Destinations / Asia / Vietnam

Where To Go In Vietnam With Kids (& Important Planning Tips)

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Vietnam is a rich, vibrant country brimming with options to satisfy travelers of all ages and interests, from breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches, rich culture and history, to amazing food. 

So how do you decide where to go on a family holiday in Vietnam with kids? In this guide you’ll read about some of the best places in Vietnam for families to help you narrow down your choices. I’ll also share some logistical tips to help you craft your family’s ideal Vietnam itinerary.

To give you some context, I’m Vietnamese-American and have visited Vietnam several times. This was the first visit for my husband and kids and it was great to be able to show them the Vietnam I know while also seeing the country through their eyes as tourists.

Planning a family trip to Vietnam: getting started

Before you start planning a family trip to Vietnam, you’ll need to think about a few factors.

How long should you stay in Vietnam with kids?

If you’re coming from the US and traveling with kids, I don’t usually recommend trips to Asia shorter than 10 days. You lose so much time to travel and jet lag. If that’s all the time you have, it’s recommended to choose two bases to stay in that will allow you to take some interesting day trips.

A more comfortable Vietnam itinerary for families is around 15-20 days. That’ll give you time to settle in and stay in a few different places depending on how fast you like to travel. There’s really no upper limit on how long you should stay in Vietnam with kids. The country offers a huge range of family-friendly things to do, different geography, and even different cuisines.

We spent just over two weeks in Vietnam, plus the time to fly back and forth to our home base on the east coast. The 20+ hours of travel each way and 11 hour time difference were no joke!

When are you traveling to Vietnam with kids?

Be sure to note the weather when you go to Vietnam – it’s a very long country with very different weather conditions from North to South.

In central Vietnam seasonal floods are an annual event and can be very serious. Wet/typhoon season is a phenomenon. If you want beach time in Vietnam, consider the weather when picking between Phu Quoc and Nha Trang/Da Nang. If Hội An is a must-see, don’t go in Sept/October, when flooding is common.

The other important consideration is how crowded certain places will be when you plan to visit. The Lunar New year is a special time in Vietnam, but prepare for huge crowds, high prices, and reduced hours or closures at some attractions as locals take time off.

We visited Vietnam in December, which offered a nice balance of moderate temperatures without too much rain.

How big is Vietnam?

The total area of Vietnam is just a little smaller than Arizona, but its shape makes many popular destinations much further apart. You could cross Arizona by car in about 6 hours east to west and 7 hours north to south.

But from Hanoi to Can Tho, for example? You’re looking at 30 hours of drive time – and Hanoi isn’t even the furthest north area of Vietnam that some tourists visit. Keep this in mind as you plan your trip so that you allow enough time for ground transportation or enough money for domestic flights – more on this next. At the end of this article I’ve included a map showing you where all of the destinations in this article are located.

Getting around on a Vietnam trip with kids

Once you arrive in Vietnam, it’s fairly easy to get around with kids. Rideshare service Grab is convenient and inexpensive, and private drivers for larger vehicles can be hired easily through any agent, hotel, or tour.

If you want to cover lots of ground quickly between cities, you can also get inexpensive domestic flights. Vietnam Airlines (international carrier), Bamboo (low cost carrier), and Vietjet (low cost carrier) offer many regional flights, with Vietnam Airlines having a stronger record of on time flights.

For a more leisurely pace, you can also take trains in Vietnam to get between the major cities. But they can be much slower than flying. For example, you can get from Hanoi to Hue in just over an hour by air while the same route would take 13 hours by train or bus. But it’s a beautiful ride and there are some luxury train options available that could give you a really unique experience in Vietnam.

Where to stay in Vietnam with kids

There are many different accommodation choices for your trip to Vietnam with kids, from hotels to overnight Ha Long Bay cruises to homestays. You might want to consider booking a few different styles to get a fuller look at Vietnam.

Hotel rooms often accommodate two adults and two children under age 6 but this can vary by property. Children 6-12 are often required to have an additional bed, a second room, or a family suite. Children 12 and up are often considered adults for hotel occupancy. Each hotel will have its own rules, so guests should always consult the hotel’s policy when booking.

One nice thing about taking a family trip to Vietnam is that many hotels – even luxury brands – are extremely affordable. While you might usually skew toward budget-friendly places to stay, Vietnam offers plenty of luxury hotels for under $100 USD per night. Your kids will feel spoilet, and so will you!

Paying for things in Vietnam

While hotels, Grab, large restaurants and tourist shops offer credit card payments, much of Vietnam remains a cash culture. Street food, local vendors, some private drivers and tours, and many markets accept cash only.

ATMs are available throughout the country, but many charge high fees and have low limits on the maximum that can be withdrawn in one transaction. Consider opening a checking account with a bank that reimburses for ATM fees – Schwab is an incredibly popular option among frequent travelers for exactly this reason.

Airports and Banks often offer mediocre exchange rates. The most favorable exchange rate can usually be found in local gold and jewelry shops, which are authorized for currency exchange. Large hotels often offer competitive exchange rates for their guests as well.

Food in Vietnam

Food in Vietnam is diverse, flavorful and vibrant, with many regional specialties and choices for all eaters. Steaming bowls of phở are just the start as you’ll find yourself immersed in an abundance of choices. Street food vendors, night markets, hole-in-the-wall restaurants specializing in one dish, and countless fantastic restaurants are found throughout the country, with many choices for vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free diets.

