Vietnam – The Best 2 Weeks Itinerary (complete day-by-day guide)

 

Vietnam is amazing, from top to bottom, with such a diverse landscape, friendly people, rich culture and yummy food. Vietnam has over 1,000 miles long to be explored. The good news is that you can visit the best of Vietnam with a condensed well-planned 2 weeks trip itinerary.

This Vietnam travel itinerary begins with the country's busiest city of Ho Chi Minh, journeying to UNESCO world heritage city of Hoi An, hiking the remote mountains of Sapa and ending on a relaxing cruise across the incredible Halong Bay. With this itinerary, you will get to see some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Vietnam, and it gives you the opportunity to see all the best things to do, one destination at a time.

I had only 2 weeks vacation in Vietnam and 1 week in Cambodia. There were so many places I wanted to visit, so I had to be selective with my time and choices, and I knew I would have to prepare in advance.

I have to say that I was very assertive with my 2-week itinerary in Vietnam and of course I wish I had more time to explore, but this itinerary is a perfect option, especially if it is your first visit to Vietnam.

Enjoy this detailed day-by-day for 2 weeks in Vietnam. At the end of the itinerary, visit the session INFORMATION for tips on what to book in advance, places to stay, detailed prices information, and more.

2-WEEK VIETNAM ITINERARY OVERVIEW

 

Day 1-3 (Ho Chi Minh City)

Uncover the organized chaos of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Take a side trip to the fascinating Co Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta


Day 4-8 (Hoi-An)

Fall in love with of the best spots in Vietnam, Hoi An

Take side trips to the Marble Mountains and the Sanctuary of Mi Son


Day 9-11 (Sapa)

Go an adventure and hike the incredible hills and mountains of Sapa

Dive on an authentic experience with homestay with one of the local minority tribes


Day 12-14 (Halong Bay Cruise)

Relax on board of one of the junk boats on the gorgeous Halong Bay

Have a relaxing drink on the roof top or be active with kayaking, swimming and cooking class.

 

2-WEEK ITINERARY VIETNAM
2 weeks trip itinerary in Vietnam
The busy streets in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

VIETNAM 2-WEEK ITINERARY MAP

Vietnam Provinces Placeholder
Vietnam Provinces

DAY BY DAY 2-WEEK VIETNAM ITINERARY

DAY 1-3: Explore the busy HCMC/ Take a side trip to Co Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta

Transportation

Explore HCMC by foot

Taxi from/to airport

Read next

Ho Chi Minh City Detailed Itinerary

Accommodation

Christina's Saigon

Highlight

Eat all the Street Food/ Ben Thanh Market/ War Remnants Museum/ Side trip to Co chi Tunnel and Mekong Delta

Day 1-3 of your 2-week Vietnam itinerary are spent in the massive city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and taking a side trip to visit the Co Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta.

DAY 1 - I spent my first day strolling the busy streets, exploring and have fun just wandering around, trying street food, drinking Vietnamese coffee, walking the alleys and getting lost – you will see a lot of interesting things and it is a great introduction to Vietnam. I finished my day wondering around the Ben Thanh Market where you can find all sorts of produce ans souvenirs

DAY 2 - The second I started sightseeing the city with the Ho Chi Minh City Hall, a gorgeous building with a French colonial desing. Just a short walk you can see other landmarks from the French, Notre Dame Cathedral and just across the street the beautiful Saigon Central Post Office. Just a short walk visit the Reunification Palace, built in the 60s, during the Vietnam War to be the president residence. My afternoon I spent visiting the War Remnants Museum, but while the exhibits are very moving in the way to show the reality of the war, it can be difficult to swallow some of the reality.

Day 3 -  I booked a private tour - this is the one I recommend -  to visit the Co Chi Tunnels, one of the most popular places in Vietnam related to the Vietnam War, built by the Viet Cong in their fight against US forces, these narrow tunnels allowed soldiers to live an supply routes.  Next head to the Mekong Delta, an incredible opportunity to see floating markets, swampy maze and rural rice paddies.

All the detailed information is in my 3-Day Itinerary in Ho Chi Minh City.

