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Nha Trang Travel Guide – Things to know before visiting Nha Trang

January 21, 2024

Nha Trang is a beautiful coastal city located in southern Vietnam, renowned for its pristine beaches, lush islands, vibrant nightlife, and delicious seafood. With its favorable year-round tropical climate, Nha Trang has become one of Vietnam’s most popular beach destinations.

This comprehensive travel guide covers everything you need to know before visiting Nha Trang – from how to get there, the best time to visit, top things to see and do, where to eat, where to stay, and more. Read on for an unforgettable Nha Trang experience.

Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam

Things to know before visiting Nha Trang

1. Where is Nha Trang?

  • Located on the south central coast of Vietnam
  • Part of Khanh Hoa province
  • Approx 430km (8-9 hour drive) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Well-connected by air via Cam Ranh International Airport

2. How to get to Nha Trang, Vietnam

By plane

  • Most convenient way to reach Nha Trang
  • Many domestic flights available from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang on VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways
  • International flights also available from Russia, Korea, China

By train

  • Overnight train from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang station takes approx 9 hours
  • Comfortable cabins with air-con available on SE trains

By bus

  • Reliable bus connections available from most major cities
  • Journey takes 7-9 hours from Ho Chi Minh City
  • Watch for pickpockets on overnight buses

Getting around Nha Trang

  • Metered taxis and motorbike taxis easily available
  • Can walk/cycle around to nearby beaches
  • Can rent motorbikes or bicycles

3. When is the Best Time to Travel to Nha Trang?

Nha Trang enjoys a tropical climate with warm weather year-round, so there really isn’t a bad time to visit. However, here is a breakdown of Nha Trang’s seasons:

High Season (December to April)

  • Warm, dry days perfect for beachgoing
  • Attracts both local and international tourists
  • Prices higher for flights, hotels, attractions
  • Book accommodations several months in advance

Shoulder Season (May, June, September, October)

  • Pleasant weather in low to mid 20s Celsius
  • Fewer crowds and lower prices
  • Excellent visibility for diving/snorkeling

Low Season (July to August)

  • Very hot and humid summer weather
  • Risk of brief rain showers
  • Lowest prices on hotels and flights
  • Some businesses closed for maintenance

4. Check Vietnam visa requirements

To obtain a Vietnam visa, there are several ways you can go about it:

  • Apply for a visa at the Embassy/Consulate: Visit the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country. Obtain the necessary application forms, submit the required documents (such as passport, application form, photos, and visa fee), and wait for the visa to be processed.
  • Vietnam E-visa: Vietnam offers an e-visa program for citizens of certain countries. Check if your nationality is eligible for e-visa and apply online through the official website provided by the Vietnamese government. Fill in the required information, upload necessary documents, and make the payment. Once approved, you will receive an electronic visa via email, which you can use to enter Vietnam.
  • Visa on arrival (VOA): This option is applicable if you plan to arrive in Vietnam by air. Before your trip, you need to apply online through a trusted travel agency or visa service provider. Fill in the application form, pay the visa approval fee, and receive an approval letter via email. Upon arrival at one of Vietnam’s international airports, present the approval letter, passport, photos, and pay the visa stamping fee. The immigration officers will then issue your visa.

Remember to check the specific requirements and validity periods for each visa option. It’s advisable to contact the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country or consult with a reliable travel agency to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information for your visa application.

Things to see in Nha Trang, Vietnam

1. Marvel at cultural sites

  • Po Nagar Cham Towers – centuries-old Hindu temple with amazing views
  • Long Son Pagoda – serene hilltop Buddhist pagoda with giant white Buddha
  • Hon Chong Promontory – picturesque natural rock formations

2. Relax on idyllic beaches

  • Tran Phu Beach – most popular beach in Nha Trang, lively atmosphere
  • Doc Let Beach – quieter beach known for great swimming
  • Bai Dai Beach – secluded white sand beach about 20min south of city

3. Have fun on offshore islands

  • Monkey Island – swim & interact with resident monkeys
  • Mot Island – enjoy fresh seafood BBQ feast on tiny fishing isle
  • Hon Tam Island – lush island with great snorkeling spots

Must-Eat Specialty Dishes in Nha Trang

1. Fresh, flavourful seafood

  • Grilled squid, prawns, red snapper, lobster – can’t beat super-fresh local catch
  • Check out the Dam Market downtown to see seafood on display

2. Traditional Vietnamese fare

  • Pho (beef noodle soup) – hearty, fragrant broth with rice noodles & beef
  • Banh xeo (sizzling pancake) – stuffed with pork, shrimp & bean sprouts
  • Bun cha ca (fish noodle soup) – unique to Nha Trang with an amazing broth

3. Local fruits & desserts

  • Locally-grown dragronfruit, papaya, mangoes, coconuts
  • Sweet soups like che ba mau & sweet bean soup
  • Vietnamese iced coffee (ca phe sua da) topped with whipped egg cream

Where to stay in Nha Trang?

If you are looking for a place to stay in Nha Trang, there are several options to consider. Here are a few popular areas and accommodations:

1. Tran Phu Beach: This is the main beach area in Nha Trang and offers a wide range of hotels and resorts, suitable for different budgets. Some popular options include Vinpearl Resort & Spa, Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa, and Mia Resort Nha Trang.

2. Hon Chong: Located a bit further away from the city center, Hon Chong area offers a more secluded and peaceful atmosphere. You can find resorts like MerPerle Beach Hotel and The Summer Hotel in this area.

3. Doc Let Beach: Situated around 50 kilometers north of Nha Trang, Doc Let is known for its pristine beaches. This area offers a calm and relaxing environment, with a few beachfront resorts such as Anoasis Beach Resort and Mia Homestay.

