What to do Hoi An, Vietnam?
Do you like small alleys and dreamy yellow buildings? How about twinkling lanterns, green rice paddies and deep blue oceans? I suspect your answer is yes, and if so Hoi An is the PERFECT place for you! This little UNESCO World Heritage town is just the time traveling fairy-tale land you’ve been dreaming about. For many people Hoi An is only a stop over city, where you spend just a day or two but I think that is far too little time to really get a feel for this ancient city!
Hoi An is a blend of cultures, due to its past as a trading port the architecture is a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese styles. It’s food is absolutely the BEST I have tasted in Vietnam, and its views are incredible. Ready to book a ticket yet? Hehe let’s dive into all the awesome things to do in Hoi An!
Rent a bicycle and explore:
All around the city you will be able to rent a bicycle, your accommodation may even provide one included in the cost of your room! Riding a bicycle is the perfect way to explore Hoi An’s old town and surrounding areas. There are so many beautiful little things to stop and see, slowing down and biking around is definitely the thing to do.
Eat your heart out at all of the delicious restaurants:
Hoi An is such a foodie town! I cannot claim to know all of the best spots but here are a few that are awesome!
This was one of our first meals in Hoi An and it was AMAZING everything we ordered was delicious. They have some of central Vietnam’s local dishes and they all are prepared exquisitely. This is a very popular restaurant, book a table ahead of time or expect a short wait.
This restaurant was absolutely fabulous! It is a little on the pricey-er side but the food did not disappoint. It was more of a Vietnamese fusion restaurant and definitely the go to spot on a Friday night! Reservations are needed!
This quirky little restaurant showcases a small menu of absolutely stellar items. It was reasonably priced and the food was unreal! Highly recommend 🙂
This adorable cafe was located down a quiet little alley away from the crowds, they offer breakfast specialties along with smoothies and smoothie bowls (!!)
Banh Mi Phuong:
Arguably the best Banh Mi I have ever come across, came from here! It’s just a hole in the wall Vietnamese sandwich shop which got popular, and for good reason!!
Banh Mi Queen:
Again – amazing Banh Mi’s less well-known as the previous one but equally as good!
Spend a day at the beach:
Hoi An, although not typically known for its beaches, actually has some really nice ones! They are not comparable to the beaches of Vietnam’s neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Thailand but they really are quite nice! We went to Ang Bang beach, which was a little touristy but the water was nice and beaches were clean!
You could even take that bicycle of yours and ride out to the beach, you’ll pass by rice paddies and lots of local life. The ride is a little far but could be worth it if it’s not too hot!
Take a coffee break:
Hoi An ancient city is FULL of cafes, there are little tea houses which reflect the Chinese influence, then others that are French inspired with balconies and cute shutters. Regardless of where you stop for a drink you’ll not be disappointed!
Get fitted for tailor-made garments:
I know, I know this is the one thing everyoneeeee says about going to Hoi An but it’s for good reason! The whole city is devoted to making clothes and shoes!!
While I was in Hoi An I got a couple of pairs of shoes custom-made! Each pair was around 10 USD and they were so cute! Definitely you can haggle with the shopkeeper if you feel the price is not what you would like to pay.
They will quote a much higher price then what the item is worth just become most people won’t counter offer. Don’t worry though – it is very normal in Vietnam to haggle, you won’t be insulting them. If they cannot meet your price they will just tell you so.
My biggest tip for traveling to Hoi An would be to book more than two days there! When I went I spent five and it still didn’t feel like it was enough time to explore and take in all vibes!
Heading down to Phu Quoc after Hoi An? Check out my guide to the island here!