Where to Stay in Vietnam: Our FAVORITE Places in 2020

Where to Stay in Vietnam

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Stretching along the entire eastern coast of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a bustling and vibrant country that attracts millions of visitors every year! With a long and turbulent history, Vietnam has an eclectic culture and some of the most intense historic attractions in the world. It also has some mesmerising areas of natural beauty and a world-famous culinary scene.

The population of almost 100 million is packed into a relatively small space, so there’s no avoiding how busy Vietnam feels. This can make it a daunting prospect – especially for first-time visitors. Gaining an idea of what is on offer in different areas across the country can help demystify the bustling streets around the country.

That’s why we have built this guide! Consulting local experts, tour guides and bloggers we have come up with the five best places to stay in Vietnam. We have split them across eight different categories, giving you the chance to choose somewhere that best suits your travel style.

So let’s just jump right into it!

 

Quick Answers: Where is the Best Place to Stay in Vietnam?

  • Hanoi – Overall Best Place to Stay in Vietnam
  • Hoi An – Best Place to Stay in Vietnam For Families
  • Da Lat – Where to Stay in Vietnam for Couples
  • Hanoi – Coolest Place to Stay in Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh – Where to Stay in Vietnam on a Budget
  • Ho Chi Minh – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Vietnam
  • Da Lat – Where to Stay in Vietnam for Adventure
  • Sapa – Where To Stay For Incredible Photography

 

Map of Where to Stay in Vietnam

vietnam map

1.Hanoi, 2.Hoi An, 3.Da Lat, 4.Ho Chi Minh, 5.Sapa (Locations in no particular order)

Backpacking Vietnam is a truly unique experience and something we can recommend to every traveller. From learning about the different cultures to enjoying amazing and tasty street food, you’ll have a blast in this charming country. 

The good thing about Vietnam is that you’ll never have to worry about accommodation. You’re going to find heaps amazing and cheap hostels in Vietnam plus a whole host of other excellent choices such as traditional homestays, good-value Airbnbs, and even high-end hotels and resorts. If you’re looking for a safe place to rest your head and a spot to meet like-minded travellers, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Hanoi – Overall Best Place to Stay in Vietnam

As the modern capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is the main gateway to the country and the first place most travelers will visit upon arrival. Hanoi has an extensive history that gives visitors the chance to learn about the Vietnam War, colonial rule and ancient history in the region. This sprawling metropolis is packed with museums and memorials.

Where to Stay in Vietnam

Hanoi is a city experiencing major development – and with all the tourism money coming in, there are plenty of great stores and restaurants popping up around every corner! It is also where you will find some of the best nightlife in Vietnam. Hanoi is the cultural heart of the country, and if you want to see a modern side of Vietnam this is the place to start.

Hanoi is ranked among the top destinations in the world!  It provides an excellent overview of everything Vietnam has to offer, and we would argue it is a must see on any itinerary travelling around Southeast Asia. It is also the main gateway to Northern Vietnam, making it a good hub for exploring further afield.

 

Best Places to Stay in Hanoi

Each neighborhood and district in Hanoi offers a different perspective of Vietnam. Hoàn Kiem District is the city centre and largest commercial district, whilst Ba Dình is the political hub. Both of these neighborhoods are packed with monuments, museums and attractions, so for first time visitors this is a good place to gather your bearings. It can be quite intimidating at first, so give yourself plenty of time to adjust.

where to stay in Hanoi

source: Komorebi (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Hanoi: Komorebi

This beautiful studio apartment is right in the heart of Hanoi – close to some of the biggest attractions in the city! Surrounded by windows, guests are given great views of the city and plenty of daylight to create a bright and welcoming space. The kitchen is shared with other apartments, all of which are let out to tourists.