Check here for best options for accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City

PAULA'S TIPS: I was well located and walked to the sites in the city. I have found that walking is a great way to explore a city and get to really see it. When needed, I took an Uber and it worked great at a very low rate, I super recommend it. Renting a scooter is an option, but unless you grew up in a major city in Vietnam, I would not recommend it. Traffic rules are very different and the roads are super congested. (Think about walking through a shopping mall during a Christmas rush…now imagine it on scooters instead of walking…that is Ho Chi Minh City).

The old post office is a great site to visit during your 2-week trip itinerary
The old Post Office
2-week trip itinerary in Vietnam
Notredame Cathedral
Vietnam 2-week trip itinerary
Alley in Ho Chi Minh City
2-week trip itinerary in Vietnam
Mekong Delta boat tour
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DAY 4 - 8: Uncover the atmospheric Hoi An and take side trips to Marble Mountain & My Son

Transportation

I flew Vietnam Airlines from Saigon to Danang

Read next

Hoi An Top Things to do

Accommodation

Sol Villa

Highlight

Ancient Town/ River side/ Marble Mountain/Night Market/ My Son/

Next on my 2-week Vietnam itinerary, I took a flight heading south along Vietnam's coast, and I spent a few days at the wildly amazing city of Hoi An. Smaller and more laid back this end up being my favorite city in Vietnan. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 15th to the 19th century and it is very well preserved. You can rent a motorbike or a bike and explore around the old town, the beaches and the rice paddies around the town. Traffic here is much calmer and experienced scooter riders will not feel uncomfortable driving.

Hoi An is also well known for tailor made clothes and shoes – oh, so dangerous for your wallet! Ho An is also very convenient located on Vietnam's central coast, making an ideal location for side trips. 

DAY 4 -  Take your first day to stroll around the Hoi An Ancient Town and enjoy the ancient yellow buildings, as they are exceptionally well-preserved and you will easily spend time just wandering from one picturesque street to the next without getting bored. 

DAY 5 - Start your day walking by the river, and visit some of the landmarks like the Japanese Covered Bridge, dating from the 17th century. In the town there a number of houses  you can visit such, such as Phung Hung House and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. Once the sun goes down, the city transforms to the street yellow light and you should make your way to the Hoi An Night Market, where you can find from souvenirs, carving and some amazing street food.

DAY 6 - In the morning, take an adventure across to the island village of Cam Nam, it is calmer than the city center and you can see plenty of fruit trees. If you love fresh food and is curious to see where the yummy food in Hoi An comes from visit the Tra Que Vegetable Village and experience the small farming community. Visit the Local Tailors and maybe have some customer clothes and shoes made for you. Go on a bike tour around the rice farming. End your day relaxing by the public beach of An Bang Beach or Hidden Beach. 

Vietnam 2 weeks trip itinerary
The ancient town of Hoi An
Vietnam 2 weeks trip itinerary
Vietnam 2-weeks itinerary
Street food in Hoi An

 

DAY 7 - In the morning I took a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Hindu Sanctuary of My Son, a great example of the ancient Champa civilization with temples dated over 1,000 years, located in the middle of the jungle - Chick here for my complete guide. Back to Hoi An, don’t miss the Precious Heritage Gallery by world famous photographer Rehahn. His mission to collect and photograph the costumes of each of Vietnam’s native tribes is stunning to behold. For dinner, you have plenty of amazing options for cafes and restaurants for some traditional or fusion food.

DAY 8 - I rented a motorbike and took a day trip to the city of Danang, to visit the Marble Mountains - Click here for my complete guide. A group of five limestone and marble mountains several of which you can climb. The site offers plenty of shrines and pagodas to visit, as well as many caves. On the way back to Hoi An, rent a bicycle and explore the rice paddies around the city and get to enjoy the the local experience.

All the detailed information is in my Top 13 things to do in Hoi An

Check here for best options for accommodations in Hoi An

PAULA'S TIPS: I flew Vietnam Airlines from Saigon to Danang, it is approximately a 1.5 hour flight. I then took a cab from the airport to my Guest-house (approximately 40 min). For transportation in Hoi An I rented a scooter as the traffic is much lighter (safer). I also used the scooter to take a side trip to Danang. My Guest-house host arranged a driver to take me to My Son temples and for my return to the airport in Danang. 

