The 10 Best Things to Do in Nha TrangBy James Taylor
From its relaxed and pristine shoreline and island-studded bay to the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers and buzzing food scene, there’s a lot to love about Nha Trang. This city is one of Central Vietnam’s most dynamic destinations to experience some classic Vietnamese food, hospitality and natural wonders.
You’re pretty much guaranteed a good time in Nha Trang, with rooftop bars like the famous Skylight Nha Trang, a buzzing nightlife, markets overflowing with fresh produce and the alluring beauty of Hon Tre Island just offshore.
Here are the best things to do in Nha Trang, Vietnam’s premier beach destination.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
Chill Out at the Beach
As this is one of the premier beach destinations in Vietnam, one of the best things to do in Nha Trang is kick back on the golden sands of the city beach. The water is inviting, and there’s plenty of opportunity for water sports, as well, from Jet Skis to parasailing.
The shoreline is also lined with several fantastic beach bars, perfect spots to relax with a drink and some food while watching the waves roll onto the shore. The beauty of Nha Trang is obvious from such a vantage point.
As far as bars go, one of the best spots to visit is the Sailing Club, where tables and chairs sprawl out from the venue onto the golden sand. The beach club has an excellent restaurant and an expansive selection of imported beers, wines and spirits. As the sun goes down, it also morphs into a nightclub, with a large dance floor commanded by local DJs who play until early morning.
If you prefer your beach bars to remain in beach-bar mode, then there’s also the excellent Louisiane Brewhouse Nha Trang, located on the Tran Phu beachfront. This spot stays nice and relaxed all day and even brews its own beers — the perfect accompaniment to the relaxed, beachy vibes.
Take in the Views from the Altitude Rooftop Bar
If you’re craving a drink with a view, there’s nowhere better than the Altitude Rooftop Bar, on the 28th story of the beachfront Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa. This captivating bar has a luxurious lounge feel, and its terrace enjoys jaw-dropping views of the coast and city. As evening descends, there might be some live music inside, a perfect backdrop as you linger over a cocktail, watching the light fade across the sea and the city lights twinkle to life below
It’s the perfect spot to linger over a cocktail, watching the light fade across the sea and Hon Tre Island offshore slowly disappear into the night.
There’s also a modest food menu here if you get hungry. For something more substantial, head downstairs into the hotel where the Steam n’ Spice Restaurant elevates delicious street food dishes to a five-star level.
Visit Hon Tre Island
The largest and most popular island off the coast of Nha Trang is Hon Tre Island. Home to the Nha Trang Marriott Resort & Spa, Hon Tre Island, this is both a paradise for longer stays and a tempting choice for a day trip from Nha Trang.
On the island you’ll find the famous VinWonders Nha Trang amusement park, featuring a zoo and an aquarium, water slides and pools, and plenty of other rides that make it a great day out for families.
Elsewhere on Hon Tre Island, there are picturesque beaches to enjoy, fine snorkeling and kayaking spots, and a handful of Vietnamese fishing villages. The combination of natural beauty, local culture and a world-class amusement park make Hon Tre Island one of the best places to see in Nha Trang.
Hop on a Sunset and Dinner Cruise
So many of the views in Nha Trang focus on the sea, with the islands dotted throughout. But turning your gaze back toward Nha Trang is equally as pleasant. The gentle curve of the bay is lined with tall skyscrapers, and the sun setting behind their silhouettes casts a golden glow over the entire scene.
A sunset and dinner cruise is an exceptional way to take in the sights — and it’s exactly what it sounds like. You’ll embark on a boat out to sea, where you’ll gently cruise on the water and enjoy a lovely dinner with views of the city. There’s live music, as well, and as the sunset fades, the stars come out above.
It’s a romantic and fun way to spend an evening, and you’ll be delivered back to land with plenty of time to explore the nightlife in Nha Trang.
Enjoy a Taste of Nha Trang’s Street Food
Wander a couple of blocks back from the main thoroughfare along the beach in Nha Trang, and you’ll discover a world of small food stalls selling quality street food.
