Vietnam has it all: From stunning mountains to relaxing beaches, from buzzing metropolises to historic small towns – and don’t forget the world renown food!
If you’re looking to spend two weeks in Vietnam, here’s our 14 days in Vietnam itinerary.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
Getting around Vietnam
Vietnam is a large country. It has an elongated shape hence many travellers choose to move through the country from north to south or vice versa. For reference, a direct train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City will take more than 30 hours.
To see as much as possible in 14 days in Vietnam, you have to travel fast. To see the most in a short time, you have to take advantage of:
- Sleeper trains and buses.
- Sightseeing transfers.
- Day tours.
- Inland flights.
Fortunately, the tourist infrastructure in Vietnam is amazing making travelling easy. You can conveniently book transfers and tours from travel agencies throughout the country or online.
How much time do you need in Vietnam?
Of course, with time, more is always better. 7 days is the bare minimum you need in Vietnam and in that case, you should focus your time either spending one week in Northern Vietnam or Southern Vietnam.
In two weeks, you can traverse the whole country on a fast-paced itinerary.
If you have a bit longer, check out our Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks: From North to South
Best time to visit Vietnam
The dry season in Vietnam spans from December to April. Beware that because of its elongated shape, the climate in northern and southern Vietnam can differ vastly. Northern Vietnam can get pretty cold during the winter months and you can even expect snow on Vietnam’s highest mountain Fansipan.
14 days in Vietnam Itinerary
Day 1 – 3: 3 Days in Hanoi
Start your Vietnam itinerary in the capital Hanoi. One of the best ways to ease yourself into a new country is by doing a (free) walking tour – especially if you’re short on time.
Make sure not to miss any of the highlights like train street, the French Quarter, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Take a rest with a famous – and delicious – egg coffee.
Check out: Top Hanoi Things To Do
Day Trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay
As your time is limited, you’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay on a day trip rather than an overnight trip.
It’s just a short drive from Hanoi and day tours are easily organised. You’ll cruise through the dramatic limestone cliffs and maybe get some activity in by kayaking or hiking to a viewpoint.
Check out our post on How to Choose the Right Ha Long Bay Cruise
Day Trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh, also dubbed Halong Bay on land, is another easy day trip from Hanoi. Most tours (like this one) will include a boat ride in Tam Coc leading you through rice paddies, limestone cliffs, and caves (yes, you’ll ride a boat through an actual cave!).
Additionally, you’ll go to the Instagram famous dragon viewpoint at Mua Cave as well as Bai Dinh Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam.
Getting from Hanoi to Ha Giang
To be time efficient, you should book a tour. This will make it possible to hop off the night bus and on the motorbike. After three days of riding, you will hop back on another night bus to Hanoi.
Day 4 – 6: 3 Days Ha Giang Motorbike Loop
The Ha Giang Motorbike Loop is the highlight of most travellers visiting Vietnam. The normal tour takes 4 days but if you’re short on time, you can also do the express tour which lasts 3 days.
Don’t worry, if you don’t dare to drive a motorbike yourself, you can go with an easy rider.
The highlights of the Ha Giang Loop include mountain passes like the Ma Pi Leng Pass, the northmost point of Vietnam Lung Cu, the ancient town of Dong Van, and the UNESCO Dong Van Geopark.
Getting from Ha Giang to Hue
Whether you fly or take an overnight bus or train, it will take you a while to get from Ha Giang to Hue. You first have to circle back to Hanoi from where you can travel onwards.
Day 7 – 8: 2 Days in Hue
If you want to make the most of your time in the old imperial city, we advise you to go on a guided tour again. It will include all the highlights like the Imperial Citadel, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and a selection of imperial tombs like Ming Mang Tomb and Khai Dinh Tomb as well as a boat ride on the Perfume River.
If you want more independence, you can also visit all these sights with a taxi, motorbike, or bicycle.
Getting from Hue to Hoi An
The best way to get from Hue to Hoi An is via the Hai Van pass – either by motorbike or guided tour.
Day 9 – 10: 2 Days in Hoi An
The lantern capital Hoi An is arguably the prettiest town in Vietnam. Its old wooden and colourful colonial buildings invite you to take a stroll during the day. It’s cosy cafes and delicious street food invite you to rest and indulge.
It’s the evening when the city really comes alive, though. Thousands of lanterns are lit all over town. The most magical place to watch this spectacle is along the riverside where you can go on a romantic boat tour.
You can even craft your own lantern. Another activity that Hoi An is famous for is having clothes tailored.
Getting from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City
This is the second and last long travel day of your trip. To take a train or plane to Ho Chi Minh City, you have to go via the beach city of Da Nang.
Day 11-12: 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh City
Once you’ve reached the biggest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, we again advise you to go on a (free) walking tour to see the most in a short time.
Some of the major must-visit places include the War Remnants Museum, the Central Post Office, the Reunification Palace, and Chinatown.
You should also try some of the local delicacies like snails at one of the many local markets.
Do not miss the nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City. Bui Vien Walking Street is wild, even wilder than the famous Khao San Road in Bangkok.
Day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnel
The most time-efficient way to see the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City is via a guided tour. The whole experience is rather touristy but still very worthwhile. You’ll visit a honey farm and a fruit farm, taste coconut candy, and go on a short row boat ride along a coconut canal.
On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, you can opt to visit the Cu Chi Tunnel to learn more about the Vietnam War – a chapter in the history of Vietnam which should not be omitted from your travel itinerary.
Getting from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc
Taking a flight will save you the long bus and ferry ride.
Day 13 – 14: 2 Days on Phu Quoc Island
Make your way to Phu Quoc Island to relax your last couple of days on the beach. If you want a bit more than just beach time, there are plenty of things you can explore like waterfalls, pepper farms, fishing villages, and markets.