Which is better: Hoi An or Da Nang? Hoi An and Da Nang have beaches, nightlife, and great people. But which should you visit in Central Vietnam? Find out here.
Are you looking for the best Vietnamese travel destination?
Then you should consider Hoi An and Da Nang, two incredible cities north of Ho Chi Minh City! Both cities offer a combination of traditional culture, warm tropical climates, stunning beaches, exciting nightlife, and more activities than you can handle.
In this blog post, I’ll help you decide between these two unique destinations by comparing their activities, accommodation, and prices.
So get ready to explore the wonders of Hoi An and Da Nang – the perfect beach getaway!
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A quick background on Da Nang and Hoi An
An introduction to Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is the largest city in Central Vietnam and is an up-and-coming coastline city (especially for digital nomads).
It sits between the banks of the Han River and the South China Sea and is one of the largest cities in the country. Plus, it’s an important port and industrial center.
For visitors to Da Nang, though, the city is known for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and rich cultural heritage.
Most visitors see the ancient Cham Museum, one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, and the incredible Marble Mountains, which offer breathtaking views of the city and have a fair bit of history behind them. And, if you want more adventure, check out Son Tra Peninsula just north of the city.
Da Nang also has plenty of shopping centers, a variety of restaurants, and entertainment venues, making it perfect for a vacation or an extended trip.
Plus, it’s super easy to fly into with an international airport waiting for you.
Whether you want to explore the area’s history or simply plop down on a beach, Da Nang has something for you.
An introduction to Hoi An
Hoi An, Vietnam, is a coastal town with a chilled vibe located just 30 km south of Da Nang in central Vietnam (about 1 hour by car from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An).
With its incredible old-style architecture, fantastic culture, and stunning beaches, it’s obvious why visitors flock to the Hoi An as their destination of choice.
The city is most known for its unique architectural style and mix of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese influences. Plus, as you walk the Old Town of Hoi An, the streets are lined with brightly colored lanterns and traditional wooden homes, shrines, and temples.
Hoi An is also known for its food and style of Vietnamese cooking. There are many local restaurants and street food vendors with dishes like cao lầu (a favorite of mine), bánh mì, and bún bò Huế.
Hoi An is also home to some of Vietnam’s most stunning beaches.
Visitors can get all the sun they need on the sandy shores of Cua Dai Beach or take a boat ride to the nearby islands of Cham and Cu Lao Cham.
Just like Da Nang, the city offers a variety of things to do for travelers of all types.
How are Da Nang and Hoi An similar?
Da Nang and Hoi An are two of the best cities in Central Vietnam.
While they are located in different provinces, they share many similarities. Both are known for amazing beaches, historical sites, and incredible food and culture. Plus, they have many travel activities, including sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Both cities also have many local and international restaurants and great nightlife.
They are right next to the sea and have beautiful views. Plus, both Da Nang and Hoi An have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their unique history and culture.
The two cities are well connected in transportation, making it easy to get from one to the other.
All in all, these two cities are very similar and offer tourists a wealth of experiences.
But, you’re here for how they’re different. So, let’s dive into their differences.
Hoi An or Da Nang: Activities
Both cities are packed with activities and attractions.
So, here are the top activities and attractions in each city.
Da Nang activities and attractions
- Visit the Dragon Bridge: This golden bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Da Nang and a must-see for any visitor (along with the other unique bridges around the city).
- Explore the Marble Mountains: This cluster of five limestone and marble hills offers stunning views of Da Nang and the nearby sea.
- Visit the My Khe Beach: This most popular Da Nang beach and well worth a visit.
- Stroll along Bach Dang Street: This street is the heart of Da Nang and is lined with beautiful buildings, shops, live music, and restaurants and bars (including the occasional rooftop bar!).
- Check out the Cham Museum: This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Champa people, who used to inhabit the area.
Hoi An activities and attractions
- Visit the Ancient Town of Hoi An – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with charming streets, traditional architecture, fascinating history, and the highly-Instagrammable Japanese Bridge.
- Visit the Museum of History and Culture – learn about the history and culture of the region, including the local Cham and Vietnamese cultures.
- Take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River – explore the vibrant river life and the surrounding countryside.
- Take a cooking class – learn to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes like banh mi and pho.
- Enjoy Cua Dai and An Bang Beach – relax on the beach or participate in water sports.
Hoi An or Da Nang: Beaches
If you’re looking for sand between your buns and the opportunity to sunbathe, this area of central Vietnam is perfect for you.
