1 Week Itinerary For Vietnam 

Experience Vietnam in just one week! Immerse yourself in a blend of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes shaped by Chinese, American, and French influences. Use this 7 day Vietnam itinerary as it is or mix and match the different places to visit to make the best trip for you! I have included some tour suggestions to make the most of your time in the different located.

This is what you will see and do during your 7-day itinerary:

  • Day 1: Begin your journey in Hanoi, exploring the busy streets and iconic sites like Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Day 2: Travel to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Hanoi.
  • Day 3: Travel to the charming town of Hoi An, where ancient temples and French colonial architecture await.
  • Day 4: Dive deeper into Hoi An’s cultural treasures and markets.
  • Day 5: Head to Hue, a city steeped in history and architecture.
  • Day 6: Explore the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, and discover its rich history.
  • Day 7: End your 7 day itinerary in Ho Chi Minh City, with time in the markets, enjoying its delicious street food.

I’d recommend that you plan your visit between March-April or September-November as the weather is much nicer. Pick accommodations in central neighborhoods for easy access to transportation and major attractions as you’ll be in these areas for a short time.

This brief itinerary barely scratches the surface of all the places to see in Vietnam but it is a good “taster”, if you’re short on time.

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Overview of 7 Days in Vietnam Itinerary

Without further ado, here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do during your self planned 1-week stay in Vietnam. Another option is that you can join a tour to show you the sights without having to worry about anything, from transport to accommodation:

  • Breakfast at Pho Bat Dan 
  • Explore Hoan Kiem Lake 
  • Visit the Ngoc Son Temple 
  • Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter 
  • Lunch at Bahn Mi 25
  • See St. Joseph’s Cathedral 
  • Check out the Hanoi Train Street
  • Wander through Dong Xuan Market
  • Watch a traditional Water Puppet Show
  • Dinner at Hanoi Social Club
  • Breakfast at Pho Cuon Hung Ben
  • Learn at Ho Chi Minh Museum
  • Visit the One Pillar Pagoda 
  • Lunch at Bep Prime
  • Check out the Temple of Literature 
  • Stroll around Hanoi’s French Quarter
  • Set off for Halong Bay 
  • Cruise Ship Dinner in Halong Bay
  • Explore Halong Bay by Boat 
  • See the famous Fighting Cock Rocks 
  • Pass by Dinh Huong Islet
  • Explore Thien Cung Cove 
  • Lunch on the Boat
  • Catch a flight to Da Nang 
  • Travel to Hoi An 
  • Get take-out food for dinner 
  • Catch the sunrise at Cua Dai Beach 
  • Get something custom Tailored at Hoi An
  • Have lunch at Miss Ly
  • Try pottery making at Thanh Ha Pottery Village
  • Stroll around Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Hop aboard a Lantern Boat Ride 
  • Street Food at Hoi An Night Market for Dinner
  • Head to Hue 
  • Explore the Imperial City 
  • Check out the To Mieu Temple Complex 
  • Lunch at Hanh Pancake
  • Visit the Hue Royal Museum of Antiquities 
  • See the Thien Mu Pagoda 
  • Pass by the Royal Tombs
  • Dinner at Phu Bai International Airport
  • Have breakfast at The Vintage Emporium 
  • Visit the War Remnants Museum
  • Pass by the Reunification Palace
  • Lunch at Dim Tu Tac
  • Send a postcard from Saigon Central Post Office 
  • Snap pics at Saigon’s Notre Dame Cathedral 
  • Check out Ho Chi Minh’s Pagodas 
  • Shop at Ben Thanh Market
  • Dinner at Cuc Gach Quan
  • Go on a Cu Chi Tunnel Tour 
  • Head to the Mekong Delta River 
  • Climb the Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck
  • Dinner at Anan Saigon 
  • Enjoy the nightlife at Nguyen Hue Walking Street 

Aerial view panorama of floating fishing village and rock island, Halong Bay, Vietnam, Southeast Asia. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Junk boat cruise to Ha Long Bay. Popular landmark of Vietnam

Day 1 in Vietnam

Breakfast at Pho Bat Dan 

To kickstart your 1 week in Vietnam, have breakfast at one of the most famous spots in Hanoi to have the the yummiest pho, Pho Bat Dan! Most local knows of Pho Bat Dan because of the long lines, but don’t let this stop you from visiting, it’s definitely worth that wait!  They are open as early as 6am, so it’s a perfect spot to have your first breakfast in Vietnam. 

