Hoi An 3 Day Itinerary: A Travel Plan for 3 Days in Hoi An

3 days are a perfect duration to stay overnight in Hoi An and explore captivating places in and around it. Especially for those who travel from city to city or region to region, 3 days are what they expect. In this article, we suggest an itinerary for first timers who spend all of three days to go and see the highlights of the area. On the 1st day, the Ancient town definitely is the best choice. Every traveller visits it and spends many hours roaming around, sightseeing, eating, drinking and going shopping. In the evening, colorful lanterns, night market and lantern boat ride are other things that should not be missed.

Not far away, Hoi An’s beaches are wonderful to chill out with cool breezes from the sea and a pretty landscape. Also a must see, the Golden Bridge makes the 2nd day and it’s the dream place to go for so many people. There are various stunning things in that area, such as world-record cable car rides or underground theme park. On the 3rd day, My Son sanctuary – another world heritage and Marble Mountains – one of the best sights, are our recommendations. After learning lots of knowledge, a basket boat ride around a palm forest is a great ending. See more details below.

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Table of content

1st Day – Hoi An Old Town + An Bang Beach

Read details in Hoi An one day itinerary

Hoi An old town is a must see. As a historical center of the city, it has the best preserved buildings and long-standing cultural traditions. Within its pedestrian-friendly lantern quarters, visitors will see the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly halls and temples, old houses, Vietnam family chapels and communal houses, market, museums, galleries and more. Other highlights are custom made tailors, art theatre, lantern making class and buying souvenirs. We recommend having lunch with a yummy sandwich in Banh Mi Phuong where Anthony Bourdain said “the best banh mi in the world”.

After exploring the old town, only a short ride is needed to get to An Bang – the best beach. There, so many sun beds are available to rent and relax with pretty scenery in the front, and cool breezes from the sea. The water is blue, clean and shallow, so it’s ideal to swim and participate in fun sports. Not far away, the visitors can see a bartender getting a cold beer or cocktails from his bar. When the sun goes down, return to the town, to enjoy the beauty of colorful lanterns at night and stroll around to photograph. Here, let’s try a cao lau (signature noodle dish). Along the riverfronts, lantern boats and night markets are the highlights.

Read also: Hoi An old town highlights walking tour


The 2nd Day – The Golden Bridge + Ba Na Hills + An Bang Beach Dining

Read also: Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills Day Tour

Departure in the Sunrise to Avoid Crowds

Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge are famous all over the world and everyday, this couple of sights draw thousands of visitors. Getting there in the early morning is the best way to avoid the crowds and skip long lines. It takes over 1 hour from Hoi An city by car.

Ba Na Hills Entrance Fee and Ticket

From 1st June to the end of 2022, Ba Na Hills ticket price is 850,000 VND for adults and 700,000 VND for childrens from 1 to 1,4 meters high. This fee covers entry to all sights (except the wax museum), cable rides and games in the amusement park. If would like to have a buffet lunch, visitors may pay a combo that costs 1,050,000 VND and 800,000 VND respectively. Between 1st October and the last day in 2022, combo prices decrease to 950,000 VND and 750,000 VND. It’s possible to reserve in advance, to skip the lines.

Ba Na Hills Cable Car Ride

To get to anywhere in the Ba Na Hills, visitors need to have a cable car ride. It lasts around 15 minutes, from the plain to the Golden Bridge area or French Village area depending on rescheduling of the day. In this world-record cable car (the longest one of the world), visitors will have a fascinating, full of joy experience. From the cabin, there are endless forests on rolling hills, white-water falls, streams, amazing outcrops and clouds. See more information in Ba Na Hills cable car.

The Golden Bridge and Surroundings

Holded gently by two giant hands, the Golden Bridge is a must see in Da Nang and Hoi An area. It’s 150 meters long and designed for pedestrians only. Since the first days of opening, pictures about it have spread quickly in international social media. It’s soon added in the list of world’s new wonders and becomes a dream place for plenty of travelers. In the surroundings, visitors also see always-blooming flower gardens, an old French wine cellar, a 37-meters-high Gautama Buddha, and the second Linh Ung Pagoda in Da Nang. See details in the Golden Bridge Vietnam.

Lunch – The Buffet

Buffet is a popular way to have lunch in Ba Na Hills, including meat and vegan dishes, east and west cuisine. Live music is served in some restaurants. Like the entrance and cable car ticket, it’s possible to reserve in advance.  

French Village and Fantasy Park

The French Village is on another mountaintop and connected with the Golden Bridge area by 2 cable cars. This part has medieval style buildings with a church in the heart and a square where outdoor performances occur daily. Under the ground, it’s an amusement park (named Fantasy Park) with over 100 games, in 3 floors. Nearby, visitors can have fun with the largest alpine coaster in the mountains across Vietnam. Behind the church, restaurants, cafes, teahouses and souvenir shops line the stone-paved lanes. See details in Ba Na Hills travel guide.

Nui Chua Summit – Top of Da Nang

Nui Chua is the highest point in Da Nang (1,487 meters above sea level). It’s accessible by roads by the central church of French Village. Visitors need to climb some hundreds of steps to reach it and enjoy a stunning panoramic view. Some temples are built there, to honour the Buddhas and goddesses.

Dining and Nightlife in An Bang Beach

An Bang Beach area has many restaurants, varying in Vietnamese, fusion and international styles. By the coast, there are top-notch venues where the guests can see an extensive food menu, long list of beverages, friendly service and lots of seating options. On some selected nights, live music with foreign artists also occurs, giving such a stunning dining experience. If seeking a late night party, it’s still possible to see a local bar inside the village. Read details in An Bang beach restaurants.


