Nha Trang is a beach destination in southern Vietnam that provides a very different atmosphere than Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are towering buildings along the beach, while the main street is filled with seafood restaurants and fruit stalls. Nha Trang is known for its endless beaches, snorkeling, and diving opportunities. There’s also a theme park that takes up almost an entire island. However, you’ll still find historical places to visit and pagodas to explore. Here are the best things to do in Nha Trang.
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Nha Trang is a unique city in Vietnam. It’s a city that is very popular among Chinese and Russian tourists. So, when you get here, don’t be surprised by how many Russian restaurants there are. You’ll find both the food and spa menu listed in Vietnamese, English, and Russian. You’ll even be amazed at how many locals working in the tourism industry speak Vietnamese, English, and Russian.
#1 THING TO DO
The snorkeling and diving in Nha Trang is really good – so head out on a snorkeling trip and get to see what it’s like under the water. This is a super trip and get excellent reviews!
Head out for a fabulous time – but book early.
The Best 19 Things to Do in Nha Trang
Nha Trang is jam-packed with adventure activities such as snorkeling, diving, boat tours, riding a cable car, and pagoda hopping, and you’ll also find a dozen dishes to try that will fill your stomach too. It’s also a great place to base yourself to explore other parts of Vietnam, so I’ve included some interesting day trips to check out nearby towns and cities.
1. Go to the beach in Nha Trang
To be fair, this is why most people come here. Nha Trang has lots of beaches, and many are very well-maintained. If you’ve been to some of the South Vietnam beaches you’ll likely be concerned about the trash that washes up. Not so much here in Nha Trang. The main beach in Nha Trang is called Bai Bien. Bai Bien Beach is spacious, clean, and the most popular beach in Nha Trang. Many restaurants and bars along the beach serve from lunch until late at night. You can rent a sunbed for US$2.5 or bring your own towel and just lie on the sand.
There’s a public toilet at Bai Bien Beach, but the line for it is usually long, especially at the weekends. You’d be better off buying a can of soda from a restaurant and using their facilities instead.
South Beach, Nha Trang is situated near the Cable Car Station. It’s a smaller beach, and there are no waves because of the breakwater setup, making it an ideal beach for children in Nha Trang. Tam Hon Chong Beach is in the northern part of Nha Trang. It’s a sandy beach but with big rocks around. There are sunbeds to rent and lots of locals selling snacks all day and night.
Diving in Nha Trang is a must-do whether you’re a licensed diver or not. Diving is well-priced here and there are some great dive spots around. There are two popular diving spots along Nha Trang Bay, including the National Marine Conversation Area of Coral Reef. If you’re not licensed, you can take a trial course in Nha Trang, it’s way more affordable than in Europe or North America. Trial courses don’t need certification, but this is also a great place to take PADI certifications too.
Vietnam Active is the most popular diving shop in Nha Trang, they also offer snorkeling tours, licensed PADI courses, and general diving. You can check out Sailing Club Divers as well, it’s more expensive but provides a superb experience. Finally, Rainbow Divers is another Nha Trang dive shop to take a look at.
The offices of these dive shops are all located in downtown Nha Trang. Spend some time shopping around first to see which one suits you the best. Alternatively book a dive experience online as well, where everything you need will be included, such as meals, gear, and insurance. This dive trip needs no experience and is a great Nha Trang diving option.
If diving is not for you, but you still want to see Nha Trang underwater, you can also go on a boat tour and do some snorkeling or scuba diving. Most boat tours that go out for diving also take people who wish to go snorkeling since the snorkeling locations and diving sites are in the same area. The shops will provide you with snorkeling gear, boat transfer, and a guide. Want to pre-book your snorkel trip in Nha Trang? This is a superb option to see underwater Nha Trang.
As mentioned before, Nha Trang is a big city with a plethora of things to do. To get around easily, and see all the attractions the best way to see each location is to rent a motorbike, hire a local driver, or book a city tour. A guided tour will visit the must-see places around Nha Trang, while a knowledgeable local guide can give you lots of information. This half-day tour can be matched with a sunset cruise or paddleboarding to maximize your time in Nha Trang. Read more reviews and book a Nha Trang city tour here.
