Nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring”, Dalat is a popular place for nature lovers to visit in Southern Vietnam and relish in the cool mountain weather. Located in the central highlands, 300km north of Saigon, Dalat is a haven of mountains and waterfalls. The town, made up of narrow mountainside lanes and cosy coffee shops, offers a romantic atmosphere adding to the draw of including Dalat on your Vietnam itinerary. This Dalat Wanderlist shares what there is to see and do in Dalat to help you plan the perfect trip.
Things to do in Dalat
Explore the waterfalls around Dalat
As mentioned before, the countryside around Dalat is home to a number of interesting waterfalls to check out. Each fall offers something different, the 3 most popular being Pongour, Elephant and Datanla.
Pongour waterfall is the furthest from the city, about 1hr driving each way, and features a flow that cascades down 7 terraces. In the warm summer months, it is possible to bathe in the falls, though be careful as it can be very slippery.
Closer to Dalat city is Elephant falls, which contrary to the relaxing flow of Pongour waterfall features a majestic flow that cannot be swum in. This waterfall features a short trail down to a viewing platform of the dramatic fall.
Datanla falls is the closest to Dalat city and is commonly included as part of the canyoning tours that are run in the area. You have two options arriving here; for 50k you can take the alpine coaster down, or hike 1km down the stairs for free.
💰 Each fall has an entrance ticket ranging from 10k – 30k
🛵 See all the waterfalls in one day; start at Pongour and wind your way back to the city, stopping next at Elephant falls and finally at Datanla falls
Go cloud hunting at Da Phu Hill
One of the most popular things to do among Vietnamese travellers in Dalat is to get up early and venture into the mountains, where you get to watch the morning sunrise melt the clouds away to reveal the valleys below. There are a number of hills you can go cloud hunting at around Dalat but the most popular, and one of the closest to the city, is Da Phu Hill. Be ready to drive along dirt tracks in the dark and I recommend wearing lots of cosy clothes to beat the morning chill.
📍 Đồi Đa Phú
⏰ Leave the city at 5am to catch the sunrise in time (we were a little late)
If you’re keen for something a little further afield, I’ve seen that Cau Dat Tea Village also gets some amazing views for cloud hunting, though it is about a 1hr drive from Dalat meaning you would need to leave the city around 4am to get there in time.
Check out Linh Phuoc pagoda
Originally built in the 1950s, this pagoda is different to most you will see in Vietnam as it is actually made from a mosaic using pieces from 12,000 bottles. The pagoda features a 7m high dragon as its focal, as well as the highest bell tower in Vietnam.
Chùa Linh Phước 📍 Trai Mat, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng
Sip sunset hot chocolates at “Tiệm cà phê Cheoveooo”
Caphe Tiem Cheoveooo takes its place as my favourite coffee shop in Dalat. This little rustic cafe is situated on the edge of the mountain and offers some of the most beautiful sunset views in the city. Head here around 5pm and order one of their flavoured hot chocolates, or maybe a cheeky Baileys hot chocolate, to watch the sunset glow over the valley. Above the coffeeshop is a viewing platform where you can take some stunning photos.
Tiệm cà phê #Cheoveooo📍 116 Hùng Vương, Phường 11, Thành phố Đà Lạt
Go strawberry picking
The countryside around Dalat is covered in lush farmland, fruit and vegetable farms and coffee and tea plantations. As a tropical country that doesn’t normally offer soft fruits, the abundance of strawberry farms in this region is a real treat. It’s popular to go berry picking at some of the local farms in Dalat, where you get to take away the fruits of your labour.
✍️ Read more: Top 10 Dalat Strawberry gardens reputable for tourists
Take the cable car to Truc Lam monastery
Get a birds eye view of Dalat from the Truc Lam cable car. Starting in the city, the cable car stretches more than 2km over a valley covered in pineforest before arriving at its destination; Truc Lam monastery. The monastery offers a slice of tranquility with gardens around it. The cable car starts and returns to Robin Hill.