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Best Hostel in Hanoi: Republik Backpackers Hostel

This is one of Hanoi’s coolest hostels: it’s run by former backpackers which means that it’s very guest-oriented, drawing upon years of experience. The on-site bar offers great food, as well as large social spaces and pool tables where you can mingle with others. A complimentary breakfast is included, saving you some cash during your stay in Hanoi. They also have a gorgeous rooftop area where you can admire views of the city.

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Best Hotel in Hanoi: Eco Boutique Hotel

This laid back three-star hotel is designed with the environment in mind – making it the perfect choice for eco-conscious travellers heading to Hanoi! They offer two different kinds of complimentary breakfast – a buffet with local cuisine, or a standard American style breakfast. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with excellent guest reviews. The Dong Xuan Market is only a short walk away.

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Hoi An – Best Place to Stay in Vietnam for Families

Located right in the middle of Vietnam, Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has long been considered the most beautiful destination to explore! It is surrounded by greenery, giving it a cleaner atmosphere than the larger cities. Colonial architecture sits alongside centuries old temples and modern Chinese propaganda from the post-war period.

Best Place to Stay in Vietnam for Families

Vietnam is a notoriously hectic country that many families avoid – though Hoi An can be a breath of fresh air for those that want to take their kids on an adventure with them! Hoi An is more peaceful than the larger cities – so even if you are a solo traveller, this is a good stop to gather your bearings. It is also a major shopping hub in the country.

 

Best Places to Stay In Hoi An

Hoi An is far smaller than the two main cities, so do stick to the Old Town! This is not only where all the historic attractions reside, but it is also home to the main shopping streets and malls. Since it’s smaller than other the major tourist destinations in Vietnam, it’s not nearly as much of a struggle to find an awesome place to stay in Hoi An

where to stay in Hoi An

source: Hidden Gem (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Hoi An: Hidden Gem

This gorgeous two-bedroom villa has a calm and secluded atmosphere despite being right in the heart of Hoi An! The architecture is inspired by the whitewashed buildings of the Greek Islands, and the decor draws upon Vietnamese themes. There is a small pool for guest use, and the spacious kitchen is well equipped for those planning longer stays.

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Best Hostel in Hoi An: Cococha Hostel & Pool Club

This hostel comes with a large outdoor swimming pool and hosts regular pool parties! These pool parties have live DJs and discounted drinks to help get you in the spirit. They also provide orientation tours for new arrivals kicking off their itinerary in Hoi An and just getting to grips with the area. The old town is only a short walk away, as is the main beach area, and once a week they have free spring roll making classes.

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Best Hotel in Hoi An: Belle Maison Hadana Hoi An Resort & Spa

This stunning four-star hotel is perfect for families wanting an easy-going resort style holiday in Vietnam! They offer rooms that suit both families of three and four – and can provide discounts on multiple bookings of double rooms. As well as a large swimming pool, there is also an extensive fitness suite on-site and a spa where you can relax and forget all of life’s stresses.

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Da Lat – Where to Stay in Vietnam for Couples

Da Lat is a great example of the colonial influence on Vietnam – with French-style buildings and star-shaped streets running throughout the city. It was once a popular getaway for French colonial authorities looking to escape the heat of the larger cities – and still attracts Ho Chi Minh City residents to this day!

For couples, Da Lat offers a romantic atmosphere, and in many ways is geared mostly towards the couples market in terms of things to do. There are plenty of great day trips into the Highlands that surround the city, including the Valley of Love – the perfect spot to grab that all important couples instagram photo.

Where to Stay in Vietnam for Couples

Da Lat is also much quieter than the larger cities in the country, and many couples enjoy the more peaceful vibes. Ho Chi Minh City isn’t far away and whilst it is worth more than a day trip, it is close enough that you can plan a night or two without having to spend too long to get there.

