It’s not by luck that Hoi An constantly gets into lists for top travel destinations in the world. Besides being a UNESCO World Heritage site in Vietnam, the city has everything you have ever dreamed of: stunning beaches, yummy food, and lots of green spaces. If you’ve decided on a day trip from Da Nang to Hoi An or you simply don’t have much time for sightseeing, then here’s our suggestion on how to spend your Hoi An 1-day!
An Introduction to Hoi An
- Hoi An is in Central Vietnam (Quang Nam Province), about 30 kilometers from Da Nang (it takes 45 minutes to travel by motorbike from Da Nang to Hoi An)
- The best time to visit Hoi An is from February to April because the weather is cooler and there’s less rain
- Hoi An’s famous for its Ancient Town, which used to be a busy international trading port in Southeast Asia, but now it’s a well-preserved historical site
- Popular activities to experience in Hoi An are: seeing and releasing lanterns, going for a night stroll along Thu Bon River, cycling, and admiring old structures
For detailed information on Hoi An, check out our all-inclusive Hoi An Travel Guide
Hoi An has a slow pace of life
Tips for Visiting Hoi An in One Day
- For one wholesome day in Hoi An, a motorbike is your top choice. Motorbike rental fee is from VND 150,000 – VND 200,000/day. You can rent directly from where you stay in Hoi An or at local bike rental businesses. Note that you can’t drive inside the Ancient Town, and some streets have banned motorcycles from 9 AM – 11 AM and 3 PM – 9:30 PM
- Expect to walk a lot, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing, apply ample sunscreen, and bring lots of water to keep yourself hydrated
- 3G/4G is of utmost importance since Hoi An is quite unoccupied outside the downtown, and you’ll need it for directions to traditional villages
- Hoi An’s one of Vietnam’s most budget-friendly cities for traveling, so prepare small changes and cash in Vietnamese currency
- The locals are friendly, so you won’t need bargaining skills but still keep an eye on your belongings as Hoi An’s really crowded in peak season
Hoi An 1-day Itinerary Activities:
- 6 AM: Watch the sunrise at Cua Dai Beach
- 8 AM: Banh Mi for breakfast
- 9 AM: Make potteries at Thanh Ha Pottery Village
- 10:30 AM: Learn about silk production at Hoi An Silk Village
- 11:30 AM: Cao Lau for lunch
- 1 PM – 6 PM: Walk around Hoi An Ancient Town
- 6: 30 PM: Mi Quang (Quang Noodles) for dinner
- 8 PM: Stroll around Thu Bon River
Hoi An 1-day Itinerary: Morning
(Optional) 6 AM: Admire a Romantic Sunrise at Cua Dai Beach
Google Maps location
Cua Dai Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam and even Asia. It has everything for a romantic getaway: white sandy shore, clear blue water, and lively greenery. If you want to avoid the crowd, go for a swim, and admire a breathtaking sunrise, come to Cua Dai Beach in the morning.
Cua Dai Beach is always crowded, so try to visit early in the morning
8 AM: Banh Mi for Breakfast
Nothing starts the day better than a delicious Banh Mi – a Vietnamese staple made from “banh mi” (a kind of small baguette), pate, veggies, and ham. This dish is fulfilling, quick, and can be eaten on the go. In Vietnam, Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An is probably the most famous, partly due to Anthony Bourdain praising this place as the best Banh Mi stall in the world.
Banh Mi Phuong
Address: 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 15,000 – VND 30,000
Banh Mi Phuong is worth all the hype and the long lines
9 AM: Make Potteries at Thanh Ha Pottery Village
Thanh Ha Pottery Village has a long history of over 500 years. Though having its root in Thanh Hoa Province, artisans here have their own type of pottery that’s famed for being lighter than others. Once you’re here, you’ll both get to witness the creation of masterpieces and try your hand at making pottery! And don’t forget to visit the Terracotta Park nearby (for a fee of VND 40,000). The park is actually a museum of pottery history in Vietnam and a photogenic exhibition for terracotta works.
Google Maps location
Fee: VND 35,000 (include a pottery-making class and a clay whistle as a souvenir)
Terracotta sculptures resembling famous architectures inside the Terracotta Park
10:30 AM: Learn Silk Production at Hoi An Silk Village
The Silk Village’s a fun, short stop that you should drop by on your way back to the ancient quarter. For less than one hour, you’ll be shown all the steps involved in making silk – one of Hoi An’s popular products, from raising silkworm to weaving and how brocade fabric is made traditionally!
Address: 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Hoi An
Fee: VND 50,000
Beautiful silk that you can shop for a tailored Ao Dai by speedy tailors in Hoi An
11:30 AM: Cao Lau for Lunch
Cao Lau is a Hoi An’s specialty that you should never skip. It’s a noodle dish consisting of pork, herbs, fried croutons, fish sauce, very little broth, and most especially, chewy noodles made from rice soak in burnt wood ash. Introduced to Hoi An in the 17th century, Cao Lau’s always been some of the best Central Vietnam’s foods to try.
