If you’re planning a dream trip to Vietnam this 7-day itinerary in Vietnam has got you covered. This 7 days itinerary showcases the best of what this country has to offer, from the capital of Hanoi to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, including the beautiful ancient city of Hoi An and natural wonders like Halong Bay.
This 7-day Vietnam itinerary is packed with insider tips, such as the best way to get around the country, and the best accommodations based on your budget. You will also find alternative 7-day itinerary in Vietnam options inside this guide. If you have more time, check out this 2-week Vietnam itinerary.
Vietnam is an incredible country full of diverse landscapes, rich culture, friendly people, and one of the best parts – delicious food. Even better – traveling around this part of Southeast Asia is very cheap so you won’t need to worry about your budget. Get ready to discover the best of Vietnam in just 1 week!
- Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days Overview
- Vietnam 7 Days Itinerary
- DAY 1: Explore the busy Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
- DAY 2: Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta
- DAY 3: Explore the ancient city of Hoi An
- DAY 4: Continue to explore the city of Hoi An
- DAY 5: Spend the day in Hanoi
- DAY 6: Go on an overnight cruise of Halong Bay
- DAY 7: Spend the morning in Halong Bay and then head back to Hanoi
- More 7 Days Vietnam Itinerary Ideas
- Vietnam Trip Resources
- Vietnam 7-Day itinerary Conclusion
Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days Overview
There’s no denying that Vietnam is a huge country so you’ll want to plan your trip in advance as this will allow you to make the most of your time here. If you’ve only got one week in Vietnam then you’ll need to prioritize the places you want to visit. Luckily, I’ve outlined a quick overview of the perfect 7-day itinerary below to help you with your planning.
Also, because you only have one week in Vietnam, I recommend flying to the destinations, as they are normally a 2-hour journey and cost around US$50 per person if you plan and book your flights in advance. You can read more about all the logistics to travel around Vietnam in this Vietnam travel tips guide.
Vietnam 7 Days Itinerary
DAY 1: Explore the busy Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
- Read More: A perfect 3-day itinerary in Ho Chi Minh City
- Suggested Tour: This Ho Chi Minh private tour will take you around the city in a U.S. army jeep and you’ll get to learn all about the top tourist spots. As well as transport, all your admission fees are included and you’ll have a private tour guide to who you can ask questions.
Ho Chi Minh City (often known as Siagon) is a must for any 7-day Vietnam itinerary as it has a lot to offer. This dynamic city is famous for its local markets, cultural and historic attractions, and amazing food!
To make the most of your visit, you’ll want to explore the top attractions first. This includes the War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office, and Reunification Palace. If you’ve still got some free time, then spend some time simply walking around the city and navigating its charming alleyways.
Food-wise, make sure you sample the delights of Ben Thanh Street Food Market and head to HCMC Pub Street. Here, you’ll find a variety of delicious foods, as well as some quirky bars if you spend some time along Pub Street.
If Pub Street sounds too much for you – handling the noise and crowds, another excellent option is to join the Bitexco Tower offering stunning views of a 70-floor building, followed by a Dinner Cruise tour down the Saigon River.
Many of the popular tourist attractions are relatively close together so despite its size, Ho Chi Minh is pretty walkable. However, there’s also an extensive public transport system here that you can take advantage of if you wish. The buses are extremely cheap and there are plenty of routes available. You can also use a motorbike taxi or download the taxi app GRAB
Best Accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City:
- TOP OVERALL PICK: Hotel Grand Siagon is located in District 1 and it’s one of the most luxurious options you’ll find in the city. Not to mention it’s pretty budget-friendly compared to other 5* hotels in HCMC.
- BUDGET: Toi’s Travel Home Central offers both private and dormitory rooms, and each option is a great price. It’s in a great location and you’ll benefit from fantastic facilities including a shared lounge and kitchen.
- MID-RANGE: Icon Saigon – Lifestyle Design Hotel is in a great location for exploring the city, as the Saigon Opera House and the City Hall are both nearby. There’s also an awesome rooftop area and outdoor pool here!
