Hoi An or Da Nang – Which Should You Visit?

Spending a few days in Central Vietnam and want to make the most of your time? You have probably been struggling to choose where to visit – Hoi An or Da Nang?

Don’t worry. We have you covered. This post will look at both Hoi An and Da Nang to help you choose which is the best place for you. 

The best part is that they are pretty close together so if you choose to base yourself in one, you can easily visit the other. Buses run between Hoi An and Da Nang every day, departing every 20 minutes and costing just $1!

There’s other travel options as well, I have a full guide on how to travel to Hoi An from Da Nang with more information.

A Quick Overview

Hoi AnDa Nang
Location– Central Vietnam
– Coastal
– Central Vietnam
– Coastal
Size– 60km2– 1,285km2
Cost– Low– Low
Things To Do– History
– Old Town
– Local villages
– Countryside
– Tailor made clothing
– Boat trips
– Sky Bars
– Beaches
– Modern bridges and buildings
– Mountains
Beaches– One main beach
– Busy
– Water sports available
– Lots of choice
– Stunning beaches
– Water sports available
– Easy to get to
Nightlife– Quiet
– Relaxed
– Close early
– Lively
– Party lasts all night
– Wide range of bars/clubs
– Sky bars with great views
Getting There– Harder
– Must pass through Da Nang
– No train station or airport
– Easy
– Has an airport and train station
Restaurants– Lots of choice
– Local food and street food options
– Lots of choice
– More international food
– Local and street food available
Hotels– Boutiques
– Homestays
– Small and local run
– High rise hotels
– International chains
– Bigger hotels

Contents – Da Nang vs Hoi An

Overview – Hoi An vs Da Nang

Da Nang
  • Hoi An is a fairly small town, home to 150,000 people. Da Nang is much bigger, with a population of around 1.1 million. 

  • Hoi An features a picturesque, dreamy old town filled with historic buildings such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, hanging lanterns and has a real local, authentic Vietnamese feel.

  • Da Nang is a modern, urban city. It’s more of a metropolis and you’ll find tons of high rise buildings, malls and more. They have some pretty unique sights such as a fire-breathing dragon bridge. 

  • Both have relaxing white sandy beaches however Da Nang has much more choice. Hoi An only really has one main beach. 

  • There’s plenty of places to stay in both places however you will find many international hotel brands in Da Nang whereas Hoi An more favours boutique hotels and homestays.

Location – Hoi An vs Da Nang

  • Both Da Nang and Hoi An are located in Central Vietnam. They are actually very near each other, just 29km (18 miles) apart.

  • It takes just 45 minutes by car to get from one to the other. This is great because you can easily do a day trip to the other city. 

  • Another plus for both Da Nang and Hoi An is that they are both coastal cities so you can enjoy a day at the beach in both locations.

  • Hoi An lies 29km south of Da Nang. Check out the map below for their locations.

map of Da Nang and Hoi An in Vietnam

Size – Hoi An vs Da Nang

Da Nang is a very large urban city in Vietnam. It is much bigger in size than Hoi An.

Da Nang also has a much higher population than Hoi An. 

How Big Is Hoi An?

  • Hoi An is a small city covering just 60km2.

  • It has a much smaller population than Da Nang with just 150,000 people living in Hoi An. 

  • Whilst Hoi An is much smaller than Da Nang, this gives it a real authentic, local feel.

  • You can easily walk around the entire town and get to know the area.

  • Many visitors hire bicycles to ride around the town.

How Big Is Da Nang?

  • In contrast, Da Nang is actually the largest city in central Vietnam and one of the country’s most important ports.

  • It covers 1,285km2 (compared with Hoi An’s 60km2).

  • It also has a population over 1.1 million.

  • It is a highly urbanized and important city in Vietnam.

Which Is Cheaper? Hoi An or Da Nang

Hoi An

In general, there’s not much difference in cost between the two cities. Both are relatively cheap and you can get both a good hotel room and a nice meal for a very good price. 

How Cheap Is Hoi An?

I have written a full pricing guide to Hoi An which goes into a lot more detail on costs in Hoi An. You can view this post here.

  • Hoi An is a relatively cheap city.

  • You can get a decent budget hotel under $20 per night and a mid-range hotel for under $50 per night. 