In Nha Trang — and all over Vietnam — street food is a staple in local communities, and each region has its own specialties. In Nha Trang, seafood plays a big role, but it’s not all there is. A good dish to start with is bún cá sea, a dish of vermicelli noodles in a simple broth flavored with lemon and chili and topped with jellyfish meat.
Then there’s the classic dish called nem nướng, which is a grilled pork sausage served with sauce, rice paper and fresh vegetables. Bánh căn is a rice flour pancake topped with various things, from shrimp and squid to dried or fresh meat. Quail eggs are also a very popular topping for this dish.
Don’t fill up too quickly, though, since there’s another must-try specialty in Nha Trang: bánh xèo tôm mực. This is a delicious shrimp and squid pancake cooked over hot coals, and it’s a local favorite.
Visit Ba Ho Waterfall
Sometimes you need to get away from the crowds and heat of the city and head up to the hills where the air is fresh and the scenery is stunning. Drive a short distance out of Nha Trang in any direction and you’ll quickly find yourself in lush forests, surrounded by rushing streams and waterfalls.
One of the most popular day trips to take from Nha Trang is to the Ba Ho Falls, about a 40-minute drive north of the city. Here, you can unleash your inner explorer by hiking the trails, clambering over rocks and watching people jump off the cliffs into natural pools at the base of the waterfall. It’s a beautiful slice of nature and a great way to spend a day out and about in nature.
Feel the Energy at the Nha Trang Night Market
Vietnam has some of the best night markets in the world, and the one in Nha Trang is no exception. Visiting the night market here is a great way to tap into the energetic pulse of the city. Lit by colorful lanterns and filled with the frenetic energy Vietnam is famous for, the market is chaotic, lively and a world of fun.
The night market in Nha Trang, set on the beachfront, is a bustling area full of merchants specializing in clothing and souvenirs. It’s a great place to pick up some gifts for friends and family back home before sampling some more street food specialties washed down with a cold beer. And as you would do in all other markets in Vietnam, remember to bargain with the sellers before buying anything.
Dance the Night Away at the Bars and Clubs
It might not be as large as Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, but Nha Trang boasts many vibrant bars and clubs to explore on a night out. From cocktail lounges and relaxed pubs to sports bars and nightclubs, Nha Trang is up there alongside the best nightlife destinations in Vietnam.
For live sports on TV, you’ll want to make a beeline to Cheers Sports Bar, where you can watch everything from football to cricket.
If you fancy a creative cocktail, head to Hybrid Nha Trang, an ultramodern spot with expert mixologists behind the bar.
Finally, for dancing the night away, Kisho Club or Zima Club are your best bets — both have DJs, large dance floors and big crowds over the weekend.
Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers
Those in search of a bit of history will want to make their way out to the Po Nagar Cham Towers. Built between the 7th and 12th centuries by the Cham people, this beautiful temple complex is still used today as a place of worship by locals in the area.
At Po Nogar, there are four towers still standing out of the original eight, all of them in remarkably good condition. The most impressive tower is called the North Tower, which is 92 feet tall and a wonderful example of intricate Cham architecture. The pyramid roof and vaulted ceiling inside alone make this worth a stop. Best of all, the Po Nagar Cham Towers are a short distance (under 1.5 miles) from the center of Nha Trang.
Relax in a Mud Bath
Nha Trang is not just a place to soak up the sun and the sea — it’s also a place to soak up the mud. Yes, you heard that right, mud. You’ll feel like a kid again, submerging yourself in a large pool of mud and getting messy. A mud bath is one of the coolest things to do in Nha Trang, and it’s one of the most unique, as well.
Head north across the Cai River and you’ll find the Thap Ba Mud Baths, a complex of mud baths and hot springs. And this isn’t just any mud — it’s the therapeutic kind, rich in minerals that do wonders for your skin, your health and your overall mood. When you finish, you’ll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. It’s the perfect way to end any day exploring the streets of Nha Trang.