 

Best Places to Stay in Da Lat

If you’re visiting the city, it is smartest to stay in the main tourist areas of Da Lat. Most attractions are walkable from the city centre, so this is your best starting point. The motorbike taxi services are abundant too, so any further out destinations won’t take too long to get to. If you can, make sure there are plenty of tour providers nearby so you can head into the countryside.

where to stay in Da Lat

source: Dark Studio (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Da Lat: Dark Studio

This apartment might seem a little bit dramatic but the stylish interiors give it a luxurious feel. It is only a few minutes walk from Da Lat Market where you can mingle with locals and pick up fresh ingredients. The kitchen is well equipped to prepare meals with your new purchases, and the large window provides views across the city.

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Best Hostel in Da Lat: Tigon Dalat Hostel

A rather peaceful Da Lat hostel, Tigion is a little more secluded but still within easy walking distance of the main attractions. Not only is breakfast included – but they also run regular cooking and Vietnamese coffee-making classes for guests to connect with the culture and each other. They have a friendly reputation, which is reflected in the excellent guest reviews. The main bus station is about two minutes away.

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Best Hotel in Da Lat: Ana Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

If you are visiting as a couple, it is worth splurging on a five-star hotel – especially since they tend to be more budget-friendly in Vietnam! This hotel has a fairytale atmosphere that will help you enjoy a truly romantic experience in Da Lat. With an outdoor pool and a large spa, you will barely want to leave. When you manage to peel yourself away from the resort, it is surrounded by gorgeous mountains.

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Hanoi – Coolest Place to Stay in Vietnam

Not content just with giving it the title of the overall best place in Vietnam, we also believe Hanoi is easily the coolest destination in the country! As mentioned earlier, it has some of the best nightlife in the country – and the recent development projects have created an exciting atmosphere with brand new restaurants, locally-owned boutiques and even art galleries cropping up all over the city.

Coolest Place to Stay in Vietnam

Hanoi might only be the second biggest city in the country – but is still full of life and bustling! It is easy to get lost in the streets of Hanoi, and more experienced travelers will likely want to. The city offers an intriguing combination of Asian and European cultures as a result of French colonization that you simply won’t find elsewhere in the world.

 

Best Places to Stay in Hanoi

We’ve already mentioned the city centre as a great destination. Hai Bà Trung District is another fantastic option for more experienced travellers. It is easily the busiest district, but is the best example of old and new combining in the city. For those on backpacking Vietnam on a budget, Cau Giay District is the main student area with some excellent restaurants that will keep your wallet just as happy as your stomach!

where to stay in Hanoi

source: Stylish Apartment (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Hanoi: Stylish Apartment

Airbnb Plus apartments are hand-selected for their excellent commitment to interior design and above and beyond guest service. This gorgeous apartment is right in the heart of the Old Quarter neighborhood, allowing you the opportunity to discover Hanoi’s historic attractions. A free breakfast is included every morning, as well as an extensive guide written by the local host about the surrounding neighborhood.

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Best Hostel in Hanoi: Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel

Another fantastic accommodation in the Old Quarter, this is one of the newest hostels in Hanoi! It has already garnered plenty of positive reviews, with many previous guests enjoying the modern and comfortable furnishings. They offer you a complimentary drink as soon as you arrive, and the reception staff are known for their friendly disposition. It was awarded the most popular hostel in Hanoi by the 2020 Hostelworld Awards.

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Best Hotel in Hanoi: Solaria Hanoi Hotel

A little bit of an upgrade from our other top pick in Hanoi, this four-star hotel is perfect if you want something with a little added luxury. The on-site bar has a spacious terrace giving you panoramic views of the city centre. Interiors are modern and stylish, with spacious rooms and elegant furnishings. A complimentary Asian style breakfast is included.

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Ho Chi Minh – Where to Stay in Vietnam on a Budget

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the former capital of South Vietnam! Like Hanoi, it offers some excellent historic and cultural attractions – as well as excellent nightlife venues. A wallet-friendly destination for budget backpackers, Ho Chi Minh City is known for its great street food vendors, featuring cuisines from all over the world, and wide range of cheap accommodation.

