For a relatively small country, Vietnam offers something for everyone, be it mountain hikes, city tours, or lazing on tropical beaches. The options for excursions are near endless, as you could focus on feature cities like Hanoi, Hội An, and Ho Chi Minh, or opt for expeditions in national parks and trips on famous waterways like the Mekong Delta. Whatever your interest, the below itinerary options cater to every taste.

Itinerary #1: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

This 10-day highlights tour gives you the best of Vietnam from north to south, including excursions in and around Hanoi, tours of ancient citadels, fishing trips and boat rides on the Mekong Delta and even a Vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi's Old Quarter
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi Hanoi
Day 2 Bicycle Tour of Rural Villages,  Cultural Tour of Hanoi Hanoi
Day 3 Hanoi to Hạ Long Bay Halong Bay
Day 4 Hạ Long Bay to Huế Hue
Day 5 Imperial City Tour, Boat & Bike Ride to Rural Villages Hue
Day 6 Discover Hội An Hoi An
Day 7 Fishing Villages & Hội An Tour Hoi An
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City Vespa Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9 Boat & Cycling Tour on the Mekong Delta Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10 Depart Ho Chi Minh City  

Upon arrival in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi, you'll discover the city over two days of museum tours, bicycle rides, and a stroll around its historic French-colonial Old Quarter. On day three it's a visit to the Gulf of Tonkin and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hạ Long Bay. On an overnight cruise, you'll travel around jade waters amid limestone islands and witness the most beautiful sunsets/sunrises anywhere in the world. 

On day four you'll transfer to Huế, a city on the banks of the Perfume River that has its own rich legacy. Beginning in 1802, this was actually the capital of Vietnam. The most remarkable example of Huế's history is the Imperial City, a giant walled citadel that was the center of government during the Nguyễn Dynasty.

You'll then travel a scenic coastal route south to Hội An, which was a massive trading hub in the international spice trade from the 7th to the 10th centuries. After sightseeing in Hội An's Ancient Town (historic center), on day seven you'll head out of the city and embark on a trip down the Thu Bồn River in a traditional basket boat, visiting local fishing villages.

On day eight, travel further south to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), and zip around the city on a Vespa tour. You'll hit all the major French-colonial sights, including the Saigon Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, the latter of which was built using materials imported from France. Cap your Vietnam adventure with a combined boat trip/cycling tour around the Mekong Delta on day nine, and on day 10 you'll catch your flight home. Learn more 

Itinerary #2: Family-Friendly Vietnam Highlights

Pack your bags and wrangle the kids for a family Vietnam vacation that combines active adventures with cultural tours plus river and country excursions that are fun at any age. 

Visit the floating river market of Cần Thơ
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi Hanoi
Day 2 Bicycle Tour of Dong Ngac & Hanoi Hanoi
Day 3 Hạ Long Bay & Trinh Nu Cave Halong Bay
Day 4 Explore Hạ Long Bay, Travel to Hanoi Hanoi
Day 5 Hội An City Tour Hoi An
Day 6 Bicycle Tour of Organic Farms & Fishing Villages Hoi An
Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City City Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 8 Cycling Tour of Cần Thơ Can Tho
Day 9 Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10 Depart  

This family-friendly journey begins in Hanoi where you'll tour the major landmarks of the city like Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Temple of the Jade Mountain, a 19th-century temple dedicated to Trần Hưng Đạo, a famous Vietnamese military commander. On day two you'll head to the ancient neighborhood of Dong Ngac and ride around the centuries-old houses on a bicycle tour. Next on the itinerary is a trip to Hạ Long Bay, where you can explore caves, beaches, and floating fishing villages on an overnight cruise.

Day five is a travel day to Hội An for a tour of its Ancient Town, and on day six you'll venture beyond the city on a bicycle tour of organic farms and rural fishing villages. Here you'll visit traditional shrimp farms, tour coconut forests, and break bread with locals. On day seven you'll head to Ho Chi Minh City and tour the historic sights.

Then you'll leave the former Saigon for the nearby Mekong Delta and Cần Thơ. This riverfront city is notable for the unique floating markets that take place on the water here each day. On day nine you'll return to Ho Chi Minh City from Cần Thơ and depart the following day, thus concluding your grand family adventure in Vietnam. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Culture, Nature, & History in Vietnam

Get ready for a diverse 10-day adventure in Vietnam that combines its most historic cities with its most beautiful nature reserves, rural countryside, and famous rivers.

Hike amid the terraced rice paddies of Pù Luông Nature Reserve
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi Countryside Bicycle Tour Hanoi
Day 3 Hike in Pù Luông Nature Reserve Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Day 4 Pù Luông to Hanoi Hanoi
Day 5 Hạ Long Bay Cruise to Bai Tu Long Halong Bay
Day 6 Fly to Da Nang & Hội An Hoi An
Day 7 Visit Fishing Villages & Hội An Tour Hoi An
Day 8 Hội An Free Day Hoi An
Day 9 Ho Chi Minh City Transfer & City Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10 Depart  

Like with the above itineraries, you'll arrive in Hanoi and get a comprehensive overview of the city by visiting its historic Old Town as well as rural farms and villages. Beyond that, this trip takes a detour to the northwestern highlands and the Pù Luông Nature Reserve, which sits on 20,000 unspoiled acres. Over two days you'll hike around the mountains and rice paddies, pass through local villages home to ethnic Thai people, and chat with locals. 