Vietnam 2-weeks itinerary
The Hindu Sanctuary of My Son
Vietnam 2 weeks trip
Marbel Mountain , summit of the Mt Thuy
Vietnam 2-week itinerary perfefect trip
Amazing Buddha image inside the Marble Mountains

DAY 9 - 12: Hike the misty mountais in Sapa and experience a real homestay

Transportation

I flew Vietnam Airlines from Danang to Hanoi. Took a night train from Hanoi to Sapa.

Read next

3-day Trekking and Homestay in Sapa

Accommodation

Homestay with H'mong traditional tribe

Highlight

Trekking the mountains/ visit local villages/ shopping at local market/ experience homestay with local hill tribe

Sapa offers very beautiful and scenic hills and mountains, with rice paddy terraces and amazing views. You have the opportunity to hiking on the many trails and to visit many minority ethnic hill tribes in Lao Cai Province. You can take the opportunity to experience a homestay with a tribe and to share their daily life. It is just an amazing place! Read more about Everything you need to know about trekking and homestay in Sapa.

DAY 9 - My night train arrived early morning in Sapa town and my Black H'mong guide was waiting for me. We started the hiking to the steep mountains of Sapa. We hiked for about 4 hours, and we arrived at my Homestay at my guide's house, where she cooked an amazing meal on he fire pit in the middle of the kitchen, while I played with the kids.

DAY 10 - After an amazing home made and fresh breakfast, we left for another day of trekking, visiting some local remote villages, visited the local school, crossed bridges and saw some local ladies washing clothes in the river and visited the local market to shopping for fresh ingredients to cook dinner at my homestay.

DAY 11 - I was so honored to be invited for a local wedding and I have decided to skip the last day of trekking to participate on a traditional and authentic experience. If you are luck and stay with a local family, you most likely will have the best experience and will participate on the real life of the local tribes in Sapa. I have wrote a very comprehensive Sapa Ethical Travel Guide

PAULA TIPS: From Hoi An I flew to Hanoi, it is approximately 2 hr. flight. Arriving in Hanoi I had my night train already booked to Sapa, so I took an Uber from the airport to the train station. You can check options for the night train here. In Sapa, the only transportation you will need is your feet. The mountains just beckon to be explored and the H’mong tribes are super friendly.

2-week trip itinerary in Vietnam
Trekking on the misty mountains of Sapa
Vietnam 2 weeks perfect itinerary
Inside the homestay - they cook using a fire pit

DAY 13-15: Relax on board of a Junk Boat on Halong Bay

Transportation

Took a night train from Sapa to Hanoi. My cruise tour operator picked me up in Hanoi with a shuttle to Halong Bay.

Read next

3- Day Cruise in Halong Bay

Accommodation

Aphrodite Cruise 

Highlight

Sail in Halong Bay/ Kayaking/ Cooking Class/ Drink in the roof top

Halong Bay is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the Gulf of Tonkin, east of Hanoi. You have the option to cruise from 1-3 days. You will have the opportunity to sail on one of many junk boats and observe the amazing limestone formations and just relax. If you are questioning yourself how ethical it is to visit Halong Bay, check here. 

Visiting Halong Bay involve taking a tour, and there are boats of all different budgets, sizes, styles and with different activities offered, and I recommend to do your research to find the most suitable option for you. Some highly recommended are:

DAY 12 - Spend the day sailing among the majestic limestone kasks and relaxing on board of the junk boat. Have a drink at the roof top while appreciating the amazing limestone formations. Visit the floating village and get to see how some local families still live on the bay.

DAY 13 - The cruise lines offer different tours. The one I took I go tot visit a cave which was very intriguing. In the afternoon I grabbed a kayak and explore the Bay taking the time to appreciate the beauty of this unique place. At night enjoy a very fun cooking class on board of your junk boat.

DAY 14 - Last day of my 3-day cruise, lounging out on my balcony while watching the majestic scenery of this place, before I get back on the road and continue my amazing journey on the way to Cambodia.

 

PAULA'S TIPS: I took the night-train in Sapa back to Hanoi, and I was picked up by my cruise company. I rode in a mini-bus with other travelers from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The cruise company also transported us back to Hanoi (round trip Hanoi-Halong was included in the cruise). The drive was 4 hours each way.

