This post was last updated on March 3rd, 2020 at 08:35 am
If you’re looking for a lively city with beautiful beaches and a great nightlife, then Nha Trang is the place for you. Nha Trang’s municipal beach is about 6 kilometers long and is flanked by the Tran Phu boulevard where you can stroll, drink a beer or try one of the many snacks on offer.
The area around the city is overwhelming. Explore the nearby mountains with a scooter or organize a tour with one of the many easy riders that you encounter here. Go snorkeling or diving with one of the many boat trips on offer and explore the islands off the coast. Take the children to the Vinpearl Land amusement park or relax in a mud bath.
Visit one of the many excellent restaurants and if you have any strength left over after dinner you can continue until the early hours in one of the many bars and clubs. This seaside city is, in our opinion, one of the best highlights of Vietnam.
Best Time to Visit Nha Trang
The best time to visit Nha Trang is between February and September. The climate in this region is the best in all of Vietnam. The rainy season is short and most days it is still very sunny. No wonder this is one of the best places for a beach holiday in Vietnam.
Nha Trang is still beautiful between October and January, but the sea is a lot wilder and the rain can make the water a bit cloudy. A better beach destination in this period is the island of Phu Quoc where the dry season has already started.
Nha Trang is located in southern Vietnam, 440 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. 140 kilometers west of the city lies the popular mountain village Da Lat and 220 kilometers south lies the beautiful surfers paradise of Mui Ne. A few hours north of the city is the emerging seaside city of Quy Nhon, which is also highly recommended.
Best Things to Do in Nha Trang
The sights in and around Nha Trang are endless, but most tourists come here to enjoy the 6-kilometer long beach. And after seeing Vietnamese culture in other places, Nha Trang is the place to relax.
Below is an overview of everything you can do here.
Visit Dam Market
The Cho Dam market can be seen as the center of Nha Trang. From early in the morning until late in the evening you can buy everything here. Dam market is the most popular market in Nha Trang and is an impressive, four-story, concrete structure.
Inside you will find everything you can imagine. From clothing and accessories to electronics and household items, spread over various colorful stalls. You can come here in the morning and have breakfast on the food court to start your day.
Visit the Long Son Pagoda
Located at the foot of the Tray Thui mountain, this pagoda was built in 1886. The Long Son Pagoda is where you can see the large white Buddha statue on top of the mountain that you can see in most places in Nha Trang.
The pagoda was destroyed in 1990 by a cyclone. The entire complex has been rebuilt at the current location. In an attempt to imitate the exact replica of the ancient temple, Long Son underwent many restorations and additions. Behind the temple, 152 steps lead to the main attraction of Long Son Pagoda, the 24-meter high white Buddha statue. Around the corner, you will find a large reclining Buddha.
TIP – Entrance is free. The temple is open from 7:30 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
Enjoy the Water Sports
As a coastal city (and also the diving capital of Vietnam), Nha Trang has an abundance of water-related activities that you can do. From snorkeling and diving to surfing, parasailing, wakeboarding, and much more. If you like water this is the place to be!
There are many diving schools and small tour operators that offer snorkeling tours or other water activities. Nha Trang is also a popular destination for travelers who want to get their PADI certification. Finding a suitable diving school will not be difficult as there are dozens of them.
However, one of the best places is the Nha Trang Sailing Club, one of the most famous places in Nha Trang. Not only for water sports, but also for fun parties on the beach.
Best Places to Dive
The best places to dive include Moray beach, Coral Garden, Madonna Rock, Light House, and Green Canyon.
TIP – Because there are so many diving schools in the city, competition is fierce. That means that the prices are very competitive. A 3-day Open Water Course will cost you around $315 per person. Check Sailing Club Divers for more information.
Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers
The Po Nagar Towers are the most famous sights in Nha Trang. They were built between the 7th and 12th centuries and are still used for worship by Cham, Chinese, and Vietnamese Buddhists. Originally the complex had seven or eight towers, but today only four are standing, of which the 28-meter high north tower is the most impressive.
The towers stand on a granite hill 2 kilometers north of the city center on the banks of the Cai River. It is thought that this place was already used for worship in the 2nd century AD. The original wooden structure was razed to the ground by Javanese in 774 but was replaced in 784 by a stone and brick temple.
