Choosing between Danang or Hoi An can be quite difficult for anyone who only has a short amount of time in Vietnam. Let me help you make the choice!

Banner Title

Necessary Spacing

I believe that Hoi An is a better town to visit if you do not have time to do both.

I recommend coming to the area for at least 2 days so you can spend a day in Danang and 1 day in Hoi An on a day trip tour.

In a perfect world I recommend spending at least 3 days in Hoi An to make the most of this incredible city.

If you’re looking for acommodation for Hoi An then check out – La An Central Boutique

If you’re looking for accommodation in Danang then check out – HAIAN Hotel


Danang Or Hoi An

Both locations are very famous for their own reasons so you’re sure to have a fantastic time whichever you choose; Danang or Hoi An. However, they are also very different so it is important to make the right choice if you only have time to go to one.

I’ll break down the main reasons to go to Danang or Hoi An and then offer my own recommendation below.

Read More: The Complete 7-Day Vietnam Itinerary


Danang Or Hoi An | Key Differences

Introduction To Hoi An

Hoi An is a medium-sized town of around 120,000 people famous for its incredible culture, including an amazing UNESCO World Heritage site (Hoi An Ancient Town). This ancient town is picturesque perfection with narrow streets and boutique shops and accommodations, all decorated with beautiful colourful lanterns which the town is so famous for.

Your experience in Hoi An would be one of peace, relaxation, and re-energizing.

Hoi An does attract MANY tourists and this can mean that the narrow streets and peaceful walks can become the complete opposite in the high season leading to a bustling and lively vibe with many thousands of people experiencing the beauty of the town.

This does not mean that Hoi An becomes loud and tiresome, it’s just a different vibe than you may get in the low season; it’s something to consider when choosing between Danang or Hoi An.

The beaches in Hoi are amazing, just another reason to travel from Danang to hoi an
The beaches in Hoi An are stunning

Introduction To Danang

Danang is the polar opposite of Hoi An in literally everything. It is a large modern city of 1.2 million people with high towers, malls, world-class beaches (one of the most incredible beaches in the whole of Vietnam), and every restaurant and accommodation option that you could ever desire.

As Danang is a large city, this comes with lively nightlife, busy streets, and plenty of things to do in the city itself. Other than My Khe Beach, Danang does not have any other hugely famous attractions that make it stand out from any other large city in Vietnam but it has been built from the ground up to accommodate tourism so rest assured that you’ll fit right in here.


Key Differences

Hoi An

  • A small cultural town with many old historic buildings and walkways.
  • Small enough to walk from attraction to attraction and, at most, a small bike ride away.
  • A fair selection of beaches with good swimming and accommodation.
  • Accommodation tends to be more boutique and homestay but Hoi An does have incredible resorts and hotels.
  • Quiet, relaxing vibe with little to no all-night music and partying.

Danang

  • A large bustling city with high rises and modern amenities.
  • Long distances between areas of the town so public transport will have to be used.
  • World-class beaches with huge amounts of space and watersports.
  • Any accommodation you could possibly want including world-class resorts and villas.
  • Danang has party areas where you can party for as long as you want.

Read More: Hanoi To Danang – How To Make This Journey!


Danang Or Hoi An | Activities & Things To Do

Hoi An

Ancient Town

This UNESCO world heritage site is a gorgeous little area with local crafts, tailors, coffee shops, and more, all tucked into its charming streets and narrow offshoots. You have to visit the ancient town if you come to Hoi An – it’s the best place in the whole town.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Beaches

Hoi An might be small but it still has a decent amount of beaches. When we visited, there was only one that was truly recommendable but check out our article comparing the beaches in Hoi An here. An Bang is the one that stands out and is a very good beach with great accommodations and restaurants. It might not be able to compare to My Khe in Danang but it’s still very good.

All The Beaches In Hoi An - A Lot Of Work NEEDS To Be Done

River Boat

When you venture down to the Ancient Town after dark, you will notice many small boats going up and down the river, all with lanterns bobbing in the dark. This creates a truly magical scene. If you would like to participate then simply approach (or be approached by) one of the many sellers and ask for a ride!


Night Market

The Hoi An night market was a welcome surprise compared to other night markets we have visited before. It was pretty, well stocked, and had plenty of food stalls in and around the market. It also didn’t have too much of a ‘tourist trap’ feel to it and you could relax whilst having a walk around. Check out our guide to the Hoi An night market here or watch our video below!

