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The Most Perfect Vietnam 2 Week Itinerary Guide

The Most Perfect Vietnam 2 Week Itinerary Guide

This travel itinerary guide will help you plan your perfect 2 weeks in Vietnam. It includes everything you need to know about the best places to visit in Vietnam, where to stay, what attractions you have to see, which months have the best weather and how to get around Vietnam as an independent traveller.

Vietnam is one country you must visit in Southeast Asia, but deciding where to start and finish your itinerary for Vietnam can be daunting.

I explored Vietnam in 2 weeks during my epic round-the-world trip and fell in love with Vietnam’s diverse culture, ancient history, friendly people, mouthwatering food and stunning landscapes.

To help other travellers have a similar experience on their first trip, I have compiled the perfect itinerary for an epic two weeks in Vietnam.

My two weeks in Vietnam itinerary also includes handy Vietnam travel tips crucial for first-time visitors to the country.

Follow this 2-week Vietnam itinerary and see beautiful destinations in Vietnam like Halong Bay, Hoi An and Da Nang.

Visit the crazy city of Hanoi, traverse the winding Hai Van Pass and be mesmerised by what you will find in the Marble Mountains!

Spend a few days, a week or much longer, and Vietnam will get under your skin; it’s such a great place. Take it from me; once you’ve been, you will want to return again and again!

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Best 14-Day Vietnam Itinerary (from North to South Vietnam)

  • Hanoi – 3 nights
  • Ha long Bay Cruise – 2 nights
  • Hanoi – 1 night
  • Hue – 3 nights
  • Hoi An – 3 nights
  • Da Nang – 2 nights

Vietnam Itinerary Map

Helpful Information for Planning A Trip to Vietnam

I spent hours and hours planning my trip to Vietnam and wished I could have found all the information I needed in one place. Therefore, I decided to write this travel blog post in an easy-to-read format to help other travellers plan a 2 week itinerary for a trip to Vietnam.

It starts with all the essential Vietnam travel tips you will need to know, followed by a day-to-day 2-week travel itinerary outlining where to go and what to do in Vietnam.

I have written other in-depth Vietnam blog posts on all the locations I visited to give you the ultimate Vietnam travel itinerary for your first visit to Vietnam.

Limestone Mountains rising from the sea in Halong Bay

Getting to Vietnam

My two weeks in Vietnam were part of my epic round-the-world trip.

I flew into Hanoi from Hong Kong, spent two weeks in Vietnam and flew out of Da Nang to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

If your international flights are from Europe, prices are often lower if you fly in or out of Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam Weather and When to Go

The country has three distinct climates – the south, the central areas, and the north, so it can be tricky to figure out the best time to go to Vietnam.

Southern Vietnam has two distinct seasons – wet and dry. From November to early May, expect dry, sunny days. The wet season lasts from May until early November, with June, July & August receiving the highest rainfall.

Central Vietnam is hot and dry for the period between January and August. The monsoon season will likely arrive from October to mid-January, when it will be hot, wet, and humid.

Northern Vietnam is hot and dry between November and April. Rainfall will arrive from May to October, and the climate will be hot and humid.

April weather in Vietnam

I travelled to Vietnam in April and encountered one full day of rain in Hanoi at the beginning of my trip. The rest of the time, the weather in Hanoi was warm and sunny.

Halong Bay’s weather was warm with cooling ocean winds; however, it can be unpredictable. Halong Bay is often shrouded in mist and low clouds.

In Hue, the temperature was hot and humid. Make sure to pack breathable clothing and comfortable footwear.

Hoi An’s temperature was hot, dry and sunny. Perfect for a day on the beach after sightseeing in Hoi An Town.

In Da Nang, it was hot but quite windy and overcast. As this is a coastal location, the winds from the ocean can be pretty strong.

Flower-seller-hanoi

How many days do I need to explore Vietnam?

The minimum time to see the best Vietnam attractions for a first-timer is two weeks. I have designed this ultimate 2-week Vietnam itinerary to highlight the best places to visit in Vietnam on your trip.

It will be a busy two weeks, but you will see some of the most beautiful places in Vietnam and still have time to relax – what could be better?

