Da Nang is one of my favourite places in Vietnam. The city is surrounded by nature, with mountains flanking it and white-sand beaches lining the coast. Many people skip Da Nang when travelling through Vietnam, opting to spend their time in the ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An instead, yet there is so much to see and do in this relaxed beach city. These are 10 of the best things to do and see in Da Nang!
10 Best Things to do in Da Nang
1️⃣ Marble mountain
A short drive south of the city lies one of the best vantage points of Da Nang; Marble Mountain. Marble Mountain is a series of marble and limestone hills within which you will find caves and pagodas a-plenty. Opt to climb the 156 steps up Marble Mountain, or take the glass elevator to the start of the pagodas.
There are a number of caves and temples set among the winding paths to explore. Climb to the top of marble mountain for stunning views over the city, before climbing through a hidden tunnel and into a cave.
⏰ 7am – 5:30pm
📍52 Huyền Trân Công Chúa, Hoà Hải, Ngũ Hành Sơn
2️⃣ Ba Na Hills
Home to the iconic “Golden Hands Bridge”, a day trip to Ba Na Hills is sneaking in as a must-do experience in Da Nang. Take a cable car to the Ba Na Hills amusement park for views over Da Nang and to explore the mini European feel of the town inside the park. You can book tickets on their website.
💰 750k ($32)
📍An Son Village, Hoa Ninh Commune, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang
3️⃣ Drive the Hai Van Pass
Driving along the Hai Van Pass has become something of a right-of-passage for travellers to Vietnam and is one of my most recommended experiences in all of Vietnam. The Hai Van Pass is an iconic road that weaves through the stunning mountain passes and past pristine coastal views from Da Nang to the ancient city of Hue.
You can opt to motorbike the Hai Van pass yourself, or take an Easy Rider tour. I’ve done both and rate each experience highly, as they are both very different. Doing an Easy Rider is also a popular way to skip the bus and transfer from Da Nang to Hue and visa versa (the drivers can bring your luggage with them). Check out the guides for more information:
✍️ Motorbiking the Hai Van Pass (a self-drive guide with details on motorbike rentals and routes).
✍️ Easy Rider of the Hai Van Pass (doing a tour of the Hai Van pass, perfect for none motorbike riders).
4️⃣ Eat Mi Quang noodles
When in Da Nang you have to eat Mi Quang, one of the local noodle dishes from the province of Quang Nam where the city is located. Mi Quang is a dry noodle dish, topped with meat, veggies, herbs, peanuts and crispy rice crackers, with fragrant turmeric-flavoured yellow broth. As a popular local dish, you can find Mi Quang in many restaurants and street spots across the region.
5️⃣ Da Nang street art
Check out the modern urban edge of Da Nang with an exploration of the cities street art. There are two areas of the city that have been transformed with murals covering the walls. The street art project, titled “Brighten up your life“, was initiated by the local government and created by a series of local artists and students. The murals are all themed around local life, with an emphasis on environmental awareness and local culture.
Where to find street art in Da Nang:
Fresco village 📍 75 Nguyễn Văn Linh, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu
Ho Nguyen Trung Street 📍 Hồ Nguyên Trừng, Hòa Cường Nam, Hải Châu
6️⃣ See the Dragon bridge
Claiming its place as the largest bridge in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge also serves as an emblem of the youthful innovation of Da Nang. The Dragon Bridge is one of my favourite sites to see here as it’s so different from the bridges you normally see in Vietnam. If you’re in Da Nang on the weekend make sure to get a view of the Dragon Bridge at 9pm to watch it come alive, spraying both fire and water out of its mouth. I’ve heard it’s quite a spectacle.
9pm Fri-Sun, for the fire and water display
Cầu Rồng Đà Nẵng 📍 550000 Đà Nẵng, Sơn Trà, An Hải Tây, An Hả
To view the Dragon Bridge from afar, head to the 7 Bridges Taproom. Not only will you get a great view of the bridge but also get to try local craft beer (which has become a huge thing in Vietnam over the past 5 years or so).
7 Bridges Brewing Co. Taproom 📍 493 Trần Hưng Đạo, An Hải Trung, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng 550000
7️⃣ Relax on My An beach
The city of Da Nang is fronted by a 20km long stretch of powdery white sand called My An beach. If you like sunbathing you can just grab a towel and find a spot of sand to relax on. Even if you aren’t a fan of sunbathing, I highly recommend you head down to the beach to enjoy the sunset and watch as it comes alive with locals hanging out, exercising and eating in the cooler dusk weather.
8️⃣ Linh Ung pagoda
This is a series of pagodas situated at the top of Son Tra peninsula, just a short drive outside the city. Included in the Linh Ung Pagoda complex a 67m high statue of Lady Buddha, which looks over the bay of Da Nang. The Lady Buddha of Da Nang is the tallest Buddha statue in all of Vietnam and is worth the trip to the pagoda complex. Assuming you are modestly dressed, you can climb to the top of the Lady Buddha for a small fee.
The only way to explore these temples is to drive, either on your own motorbike or you could use the “rent” option on Grab to rent a motorbike and driver to wait for you while you explore before returning to the city. Personally, I recommend combining a trip to the Linh Ung pagodas with a day of exploring the sites around Da Nang. This guide shares my favourite things to see in a day as well as a route for exploring them by motorbike.
Lady Buddha of Da Nang📍 Chùa Linh Ứng, Hoàng Sa, Thọ Quang, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng
9️⃣ Day trip to Hoi An
If you aren’t already planning to stay in Hoi An, then a day trip is a must. The UNESCO town of Hoi An is only a 45 min drive from Da Nang city but will have you transported back in time by the ancient yellow houses and lantern-lit streets. You can easily take Grab cars from Da Nang to Hoi An (~350k one way).
While a day trip to Hoi An from Da Nang is fun, I do recommend spending a few days staying in Hoi An during your travels in Vietnam. This guide shares all the details for planning a trip to Hoi An.
🔟 Day trip to My Son Sanctuary
Another popular day trip I recommend taking, from either Da Nang or Hoi An, is a trip to the ancient Champa temples of My Son. Some of these Hindu temples date as far back as the 4th century and share some resemblance of the temples of Angkor Wat. My Son sanctuary is found in a valley about 40km south of the city and is most easily reached by motorbike or on a tour.
Planning a trip to Da Nang
Acting as the gateway to central Vietnam, Da Nang is often used as a stepping stone to the nearby destinations of Hue and Hoi An. Which is a shame, as Da Nang has so much to offer, be it the beaches, the mountains or the temples. I recommend spending a couple of days here exploring. My travel guide to Da Nang shares detail on how to travel to Da Nang, what to eat and where to sleep, plus a budget.