A Quick Guide To The Gorgeous Hoi An Night Market

Tailored Clothes

This is got to be one of the most fun things to do in Hoi An. We decided to get some suits and dresses made whilst in town (Hoi An is famous for its tailors) and we were not disappointed! Bong Tailor, where we went, didn’t have a book of designs, they just told you to bring a picture of anything and they would make it. Check out our full guide to tailors in Hoi An or watch our video below!

We Found The Best Hoi An Tailor! 1 Suit + 3 Dresses (Plus A Surprise!)

Lantern Making

Hoi An is the world centre for lanterns so what better way to get involved with this than jumping on a lantern-making course in Hoi An? This course will show you how these beautiful lights are made and allow you to make and take home one you have designed and made yourself (they are collapsible so you can fit them in your luggage!). Check out availability and price here!

Read More: 7 Best Ways To Get From Danang To Hoi An


Danang

My Khe Beach

My Khe Beach is one of the longest white sand beaches in all of Vietnam; it just seems to go on forever. There are areas of My Khe that have all the facilities in the world and then there are quieter more secluded spots to find. If you’re staying in Danang then you simply must come down to My Khe for at least one day.


Dragon Bridge

Dragon bridge is a bridge in the shape of a dragon… However, this is no ordinary dragon-shaped bridge! At 9 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the dragon breathes fire and water in a really cool display! If you have some time in the evening then this is well worth a little visit.

See the dragon bridge after you travel from hanoi to danang

Asia Park

Asia Park is a decent theme park in the centre of Danang. If you are travelling to Danang with children then you should really check it out! If you don’t have children with you and you are not in Danang for very long then I would say skip Asia Park for other things on this list.


Sky 36

If you are looking for a good night out then Sky 36 in Danang has to be the best bar in the city for drinks, dancing, and views. There will be cheaper places in the city but none can rival the rooftop niche that Sky 36 does so well.

Read More: Hanoi To Hoi An – The Best Ways To Get There


Accessible Via Both

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains are a group of 5 limestone hills with smooth marble throughout. They have various pagodas, religious shrines, and some breathtaking views and walks. This makes them a huge tourist attraction in the area. Due to their proximity to both Hoi An and Danang, they are accessible from both. See our two recommended tours below from each city.


Ba Na Hills

Ba Na Hills is somewhat of an enigma for me. It is the location of the famous Ba Na cable car and the Golden bridge (a huge bridge over the side of the mountain being held up by huge stone hands). However, there is also a theme park on the top of the mountain in the style of a French village. I generally believe that Ba Na Hills resort and complex is designed for domestic/Asian tourism, more than western tourism but, if you have kids, it’s well worth the journey. See both options below.


Cham Islands

The Cham Islands are just off the coast of both Danang and Hoi An and are a great place to go snorkelling and relax on a lush peaceful island. There are tours starting in both Hoi An and Danang but I recommend getting it from Hoi An so you don’t have to sit in the car picking people up in different locations.


My Son

My Son is the most culturally significant religious complex of the Cham dynasty. It is a large area of temples and buildings that is an absolutely fantastic day out for anyone even remotely interested in temples and historical sites.

Danang

My Son

Hoi An

My Son


Food Tour

A food walking tour is the one thing that we REALLY recommend everyone to do when they first arrive in a city and visiting either Danang or Hoi An is no exception. It’s a fantastic activity to get you to grips with the city and the food so you can enjoy the rest of your stay.

Danang

Food Tour

Hoi An

Food Tour


Cooking Class

If you have just been on a food tour and realize you want to be able to make this stuff for the rest of your life then the only option is to jump on one of the amazing cooking classes in Danang or Hoi An. We love doing cooking classes wherever we are and have amassed a significant collection of recipe books from around the world!


Danang Or Hoi An | Best Beaches?

Hoi An has some pretty good beaches but they are no match for the massive My Khe beach at Danang. Simply put, if you are trying to compare beaches between Danang or Hoi An then Danang is the easy winner. This doesn’t mean that Hoi An has rubbish beaches so remember to check out our article on Hoi An’s beaches here! If you want to see how epic the beaches of Danang are then check out this sick article here!


Danang Or Hoi An | Where To Stay

Hoi An

Hoi An is a mixture of cute homestays, boutique hotels, large resorts, gorgeous villas, and pretty much everything in between. Staying in the town proper will get you some really nice small options that take the local beauty and combine that vibe with their property. Check out our favourite 4 options below!