Another water activity that’s become popular in Nha Trang is freediving. Freediving is when you don’t need an oxygen tank to get deep in the ocean. All you need to have are fins and snorkeling glasses. The cost starts from $195 and up, depending on the license level you want. Dive Alpha, Vietnam Active, and Dive Vietnam offer freediving courses.
The Po Nagar Cham Towers are 3-story two church historic towers built between the 7th and 12th centuries. Nha Trang’s Po Nagar Cham Towers are old but well-maintained and are active today as places of worship. If you plan to visit, remember to wear modest clothing, remove your footwear when you enter the building, and be respectful of the people praying.
The best way to get to the Po Nagar Cham Towers is by taking a taxi, booking a Grab Car or a motorbike taxi, or by renting a motorbike. The ride is about 10-15 minutes and usually costs US$2-US$5 from downtown Nha Trang.
- Address of the Po Nagar Cham Towers: 61 Hai Tháng Tư, Vĩnh Phước, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Po Nagar Cham Towers: 6 AM to 5:30 PM
- Entry Fees for the Po Nagar Cham Towers: $0.60
Nha Trang’s Long Son Pagoda is considered a modern pagoda that was actually built in a different location in 1886. The Long Son Pagoda was initially called Dang Long Tu. It was due to typhoon damage, that it was transferred to its current location in the 1900s. The main attraction of this pagoda in Nha Trang is the white Buddha which you can only reach by taking a few hilly steps after you enter the compound. Covering your shoulders is required when entering the pagoda. You can visit this place with a local guide by booking a half-day tour of Nha Trang that highlights the must-see locations in the city.
- Address of the Long Son Pagoda: 22 Đ. 23 Tháng 10, Phương sơn, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Long Son Pagoda: 24 hours
VinPearl Island, also known as VinWonders, is definitely one of the main attractions of Nha Trang. Vin Peale Island is a theme park that can only be reached by taking the Vin Pearl cable car, canoe, or boat. Once inside this Nha Trang theme park, you can ride the roller coaster and Ferris wheel, go zip lining, get wet at the aquapark, visit the underwater aquarium, and more. It’s a top-rated destination; hence getting your ticket in advance is a mustto avoid lines in the heat of the day.
- Address of Vinpearl Island: Nha Trang – Vinpearl Land, Vĩnh Nguyên, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of Vinpearl Island: 8 AM to 8 PM, every day
- Entry Fees for Vinpearl Island: US$24-US$34 (depending on the options you take)
You can ride the cable car connecting Vin Pearl Island (a.k.a Hon Tre Island) and mainland Vietnam. This 3,320-meter-long cable car was built in 2017 and stands about 70 meters (230 feet) above sea level often pretty long at this time. as many visitors of the island head back to the mainland during this hour as well.
You can also take the cable car to the island, then a ferry or canoe back to the mainland. Remember, you have to pay for the entrance to the theme park if you want to ride the cable car. You can’t buy a cable car ride only.
- Address of the Vinpearl Cable Car: Vĩnh Trường, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Vinpearl Cable Car: 8 AM to 8 PM, daily
- Entry Fees for the Vinpearl Cable Car: $16 to $39 (depending on the options you take)
10. Visit the XQ Historical Village in Nha Trang
The XQ Historical Village showcases the art of embroidery in Vietnam. Vietnam has a massive silk industry, which is the fabric traditional Vietnamese clothing (ao dai) is made of. These dresses are then embroidered with unique patterns. Today, most designs on an ao dai are printed. But you can still learn about the significance of embroidery and its part in Vietnamese culture by visiting XQ Historical Village near Nha Trang. You can also see staff busy working and, of course, buying some items for yourself. It’s an interesting option to check out.
