Nha Trang is a coastline city located in Khanh Hoa Province in the South of Vietnam, just 8 hours by bus north of Ho Chi Minh City or a flight. This city is known for many things but what it’s most famous for is the activities you can do here that you can’t do anywhere else in Vietnam.
Find out why Nha Trang is a traveller’s delight in Vietnam. Every tourist coming to Vietnam is lured by its white sand coastline stretching six kilometres. The atmosphere is not like the other overcrowded beaches. The marine animal still thrives on its reefs. Ranging from each point of the coastline is the view of verdant mountains.
Think about the views on a luxury island; this place got it all. The only difference is, they cater to any budget level and preference. So, expect cheap restaurants just across the white-sandy coastline. But what about the food, you ask? They serve reasonably priced fresh seafood in world-class Vietnamese Cuisine. After a good meal, be sure to hang out at the bars and pubs.
Before we jump in, we recommend you to read this article of things to know about Nha Trang and how to get there.
THINGS TO DO IN NHA TRANG
The tourist attractions have steeped Instagramable century-old structures, Buddhist temples, and gothic style churches. There are also natural hot springs, salt fields, and cold waterfalls! Well, honestly, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the things you could do in Nha Trang. But let us help you plan the things to do in Nha Trang.
ALSO READ: Where to stay in Nha Trang, take a look at the best resorts, budget hotels, and hostels in Nha Trang
Visit Nha Tho Nui Cathedral – Thai Nguyen
But why of all those good places, we featured Nha Trang Cathedral as the first in this list of what to do in Nha Trang? Vietnam is majority a Buddhist country. Despite this, Cathedrals are built way back in the 19th century because of the colonisation of the French. Locally known as the stone church, the Cathedral is entirely stone. And with its robust structure, it prides its square clock towers and dark stained windows. Probably one of the most gorgeous Cathedral you can easily visit.
Remaining as one of the most must-visit places in Nha Trang, it is also one of the most essential things the French Architecture brought here. If you think you’ll love this place, there are two paths you can go into. The first path is the 53-stone stairway from Nguyen Street, while the second way is from the city square. We personally recommend this stone pathway from the city square. It’s more mesmerising and will make you forget you are in Vietnam for a minute.
- Cost: None
- How to get there: The Cathedral is just a walking distance from the main railway station
Po Nagar Temple and Thap Ba Mud Trip – Khanh Hoa
Cham people rule the central of Vietnam between the 8th and 11th centuries. They are known for their skills in sculpture and architecture. And left behind their legacy is the Po Nagar Temple and other settlements seen in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. These are among the most ancient of Vietnam’s temples.
For the locales and left ethnics, The Po Nagar Cham Towers symbolises “The mother of the Country.” It is believed that they are the ones who taught agricultural and weaving skills to the cham people.
If you’re tired of non-stop exploring, hit a pause over a mud bath in Thap Ba. It’s quite a new experience to some, but a must-try because it’s healthy for your skin. These baths are rich in minerals, that is good for your skin and body.
Suppose you prefer sharing mud baths with your groups, better if you book public pools and mud baths. You can also opt for private facilities if you like that.
- Cost: Group Hot Spring bath may cost up to $350, Po Nagar Temple is free of cost
- How to get here: Take a ride to Quang Trung Street(2 Thang 4 Street) north across the Ha Ra and Xom Bong Bridges. You can also reach the place via the Tran Phu Bridge just across the beachfront road.
- Attractions in the city: Hon Chong, Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, Da Bao Pagoda, Phuoc Dien Pagoda, Khanh Hoa Museum
Go Snorkelling and/or Diving
One of my best memories of Nha Trang, when I visited the second time, was the snorkelling. While the view is not as great as Thailand or the Philippines it’s still worth a trip. The tours are affordable and easy to book.
If you add this to your Nha Trang itinerary, you should clear up an entire day for it. It takes about 6-7 hours from morning until afternoon. After that, you can plan a chill evening hitting the pubs and sports bars at night.
- Cost: between$25-$40 for snorkelling and higher for diving
Visit VinPearl Land
Personally, I didn’t have the chance to visit VinPearl Land. On my first visit, I only spent a day in Nha Trang, on the second visit, I didn’t have enough time. Hopefully, on my third visit, I can explore this most popular place in Nha Trang. Regardless, let me explain what VinPearl Land is.
VinPearl Land is a separate island from the main Nha Trang. You can each reach this place by taking a cable car, which you can do by yourself or book a tour. This island is like a theme park. It has rides, resorts, casinos, bars, restaurants, and more. They even do a firework show
It’s perfect for everyone especially those with kids. During high season, it is important to remember that tickets get sold out in advance especially the cable car. If you don’t stay in VinPearl Land (your accommodation is on the mainland), make sure to catch the last cable car ride before 6 PM.