If you enjoy immersive travel and want to spend time in Vietnam at a slower pace, you can easily adjust your schedule by reducing the destinations on this itinerary. Maybe omit Danang and spend longer in Hoi An.

Or you could check out some of the hidden gems in Vietnam away from the tourist trail.

A view detailing mountains, lake and buildings in Vietnam

Best Places to Spend 2 Weeks in Vietnam

The distances between Vietnam’s north, central, and south can be vast, so planning your journey between locations is essential.

You can take the train or bus, but the journey can be long and uncomfortable. Flying is often the best option for both speed and comfort.

For these reasons, you must carefully decide what you want to experience in Vietnam to plan your perfect trip.

If you love big cities, start in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and work from north to south or vice versa.

If you want to experience rural Vietnam, head to Sapa or Ninh Binh, while culture lovers should include Hue or Hoi An on their trip itinerary.

Sun worshippers will want to relax on the beach in Da Nang or Phu Quoc. And, of course, every Vietnam travel itinerary must include an iconic cruise in Halong Bay – the scenery is like nowhere else on earth. It is one of the must-see places in south east Asia.

Best Places to Shop in Vietnam

Hanoi and Hoi An are the best places for a shopaholic, so make sure they are included on your Vietnam travel itinerary.

Hanoi’s weekend night market is terrific, with many artisan crafts on sale (and many designer items sold cheaply!)

Hoi An is the best place for tailor shops in Vietnam; you can have a suit, dress or even shoes made during your trip. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Hoi An.

Travel Essentials to Pack for Vietnam

Please read my post on Must-Have Travel Essentials to Pack before you go to Vietnam.

Books are great for a trip, so why not choose a favourite from my list of travel books written by travellers?

Travel Vaccinations for Vietnam

If you are a seasoned traveller, you will probably already have had an armful of vaccinations to enter other countries. If not, chances are you’ll need a few vaccines.

You may need Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid to travel to Vietnam. You will need vaccinations against dengue fever and malaria to go to the jungle or mountains.

Check with your doctor about which vaccines you need several months before travelling to Vietnam. Please do not leave it to the last minute.

Vietnam Visa

The Vietnamese Government changed their visa entry rules in 2023, and it’s good news for travellers.

UK citizens can now stay in Vietnam for up to 45 days for tourism, transit and business (but not paid or voluntary work) without needing a visa.

Previously, UK travellers could only stay for up to 15 days, so this new move by the government is a significant increase of days you are eligible to stay without needing a tourist visa in Vietnam.

A stay of more than 45 days will require an e-visa. Check with www.gov.uk for up-to-date guidance on Vietnam’s entry requirements.

Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date you enter Vietnam.

Some British nationals have been refused entry and exit due to damaged passports. Make sure your passport is in good condition before you leave home.

All US citizens must still apply for an e-visa to enter Vietnam. It is valid for 30 days.

A fishing vessel in Bai Tu Long Bay

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is so important, and you should never travel without it. Make sure you have your travel insurance arranged in advance of your trip, and make sure you know what you are covered for if you should need it.

Vietnamese Currency

Dong is the currency of Vietnam and comes in colourful notes in very high denominations. You will feel like a millionaire with thousands of Dong in your pocket until you realise it is only worth around £50!

ATMs are in all the large cities, and I found it easy to take cash out of my account. I also had a pre-loaded Caxton money card with me. I felt this was safer than using my bank card for transactions.

Vietnam Time Differences (GMT)

7 hours ahead of London, England

12 hours ahead of Washington DC, USA

4 hours behind Canberra, Australia

6 hours behind Wellington, New Zealand

Book a flight to arrive in Vietnam in the late afternoon/early evening. This will give you time to freshen up, eat dinner and familiarise yourself with the area you will be staying in.

Getting Around Vietnam Safely

I would not recommend getting on motorbikes in the major cities as the roads are crazy and chaotic.

That said, many travellers hire motorbikes when travelling through the countryside and between towns.

Ultimately, you must ensure you have travel insurance for any accidents.