The towers serve as a holy place in honor of Yang Ino Po Nagar, the goddess of the Dua (Liu) clan, who ruled the southern part of the Cham kingdom. There are detailed stones scattered throughout the complex, most of which relate to history or religion and which provide insight into the spiritual and social life of the Cham population.
This place still has a religious meaning, so make sure you take off your shoes before you go inside and wear respectful clothing.
TIP – This place is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The entrance fee is 22,000 VND (US$0.95) per person.
Go to the Nha Trang Cathedral
The cathedral of Nha Trang is a religious monument that is still used today. In addition, it is a famous tourist attraction. Although the cathedral is built with simple cement blocks, the cathedral looks surprisingly elegant.
Services are held several times a day. The cathedral was built between 1928 and 1933 with a French style in mind, complete with stained glass windows. It stands on a small hill overlooking the train station.
Some particularly colorful Vietnamese additions are the pink background lighting, the blue neon arc and the white neon halo above the statue of St. Mary.
TIP – Entrance is free.
Swim at the Ba Ho Waterfall
The Ba Ho waterfall is approximately 27 kilometers north of Nha Trang. Literally translated it means “three swimming pools”. The waterfall is perfect for a day trip and it hardly gets crowded there. The way to the waterfall is perhaps even more beautiful than the waterfall itself.
You can swim at the falls, but watch the current. It is fairly strong, we speak from experience. You can book tours in the city where you go to the waterfall on the back of a scooter. A nice day trip!
Take the Kids to Vinpearl Land
If you are traveling with children, a visit to Vinpearl Land is recommended. Here you will find slides, bumper cars, a merry-go-round and a beautiful aquarium. More information can be found on Vinpearl’s website. The amusement park is located on an island off the coast and also has a beautiful resort which makes it an attractive accommodation option for families.
Thap Ba Hot Springs
The hot springs and mud baths of Thap Ba are a nice trip to relax. Here, you can get a private mud bath, massage or swim in the outdoor pool. More information can be found here.
Discover the City
One of the nicest places of interest is the area around the city. It pays to explore the mountainous area on a scooter or motorcycle. You can drive large parts along the beautiful coastal road without much traffic. You pass through fishing villages, along deserted beaches and you see the most beautiful views.
Both north and south of the city there is a lot to see. And if you want to make a day trip go to the beautiful Doc Let beach a little to the north or the Bai Dai beach to the south. We guarantee you’ll have a great day!
The Best Beaches in Nha Trang
The famous beaches of Nha Trang live up to their reputation. The city is located directly on the coast, making a beach holiday within reach for all budgets. Whether you are staying in a hostel or a five-star resort in the tourist center, the ocean is always less than a 15-minute walk away.
All beaches in Nha Trang are free to the public. And if you want more, you can go a little further from the city for more wonderful options.
Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang is one of the only cities in Vietnam that has a beach directly in the center. Nha Trang Beach (official Tran Phu beach) is approximately 6 kilometers long with soft sand and many luxury hotels and resorts.
The entire street that runs along the beach is full of food places, chic bars, souvenir shops and local markets. There are also various water sport activities such as parasailing, windsurfing, canoeing and flyboarding.
Bai Dai beach
Bai dai Beach is easily accessible from Nha Trang. Take the coastal road towards Cam Ranh airport. The trip is approximately 20 kilometers (about 12.4 miles) and is really beautiful. If you do not want to drive yourself, take a taxi. This costs around 300,000 VND (US $12.90). Feel free to ask the driver to stop somewhere for a photo opportunity. Once you arrive at the beach you can settle down at one of the restaurants.
There is enough shade and you can use simple chairs. Don’t expect any resorts here and the toilets are just a simple hole in the floor. Some restaurants also offer the opportunity to grill your own fish. You pay a small fee for this and you can buy drinks at the restaurant.
This is an ideal beach to visit as a day trip from Nha Trang. Bai Dai is also a nice place to surf on some days. Surfboards can be rented at “The Shack“. The Shack is a popular bar with expats and tourists and is currently the only western bar on Bai Dai.
Jungle Beach in Ninh Phuoc is popular among backpackers. It offers the ideal relaxing holiday experience thanks to its secluded location, cozy accommodations, green jungles and charming fishing villages. 60 kilometers north of Nha Trang you can enjoy a day of jungle trekking, where you can spot wild monkeys, eagles, loris and douc langurs.