Do carry a card in the local language if traveling with food allergies or other dietary restrictions – shellfish is used in many classic Vietnamese dishes, and several dishes are garnished with nuts. Larger restaurants in cities are best accustomed to accommodating severe food allergies.

Places to Visit in Vietnam with Family

Best places in Vietnam for nature lovers

Halong Bay 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most iconic backdrops in Vietnam. With hundreds of islands and islets dotting the bay, many with large limestone cave systems to explore, Halong bay is a must see destination for nature lovers. It’s one of my personal favorite places to go in Vietnam because of its unparalleled natural beauty.

Where to stay in Ha Long Bay with kids: There’s no better way to experience Ha Long Bay than by boat. The area offers dozens of choices for one and two night cruises of the bay which include tours and excursions of some of the larger islands, as well as kayaking, swimming, squid fishing, and other onboard activities.

Many 2 night cruises include a visit to Cat Ba Island, where visitors can bike to traditional villages and take in the beautiful scenery. Both adult and children’s bikes and helmets are readily available, and visitors who prefer not to bike can ride an electric cart instead. If you can swing 2 nights rather than one, I definitely recommend it!

Here are some good family-friendly Halong Bay cruise options – take note of occupancy, as some can accommodate a maximum of three people per room:

Ninh Bình

Known as Halong Bay on land, the areas of Tam Cốc and Trang An in Ninh Bình offer stunning vistas steeped in natural beauty. Sampan boats navigate waterways, grottos, and lead to pagodas nestled against mountains. Hiking to Mua Cave and biking around the countryside are also extremely popular, with adult and children’s bikes and helmets available at several locations.

Where to stay in Ninh Bình with kids: Ninh Bình is home to a wealth of incredible homestays, where visitors can immerse themselves in local life and culture in more rural areas. Accommodations can vary between simple to luxurious. 

Where to experience Vietnamese history and culture

Hà Nội

The capital city of Vietnam offers a mix of culture, history, thriving markets and restaurants. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by strolling the Old Quarter, attending a Water Puppet Show, and taking a street food tour. Visit pagodas, the Imperial city of Thanh Long, and have a coffee on train street as trains pass through the city a few feet from your seat.

Where to stay in Hà Nội with kids: The Old Quarter is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city, and you’ll find plenty of great places to stay in Hanoi with kids at all price points.


Formerly known as the imperial city of Vietnam, Huế boasts a rich history and architecture from the Nguyen Dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnam. You can visit the Citadel, tombs, and temples, as well as enjoy delicious central Vietnamese cuisine.

Where to stay in Huế with kids: Vinh Ninh – the city center

Hội An 

This charming UNESCO World Heritage site is a favorite among tourists for its narrow streets, lanterns, tailors, and beaches. To be clear, you aren’t going to fin a sleepy “hidden gem” like you would have thirty years ago. But I still love it, and I really believe you will too.

One of the finest preserved representations of a Southeast Asian trading port dating back to the 16th century, the ancient town is a remarkable example of blending cultures, with Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese influence on display along with the indigenous Vietnamese population. The House of Tan Ky is a beautifully preserved 18th century merchant’s home that you can’t miss.

Hội An is also the place to have custom clothes made from some of the finest tailors in Vietnam. On beautiful days, An Bàng beach’s white sands welcome visitors to relax, swim, and snorkel. At night Old Town comes alive with bright lanterns lining the streets and adorning the boats on the water.

Where to stay in Hội An with kids: Base yourself within walking distance to Ancient Town

Da Lat

Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Da Lat was a French colonial resort famed for its beautiful flowers and nearby stunning waterfalls. Explore French colonial architecture, stroll beautiful gardens, and visit the iconic “Crazy House,” the whimsical creation of architect Dang Viet Nga.

Where to stay in Da Lat with kids: Phuong 1, the city center

Best beach destinations in Vietnam

Da Nang

Bamboo waterproof round fishing boat at China Beach in Danang in Vietnam. It is also called Non Nuoc Beach. South China Sea on the background.

The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang is famed for its beautiful beaches and clear blue waters. The bustling city is also a mecca for shopping and delicious central Vietnamese cuisine. Nearby attractions include the Marble Mountains, temple of the Lady Buddha, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary (Champa temples frequently referred to as the Angor Wat of Vietnam).

Where to stay in Da Nang with kids: Along My Khe beach, or near the Han River Waterfront to enjoy the city.

Nha Trang

This south-central beach city itself boasts beautiful beaches and parks, as well as luxurious resorts on the local islands. Hon Tre is home to VinPearl, the popular resort and amusement park. Nha Trang is also rich with diversity, with three of its highest points topped with Cham, Buddhist, and Catholic places of worship.

Where to stay in Nha Trang with kids

For a family luxury resort experience, VinPearl resort on Hon Tre island has beautiful beaches, an amusement park and many amenities. 

For exploring Nha Trang, the long stretch of city along Tran Phu Beach is perfectly situated to enjoy beach, city, and parks in easy walking distance.

Phú Quốc 

Vietnam’s largest and western-most island, Phú Quốc boasts beautiful white sand beaches with a backdrop of tropical forest, national parks, traditional fishing villages, and bustling markets. It’s even home to the world’s longest cable car!

Where to stay in Phú Quốc with kids:

Mapping where to go in Vietnam with kids

Now that you’ve gotten an overview of where to go on a Vietnam family trip, use this map to help you narrow down your options and put it all together!

Before you go…

If you’re up for an even longer family travel adventure, consider hopping a quick flight across the peninsula to Thailand! There are lots of great sites and experiences whether you’re exploring the hustle and bustle of Bangkok or the quieter northern cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

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