Recommended Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days for First-time Travelers

July 12, 2023 - 6340 views

As busy travelers with a short trip in Vietnam, some desire to experience Vietnam thoroughly from North to South, while others wish to get a deeper insight into a specific Vietnam region for one week.

Let us show you the best 7-day Vietnam itineraries to get a glimpse of this lovely country.

7 Days in Vietnam: From North To South

  • Best for: Culture lovers, Experience seekers, and Active travelers
  • Recommended Budget: From US $600 per pax
  • Destinations Visited: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh, Cu Chi Tunnels, and Mekong Delta
  • Transportation used: Car, Cruise, Local Boat, and Domestic Flight

With this one week itinerary, you will learn more about Vietnam by witnessing the local life in Hanoi Old Quarter, admiring the mystical limestones on the Halong Bay in the North, then traveling to the South to experience the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, which is totally opposing to the serenity of Mekong Delta.

Day Highlights Where to stay
Day 1 Walking around Hanoi Old Quarter Hotel in Hanoi
Day 2 Explore Hanoi and its historical sites Hotel in Hanoi
Day 3 Relax on Halong Bay overnight cruise Halong Bay Cruise
Day 4 Enjoy the bustling Ho Chi Minh City Hotel in Ho Chi Minh
Day 5 Uncover the Cu Chi Tunnels Hotel in Ho Chi Minh
Day 6 Discover the rich culture of the Mekong Delta Hotel in Ho Chi Minh
Day 7 End in Ho Chi Minh city  

Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days

Vietnam 7 Days Itinerary Map


Day 1: Walking around Hanoi Old Quarter

Being named “36 Old Street”, Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-see destination of the North due to its rich historical and cultural values from centuries. After being transferred to your hotel in Hanoi and doing some check-in procedures, you will have free time to explore this antique area by yourself.

Recommend things to do:

  • Watching Thang Long water puppet show: puppet's performance on the water
  • Take a cyclo tour to see lifestyle of Hanoian
  • Try tasty Hanoi street food at night

Learn about Vietnamese culture at Hanoi Water Puppet

Learn about Vietnamese culture at Hanoi Water Puppet


Day 2: Explore Hanoi And Its Historical Sites

Your second day is the time to explore Hanoi city, one of the most ancient capitals in the world. You will have a chance to know more about Vietnam's country, people, and history through its outstanding destinations.

Recommended attractions:

  • Temple of Literature: the first national university built nearly 1000 years old ago
  • One Pillar Pagoda: you will be impressed by the unique architecture of this Buddhist temple, which is designed like a lotus blossom, the national flower of Vietnam.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: one great place for you to know more about Vietnam’s greatest leader ever

Our guests visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on a family trip

Our guests visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on a family trip

 Then you can move to West Lake to breathe fresh air and see the peaceful lake flow. Walk along to reach Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist Pagoda in Vietnam.

  • West Lake is beautifully romantic during sunset. You should relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of smoothie in some lakeside coffee shops.
  • You can get your overnight at Ta Hien, the best nightlife street in Hanoi, and try its signature drink - Beer.
  • Ma May, which is located near Ta Hien, is also a perfect choice for food lovers. Just try Pho Cuon (rice rolls with beef and veggie) and Banh Tom (fried shrimp cakes).

For those who are nervous about exploring Hanoi yourself, you should refer to the best Hanoi tours and get a tour guide to support you carefully.


Day 3: Relax on Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay is a World Heritage Site famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, you can admire the significant landscape of limestone islands, discover hidden caves, and explore fishing villages, depending on the itinerary of each cruise.

  • Outdoor activities: kayaking, swimming, visit floating village
  • Onboard activities: relaxing on sundesk, do Tai-Chi exersise, join cooking class

Kayaking is a must-try activity when traveling to Halong

Kayaking is a must-try activity when traveling to Halong


Day 4: Enjoy The Bustling Ho Chi Minh City

Being considered a never-sleeping city, Ho Chi Minh is the most dynamic urban area of the South. Let’s start to discover this enchanting city by participating in some fascinating Saigon tours!

You can visit some historical and ancient spots in Ho Chi Minh, such as:

  • Reunification Palace: which was formerly the residence of the Vietnamese President of the Republic.
  • Old Post Office & Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral: observe the outstanding examples of French architecture in Vietnam.
  • War Remnants Museum: One of the oldest Saigon museums since 1975, you will know about the truth of the brutal battles during the Vietnam War.