Explore Hoan Kiem Lake 

After breakfast, head to Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake. This freshwater lake is a gem in the heart of Hanoi, surrounded by greenery and historical landmarks in Vietnam. It is also home to tortoises that you can spot swimming in the lake or sunbathing beside it.

Visit the Ngoc Son Temple 

Ngoc Son Temple, meaning Temple of the Jade Mountain, is located at the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake. It symbolises Buddhist architecture built in the 18th century, dedicated to Tran Hung Dao. 

It is accessible via a red-painted bridge called the Huc Bridge. This bridge was built to connect the Ngoc Son Temple to the lake bank, using fine wood and red paint.

Hanoi Red Bridge at night. The wooden red-painted bridge over the Hoan Kiem Lake connects the shore and the Jade Island on which Ngoc Son Temple stands

Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is Hanoi’s most famous neighbourhood, amongst tourists. It’s an area that is home to a mix of Vietnamese architecture, green spaces, street food stalls, and shops, making the vibe quintessential Vietnam. 

The Old Quarter, also known as 36 Street Hanoi, which can be explored on foot. You can find it at the west and north of Hoan Kiem Lake, consisting of 36 streets, thus the name. 

One of the most common sights of the Old Quarter are streets packed with scooters, bicycles and cars that swarm around pedestrians. You’ll find a lot of sidewalk vendors selling all kinds of stuff and restaurants of all kinds of cuisines.

Top Pick
Vietnamese small rice pancake - Traditional Vietnamese food Cooking class

Walking Street Food Tour

  • 3 hours 
  • Small Group
  • Hotel Pick up
HANOI, VIETNAM -  Street scene on a chilly night in the old quarter on February 11, 2015 in Hanoi. The 36 old streets and guilds of the old quarter are a major tourist attraction.

Lunch at Banh Mi 25

Banh Mi 25 is a restaurant at Hang Ca Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Since you’ve already had the famous pho for breakfast, we highly suggest you try Vietnam’s famous Bahn Mi for lunch! 

This restaurant is known as a great Banh Mi restaurant, so it’s a safe pick to try your first-ever Bahn Mi. As the restaurant is well-known, you should expect long lines if you’ll dine here.

If you would prefer to have your banh mi as a takeaway, they have a small takeaway stall, so you don’t have to wait in line for a seat. 

St. Joseph’s Cathedral 

As you wander through the Old Quarter, visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral. This stunning neo-Gothic Catholic church is a prominent architectural landmark in Hanoi, and only 10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake. 

St. Joseph Cathedral was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina. Despite the long wars that destroyed most of Vietnam’s colonial buildings, this remains intact and is still in good condition.

St Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi, Vietnam. Notre dame de Hanoi.

Check out the Hanoi Train Street

When you think of Vietnam, one thing that will probably pop into your mind is the famous Hanoi Train Street. This unusual attraction has been iconic to Vietnam because the train passes by a narrow street between buildings, it’s just a meter away from the houses.

You have to stand within the “yellow mark”, which is 20 centimetres from the building if you don’t want to get hit by the train. 

Plus, it’s kind of an exciting experience because, just before the train comes, locals rush into their houses, and street-side vendors rush to move their goodies. 

Top Pick
Hanoi, Vietnam - Tourists take photographs of the 15.30 train from Hanoi to Sapa as it goes along a residential street in central Hanoi which has grown up around the north-bound train track. The street is often referred to as train str

Hidden Corners Tour

  • 4-5 hours 
  • Private Tour
  • Very Affordable
Hanoi, Vietnam - the passage of a train along the tracks between the houses of the old district of the city centre

Wander through Dong Xuan Market

Don Xuan Market is Hanoi’s largest indoor market. Here you can find an incredible array of goodies, from fresh produce and traditional handicrafts to clothing and electronics. 

As you’ll be moving to other cities throughout this 1 week Vietnam itinerary, this would be the best time to visit the market if you want to shop for a few souvenir items to bring home.