4. Ninh Van Bay: If you’re looking for a luxurious and private getaway, Ninh Van Bay is worth considering. This area is home to high-end resorts like Six Senses Ninh Van Bay and L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay.

Remember to check the reviews and amenities offered by each accommodation to find the one that suits your preferences and budget.

Nightlife Activities in Nha Trang

When the sun goes down, Nha Trang comes alive with vibrant nightlife. Here’s what not to miss:

1. Beachside bars & clubs

  • Sailing Club – one of Vietnam’s top beach clubs, on Tran Phu beach
  • Louisiane Brewhouse – microbrewery & live music venue set in a 19th century building
  • Oasis Bar – laidback bar on Bai Dai Beach popular with backpackers

2. Street food tour at Dam Market

  • Sample local delicacies like sea urchin pancakes, fresh spring rolls
  • Very affordable prices & great local atmosphere

3. Night snorkeling trip

  • See bioluminescence and glowing plankton light up the ocean at night
  • Offered by many local tour operators like Lanterns Tours or Angel Sea Sports

Some Suggested Itineraries for a Tour in Nha Trang

With beautiful scenery and so many things to see and do, planning your Nha Trang itinerary can be tricky. Here are some recommended options to maximize your time:

1. Nha Trang Highlights (3 days, 2 nights)

Day 1

  • Visit Po Nagar Cham Towers
  • Relax on Tran Phu Beach
  • Dinner & drinks at Sailing Club

Day 2

  • Full-day boat trip to offshore islands
  • Snorkel, feast on seafood BBQ, see monkeys
  • Watch sunset on Bai Dai Beach

Day 3

  • Brunch & beach time at luxury resort like Sheraton
  • Shop for souvenirs at Dam Market
  • Night street food & walking tour

2. Beach & Culture Combo (5 days, 4 nights)

Days 1-2

  • Same as the 3-day itinerary

Day 3

  • Day trip to Long Son Pagoda & Hon Chong
  • Visit local art galleries showcasing talented painters & sculptors

Day 4

  • Pamper yourself with spa treatments at a 5-star resort
  • Take surfing or paddleboarding lessons
  • Watch A O Show’s open-air circus performance

Day 5 -early morning fishing trip on traditional basket boats -relaxed brunch & beach day

3. Nha Trang Getaway (7+ days)

With a week or more in Nha Trang, slow down and mix in ample relaxation between sightseeing. Stay at least 2 nights each in the city center, on Doc Let Beach, and Bai Dai Beach to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Island hop to new beaches daily, enjoy an overnight cruise in nearby Vung Tau, take a mudbath at Thap Ba Hot Springs, spend a day in the countryside visiting waterfalls and fruit orchards, and feast on the freshest seafood daily. The possibilities are endless!

Best Places to Go Shopping in Nha Trang

Nha Trang offers plenty of places to shop for quality souvenirs. Don’t leave without checking out:

1. Nha Trang Center: This is a popular shopping mall located in the heart of Nha Trang. It offers a wide range of options, including fashion, electronics, cosmetics, and local souvenirs. The mall also houses a cinema and various dining outlets.

2. Dam Market: As one of the oldest markets in Nha Trang, Dam Market is a must-visit for shopaholics. Here, you can find local fresh produce, clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and more. Be prepared to bargain with the friendly local vendors for the best deals.

3. Vinh Luong Market: If you want to experience a bustling local market, Vinh Luong Market is worth exploring. It offers a variety of goods, including seafood, fruits, vegetables, and household items. This market provides a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals.

4. Four Seasons Shopping Center: Situated on Tran Phu Street, Four Seasons Shopping Center offers a mix of international and local brands. It’s a great place to find fashion, sportswear, electronics, and accessories. There are also several restaurants and cafes to take a break in.

5. XQ Hand Embroidery: For a unique shopping experience, visit XQ Hand Embroidery. Here, you can find intricately hand-embroidered artwork, clothing, and souvenirs. The craftsmanship is impressive, and it’s a great place to pick up authentic Vietnamese gifts.

Remember, always compare prices and be prepared to negotiate for the best deals while shopping in Nha Trang.


1. Is Nha Trang expensive to visit?

  • Nha Trang offers options for all budgets – accommodation ranges from backpacker dorms to 5-star hotels.
  • Fabulous street food can be had for less than $2 USD a meal if you eat like the locals do.
  • Entrance fees to attractions like temples and pagodas are very minimal.
  • Activities like island hopping boat tours and mudbaths are very affordable by Western standards.

2. Is Nha Trang safe for solo female travelers?

Absolutely! Vietnam is very safe in general, and Nha Trang is a relaxed beach town popular with all types of tourists. As always when traveling solo, just use common sense safety precautions.

3. What should I pack for Nha Trang?

Pack lightweight, breathable clothing – think shorts, swimwear, sundresses, tank tops. Bring reusable water bottle, hat, sunglasses, sun protection. Light jacket may be needed for cool evenings. Don’t forget your beach towel and flip flops!

4. Can I use US dollars or credit cards?

  • Vietnamese dong is the official currency – have some small bills for taxis, snacks etc.
  • Major hotels and upscale shops/restaurants accept credit cards
  • But cash is still king! Have dong cash on hand for most purchases & transactions


With tropical weather year-round, lush mountains as a backdrop, and vibrant city life blended flawlessly with laidback coastal vibes, Nha Trang is truly a gem that shouldn’t be missed. Follow this travel guide to plan an unforgettable trip full of natural beauty, cultural sights, mouthwatering cuisine, and of course plenty of beachfront relaxation. The fascinating charms of Nha Trang await!