Looking for the best things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam? From epic street food to tailor made clothing, here are 10 things to fit into your trip
When it comes to the best things to do in Hoi An, you’re pretty spoilt for choice and this bustling little town should certainly be a solid stop on your travels around Vietnam.
For me it was certainly one of the highlights and I wish I’d spent a little more time there to really make the most of everything it had to offer.
So if you’re busy planning your Vietnam itinerary, here are some of the things that await in Hoi An…
Things to Do in Hoi An – Top 10 Activities & Attractions
Wander Through Hoi An’s Old Town
If you’re planning on travelling to Vietnam, a visit to Hoi An’s charming Old Town should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Hoi An’s Old Town is the perfect blend of indigenous and foreign influences. This side of the town has a ton of great sights to explore, like the Japanese Covered Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in Asia.
The Old Town is filled with colourful lanterns, stunning ancient houses, designer boutiques, and art galleries. Trendy coffee houses can also be found on every corner, making it a great place to capture some memories of your trip.
Top budget accommodation near Hoi An Old Town: Hoi An Dream City Hotel costs around $25 (£18/A$35) per night.
Top mid-range accommodation near Hoi An Old Town: Ha An Hotel costs around $49 (£36/A$67) per night.
Top luxury accommodation near Hoi An Old Town: Uptown Hoi An Hotel & Spa costs around $101 (£74/A$139) per night.
Revisit Hoi An’s History
Hoi An’s historic district is recognised as one of Southeast Asia’s most well-preserved trading ports.
The historic site welcomed merchants from China, Asia, and Europe as far back as the 15th century.
The city has over 800 historic buildings with a UNESCO status. Although you may need to pay a small fee of around $5 (£3/A$6) to access some of these buildings, it’s well worth it to experience Hoi An’s multi-layered past.
Two places that you should definitely check out are the Old House of Tan Ky and the Assembly Hall Of Fujian Chinese (also known as the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall).
Learn How to Cook Vietnamese Food
If you love eating Vietnamese food, then you’ll have an equally great time preparing it. Lacking in cooking skills? No worries, you don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to create some mouth-watering dishes.
The availability of cooking classes in Hoi An is endless. You’re spoiled for choice with full-day, half-day, evening, and even eco-cooking classes.
You can learn to cook almost anything, from local fish grilled in banana leaves to Cao Lau, a dish unique to Hoi An. There are also plenty of options for veggies too.
Cooking classes are much more than just preparing food, though. You’ll get a complete experience by fishing for seafood, exploring the local markets for fresh produce, and learning ancient cooking methods.
After all of this, you’ll finally get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Explore The Central Market
No visit to Hoi An would be complete without making a stop at the bustling Central Market. The Central Market is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River that flows out into the South China Sea.
Hoi An Central Market is renowned for its fresh fruit and vegetables, fragrant spices, and beautiful silk. The Central Market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs, so be sure to practice your bargaining skills before heading over.
Remember that the stalls at the entrance tend to have the highest prices, so be sure to venture in a little further for the best bargains.
There are also many food stalls inside the market, so be sure to grab some food and snacks like Vietnamese spring rolls at really great prices.
Relax at The Beach
Like most coastal destinations, Hoi An has an endless list of beautiful beaches perfect for everyone. Hoi An’s most popular beach is the An Bang Beach, located four km (two miles) from the city centre and seven km (four miles) from Old Town.
An Bang Beach is a pristine white sand beach lined with palm trees, sun loungers, palapas, and restaurants. From here, you’ll also have the best views of the nearby Marble Mountain, Da Nang Bay, and Cham Island.
Hoi An is also home to a large expat surfing community, so if you’re keen on learning to surf or paddleboard, there are a few classes available at An Bang Beach.
Do a Free Bike Tour
One of the best things to do in Hoi An is to explore the city on a bicycle. Unlike other cities in Southeast Asia, Hoi An is much quieter, making it relatively safe to ride around the city on a bike.
You can grab a bike from your hotel, or rent one from a bike shop, and cycle through the city and nearby countryside of Kim Bong and Duy Vinh.
Kim Bong is known for its artisans and is a great place to meet some of the local artists and pick up a hand-made item or two. You can even enjoy a wooden boat-making workshop.
Duy Vinh, on the other hand, is known for its mat weaving and rice paper making.
If self-exploring seems a bit daunting, you can always opt for a free guided bike tour led by a local guide.
Visit Cham Island
Located just 15 km (nine miles) off the shore of Hoi An, sits the picturesque Cham Island. Cham Island is a protected marine park that has 135 species of coral and a vast array of marine life.
The island is the perfect place to go over to for a day trip, and once there, you can enjoy activities like diving and snorkelling. If you’re not keen on getting into the water, there’s still lots to do.
Cham Island has numerous beaches, impressive pagoda-tiered towers, and interesting markets you can explore.
Go Cafe Hopping
While there are plenty of cafes in Vietnam, Hoi An’s cafes have a special charm about them. Around almost every corner, you’ll find the trendiest cafes that serve up everything from fresh juice to caramel coffee and tasty snacks.
If you enjoy watching people and love a view with your meal, there are quite a few rooftop cafes where you can sit out on the balconies and admire the city from a height.
It is said that Hoi An has some of the most “Instagrammable” cafes in Vietnam. So, if you’re keen on impressing your followers with great pictures, be sure to head over to a few cafes.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
Hoi An is home to the Thu Bon River that cuts through the cities along many canals and waterways. A sunset cruise is one of the best ways to see Hoi An from a different perspective and appreciate its hidden gems.
You can opt for a quick 30-min ferry ride. Or, indulge in a more romantic sunset dinner cruise where you can enjoy a welcome drink, snacks, and sample a few local dishes as you watch the sun slip away over the river.
Get a Tailor-Made Suit or Dress
Vietnam is known around the world for its immaculate tailoring, so it would almost be criminal not to get a tailor-made piece whilst in Hoi An.
The best part is, you won’t have to look very far, as there’s a tailor around every corner.
Another great thing about tailors in Vietnam is you don’t have to wait very long for your custom-made piece. You can typically get a quality tailored suit or dress within 24 to 48-hours.
With so many options, though, beware of tourist traps that have no problem overcharging you for low-quality clothes. Be sure to do your research and ask around before you make a final decision.
Tip: Check out this guide on getting a tailored suit in Hoi An.
What is top of your things to do in Hoi An?
Anything you’d add to the list?