If you want to stay close to the beach, there are also numerous activities such as snorkeling, swimming, surfing and beach volleyball.
Doc Let Beach
Doc Let is located in Van Phong Bay, 40 kilometers (about 24.8 miles) from the city center. It is a long beach with white sand, blue water and coconut palms along the coastline. Doc Let Beach is the shallowest beach of all the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang. This beach is quite small and has small waves, so it is safe for everyone to swim, including the elderly and young children, making it an ideal place for family trips.
On the beach you can participate in a number of exciting activities such as windsurfing and water skiing.
Doc Let has numerous palm trees and fishing boats moored off the coast, and is most popular because of the salt fields where you can photograph the white salt mountains and locals with heavy baskets across the fields.
Hon Chong Beach
Hon Chong Beach is just north of Nha Trang Beach (Tran Phu beach). After driving for about 5 minutes from the iconic Po Nagar Cham towers you will be welcomed by a quiet beach and piled up rocks that stretch out to the sea. It’s free to go to the beach, but you have to pay to climb the rocks (it’s pretty cheap).
From the top of the rocks you can see many beautiful islands in the distance, such as Hon Tre and Hon Mot and the fishermen with the wooden boats floating off the coast.
Bai Tru Beach
Bai Tru is located on the island of Hon Tre and borders the huge Vinpearl amusement park. A cable car crossing the sea of more than 3 kilometers connects the island with the mainland of Nha Trang. You can also travel there with a ferry, taxi, canoe, high-speed boat, car and motorcycle.
The Vinpearl amusement park, with a huge aquarium, amphitheater, shopping mall and a variety of attractions, is the main attraction on the island. However, if you want to enjoy a day on Bai Tru Beach, there is an admission fee of 1,100,000 VND (about US $47) including return speed boat transfers, lunch buffet and access to the beach and pool.
Hon Tam beach
Hon Tam Beach, located on Hon Tam island, is approximately 25 minutes from the center of Nha Trang. The beach is located in the bay that was recognized in 2003 as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. This is clearly one of the most beautiful beaches of Nha Trang!
There are also a host of facilities; from chic resorts, fascinating bars to fantastic food and there’s even a beautiful golf course nearby. In addition, there are interesting activities that will prevent boredom, such as various sports on the beach, kayaking, flyboarding, underwater walking, etc.
Diving and Snorkeling
Nha Trang is a popular diving destination in Vietnam. Many tourists visit Nha Trang because it is easy to reach. However, it is not the place in Vietnam with the most beautiful diving locations. The best diving locations are in the Con Dao islands in southern Vietnam.
The best time to dive around Nha Trang is between February and September.
For snorkelers, the islands off the coast of Nha Trang are a nice day trip. Boat trips can easily be arranged at the many travel agencies on the mainland.
Nha Trang Nightlife
For lovers of a vibrant nightlife, Nha Trang is the perfect place to have a great party. Some popular spots are:
- Red Apple Club
- Why Not Bar
- Booze cruise
- Patricks Wine Bar
- Sailing Club
Skylight Havana Skybar
For the absolute best view of Nha Trang, head to the new “Skylight Havana” sky bar. The views are unparalleled. Make sure you go there around 4.30 p.m. so that there is enough sunlight.
Food and Drinks
Nha Trang has a lot to offer for everyone’s taste. From French, Italian, Indian to Vietnamese food. It is hard not to find what you are looking for. You will find plenty of choice around the streets of Biet Thu, Huong Vuong and Tran Phu. For cheaper western and Vietnamese food you can dive into the alley of the Dung Trinh hotel.
Fish and Seafood Restaurants
In the area around the tourist streets you will find many fish and seafood restaurants. Locals go to Thap Ba Street, a little bit outside the center. Here you will find a long street full of restaurants where you can enjoy all the goodies from the sea. The prices here are also slightly lower than in the center.
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
A popular regional dish is “Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa”. Named after the city of Ninh Hoa, about 50 kilometers north of Nha Trang. The purpose of this dish is that you roll grilled pork and fried dough in combination with fresh herbs and lettuce in rice paper, after which you dip it in a delicious sauce. You will find a large selection of these restaurants around the Lan Ong, Le Loi and Phan Boi Chau.
