The climate in the S-shaped country of Vietnam varies between regions. It poses a challenge for travelers regarding when is the best time to visit Vietnam. Follow our travel guide to save your time from getting stuck on a bunch of ideas about when to kick-start your Vietnam travel journey.
1. When is the best time to visit Vietnam by region?
1.1. North Vietnam
The ideal time to visit North Vietnam, including Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa, is from October to April. During this period, the weather is generally cooler and drier, with temperatures ranging from comfortable to chilly. November to March is particularly popular as the weather is cooler and less humid, making it a great time for trekking in Sapa and exploring the cultural sites in Hanoi.
1.2. Central Vietnam
Central Vietnam, which includes popular destinations like Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An, experiences a different climate pattern. The best time to visit this region is from February to August when the weather is generally warm and dry. April to August is the peak tourist season, offering plenty of sunshine and ideal conditions for beach activities along the coast.
1.3. South Vietnam
South Vietnam has a tropical climate with two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The best time to visit the south is during the dry season, which lasts from December to April. This period offers plenty of sunshine and less rainfall, making it suitable for exploring places like the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, cruising the Mekong Delta, and enjoying the beautiful beaches at Phu Quoc.
2. The best time to visit Vietnam by month
- January, February, March: The weather is cool, and there may be occasional drizzles and high humidity in some provinces and cities in the North. This period also coincides with the biggest festival of the year for Vietnamese people, Tet (Lunar New Year), where you can experience many unique traditional festivals. Recommended destinations include Hanoi, Nam Dinh, Lang Son, Sapa, and Ha Giang.
- March and April: The weather is dry with little to no rain, and the sun is not too intense. This period is suitable for various outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, sightseeing, and exploring nature reserves.
- June, July, August, September: These months mark the beach tourism season in Vietnam as the country enters summer. It is a popular time for seaside vacations and enjoying water activities, including swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, surfing, etc. Vietnam has beautiful beach destinations like Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc to consider.
- October, November, December: The weather becomes colder in the northern region, while the central and southern regions experience cooler and more pleasant temperatures. This period is suitable for exploring destinations in the central and southern parts of Vietnam.
3. When is the best time to visit Vietnam by destination?
The best time of year to visit Vietnam is generally during the dry season, which varies across the country's different regions. The dry season offers pleasant weather for outdoor activities and exploration. However, it is important to note that weather patterns can vary slightly each year. It is always recommended to check the specific forecast for the period you plan to visit.
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3.1. The best time to visit Phu Quoc Vietnam
Phu Quoc Island is naturally blessed with a pleasant climate all year round. The average temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius. There is plenty of sunshine, with low to medium humidity. Visibility is generally good, making it ideal for any outdoor activity, including swimming, snorkeling, island hopping, and jungle trekking.
To be more specific, the weather in Phu Quoc can be splited into two seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the rainy season (July to September).
3.1.1. The dry season - the best time to visit Phu Quoc Island Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam beaches in Phu Quoc is undoubtedly the dry season, which lasts from November to April. During this time, there is a lot of sunshine. The temperature is between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius. Additionally, there is little likelihood of rain. The wind is calm, also.
This is the suitable time for all outdoor activities, including swimming, sunbathing, diving, etc. This season also makes the road dry and not slippery at all, making it ideal for going around by motorbike. Camping, photography, and birdwatching amidst the dense forest are great to try, too.
During the dry season, beach hotels and resorts like Vinpearl Phu Quoc welcome a large number of visitors coming to enjoy their leisure beach escape. Hence, it is advisable to book rooms in advance so that you will have a nice place to stay on your trip.
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3.1.2. The rainy season in Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc's temperature starts to rise in late April and continues to increase towards the middle of the year. May and June are the hottest months, followed by steadily rising rainfall.
3.2. The best time to visit Nha Trang Vietnam
Nha Trang is another famous name when it comes to beach destinations in Vietnam. February to May is believed to be the best time to visit Vietnam Nha Trang.
In addition to having a tropical monsoon climate, Nha Trang is also affected by the oceanic climate. As a result, Nha Trang's weather is neither as unpredictable as that in Southern Vietnam nor as harsh as that in Northern Vietnam. The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius.
There are two main seasons in Nha Trang: the rainy season (from September to December) and the dry one (from January to August).