3rd Day – My Son Sanctuary + The Marble Mountains + Basket Boat

Read also: My Son Sanctuary and Marble Mountains Day Tour

My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary is a Unesco world heritage site, some 50 km away from Hoi An (over one hour to get there). It has 70 Hindu brick temples and ruins constructed by the Chams from 4th to 13rd centuries. They used building techniques that are not fully discovered by scientists. Within a scenic valley in the upstream of Hoi An’s river, this holy land is the best remains of what disappeared Champa kingdom left today. No visitors want to miss traditional performances in the public stage also. A visit around here lasts some hours. See details in My Son Sanctuary travel guide.

Lunch with Local Food

In the half way between My Son Sanctuary and the Marble Mountains, visitors can have lunch with Mi quang in a local restaurant. The most famous variant is with chicken that is raised by farmers in hillside gardens around the area (that’s why locals love to eat). The noodles are served with chicken, a bold broth and topped with roasting peanuts. Side dishes are raw vegetables and rice crackers, to mix. Mi quang means “noodles from Quang Nam province”.   

Non Nuoc Sculpture Village

Around the Marble Mountains in Da Nang, locals have been carving stone sculptures for 400 years. Their handicraft tradition is passed down from father to son, and today, becomes a national intangible cultural heritage. In major roads and inner lanes of the village, visitors will see a plenty of statues, objects and accessories to buy, and artisans at work. To see the best sculptures, should go to big galleries where lots of photo opportunities are provided.

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains is a famous attraction, a group of 5 spectacular marble hills emerging suddenly from the surroundings. It’s home of ancient Buddhist temples, holy shrines, amazing caves, peaks with a sweeping view and old trees. Visitors need to climb over some hundreds of steps if like to sightsee. This place is also known as the Five-Elements Mountains that were named by a king who visited in 19th century. Each one of the complex takes the name as the same to an element. See details in the Marble Mountains travel guide.

Basket Boat Ride in Hoi An Coconut Village

Cam Thanh coconut village in Hoi An is famous for its peacefulness, fisherman hamlets, and a nearly-pristine water palm forest. To access and move around a maze-like network of small canals in the forest, local people use a basket boat. Not only to get closer to nature or see the former hiding place of Vietcong communists, visitors have the chance to know Fisher’s daily life. There are ways to catch fishes by net, “boat dance” or folk singgings. See details in travel guide to Hoi An basket boat ride.

Dinner in Old Town

Restaurants in the Old town still are the best options to dine out. There is a variety of styles to choose from, including local, Vietnamese traditional, fusion to international. After getting full with scrumptious foods, visitors can wander around to go shopping and nightlife then. Find out your best place for dinner in Hoi An old town restaurants.


Day Trip From Hoi An to Hue via Hai Van Pass (Optional)

See also: Hue Day Trip from Hoi An

Hue is about 120 km north of Hoi An. It’s the former capital of Vietnam and seat of power of the Nguyen emperors who ruled the country from 1802 to 1945. There are a lot of grand buildings the kings constructed during their reign here, such as an imperial citadel, tombs and religious places. All of them were inscribed by Unesco as a world heritage site in 1993. A trip from Hoi An to Hue should be guided and arranged by a local tour operator. On the way to get to the city, visitors also enjoy the ride up to the top of Hai Van Pass and stop at some points where fantastic views are seen. A cruise on the Perfume River – the major waterway of Hue is also included in organized tours.

Read also: Hue Imperial City, Hai Van Pass


Cham Island Day Tour (Optional)

See also: Cham Island Day Tour

During sunny months, day tours to Cham Island are daily arranged by local operators. In the morning, visitors have a short transfer from the hotel in Hoi An to the harbour where canoe rides to the island all depart. After landing, a sightseeing walk is guided by a local who explains history and cultural relations in each site, such as Buddhist temple or ancient well. Later, a snorkeling tour – the most exciting activity is organized. If someone doesn’t like, they can sunbathe on the white sandy beach, swim in blue and crystal-like water or relax under shaded coconut palms. Lunch is served then, with seafood dishes and some island’s food specialties. In the afternoon, visitors have their free time to chill out or join fun-filled games, and then get a canoe ride back to the mainland.

Read also: Cham Island Hoi An Travel Guide


Where to Go Next After Hoi An?

By Air

The nearest airport to Hoi An is in Da Nang, 30 km to the northwest (about 45 minutes to transfer). As the capital of the Central region of Vietnam, there are numerous flights landing in Da Nang’s airport, mostly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city – two metropolitans. Moreover, travelers can seek a direct flight to other tourist destinations also, such as Hai Phong (near Halong Bay), Da Lat, Nha Trang, Can Tho and Phu Quoc Island.  

By Bus and Train

It’s needed to go to Da Nang if travelers want to get to other cities from Hoi An by bus or train. Day buses are available for Hue, 120 km north of the heritage town. People often book a tourist bus with a 3-hours ride in which they can stop in Hai Van Pass to see and take pictures. About the train, the journey is a bit longer, but provides beautiful scenery that can’t be seen in any other transports. More information in our guide to How to get from Hoi An to Hue. Up the north or down the south, travelers can choose to reach Phong Nha to discover the world’s largest limestone caves or Quy Nhon with beaches and Champa temples. If getting the train to these destinations, a transfer by car from the train station to main tourist areas is necessary, longer in case of Phong Nha. Buon Ma Thuot – capital of Central Vietnam’s highlands (and the coffee) is also reachable by a night sleeper bus.

Hoi An Private Tour Guide

If you are looking for a private tour guide who speaks English fluently and knows all places in Central Vietnam, text us in whatsapp number +84968009827.

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