There are also a lot of food stalls inside that are open till midnight, where you can get a few street foods to snack on, if you get peckish.

HANOI/VIETNAM - Dong Xuan Market dining area local market city center sell by Local products, gift, lagniappe, Hill tribe

Watch a traditional Water Puppet Show

After exploring Hanoi’s busy districts and major tourist spots, head back to Hoan Kiem Lake and get ready watch a water puppet show! These traditional water puppet shows, give you some insight to Vietnam’s cultural heritage. 

The show usually starts when the sun sets, so you can enjoy a Vietnamese coffee or dessert nearby while waiting for it.

Water puppetry is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam

Dinner at Hanoi Social Club

Hanoi’s Social Club is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, known for its welcoming ambience and delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Their menu comprises a selection of fresh organic salads to light Vietnamese/western-inspired dishes.

It can be tricky to find, so make sure to put the address into google maps, so you don’t get lost: 6 Hoi Vu Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 84 Vietnam.

Day 2 in Vietnam

Breakfast at Pho Cuon Hung Ben

Continue your journey in Vietnam by spending a little more time in Hanoi for your second day. For breakfast, head to Pho Cuon Hung Ben, a local eatery known for serving one of the best-rolled noodles. Rolled noodles are a classic and staple dish in Vietnam, and this restaurant makes it the best.

Learn at Ho Chi Minh Museum

After filling up with a hearty meal, head to your day’s first stop – the Ho Chi Minh Museum. This museum displays artifacts and information about former President  Ho Chi Minh. It’s divided into 3 floors, each with various displays and exhibits. 

You can immerse yourself in Vietnam’s history while gaining insight into the life of the country’s iconic leader. The museum is only open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday:  Morning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Friday: Closed.

Visit the One Pillar Pagoda 

Just a few minutes walk from the museum; you’ll find the iconic One Pillar Pagoda. Also known as Dien Huu Pagoda, this pagoda stands on a single stone pillar amid a lotus pond. 

Aside from being an iconic tourist destination, it still serves as a religious stop for local pilgrims, so expect the place to be peaceful and calm area.

One Pillar Pagoda is one of the most famous places in Hanoi Vietnam

Lunch at Bep Prime

Enjoy lunch at Bep Prime, a restaurant hidden within the city. Bep Prime’s menu offers various Vietnamese dishes, including their best-selling roasted duck, noodle dishes and seafood. You can also accompany these with a glass of wine from their extensive collection of wine. 

Check out the Temple of Literature 

The Temple of Literature, is a historical complex in Hanoi is dedicated to Confucius and education. Although it goes way back to 1070, the site is still very well-preserved. Some areas to check out are the courtyards of Dai Trung Mong, Khue Van Cac, Thien Quang Well, Dai Thanh Mon and the Grounds of Imperial Academy. 

The Temple of Literature is easy to get to. From Hoan Kiem Lake, its will only a 15 minutes to walk or you can also hop into a cyclo if you think it’s too far or if it’s too hot. 

HA NOI, VIET NAM,  Visiting historic Confucius Temple,The Temple of literature, the center of Hanoi, Vietnam

Stroll around Hanoi’s French Quarter

Before leaving Hanoi, I’d recommend visiting the city’s French Quarter. In this neighbourhood, traces of the city’s colonial past are still pretty evident, from it’s architecture characterised by French-style buildings, tree-lined boulevards, and cute cafes.

French Quarter is just southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake, so getting to it is easy. Unlike Old Quarter, this part of the city is less crowded, especially as it’s considered the most luxurious area in the city, where most of the 5-star luxury hotels are located.  

Hanoi Opera House. Sumptuous 1911 theater that hosts classical music concerts, dance performances and opera.

Set off for Halong Bay 

Get already head out to Halong Bay. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of Vietnam’s most breathtaking natural wonders, featuring thousands of limestone karsts and islets rising dramatically from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. 

There are several ways to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi, depending on your preference, you can rent a private car or ride a bus. These two options are the most convenient way to get to Halong Bay. It takes approx 3 hours, if you’re travelling by car. 