Join the Tai Chi class on the Sena Cruise

Join the Tai Chi class on the Sena Cruise


Day 5: Uncover the Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels, located 55 km south of Ho Chi Minh City, were the site of multiple military actions during the Vietnam War. Viet Cong soldiers employed these tunnel networks in the past, and they played a significant role in their resistance to American forces.

You may go down inside the gloomy, stuffy, and cramped tunnels, and see how people lived during the war.

  • Visit reenactment areas: witness the life of soldiers and local people in Cu Chi in the 1940s, which is represented by wax figures.
  • Try shooting guns: you have a chance to hold a real AK-47 or M16 under the instruction of the staff here from US $2/ 60 mins per person. Be noted that this activity is only for adults above 16.

Two girls are exploring the underground of Cu Chi Tunnels

Two girls are exploring the underground of Cu Chi Tunnels


Day 6: Discover The Rich Culture Of the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is the area where the Mekong River meets and flows into the sea through a series of distributaries. In contrast to major cities' noisy and frantic life, coming to this region will give you a sense of calm in the countryside.

Recommend things to do:

  • Take a boat to the Ham Luong River in Ben Tre province
  • Stop by local workplaces to witness the Mekong life. You may visit the coconut processing workshop, eat their coconut candy, or try weaving at a mat weaving house.
  • Getting on a ‘Xe Loi’, which is a type of motorized rickshaw, and stop at little shaded pathways to see fruit orchards and coconut farms where has variety of fruits that you may not have seen before.
  • Rest and enjoy some fresh air on a relaxing sampan trip along narrow canals.

Try weaving sedge mats

Try weaving sedge mats with locals

  • Trying coconut candy is a must if you have a sweet tooth. This candy is a well-known specialty in Ben Tre Province. You can buy it at a reasonable price of about US $2 - 3.
  • Deep-fried elephant-ear fish is a classic delicacy in the Mekong River area. You can contact your travel consultant for booking a local restaurant to be served this dish at lunch.


Day 7: End in Ho Chi Minh City

It is the final day of your 7 days in Vietnam, so you may relax at the hotel or go shopping for souvenirs on this day. So, take your time to wander around before the check-out. 

Let's check our Vietnam at A Glance 7 days and enjoy 1 week in Vietnam to the fullest.

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Alternative Choices for 7 Days in Vietnam

7 Days in North Vietnam: Off The Beaten Path Adventure

Joining this adventure to the mountainous areas of North Vietnam, you will spend 7 days getting into ethnic cultures and venturesome trekking routes. This northern Vietnam one-week itinerary features the trek in Hoang Su Phi and Ba Be National Park, along with the kayak in Ba Be Lake.

  • Best for: Active travelers, Adventurers, and Outdoorsy
  • Recommended Budget: From US $1000 per pax
  • Destinations Visited: Ha Giang, Dong Van, Bac Kan
  • Transportation used: Private Car

Recommend 7-Day Itinerary in North Vietnam

Recommend 7-Day Itinerary in North Vietnam

Recommended itinerary:

Day Highlights Where to stay
Day 1 - 3 Trekking in Hoang Su Phi Hotel & Homestay in Hoang Su Phi
Day 4 Discover Dong Van & Meo Vac Homestay in Dong Van & Ba Be
Day 5 - 7 Ba Be National Park exploration Homestay in Ba Be


Day 1 - 3: Trekking tour in Hoang Su Phi

Along the way to Ha Giang, you will admire the beautiful scenery of Vietnam's mountains and forests and terraced fields along the hills.

A few houses or small villages crisscross the hills, creating a rustic beauty among the majestic mountains. It is also a good chance for you to approach the ethnic minorities who mostly live in the fields.

During the trekking tour to Nam Hong and Pan Hou, you can sightsee the endless terraced rice fields, pass through beautiful lush bamboo forests, and visit Tay ethnic people’s houses to observe their lives.

Day 4: Discover Dong Van & Meo Vac

The highest protruding point on the map of Vietnam is Dong Van, which is famous for its stunning mountains, towering caverns, and vibrant wildflowers. The upland neighborhood you will go to next is Meo Vac, a little valley at the foot of the rocky mountains, which has a magnificent outlook and a tranquil ambiance.

