Located smack-dab in the middle of Vietnam—close to both Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue—Da Nang is the perfect base from which to explore the central highlands. Two days in Da Nang allows you to get a feel for Vietnam’s fastest-growing metropolis and explore farther afield. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
Day 1: A Tale of Two Cities
**Morning:**Begin your time in Da Nang by orienting yourself on an express sightseeing tour, which allows you to cover city highlights in just a few hours. Tours typically cover the Marble Mountains, My Son Sanctuary, and the Son Tra Mountain, home to two Buddhist shrines.
**Afternoon:**Dedicate the afternoon to discovering Da Nang’s food scene, which packs a real punch when it comes to flavor and diversity. Some tours give you the chance to ride between eateries on the back of a motorbike, while others take you to the bustling Han Market and explore street-food stands on foot.
**Evening:**In the evening, head out of town to explore Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s at its most magical when illuminated at night. Night tours usually include a guided walk around the Old Town, a Vietnamese dinner, and round-trip transport from your Da Nang hotel.
**Morning:**Start the day with a drive along the famous Hai Van Pass, considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. If you don’t feel confident enough to drive the intimidating mountain road yourself, guided tours let you skip the stress of navigating and typically include a stop at Lang Co Beach, a secluded coastal spot. Alternatively, devote your morning and afternoon to exploring the nearby imperial city of Hue, home to the UNESCO-listed Citadel (Dai Noi).
**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, continue your Hue tour or dig deeper into Vietnam’s past on a tour of the lesser-known demilitarized zone (DMZ), used to distinguish north and south Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
**Evening:**For your last evening in Da Nang, swap sightseeing for self-care with a package that includes a hot-stone massage and Vietnamese dinner. Alternatively, choose to admire the city lights from the water on a Han River cruise, most of which include live entertainment and hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off.