Sunrise at the Halong Bay on the west coast of northern Vietnam

Dinner in Halong Bay

Once you check in at your hotel and settle down in Halong Bay, head out for a few hours to get dinner. One of the most popular restaurants in Halong Bay is Papa’s BBQ. They offer an extensive international menu prepared using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. 

Their food is pretty affordable compared to other restaurants in the area, plus it’s close to the beach! I’d recommend getting their schnitzel and pair it with a pint of German beer. A great way to end the day! 

Top Pick
Beautiful landscape with islands in Halong bay from high view. Halong bay is World Natural Heritage of Quang Ninh Vietnam.

2 Day/1 Night Cruise

  • Boat Accomodation
  • Meals & Activities
  • Transfer from Hanoi

Day 3 in Vietnam 

Explore Halong Bay by Boat 

Halong Bay is all about exploring caves, islands and limestone karsts. This is why, to start your unforgettable day, I’d recommend booking a boat tour that will take you around iconic spots in the bay. 

You have several choices: hop aboard a luxury cruise ship, take a half-day boat tour, or rent a private boat for a custom trip around these iconic landmarks. For this Vietnam one week itinerary, I’d highly suggest you book a customisable/private tour as you’ll only be in Halong Bay for half the day, before your flight.

Top Pick
Aerial view panorama of floating fishing village and rock island, Halong Bay, Vietnam, Southeast Asia. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Junk boat cruise to Ha Long Bay. Popular landmark of Vietnam

Halong Bay Boat Tour

  • 4 hours 
  • Private or Group Tour
  • Pick up from Hanoi
Floating village and rock islands in Halong Bay Vietnam Southeast Asia

See the famous Fighting Cock Rocks 

For your first stop at Halong Bay, keep an eye out for the famous Fighting Cock Rocks. These iconic limestone formations resemble two fighting roosters (not cocks…..head out of the gutter please).

Although they are not as large as the other islands in Halong Bay, it’s something to look forward to in Halong Bay. Your boat’s guide will point them out so you don’t miss them.

Famous "Two Cocks Fighting" rock formation landmark in Ha long Bay Vietnam

Pass by Dinh Huong Islet

As you continue your boat journey through the bay, don’t miss out on the Dinh Huong Islet. This is one of the most distinctive islets in Halong Bay. You cannot step foot on it, but you’ll be able to view it from the boat and learn about the local legends of this islet.

Explore Thien Cung Cave 

Thien Cung Cave is one of the largest cave of Halong Bay. It’s known as Heaven Cave because of its appearance. To enter the cave, you’ll need to arrive by boat. You’ll be able to see stalactites and stalagmites, which have formed into interesting shapes over time.

The miracle of the formation of stalagmites in the dark hall, Khao Chang Hai Cave, Trang Province Thailand

Lunch on the Boat

Your Halong Bay tour will be complete with a delicious lunch aboard your boat or cruise! While you enjoy your meal, don’t forget to take in the bay’s scenery. If you have time to after lunch, ask your guide to take you somewhere in the bay where you can go for a quick swim. 

Catch a flight to Da Nang 

While it may seem your stay at Halong Bay was way too short, there’s so much more to explore in Vietnam, so it’s time to catch a flight to Da Nang. After having lunch on the bay and touring around, catch an afternoon flight. Da Nang will not be your end destination, but Hoi An is.

Travel to Hoi An 

Depending on your budget, there are a few options to get to Hoi An from Da Nang. Hoi An is 29 kilometres from Da Nang, which will take at least an hour. You can either travel via the coastal route or go the inland route.

 View of river in Hoi An, city on the central Vietnamese coast, a well-preserved example of the important Southeast Asian trading port

Get take-out for dinner 

You’ll probably arrive late at Hoi An and while you can explore plenty of cafes and restaurants in the are, I’d highly suggest you get take-out for dinner, so you can relax, it’s been a long day!

Day 4 in Vietnam

Catch the sunrise at Cua Dai Beach 

Hoi An is a coastal town influenced by traditional Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and European heritage. So, spend the start of day 4 in Vietnam differently by walking on Hoi An’s famous beach, Cua Dai at sunset.

This beach is consistently listed as one of the top beaches in Vietnam because of its soft white sands and crystal clear blue water.  Despite it being popular with tourists and locals, it still remains unspoiled, making it a great place to start your day. 

