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North Vietnam itinerary: A great customizable plan for first-time visitors

11/01/2024 30.730

This North Vietnam itinerary guide provides a plan to explore vibrant cities and tranquil villages, admire majestic landscapes, and get immersed in the diverse cultures of this enchanting region with ease.

North Vietnam itinerary

North Vietnam is famous for its diverse range of natural landscapes, cultural experiences, and historical landmarks. This North Vietnam itinerary guide is perfect for any traveler to conveniently plan their trip and make the most of the time. For an unforgettable adventure on your Vietnam travel, read on.

1. Suggested options to plan your North Vietnam itinerary

To explore Northern Vietnam with ease, refer to one of the recommended itineraries below:

  • North Vietnam itinerary 5 days: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay

Day 1, 2: You should spend your first 2 days of the North Vietnam itinerary in Hanoi. You can visit many iconic landmarks, try the street food, experience the traditional culture, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

Day 3, 4: Continue your trip to Ninh Binh to explore the peaceful landscape and rich biodiversity.

Day 5: The last destination in this North Vietnam itinerary is Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • North Vietnam itinerary 7 days: Hanoi - Sapa - Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay

Day 1, 2: Start your North Vietnam itinerary by exploring Hanoi.

Day 3, 4: You can take a night train from Hanoi to Sapa or choose an all-inclusive Sapa tour for a more comfortable experience. While in Sapa, admire the natural landscapes and learn about the local culture. 

Day 5: Spend a day in Ninh Binh.

Day 6, 7: Conclude this North Vietnam itinerary by going to Ha Long Bay and discovering the many hidden gems here.

North Vietnam itinerary
  • North Vietnam itinerary 10 days: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay - Sapa - Ha Giang

Day 1, 2: Hanoi

Day 3, 4: Ninh Binh

Day 5,6: Ha Long Bay

Day 7, 8: Sapa

Day 9, 10: Travel from Sapa to Ha Giang by bus. In Ha Giang, you can explore around by motorbike or book a tour with a local guide. 

  • North Vietnam itinerary 14 days: Hanoi - Sapa - Ha Giang - Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay - Hai Phong

Day 1, 2, 3: Hanoi

Day 4, 5: Sapa

Day 6, 7: Ha Giang

Day 8, 9: Ninh Binh

Day 10, 11, 12: Ha Long Bay

Day 13, 14: Go to Hai Phong, the neighboring city of Ha Long. Here, you can explore the city's lively markets, try the local cuisine, then take another day trip to the nearby islands or beaches for some relaxation and water activities.

North Vietnam itinerary

>>> Check out the best places to visit in Vietnam!

2. What to include in your North Vietnam itinerary?

2.1. Hanoi North Vietnam itinerary

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a charming blend of traditions and modernity, with plenty of fascinating attractions to explore. 

Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-visit, where visitors can experience the city's bustling atmosphere and indulge in some street food at Ta Hien Street.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace offer insights into the country's history, while the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda showcase Vietnam's rich cultural heritage.

Visitors can also stroll around the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake or watch a show at the magnificent Hanoi Opera House.

For more recreational experiences, VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium Times City is a great option. VinKE offers a variety of indoor activities for visitors of all ages, especially job simulation games for children. Meanwhile, Vinpearl Aquarium features a diverse collection of marine life and amazing shows.

For those who love shopping, Dong Xuan Market is a perfect place to browse for souvenirs and local goods. With so much to see and do, your Hanoi travel will truly be worthwhile.

North Vietnam itinerary

2.2. Ninh Binh North Vietnam itinerary

Ninh Binh is a beautiful province with numerous natural and cultural wonders. Trang An and Tam Coc are the highlights of Ninh Binh, offering scenic boat rides through towering limestone karsts and tranquil rice paddies.

Bai Dinh Pagoda is also a must-visit for its impressive size and stunning architecture. Cuc Phuong National Park and Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve are perfect for those looking to get closer to nature, while Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and Phat Diem Cathedral showcase Vietnam's rich cultural heritage.