Vietnam 2 weeks day by day trip itinerary
Visiting one of the floating villages in Halong Bay

INFORMATION

PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO VIETNAM

Visit my Vietnam Travel Guide for all the details about how to plan a perfect trip to Vietnam.

I researched for my trip during months to make sure I would take advantage of the ‘must visit’ places in Vietnam in 2 weeks itinerary.

I booked almost everything in advance – flights, accommodation, trains, and tours to Sapa and Halong Bay.

An excellent guide book that I used during my itinerary preparation is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Guidebook, as it has tons of great information.

ARRIVAL IN VIETNAM

You will need a visa to visit Vietnam. You can either apply for a visa via Vietnamese embassy/ consulate, or via one of the methods below:

  • Visa on Arrival (VOA) - This is the most popular option for visitors arrival by plane. Go to the vietnam-visa.com to fill out an online application and pay for the US$20 fee. You will receive and email with the VOA letter that you print out and show upon your arrival in Vietnam, and you will need to pay for your visa stamping in US dollar, cash only. The single-entry stamping fee is US$25, and the stamping fee for multiple-entry visa valid for up to 3 months is US$50.
  • E-Visa - Citizen of around 80 countries, including USA and UK can apply for a single entry e-visa valid for 30 days and costs US$25. Click here for more information.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN VIETNAM

While the right accommodations options depends on your travel style, I am providing some recommendations for places to stay in Vietnam for each stop during my 2-week Vietnam itinerary.

Vietnam has plenty of accommodation options from hostel to luxury, as well as between and you will find whatever is suitable for your. Consider if you are planning to visit during the high season and book your accommodation in advance.

When it comes for best options to compare a large variety of prices and options, Booking.com is hands down the best option you can have. I booked all my accommodations through Booking as it is very reliable, easy to manage, and it is free to cancel. 

HOTEL

Accommodation in Vietnam is general very affordable, and you have many options to choose from. Check the best options for hotel, B&B or Villas.

CHECK PRICE

GUEST HOUSE

If you value local or unique experiences like me, and like to have a more authentic experience on the places you visit, check the options for guest-house.

CHECK PRICE

Booking.com

BOOK BEFORE YOU GO

There are so many options for itinerary and tours in Vietnam. I recommend to book your tour in advance, especially if you are traveling during the high season, and want to choose a VIP tour or smaller groups. Click on the links below for several incredible tour options for each location:

PRICE OF 14-DAY ITINERARY IN VIETNAM

Traveling around Vietnam is very affordable, and prices can vary quite a lot depending on your preferences. Some people can travel around Vietnam spending an average of $30 a day per person - considering if you eat street food and use hostel for accommodation.

My trip to Vietnam was a mid-range budget of $72.5 per day per person. I used a combination of 3 stars hotel, with homestay with a local family in Sapa, with a 5-star cruise in Halong Bay, which was also my biggest expense. I ate street food and also some meals at a restaurant. I opted to fly from one location to another since it saved me time. See below my average price for 2 people to spend 2-week in Vietnam:

TOTAL PRICE - For 2 people, not included flights

$2,030 US Dollar
  • $490 Accommodation
  • $240 Food & Drink
  • $400 Transportation
  • $700 Halong Bay Cruise
  • $200 Attractions

GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Whatever you go or do during  your traveling, don't travel anywhere in the world without travel insurance; the unexpected can, and often does, go wrong.

Be it sickness, losing your bag, theft, or even worse, having an accident, travel insurance is your best way of mitigating the issues and saving yourself thousands of dollars down the track.

I recommend a reliable travel insurance through World Nomads before your trip to Vietnam.

HOW TO GET AROUND VIETNAM

The best way to travel around Vietnam is a combination between flying and train.

By Plane - It is one of the most popular ways to explore Vietnam. They are normally around 2-hour journey and will cost around US$50 per person if you book in advance.

By Train - Train normally is more expense than buses in Vietnam. If prefer, you can take the Reunification Express that runs from Hanoi to HCMC, but keep in mind that it takes about 30 hours. There are many segments that you can use a train. I took the night train from Hanoi to Sapa and it was very comfortable and safe.

By Bus - This is an option if you have plenty of time and don't mind about comfort. Also, keep in mind that the traffic in Vietnam is crazy and travelling via Vietnam's rickety roads might not be for you. Check here for open tour buses.

