Danang has an unsung surf scene with some impressive breaks. For novices, however, stand up paddleboarding is a good alternative. The emerging sport is easy to learn, and with miles of glorious beach, Danang makes the perfect place to get your feet wet.
SEE & DO
Da Nang Surf School
Danang Food Tour
Although overshadowed by the cuisine of nearby Hue and Hoi An, Danang isn’t short on delicious fare. These morning and evening tours curate the best of the city’s market and street food highlights, with free time to explore.
Kim Ngan Communal Temple
Recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, ca trù is a Northern Vietnamese music genre characterised by operatic singing and traditional instruments. Experience it during the evening performances at this temple.
Locals rely on this unassuming spot off the beach, where some of the best massage therapists in the country work, to banish their quotidian stress with bamboo, stone or just a pair of hands.
Thanh Chuong Viet Palace
Located 30km north of the city, this collection of ancient buildings is home to fascinating architecture and paintings by famous Vietnamese artist, Thanh Chuong.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Permanent exhibits include collections of artefacts, such as clothing and tools, that showcase the heritage of 54 ethnic groups. Outside, winding paths lead to 18 replicas of life-size tombs, boats and traditional Vietnamese homes
EAT & DRINK
This 1940s villa was formerly a government guesthouse and a private residence. Today, it has been converted into a beautiful restaurant, serving up Vietnamese fare made from locally sourced organic ingredients.
The banh xeo (sizzling crepe) at this streetside venue is legendary. Wrap the crisp, moist pancake around some herbs, fresh vegetables and nem lui (grilled pork and lemongrass skewers) for transcendent results.
This branch of the renowned Vietnamese chain earns extra points for its youthful ambience, eclectic music, Communist kitsch décor and high quality java.
Italian cooking methods and Asian infusions combine to create one of the city’s most exciting dining venues. You’ll find creative salads, pizzas and a selection of sharing platters. A judicious list of wines and craft beers by Saigon-based Pasteur Street Brewery further ups the ante.
Traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, coffee and condensed milk, ca phe trung (egg coffee) is a decadent treat that’s especially comforting during the damp winter months. Try it at this café, which is often credited with the original recipe.
The vintage-chic dining rooms in this restored 1930s residence are a perfect setting for authentic northern Vietnamese cuisine. Sample modern versions of classic street food, such as char-grilled pork with fresh rice noodles.
This famous culinary and hospitality school, which also has a branch in Ho Chi Minh City, trains at-risk and disadvantaged youth to become chefs and waiters. The on-site restaurant lets you experience why they’ve been so successful.
This refined bar in the historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi now sports a brand-new look, adopting a Roaring Twenties speakeasy aesthetic. Old favourites still endure, though, from its legendary cocktails that honour famed former guests to the ever-popular chocolate buffet.
Maison de Tet Décor Café
Set in a colonial-inspired villa, this café offers single-origin coffee beans roasted on site. Its Thunder Blend – made with beans from Vietnam’s northern highlands – produces a robust ca phe den da (iced black coffee), best enjoyed on its balconies with views over the West Lake.
Down a quiet lane near the Han River, Nén presents Danang’s distinctive flavours in an eight-course tasting menu that includes dishes such as slow-cooked beef shank with a spicy lemongrass soup.
Pho Gia Truyen
Hanoi is the spiritual home of pho. Long lines every morning attest to the veracity of the version served up at Pho Gia Truyen, better known to its acolytes as Pho Bat Dan. The broth is clear and rich, while the beef is tender.
The highest bar in Vietnam offers divine sunset views over the Han River and towards the ocean. Later in the evening, the venue transforms into a lively nightspot where Danang’s beautiful people groove to DJ beats.
Vietnam’s craft beer boom comes to the fore at this casual venue, which enjoys an outstanding location overlooking Truc Bach Lake. There are 16 local and international ales on tap, best enjoyed with tapas like grilled meat skewers.
Tam’s Pub and Surf Shop
American-style burgers and state-owned beers await you at this small surf shop, where a collage of photographs recalls the owner’s childhood stint as an interpreter for the US Marine Corps.
The Hanoi Social Club
Popular with creative types, this café-bar is spread over three floors packed with a mix of funky furniture. People come for the weekly live music, good cocktails and a solid menu with plenty of vegetarian options.
The Rooftop Hanoi
This stylish rooftop bar-cum-restaurant on the 19th floor of Pacific Place is the ideal spot for strong cocktails and jaw-dropping views of the city.
Waterfront Restaurant and Bar
This long-standing restaurant serving Vietnamese and international fare is a culinary trailblazer. Standards remain high, with craft beers, fine wines and light bites making for an outstanding repast.
Ava’Na’s unique haute couture sprang forth from a glut of tailors in Hoi An. Today, the brand’s locally designed handbags, jewellery and clothing are available in a quiet space astride the iconic Dragon Bridge.
Chula Fashion Downtown
This acclaimed homegrown fashion label has gone upmarket with its elegant new boutique alongside St Joseph’s Cathedral. Made entirely by hand, its vividly coloured, pure taffeta silk dresses fuse bold graphic patterns with traditional Vietnamese craftsmanship.
While Danang isn’t famed for its shopping, it offers a quintessentially local retail experience at its main market, known as Cho Han. A total area of 28,000m2 includes just about everything from tourist trinkets to colourful fruits and vegetables.
Showcasing the work of Vietnamese artists through unique prints, notebooks and T-shirts, this stylish retailer now has two stores in the Old Quarter.
La Siesta Central Hotel
Embedded in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this bijou hotel evokes period- style elegance. The mezzanine is devoted to a showpiece spa, while many of the 27 rooms offer dreamy views of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Novotel Danang Premier Han River
Danang’s luxury resorts are mostly clustered along the coast, but this solid riverside hotel gives you an option that is close to the city centre. Try and bag a room on one the higher floors – the views over the river and towards the Son Tra Peninsula are absolutely magnificent
The Chi Hotel
This impeccably designed boutique hotel is handily situated in the heart of the Old Quarter.
Tam's Pub and Surf Shop