Cua Dai, sandy sea beach near Hoi An in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

Get something custom Tailored at Hoi An

Hoi An is famous for its skilled tailors and affordable custom tailoring services. Take advantage of this during your one week in Vietnam and get a tailored outfit made just for you. 

Head over to the Old Town, where you’ll find most of the tailoring shops. I’d suggest you get in early because they’ll need at least 4 to 8 hours to create your custom items, depending on what you’ll ask them to make of course. 

Have lunch at Miss Ly

Miss Ly Cafeteria is a legendary dining spot you should include in your itinerary. They have over 20 years of experience serving authentic Vietnamese food like cao lau, a Hoi An speciality featuring noodles, pork, and greens.

Aside from great food, it attracts hundreds of diners because of its location, I’d highly recommend grabbing a table outside so you can watch the world go past while you enjoy the yummy food!

Try pottery making at Thanh Ha Pottery Village

After enjoying lunch, head to the Thanh Ha Pottery Village. Located just a few minutes from Hoi An town, Thanh Ha offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s pottery-making industry.

During your visit, you can learn more about the history and process of pottery-making and unleash your creativity and get hands-on with pottery making when you book a workshop

Skilled pottery makers will teach you traditional techniques and help you to mould clay into various shapes and create your unique pottery masterpiece.

traditional village of Thanh Ha in Hoi An, Quang Nam. VN, pottery

Stroll around Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been well-preserved since it was built in the 15th century and used as a Southeast Asian trading port. 

With its old-world architecture, cobbled streets and distinct yellow shops, this neighbourhood showcases different cultural influences. You can now explore the shops, art galleries, cafes and find shophouses to purchase silk and other items. 

Top Pick
Three boats adorned with lanterns on the Thu Bon River in Hoi An

Hoi An Ancient Town Tour

  • Private Driver
  • Meals included
  • Tickets included
HOI AN VIETNAM : An unidentified biker rider passing an ancient house in Hoi An town the World's cultural heritage and famous attraction in Quang Nam Vietnam

Hop aboard a Lantern Boat Ride 

One of Hoi An’s most iconic symbol is the lantern. It was introduced by Chinese and Japanese traders years ago, and since then, lanterns have always been hung in the town.

If you visit Vietnam during the Lantern Festival, the 14th day of every lunar month, the town uses candle-lit lanterns to light up the night. 

An excellent experience is to board a boat along the riverbank with a lantern and let it afloat away, by letting your lantern drift in the water, it’s said to make your wish come true! (make sure to wish for another trip to Vietnam).

Three boats adorned with lanterns on the Thu Bon River in Hoi An

Street Food at Hoi An Night Market for Dinner

Head to Nguyen Hoang Night Market for dinner and pig out on all somer seriously delicious street food. Located in front of the Japanese Bridge in the Ancient town.

You can sample different street food dishes, such as banh xeo (savoury Vietnamese pancakes), grilled seafood skewers, and desserts. If you feel more adventurous, you can even try some exotic foods, such as Chan Ga (chicken feet) or Trung vit lon (fertilised duck egg)! 

Fruits and vegetables on a market in Da Lat Night Market.

Day 5 in Vietnam

Head to Hue 

Be prepare to get up early, you’ll be heading off to your next destination at 4am, as you drive to Hue, a historic city in central Vietnam. You’ll need to take a bus or rent a private car.

If you decide to take the bus, which is a cheaper option , you’ll head back to Da Nang. At Da Nang, hop aboard a train going to Hue. During this scenic train ride, you get to see the famous Hai Van Pass. The travel time is 6 hours, and you can use the time to rest or enjoy the view. 

Explore the Imperial City 

Imperial City is a must-visit for your day trip. This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the political and cultural centre of the Nguyen Dynasty, now a famous tourist destination. 

The Imperial City occupies quite a large area of central Hue. You’ll see historic citadel gates, courtyards, and palaces within the city’s walls. While most of the structures inside the Imperial City were damaged during wars of the past, they have since been restored.

Some things to see inside are the Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Can Thanh Palace, Dien Tho, Royal Treasury, Hien Lam Pavillon and much more!