Vietnam has Grab (their version of Uber) in major Vietnam cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang. I used taxis a few times, but mostly, I just walked around the cities; this way, you see more.

motorbikes in Hanoi

Vietnam Accommodation

Accommodation in Vietnam is cheap, and you get to stay in some stunning properties.

I have listed the hotels where I stayed in each section of this Vietnam travel guide.

The accommodation ranged from 3* to 5* properties, offering a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

There are many hotels to choose from in each locale, so please look below at other places to stay in Vietnam to suit your budget.

Hanoi accommodation to book

Hue accommodation to book

Halong Bay Cruises

Hoi An accommodation to book

Da Nang accommodation to book

Epic 2-week Vietnam Itinerary Schedule

International Flight to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi | Transfer by taxi from the airport to Hanoi Old Quarter

Days 1-4 in Vietnam / 3 Nights in Hanoi

1st Day in Vietnam – Arrive in the evening on your first day, head straight to the hotel to unpack and get a good nights sleep ready for the next morning.

On your second day in Vietnam you are going to want to spend a full day exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Wander around this ancient town and watch local life unfold at Hoam Lake, learn about the history of the Temple of Literature, and taste the delicious food served from road side stalls and family run restaurants.

3rd Day in Vietnam – Continue exploring further afield in Hanoi. Head to Ho Chi Minh’s mauseleum, the Imperial city of Thang Long and Tran Quoc Pagoda. In the evening visit the night markets and grab yourself a bargain!

4th Day in Vietnam – Head to Halong Bay for a 2-night cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay. It’s the best way to see the magnificent limestone islands that rise out of the water.

Check out what to do in Hanoi in my travel guide: The Perfect 3-Night Hanoi Itinerary.

Visit Vietnam’s capital and get ready for an assault on your senses!

Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture, enjoy historical monuments and discover the gentleness of the Vietnamese people.

Try egg coffee at one of the superb coffee shops in Hanoi and feast on Vietnamese street food.

On the weekend, wander around the night market (free from traffic on Fri-Sat-Sun) and pick up some Vietnamese souvenirs to take home.

Hotel Options:

Both hotels are located near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Check out from your Hanoi hotel after your first three nights, but make sure you have re-booked a room for the night you return from Halong Bay.

The reason for doing this is that you will need to store your suitcases at the hotel, as only one piece of hand luggage will be permitted on the cruise.

After the cruise, you will return to your Hanoi hotel for one night and be reunited with your luggage, ready for your onward journey.

Road transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay (your cruise company should arrange this)

Days 4-6 in Vietnam / 2 Nights cruising Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay

No trip to Vietnam can be complete without a cruise in Halong Bay. It is one of the main attractions in Vietnam and is worth visiting.

The idyllic and unique landscape of this Unesco World Heritage Site, with its limestone cliffs rising majestically out of the water, will leave you mesmerised.

Join a day cruise or enjoy an extended Bay Tu Long Bay cruise to see the surrounding area away from Halong Bay.

Over two or three days, you can relax on golden beaches and marvel at sea caves and fishing villages scattered around the calm waters while immersing yourself in your surroundings’ natural beauty.

Check out what it is like to take a Vietnamese cruise in the Halong Bay area in my post: Cruising Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.

  • Indochina Junk Dragon’s Pearl Cruise
two people with Vietnamese hats on in Bai Tu Long Bay
Road Transfer from Halong Bay back to Hanoi (arranged by cruise company)

Day 6-7 in Vietnam / 1 Night in Hanoi

Return to the Hanoi Pearl Hotel to pick up your left luggage for one night.

Internal Flight from Hanoi to Hue

My internal flight from Hanoi to Hue was with Vietnam Airways.

I flew between these two destinations because it was the quickest way, as I wanted to see as much as possible during my 2-week Vietnam trip.

You can also travel by train or road between Hanoi and Hue, but it will take longer than flying.

Days 7-10 in Vietnam / 3 Nights in Hue

7th Day in Vietnam – Arrive mid-afternoon – Relax by the pool

8the Day in Vietnam – Explore the Imperial City of Hue

9th Day in Vietnam – Explore the Royal Tombs of Hue

10th Day in Vietnam – Check out of the hotel and travel by road to Hoi An

Once the ancient capital, the Imperial City of Hue is now one of Vietnam’s Unesco world heritage sites. It’s a nice place to stroll around especially towards the end of the day when the crowds have dispersed, the heat is dying down and the evening light makes everything look that little bit more magical.