- LUXURY: The Myst Dong Khoi is a luxury 5* hotel that’s known for its gorgeous interior design, sophisticated rooms, and excellent facilities. It’s another hotel that offers a rooftop pool and the views are jaw-dropping.
DAY 2: Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta
Day two of this one-week Vietnam itinerary will see you visit the iconic Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta. Luckily, these can be visited on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh so you won’t need to organize the transport yourself which is always handy.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are one of the most iconic attractions in Vietnam and are a must-visit. There are around 124 miles (200 km) of tunnels in total and they were used during the war. During your time here, you’ll get to learn all about the complexity of these tunnels and the conditions that people had to endure.
You’ll even get the chance to explore one of the tunnels so you’ll get an idea of how small and dark they were! A visit to Cu Chi is incredibly educational, and it shows the resilience of the Vietnamese people.
You’ll also want to visit the Mekong Delta which is a series of tributaries that lead from the powerful Mekong River. Covering an impressive 40,500 square kilometers, this area is often known as the ‘rice bowl of Vietnam’.
The scenery here is spectacular and to make the most of your experience, you’ll want to hop on a boat ride. Many of the tours include this, but some also include an option to visit some of the farms in this area.
My Recommendation for the Best Tour:
- For the best experience, check out this Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta full-day tour. The tour lasts for around 10 hours and combines a visit to both attractions so you won’t need to travel between the two. It’s all-inclusive too so includes entrance tickets, lunch, hotel pick-up and drop-off, and a boat trip.
- First of all, you’ll visit the Cu Chi Tunnels for around two hours before spending some time in the city of My Tho where you’ll have lunch. From here, you’ll head out on a boat ride of the Mekong Delta!
DAY 3: Explore the ancient city of Hoi An
- Read More: Top Things to do in Hoi An
- Suggested Transportation: I flew Vietnam Airlines from Saigon to Danang, approximately a 1.5-hour flight. Then I took a taxi to Hoi An, which takes about 1 hour.
If you’ve only got one week in Vietnam then you need to spend some time in the gorgeous city of Hoi An! Known for its breathtaking architecture, fusion cuisine, and charming atmosphere, it’s a place that you could easily spend weeks in (not that we have the time of course).
Although only relatively small compared to some of the country’s other cities, there’s a lot to do in Hoi An. Most of this is related to its history, as Hoi An was originally an important trading port in Asia. It was used to link China and Japan with the rest of the continent. Dating back to the 16th century, the buildings here are rather impressive, especially in the Old Quarter.
The Old Quarter is the first place you’ll want to visit as its architecture is influenced by a variety of cultures including French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese. Honestly, Hoi An has no shortage of historic places to visit, but two of the best are Tan Ky and the Duc An homes. In these homes, you’ll get a glimpse of what life used to look like as the interiors have been turned into museums.
Don’t forget to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge either as it’s one of the city’s most popular attractions in Hoi An!
Best Accommodations in Hoi An:
- TOP OVERALL PICK: Little Riverside Hoi An is a gorgeous hotel situated along the Thu Bon River. It’s home to endless facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site spa, a restaurant, and a bar
- MID RANGE: Golden Holiday Hotel & Spa has beautiful rooms and even better it’s super affordable, especially as breakfast is included with your stay. You’ll also have extensive facilities including a pool, spa, and fitness center.
- LUXURY: Allegro Hoi An – A Little Luxury Hotel & Spa is a 5-star hotel located close to the Japanese Covered Bridge. It offers free bicycle use so you’ll have no problems exploring Hoi An, and it’s well-priced considering the location and facilities.
DAY 4: Continue to explore the city of Hoi An
To continue on from yesterday, you’ll be spending another day in Hoi An. Now, that you’ve ticked off some popular attractions it’s time to take a look at what else you can do here.
The great thing about Hoi An is that there are a wide variety of activities available to do, so you don’t just have to sightsee. One of the best is to head to a tailor’s shop, where you can get clothes handmade to your designs and fit. Considering what this would cost you back home, it’s a good opportunity to add some unique additions to your wardrobe.
