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Best Time to Visit Northen Vietnam: Great Weather & Exciting Activitites

July 12, 2023 - 4496 views

Each of North Vietnam's four seasons has something special to reward visitors, as it is the area with the most diverse climate in Vietnam. Depending on your chosen places to visit in North Vietnam and what you are planning to do, some months are more suitable than others. Read to find out the best time to visit North Vietnam and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Northern Vietnam Weather Overview

Northern Vietnam's climate is monsoonal with four distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

  • Summer (May-August) is the hottest season with sunlight that can be harmful on certain days of the month, but it is also the season for Vietnamese people to hit the beach on a relaxing holiday. The weather in Northern Vietnam during this time is hot and humid, with heavy rainfall.
  • Winter (December - February), the higher up North Vietnam, the colder the weather will be. Some tourists may enjoy the chilling winds and clear skies on the mountains in this weather condition. Temperatures average from 17 to 22 degrees Celsius, which can significantly drop to less than 10 degrees. There is even snow in some areas such as Sa Pa.

winter in Northern Vietnam

Winter in Northern Vietnam

  • Spring (March - April) and Autumn's (September - November) weather is enjoyable and pleasant, but visitors should avoid the transitioning period, as unexpected rainfall may affect travel plans. In spring, the average temperature is 22 degrees, while it ranges from 20 to 25 degrees in autumn, which makes both seasons perfect for outdoor activities.

You might want to find all the Vietnam weather detail.

Best time to visit North Vietnam for great weather

So what is the best time to visit North Vietnam, out of the four seasons?

The north experiences distinct seasonal variations. According to locals and experienced tourists, you should travel when the weather is not too extreme or in the middle of summer and winter, or else the harsh condition might be unbearable. Spring (February to April) and Autumn (September to November) are the 2 most suitable & beautiful seasons to travel to and be the best time to go to North Vietnam. Spring and fall are time for the most beautiful weather, offering picturesque scenery and vibrant colors of nature.

best time to visit north vietnam

 

Spring (February to April): Best time to see flower season in Northern Vietnam

February to April is the season of spring when the temperature is rising from the cold month of January. Drizzle and mild humidity should be expected, but the sunshine is pleasant with clear, blue skies. Flowers are in full bloom in different places, from Hanoi city to the upper northern area. It is the best time to visit North Vietnam if you want to capture Instagram-worthy pictures wearing your best outfit. Each month is the blooming season of different flowers. Each will stand out with its distinct beauty, so do some research on your favorite, and you will find beautiful scenery to enjoy.

Temperatures in the north are rising as summer approaches, and some rain is not uncommon. But it is still pleasant and great for hiking, with spring flowers in full bloom making the region especially beautiful.

Spring is best time to see flower blooming in North Vietnam

Spring is the best time to see flowers blooming in North Vietnam

 

As a popular season for both domestic and international tourists, there are a lot of activities to uncover. You can enjoy a variety of activities in North Vietnam during this time, from trekking on the highlands to going on a cruise in Halong Bay It is also a good idea for a quiet getaway in Ninh Binh — Vietnam's hidden gem, and take a look into the rural and authentic life of North Vietnam.

Best to do Halong Bay cruise during Spring in Northern Vietnam

Best to do Halong Bay cruise during Spring in Northern Vietnam

March, when the weather has fully transitioned to spring, is probably the best month to visit North Vietnam and all across Vietnam overall. The average temperature is 23 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in April are slightly warmer, at 26-27 degrees Celsius, but still enjoyable with sunshine.

Recommended places to visit in North Vietnam in spring: Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Northwest Vietnam (Moc Chau, Mai Chau)

Things to bring: Good walking shoes, light cotton clothes, an umbrella

Autumn (September to November): Pleasent weather to visit North Vietnam

September to November, the autumn season, is also the best time to visit North Vietnam. It is the time when leaves change colors, and you can enjoy the slower pace of local life in the large cities or go on a relaxing getaway in the mountains. The weather drops lower, usually remaining at less than 30 degrees Celsius, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities. It can get chillier at night, but foreign tourists will adapt just fine and find the breeze pleasant.

Harvest season in northern mountainous areas is expected in September, so exploring the regions higher up north is a must in your travel itinerary. It is when to visit North Vietnam to catch sights of the endless rice terraces — something you might have never seen before — and get in touch with ethnic minorities living in villages of Vietnam. Transportation and accommodation are accessible and easily arranged, according to your preferences. Take the bus, train, or a private car to the provinces, and choose to stay in a local homestay, a secluded mountainous retreat, or even a luxury grand hotel.