3.2.1. February to May - the best time to travel to Nha Trang
Between February and May is the ideal time to visit Nha Trang. The temperature ranges between 26 and 27 degrees Celsius. You are expected to experience lots of sunshine, blue skies, and mild winds. Beaches are extraordinarily beautiful during this time, as it features exceptionally clean water. Sunbathing, swimming, and other beach activities are amazing to try on these sunny days. This is also not the peak tourist season in Nha Trang, so you will not be overwhelmed by crowds.
However, if you are a snorkeling and diving enthusiast, April to August would be the better time to come here.
3.2.2. The rainy season in Nha Trang
Nha Trang experiences heavy rainfall between September and December. Storms from the East Sea frequently affect Nha Trang around this time. Therefore, it may not be convenient to visit and enjoy the tourist sites during the rainy season. You cannot swim, climb mountains, or engage in other outdoor activities when it is raining excessively.
Heavy rainfall, however, results in significantly lower room rates. If you have a tight budget, you can consider traveling during this season. You might get the chance to stay in top Nha Trang hotels and resorts like Vinpearl Nha Trang at a much lower price.
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3.3. The best time to visit Hoi An Vietnam
Hoi An features hot and humid weather, which is typical of the tropical monsoon climate. It is also divided into two seasons: the rainy season (between August and December) and the dry season (between January and July).
The best time to visit Vietnam Hoi An is from February to April, which is in the dry season.
3.3.1. The dry season in Hoi An
From February to April is considered the best time to travel to Hoi An. The weather is cool and pleasant, while the peak tourist season has not come yet. There is lots of sunshine and blue skies. The streets are not too crowded, making it perfect to stroll along the ancient streets to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere here.
When it gets hotter in May and June, it is the right time to reach the pristine Hoi An beaches to soak in the cool seawater and rejuvenate. The coastline is home to many first-class resorts (like Vinpearl Hoi An) where you can enjoy your stay to the fullest.
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3.3.2. The rainy season in Hoi An
During periods of high precipitation, the ancient town is prone to flooding due to its location alongside the Hoai River.
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3.4. The best time to visit Danang Vietnam
As Da Nang is located adjacent to Hoi An Ancient Town, it shares the same weather condition all year round. Similar to Hoi An, the best time to visit Vietnam Da Nang is between February and April.
3.4.1. The ideal time to travel to Da Nang
The dry season, which falls between January and July, is considered the best time to visit Central Vietnam’s metropolis.
From February to April is the period with the best weather conditions. During this time, the city experiences sunny skies and moderate humidity, making it comfortable to explore the city on foot or by motorbike. The average water temperature at Da Nang beaches is around 25 degrees Celsius, which is perfect for beach exploration.
Summertime (from April to July) is also a time when the city welcomes a large number of both local and foreign tourists coming to escape from the heat. Travelers tend to choose to stay at luxury beach hotels and resorts, such as Vinpearl Da Nang, to enjoy their summer vacation in one of the best beach spots in Asia.
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3.4.2. The rainy season in Da Nang
During the rainy season in Da Nang, there is rarely a dry day. The sky is quite gloomy, the road is slippery, and the water is no longer clear.
3.5. The best time to visit Hanoi Vietnam
Hanoi in Northern Vietnam is a must-see destination for any Vietnam journey. What is the best time to visit Vietnam’s capital? The city is beautiful all year round, as each season offers a different charm.
Hanoi weather is typical of the climate in the Northern region, with hot, rainy summers and chilly, dry winters. There are four seasons in Hanoi: spring (from early February to April), summer (from May to July), autumn (from August to October), and winter (from November to January).
3.5.1. Autumn - the best time to travel to Hanoi
From August to October is the ideal time to visit Vietnam's capital. There is not much rainfall. Also, it boosts clear blue skies while the temperature is not high. The cool autumn wind makes it exceptionally pleasant for a Hanoi trip.
If you are unable to visit Hanoi in autumn, another great time to come here is from February to early April. It is the festive and flower-blooming season in Hanoi.
3.5.2. Hot and cold days in Hanoi Vietnam
Compared to autumn and spring, summer and winter have harsher weather. It is quite hot and humid during summer, while it is bitterly cold in winter.
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3.6. The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, features a hot and humid climate. There are approximately 159 rainy days a year, with an average of 1,949 millimeters of annual rainfall. From June to September is when the city experiences the highest rainfall.