You’ve also got the chance to take part in an authentic cooking class. I highly recommend this awesome cooking class that takes place in someone’s home so you’ll get the ultimate local experience. During your time here, you’ll also want to leave some time free to taste your way around the city because there are plenty of awesome restaurants in Hoi An.
Lastly, make sure you hit up the Night Market and take a boat trip down the Thu Bon River.
Alternatively, if you’d rather see another destination you can take a day trip to the Hindu Sanctuary of My Son. Tours also run to Da Nang and the Marble Mountains, Cham Island, and Hue so there are plenty of choices available to you!
My Recommendation for the Best Tour:
- This night market tour of Hoi An includes a walking tour of the Ancient Town. You’ll then have a 30-minute cruise along the river, where you’ll get to see the city lit up at night! Trust me, this experience is like no other.
- This Cooking with Jolie in Hoi An focuses on using the freshest ingredients possible and will teach you how to make four traditional Vietnamese dishes.
DAY 5: Spend the day in Hanoi
- Read More: Ultimate Hanoi Itinerary
- Suggested Transportation: The best option is to take a flight from Da Nang to Hanoi. The flight is only 1:20 hour and it is around US$50.
- How to Get Around: You can either use bicycle rickshaws or public buses or download the taxi app GRAB. Some people choose to hire a scooter but that’s not for the faint-hearted.
Next up on this Vietnam 7-day itinerary, we’ve got the capital of Hanoi. Although it’s not the largest city in the country (that title goes to HCMC), Hanoi is full of historic attractions, authentic experiences, and mouth-watering dishes, so be prepared for an action-packed day!
To start off, you’ll want to visit the most popular attractions first to ensure they’re crossed off your list. This includes the charming Old Quarter which dates back over 500 years and is one of the city’s most popular foodie spots. You’ll also want to visit the Hanoi Tube Houses and Bach Ma Temple whilst you’re here!
If you want to save time, and hit the best places in Hanoi, this city highlights tour will take you to some of Hanoi’s best attractions including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature.
Other iconic places to visit in the city include St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dong Xuan Market, and Train Street. Why not catch a show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre too?
Hanoi is also known for its variety of museums, with some of the top options including the Vietnam Military History Museum, Hoa Lo Prison, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. As you can see, there’s a lot to explore within the city so you’ll want to get up nice and early.
Best Accommodations in Hanoi:
- TOP OVERALL PICK: Bendecir Hotel & Spa is one of the city’s most beautiful hotels and offers a concierge service, a shared lounge, a restaurant, and a bar.
- MID-RANGE: Golden Sun Hotel is in a great location for exploring the city and many of the rooms offer sweeping views of Hanoi. You’ll also have access to a shared lounge, a terrace area, an on-site spa, and a restaurant.
- LUXURY: Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel is a beautiful 5* hotel that offers a rooftop terrace and pool, two on-site restaurants, three bars, and a spa.
DAY 6: Go on an overnight cruise of Halong Bay
- Read More: 10 Best Luxury Cruises in Halong Bay
- Suggested Tour: This 2D/1N Tour is run by Phoenix Cruise and takes place on a 4-Star junk boat. You’ll get to visit some impressive formations, admire the stunning natural scenery, and get involved in some great activities including kayaking and a cooking class.
Known for its towering limestone formations, emerald waters, and rainforest islands, the beauty at Halong Bay is unparalleled. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Vietnam’s most popular attractions and covers an impressive 150,000 hectares. Before you go, I recommend reading these 15 Essential Tips Before You Go Cruise in Halong Bay to make the most of your visit.
Halong Bay is one of those places you simply have to see to believe as the landscapes here are breathtaking. Millions of people visit this natural wonder every year, and it’s no surprise why. Here, you’ll find at least 1,600 islands and islets rising up from the South China Sea so it’s not a place you want to miss.
For the best experience, I’d recommend heading out on an overnight cruise as this will allow you to make the most of your time here. You’ll spend the day cruising around Halong Bay, enjoying the scenery, and getting involved with a variety of activities. Then at night, you’ll have a delicious dinner and can end your day in the bar reminiscing on your trip. It’s a great way to meet other travelers too!
