Do you love mountain views, waterfalls and adventure activities? Get Dalat on your Vietnam itinerary! This guide shares some of the best things to do in Dalat.

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 guide shares what there is to see and do in Dalat to help you plan the perfect trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, all marked with * Booking through these links generates a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

Planning a Trip to Dalat

Dalat is a popular destination to escape the heat of southern Vietnam and get out into nature. So if you love nature, add it to your Vietnam itinerary! Here are the basics for planning a trip to Dalat.

How to get to Dalat

The bus is the cheapest and easiest way to travel to Dalat. The nearest destinations to travel from are Saigon, Nha Trang and Mui Ne. I’ve found the easiest way to book transport in advance is through Baolau* or Vexere, search engines that compare all travel options to find the best one for you.

From Saigon

⏰ 5hrs
💰 150-250k

From Mui Ne or Nha Trang

⏰ 1hr
💰 100k

If travelling from further afield, then flying is recommended. The nearest airport is Lien Khuong Airport which is located approximately 30km outside the city.

Note: Most of the best things to do in Dalat required a motorbike to get there. For information on renting a motorbike or a driver for the day, check out my travel guide to Dalat.

Where to stay in Dalat

The city doesn’t have a backpacker area like you’ll find in Saigon or Hanoi, but it does have an abundance of cute accommodation options from hotels to homestays to hostels. Tigon Hostel is perfect for backpackers with an amazing view of the valley (they’re not on but you can book via Facebook). For a cute homestay try Dalat Memories Homestay* or  Chang’s Village* (personally haven’t stayed here but it embodies the cosy cabin vibe of Dalat).

Best Things to do in 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. Hopefully, you’ve got some exciting ideas of things to do in Dalat from this travel guide.

Explore the Waterfalls around Dalat

The countryside around Dalat is home to a number of waterfalls, each offering something different and unique to check out! The 3 most popular waterfalls to visit in Dalat at Pongour Waterfall, Elephant Falls and, my favourite, Datanla Waterfall.

Pongour Waterfall is the furthest from the city, about 1hr drive each way, but with a flow that cascades down 7 terraces, it’s a beautiful site to see. In the warm summer months, it is possible to take a dip in the falls but be careful as it can be very slippery. Tickets are 20k.

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. There is a short trail at Elephant Fall that takes you to a viewing platform next to the waterfall. Tickets are 20k.

Datanla is the closest to Dalat city and is where you can go canyoning (jump down to read more). For 50k you can take the alpine coaster down to the waterfall, or you can hike 1km downstairs to see the waterfall for free.

How to see the waterfalls of Dalat in a day

It’s possible to see all the waterfalls in Dalat in a day, however as they are in the countryside you will need some wheels to see them. You can rent motorbikes at most accommodations* but as Dalat is a mountain town I don’t recommend this for first-time drivers. Instead, check out __ who offer Easy Rider tours where they drive you around to different sites.

💰 150k/day rental

Start your day trip at Pongour Waterfall, then wind your way back to the city stopping next at Elephant Falls and finally at Datanla Falls.

dalat things to do see travel guide cloud hunting datanla elephant pongour waterfalls

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.

⏰ 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.

💰 Free

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 coffee shop is a viewing platform where you can take some stunning photos.

Tiệm cà phê #Cheoveooo 📍 116 Hùng Vương, Phường 11, Thành phố Đà Lạt

best things to do in dalat vietnam central highlands travel guide sunset spot cafe bar hot chocolate viewpoint

Go strawberry picking in Dalat

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 bird’s 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 pine forest before arriving at its destination; Truc Lam monastery. The monastery offers a slice of tranquillity 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.

dalat best things to do see travel guide cau dat tea hill clay tunnels motorbiking to nha trang khanh le pass

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 coffee shops there while exploring this area of the countryside.

💰 60k

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.

✍️ Motorbiking from Dalat to Nha Trang

For more information on motorbiking across Vietnam, check out my Complete Guide to Motorbiking in Vietnam.

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.

Go Canyoning in Dalat

This is something I did for the first time on my last trip to Dalat and boy was it an experience. The canyoning tour starts at the top of Datanla falls and sees you abseiling, ziplining, cliff jumping and taking on natural waterslides. The ultimate adventure day, and the best way to see Datanla waterfall!

To go canyoning in Dalat you need to join a tour – we went with Dalat Highland Adventure Travel and it was epic!

✍️ How to go Canyoning in Dalat
💰 1.6mil (includes equipment, training and lunch)
⏰ 8 – 4pm

how to go canyoning in dalat tour highland adventures vietnam travel guide best things to do

Do the high ropes course at Datanla Waterfall

Another activity for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies is the high ropes course at Datanla waterfall, which will see you climbing to the top of the pine forest with views over Datanla Waterfall. The course includes 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

Map of Things to do in Dalat

This map shares the locations of everything mentioned in this travel guide. Click the star next to the map title to save it on your google drive for later!

Now you know some of the best things to do in Dalat! With lots of nature and cosy mountain vibes, Dalat is the perfect destination to add to your Vietnam itinerary.

Like this post? Pin it for later!

best things to do in dalat vietnam central highlands travel guide
best things to do in dalat vietnam central highlands travel guide

Planning a trip to Dalat

For more information on planning a trip to Vietnam, be sure to check out my Ultimate Vietnam Travel Guide which includes everything you need to know for travelling around the country.

✍️ A Travel Guide to Dalat
✍️ How to go Canyoning in Dalat
✍️ Motorbiking from Dalat to Nha Trang

Meet Frances; Scottish lass turned Vietnam expat, and creator of this space. She can be found sippin’ ice tea’s and writing about her adventures from her sunny base of Saigon, Vietnam’s southern metropolis. All with a healthy side of researching her next road trip. With 5 years of living, travelling and scooting around Asia under her belt – let Frances be your guide to travelling the region.


  • August 10, 2021

    Dalat is one of my favorite spots in Vietnam but I have yet to visit Cau Dat tea hill so adding that to my list!


post a comment