Top Pick
Thien Mu pagoda, historic temple in the city of Hue in Vietnam

Hue City Full-Day Tour

  • 8 hours 
  • Lunch Included
  • Entrance Fees Included
Imperial Royal Palace of Nguyen dynasty in Hue, Vietnam. Unesco World Heritage Site.

Check out the To Mieu Temple Complex 

One particular complex inside the Imperial City to visit is the To Mieu Temple. This complex is a site for worshipping kings and queens of previous generations from the Nguyen Dynasty. It’s comprised four temples: the Trieu To Mieu, Thai To Mieu, Hung to Mieu and The To Mieu. 

While you can also check out other sites inside the city, this area, in particular, lets you discover the typical architecture of Vietnam while learning more about the Nguyen Dynasty.

The To Mieu Temple in the Imperial City, Hue, Vietnam

Late Lunch at Hanh Pancake

After a long morning, head to one of the most famous restaurants in Hue, Hanh Pancake. This restaurant specialises in serving traditional dishes, especially local pancakes. Pancakes in Vietnam are not a typical breakfast pancake; they are savoury fired treats filled with pork, shrimp or chicken. They also have other dishes on the menu that are vegan-friendly, such as noodles soup and spring rolls. 

My recommendation is to try their set menu that includes five items to try. It’s a very popular place and chances are, you will have to share a table with locals or other travellers, its a great way to meet new people.

Visit the Hue Royal Museum of Antiquities 

Continue exploring Hue’s history by visiting the Hue Royal Museum of Antiquities. This museum, initially named Khai Dinh Museum, was established in 1923. The main display hall of the museum, Long An Palace, is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. 

Most displays here are royal antiquities of porcelain, enamelled bronze, royal seals and musical instruments used in offering ceremonies. It also houses glass paintings, red lacquered and mother-of-pearl inlaid woodwork, each sharing stories about ancient Hue. 

Statues at the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, Hue, Vietnam

See the Thien Mu Pagoda 

Hue houses a number of temples and pagodas, but since you’re only in town for less than a day, you should definitely see Thien Mu Pagoda. This religious site is famous for its beautiful and ancient architectural structure that attracts hundreds of tourists. 

Located at Ha Khe Hill, Thien Mu Pagoda’s tower has become the unofficial symbol of Hue. Phuoc Duyen is an octagonal tower seven storeys high.

Thien Mu pagoda, historic temple in the city of  Hue in Vietnam

Pass by the Royal Tombs

Another must-see in Hue is the Royal Tombs, located southeast of the citadel. There are seven known royal tombs in the city, but three of them are significantly more popular than the other four. Minh Mang, Tu Duc and Khai Dinh are well-preserved and easily accessible. 

Meanwhile, the other four tombs, Gia Long, Thieu Tri, Duc Duc and Dong Khanh, are worth checking out if you stay longer at Hue. 

Tomb of Khai Dinh emperor in Hue Vietnam. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hue Vietnam

Dinner at Phu Bai International Airport

Head to the Phu Bai International Airport, here you will be catching a night flight to your next destination in South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, known as Saigon. Before flying to Ho Chi Minh, grab something to eat at one of the airport restaurants.

Day 6 in Vietnam

Have breakfast at The Vintage Emporium

Start your day with breakfast at The Vintage Emporium. They have two locations in the city, one centrally located in District 1 and the other in District 2. The Vintage Emporium is famous for its interior, which is similar to Paris cafes. Grab a coffee or tea, and bite into the best pastries before heading out to tour Ho Chi Minh City. 

Visit the War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is one of Vietnam oldest museums. It showcases a lot of information about Vietnam’s history, especially the Vietnam War. 

The exhibits inside the museum showcase war-related artifacts and photographs, providing a sombre but an intertesing perspective on the country’s past. As you go through each display, you’ll be able to learn more about the brutal realities that took place during the Second Indochina War and how the people of Vietnam were affected. The museum is open 7 days a week from 7:30am. 

Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.: American helicopter Chinook at the War Remnants Museum, a war museum in District 3 in Ho Chi Minh City

Pass by the Reunification Palace

After learning more about Vietnam’s history, you should visit the Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace. It is just a few minutes from the War Remnants Museum. It holds significant historical value as it was the site of the end of the Vietnam War.