Nha Trang Hotel, Hostel & Homestay Guide
There is an extensive range of resorts and hotels in Nha Trang in every price range. The more luxurious hotels and resorts can be found along the Tran Phu boulevard. For middle class and budget hotels, there is a wide selection a short distance from the beach. Most of these hotels can be found around the streets of Biet Thu and Tran Quang Khai.
The Best Budget Hostels & Homestays in Nha Trang
There are plenty of budget options in Nha Trang. It is one of the most famous cities in Vietnam and that also means that there are enough budget hostels and guesthouses.
- Village Hostel Nha Trang ➜ US $12 / Night
- Mojzo Dorm ➜ US $12 / Night
- Bondi Backpackers Nhatrang ➜ US $15 / Night
- Tabalo Hostel ➜ US $15 / Night
- DOAN Homestay ➜ US $15 / Night
The Best Mid-Range Hotels in Nha Trang
Almost all major international hotel chains are present in Nha Trang. If you are not traveling with a low budget, there is, fortunately, a lot more choice. Hotels are often available from around $30 a night. Some great hotels;
- Tokia Hotel ➜ US $30 / Night
- Pavillon Garden Hotel & Spa ➜ US $35 / Night
- DTX Hotel ➜ US $40 / Night
- Star Beach Panorama ➜ US $50 / Night
- Aaron Hotel ➜ US $50 / Night
The Best High End Hotels & Resorts in Nha Trang
Sometimes you just want to have some luxury on your trip. If you want to feel fully refreshed before continuing your journey through Nha Trang and Vietnam, book a stay at a high end hotel or resort. Here are some of the best ones:
- Xavia Hotel ➜ US $100 / Night
- Dendro Gold Hotel ➜ US $110 / Night
- Novotel Nha Trang ➜ US $110 / Night
- Nagar Hotel ➜ US $120 / Night
- Mia Resort ➜ US $145 / Night
How to Get to Nha Trang
Nha Trang is well connected with a large number of popular destinations. Flights, buses, trains and Easyriders ensure that you get there quickly. Below are the most obvious connections within the region.
Nha Trang Airport: Cam Ranh
The airport of Cam Ranh is only 25 kilometers away; the ideal way to get to Nha Trang. With daily flights between all major destinations in Vietnam, this is an economical and comfortable way to travel. Book in advance for the best rates, but last-minutes often have excellent rates as well.
From the Airport to the Center
The cheapest way to get to the center from the airport is by using the shuttle bus. Immediately after leaving the arrival hall you will find a counter where you can buy a single ticket for 50,000 VND (US$2.15). The buses are waiting outside and leave very quickly after arrival.
Taxis cost around 400,000 VND (US$17.20). It is better to agree on a fixed price since the meter often comes out more expensive. Another option is to use a possible pick-up service through your hotel.
From Da Lat to Nha Trang
The cheapest way is to use the bus. Book your tickets at your hotel, a travel agency in Da Lat or online and count on a journey of around 4 hours. However, it is advisable to turn this journey into a highlight of your holiday.
The road from Da Lat to Nha Trang is one of the most beautiful routes you can take in the country. From the mountains you slowly descend through different climate zones until you see the sea looming in the distance. Book this trip with an Easy Rider in Da Lat and make it a great day. These motorcycle guides can show you a lot of beautiful things along the way.
From Mui Ne to Nha Trang
Chances are that you will go from Mui Ne to Nha Trang. The most comfortable way is to take the train. You will then first have to travel from Mui Ne to the station in Phan Thiet. That will cost you around 20 minutes per taxi.
Don’t feel like going to Phan Thiet first? Then take the bus. It is best to book tickets directly at your hotel. Both transport options take around 4 hours.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang
Flying is of course the best choice. However, if you want to go by bus or train, prepare for a long drive.
Night buses from Ho Chi Minh City take about 10 hours to get to Nha Trang, while it takes even longer during the day. It is better than taking the night train that only takes 7 hours. Moreover, you sleep a lot better in the beds of the train.
From Hoi An to Nha Trang
Personally I would break this ride with a stop in Quy Nhon but if you have a tight schedule then you will have to finish the ride. Count on 10 hours with the night train from Da Nang and nothing more with the night bus.
You can easily book tickets for the train online at the 12GoAsia website or at the counter of any train station. Remember that you must bring proof of identity if you want to buy at the counter.