Where to Stay in Vietnam on a Budget

Source: Travelerpix (Shutterstock)

Vietnam, in general, is a very budget-friendly destination – even when compared to elsewhere in Southeast Asia! Nevertheless, Ho Chi Minh has prices that outdo the rest of the country due to its location in the far south of the country. It is also the largest city by both size and population, so make sure to prepare yourself before tackling the crowds.

 

Best Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is a huge area with no distinct centre, instead acting more like a sprawling collection of unique neighborhoods. A complimentary tourism map is offered at the airport and at hotels, and this is a great guide to everything on offer in Ho Chi Minh. It is the largest city, so be aware of crowds and extra vigilant of your belongings.

where to stay in Ho Chi Minh

source: Rooftop House (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Ho Chi Minh: Rooftop House

Located in the loft of a colonial building, this quaint little hideaway is perfect for solo travellers looking for an inexpensive apartment in Vietnam! Filled with plants, it has a calm atmosphere – giving you a laid-back haven away from the bustling Ho Chi Minh streets. As it is in the loft, it comes with gorgeous views of the surrounding city.

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Best Hostel in Ho Chi Minh: Kiki’s House Saigon

This is one of the newest hostels in Ho Chi Minh, and it has already garnered outstanding guest reviews! It is centrally located, with most attractions only a short walk away. The townhouse it is located in dates back to the colonial era, but it has been beautifully renovated to create a hostel with a modern feel. Breakfast is included in the rate.

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Best Hotel in Ho Chi Minh: The Hut Boutique Hotel

Boasting hammocks in every room, this laid back hotel is a great budget pick right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City! Every room comes with a terrace, letting you soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the city. They offer regular rooms as well as family rooms – so all kinds of travellers can benefit from their fantastic rates.

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Curious about the current situation in Vietnam? Good news: Vietnam is safe to visit just so long as you keep your wits about you.

Be aware of your surroundings, be street smart, and be wary of deals that appear too good to be true.

 

Ho Chi Minh – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Vietnam

Whilst both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi provide interesting historical attractions, Ho Chi Minh is unique in that it used to be the capital of South Vietnam. That means that there are a lot of attractions in Ho Chi Minh related to the Vietnam War and reunification. For visitors from the west, these offer a completely different perspective on events than American accounts, which can be both a sobering and rewarding experience to visitors.

One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Vietnam

Source: Hamdan Yoshida (Shutterstock)

As already mentioned, Ho Chi Minh is packed with fantastic street food options! The city has everything from French and Vietnamese cuisine to Brazilian and Mexican. Not only is the city historically unique, it is the place to be for foodies that want to experience the best of Vietnam’s globally lauded culinary scene.

 

Best Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh

As already mentioned, whilst Ho Chi Minh has a centre – this acts more as a core for different satellite neighborhoods than the defining district in the city! All of our hotels in this section are based in this part of the city, as it comes with the best transport links to other parts of Ho Chi Minh City.

where to stay in Ho Chi Minh

source: Maison De Camille Boutique Hotel (Booking.com)

 

Best Airbnb in Ho Chi Minh: Retro Details

This ultra-stylish apartment is part of the Airbnb Plus range. The bathing area comes with a standalone bathtub, with designer fittings creating a sleek and modern atmosphere. The high ceilings make the apartment feel very spacious, and the kitchen is well equipped with everything you could possibly need – including a coffee machine! The building itself originated in the colonial era, giving you a little slice of Vietnam history.

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Best Hostel in Ho Chi Minh: The Like Hostel & Cafe

This stunning hostel truly has something for everyone! There is a communal balcony area with views over the city, and a rooftop bar where you can mingle with other guests. They offer some great complimentary extras – including breakfast, toiletries and coffee. Beds come with privacy curtains to give you some peace. The front desk also offer discounts on local tours and airport transfers.

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Best Hotel in Ho Chi Minh: Maison De Camille Boutique Hotel

With a gorgeous bar and terrace, this hotel is surprisingly affordable despite its four star rating and fantastic reviews. They also have rooms with a private terrace, all of which come with sun loungers so you can soak up the rays as well as the bustling Ho Chi Minh City. As well as a complimentary breakfast, guests also have unlimited access to coffee throughout the day.