While you may have little time for a full tour, passing by this iconic landmark allows you to view it from the outside.

Independence Palace or Reunification Palace is a main public landmark in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam

Lunch at Dim Tu Tac

Dim Tu Tac is another great restaurant, that offers Cantonese cuisine. There are four locations around the city you can visit. Pick the one nearest to you to avoid the hassle of travelling around. 

This restaurant is usually busy, particularly at lunchtime, but it’s worth queuing for. They serve traditional dim sum.

Send a postcard from Saigon Central Post Office 

A visit to Ho Chi Minh City will only be complete with visiting the famous Saigon Central Post Office, an architectural gem designed by Gustave Eiffel. The post office was built around 1886, becoming one of the city’s oldest and most iconic buildings. 

During your visit, you can head inside and see the grand interior, with its high-arched ceilings and intricate detailing. This is also an excellent opportunity to send postcards to your family back home (or yourself) from one of the oldest post offices in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Architecture outside Saigon Central Post Office. It was built by the French in 1886 and is now a tourist attraction Popular in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

Snap pics at Saigon’s Notre Dame Cathedral 

Right beside Saigon’s Central Post Office is the Notre Dame Cathedral. The basilica was constructed in the 1800s by the French. Since then, the cathedral has become an iconic city symbol (aside from Ben Thanh Market). 

Its intricate design attracts a lot of tourists, including the stained glass windows depicting Saints and Bible stories. It is also the only church in Vietnam with a real pipe organ, although it has been severely damaged and can no longer be used and has since been electronic pipe organ. 

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -  Notre Dame cathedral  Beauty buildings over a hundred years old, so far is high buildings for  Economic Development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Check out Ho Chi Minh’s Pagodas

Ho Chi Minh has a lot religions within the city, such as Caodaism, Buddhism, Christianism, Islam, Fascism and Confucianism. Due to this, there are hundreds of churches, pagodas and temples surround the city; some are even popular tourist attractions. 

Some of the most famous pagodas in the city are Ngoc Hoan Pagoda, Xa Loi Pagoda, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Giac Lam and Mariamman Hindu Temple. These temples have their own architectural style and serve different purposes for each religion they stand for. 

I’d recommend heading to Ngoc Hoang Pagoda to see one built in the Chinese pagoda style. Meanwhile, Xa Loi is the pagoda with the second-highest bell tower in Vietnam. You can also check out Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, which is one that has the highest stone tower in the country. 

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - The man peace pray before relics tower in a sunny afternoon, where it stored the remains of Buddhist peace to their souls in the realm of Buddha

Shop at Ben Thanh Market

As mentioned earlier, Ben Thanh Market serves an icon of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the central market of the city, home to an array of stalls that sells a wide range of clothes, souvenirs, local delicacies and fresh produce. 

This is your time to look for unique gifts to bring home to your friends and family. It’s also an excellent opportunity to people watch while exploring the market. Keep in mind that most stalls close at 6pm, so make sure to arrive earlier to enjoy your time here!

Ben Thanh Market - Quach Thi Trang park on the high, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh city is the biggest city in Vietnam.

Dinner at Cuc Gach Quan

Cuch Gach Quan is surrounded by a leafy garden and koi pond. The restaurant is famous for its traditional Vietnamese menu, and one of its signature dishes is the canh chua cá hú fish soup. You’ll need to book a reservation beforehand to ensure you get a seat as it is a very popular spot. 

Day 7 in Vietnam 

Go on a Cu Chi Tunnel Tour 

Welcome to your last day in Vietnam. Today you’l be travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. If you’re going on a self-guided tour, you can hop on a bus at the western end of Ho Chi Minh in District 1 and ride Bus Nº13, which will take you to the area where Cu Chi Tunnels is. 

But if you’ve decided to book a day tour to take you to Cu Chi tunnels, you can either have them pick you up at the hotel or meet them at their dedicated pick up spot in the city. 

In the area, you’ll find an extensive labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretches to the Cambodian border. These networks of tunnels were built during the war, serving as a means of communication between the villages and helping the locals evade soldiers.  

