THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN DA NANG
THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN DA NANG
You’ve found yourself in the city and are curious about what to do in Da Nang. Do you hit up the coast first, or wander the bustling streets?
Maybe you’re feeling hungry and want to try the famous Vietnamese cuisine!
Or if you are an adventurous person perhaps you long desire to rent a motorbike and hit up the Hai Van Pass.
The list of things to do in Danang just goes on and on, but let’s start with the five best activities in Da Nang.
THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS
The Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son or “Five Elements Mountains) are a cluster of marble and limestone hills just 7km from the city, and one of the best things to do in Da Nang!
The mountains are full of caves, tunnels and Buddhist shrines just waiting to be explored!
Ancient folklore says that a dragon emerged from the sea and laid an egg on the beach. 1000 days and nights passed and eventually a exquisite lady was born.
The remains of the egg shells grew into the Marble Mountains that you can see today.
Over the centuries the Marble Mountains were used as a safe haven for soldiers and a place of worship for Buddhists. Today it is one of the most popular attractions in the city!
For years the hills were mined for their valuable stone, although that has been recently banned. You can see examples of intricate stonework in the roadside workshops surrounding the Marble Mountains.
If you are feeling energetic you can climb to the summit of one of the mountains, offering absolutely spectacular views over the entire area.
Marble Mountains Entrance Fee: 20’000 VND
If you’re interested in going on a guided tour of the Marble Mountains, then the company Get Your Guide offers great value, all-inclusive tours.
TAKE A SNORKELLING TOUR TO CHAM ISLAND
Not too far from the coast of Da Nang is Cham Island, a place that not too many tourists get to, but well worth a visit.
This spectacular island is known for having some of the best snorkelling in Vietnam, and is a perfect way to spend a day outside of the city.
There’s a few different ways to get out there, but the best and most enjoyable way is to join a tour.
This one from Get Your Guide includes pick up from your hotel, the boat cruise, snorkelling and underwater walking (a pretty unique experience) and a delicious seafood lunch.
CHECK OUT THE DRAGON BRIDGE
The Dragon Bridge is one of the best known Da Nang attractions thanks to its unique design and interesting light show.
When the local government built it, they hired an artist to make it stand out, and the end result was this fantastic dragon-themed design.
It is 666m in length, and is the longest bridge of its kind in all of Vietnam.
Make sure you time your visit to be a weekend, because at 9pm every Saturday and Sunday they turn the lights on and the dragon breathes actual fire!
SON TRA PENINSULA
The beautiful rainforest that juts out into the sea from the city of Da Nang is called the Son Tra Peninsula. At a size of over 4000 hectares, this place is massive!
Rent a scooter or motorcycle to ride along the newly-built road to the end and check out the nature reserve, and stop off to visit one of the most important religious sights in the area, Quan Am.
Keep an eye out for the red shanked duoc langars that live on the Son Tra Peninsula. They are quite beautiful if you catch a glimpse of one!
Son Tra is a perfect getaway from the city and perfect for those wondering what to do in Da Nang.
There are plenty of untouched beaches along the peninsula and some excellent viewpoints, making this one of the most pristine beautiful places in Da Nang.
RELAX AT MY KHE BEACH
The beaches here are truly lovely and a real solid reason to visit Da Nang.
The long stretches of white sand are a perfect place to chill out on a hot afternoon, and with so much space it’s easy to find a spot all to yourself.
My Khe is the longest beach in Da Nang, and arguably one of the top ones in the entire country.
Head down for sunrise to see locals making the most of the start of the day, or come back in the afternoon for some delicious seafood served up in the restaurants.
If you’re a surfer, this is a perfect spot to come down to catch some small swell.
VISIT THE CHAM MUSEUM
Vietnam has a fascinating indigenous history, and one of the best places to experience this is the area around Hoi An and Da Nang.
The Cham people lived in this region nearly 1000 years ago, and built some of the most iconic structures in all of Vietnam, such as the My Son ruins.
