Ultimate Hoi An Travel Guide: What to See, Do and Eat
Hoi An was my favorite place during my Vietnam trip. It’s got everything you could ask for and more: cozy cafes (with great Vietnamese coffee), delicious food, a charming old town and plenty of historical sites and attractions. This Hoi An travel guide includes the best things to see, do and eat in Hoi An.
If you also visit Hanoi, be sure to check out these amazing things to do in Hanoi.
If you visit Da Nang, be sure to check out this Da Nang itinerary for a 5-day trip.
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Things To Know Before You Go
Hoi An Travel Guide Tip #1
Where to stay
The first of my best Hoi An travel tips concern location. The Old Town area is ideal for first-time travelers to Hoi An – and it’s also where I chose to stay. However, Hoi An isn’t a big city and getting around to the outskirts isn’t difficult. Many hotels and hostels offer rental bikes and have shuttles to various surrounding areas.
Anantara Hoi An Resort
Anantara Hoi An Resort is located in an enviable setting, less than a kilometer from the old town quarter of Hoi An. The resort boasts lush gardens fronting the Thu Bon River and offers riverfront dining, blissful spa treatments, and sunset river cruises.
Water Coconut Boutique Villas
A 15-minute bicycle ride from old town, you’ll find the serene Water Coconut Boutique Villas. This tranquil location makes it the ideal place for travelers wanting o stay and explore the nature and the beautiful river surrounding Hoi An. Submerged in the coconut trees, you’ll find a truly idyllic oasis.
My Top Tip:
Almanity Wellness Resort
I spent four nights at Almanity Wellness Resort and loved my stay. The resort is located only a 7-minute walk from the historic Hoi An old town but is located in a quiet area of town.
The resort is focused on healthy living and healing body and mind. They have wellness food options like fresh shakes and the room rate includes daily massages. Every day is assigned a color and theme that is reflected on the food menu and in the massage treatments.
If you are looking for a relaxing place to stay in Hoi An that is still within walking distance to the city center, Almanity Wellness Resort is the perfect choice.
Hoi An Travel Guide Tip #2
Hoi An is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam and there is a lot to see and do. However, it’s also the perfect place to wander around and just explore without a set itinerary or travel plan – but there are a few attractions you shouldn’t miss during your trip to Hoi An. This Hoi An travel guide covers the most beautiful must-see attractions in the city.
Japanese Covered Bridge
The Japanese built this stunning bridge in the 18th century as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water. Today, it’s one of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions and definitely one of the top things to see in Hoi An. The bridge also features the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys to commemorate the year the bridge was built and completed.
Hoi An Night Market
The night market in Hoi An is a bustling place across the river from the Ancient Town, on Nguyen Hoang. To get to the night market, simply cross the bridge to An Hoi and look for a large orange sign reading “Nguyen Hoang Night Market”. Hoi An Night Market is filled with countless colorful paper lanterns – the iconic symbol of Hoi An.
Quan Cong Temple
If you are into temples (and also if you’re not) be sure to check out Quan Cong Temple in Hoi An. It was founded in 1653 and is dedicated to a Chinese general worshipped for his loyalty, sincerity, integrity and justice. You can find his gilded statue on the central altar in the back of the temple.
Phuc Kien Assembly Hall
Hoi An Travel Guide Tip #3
Where To Eat and Drink
Hoi An has a very unique food scene compared to other parts of Vietnam. Due to Hoi An having served as an important port city centuries back, merchants from all parts of Asia brought their own flavors to Hoi An – and the locals incorporated them into their own cuisine. Therefore, Hoi An’s dishes are heavily influenced by Japanese and Chinese spices and cooking methods. Here are some of the best places to eat in Hoi An.
White Rose Restaurant
White rose dumplings originated in Hoi An by a local family three generations back. Ever since then, white rose dumplings have become a true local speciality in Hoi An.
White Rose is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. The dumplings are topped with crunchy bits of toasted garlic and served with a sweet dipping sauce.