Saigon has two distinctive seasons: the dry season (from December to April) and the wet season (from May to November).
3.6.1. When to visit Saigon Vietnam?
The dry season is the best time to visit South Vietnam’s Saigon. You will be able to freely explore the city without worrying about unexpected downpours. You can ramble through the crowded downtown streets, discover the centuries-old French buildings, or have fun at outdoor amusement parks.
3.6.2. Rainy days in Ho Chi Minh City
The city experiences heavy rainfall during its rainy season. There is also a likelihood of flooding, sometimes. However, the rain is often short and tends to clear off soon. There will be some sunshine and blue skies between downpours.
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3.7. The best time to visit Halong Bay Vietnam
Similar to other northern destinations, Halong Bay’s weather is characterized by four seasons. Summertime is the time with the highest rainfall, while it is dry and cold during winter. Each season brings Halong Bay a different allure.
3.7.1. From December to January - the ideal time to travel to Halong Bay
While domestic travelers tend to visit Halong in summer to cool down the heat by coming to the beach, foreign travelers love to visit this destination in fall and winter.
From December to January is the best time to visit Vietnam Halong Bay. This period offers excellent weather, with the temperature fluctuating between 15 to 21 degrees Celsius. There is little chance of rain. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities like cave exploration, kayaking, and swimming.
3.7.2. When to refrain from taking a Halong Bay tour?
Between June and September is the rainy season in Halong Bay. There is a higher chance of typhoons and storms, thus boats and cruises may have to be delayed or even canceled.
4. Choose the best time to travel to Vietnam by special occasions
If you love to explore the long-lasting culture and history of Vietnam, the best time to visit Vietnam is no longer based on weather only. To fully enjoy any Vietnam holiday, it is important that you reach the destination at the right time. Some occasions only take place for one or two days, so if you come too late or too early, it would be a waste.
4.1. Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year)
Lunar New Year is the most significant celebration of the year. As it is based on the lunar calendar, the dates for Tet holiday in Vietnam change annually. However, it usually occurs between mid-January and late February.
Tet celebrations might last anywhere from three days to a full week, depending on each region’s traditions and norms. The best time to visit Vietnam during Tet is believed to be from the week before to the week after Tet. You should come early to enjoy the festive Tet vibe at Tet markets and along the streets. Observing the essential ceremonies during this holiday is a must-try experience for visitors.
4.2. Hue Festival
Hue, the former citadel of Vietnam, possesses exceptionally rich culture and history. Hue Festival, which takes place every two years, is a chance for tourists to know more about the city’s significant cultural values. This biannual event lasts for a week in either April, May, or June. The royal ceremonies, traditional events, and artistic performances are showcased during the festival to help visitors have a better insight into the invaluable heritage of this citadel.
What is the best time to visit Hue Vietnam? There is no fixed calendar for this event, so it is essential to check it beforehand so that you can visit Hue at the right time for the festive season.
4.3. International Fireworks Festival
The International Fireworks Festival is held annually along the riverbank of Han River in Da Nang. Many contestants from different parts of the world will participate in this competition and bring about vibrant fireworks performances here.
The best time to visit Vietnam for the fireworks festival is often sometime between May and July. In 2023, the festival is planned to take place from June 3 to July 8.
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4.4. Mid-Autumn Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival is another fascinating celebration to take part in during your visit to Vietnam. Also based on the lunar calendar, the festival takes place on the full moon night of the 8th lunar month, which often falls between early September to early October.
Even though the festival only occurs for one or two nights, preparations are carried out for weeks prior. A week before the festival, streets and markets put on a vibrant festive color with various Mid-Autumn decorations. You should experience the joyful vibe of the locals excitedly preparing for the upcoming occasion during this period.
4.5. National Independence Day
National Independence Day, or National Day, is a must-see holiday during your Vietnam trip. It is held on the 2nd of September every year to commemorate the declaration of independence of Vietnam.
The whole country celebrates National Day with flags, fireworks, festivities, and parades. If you happen to be in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or Da Nang on this day, get out onto the streets and join in the locals’ merry celebration of patriotism and pride.
Vietnam in different seasons holds different appeals to tourists. Since each place is characterized by a specific weather condition, there is no exact right or wrong time to travel to Vietnam as a whole. The best time to visit Vietnam depends on where you are going to reach and what experience you expect to have. Hopefully, this article will help you find the best time for your upcoming Vietnam trip.