- Address of the XQ Historical Village: 64 Tran Phu, Nha Trang Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the XQ Historical Village: 8 AM to 5:30 PM, every day
- Entry Fees for the XQ Historical Village: Free
11. Visit Nha Trang’s Dam Market
The Dam Market in Nha Trang is a favorite spot for both locals and foreign visitors alike. Wander around and check out various stores, from souvenir items and clothing to food such as fruit, snacks, and fresh vegetables. If you want to eat, head out of the market hall, where you’ll find many different choices. There, you’ll find tables and chairs in front of different food stalls selling sushi, pho, banh mi, and Vietnamese coffee. Nha Trang’s Dam Market sells many products from international brands, but be aware that they are (generally) not authentic. Avoid coming at 2 PM, most businesses are closed and will reopen again around 4 PM.
- Address of the Dam Market: Phan Bội Châu, P, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Dam Market: 5 AM to 6:30 PM, every day
12. Explore the National Museum of Oceanography in Nha Trang
The Museum Of Oceanography is a must-see while you’re in Nha Trang. It’s a suitable place if you’re traveling with young children or simply love to learn more about the oceanography of Vietnam or Southeast Asia in general. There are live sea animals, skeletal displays, marine artifacts, and informative posters here.
- Address of the National Museum Of Oceanography: Số 1, Cầu Đá, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the National Museum Of Oceanography: 6 AM to 6 PM daily
- Entry Fees for the National Museum Of Oceanography: US$1.70
Ba Ho Waterfalls is a great day trip destination outside of Nha Trang. If you’re looking to cool off and do some wild swimming and cliff jumping, this is the perfect place. It’s a challenging hike to get there through the jungle, big rocks, and river. Make sure to bring good shoes. Ba Ho Waterfalls is 12.5 miles (20 km) north of Nha Trang, about 45 minute drive. The best way to get here is by vehicle or motorbike. You can either get in a taxi, book a Grab car or motorbike, or rent a motorbike. The best way, however, to do this trip is by booking a tour. The transport, lunch, entrance fee, guide, and insurance are included on this trip.
- Address of the Ba Ho Waterfalls: Ninh Ích, Ninh Hòa, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Ba Ho Waterfalls: 8 AM to 4:30 PM, daily
- Entry Fees for the Ba Ho Waterfalls: US$4.25
14. Head to Nha Trang’s Alexandre Yersin Museum
Alexandre Yersin was a Swiss-France physician and bacteriologist. He became a significant person in Vietnam because of his work on the plague rampant in the then-French colony Vietnam. He spent most of his professional life in Vietnam and made Nha Trang his home until he died in 1943. The museum showcases the remarkable life of Yersin in Vietnam and the country’s appreciation of his work.
- Address of the Alexandre Yersin Museum: 10 Trần Phú, Xương Huân, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Alexandre Yersin Museum: 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM, then again from 2 PM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays, closed on the weekends
- Entry Fees for the Alexandre Yersin Museum: US$0.85
15. Visit the Fishing Villages near Nha Trang
It’s not surprising that Vietnam has a vast fishing culture thanks to its long stretch of coastline. If you want to see what a traditional Vietnamese fishing village looks like, there are a few places you can check out. But remember, most of these places are not designed as tourist attractions and are mostly habited by ethnic groups. So, if you plan to visit, be respectful and don’t take photos of the locals and children without their consent.
These places are best to visit if you have a vehicle to explore independently. A taxi driver might not know where to go. You can drive to the fishing village of Ninh Thuy, over an hour’s drive north of Nha Trang. You can also check out Dam Mon, which will take around 2 hours to drive from Nha Trang and 1 hour and 20 minutes from Ninh Thuy.
You’re on the coast. There are some amazing sunsets here, and some great seafood, so why not combine the two? Head out on a sunset cruise to find a (hopefully) fantastic sunset matched with a tasty dinner on a luxurious cruise boat. The tour includes the boat, guide, dinner, live music, and a free flow of drinks. This is an amazing way to finish your day in Nha Trang, especially if you want to do something romantic with your significant other. Like the sound of Nha Trang sunset cruising? Check out more reviews and availability here.