By Car - If you have seen some of my other blogs, you already know I am a big fan of road trips. But not in Vietnam. Remember about the traffic being challenging? Also, international drive license is not accepted in Vietnam and it is not normal to rent a car.

By motorbike -  It is a very popular transport in Vietnam, just keep in mind the roads and traffic are crazy. If this is your choice, check your insurance to make sure riding a motorbike is covered. You can find more details here.

Vietnam detailed trip itinerary for 2 weeks

BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM

Vietnam is a great destination all-year round, as you are bound to experience sunshine, rain and even cold weather (North) through your trip.

  • September to December are generally the best months if you are looking to cover the whole country.
  • March and April - have the lowest rainfall across all destinations and temperatures are pleasant.
  • June, July and August - Are probably the worst time to visit because of the rainfall and the temperatures are high.

MORE VIETNAM TIPS

 

  • Book in Advance - Especially if you are traveling during the high season. You will have more options to choose from accommodations, and you will have a better plan on activities and transportation options.
  • Halong Bay - I recommend to do the 3-day cruise, as you can see more of the majestic beauty of this place and also, relax during your busy travel schedule.
  • Visit Hoi An - Even if you are short in time, prioritize Hoi An as it has so much to offer and the side trips are amazing.
  • Vietnamese Coffee - In my option, it is the best of the world!
  • Homestay in Sapa is amazing - If you have the time, include Sapa in your itinerary. Read here more about my experience with homestay with a local tribe.
  • Mind the weather - Don't underestimate the weather, as it can be extremely hot in the summer and very wet.
  • Crossing the streets - In the big cities the traffic is INSANE. Traffic lights don't mean they will stop for you. Please, be careful!
  • Cover up - When you visiting temples and pagodas.
  • Bargain - Negotiating price is not rude, it is expected!

WHERE NEXT? My top picks to make your trip the best experience

Read next

Vietnam Travel Guide

Read more

Guidebook to Vietnam

Find a Flight

Compare best options

Find Accomodations

Best reliable options

Buy Insurance

Protect your trip

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Hi, I am Paula, a Brazilian native who calls Florida home. I have been Pinning the Planet for 20 year, to authentic, adventurous and unique destinations, always focusing on Responsible Travel. I believe when we travel, we celebrate diversity. I am also an athlete who loves to empower people to live a Healthy Lifestyle.

Booking.com

BOOKING RESOURCES: My top picks to help make your trip the best experience

PLANNING

For all travel resources click travel planning

HOTEL

Book your accommodation Booking.com

ACTIVITIES

Book your tours and avoid lines Get Your Guide

RENTAL CAR

Book your car rental with Rental Car

INSURANCE

Protect your trip with World Nomads

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      Author

      Hi Cassie, thank you so much for checking my blog and for your kind feedback. My favorite place in Vietnam is Sapa, I absolutely love horw isolated and I made a great friend there from the H’mong hill tribe. Ohhhh the food, one of the best in the world, right?

  1. Do you know what I like about this blog? I don’t need to read any other to have a perfect itinerary! Congratulation, very good reading

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      I hear you! I have been exploring SEA for a few years now and each place I visit, I hold a very special place in my heart. I have been wanting to go and spend a few months on a row next time.

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  2. What a wonderful itinerary, Paula! I love SEA so I am sure I will use it on my next trip here 💗 Vietnam has been such a bucket list destination for me and your photos make me wanna go there asap.

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  3. I absolutely LOVE Vietnam! I spent a month there a couple of years ago and did a very similar route to you! I especially loved Hoi An and Ha Long Bay. I would also recommend stopping at Ninh Binh if you go again!

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      Author

      Thank you Ellie, I will absolutely keep your advice to visit Ninh Binh next time. I agree with you, Hoi An and Halong Bay are absolutely phenomenal places and I cannot wait to go back to Vietnam.

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  4. Saving this one for when travel resumes. We’ve been wanting to go to Vietnam for years, and it seems like we should actually try to make it happen. Great post!

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  5. Such a great and thorough guide 🙂 Thanks so much for all the info! I haven’t been to Vietnam yet, but it’s on my list – hopefully in the future!

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