My Recommendation for Tours in Halong Bay:
If you’ve got longer than one week in Vietnam, then I’d recommend opting for a 2 or 3-day cruise as that will allow you to see more of Halong Bay.
- La Pinta Cruise was my choice for an overnight cruise in Halong Bay, and I highly recommend it. The boat is great, the accommodations are very comfortable, and the service and food are outstanding.
- All-Inclusive 3-day & 2-night Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay route tours are one of the most amazing options out there! Not only will you get to visit a variety of destinations, but this cruise puts more of an emphasis on onboard activities and socializing.
- 2-Nights on Best Balcony Cruise is the perfect option! Ran by Halong Bay Cruise Hunters, you know you’re in for a fantastic time as this company has thousands of reviews on Tripadvisor.
DAY 7: Spend the morning in Halong Bay and then head back to Hanoi
After spending a day (and night) out on Halong Bay, you’ll wake up to yet more stunning views and will then have breakfast. Before you depart, you’ll often get a chance to do one or two more activities and have lunch.
Generally, most cruise operators from Hanoi include round-trip transport, so after you’ve got off the boat you’ll catch the bus back to the capital. Just keep in mind that overnight cruises don’t tend to arrive back in Hanoi until at least 3:30 pm.
This can often be even later due to traffic or delays with the cruise itinerary, so make sure your flight is booked at night. That way, you won’t risk missing your departure. Another thing to remember is that only hotel drop-off is included so you won’t be taken to the airport; instead, you’ll have to make your own way there.
For those who have already booked their flights and they’re in the morning/afternoon, you’re better off doing a full-day tour of Halong Bay instead. These types of cruises often last for between 10-12 hours and will allow you to experience this natural wonder in a short amount of time.
Then you’ll spend another night in Hanoi instead!
Unfortunately, it’s now time to leave Vietnam although I’m sure you’ll be back in the future. I know I will be!
More 7 Days Vietnam Itinerary Ideas
Aside from this 7-day Vietnam itinerary, there are a few other options if you’re planning to primarily stay in the South or North of the country.
7 DAYS IN VIETNAM ITINERARY (SOUTH VIETNAM)
- Day 1 & 2: Explore Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 3: Take a day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta
- Day 4: Travel to Mui Ne and explore the highlights
- Day 5: Relax on the beach at Mui Ne
- Day 6: Take a day trip to Pan Thiet
- Day 7: Travel back to Ho Chi Minh City for your departure
7 DAYS IN VIETNAM ITINERARY (NORTH VIETNAM)
- Day 1: Explore Hanoi
- Day 2: Visit the highlights of Hanoi and then take a night train to Sapa
- Day 3: Hike in Sapa and then spend the night at a homestay
- Day 4: Hike in Sapa and then catch the train back to Hanoi
- Days 5 & 6: Cruise in Halong Bay
- Day 7: Head back to Hanoi for your departure
7 DAYS IN VIETNAM ITINERARY (SOUTH & CENTRAL VIETNAM)
- Days 1 & 2: Explore Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 3: Travel to Hoi An and start exploring the ancient town
- Day 4: See the highlights of Hoi An
- Day 5: Take a day tour of Danang and visit the Marble Mountains
- Day 6: Travel to the Imperial City of Hue and explore the highlights
- Day 7: Departure from Danang or head back to HCMC for your departure
So there you have it, a variety of itineraries for whatever you’d like to do with your trip. If you’d prefer to relax by the beach and stay on the coast, then you’ll probably want to spend your time in Southern and Central Vietnam. However, if you’d prefer to visit dramatic landscapes and experience more culture, then head to the North.
For more information, you can check out this in-depth Vietnam 2-week Itinerary!
Vietnam Trip Resources
Planning a Trip to Vietnam
During my planning for the Vietnam 7-day itinerary, I researched the internet and also, bought some books and maps to help me with my itinerary in advance. An excellent guidebook that I used during my itinerary preparation is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Guidebook, as it has tons of great information.
