Da Nang is a brilliant city to visit in Central Vietnam. It has all the hustle and bustle of a major city but is located on the coastline so has access to some amazing beaches. Although there are loads of things to do in Da Nang with kids, it’s not as popular as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City which just makes it even more charming. It’s less touristy but still has plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Before you delve into Da Nang, you might want to read this post on planning the ultimate family trip to Vietnam
There are loads of fun things to do in Da Nang with kids or without! Plus plenty of places to visit on a day trip from the city. Here are 30 things to add to your Da Nang bucket list.
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Things to do in the city
1. See the Dragon Bridge
Stretching across the Han river, the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang is a fully operational vehicle bridge. It’s almost 700 metres long and can accommodate 6 lanes of traffic. It’s quite a sight during the day, beautifully designed and impressively high. But it really comes alive at night when you can watch it breathe fire and water. The show operates at 9pm on weekends and holidays so try to tailor your visit around these times. How better to engage the kids than offer them a real fire breathing Dragon. It’s got to be one of the most memorable things to do in Da Nang with kids. For the best views of the bridge, I recommend heading up to one of the many rooftop bars lining the Han river, treat yourself to a cocktail and enjoy the show.
For a real treat then you can view the Dragon Bridge from the water. Klook offers a motorbike and river boat tour for around £30 for adults and £16 for children. It lasts for over 3 hours and they’ll pick you up from your hotel. It includes visits to local markets, beaches, the pink cathedral, a local meal and of course a cruise on the river.
2. For cultural things to do in Da Nang with kids, visit the Pink Cathedral
Da Nang’s pink Cathedral is a wonderful representation of the mixture of cultures in the city. The Catholic Cathedral is 70 metres tall and was built by a French priest in 1923. The unique gothic architecture is made even more special by its pale pink walls and impressive bell tower. Services are held every day in various languages and entrance to the Church is free.
3. Visit the Marble Mountains
One of the things I love about Da Nang is that it’s a city surrounded by nature and how you can easily escape the hustle and bustle in minutes. The Marble mountains are limestone and marble hills, dotted with shrines, tunnels and caves. They are in the Non Nuoc area, just 7 km outside of the city centre. Very close to many of the beachfront luxury hotels springing up here. It costs less than £2 to enter, I recommend doing the climb – it won’t take you too long but you can also pay an extra 50p to use the lift. Just be careful if you’re visiting during rainy season. The marble steps can get very slippery.
4. Get a Massage
This is ideal for the first day of your visit, a massage is an excellent way to help with jet lag. There are loads of independent massage parlours dotted around the city of Da Nang ranging from ultra cheap foot spas to luxurious day spas. They’re all amazing value and great places to cool off out of the harsh Vietnamese Sun. We popped into the Song Khoe massage parlour for an half hour foot massage which cost around £4! What a way to relax!
5. Wander the streets – leave the pushchair at home
Da Nang is a thriving city so does feel pretty busy. As with all new places we visit, I love to just walk the streets and take in the atmosphere. We often find great cafes and unique shops to pop in to this way. Like many cities in Vietnam, parts of the pavement aren’t great. We walked past huge holes, building work and had to navigate around parked cars and scooters on the walkway. If you’re traveling with really little ones I recommend a carrier instead of a stroller and of course plenty of breaks to cool down and hydrate.
6. Pick up your souvenirs in the Markets
Da Nang has some fantastic markets which are always my favourite places to experience local life. You’ll find souvenirs unique to the area and if you’re hungry, these are the places for cheap eats. Con Market is probably the largest and most popular with over 2,000 stalls selling fresh produce and seafood. You can also pick up some great holiday souvenirs here such as local wood carvings and silks. For a more touristy market then head to Han Market for cheap and plentiful gifts for loved ones back home.
For some amazing photo ops and a less touristy option, try the Seafood market on Hoang Sa St at Sunrise and watch the locals sell their catch of the day.