Other notable attractions include Tuyet Tinh Coc, Thung Nham Bird Park, Bich Dong Pagoda, Thai Vi Temple, and Non Nuoc Pagoda, making Ninh Binh an ideal destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

North Vietnam itinerary

2.3. Ha Long Bay North Vietnam itinerary

Ha Long Bay is a renowned destination for travelers from all over the world. With its stunning scenery and natural beauty, it offers a range of activities and attractions for tourists to enjoy. 

Visitors can explore the various islands and caves here, such as Ti Top Island, Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave, and Dau Go Cave

You can also experience the unique culture of Cua Van Floating Village and take in the panoramic views of the bay from Bai Tho Mountain.

Tuan Chau Island is a popular spot for water sports, while Ha Long Night Market offers a vibrant atmosphere to indulge in the local cuisine. 

For those looking to escape the crowds, Bai Tu Long Bay is a quieter alternative with equally impressive scenery. Meanwhile, Quang Ninh Museum provides insights into the history and culture of the province.

North Vietnam itinerary

2.4. Sapa North Vietnam itinerary

Sapa, nestled in Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, is a must-visit destination in Northern Vietnam. Its cool climate and stunning landscapes make it a perfect escape from the busy city life.

Sapa is known for its stunning mountains and vibrant ethnic groups. A trip to Sapa is incomplete without visiting O Quy Ho Pass, which offers breathtaking views of the valley. 

Other highlights include trekking to Cat Cat Village, visiting the iconic Fansipan Mountain, exploring the picturesque Muong Hoa Valley, and admiring the stunning Thac Bac Waterfall.

Also, don't miss out on Ta Phin Village to learn about the Red Dao people’s culture. And take a scenic drive on Tram Ton Pass, the highest mountain pass in Vietnam.

North Vietnam itinerary

2.5. Hai Phong North Vietnam itinerary

Hai Phong is a bustling coastal city that offers visitors a wide range of Hai Phong things to do. Here, a must-visit destination is Cat Ba Island, which is known for its stunning beaches and natural beauty. 

Other popular spots include Elephant Mountain, which offers panoramic views of the city, and Lan Ha Bay, where you can go kayaking and explore hidden caves.

If you are looking for a relaxing day by the water, Do Son Beach is the perfect spot to soak up the sun.

For history buffs and culture enthusiasts, Trung Trang Cave, Hospital Cave, Red Temple, Hai Phong Museum, Du Hang Pagoda, and Cathedral of The Diocese Of Hai Phong are all worth a visit.

North Vietnam itinerary

2.6. Ha Giang North Vietnam itinerary

Ha Giang has untouched natural beauty and vibrant cultural diversity.

This province boasts breathtaking mountainous landscapes, winding roads, and traditional villages where local ethnic minorities still maintain their unique ways of life.

The highlights in Ha Giang include Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, where visitors can explore ancient fossils, rock formations, and traditional architecture, and Ma Pi Leng Pass, which offers some of the most stunning views in Vietnam.

Other popular attractions include Quan Ba Twin Mountains, Lung Cu Flag Tower, and Meo Vac Market.

North Vietnam itinerary

>>> Read more: The best time to visit Vietnam

Besides North Vietnam, Central Vietnam and South Vietnam are also home to some of the most popular tourist destinations awaiting you to explore, like Phu Quoc, Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang, etc. 

If you are looking for a luxurious and comfortable stay, the Vinpearl hotel and resort system is a great option. Vinpearl offers a range of high-end accommodations and amenities, including swimming pools, golf courses, spas, gyms, conference centers, and children’s playgrounds. Besides, guests can enjoy world-class dining and entertainment, all readily available at Vinpearl. 

North Vietnam itinerary

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu QuocVinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, and Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long to optimize your travel experiences!

North Vietnam offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking to explore the rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty of this region. With a well-planned North Vietnam itinerary, you can enjoy the best this stunning region has to offer and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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