The beaches facing the ocean often come with some decent-sized waves and trying out paddle boarding might not be suitable there. However, head to the magnificent Cai River instead of going to the sea where you can enjoy paddling your way around the river, you can also watch a colorful and stunning sunset in a tranquil and less crowded place. This is a lovely way to spend sunset and it’s usually pretty quiet too. There are more details on sunset SUP’ing here.
18. Hike to the Nha Trang Mountain Church
The Nha Trang Mountain Church, also known as the Stone Church, was built in 1933 in Neo-Gothic architecture featuring an ornate bell tower and a distinctive vaulted ceiling and possessed classic stained-glass windows. The church is located on a hill, a small hike will take you there. You can also get here by car, taxi, or motorbike taxi. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the ocean from the top of the hill.
- Address of the Nha Trang Mountain Church: 01 Thái Nguyên, Phước Tân, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
- Opening Hours of the Nha Trang Mountain Church: 4:45 AM to 5:45 PM on Mondays to Saturdays, 5 AM to 6:30 PM on Sundays
Da Lat, also known as the Flower City or the City of Eternal Spring, (a bit like Medellin in Colombia!) is a city located in the mountains with an elevation of 1,500 m (4,920 feet). It has become popular for its pine trees and cooler weather that stays almost the same all year round. Da Lat or Dalat is where most vegetables, fruits, flowers, and coffee in Vietnam are farmed. I loved our time in Dalat – it was cool, a bit misty, and particularly quiet when we visited.
From Nha Trang to Dalat, it’s only a 3-hour drive, even less if you ride there on a motorbike. This has made Dalat a popular day trip from Nha Trang. The top things to do in Dalat are centered on its natural beauty. You should plan to see the Elephant Falls, Pongour Waterfalls, a cable car ride through the pine forest, and Datanla Waterfalls and the rope course. You shouldn’t miss the Dalat Crazy House (trust me it’s worth it!) The French Quarter is one of the oldest areas in Dalat, it was built as a summer holiday compound for influential French colony leaders, which is now open to the public.
There is a day trip from Nha Trang where you can visit all of Dalat’s top attractions and have a chance to buy the world-famous Vietnamese coffee as a souvenir or even handpick strawberries. The tour includes transport, a guide, and entrance fees.
Where to Stay in Nha Trang
Vietnam, in general, has fantastic accommodations for extremely reasonable prices. You get a great, spacious, and comfortable room at an affordable price.
Melia by VinPearl Empire is one of the most popular 5-star hotels in Nha Trang. It’s located near Le Thanh Ton, where various restaurants and cafes can be found. It’s also just a few minutes walk from the sandy beach and the famous Agarwood Tower. Enjoy the outdoor swimming pool on the rooftop, where you can watch the sunset. Check rates and availability here.
If you don’t need the extra luxury but still want a comfortable sleep and a well-located hotel in Nha Trang, the Azura Gold Hotel & Apartment is perfect. It offers you a spacious room, a Vietnamese breakfast, and a swimming pool on the rooftop where you can enjoy the sunset. Check out more reviews of this superb accommodation in Nha Trang here
Budget accommodation doesn’t have to mean staying in youth hostels. Nha Trang Cozy Hotel features a simple but relaxing bed and a great location at such great prices. You can get a standard double room for the same price as you’d spend on one meal in a mid-range restaurant. Get a great deal here.
Where is Nha Trang?
Nha Trang is located in southern Vietnam, the main city of Khanh Hoa province. It is 1,300 kilometers (807 miles) south of Hanoi and only 430 kilometers ( 267 miles) north of Ho Chi Minh City. You can
There are different ways to reach Nha Trang from any city in Vietnam or even countries around Southeast Asia.
Get to Nha Trang by Air
Nha Trang has an international airport located in Cam Ranh, about a 45-minute drive south of the city center.
