Planning a trip to the beautiful medieval city of Hoi An in Vietnam and wondering how many days in Hoi An would be ideal for an immersive experience? Well, you’re at the right place! Whether you’re captivated by Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ancient Town, the town’s rich cultural heritage, or its vibrant lantern-lit landscapes, Hoi An offers a lot of attractions that will take your breath away. With its beautiful mixture of history, art, and culinary delights, Hoi An is a destination that will instantly make you fall in love with it.
In this article, we will share a lot of useful information about traveling to Hoi An and help you determine how many days to spend in Hoi An, ensuring you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
Location & Overview
An enigmatic gem comfortably situated along Vietnam’s central coast, Hoi An attracts thousands of visitors every year with its unmatched allure. Situated in the Quang Nam Province, the ancient city of Hoi An is a tangible testament to the region’s illustrious past. The quaint town became a prominent trading port in the 15th century when it started becoming a nexus for cultural interactions between the East and the West.
Its old town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and showcases an unusual but harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and European influences, deeply etched in the antique houses, ornate temples, and vibrant markets.
A profound sense of history whispers from every corner of Hoi An, connecting the present to the past in a timeless dance. As one of the most important medieval cities in the country, Hoi An remains a beacon of significant historical importance, vividly illuminating a window into Vietnam’s vibrant past. Hence, it should come as no surprise that Hoi An continues to enchant visitors (whose number keeps increasing every year), remaining a compelling symbol of the nation’s historical legacy.
Planning Your Trip & Best Time To Visit
When a city has so much to offer as Hoi An, planning your trip isn’t easy simply because there are so many things to see and do but we’ll do our best to help you prepare and decide how many days in Hoi An you would like to spend.
Hoi An is blessed with a tropical climate, meaning it’s warm throughout the year and there’s a dry and wet season. The best time to visit Hoi An is during the dry season, which lasts between February and July. These months see less rainfall, and the weather is more pleasant for exploring the city’s vibrant streets, shops, and beaches.
The months of April and May are particularly enchanting; the temperatures are comfortable – not too hot, not too cold. This means it’s more pleasant to enjoy outdoor activities like strolling around the historic old town, enjoying a bike ride to the nearby rice fields, or even relaxing at An Bang Beach.
However, one shouldn’t forget that the charm of Hoi An isn’t just in its sunny days. There’s something undeniably romantic about the city during the rainy season as well, with its lantern-lit streets reflected in wet cobblestones.
Before embarking on your trip, make sure to pack light clothing for the day, a sturdy umbrella for those unexpected showers, and a decent pair of walking shoes.
Practical Tips For Visiting Hoi An
Now, before help you decide how many days in Hoi An you’d like to spend, let’s cover some helpful tips about accommodation, interesting tours, and tips on how to get around the city.
Accommodation Options In Hoi An
Hoi An offers a variety of accommodations to suit every type of traveler and in this section, we’ll cover some of our favorite choices.
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a perfect choice for luxury travelers. The resort is located on the pristine shores of Ha My Beach and offers world-class service, beachfront villas, and one of the best spa centers in the region. With its unique blend of luxury and cultural heritage, this is the perfect place for people looking for a luxurious place to relax after a long day of exploring the city.
Tribee Kinh Hostel & Bar is a great choice for budget travelers. It offers dormitories and private rooms and whatever you choose you’ll always get a budget-friendly option and great value for money. The hostel also organizes daily free activities for guests that will allow you to experience the best of Hoi An’s local culture.
Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa is the perfect place for families. This hotel has spacious rooms, a kid’s pool, and is located in the city center, close to most tourist attractions (a walking distance) which is always a plus for families.
If you’re traveling with your most significant other, Anantara Hoi An Resort is one of the best options in Hoi An. With its riverside location, colonial-style architecture, and lush gardens, Anantara provides the perfect romantic setting for couples. Their rooms are spacious and luxurious, their in-house dining options are exquisite, and the spa makes things even better.
If you’re traveling solo, you’ll just love Under The Coconut Tree. It’s a welcoming hostel located away from the city’s hustle and bustle. It offers private and shared accommodation options, it’s a great place to meet fellow travelers and best of all, it’s located on the beautiful An Bang Beach.
Lastly, if you’re one of Hoi An’s growing digital nomad population, the Hub Hoi An is a great place to stay with. The Hub Hoi An is basically a co-working space with a strong community vibe that offers accommodations too. It’s ideal for digital nomads who need reliable Wi-Fi and a quiet workspace.