Robin Hill 📍 Đồi Robin, Phường 3, Lâm Đồng
💰 80k return
Explore Cau Dat tea hill
Situated 45mins outside Dalat city, a trip to Cau Dat tea hill will reward you with some of the most beautiful views in the region. The rolling hills around are covered with tea plantations. If you have a motorbike you can drive to the far edge of the tea hill, where you will find a wooden bridge with panoramic views over the valley (Google; Cầu Gỗ Săn Mây). It’s 100k to access the bridge, but there are similar views just around the corner if you want to see it for free.
There are some coffee shops and cafes here where you can try some of the local tea, and I’ve heard that it is possible to do tea tastings here at some of the tea factories however I haven’t tried this (yet). Cau Dat is also a popular place to go sunrise cloud hunting, as mentioned earlier.
Cau Dat tea hill 📍 Đất, Thôn, Cầu, Xuân Trường, Thành phố Đà Lạt
Visit the clay tunnels
The clay tunnels is a park full of statues made from the dark red clay found in the region. It’s a relatively new attraction in Dalat and is a popular photo-taking spot. Regardless of your thoughts on these Instagram photo-op attractions, the view from the drive there is beautiful and I would recommend taking a drive around the lake and stopping at one of the coffeeshops there while exploring this area of the countryside.
Clay Tunnel 📍 Phường 4, Dalat, Lâm Đồng
Motorbike the Khanh Le Pass
This drive goes down as one of my favourite roads to drive in Vietnam. The Khanh Le Pass links Dalat and the coastal city of Nha Trang, winding through a dramatic valley filled with pine forests and views all the way to the ocean.
This drive is perfect for those motorbiking across Vietnam as Nha Trang will most likely be your next destination after Dalat (if driving north through the country). If you aren’t motorbiking yourself, this route can be done as an Easy Rider trip, where you sit on the back of an experience guides motorbike via companies like Dalat Easy Riders.
✍️ Read more: Motorbiking from Dalat to Nha Trang
Grab a beer and get lost in the Maze bar
If you’re looking for unique things to do, then be sure to spend an evening at the Maze bar. As the name suggests, it’s easy to get lost inside this hodgepodge bar, made up of hundreds of quirkily-designed rooms merged together. Also known as the “100 Roofs Cafe”, it features a number of different roof terraces. Say no more, go check out the Maze bar and hope that you’re friends aren’t lurking to jump out at you.
Maze Bar 📍 57 Phan Bội Châu, Phường 1
Join a Canyoneering trek
This is something I did for the first time on my last trip to Dalat and boy was it an experience. The canyoning route starts at the top of Datanla falls and sees you learning how to abseil first down an 18m high waterfall, followed by a zipline across a waterfall, more abseiling (this time taking on a 25m fall), floating down lazy rivers and taking natural water slides before coming to the final waterfall when you abseil down before dropping into the river below. The ultimate adventure day and the best way to see Datanla waterfall.
Dalat Canyoning Tour is the only licensed company to run these tours so I recommend booking with them, just like we did.
💰 1.6mil (includes all equipment, training and lunch)
⏰ 8 – 4pm
Do the high ropes course at Datanla Waterfall
Another activity for the thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies is the high ropes course at Datanla waterfall, which will see you climbing among the top of the pine forest with views over Datanla Waterfall. The course including zip lines, rope swings and abseiling making it perfect for those that love to be active.
💰 350k (or 270k if you catch the off-peak time between 8-9am)
⏰ The course is open from 8am – 2pm
📍 Datanla Waterfall, Phường 3, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng
Planning a trip to Dalat
Dalat is a great destination to include if you love nature, or maybe you’re looking for some respite from the heat of Vietnam and hopefully, you’ve got some exciting ideas of things to do in Dalat from this guide.
✍️ For details on how to get to Dalat, what to eat there and where to sleep, as well as a budget, check out my Dalat guide.