VietnamActivities & AttractionsHow to Make the Most out of Your Hoi An 1-day Itinerary

How to Make the Most out of Your Hoi An 1-day Itinerary

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It’s not by luck that Hoi An constantly gets into lists for top travel destinations worldwide. Besides being a UNESCO World Heritage site in Vietnam, the city has everything you have ever dreamed of: stunning beaches, yummy food, and many green spaces. If you’ve decided on a day trip from Da Nang to Hoi An or don’t have much time for sightseeing, 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

Tips for Visiting Hoi An in One Day

  • A motorbike is your top choice for one wholesome day in Hoi An. 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

Find a hotel in Hoi An below:

If you are traveling from Da Nang, see below for how to get to Hoi An:

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Hoi An 1-day Itinerary Activities

Below are some key things to explore Hoi An to the fullest, all within one day. Therefore, you can expect the itinerary to be tight with too many things to do. Feel free to add more or skip a few things if you want to take more time to enjoy the town’s beauty.

  • 5 AM: Catch the sunrise at Cua Dai Beach
  • 6:30 AM: Banh Mi for breakfast
  • 7 AM: Explore the ancient town
  • 10:30 AM: Ca phe sua da break
  • 11 AM: Cao Lau for lunch
  • 2 PM – 3 PM: Basket boat tour through Hoi An river
  • 4 PM – 6 PM: Visit Thanh Ha Pottery Village
  • 6:30 PM: Mi Quang for dinner
  • 7:30 PM: Watch a cultural show
  • 9:30 PM: Party by the Thu Bon River

Hoi An 1-day Itinerary: Morning

5 AM: Admire a Romantic Sunrise at Cua Dai Beach

Cua Dai Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam and even Asia. It has everything for a romantic getaway: a white sandy shore, clear blue water, and lively greenery. Come to Cua Dai Beach in the morning to avoid the crowds, go for a swim, and admire a breathtaking sunrise.

6:30 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

7 AM: Explore Hoi An Ancient Town

Since you need to do a lot of walking to see the town, we suggest you either start as early as possible or wait till the weather cools down. 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 to enter the attractions (ticket stalls scatter all around town, so you’ll have no trouble finding one). Here are some prominent spots that you should stop by:

Japanese covered bridge
Fujian assembly hall

10:30 AM: Ca phe sua da break

After wandering around the famous sights of the town, it’s time to sit down and enjoy an icy drink. What better way to fully get into the local experience than with a Vietnamese coffee in hand? Local coffee shops also offer eye-catching spots for your Instagram or TikTok moments.

11 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 one of the best Central Vietnam foods to try.

Thanh Cao Lau

Address: 26 Thai Phien Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 44,000

Hoi An 1-day Itinerary: Afternoon

2 PM – 3 PM: Basket boat tour through Hoi An river

Not only is Hoi An famous for its trades, the local villagers are also resourceful fishermen. Though the rivers running through Hoi An are narrow, the fish is abundant, and the people have invented an ingenious way to make their living on the waters. You can also experience their lifestyle by joining the basket boat tour at Bay Mau coconut forests. Most of the ride is calm and peaceful, but the tour guides know how to put on the best show, leaving you with unforgettable memories.

4 PM – 6 PM: Visit Thanh Ha Pottery Village

After the boat ride, go to Thanh Ha Pottery Village, where you can learn about Hoi An’s famous craftsmanship, which few travel guides talk about. You can also try to make clay pottery and bring home a unique souvenir. We recommend booking a combo tour of the boat ride and the Pottery Village so all of the transportation needs can be taken care of

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 with a crunchy rice paper called “banh da”. Though the ingredients are somewhat similar to Cao Lau, the taste is totally different. Try it yourself and see why Mi Quang is one of Vietnam’s most famous noodle dishes.

Mi Quang Ba Linh

Address: 137 Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An
Price: VND 25,000 – VND 95,000

7:30 PM: Watch a cultural show

For an immersive experience, catch the artistically organized show about the story of Hoi An to learn about the town’s past. Worldwide, art critics highly praised the show, and it is such a unique way to witness the flow of history. Note that there is no show on Tuesdays, and you have to book your tickets in advance to secure the seats. The performance starts at 8, but we recommend checking in early, at least 30-1 hour before to avoid hectic queues. There are gift shops and snack carts inside, so you can leisurely wait for the show to start.

9:30 PM: Party by the Thu Bon River

After the show, you can return to the town and experience a totally different vibe than in the morning. The streets shine especially brighter, and shops adorn themselves with lanterns. At this hour, you can stop by a drinking place and party the night away. Or, if you prefer quiet moments, take a boat ride and release paper lanterns with your wishes on the water. Another option is wandering the street and checking out the colorful souvenir shops.

A boat ride is meaning way to support the locals
Or check out the vibrant shops along the river

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.

Book your tickets to experience Hoi An below:

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