- Cost: between $25 and up (cable car ticket for 2 way is about 500.000 VND), you can book a package to enjoy the rides and/or features of the island or just buy the cable car ticket to have a look
Go shopping at Dam Market – Ben Cho
Going on a shopping spree over the Dam market is one of the popular things to do in Nha Trang both for local and foreign tourists. This place is part of the tourist souvenir market and part local market. You can buy all sorts of merch, from clothes, shoes, bags, and tourist shirts.
To make your trip more rewarding, make sure you have plenty of time at the dried seafood section. One of the most famous local specialities is their dried shrimp, squid, and cuttlefish.
However, because it’s such a popular site for tourists, prices are a little bit higher. Best if you get your bargaining skills ready. However, don’t haggle much. A few dollars to you may be worth a day’s meal for the locals.
If you’re not into crowded places, we suggest going shopping here early in the morning. Some of the locals and tired tourists are still probably sleeping during this time of the day.
- Cost: Of course, don’t forget to pay for your purchases at local shops.
- How to get here: The Dam Market is the primary market of the city. It is located downtown, you can simply walk here or take a taxi or private shuttle.
FOOD TO TRY
Local Nha Trang dishes are distinctive to their sweet and savoury flavour. While locals eat, you’ll notice fish sauces are always on the side of their plates as dipping sauces. Fish sauces play an important role when they brew some of the finest soup and delicacies in Vietnam.
If you’re like me, whose meats and eggs are always on the meal, Nha Trang food is an incredible experience. It’s full of local flavours and trust me when I say that seafood is primarily the leading and most famous meal here.
Among the local dishes, you can taste one-of-a-kind/flavours of fermented pork, beef, grilled fish, jellyfish, and the freshest seafood unique in their culture. If you want to try something more exotic, try the swallow’s nest soup. I didn’t know that birds nest hunted from the wild makes excellent soup! It’s even regarded as the best in Vietnam. Here are three famous what to eat in Nha Trang.
To learn more about these foods and more, see our top-35 foods in Vietnam!
Grilled fermented pork roll- Nem Nuong
When someone says Nha Trang foods, fermented pork rolls likely come to mind. You can either eat this raw (nem chua)or grilled(Nem Nuong). Either way, it’s enjoyable, and most local tourists buy this as a gift for family and friends back home. Raw herbs, spicy local fish sauce, pickled green papaya, peanut sauce, and fresh herbs are often served on the dish to really bring the favours of Nem Nuong.
Nem Nuong is often served in local restaurants or family-owned cafes. When you ask a Vietnamese, the deliciousness of the grilled pork depends on the yumminess of the dipping sauce.
- Where to try: This food is famous around Khanh Hoa Province, and best to try it at Nem Nuong Vu Thanh.
- Cost: USD$1.73 per person
Banh can or Can Cake
A Banh Can is cooked by skillfully pouring flour into the mould over the coal brazier. The locals enjoy this food during the chilly season or mornings, with a cup of hot drink. You can buy Banh Can in pairs with a special sweet sauce made from fish sauce and local vegetables.
Usually, Banh Can is topped with your choice either quail egg or seafood. Some vendors even offer Banh with pork meatballs or shredded green mango.
- Where to try: Try out on Banh Canh Ba Thua.
- Estimated cost: $1
Vegetarian Banh Mi
The literal translation of Banh Mi is bread. A vegetarian Banh Mi is entirely different. When you go to Nha Trang, it’s a must-visit to go to Banh Mi Chay’s stall on Hung Vuong Street. They make this perfect delight with a fresh baguette with mock meat, salad, pickled vegetables, herbs, and dressing.
You’ll see the stall with a large sign of Banh Mi Chay. And just over the entrance is a signboard reading “bread vegetarians”. Some guests fell entirely in love with their sandwiches. It’s definitely a must-try food in Nha Tra#ang.
- Where to try: Banh Mi Chay
- Estimated cost: $1/piece
Try a Russian Food at a Russian Restaurant
If you don’t know yet, Nha Trang is a Russian melting pot. You will be surprised how many Russian restaurants are in this city and most of the staff are Russian themselves. Vietnamese speaks Russian better than English.
Personally, I haven’t been to Russia, during my visit to Nha Trang, I made sure that tried Russian dishes in one of these awesome restaurants. While there are many of them in almost every street, check out the place first on Google Maps and read reviews before you head there.
There are so many things to do in Nha Trang, either you are up for an adventure or just looking to do something relaxing or simply go on a foodies binge, this city has something for you.
There are plenty more things to do and eat in Nha Trang, we listed the must-see and do in Nha Trang but as you go along your visit here, you’ll hear great suggestions from other tourists, your hotel receptionist, and even your tour guide.
Here’s another tip before we go. We’ve seen a lot of taxis around Nha Trang, there’s no need to rent a car for a day Anyways, before you go, if you feel there’s something on the list that must be added, feel free to comment below.