Address: 533 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường Cẩm Phổ, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
This place has become a go-to place for authentic Vietnamese dishes served in an awesome setting of a quirky structured building. My favorite dish at Morning Glory were the sautéed prawns served in a fresh coconut.
Address: 106 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Hoi An Roastery
Ever since Hoi An Roastery opened their first store in 2015 they’ve stayed true to their mission to offer a truly Vietnamese experience to those visiting Hoi An. Today, they operate a handful of locations in Hoi An and offer authentic Vietnamese coffee personally curated at farms nestled in the central highlands of Vietnam.
Address: 135 Trần Phú, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Easily offering the best views of Old Town Hoi An, Faifo Coffee does not only have a fabulous rooftop but also serves amazing house-roasted coffee. You place your order on the first floor and navigate your way up the rustic house stairs to the second floor and then the rooftop.
Address: 130 Trần Phú, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
The Bird House Hoi An
Situated in an old house built by a Japanese merchant who did business in Hoi An back in the day, Bird House is an amazing cafe with river views. The Bird House has a unique bird cage theme with kitsch decor, comfortable seating, and a superb view. If you are looking for tasty drinks that include cocktails, juices, coffee, and tea, Bird House Hoi An is a great choice.
Address: Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
An Herbal Tea And Coffee
An Herbal Tea & Coffee is a small coffee shop serving many special drinks, including their popular home-made herbal tea. A bamboo cup of tea only costs $0.60 – and tastes delicious! The open cafe layout allows you to indulge in some people watching and witness the daily routines of the local neighborhood.
Address: 23 Phan Chu Trinh, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Top Pick: Reaching Out Teahouse
My absolute favorite culinary experience in Hoi An was spending a couple of hours at the lovely Reaching Out Teahouse in Old Town. As a true tea lover, I jumped at the chance to visit a local teahouse an sample my way through Vietnamese tea – and Reaching Out Teahouse is the perfect place to do so.
They offer a great variety of Vietnamese tea, coffee, fruit juices and biscuits served in a charming and cozy atmosphere – both indoors and in a green courtyard. Those who don’t like tea can indulge in Vietnamese coffee culture.
What made this an even better experience was the fact that the teahouse only employs speech and hearing impaired staff who are very passionate about what they do. Each table is equipped with written instructions to facilitate easy communicating with the staff.
You can even purchase the Fair Trade tea and coffee products right in the store and take them home with you as a delicious souvenir.
Address: 131 Trần Phú, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Hoi An Travel Guide Tip #4
Top Beaches in Hoi An
Did you know that Hoi An also has some amazing sandy beaches? So after exploring Hoi An’s cultural sites and shop in Old Town, you can relax on the white sand and hang out at beach bars. Here are the two most popular beaches in Hoi An.
An Bang Beach
While An Bang Beach is the most popular beach in Hoi An, it’s also the busiest. An Bang has got a great variety of restaurants and bars to choose from where tourists and locals alike love to hang out. Therefore, if you’re looking for a great beach bar to watch the sunset in Hoi An, An Bang is the ideal location.
Cua Dai Beach
If you are looking for a quieter beach, Cua Dai is the perfect choice. In fact, Cua Dai Beach used to be the most popular beach in Hoi An – until coastal erosion has slowly made the beach narrower. Nevertheless – it’s a beautiful beach to hang out at with a lot less people around.
Hoi An Travel Guide Tip #5
Top Day Trips from Hoi An
My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary is a Hindu temple complex built between the 4th and 14th century AD by the Champa people who rules this part of Vietnam. It is one of the oldest temple complexes in the world and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Hoi An. I took a half-day tour early in the morning to see the ruins at sunset before other tourists get in and the weather gets unbearably hot. Book your My Son tour in advance.
A Day in Danang
Only a 45-minute drive from Hoi An, the city of Danang is ideal for a day trip during your stay. Danang has got a lot to offer: historic attractions, great food and beautiful beaches. My favorite places to see in Danang include the Gothic-style pink church in the city center, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills called “Marble Mountains” and “Lady Buddha”, the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam.
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