, Nhánh Tây, Bố Trạch, Quảng Bình
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
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Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the first President of the Republic of Vietnam, and one of the most visited landmarks of Vietnam.
The mausoleum is a huge iconic structure built of granite with rectangular columns surrounding it. The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved in a cooler and kept in a glass case for the citizens to pay their respect. There are military guards of honor outside of the mausoleum for protection. The mausoleum stands in front of a huge square that holds historical significance.
The mausoleum tends to get very busy with long queues of visitors to pay their respect, especially on weekends. Visitors are not allowed to take in bags and cameras inside the mausoleum. It is advisable to dress respectfully.
Ho Chi Minh complex is one of the most popular attractions in Hanoi. The complex covers a vast area with Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Presidential Palace, and One Pillar Pagoda all within it. Plan to spend half a day exploring the complex and the landmarks.
- Entrance fees: Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
- Opening hours: (Tuesday – Thursday) 07:30 – 10:30, (Saturday & Sunday) 07:30 – 11:00
- Address: 8 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
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The quaint town of Tam Coc is located in the Ninh Binh province, where jagged limestone cliffs tower over lush rice paddies, and ancient pagodas sit nestled into the mountainside. It’s a far cry from the bustling streets of Vietnam’s busiest cities, and the landscape rivals the famous Halong Bay with far fewer tourists to compete with. It’s just two to three hours from Hanoi by bus, train, or transfer, and it’s a must-visit for any Vietnam itinerary.
One of Tam Coc’s major attractions is the cave cruise, with traditional sampan rowboats carrying tourists along the rivers and through the flooded karst caves, showcasing some of the best natural views you’ll find in all of Vietnam. Sit back and enjoy the mind-blowing views while your local guide rows with their feet, a technique that is common throughout Ninh Binh!
The Tam Coc river cruise is a return route and takes about an hour and a half in total. Another option is to join a tour from nearby Trang An (30 mins on a motorbike. The tour is two and a half hours for the same price and makes a loop, offering more varied views.
- Fees: 150,000 VND per adult + 120,000 VND for the rower for Tam Coc, 200,000 VND per person for Trang An
- Opening hours: The boats at both locations run from 8 am to 6 pm
- Address: Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province
War Remnants Museum
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The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is a place you will not forget.
This museum spans three floors, with each floor dedicated to different aspects of the Vietnam War. Much of the information in the rooms is graphic and may distress some visitors. There are chairs out in the main areas on the floors where visitors can take some time to digest what they are seeing.
There is also an outside area with aircraft, tanks, and other weaponry left in the country when the war was over. Behind a large wall is the prison where you can see what one was like and some of the devices they used in them on the imprisoned prisoners.
The War Remnants Museum is an important landmark in Ho Chi Minh City that is definitely worth a visit, but you must be prepared for the things you will see there. If you are traveling with children, you will need to assess what you think your children can handle.
- Entrance Fees: 40,000 VND
- Opening hours: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3 HCMC
Vietnam Landmarks in Conclusion
There are hundreds of incredible natural landmarks, historical sites, and monuments to choose from in Vietnam. If you’re only interested in the best of the best, this list of 16 Vietnamese landmarks is a great starting point.
There you have it – the biggest and boldest landmarks in Vietnam. Have you visited any of these famous places? If you feel I’ve missed any must-visit Vietnamese landmarks, let me know in the comments below!
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