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Da Lat – Where to Stay in Vietnam for Adventure

Not only is Da Lat the most romantic city in the country, but the surrounding countryside also makes it a gorgeous adventure destination! The Southern Highlands encompasses the city, with plenty of great hikes, motorbike trails and even canyoning excursions available. If you want to get the adrenaline pumping, head out to rural Da Lat.

Where to Stay in Vietnam for Adventure

Source: Romas_Photo (Shutterstock)

Adrenaline activities aside, Da Lat also offers a cultural adventure for those that want to discover a more authentic side of the country! Thien Vien Truc Lam Monastery is a short cable car ride away, and gives a unique insight into religious practices in Vietnam. There are a few other great monasteries dotted around the region, and we recommend taking a tour.

 

Best Places To Stay in Da Lat

As we mentioned in the couples section, central Da Lat is your best bet for getting to enjoy the area – especially the neighborhoods close to tourism offices! If you are an inexperienced traveller we recommend taking a guided trip. For those with more experience of traveling Southeast Asia, you can opt to stay in one of the more rural parts of the wider Da Lat region.

 where to stay in Da Lat

source:New Life Hotel (Booking.com)

 

Best Airbnb in Da Lat: South Of The Border

This stunning home is perfect for taking in panoramic views of the mountains that surround Da Lat. It is surrounded by windows, and also has a private terrace area where you can relax and sip some coffee prepared using the equipment in the kitchen. There are two bedrooms in the townhouse, with the possibility for six guests – perfect for larger families and groups. There is also a small barbecue area outside the house.

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Best Hostel in Da Lat: Kim Cuong House

This family run hostel is located right in the mountains of Da Lat – and is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere! They run daily events  – from pub crawls and happy hours to history tours and cooking classes. They provide a complimentary shuttle to Central Da Lat. Breakfast is also included, saving you some more money during your time in the area.

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Best Hotel in Da Lat: New Life Hotel

This three-star hotel is a fantastic choice if you are on a strict budget but want the added privacy of your own room. Rooms are somewhat basic, but come with all the amenities you need for a short stay in the area. There is a communal garden where you can relax and meet other guests, as well as a terrace with views of the mountains.

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Sapa – Where To Stay For Incredible Photography

Right in the far north of the country, Sapa is a mountain town that has been left off itineraries for two long! Alongside mountains, Sapa is surrounded by rice fields that make it one of the most picturesque parts of the country. A camera is essential Vietnam packing when visiting Sapa because you can grab the perfect picture to make friends and family back home jealous.

Where To Stay For Incredible Photography

Some of Vietnam’s most prominent ethnic minority groups live in Sapa. For such a relatively small town, it has a diverse character with multiple cultures represented within the town boundaries. This is a great destination to dive deep into modern culture in Vietnam.

 

Best Places To Stay in Sapa

Sapa is the only town on this list, and therefore the smallest destination. The town centre is where all of the accommodation is based – and, thankfully, the best starting point for exploring further afield within the region. If you’re really searching for an adventure, consider renting a motorbike for a road trip further north to the stunning Ha Giang Loop

where to stay in Sapa

source: Eco Home (Airbnb)

 

Best Airbnb in Sapa: Eco Home

Environmentally conscious guests will be delighted to stay at this small bungalow perched among the mountains of Sapa! The bungalow is within a larger resort, so you get to enjoy the privacy of your own space whilst still benefiting from the kind of service you would expect from a hotel. All of their employees are from the region, ensuring your money goes straight into the local economy.

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Best Hostel in Sapa: Lustig Hostel

This brand new hostel is already gathering excellent reviews – and is now the most popular backpacker accommodation in Sapa! Rooms are modern, and come with huge windows and balconies so you can enjoy the scenery of the surrounding neighborhood. Their on-site bar also has a communal terrace area where you can mingle with other guests. Breakfast is included in the rate.

