Planning a trip to Da Nang, Vietnam? The largest city in Central Vietnam is often overshadowed by the heavily visited Hoi An but let me tell ya, Da Nang has a lot to offer all types of visitors! If you’re visiting Da Nang on holiday or plan on settling down for a while, check out this list of things to do in Da Nang including Da Nang food recommendations, Da Nang nightlife and day time adventure trips.
1. Things to do – Enjoy craft beer with a skyline view
One of my favorite things to do in Da Nang — sipping on a craft beer near Dragon bridge while looking over the stunning city lights of Da Nang. If there’s something Da Nang does right, it’s showing off at night!
Pull up to the 7 Bridges Brewery on the riverfront and head upstairs for an epic view of the city skyline and majestic Dragon Bridge. Give the cheap local beer a rest and spoil yourself with some tasty craft beer.
2. Walk across the Golden Hands Bridge at Ba Na Hills
Most people don’t realize that the viral photo of the Golden Hands Bridge in Da Nang isn’t just hanging out in the middle of Da Nang. It’s actually an attraction in an amusement park, The Sun Resort at Ba Na Hills, about 40 minutes outside of Da Nang.
Take your own motorbike or hire a driver for the day and take the scenic trip to the foot of Ba Na Hills where you’ll be wisped away in a cable car for one of the most interesting amusement park experiences of your life. Think French Eurovillage meets kitschy Asian entertainment. Needless to say, the entrance fee to the park includes food + beer vouchers and you can truly spend the entire day there! There’s a reason Ba Na Hills is high on everyone’s list of what to do in Da Nang!
Pro Tip: Go explore the amusement park/village first thing and then save the bridge for just before sunset — it’s empty!
3. Explore the Marble Mountains – the most interesting to do!
Probably one of the most popular Da Nang attractions — the Marble Mountains! Located about 20 minutes south of Vietnam’s city center (towards Hoi An) are 5 majestic mountains made of (you guessed it) marble.
Each mountain has interesting caves, temples, and tunnels hidden within them. Great for photos and a fun Vietnamese cultural experience! Beat the crowds and get there early to start exploring.
4. Drink deliciously sweet coconut coffee
The best thing I’ve ever had in Da Nang — coconut freaking coffee.
Imagine a Starbucks frappuccino but way better. Rich, dark Vietnamese coffee blended with sweet coconut ice. Come to mama. My favorite in all of Da Nang is at Aquarium Coffee, on the beachside of town. They serve the coconut ice and shot of Vietnamese coffee seperate with a side of toasted coconut. Buying my flight back ASAP.
5. Pay a visit to the Lady Buddha
The glorious Lady Buddha can be spotted at any point of the beach side of Da Nang. When making your list of what to do in Da Nang, make sure visiting Lady Buddha is at the top of your list!
Located on the beautiful Son Tra Mountain, Lady Buddha is the tallest buddha statue in Vietnam! The property also includes gardens, monkeys running around and the just as stunning Linh Ung Pagoda. It’s an effortless trip to visit her and an epic view of the city from above!
6. Watch a sunrise on the beach
Vietnam is early to rise nationally and nothing proves this more than a jam-packed beach at 4:45 AM. What?
No seriously — tons of Vietnamese flock to the beach even before the sun rises to get their daily dose of exercise in for the day. Zumba classes, meditation, swimming — all before you open your eyes.
During your time in Da Nang, set your alarm and wake up to experience a beautiful sunrise over the ocean with 200+ of your closest friends. Heck, maybe join in on a Zumba beach class! Early morning endorphins!
7. Eat pho for breakfast
When in Vietnam…
…eat noodles for breakfast.
After you catch your sunrise, visit a local pho shop for your morning bowl of noodles. Unlike the west, pho is actually breakfasted food. Weird at first but you’ll get used to it. Move over cold cereal, noodles are what’s for breakfast.
8. Have a fancy night out at a Sky Bar
If you’re looking for what to do in Da Nang at night — look no further than the handful of rooftop Sky Bars around the city. If the Vietnamese love anything more than Karaoke, it’s a rooftop club. Pull out your dancing shoes and dig deep into your pockets and head over to Sky36 or Sky21 for a fancy night out in Da Nang!
9. Go snorkeling on the Cham Islands
Off the coast of Hoi An is a cluster of islands known as the Cham Islands — a hotspot for scuba and snorkeling in Vietnam!
Hire a private tour and go for the day, as accommodation on the islands is limited and priced quite highly. The best time to visit Cham Islands is from March to August and isn’t accessible during monsoon season!
10. Hang out on a rooftop pool
Live the lush life on top of one of Da Nang’s many rooftop pools. A city full of hotels (with more being built every single day) means there’s a whole lot of rooftop pools to be visited.
Be warned, this is Vietnam and businesses change their policies by the second (the rules are made up and the points don’t matter ). At the time I lived in Da Nang, both King’s Finger and Queen’s Finger hotels allowed outside guests to enjoy the rooftop pool by purchasing a voucher (that also goes towards food/drink).