Homestay

D Central

Hotel

Silkian

Boutique

La An Central

Villa

Serenity


Danang

Danang may not have the quirky gorgeous accommodation of Hoi An but it certainly has many more options across the city for all different budgets. Check out our favourite 4 options below!

Budget

Raon

Hotel

HAIAN


How Easy Is It To Go To Both?

Danang and Hoi An are 30km apart so you could be wondering ‘why the hell can’t we go to both?’, and you should be. It is REALLY easy to explore both of these incredible destinations in a very short space of time. Many of the tours in this article even have Hoi An included as an extra because it’s so close.

If you literally only had one day then you would have to make a decision but if you can push it to two days then it would be easy to experience both locations. If this was the case, I would recommend staying in Danang and doing a day trip to Hoi An.


My Recommendation | Danang Or Hoi An?

In my opinion, Hoi An is a better destination than Danang. If I had to choose between Danang or Hoi An then Hoi An would be an easy winner. Danang is not a bad place to visit but Hoi An has so many more amazing things to do and see than Danang, plus its incredible architecture and beauty make it stand out.


What To Take To Danang Or Hoi An

WOWSUN Polarized Sunglasses

A decent pair of polarised sunglasses is difficult to get at a decent price, especially if you want them to look good. These from WOWSUN have lots of different styles (male/female) and colours to choose from and they are very affordable. Click through to see all of your options.

Buy Now
Ranger Ready Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray

Do not let a brilliant experience be ruined by pesky insects biting you all over your body. Insect repellant is not expensive but not having it can affect much more expensive activities. Pick up a bottle of this Picaridin bug spray and enjoy your travel.

Buy Now
Tummy Control Swimsuit

Looking for a stylish, flattering, complimenting swimsuit that shows off all of your best features whilst also being great for swimming and having fun? Then check out all of the incredible styles and colours these tummy control swimsuits come in.

Buy Now
GoPro HERO12 Black

The Go Pro Hero 12 takes the world-renowned Go Pro formula and hits even greater heights. The best of these has to be the Emmy award-winning HyperSmooth 6.0 for incredibly stable video during your wildest of travel adventures, and the front-facing screen for easy selfie and video capture! Find out even more by clicking through!

Buy Now
Greatever Snorkel Set

We all know how frustrating it can be to hire snorkels from local vendors as the quality tends to be below par, or they just immediately fog up. We have chosen the Greatever snorkel set due to its affordability, face fit, and anti-fog attributes, which all combined make for an excellent addition to your luggage!

Buy Now
Microfibre Poncho Towel

Need to change on a crowded beach? No more cowering behind a normal towel whilst someone holds it up! Need a compact towel that fits in your day bag? It's got that covered too. These have genuinely been a lifesaver over the years and there are literally no downsides!

Buy Now
Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen

We all know what sunscreen is and we all know how important it is but why go with Sun Bum? They are cruelty-free and are compliant with the Hawaii 104 Reef Act meaning that you will be helping decrease the amount of damage sunscreens have to the environment that you are swimming in. If that hasn't convinced you then click through to find out even more.

Buy Now
Beach Cover-Up Kimono

These gorgeous lightweight Kimonos are perfect for when you just get out of the water or you want to go over to the bar for a drink. They are so lightweight that they dry almost immediately in the sun and there are loads of colours and designs available too!

Buy Now
Travel Wallet - RFID Blocking

Anywhere tourists travel to in high numbers will be hotspots for thieves. Having your personal documents, cards, and cash in one of these discreet travel wallets is a very good idea for peace of mind. This one also comes with RFID blocking so people will not be able to scan cards through your clothing.

Buy Now


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Danang Or Hoi An Better?

If you are looking for a city vibe with huge beaches and everything else a city provides then Danang is better. If you want a chill vibe with architectural beauty then Hoi An is the town for you.

Does Danang Or Hoi Have The Best Beaches?

The best beaches are at Danang but Hoi An has some pretty good beaches too.

Can I Go To Both Danang And Hoi An?

Yes, you only need two days to be able to visit both towns.

How Long Should I Spend In Hoi An?

I recommend spending at least 3 days in Hoi An if you can because this will give you enough time to get tailored clothes and enough time to explore the area.

Should I Stay In Danang Or Hoi An?

I recommend staying in Hoi An if you have enough time but staying in Danang if you only have 1 night and getting a day trip into Hoi An.


I hope I helped you choose between Danang or Hoi An! Let me know in the comments section below if we helped or if there is anything else we can do to improve this article!