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Best Hotel in Sapa: Sapa Relax Hotel & Spa

This stunning hotel only has three stars but it packs a mighty punch! Rooms are elegantly decorated in a traditional Vietnamese style, and you are guaranteed to enjoy stunning views of the mountains regardless of what room you are staying in. They have an extensive spa service with a variety of holistic therapies on offer. Sapa Central Square is only a short walk away.

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Top Places To Stay in Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country with a wide variety of areas on offer. It is a highly popular destination with backpackers offering so much history to explore and unbelievable Vietnamese cuisine to devour. With so many backpackers visiting Vietnam, the hostel offerings are plentiful, especially in the cities. For more rural areas, both Airbnbs and hotels are excellent.

the top places to stay in Vietnam

Source: Efired (Shutterstock)

 

Best Airbnb in Vietnam – Retro Details – Ho Chi Minh

There aren’t many Airbnb Plus offerings in Vietnam – but the few that are on offer are some of the best priced in the world! This gorgeous studio apartment lets you stay right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City in style, with exposed brick walls and modern fixtures and fittings. It also comes with a very well equipped kitchen.

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Best Hostel in Vietnam – Lustig Hostel – Sa Pa

This is one of the newest hostels in the country – but it’s already gathering a great reputation among backpackers making their way through the Southeast Asian nation! They have a huge communal space on the rooftop where you can admire views of one of the most beautiful regions in Vietnam. The modern rooms are also comfortable and well arranged.

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Best Hotel in Vietnam – Solaria Hanoi Hotel – Hanoi

This gorgeous four-star hotel is a great compromise between price and luxury – offering some great additional extras without breaking the bank! Its most popular feature is the large terrace where you can enjoy views of Hanoi and the river that runs through the heart of the city. They also have complimentary bike hire – a great way to get to know the national capital.

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Books to Read While Visiting Vietnam

  • The Backpacker Bible – Get it for free! Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building a life of long-term travel with an online income. To inspire and help the next generation of Broke Backpackers, you can now grab ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day’ for free!
  • Vietnam: Rising Dragon by Bill Hayton – Written by a BBC journalist, it’s an informative book which will help you understand contemporary Vietnam. Very readable I found this really helpful in understanding Vietnam.
  • The Dogs of Nam: Stories from the Road and Lessons Learned Abroad – A collection of short stories from over a decade of travel. This is no glamorous tale of #wanderlust, but a true and honest accounting of what it means to be a traveller.
  • Destination Saigon – A funny and fascinating book about backpackers travelling in Vietnam. If you are planning your backpacking trip to Vietnam, or just curious about the culture, this book is perfect!
  • National Geographic Traveler: Vietnam, 3rd Edition – A great book guiding you through Vietnam. Offers up some great advice, interesting off the beaten track experiences and information.

 

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Vietnam

Vietnam is a truly eclectic nation that has grown as a major tourist destination over the past few years! Turbulent past aside, Vietnam is a safe destination that offers visitors interesting cultural attractions, decadent cuisine, and awe-inspiring scenery. If you can, we recommend hitting a few different destinations across the country to really take it all in.

In terms of our favourite place, we are going to go with Da Lat! This city truly has a bit of everything – with mountain scenery and urban life combining into the ultimate destination. If you have limited time, this is a great place to get an overview of the country.

where should I stay in Vietnam

Source: Hien Phung Thu (Shutterstock)

That being said, everywhere mentioned in this guide has its own benefits. If you are planning on hitting up a few locations, we recommend choosing at least one place in the North and one place in the South for a complete experience.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Do you own or run a kick-ass hostel? Want to be featured on this list? Get in touch at [email protected]

 

Travel Insurance for Vietnam

And don’t forget to sort your travel insurance before going to Vietnam!

If you’re low on time, we’d suggest getting a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider, right now.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

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Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep the site going.


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