Thanh Cao Lau
Address: 26 Thai Phien Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 44,000
You can’t say that you’ve been to Hoi An without trying Cao Lau
Hoi An 1-day Itinerary: Afternoon
1 PM – 6 PM: Walk around Hoi An Ancient Town
The afternoon’s cool atmosphere is most suitable for exploring what you came for: the Ancient Town! The town’s so well-preserved that you’ll feel like you’ve taken a walk back in time. There are old yellow walls imprinted with the marks of time, colorful street lanterns, fusion architectures of the East and the West, idle cyclos, and flamboyant Bougainvillea bushes. All details combined to make a picturesque Hoi An.
Wandering the streets is free, but you’ll need a ticket for visiting the attractions (ticket stalls scatter all around town so you’ll have no trouble finding one):
VND 80,000: you can see 3 places
VND 150,000: you can see 5 places
Depending on your speed but for a relaxed day, visiting inside 3 places is the most ideal. That way, you’ll get spare time to take pictures and get a drink at some nice cafes that we’ll introduce later.
Check out Hoi An World Heritage site for the full list of all 21 attractions. Below are our favorite spots to explore:
Japanese Covered Bridge
Google Maps location
This wouldn’t be a complete Hoi An 1-day itinerary without the iconic symbol – the Japanese Covered Bridge. Constructed in the 1590s, it has become a hotspot for architecture lovers thanks to the beautiful design inspired by Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese cultures.
This bridge’s other name is “Chua Cau” (Shrine Bridge) because there’s a small shrine for the Black Tortoise God in the middle of the bridge
Fujian Assembly Hall
Address: 46 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An
Fujian Assembly Hall started out as a small temple worshipping Mazu – the sea goddess. After generous donations from the Fujian community, the temple became more impressive and intricately decorated. It now worships Mazu along with other gods and the Twelve Midwives.
Fujian Assembly Hall was built in 1697
Phung Hung Old House
Address: 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Hoi An
Phung Hung Old House’s history dated back to over 100 years ago, which was used for trading so the facade is wide. It also has a charming design combined from three architectural styles: Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Phung Hung Old House is now also a commercial embroidery workshop
Museum of Sa Huynh Culture
Address: 13 Nguyen Hue Street, Hoi An
Since 1994, this museum has kept artifacts of people of the Sa Huynh Culture, who are considered the first “owners” of Hoi An. The range of artifacts here is incredible, ranging from working tools to household items and jewelry. If you’re a history buff, don’t skip this museum!
There are 971 artifacts at the Museum of Sa Huynh Culture
Nice Cafes in Hoi An Ancient Town for a Break
Address: 150 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 10,000 – VND 15,000
Nuoc Mot is a new creation, but it’s captured the local’s and visitor’s hearts unfailingly. It’s a very fragrant herbal drink containing honeysuckle, cinnamon, arhat fruit, lemon, lemongrass… that’ll cool you down immediately in the summer heat. It’s so good that you would want a second and a third serving!
Nuoc Mot is pleasing both to the eyes and the tastebuds
Address: 94 Le Loi Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 60,000
Located near Thu Bon River and right inside the Ancient Town, Cocobox has a picturesque view that’ll make any shot a pretty picture. Many customers have praised their coffee and dessert, so pay this cafe a visit when you need a short break.
Cocobox’s design has a nostalgic feel
Hoi An 1-day Itinerary: Night
6:30 PM: Mi Quang (Quang Noodle) for Dinner
Mi Quang has thick, chewy noodles, shrimp, pork, and some herbs. It is usually eaten together with a crunchy type of rice paper called “banh da”. Though the ingredients are somewhat similar to Cao Lau, the taste is totally different. Just try it for yourself and see why Mi Quang is one of Vietnam’s most popular noodle dishes.
Mi Quang Ba Linh
Address: 137 Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 25,000 – VND 95,000
A bowl of Mi Quang at Mi Quang Ba Linh
8 PM: Take a Stroll along Thu Bon River
When the night falls and the lights lit up, Hoi An becomes its most charming self. And to take in all that beauty, nothing is better than wandering the streets near Thu Bon River, especially Tran Phu Street. Some of the most beloved things to do at night in Hoi An are taking a picture with lanterns, releasing paper lanterns into the river for well-wishes, and going shopping at Hoi An Night Market.
Colorful lanterns sold at Hoi An Night Market make for a beautiful background
Find the best hotels to stay in Hoi An:
Our Final Thoughts on The Hoi An 1-day Itinerary
Have you ever felt tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Visit Hoi An and your restlessness will fade away like it’s never been there before in the city of forever peacefulness. Even though you only have one day, with this Hoi An 1-day itinerary, we guarantee that you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything while also enjoying every moment at a relaxed pace.
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