After that, you head to Sa Phin, also known by the name Vuong Mansion, a historic H'mong royal residence. Here, you will listen to a presentation made by a local tour guide to learn about the house and all the stories behind it.

Day 5 - 7: Ba Be National Park exploration

In Ba Be Park, you can have a chance to learn more about Lo Lo and Pu Peo people, the main ethnic groups whose history and culture are the interesting secret of Vietnam minorities.

You will have a day to explore Ba Be Lake on the boat. The lake's surface is always tranquil, ideal for a leisurely boat ride downstream. Feel free to sightsee the river's natural beauty while you discover the secret of the Puong Cave and Dau Dang Waterfall.

Finally, you arrive in Hanoi and end the awesome 1 week in northern Vietnam. For any further interest, the Off The Beaten Track Northeast Vietnam 7 days always awaits you on a new adventure.

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Central Vietnam 7 Days: Hoi An Discovery

Coming to the Central, you can admire the tranquility of Hoi An Ancient Town, experience a day as a farmer at Tra Que vegetable village, and learn about the unique culture of Champa ruins. On the last two days, you should take advantage of relaxation on the An Bang beach. 

  • Best for: Experience seekers, Foodies, and Culture seekers
  • Recommended Budget: From US $400 per pax
  • Destinations Visited: Hoi An, Tra Que Village, and My Son Sanctuary
  • Transportation used: Car

Central Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days

Central Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days


Recommended itinerary:

Day Highlights Where to stay
Day 1 - 2 Join Farming Activities At Tra Que Village Homstay in Tra Que Village
Day 3 My Son Sanctuary & Champa Culture Hotel in Hoi An
Day 4 - 5 Hoi An Ancient Town Discovery Hotel in Hoi An
Day 6 - 7 Spend Leisure Time On An Bang Beach Hotel in Hoi An

Day 1 - 2: Join Farming Activities At Tra Que Village

Hoi An - one of Vietnam's best historic towns - which is described as tranquil, picturesque, and intimate, and Tra Que Village is called after a sweet-scented herb used to season a variety of Hoi An dishes.

The Tra Que village tour is exposure to the serene setting and allows you to learn about the cultural lifestyle of the residents. You can take part in local farmers' operations, including ground scraping, sowing, watering, harvesting, and a variety of other tasks rarely seen in modern towns. 

Day 3: My Son Sanctuary & Champa Culture

My Son Sanctuary is an excellent example of Champa civilization. The beautiful stone sculptures, temples, and towers of the Hindu-themed ruins are breathtaking, surely you will be completely impressed.

After the sanctuary trip, you will ride back to Hoi An Ancient Town to discover its ancient beauty. You get your town tour around historic homes and the vibrant market, which was once Asia's main trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Day 4 - 5: Hoi An Ancient Town Discovery

Coming to Hoi An without enjoying the specialties here will be extremely regrettable. First, start your Hoi An street food tour with Vietnamese bread. The bread here is very special because its name and taste have been known worldwide.

After that, you should take a stroll around town and sample some of the town's most famous foods, such as Cao Lau (Pork Rice Noodles), Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake), and Mot drink (Hoi An Herbal Tea). Moreover, you can unwind with sweets and a few last words with your guides and fellow gourmets at a quiet coffee shop.

Day 6 - 7: Spend Leisure Time On An Bang Beach

An Bang Beach, one of Hoi An's most beautiful beaches in Cam An Ward, offers a wide range of things to choose from, both on and off the water. There are many interesting activities, such as windsurfing, riding a water motorcycle, or kayaking.

Another thing that you should do is go to An Bang Beach to view the romantic sunset. The sunset scenery is spectacular late afternoon, with the sun shining like a fireball on the skyline. The last rays of the sun shine down on the small fishing boat, creating an image of perfection.

For a deep discovery of the central, let's engage in Hoi An Surrounding And Beach Break in Central Vietnam 7 days at BestPrice Travel.

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South Vietnam in A Week: Saigon City Break & Beach Relaxation

For those in search of an active trip to big cities and pristine beaches, this itinerary will give you a glimpse of Saigon in 3 days and Phu Quoc Island for the rest. Besides, you can try crawling through the underground tunnels at Cu Chi and visit floating markets in Mekong Delta.