The tunnel network stretches over 520 kilometres, but only 120 kilometres of tunnels have been preserved. You can try to enter the tiny passageways of tunnels to experience how they were used back in the day. 

Top Pick
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM- Underground room at Cu Chi tunnel historic famous place in Vietnam war army dig underground dug out to living now it's heritage destination for Viet Nam travel in Ho Chi Minh city

Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

  • 6 hours 
  • Pick up & Drop off
  • Entrance Ticket
HO CHI MINH  CITY, VIETNAM- Underground room at Cu Chi tunnel historic famous place in Vietnam war army dig underground dug out to living now it's heritage destination for Viet Nam travel in Ho Chi Minh city

Head to the Mekong Delta River 

Another great landmark near Ho Chi Minh City is the Mekong Delta River. This area has a unique ecosystems and attractions; you could easily spend a whole day here, however, for this itinerary, we’ll only share what you can do for 3 to 4 hours.

The river serves a great deal in Vietnam’s rice and fish industry, but it is also a factor in why Mekong Delta is a famous destination. Going on a Mekong Delta cruise is the best way to enjoy your time here. This will provide you with an experience to sightsee and learn more about the region’s history and importance to Vietnam.

There are also plenty of floating markets that you can visit along the Mekong Delta, you’ll be riding aboard a motorised boat and experiencing how people exchange goods on the water. You can check out Cai Rang floating market or Cai Be floating market if you want to visit one.

Lastly, this is also where you’ll find a more traditional Vietnamese boat. You can opt not to ride one, but I’d highly recommend doing it, it’s a great experience.  

Top Pick
My Tho, Vietnam - Vietnamese people on traditional boat ride by yellow brown water in canal. Mekong river delta - popular travel destination for day tour on Saigon city vacation

Adventure Tour & Cruise

  • 8 hours 
  • Max of 12 people 
  • Lunch included
My Tho, Vietnam - Vietnamese people on traditional boat ride by yellow brown water in canal. Mekong river delta - popular travel destination for day tour on Saigon city vacation

Climb the Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck

Head back to the city centre of Saigon and climb to the top of the Bitexco Financial Tower. This is the highest building in Ho Chi Minh City, where the 49th-floor observation deck is located. 

The building is open till 9:30pm, so you can spend the rest of your afternoon taking photos around the city before heading to the tower to enjoy the skyline views turned into city lights. 

HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM - The interior viewing platform Bitexco skyscraper. View of The Bitexco building. Bitexco Tower is the highest building in HCMC. Saigon

Dinner at Anan Saigon 

Considered one of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, you must dine in at Anan Saigon. This restaurant is headed by a Vietnamese-American chef that trained at world-famous restaurants. It’s made a name in the city since it pioneered the creation of Vietnamese and Asian cuisine. 

The Anan Saigon is also a Michelin star restaurant so bookings are a must, at least 2-4 weeks in advance! I’d recommend trying to Chef Peter’s tasting menu to get a good tasting of the menu!

Enjoy the nightlife at Nguyen Hue Walking Street 

Spending the rest of your 7th night at Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a great way to end your one-week Vietnam trip.

Located in Central District 1, this lively street, this is the hub is home to unique food scene, bars and entertainment venues. 

Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or just spend your last night learning more about the local food and bar scene, Nguyen Hue Walking Street is the best place to visit. 

Nguyen Hue pedestrian street with Rex Hotel and center hall metro..

1 week Itinerary for Vietnam Wrap-up

Enjoying a week in Vietnam is something you can look forward to. You’ll want to return with everything Vietnam offers – natural landscapes, historical heritage and modern attractions. But for now, you can use this one week Vietnam itinerary and surely enjoy your trip to this magical country!  I truly hope this itinerary has been helpful, whether you want to use ti as it is or mix and match some of the ideas here.

Read more about Vietnam:


  • Angelica Peralta

    Meet Angelica, who at 22, boldly pivoted from a legal career to pursue her passions in travel and writing. With a focus on sustainable travel, she has explored Asia and Europe, emphasizing local cultural engagement along the way | Specializing in digital nomad travel, crafting comprehensive itineraries, identifying top tour guides, sharing regional insights on Asia, The Americas, and Europe, and advising on eco-friendly travel practices.

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