7. See the city from above
I love seeing a city from the rooftops, it helps me get my bearings – which way for the beach – where are the main attractions etc. Da Nang is a wonderful city to do so due to its unique location. Bordered on one side by the South China Sea and the mountains on the other. It really is stunning just to take it all in. We headed up to the 19th floor of the Vanda Hotel, ordered some lemonades and enjoyed the view. Being high up also means you can enjoy a refreshing breeze, the streets can feel very muggy.
8. Relax at your hotel
Not really one of the most adventurous things to do in Da Nang with kids but still worth adding! You’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay in Da Nang. There’s everything available from ultimate luxury to super budget. Hotels are such great value in Da Nang, I recommend treating yourself to somewhere a bit fancy. We stayed at the Ocean Villas Da Nang, a little way out of the city, right on the beach and spent many happy hours playing in the pool and relaxing on the beach. Most hotels will have a Spa, pool, restaurants and lovely big rooms, check out my guide on where to stay in Da Nang here.
9. Swim in a rooftop pool
I’m a total sucker for a pool with a view and my daughter is happy in any kind of water. So a hotel with a rooftop pool is a win for both of us. We visited the Haian Hotel which overlooks My Khe beach. It’s a lovely place to watch the sunset and they’ll even serve your lunch on a floating tray right in the water. Another fantastic option is the Novotel Danang Premier Han River which has apartment style rooms and a gorgeous pool overlooking the city.
10. Remember Vietnam’s brutal past at the Fifth Military Division Museum
Vietnam has had a difficult past which should never be forgotten. I believe it’s so important to include some historical to your things to do in Da Nang with kids list. This may not sound like the most fun activity on the list but it is a must do if you’re interested in learning about the area. The museum is home to aircraft, tanks and war relics carefully curated in massive grounds.
11. Try out the rides at Sunworld, Da Nang Wonders
Created by the same company who built the theme park at Ba Na Hills, Sunworld Asia Park is guaranteed to put smiles on faces of the whole family. It’s home to Da Nang’s big wheel, a huge park, loads of rides (many of which are suitable for children) and a cultural area with buildings from all around Asia. There are plenty of food and drink outlets around the park so it’s a great place to spend a few hours in the evening. Tickets are under £10 for adults and less than £7 for kids.
12. Cool down with a rooftop drink
Something you’ll most definitely want to do in the unforgiving heat of Vietnam is cool down with a long drink. Be that a refreshing beer, fancy cocktail or ice cold water the best place to do it is at a bar with a view and you have oh so many options in Da Nang. Being a city of skyscraper hotels, beautiful rooftop bars have sprung up all over the place. I recommend popping into the Vanda hotel and taking a seat at their outdoor terrace on the 19th floor. The views are just gorgeous and the breeze up there is a life saver after trekking the streets for a day.
13. Watch a beautiful Sunset, one of the totally free things to do in Da Nang with kids
This one really surprised me, I didn’t expect the sunsets in Da Nang to be quite so spectacular. There are so many locations from which to enjoy it, My Khe beach is a great option and often the place where locals flock as the sun goes down. If you head to any of the many rooftop bars you can watch it set over the city or head slightly out of town to one of the luxury hotels near Non Nuoc. For Sunset watching, our favourite was the Sheraton Grand Da Nang resort. Grab a drink, park yourself at one of their seats on the beach and enjoy the free show.
14. Learn some history at the Cham Sculpture Museum
The Cham museum in Da Nang is dedicated to the indigenous Cham people of Vietnam and is home to the largest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. Not only are the sculptures beautiful to explore but the building itself is stunning and it will cost you less than £2 to visit. Well worth about an hour out of your day.
15. Get spiritual at the Phap Lam Pagoda
This stunning Buddhist temple is located in the centre of Da Nang and offers a welcome respite from the busy city. Entrance to this Buddhist temple is free but donations are welcome. Especially if you receive a blessing from one of the resident monks.
16. Find a café and enjoy a cold one
The Vietnamese sure do like their coffee and the café culture is thriving in Da Nang. I mostly stuck to the cold variety as it was just so hot when we visited. You’ll find all your favourite Western varieties – cappuccino, Americano etc but also some more unusual varieties such as egg, or avocado coffee! You could of course also cool off by stopping at one of the many street bars for a great value local beer.