Autumn is best time to see golden rice terraces north vietnam

Autumn is the best time to see golden rice terraces north Vietnam

You might want to find: Best Places to See Golden Rice Fields in Vietnam

It is also an ideal time to visit Hanoi. Milk flowers begin to bloom in late September, painting the streets with light shades and a romantic atmosphere. It is the signal for the transition into autumn in the city. During this time, you can enjoy many delicious street foods in Hanoi, suitable for cold weather, such as pork rib porridge (cháo sườn), hot sweet soup (chè nóng), green rice flakes (cốm), and many more. These dishes will make you fall in love with Hanoi autumn and cuisine.

milk flower hanoi city

Milk flowers - the signal of autumn in Hanoi.

green rice flakes hanoi

Green rice flakes is a traditional aspect of Hanoi, a very popular gift for those in other regions. Source: tomcat239

In November, the North remains its late autumn climate. Temperatures drop further down to an average of 24 degrees Celsius, and the air becomes colder.

Places to visit in North Vietnam in autumn: Hanoi, Ha Giang, Sapa, Cao Bang, Mu Cang Chai

Things to pack: light jacket, travel scarf

Vietnamese Tet Holiday - Best festival season to go to North Vietnam

If you want to catch a glimpse into the Vietnamese Tet Holiday, check the Lunar New Year calendar as the days depend on each year. It is the best time to visit North Vietnam if you are interested in learning about Vietnam's culture and cuisine. It usually falls in early February and is celebrated nationwide. During this time, Vietnamese people do not go to work but sit down for family meals and pay respect to their elders and acknowledge their ancestors. Little kids love this time as they get to wear eye-catching clothes and receive lucky money. A lot of families take this time to travel around the country, which causes an upsurge in the number of tourists and service costs.

While central and southern Vietnam offer interesting cultural festivals such as Hue Festival or Danang International Fireworks Festival in April and May, there are also things to explore in North Vietnam. If the large influx of tourists during the Tet Holiday concerns you, you might want to travel around a little later. The first Lunar month (February — March) is the best month to visit North Vietnam for festivals. Temple festivals are organized, which attracts many local people as well as international tourists who want to see Vietnam on a different level. Some most popular ones are Yen Tu Festival, Lim Festival, and Huong Pagoda Festival.

You might want to read more: The Vietnamese’s Biggest Festival – Lunar New Year

festival vietnam

Yen Tu Festival, a spiritual tourist destination.

Tips:

  • A lot of places such as restaurants, museums, and shops do not open on the very first days of Lunar New Year, which can be a hassle to tourists. Those that open usually charge much higher than usual.
  • You should book plane tickets and hotel rooms 2-3 weeks in advance in case they sell out.
  • Don't be surprised if the city streets are unusually quiet on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Take this as an opportunity to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere not regularly seen at other times.

Best time to get great North Vietnam tour deals

May to September welcomes a lower number of tourists. However, it is the best time to visit North Vietnam for those who want to avoid crowds and overpriced costs. Though the weather is less favorable, sometimes rainy and sometimes too hot, you can still enjoy North Vietnam during these months. It is best to visit tourist sites in the morning or catch a sight of the scenic sunset on Hoan Kiem Lake or West Lake.

west lake hanoi

Sunset on West Lake is an extraordinary and popular spot  (Source: Hanoibro)

Alternatively, as it is summertime in Vietnam, families choose to go to the beach for a relaxing holiday. Popular destinations include Co To and Cat Ba, both not very far from Hanoi. There are plenty of entertainment venues, such as amusement parks and campsites, as the number of domestic tourists rises during this time.

You may be interested in Top 15 Cat Ba Island Things to Do.

Tips:

  • When visiting North Vietnam during the summer months, tourists must bring sunscreen and sun-protected clothes as excessive sun exposure can be very harmful to the skin. Sometimes, the ultraviolet radiation from the sun reaches alarming levels, and you are strongly advised against going outside during peak hours (noon to early afternoon). The heat is unbearable for a lot of Vietnamese people.
  • Additional things to bring: umbrella, waterproof jacket, sunglasses, swimsuit

Travelers of any tour that takes place during the low season do not have to wait a long time to enter a popular attraction spot or book months and weeks in advance. There is greater flexibility in your northern Vietnam itinerary, and it is certainly more affordable. Check out our best-selling Northern Vietnam tours at BestPrice Travel. 

Check availability at BestPrice Travel

Regardless of the season, you choose to visit, North Vietnam is charming and can satisfy a lot of tourists. We hope that this article has helped you choose the best time to visit North Vietnam. If you need any assistance with booking accommodation, tour packages, flight tickets, or anything else travel-related, do not hesitate to contact us!

You might need to know: Best Time to Visit all of Vietnam

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