Both cities have plenty to offer (with Da Nang having slightly more options).
But here are the beaches from both cities for you.
Beaches in Da Nang
- My Khe Beach
- Non Nuoc Beach
- Cua Dai Beach
- Nam O Beach
- Bac My An Beach
- An Bang Beach
- Lang Co Beach
- Thanh Binh Beach
- Tien Sa Beach
Beaches in Hoi An
- An Bang Beach
- Cua Dai Beach
- Thanh Ha Beach
- Lang Co Beach
- Bai Dai Beach
Hoi An or Da Nang: Accommodation
Da Nang accommodation
Da Nang has no shortage of accommodation options.
Whether it’s an Airbnb, hotel, or homestay, there’s a place for you to stay in Da Nang.
For those that love luxury, check out one of Da Nang’s many resorts. They offer a laundry list of amenities like private pools, spas, and beachfront access. Some of the more popular resorts in Da Nang include:
- Nam Hai
- Hyatt Regency
- Crowne Plaza
- Vinpearl Luxury Da Nang
If you’re more budget conscious, there’s still plenty for you. Some of the more popular hotels in the city include:
- Golden Sea Hotel
- Saigon Tourane Hotel
- Hoa Binh Hotel
- The Q Hotel
- Sunlight Hotel
During your visit, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels.
Hoi An accommodation
Like Da Nang, accommodation in Hoi An, Vietnam, is varied and plentiful!
When it comes to accommodation, Hoi An has a range of options for travelers.
There are several five-star resorts with high-end amenities and services for those looking for a luxurious stay. Some of the top options include:
- La Siesta Resort & Spa Hoi An
- Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa
- Fusion Maia Resort
- Anantara Hoi An Resort
- Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa
There are many budget-friendly hostels, guesthouses, and homestays for those looking for a more affordable option. Many places offer great value for money and are centrally located, so you can easily explore the city. Some of the top choices include:
- Little Hoi An Boutique Resort & Spa
- Ha An Hotel
- An My Hotel
- Hoi An Central Boutique Hotel
- Hoi An Eco-Luxury Resort
When comparing the prices to Da Nang, much depends on your travel season. If you head to Hoi An during the peak tourist season, your prices are often higher than you’ll find in Da Nang.
However, travel in the off-season or stay outside the Old Town, and you’ll find much lower prices.
So, be sure to search and consider the time of your visit to find the best prices (even in the city centre or Old Town).
Hoi An or Da Nang: Prices
Instead of listing the prices, I’ll write this section as a direct comparison.
While Hoi An is the main tourist attraction in the area, you’ll often find lower prices here.
For example, for a simple bowl of Pho, you’ll find prices around $3 in Hoi An vs. $4 or more in Da Nang. So, while it’s slightly different, food prices are somewhat higher in Da Nang.
Also, when it comes to accommodation, the story is the same. A standard budget hotel room will go for around $10/night in Hoi An vs. about $15/night in Da Nang. But your location influences this heavily.
Last, there’s transportation. And, again, you’ll pay less in Hoi An than in Da Nang. Much of this has to do with Da Nang’s size. Hoi An is better if you want to save money on transport.
So, Hoi An is a cheaper option than Da Nang, but it’s often by slim margins.
Which city should you visit: Hoi An or Da Nang
It’s a tough choice to pick between these two beautiful cities.
And, if you have enough time, I’d recommend you visit both cities as they’re both fantastic in their own way. Since you can fly into it, I recommend visiting Da Nang first and then heading to Hoi An.
So, if you want a more vibrant nightlife, more modern amenities, and a larger selection of things to do with the hustle and bustle of a bigger city — it’s hard to go wrong with Da Nang. Plus, you can also easily access Hue, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, and other cities via Vietnam’s trains or the airport.
However, Hoi An is the city for you if you’re seeking relaxation and a small-town feel. Its culture and history, friendly people, walkable city center, and white sandy beaches as well make it the perfect place to spend a week (or way more).
Everyone hates these answers, but it ultimately depends on your trip and travel style. Both cities are great, and you’re sure to have a great time no matter the one you choose.
So what do you choose in the Da Nang vs. Hoi An debate?
You can’t go wrong if you choose either Hoi An or Da Nang.
Both cities are located in Central Vietnam and are unique tourist destinations, and you’ll create fantastic memories no matter your choice.
So, which city will you visit: Da Nang or Hoi An? Or will you choose both?
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