17. Chat to the locals for some tips on things to do in Da Nang with kids
The people of Vietnam are some of the friendliest you’ll meet. They’re helpful, caring of each other and the environment and absolutely dote on children. If you get an opportunity to then do take the time to chat. We found out loads about the local area from Grab drivers, market stall owners and various people we met at some of the above attractions. Don’t expect to fully understand each other but don’t let that be a barrier to communication.
18. Get some clothes made
One of my favourite things to do in Asia is have clothes made, they’re always great quality – far better than the fast fashion we get at home and you can pretty much design what you want, it’s guaranteed to fit you. If you have a special occasion coming up, definitely give it a try. Just make sure you pop in early on in your visit, they do take a few days to create. In Da Nang, I’ve heard good things about Paul Bespoke Tailoring in the Hai Chau area of the city.
Beaches in Da Nang
The beaches of Da Nang are some of the most beautiful in Vietnam. The sand is soft, the waves are calm and they’re amongst the cleanest I’ve seen. A day at the beach is one of my “not to miss” things to do in Da Nang with kids.
19. My Khe Beach
My Khe beach is right in the city. If you’re staying in the centre, you can probably walk there from your hotel. It’s probably the most popular in the area but never feels too crowded. The beach is bordered by fish restaurants, hotels and bars, it’s a fun part of the city.
20. Non Nuoc Beach
I think this is the best beach in Da Nang. Non Nuoc is located just out of the city so it’s a lot quieter than My Khe which makes it a great place to relax with little ones.
21. Enjoy some watersports
The beaches of Da Nang are great for adrenaline lovers with many watersports available. This is one of the more adventurous things to do in Da Nang with kids. Non Nuoc has even hosted surfing festivals in the past. The waves are rarely huge but it’s a great place for beginners.
Food to eat in Da Nang with kids
22. Taste all the seafood
Da Nang is well known for it’s seafood, it is a coastal city after all and you’ll still see fishermen coming in with their catch to sell in the markets. It really is super fresh and you’ll find some sort of seafood on every menu in the city.
23. Indulge in some local delicacies
Da Nang is known for its banh mi – a type of meat, baguette mish mash – see that French influence again! A traditional Banh Mi consists of a crisp baguette, some pickled veg, crispy carrot, spring onions and pork, pate or fish. If there hadn’t been so much else to try, I would happily have survived on these the whole time we were in Vietnam.
I also fell in love with deep fried Vietnamese spring rolls during our visit, they’re a bit more fragrant than usual and are wonderfully crispy – the perfect starter or snack on the go
24. Try the Vietnamese Coffee
Another typically Vietnamese treat you really must try during your visit is the traditional Vietnamese coffee. The coffee is made using a drip process meaning it is rich and strong and often sweetened with condensed milk. Order it cold and served over ice and thank me later!
If you fancy ticking off a load of these activities in one go, opt for an organised tour and head over to Klook for their great value days out. This Da Nang organised tour covers the Marble Mountains, the Linh Ung Pagoda, Non Nuoc village, My Khe beach and a spa experience at the end. They’ll even collect and return you to your hotel in the city centre. All for around £20 per person.
Day Trips from Da Nang with kids
25. Sunworld Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge
Have you seen pictures of the Golden Bridge? It’s been all over Instagram lately and looks totally undiscovered and ages old. It’s not, it’s part of the Sunworld theme park at Ba Na Hills and is a great day out if you’re in Da Nang. The park is European themed with a French village, arcade games, rides and some beautiful gardens. The Theme park and Golden bridge can only be reached by cable car so if you want to visit the bridge, you’ll have to get tickets to the theme park. Read more about the Ba Na Hills theme park here.
I highly recommend this organised tour from Da Nang to the Ba Na Hills to make getting there and back super safe and easy.
26. My Son Ruins
Another world heritage site in Central Vietnam at My Son you’ll find some beautiful Cham ruins. Widely considered to be Vietnams most important ruins and similar in style to those at Angkor in Cambodia. Dating back to the 4th century, these ruins have been weathered by time and almost destroyed by American bombs but are still a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit.
