The best things to do in Da Nang are a good mix of ancient pagodas, French colonial buildings, but also quiet beaches with clear blue water and green national parks. However, many people skip this city and travel directly to Hoi An. The city itself is a lot more modern, but you can’t miss the area. Read on to discover the most popular sights in Da Nang that you should not forget when you visit this city.
1. Hai Van Pass
The Hai Van Pass is at number one of the top 10 things to do in Da Nang. Made famous in an episode of the Top Gear TV show, the Hai Van Pass is now a must-do for thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and adventurers looking for alternative things to do in Da Nang. This 21 km long mountain pass between Da Nang and Hue offers some of the most incredible ocean views. A new highway tunnel that has been built ensures that the traffic over the mountain pass is minimal. Rent a scooter in the city and leave early in the morning if you plan to be back in Da Nang the same day. There are also a number of tour companies that can help you drive the Hai Van Pass if you are not a confident motorcyclist.
2. Son Tra
The beautiful rainforest that juts out into the sea from the city of Da Nang is called the Son Tra peninsula. Rent a scooter to ride the newly constructed road to the end of the peninsula and view the nature reserve and head to the top for a great view. If you are lucky you can see a very rare monkey, the red duoc langars. There are also a host of unspoilt beaches along the peninsula, making it one of the most beautiful and unspoilt sights in Da Nang.
3. Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are a cluster of marble and limestone hills just 7 km from the city and one of the best sights in Da Nang. The mountains are full of caves, tunnels and Buddhist shrines that you can discover. You can climb to the top of the mountains for spectacular views of the entire area. If you are more adventurous, you can also rock climbing and abseiling in the Marble Mountains.
4. Ba Na Hills
Ba Na Hills is one of the best known landmarks in Da Nang, particularly for Vietnamese tourists. It is one of the newest and most exciting projects in Vietnam. It is a mountain village on top of a mountain that looks like a medieval castle, but within these stone walls are modern accommodations, restaurants and a Fantasy Park full of exciting attractions. The newest addition is the golden bridge that is being held by two giant stone hands.
The best beaches in Da Nang are known for their clear water and fine sand. The more popular beaches, such as My Khe and Non Nuoc, are relatively close to the city center and are often full of locals during the weekend and on public holidays. You can also find plenty of local restaurants with fresh fish and Da Nang specialties at affordable prices. Beaches further from the city are often a lot quieter. View here the list of the most beautiful beaches in Da Nang.
6. Dragon Bridge
Dragon Bridge is a long bridge with six lanes and a popular place among photographers. This unique bridge is built in the shape of a golden dragon. Although it is a beautiful sight at any time of the day, Dragon Bridge is special (and full of tourists) during the weekend because it is illuminated with colorful LEDs as the fire exhales and water spits out from 9 p.m.
7. Cham Island
If you want to see coral reefs, colorful fish, tropical beaches and islets, then the best thing to do in Da Nang is taking a trip to the Cham Islands. These beautiful islands are only an hour’s boat ride from Da Nang. It is a great day trip or you can spend the night there. In a day trip you visit a few islands, you go snorkeling and you can relax on the beach.
8. Cham Museum
Cham Museum shows the age-old culture, lifestyle and customs of the indigenous Cham tribe in Vietnam, dating back to 192AD. Founded during colonial French rule in 1915, it is known as the only museum of its kind in the world. Cham Museum Da Nang is divided into ten rooms, where 300 terracotta and stone sculptures from the 7th to the 15th century are exhibited.
9. My Son
My Son is approximately a 40-minute drive from Da Nang. There are several companies that organize trips there, or you can drive there yourself with a scooter. This attraction is not as big as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, but it does offer a good insight into the past of the country. There is a small museum at the entrance and all the ruins have information boards.
10. Hoi An
The most famous landmark in the region is the old town of Hoi An. If you do not plan to stay in Hoi An, this is the best thing you can do from Da Nang. Read here how to travel from Da Nang to Hoi An. In this well-preserved old trading city you can easily spend a whole day seeing and visiting old buildings, markets and the lanterns that give a nice atmosphere in the evening.