While modern transportation options are available in Hoi An, the city’s slow pace will entice you to explore in more traditional ways. One of my favorite ways to navigate Hoi An is on foot and this is the only way to explore the Old Town since it’s a pedestrian-only zone. If you want to cover more ground, you can easily rent a bicycle (there’s a shop behind every corner). I just loved the feeling of the wind in my hair as I cycle alongside the canals or to the countryside rice fields and pristine beaches. Many hotels and guesthouses even offer free or very cheap bike rentals.
If you want to take longer journeys, you might want to consider renting a motorbike or a taxi. Just don’t forget that the traffic in Vietnam can be very hectic if you’re not used to it. If the idea of dodging around scooters isn’t your cup of tea, taxis are widely available and affordable.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the classic Vietnamese cyclo! There’s something charming about being pedaled around the city in these three-wheel bicycle taxis. It’s a bit touristy, sure, but it’s also a unique way to see Hoi An, especially at night when the streets are illuminated by lanterns.
Tours To Take In Hoi An
Deciding how many days in Hoi An you will need to cover all of the things you want to see also depends on which places you want to visit. Here, we’ll cover some of my personal favorite tours to take in Hoi An.
If you’re looking for an introductory walking tour this walking tour with local food is a great choice. If you want to cover more ground in a shorter period of time, you can join this Hoi An bike tour and if that’s not enough, you can also take this 4-hour bicycle tour of Hoi An’s countryside.
Alternatively, if you’re more into cultural experiences, you’ll surely love this Vietnamese coffee-making class, the foldable lantern-making class, or even this cooking class combined with a basket boat ride.
If you’re more into water-related activities, you’ll surely love this island hopping tour from Hoi An, this basket boat tour with locals, this fishing boat tour (with barbecue), or even this river boat tour with the dar show (a spectacular dance show based on Vietnamese tribal culture).
How Many Days In Hoi An?
Now that we covered some basics, let’s get to the most important part of this article- to help you decide how many days in Hoi An you’d like to spend.
How Many Days In Hoi An? A 2-Day Itinerary
Day 1 – Exploring the Old Town
Morning: Start your day early with a stroll through the Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, before wandering through the narrow lanes lined with well-preserved buildings reflecting a blend of local and foreign influences. Don’t miss the Tan Ky House and the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall.
Afternoon: After lunch, you can head to the Hoi An Museum to learn more about the city’s history and afterward, head over to Reaching Out Tea House, where you can enjoy a peaceful tea ceremony while supporting a local business that employs local people with disabilities.
Evening: As the sun sets, you’ll see the streets of Hoi An come alive with colorful lanterns. This is the perfect time to go on a boat ride along the Thu Bon River. After the ride, you can pay a visit to the Night Market, and enjoy the magical atmosphere.
Day 2 – Beyond the Old Town
Morning: Spend the morning exploring My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site located about an hour’s drive away from the city. This is a complex of ancient Hindu temples which is a must-visit for all history buffs visiting Hoi An.
Afternoon: After returning from My Son, cool off with a visit to An Bang Beach. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy some of the best seafood in Hoi An.
Evening: Upon returning to Hoi An, round up your trip by taking a Vietnamese cooking class. Many classes include a trip to the local market where you’ll learn about the ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine.
How Many Days In Hoi An? A 3-Day Itinerary
Day 1 and 2:
Are exactly the same as our 2-day itinerary mentioned in the previous paragraph. So we’ll just continue with…
Day 3: Get A Taste Of Rural Hoi An
Morning: For this day, we suggest taking a half-day farming and fishing tour that will show you a part of Hoi An’s rural life. During this trip, you can learn about traditional farming methods, go fishing in one of the cute basket boats, and explore the beautiful water coconut palm paradise that surrounds the city.
Afternoon: The afternoon is reserved for exploring places you may have missed in the old town, or rent a bicycle and discover Hoi An’s charming countryside.
Evening: End your stay in Hoi An in style by enjoying a performance at the Hoi An Impression Theme Park, or have a fancy dinner in of the top-rated restaurants in town, Morning Glory, known for its delicious Vietnamese delicacies.
How Many Days In Hoi An? A 5-Day Itinerary
Are the same as the previous two itineraries and in addition, we’ll just share the itinerary for the remaining 2 days.