  • Food is cheap in Hoi An, especially street food and local restaurants.

  • You can pay under $1.30 for a meal at one of these establishments.

  • You’ll pay a bit more to go to a fancy restaurant, between $5 and $9 per person.

How Cheap Is Da Nang?

  • Prices in Da Nang are similar to Hoi An, you may pay a few dollars extra for a similar standard of hotel.

  • Again food prices in Da Nang are very similar to Hoi An, if anything a little more expensive.

  • For street food/local restaurants, you’ll pay around $2 per person.

  • For a restaurant meal, I’d budget $10 per person. Of course, you’ll pay more if you go to a higher-end restaurant.

Which Has Better Things To Do? Hoi An or Da Nang

Dragon Bridge, Da Nang

There’s plenty to do in both Hoi An and Da Nang. Hoi An has an older feel and you are able to explore the ancient old town which feels very authentic. 

Da Nang is a modern city filled with high rise buildings and modern establishments. You can see some unique bridges, epic mountains, or enjoy a day at a theme park. 

Hoi An

The old town of Hoi An is very walkable, located along the Thu Bon River. As you wander through the narrow alleys and streets, you’ll come across old buildings, historical monuments, stunning illuminated lanterns and so much more.

Top Things To Do In Hoi An:

  • Purchase tailor-made clothes
  • Hire a bicycle and explore the Old Town
  • Japanese Covered Bridge
  • Fuijan Assembly Hall
  • Old House of Tan Ky

Da Nang

You can’t really walk across Da Nang due to its size. Da Nang has a completely different feel to Hoi An, it’s filled with bright lights and modern high-rise buildings. Whilst you won’t really find old buildings here, you’ll find some incredible modern wonders.

Top Things To Do In Da Nang:

  • Relax on the beach
  • Grab a drink in a skybar
  • Marble Mountains
  • Dragon Bridge
  • Golden Bridge
  • Asia Theme Park

Which Has Better Beaches? – Hoi An or Da Nang

Non Nuoc Beach, Da Nang

You’ll be able to relax on the beach in both Hoi An and Da Nang.

Whilst Hoi An does have pleasant beaches to enjoy, Da Nang definitely has the best beaches of the two. The beaches of Da Nang are often ranked amongst the world’s most beautiful and there’s plenty to choose from.

Hoi An only really has one main beach.

Beaches in Hoi An

  • An Bang Beach
  • Cua Dai Beach
  • Hidden Beach

Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An

  • Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An used to be the main tourist beach however after many years of coastal erosion, the beach became thinner.

  • The beach still has plenty of space but is much less popular now. 

An Bang Beach, Hoi An

  • The main beach in Hoi An is now An Bang Beach which lies just under 5km from the main old town of Hoi An.

  • It’s easily accessible, just a 10 minute ride in a Grab or taxi. 

  • There’s plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas laid out across the beach to provide you with shade. Most restaurants will let you use their sunbeds for the day if you purchase something.

  • There’s plenty of water sports available on the beach from parasailing, jet skis, banana boats and much more. 

  • There’s some fantastic beachside restaurants to grab a refreshment or snack from throughout the day. 

There are a few other small beaches in Hoi An such as Hidden Beach but the majority of people will go to An Bang Beach.

Beaches in Da Nang

  • My Khe
  • Non Nuoc
  • Thanh Binh
  • Bac My An
  • Lang Co Beach

Da Nang has a wider range of beaches compared with Hoi An. Da Nang beaches are known for their beauty, clean water and soft sand. 

My Khe Beach, Da Nang

  • My Khe Beach is located close to the city centre, just a 10 minute ride away.

  • This epic white sandy beach stretches on for 20 miles.

  • This beach is known to be one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches.

  • You’ll find high-end resorts and restaurants along the shores.

  • The beach itself offers a wealth of activities from sunbathing, snorkelling, jet-skiing, surfing and so much more. 

Non Nuoc Beach, Da Nang

  • Non Nuoc Beach is also located close to the city centre, just a 10 minute ride away.

  • One of the world’s most beautiful beaches, it’s not to be missed.

  • There’s a range of water sports available here as well as plenty of top restaurants to grab a snack or drink from throughout the day.

  • The beach stretches for 5km ending at the base of the Marble Mountains. 