  • Best for: Vacationers, Chill-Out and Recharge Retreaters
  • Recommended Budget: From US $600 per pax
  • Destinations Visited: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, and Phu Quoc
  • Transportation used: Car and Domestic Flight

South Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days

South Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days


Recommended itinerary:

Day Highlights Where to stay
Day 1 - 2 Explore The Underground Cu Chi Tunnels Hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
Day 3 Get an insight into local life at Mekong Delta Hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
Day 4 - 7 Enjoy beach relaxation on Mui Ne Beach Resort in Mui Ne


Day 1 - 2: Explore The Underground Cu Chi Tunnels

One of the most famous and bustling cities in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, also known by the local name Saigon. Discover the stories hidden deep in Vietnamese history by traveling around the city with its highlight attractions such as the War Remnants Museum, the Reunification Palace, the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Old Post Office.

One famous spot near Ho Chi Minh City that you must not miss is the 250-kilometer-long underground tunnel system - Cu Chi Tunnel. When you enter the tunnel's confidential environment, you'll find the life of the Vietnamese soldiers inside the tunnel during the Vietnam War.

Day 3: Get an insight into local life at Mekong Delta

Your journey will begin on the Mekong River when you start boarding at the Ham Luong River. On the boat, you will visit a variety of local businesses to get a sense of how the local economy operates.

You will join a coconut processing workshop, where you can try coconut candy - a famous specialty of South Vietnam. Then a 'xe loi' (a type of motorized rickshaw) will take you into the forest, where you can see fruit orchards and taste the sweet tropical fruits of the Mekong Delta.

Day 4 - 7: Enjoy beach relaxation on Mui Ne Beach

Known for its natural beauty of amazing sand dunes, crystal clear seawater, and mouthwatering seafood, Mui Ne is a wonderful place for a beach vacation, where you not only can relax and recharge after working, but also join in many thrilling water-based activities such as windsurfing, sailing, and snorkeling.

Let's follow our Saigon and Mui Ne Relaxation 7-day tour and enjoy it to the fullest!

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All in all, you will have a variety of choices to cross Vietnam in only one week. For more detailed plans, let's contact us for the best Vietnam tour packages!

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Questions & Answers (9)

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Hello, can you suggest some best things to do for travelers during Tet holiday in Hanoi? will restaurants, supermarkets and shops open this time of year?


Hi! It is recommended that you shouldn't travel Vietnam during Tet Holiday as most of services close in a few days, you don't have many choices for services and everything is super expensive.

There're not many things to do in Hanoi during Tet holiday. Fortunately, these years, many street vendors and convenient stores in the Old Quarter are opened during Tet Holiday. Also, there are many interesting things to do right before Tet Holiday here as the city is much crowded than normal, just wandering around the Old Quarter is so excited. You also can spend time visiting a Tet flower market to see how locals prepare for Tet. Besides, the countdown events at Sword Lake or in front of Hanoi Opera House are fantastic! 

1 Reply

Hello, I will travel to Vietnam next year for 2 weeks and 4 last days of our trip are in Lunar New Year. Will the price for transfers go up this time?


Hi! As services are limited during Lunar New Year time in Vietnam, the price for everything is much higher (and more difficult to find service suppliers). We suggest you should avoid this time when plan for your trip to Vietnam.

1 Reply

we are planning our family holiday this year but don't know when to travel is the best. can you suggest a suitable time to visit North and Central Vietnam? we would like to travel when the weather is dry and cool we will have about 10 days, including 6 days in the North (1 day in Hanoi, 2 days in Ninh Binh and 3 days on Halong Bay Cruise), and 3 days in the Central (2 days in Hoi An and 1 day in Hue) Thanks in advance

@Sarah Blanche:

Hi! For the best experience in both North and Central Vietnam, you should book the tour in the early of the year, Jan and Feb are all good. 

1 Reply

Hello, we are 4 food lovers who want to travel to Vietnam just for 5 nights. Which places should first-timers explore, especially areas with good local cuisine?


Hi! For the best cuisine experience, you should visit Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. With 5 nights, if you are hurry enough and don't spend too much time on sightseeing and visiting, just focus mostly on the food, you still can visit all the suggested destinations.

1 Reply

Can kids go kayaking alone? My son is 7 years old


Hi! We recommend you to accompany with your son while kayaking for your child safety and also the paddle is quite heavy with a 7-year-old kid.

1 Reply