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Itinerary for 3 days in Vietnam

3 days in Vietnam are in fact a really short amount of time to visit such a culturally-diverse  and natural-splendor country, but it’s okay, you must have your reason (stop-over destination or on business purpose). It is best spending in one big city (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city or Da Nang where has international airport) with possibility of a day trip to nearby attractions. These following 3 days Vietnam itinerary are based on the assumption that your starting point is one of above city.

Iconic red bridge in Hanoi
Iconic red bridge in Hanoi

Option 1: Itinerary for 3 days in Northern Vietnam

Hanoi: this is one of the most popular destination to visit in Vietnam, you will arrive at Noi Bai Airport and it will takes your 45-minute getting to the old quarter. You can spend from few hours to a day or two to visit the city.

– Read more: Hanoi Highlights & Travel Guide

Ninh Binh: also known as “Halong bay” on land. It is about 90km from Hanoi (about 2 hours driving). You can spend 1 to 2 day there.

– Read more: Ninh Binh Highlights & Travel Guide

Halong Bay: 1 of the 7 wonders of the world by UNESCO. This is a must-visit when it comes to travel Vietnam. It takes you now only 2 hours from Hanoi (about 180km). You can spend a day trip or take an overnight cruise in the bay.

– Read more: Halong Bay Highlights & Travel Guide

Mai Chau: a remote Vietnam mountain town with plenty of culture and natural wonders. About 170 km from Hanoi (~4 hours driving), you can spend 1 or 2 day there.

– Read more: Mai Chau Highlights & Travel Guide

Sapa: another must-visit in Vietnam and totally do-able in a day or 2 by taking the night train or night bus from Hanoi. Consider visit Sapa if you traveling around August to October as this is the rice harvested season.

– Read more: Sapa Highlights & Travel Guide


Our suggested itineraries for 3 days in Vietnam

Itinerary 1: Highly recommend, 100% doable
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Visit Hanoi
Day 2: Visit Halong Bay
Day 3: Visit Ninh Binh (or Mai Chau) – Hanoi Departure

Itinerary 2: Only works if you departure flight is late at night
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Visit Hanoi – Overnight train (or sleeper bus) to Sapa
Day 2: Visit Sapa – Overnight train (or bus) to Hanoi
Day 3: Visit Halong Bay – Hanoi Departure

Hoi An Old Quarter
Hoi An old quarter from above

Option 2: Itinerary for 3 days in Central Vietnam

Da Nang: a coastal city in central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port. It’s a popular base for visiting the inland Ba Na hills to the west of the city. You can spend one day here.

Read more: Da Nang Highlights & Travel Guide

Hoi An: very close to Da Nang, only 30 minutes by bus. A city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. You can spend 1 or 2 day in Hoi An.

– Read more: Hoi An Hightlights & Travel Guide

Hue: one of the most charming towns in Vietnam and is located on the banks of the beautifully named Perfume River. It takes about 3 hours driving from Da nang. You will spend 1 day in Hue.

Read more: Hue Highlights & Travel Guide


Our suggested itineraries for 3 days in Vietnam

Day 1: Da Nang Arrival – Visit Da Nang
Day 2: Visit Hue
Day 3: Visit Hoi An – Da Nang Departure

Mekong Delta Vietnam
Mekong Delta Vietnam

Option 3: Itinerary for 3 days in Southern Vietnam Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City: also known as Saigon, the jumping off point for many people visiting Vietnam. You can spend at least day in Saigon

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City Highlights & Travel Guide

Cu Chi Tunnels: about 40 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an elaborate underground community made up of 250 km of tunnels and chambers below the city. You can spend one day here

Read more: Cu Chi Tunnels Highlights & Travel Guide

Mekong Delta: is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. About 2 hours driving from Saigon, you can spend 1 or 2 day in the Delta.

Read more: Mekong Delta Highlights & Travel Guide

Our suggested itineraries for 3 days in Vietnam

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival – Visit Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2: Visit Mekong Delta
Day 3: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh departure


Budget for 3 days in Vietnam

In total, you should spend about $250 to $300 US/person for double/twin sharing (without flight ticket). It might be a little more if you travel solo.

So, there are our suggestions for 3 days Vietnam itinerary, what about you? What would you do if you have just 3 days in Vietnam? 

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