Which Has A Better Nightlife? Hoi An vs Da Nang

Hoi An

The nightlife in Da Nang is much more lively than in Hoi An.

In Hoi An, you’ll mostly find relaxed bars and the town has a very chilled vibe at night time. However in Da Nang, you’ll find lively bars, clubs and live music.

Bars in Hoi An also tend to close earlier than in Da Nang. In Da Nang, the party never has to end. 

Nightlife in Hoi An

  • The nightlife in Hoi An has a very chilled, relaxed vibe.

  • You won’t find many loud parties here, but plenty of quiet and charming bars by the riverside.

  • The best place for nightlife is in the bustling old town by the riverside. You won’t find many bars outside of this area.

  • Hoi An is not a party town but there’s a good range of bars.

  • The main thing to note is that bars tend to close fairly early in Hoi An, around midnight. 

Mango Rooms is a favourite, their delicious cocktails are really popular.

If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, then head over to White Marble Wine Bar.

Nightlife in Da Nang

  • Da Nang has a much more lively nightlife scene compared with Hoi An.

  • You’ll find a fantastic range of rooftop bars, live music venues, bars and clubs all around the city.

  • The parties go on long into the night here and you can pretty much go to any type of bar that you like. 

  • Da Nang is best if you’re looking for a big night out.

Novotel Skybar is an excellent place to grab a drink and that comes with some amazing views. Novotel also have a hotel attached which is a great place to stay.

Some other favourites include Luna Pub and the Waterfront

Getting There – Hoi An vs Da Nang

Hoi An

Da Nang is easily reached from all over Vietnam (and the world) as it has an international airport and a train station with passengers arriving 24/7.

Hoi An is less easily accessible and you will have to go to Da Nang first then take either a bus or taxi to Hoi An. 

Getting to Hoi An

  • There are limited options for getting to Hoi An as it doesn’t have an airport or a train station.

  • You’ll have to go via Da Nang to get to Hoi An.

Getting to Da Nang

  • Da Nang is very accessible from all over Vietnam as it is a major city. 

  • It has its own international airport which is located just 3km from the city centre. There are frequent incoming flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for as little as $30.
  • There’s also plenty of other domestic flights as well as flights from places like Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore, Siem Reap and much more. 

  • Da Nang also has a train station located just outside of the city centre. Trains arrive here constantly from all over Vietnam.

Which Has Better Restaurants – Hoi An or Da Nang

  • Overall, both Hoi An and Da Nang have incredible food options. You can try a variety of Vietnamese food as well as international options in both.

  • You’ll find appealing restaurants, cafes and street food vendors all over the old town in Hoi An.

  • There is lots of local Vientamese food to try as well as plenty of international food options too.

  • There’s a huge variety of restaurants in Da Nang. You’ll find lots of international restaurants here as well as many fine dining options.

Which Has Better Hotels? Hoi An or Da Nang

Da Nang

There’s a wide range of options when it comes to hotels and places to stay in both Hoi An and Da Nang.

You’ll mainly find international hotel brands in Da Nang whereas in Hoi An, expect smaller, local run boutique hotels and homestays. 

Airbnb

  • Airbnb is also a fantastic option. I often stay in Airbnbs when I travel as they’re super convenient, reasonably priced and you can often find some really stunning places to stay.

  • There’s a multitude of options on Airbnb for both Hoi An and Da Nang. 

  • If you’re new to Airbnb, then use this link to get a discount on your first booking. 

Accommodation in Hoi An

In Hoi An, you’ll mostly find boutique hotels and homestays. There’s plenty of options to choose from so you’ll definitely find something that suits you. 

The Four Seasons is a top choice as it’s super modern and is the best luxury hotel in Hoi An. 

Some other great options include:

Accommodation in Da Nang

In Da Nang, you’ll find more international hotel brands and high rise hotels. Again, there’s plenty of choice and you’ll definitely find something that suits you.

There’s also some excellent luxury resorts along the shores of Da Nang’s beaches. 

Here’s some top hotel picks in Da Nang:


Thanks for reading this guide which hopefully helped you decide where to stay in Vietnam.

The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer. Both Hoi An and Da Nang are wonderful destinations and you’ll have an amazing time in whichever one you choose to visit.

It’s also great to know that you can easily travel from one to the other so you don’t have to miss out.

Happy Travels!