After returning to Hanoi on day five, you'll trade the mountains for the ocean with a cruise on Hạ Long Bay to the protected marine nature reserve of Bai Tu Long. There will be plenty of time for excursions like kayaking, snorkeling, or just sunbathing on the boat. Then you're off to Hội An for a tour not just of the city but visits to riverside villages to get a glimpse of the daily life of local fishermen. Should you choose, you can take a trip to An Bang Beach during a free day and laze on soft white sands.

Next, on day nine, you'll travel to Ho Chi Minh City where the tour winds down amid the historic city sights of the once French-colonial metropolis known as Saigon. Among other famous landmarks, you'll visit the Reunification Palace, which was home to the president of South Vietnam and is forever etched in history as the final site of the Vietnam War, which culminated when a tank crashed through its front gates in 1975.  Learn more

Itinerary #4: Beauty of the Remote Northeast

This outdoor mountain excursion focuses mainly on the remote northeast section of the country, which is home to protected areas abounding with unspoiled countryside, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.

A mountain retreat in Ba Bể National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi, Ba Bể National Park Ba Be district
Day 2 Explore Ba Bể National Park Ba Be district
Day 3 Drive to Cao Bằng Province Cao Bang
Day 4 Morning Tour of Ban Gioc Falls, Drive to Bảo Lạc Bao Lac
Day 5 Bảo Lạc to Đồng Văn Đồng Văn, Hà Giang
Day 6 Đồng Văn to Quản Bạ District Quản Bạ, Hà Giang
Day 7 To Hoàng Su Phì District Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang
Day 8 Hike from Hoàng Su Phì to Heaven Gate Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang
Day 9 Drive from Hoàng Su Phì to Bắc Hà Bac Ha, Lao Cai
Day 10 Visit the Bắc Hà Market, Depart Hanoi Hanoi

You'll arrive in Hanoi and transfer by vehicle four hours to northeast Vietnam, stopping along the way at a tea plantation for a tour and a delicious local lunch. Your destination is Ba Bể National Park, a reserve that sits on 56,834 acres (23,000 hectares) and serves to protect Ba Bể Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in Vietnam. The area is home to hill tribes made up of ethnic minorities who live in small villages. You'll overnight in one such village, which is home to the Tay people.

The next three days are all about exploring the lowland evergreen forests that comprise this unspoiled region. Daily excursions include boat trips on the lake and river, touring underground caves, and visiting cascading waterfalls. Through it all, you'll overnight in homestays with local families and learn traditional crafting techniques like how to make incense. You'll then continue on to the Đồng Văn District and travel around to hidden villages amid towering limestone mountains.

On day seven, you'll visit more incredible scenery on tours of the expansive green rice paddies and family farms of the Hoàng Su Phì District. Following this is a full-day hike on day eight to even more remote Suoi Thau, a village home to the Dao people. On day nine you'll take some easy hikes around the village and chat with locals before heading to Bắc Hà, home to the Flower Hmong people as well as the largest outdoor market in the region. On day 10 you'll return home from Hanoi. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Mekong Delta Tour & Beach Holiday

This 10-day holiday is all about exotic locales and white-sand beaches, as it focuses exclusively on Vietnam's southern region.

Spend some time on the beaches of Phú Quốc
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel and City Tours Ho Chi Minh
Day 3 Travel to Ben Tre Ben Tre
Day 4 Travel to Cai Be Tien Giang
Day 5 Tour Cai Be Tien Giang
Day 6 Travel to Can Tho Can Tho
Day 7 Tour Can Tho Can Tho
Day 8 Flu to Phu Quoc Phu Quoc
Day 9 Phu Quoc Free Day Phu Quoc
Day 11 Depart From Phu Quoc  

Rather than Hanoi, you'll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and experience the culture of southern Vietnam. Beyond visiting the Củ Chi tunnels, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Reunification Palace, you'll take a trip up the Mekong Delta, first by car and then on a three-hour bicycle tour through the countryside. The next few days you'll spend cycling around the countryside, passing green rice fields and the floating markets of Cái Bè and Cần Thơ.

On day seven you'll trade bicycle excursions in Vietnam's beautiful countryside for beach time on its equally gorgeous coast. Specifically, you'll fly to Phú Quốc, an archipelago of 28 islands off the coast of southwestern Vietnam. The islands here are known for their white-sand beaches, delicious seafood, and great diving. You'll have four days to enjoy this paradise before catching your flight home on day 10. Learn more

More Great Vietnam Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Vietnam? Check out these other Vietnam itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.