Keep in mind that pre-planning, researching, and understanding what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe. Make sure you check the following articles:
- Vietnam Travel Tips: Everything you need to know before your trip
- Best Hoi An itinerary
- Best Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary
- Best Hanoi Itinerary
- Best Da Nang itinerary
- Incredible things to do in Mui Ne
- 10 Most Incredible Halong Bay Luxury Cruises
- Halong Bay Overnight Cruises: Best things to do + Best Tours
- 15 Essential tips before you go on a cruise in Halong Bay
- Complete Guide to visit Marble Mountain
- Complete Guide to visit My Son Sanctuary
- 3-day in Sapa Itinerary + Authentic Homestay
- All you need to know before you go to Sapa Homestay with a Black Hmong family
- Sapa Ethical Travel: Why you should book with an independent guide
How to Get Around Vietnam in a 7-day itinerary
Best time to visit Vietnam
As Vietnam is such a huge country, it’s difficult to give a generalized time frame to visit. Instead, I’ll break down each region so you’ve got a good idea of when to go:
- Hanoi & the North: Typically, November to April is the best time to visit as the temperatures are cooler and you’ll encounter less rainfall. May to October tends to be hot and humid, so be prepared for high precipitation levels.
- The Far North (including Sapa): February and May tend to be the best time to visit as this region can get particularly cold, especially in December and January.
- Central Vietnam: January and March tend to be the best time to visit Central Vietnam including Hoi An, although keep in mind that the weather can be pretty hot in January especially, with temperatures reaching into the 30s °C.
- Southern Vietnam: November to April is generally the best time to visit the South as the climate is usually hot and dry. Between May and October, the climate becomes humid and wet, with the highest rainfall being experienced in June, July, and August.
If you’re creating your own itinerary, then just work out where you’re visiting and subsequently, the best time to head there!
What to pack for a 7-day Vietnam itinerary
- A travel backpack bag for a change of clothes
- Dry-fit clothes and layers are also a great idea
- Some warm clothing is needed as the mornings and nights can be quite cool
- Comfortable shoes
- Summer dress
- A pair of jeans
- A rain jacket is a must any time of the year
- Hiking pants
- Extra socks, hat, underwear, and swimsuit if you plan to swim in the waterfall
- Toiletry, toilet paper, and mirror
- Personal items such as medication, flashlight, sunscreen, insect repellent, and wipes
- Some snacks and a water purifier bottle
FinalTips for Your Vietnam 7 Days Itinerary
- 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 for activities and transportation options.
- Halong Bay – I recommend doing 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 in the world!
- 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 visit temples and pagodas.
- Bargain – Negotiating price is not rude, it is expected!
- Buy SIM card in Vietnam: You can buy a SIM card in Vietnam at the airport, upon your arrival in the country. You’ll find dozens of kiosks selling SIM cards as soon as you exit the baggage claim area in any of Vietnam’s international airports.
I recommend buying this WiFi router. You can insert any SIM card around the world, and it shares data across all your devices, up to 10, via WiFi and the battery lasts up to 12 hours.
Vietnam 7-Day itinerary Conclusion
So there you have it, the ultimate 1 week Vietnam itinerary which will allow you to explore cities, visit cultural attractions, and marvel at the country’s natural beauty. Whether you’re traveling on a shoestring budget or you’re after a luxury getaway, this incredible destination has something for everyone!
The key thing to note is that this itinerary is completely versatile so you can change it up depending on where you want to visit. If you’ve got longer in Vietnam then take a look at my alternative itineraries above. This way, you can explore more of this beautiful country.
Hopefully, this one-week itinerary in Vietnam has given you a good idea of what’s on offer so you can truly experience the best of Vietnam. The best way to make the most of your trip is to plan your itinerary in advance, especially if you’re short of time. This way, you can also make a list of your must-visit places and attractions.
If you’ve got any further questions about this 7-day Vietnam itinerary then just leave a comment below. Or feel free to leave some additional suggestions!
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