If you love your history and want to check out another cool idea for what to do in Da Nang, head to the Cham Museum.
This museum has the largest collection of Cham artefacts in the country, and the statues and carvings you’ll find here are mind blowing.
If you have more of an interest in Cham history, definitely book yourself into a tour of My Son ruins from Da Nang.
HAI VAN PASS
Made famous in an episode of the TV show, Top Gear, the Hai Van Pass has now become a bucket list item for thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts (and amateurs) and adventurers looking for alternative things to do in Da Nang.
This 21km mountain pass between Da Nang and Hue offers some of the most incredible ocean views in all of Vietnam.
A new highway tunnel that has been built to bypass the road ensures that traffic numbers now are low, although the ride can still be quite technical; especially if you are inexperienced or the weather turns bad.
Rent a scooter from town and leave early in the morning if you plan on being back in Da Nang the same day.
There are also a number of tour companies that can help you ride the Hai Van Pass if you aren’t a confident motorbike rider.
Check out our guide on riding the Hai Van Pass.
You can book a full-on motorbike tour of the Hai Van pass on Get Your Guide.
EXPLORE THE MARKETS AND DO A COOKING CLASS
One of the best things to do when travelling around Vietnam is to explore the thousands of markets you can find in every town.
They are an assault on the senses, and it feels as though you can find just about anything you could ever need in them.
Fruits, meats and vegetables are common of course, but so are electrical equipment, housing supplies, health supplements and everything else under the sun.
In Da Nang the markets are truly amazing, but they can be overwhelming to wander through them if you’re not used to the hustle and bustle of Southeast Asian markets.
A great Da Nang activity is to join a cooking class that includes a visit to the markets.
On this tour you’ll be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the markets to pick up the ingredients you’ll need to make some delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
Afterwards you head to a real working farm so you can see how the locals tend to their fields, pick some more vegetables, and then it’s time to head to the kitchen!
You’ll be taught how to make a range of popular Vietnamese dishes, like pho, spring rolls and papaya salad. You can then take this new knowledge home with you to make your own food (and wow your friends)!
It’s a great day out, and one of the top things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam.
EAT THE FOOD
We didn’t know that Da Nang had such a happening food scene until we stayed at the amazing Funtastic Hostel, which is sadly now closed.
Owned by Summer from Danang Cuisine, one of the most famous food blogs in the country, she really opened our eyes to the culinary delights around the city.
Naturally, being so close to the ocean, fresh sea food is on many restaurant’s menus. There are plenty of awesome street food to try as well if you are on a budget. For our biggest and best recommendation go eat at Tam’s Pub And Surf Shop.
Make sure you have a few hours spare to listen to Tam’s fascinating stories of what life was like growing up during the war (and try her vegetarian burgers). If you’re hungry, don’t miss these best places to eat in Da Nang.
If you’re more of a street food type of person, then you’ll have no shortage of restaurants to eat at. Just cruise up and down the road and grab a chair at any of the busy spots!
HEAD TO THE BA NA HILLS
You’ve probably seen a photo on Instagram of a long bridge high above a mountainous landscape, with huge concrete hands seemingly holding it up.
That spot is in the Ba Na Hills, and you can go visit it yourself!
Besides walking across the bridge and getting your Insta pics, a real highlight in the hills here is checking out the Linh Ung Pagoda and visiting a minority village.
If you don’t want to ride your own scooter up there, you can book a tour that includes the cable car here.
NON NUOC BEACH
When people think of Vietnam, surfing is not something that immediately springs to mind. But still, it is possible to go surfing in Vietnam!
There is a growing surf community here who take advantage of the consistent and fun beach breaks along My Khe Beach, commonly known as China Beach.
If surfing isn’t your scene you can always go for a swim or simply relax on the spotlessly clean sand.
No missing out on some chill out time when you’re at the beach! Seriously – spending time at the beach is one of the best things to do in Da Nang!
If you really feel like splurging out make sure you check out all the incredible beachside resorts in Da Nang (and use the code: AGODANMD10 to get 10% off your hotel stay).