Looking for a flight to Nha Trang? > Here are your options
There are buses and private minivans that you could take from the airport if you plan to stay downtown. The cost is around US$2.50 per person and can be taken from the Domestic Terminal. The Grab app also works at the airport, which can take you to Nha Trang center from the airport.
Getting to Nha Trang By bus
Nha Trang has a busy bus station for those coming from other parts of Vietnam. There are direct sleeper buses to Nha Trang from Da Lat, Da Nang, Mui Ne, and even Ho Chi Minh City. The sleeper buses allow you to recline down to 160°, and an onboard toilet makes it a comfortable trip.
Taking the bus to reach Nha Trang is also the most affordable way. Depending on where your departure city is, the travel time is between 3 to 14 hours and costs $10-$50. There is a Nha Trang Central Bus Station where most long-distance buses will arrive. It’s around a 20-minute drive from Nha Trang center.
But if you book with organizations specifically catering to foreign visitors, these companies will shuttle you from the central bus station to downtown Nha Trang at no extra fee. You can check bus times and availability here with 12goAsia.
Getting to Nha Trang by train
Nha Trang Train Station is situated along the Thai Nguyen national road. It is directly connected to the northern and southern lines of the Vietnam train system. This is a great way to get to Nha Trang if you’re coming from Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang and want to try something different. The travel time is about the same speed as the bus but slower than the plane.
On the other hand, you’ll get to experience a scenic ride through villages, forests, and along the coastline of Vietnam. It’s also nice to be able to walk around the carriage, which you can’t do on a bus. There’s a food section where you can buy warm meals, snacks, cold drinks, and even beers!
Getting to Nha Trang by motorbike
If you decided to rent a motorbike to travel around Vietnam, you’re coming from one of these cities; Quy Nhon, Tuy Hoa, Da Lat, Mui Ne, or Ho Chi Minh City.
From Quy Nhon, the drive is around 4 hours along the coast. Drive through QL1A, which will take you directly to Nha Trang. From Tuy Hoa, it’s only 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Coming from Da Lat City, it’s a 3-hour drive along QL27C. The road will be windy, so be mindful of big trucks and buses. From the south, Mui Ne is a 4-hour drive along the coast, and Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang is a 2-day drive since you can only travel for 6 hours a day.
Renting a motorbike and driving in Vietnam
Renting a motorbike and driving on your own is what makes Vietnam a unique destination. Most foreign visitors would rent or buy a motorbike either in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and travel the country on two wheels.
Although this is still a common way to explore the country today, you should be aware that to legally drive in Vietnam, you must convert your driver’s license to a local one. An IDP (International Driver’s Permit) is not recognized in Vietnam either.
While you can still rent, buy, and drive a motorbike without a local license, remember that if you get into an accident, your travel insurance will most likely not cover you due to driving without a valid license.
Safety in Nha Trang
Nha Trang is a relatively safe city to visit and is firmly on the tourist and Banana Pancake trail. Follow all the usual precautions that you would when traveling in a busy city
- Keep valuables out of sight
- Always lock your valuables away when they’re not with you (read how we use a portable travel safe here)
- Use a VPN when utilizing public WiFi networks in hotels, hostels, and guesthouses (read about VPNs here)
- Tap water is generally NOT potable in Vietnam, so consider taking a refillable water bottle to reduce the use of single-use plastic. We always travel with a filter water bottle, which I wrote about here.
Travel Insurance for Nha Trang
Nha Trang is a pretty safe city to travel to, but accidents can happen. If you’re considering travel insurance. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip to Nha Trang, then you can get a quote from World Nomads for your travel insurance for Nha Trang
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Final Words on the Best 19 Things to Do in Nha Trang
Nha Trang has a lot of offers to its visitors who love spending time in the water, are curious to discover the local cuisine and learn about Vietnamese history and culture. If you have limited time, 2-3 days would be perfect for Nha Trang, but you can easily spend an entire week here doing nothing. The accommodations are so affordable, it’s an ideal place to simply pack a book and read on the beach all day.
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