In a car it will take you just over an hour to get to the My Son Ruins from Da Nang, slightly longer if you’re going by moped. To take the stress out of a day trip, a great way to visit the ruins is by a pre organised tour. Check out this one day tour to the My Son ruins
27. Hoi An
The town of Hoi An is considered one of the most beautiful in Vietnam and rightly so, it’s gorgeous. Known for its pretty lanterns and textile industry, it really is a treat of a day trip from Da Nang. The Old Town has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site and many of the buildings really do look like the Vietnam seen on all the postcards. Click here for everything you need to know about visiting Hoi An with kids
The town was once an important Vietnamese trading port and runs along the Thu Bon River, ideal for a boat trip. We loved wandering the streets, stopping for drinks and food wherever looked good. Hoi An is a very easy town to waste a day in. For full details on how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An, take a look at this detailed post.
28. Explore Monkey Mountain
This is actually Son Tra Mountain on the Son Tra Peninsula to the North East of Da Nang. It was nicknamed Monkey mountain by American soldiers during the Vietnam war. This gorgeous national park is lush, green and bordered with beautiful beaches. If you’re a keen hiker, this one’s for you. Keep a look out for rare macaques and Langurs at you trek through the jungle. The hike up to the top should take you around four hours, considerably longer if you have kids. Son Tra is also where you’ll find the Linh Ung Pagoda, home to a 67 metre tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy. Although it’s only half an hour from Da Nang, I’ve recommended Monkey Mountain as a day trip because frankly, you’ll want to stay all day.
29. Drive the Hai Van Pass
We didn’t tick this one off ourselves (I’m not brave enough to drive in Vietnam!) but I’ve heard other bloggers rave about it so I just had to include the drive across the Hai Van Pass. This bendy, twisty road is the highest pass in all of Vietnam at 500 m above sea level. The 20 km stretch links the city of Da Nang to Lang Co and the views look absolutely amazing. The road was made famous in 2008 by Top Gear where it was said to be one of the best coastal roads in the world!
30. Go snorkelling at the Cham islands
For an island escape from the city then a boat trip to the Cham islands is a must. The Cham islands are a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and home to several beautiful temples and beautiful corals. The best way to see the resident fish is of course to snorkel. I recommend pre booking an organised tour to the Cham Islands to make the most of your visit. Klook offers a full day adventure which will allow you to tour the islands, speedboat trip and a delicious lunch, all for only £25.25 per person.
Getting to Da Nang
Da Nang can be easily reached from all over the world with many international airlines flying into its city airport. We flew with Qatar from Birmingham, UK with a long stopover in Doha but you can also fly with Vietnam Airlines and Etihad.
The airport also sees many domestic flights daily. You can reach Da Nang from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi in 1 hour 20 minutes for around £20. Remember, you’ll have to add bags to the cost if you want to check luggage.
To get to the city centre from the Airport is also super easy, it’s very close – as you fly in, you’ll see the marble mountains and the lights from Sunworld’s Asia Park. From here you can either get a taxi from outside the airport’s entrance, order yourself a Grab if you have the App pre loaded on your phone or ask your hotel to arrange a transfer. A Grab is probably the cheapest option and they’ll know exactly where to drop you off as you input the address when you order them. However I always worry about them getting into airports so we chose to get a taxi – easy enough but a bit more pricey.
If you’re visiting from other parts of Vietnam, Da Nang has a central train station. A first class sleeper train from Ho Chi Minh City will take just over 17 hours and costs under £40 per person (£25 for kids). It’s a very similar time and price from Hanoi. Check out 12go.asia for train prices and times.
When to visit Da Nang
Da Nang has two very distinct seasons – Both are hot and you’ll probably experience some clear days throughout the year. Most recommend visiting between February and May when it’s driest and coolest. Temperatures start rising after May and it can feel very humid but I wouldn’t let that put you off. Rainy Season is between September and January.
As you can see, Da Nang is a fantastic place for a family holiday in Vietnam, there’s loads to do in the area but if you only want a relaxing holiday, the hotels and beaches are amazing.
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