Hue has plenty of things to do to satisfy culture vultures. Some of the best things to do include visiting fascinating ancient palaces and historic royal tombs, or taking a boat trip along the Perfume River.

It’s a great idea to combine your visit to the city with a spot of relaxation at one of Hue’s luxury resorts, and you will have the perfect balance for this part of your trip around Vietnam.

Hotel

Temple Gateway in Hue
Road Transfer via the Hai Van Pass with a stop at The Marble Mountains

My Vietnam road trip continued with a transfer between Hue and Hoi An with Hura Cars.

It’s the easiest way to get between the two towns, and you can stop at the famous Marble Mountains on the way.

Days 10 – 13 in Vietnam / 3 Nights in Hoi An

10th Day in Vietnam – Arrive mid-afternoon – Relax by the pool

11th Day in Vietnam – Head into Hoi An’s Ancient Quarter

12th Day in Vietnam – Day at An Bang Beach

13th Day in Vietnam – Morning in Hoi An old town, then head to Naman Retreat Beach Resort in Da Nang

Hoi An is a Unesco heritage site in Vietnam. It is known as the “City of Lanterns” because of the hundreds of lanterns illuminating it at night, and it is my favourite place in Vietnam.  

It is a charming place to wander around, soak up its history and culture and enjoy great food, fantastic coffee and artisan shops.

If you coincide your trip with the monthly lunar cycle, you will experience Hoi An’s Lantern Festival.

Enjoy a romantic evening boat ride on the lake, hire cycles, ride along the winding alleyways, and discover the Hoi An heritage trail with its ancient temples and historic Japanese covered bridge.

Stay in Hoi An’s ancient quarter and explore the town first thing in the morning when it isn’t crowded.

Sit back with a coffee at one of the riverside cafes and soak up the atmosphere in this unique little town.

There is also a beautiful beach at An Bang, a short distance from the town centre, to top up your tan.

Hotel Options:

Yellow building in Hoi An
The Naman Retreat Resort arranged the transfer from Hoi An.

Days 13 – 15 in Vietnam / 2 Nights in Da Nang

Days 13 to 15 in Vietnam – Our final two trip days are spent relaxing at the resort.

Check out Naman Retreat in my Travel Guide: Naman Retreat Review – The Best Boutique Resort in Da Nang.

Da Nang is not far from Hoi An, so enjoy the last days of your holiday by simply relaxing by the pool or on one of the beautiful beaches; make time for a visit to the spa and the marvellous amenities at this resort.

However, if you still have plenty of energy left, you could book a day tour as there are many things to do in Da Nang, and a day trip is a great way of experiencing some fantastic activities.

Da Nang Day Tours

 
Hotel Shuttle Transfer to Da Nang Airport at the end of two weeks in Vietnam 

I hope that my Vietnam travel itinerary has inspired you to consider a trip to this beautiful country. As you can see, its allure may leave a lasting effect on you, just as it has on me.

I love Vietnam so much that I want to revisit Hanoi and Hoi An and explore some of the other hidden gems in Vietnam that I have on my travel bucket list, like Phong Nha, Cat Ba and Tam Coc.

This ultimate Vietnam 14-day travel itinerary was independently researched, planned and booked by me.

If you want to add an extra day or more to this Vietnam travel itinerary, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta are a 90-minute flight from Da Nang.

Ho Chi Minh is one of Vietnam’s bigger cities and has many great attractions. These include the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ben Thanh Market.

And let’s not forget the famous Cu Chi tunnels used to move soldiers about underground, undetected by the enemy.

I didn’t visit Ho Chi Minh on this trip; however, I will put it on my following Vietnam trip itinerary. I can’t wait to check out the city’s ancient history, once known as Saigon.

Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Things to Do in the Mekong Delta

 

PIN for Future Travel to Vietnam

Are you looking for further Vietnam travel inspiration? Please check out the following posts:

Northern Vietnam

Central Vietnam