Day 4: Embrace the Beach Life
Morning: Wake up early, cycle to An Bang Beach (the most famous beach in Hoi An), and enjoy a beachside breakfast.
Mid-Morning to Afternoon: Spend your day relaxing on the beach, go swimming, or try out some water sports activities. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a surfing lesson or go kayaking.
Late Afternoon: As the day cools down, hop on your bicycle and head to the picturesque Cua Dai Beach. There are fewer crowds here, making it a great spot to watch the sun setting over Hoi An’s charming countryside.
Evening: Go back to Hoi An, freshen up, and have a relaxing seafood dinner at a restaurant like Mango Mango, which offers beautiful river views and creative Vietnamese dishes.
Day 5: A Day at Cham Islands
Morning: Start your day by taking a speedboat to the Cham Islands, a picturesque UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve. I strongly suggest exploring the island’s fascinating marine life through a guided diving tour before leaving but if you want to just relax and enjoy the beautiful nature, that’s fine too.
Afternoon: Try some seafood and relax on one of the island’s beaches. Don’t miss visiting at least a couple of the local fishing villages and the Cham Islands Marine Museum.
Late Afternoon: Go back to Hoi An and spend the rest of your day relaxing, trying some street food, or perhaps even doing some last-minute shopping in the Old Town.
Evening: For your final night, treat yourself in a beachfront restaurant like The DeckHouse (on An Bang Beach). Enjoy the tranquil views and have a drink or two to commemorate the incredible memories you’ve made in the beautiful city of Hoi An.
How Many Days In Hoi An? A 7-Day Itinerary
Remain absolutely the same but we have made some very interesting suggestions for the following two days.
Day 6: More of Hoi An’s Hidden Gems
Morning: Visit Tra Que Vegetable Village, a charming farming village that supplies organic vegetables to the entire city and its surroundings. You can participate in farming activities and even take a Vietnamese cooking class.
Afternoon: Grab your bicycle and head to Cam Thanh Coconut Village where you can ride a unique local round boat known as ‘Thung Chai, try your hand at crab fishing, and learn some local cooking techniques.
Evening: Relax after a long day of exploring and savor the vibrant flavors of Hoi An with some local street food or fine dining, depending on your preference.
Day 7: Journey to the Marble Mountains
Morning: Use your last day in Hoi An to take a day trip to the nearby Marble Mountains; a cluster of five marble and limestone hills, each dedicated to one of the five earth elements. You can explore some of the caves and temples on the hills and enjoy some of the best panoramic views in this part of Vietnam.
Afternoon: On your way back, you can stop at Non-Nuoc Stone Carving Village if you’re not too tired. The village is famous across the country for its unique stone sculptures and handicrafts.
Evening: Return to Hoi An, relax and enjoy a quiet dinner.
Day Trips from Hoi An
Lastly, we round up this guide with a few suggestions for day trips from Hoi An.
Hue: Located around three hours north of Hoi An, the ancient city of Hue was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Today, you can see the remains of the great Imperial City that was home to the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Some of the attractions you shouldn’t miss include the Thien Mu Pagoda, the Hue Mausoleum, and taking a boat ride on the famous Perfume River. The road from Hoi An to Hue is also dotted with a handful of scenic places, most notably, the Hai Van Pass.
Da Nang: Located no more than an hour’s drive away, Da Nang is the fourth largest city in Vietnam. You can spend your day exploring the famous Marble Mountains, relaxing on some of Da Nang’s beautiful beaches, visiting the surreal Dragon Bridge, or learning some history in the Museum of Cham Sculpture.
Ba Na Hills: The scenic Ba Na Hills is another great idea for taking a day trip from Hoi An. The hills are mainly famous for the Golden Bridge, which appears to be held up by two giant hands (I’m sure you’ve seen it somewhere on the internet). The resort also features a picturesque French village, a wax museum, and a few other interesting attractions.
Son Tra Peninsula (Monkey Mountain): Located north of Da Nang, the peninsula is the perfect place to be for nature and wildlife lovers. There are several scenic hiking trails where you can encounter the rare red-shanked douc langurs (often called ‘costumed apes’) that inhabit the area (hence, the name Monkey Mountains)…
How did you like this guide? Did it help you determine how many days in Hoi An you’d like to spend? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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