You can visit the A La Carte Rooftop Pool but unfortunately they won’t let outside guests inthe pool, just around it. I’ve heard of some people sneaking onto Adamo’s Rooftop Pool — some with success, others without. Just go for Queen or King’s Finger and cross your fingers they don’t change their policy.
11. Eat the best Banh Xeo in Da Nang
Da Nang food is no joke — especially the banh xeo! That is one of the best things to do ever! The dish translates to “sizzling pancake” and after giving it a try, you’re going to wish you ate it sooner. If you’re needing more ideas of what to do in Da Nang – make sure eating banh xeo every night is on the list.
Rice flour, sizzled over hot oil filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts — folded together like an omlette. Served with rice paper, fresh herbs, lettuce, peanut sauce, mango and cucumber, rolled to texture and taste perfection. I’ve never had anything like it and quite honestly I miss it every single day.
Seriously — I’ve yet to meet anyone who isn’t completely obsessed with the dish. Try it atBánh Xèo Ba Duong — the best banh xeo in Da Nang!
<<Living in Da Nang as a digital nomad? Read my digital nomad Da Nang guide for the best coworking spaces and cafes in Da Nang! >>
12. Watch the Dragon Bridge Breath Fire
You read that right. Not only is the Da Nang Dragon Bridge a stunning architectural feat — it also functions as a real-life dragon.
Well, sometimes. The dragon comes alive every Saturday and Sunday night at 9PM sharp. Watch from the riverfront or ventre up and watch from the bridge for a closeup and fiery experience!
13. Take a day trip to Hue — the Imperial City
If you’re basing yourself from Da Nang and looking for a day trip, head north to Hue! For the quickest way to explore Hue in a day, wake up early in the morning and leave from Da Nang through the Hai Van Pass. The drive is around 3 hours.
Hue was the capital city of Vietnam from 1802-1945 and holds a lot of the country’s historical city. There’s more to see here than a day trip but if you’re short on time while traveling Vietnam, it’s totally doable.
14. Take a day trip to Hoi An — The Lantern City
Most people’s favorite city in Vietnam and with good reason. One visit to Hoi An and you’ll understand the hype. It’s charming, feels like a fictional storybook town and it’s lively!
Only a 30-40 minute drive south means Hoi An is a perfect day trip from Da Nang! Famous for handmade, perfectly tailored clothes and nightlife, Hoi An makes for a perfect day of shopping, eating and exploring the Old Town!
15. Spend the day at a secret beach
Spoiler alert: Son Tra Mountain is full of trails that lead to secret beaches. If you’re looking for adventure things to do in Da Nang, going on the secret beach hunt is perfect for you!
Honestly, the main beaches aren’t even that busy during the day but it’s still fun to go on a treasure hunt. My favorite “secret beach” is located at the Tien Sa Lodge — but keep it between us.
16. Go ice-skating at VinCom Plaza
Ice-skating and Vietnam probably weren’t what you put together when planning your trip to Vietnam. Well, it’s here and it’s damn fun. That’s one of the great things to do in Da Nang!
The huge Vincom Plaza on the beachside of the city is a shopping and entertainment center. Complete with a grocery store, restaurants and a movie theatre — a perfect place to hang out if the weather outside takes a turn. Lace-up your skates and take a spin on the ice — perfect for all ages!
17. Take in the views on the Hai Van Pass
Made famous by Top Gear in 2008 and deemed one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, driving the Hai Van Pass is the ultimate thing to do in Da Nang.
Make sure you have a reliable motorbike, a tank full of gas and confidence with driving. I took it on only a week after I learned to drive and was honestly scared shitless the entire time but it was one of my best days in Vietnam.
The drive from Da Nang city to the entrance of Hai Van Pass is about 20-30 minutes and the scenic drive is about 45 minutes-1 hour to the rest stop. You’ll want to stop and take a lot of pictures so the trip takes as short or long as you want!
18. Unleash your inner Picasso at Paint Night
One of the local bars in Da Nang, N Pub, hosts a weekly paint night every Tuesday evening starting at 7 PM.
For 100,000 VND, you get a canvas and endless amounts of paint. This isn’t a Sip-n-paint style class — no teacher or a certain thing you have to paint. Order a beer and get to painting your masterpiece!
19. Drive around Son Tra (Monkey Mountain)
Turning back north for the next Da Nang attraction — Son Tra Mountain! There are a lot of things to do! Often called “Monkey Mountain” this scenic peninsula makes for a fun and scenic afternoon of driving a motorbike. With lush green vegetation on one side and the sparkling blue ocean on the other, it makes for a great day of taking photos.
Pull over to take photos, find yourself getting lost in the different hidden trails or spot the very rare and shy Red-Shanked Doucs (one of the most colorful primates in the world)!
20. Try a creamy avocado coffee!
Don’t knock it ‘til you tried it. With Vietnam’s obsession with blending things with coffee (egg, condensed milk, coconut ice…) it only makes sense that avocado was next.
Make a trip straight to Coffee Trinh at 173 Chau Thi Vinh Te for a creamy and sweet afternoon treat.