Hoi An is a very beautiful old town and Unesco world heritage site located in the central part of Vietnam. It has become popular among many tourists because of its classic charm, bright colors, beautiful lanterns, and more. Many visitors from all over the world try famous foods from Hoi An and get beautifully made outfits custom designed and fitted for your own body. There are a lot of things to love about Hoi An and if only one day in Hoi An is what you have, I hope this Itinerary can help you make the most of your day here.
Is this your first time traveling to Vietnam? Check out my Vietnam travels in this 10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary.
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One Day in Hoi An Itinerary
Visiting Hoi An should be added to your Vietnam Itinerary. This city is not like any other city within Vietnam which will give you a unique experience of a slower-paced city. Most people will think to visit the larger cities and popular tourist spots, but this hidden gem is what Vietnam is truly about. This itinerary is perfect if you want to make a day trip to Hoi An or spend more time here as well. I’ve highlighted the top things to do in Hoi An.
How long should you spend in Hoi An?
I think you should at least spend 3 days in Hoi An. 2 days in Hoi An is sufficient as well. Many of the places you can see in one day, however, if you want to get clothes made, try all the amazing food, or just relax, 3 days would be best. It depends on the type of traveler you are. I’ve found some amazing things to do and I felt it was worth staying for 3 days in Hoi An.
Recommended things for one day in Hoi An
- Eat White Rose Dumplings
- Get Clothing Made
- Buy Leather Made Goods
- Eat Banh Xeo
- Wander the Fujian Assembly Hall – Phuc Kien
- Rent a Bike and Take Gorgeous Photos of Ancient Town
- Drink the famous Coconut Coffee at Cong Caphe
- Relax and enjoy a body or foot massage
- Eat Banh Mi at Anthony Bourdain’s Favorite Spot
- Take photos with beautiful Hoi An lanterns at night
- Check out Chua Cau – the Japanese covered bridge
- Take a lantern boat ride
- Visit a Beach or Cham Islands
- Make a Hoi An Lantern
- Visit the Hoi An Silk Village
Best places in Hoi An
Eat White Rose Dumplings
Hoi An is famous for a lot of delicious foods including the White Rose Dumpling. The White Rose Dumpling is most well known at the restaurant. These dumplings are made from rice paper and are spooned in with a meat or shrimp filling. These dumplings are usually steamed and covered in fried onion. They are served with a sweet and sour fish sauce which you can dip your dumplings in or pour-over. This dish is only known to be from Hoi An, so take advantage of it while you can. You can also find it at many of the restaurants in the area and the street food stalls as well.
Read more about the best food in Hoi an and popular Hoi An Restaurants.
Get Clothing Made – Most popular thing to do in during your one day in Hoi An Itinerary
Now if you are interested in getting clothing made, you can get some clothes made. However, you may not be able to get these items readjusted within one day. You will need to get to the tailor as soon as possible with your ideas and provide them with your measurements. They will have them sewn and finished for you to try on the next day. So if you arrive the night before, go to the tailor first, get that sorted so you can pick them up in the morning or the next day.
You can read more in my post about the best Hoi An Tailors. I discuss in more detail the process of getting something made in Hoi An.
Buy Leather Made Goods
There are many shops within the town where you can purchase and buy real leather goods like handbags, wallets, purses, sandals, and shoes. The prices are pretty reasonable as well and the quality is excellent. You can even get some custom made sandals and shoes which are worth checking out. I’m not sure about the timing since I did not purchase custom made shoes, but I did find a cute pair of sandals already in my size at one of the stores. By the way, if you are a huge Birkenstock fan, they had many of those styles sandals available throughout the town.
Eat Banh Xeo – Most popular dish for your One Day in Hoi An Itinerary
Banh Xeo is popular within Vietnam, however, supposedly the most popular and famous ones are from Hoi An. When I did my food tour in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), I realized the Banh Xeo is quite different. The Banh Xeo in Hoi An is smaller and typically wrapped in rice paper.
Banh Xeo is a fried sizzling pancake that is savory. They are usually filled with shrimp and beansprouts. They are served with a lot of fresh vegetables like lettuce and cucumbers. On the side, you will usually have rice paper, a sweet peanut sauce, and sometimes fried spring rolls or barbequed meat on a stick. The best place to eat Banh Xeo in Hoi An is at Bale Well. They are the most popular restaurant to serve this dish.
How to eat Banh Xeo
You will take 2 pieces of rice paper, then place the pancake on top of the rice paper and open it up. Place as many vegetables, egg rolls, and meat you want but make sure you can roll it afterward. Then roll the rice paper to make something like a fresh spring roll.
Wander the Fujian Assembly Hall (Hội quán Phúc Kiến)
Hoi An was inspired by Chinese architecture, so there are a lot of Chinese influences in the area. There are many temples, and the Fujian Assembly Hall is a popular place to visit and is considered a Hoi An tourist attraction. This specific hall is known for relating to the sea, sailors, and shipwrecks. It’s where people around East Asia can worship the Goddess of the Sea.
Rent a Bike and Take Gorgeous Photos of Ancient Town
Traveling to Hoi An is more than just the clothes and food, but the beautiful scenery and atmosphere of this beautiful town. It’s away from the high-rise building, busy crowds, and more. What people love about Hoi An is how walkable this beautiful town is.
Many of the motorbikes are not allowed in some of the busy areas and only bicycles and walking are allowed. The main road to get around town in Tran Phu Street. You will be able to find anything you are looking for walking along that road. You can easily rent a bike for fairly cheap to get around town. Many of the hotels will have their own bikes you can rent from.
Drink the famous Coconut Coffee at Cong Caphe
You don’t have to drink the famous coconut coffee at this specific Cong Caphe, but you should at least try it once during your trip to Vietnam. They have Cong Caphes all over Vietnam and they are a very popular amount of tourists. Honestly, out of all the cafes I went to, Cong Caphe was probably my favorite coconut coffee on my entire trip to Vietnam. So be sure to get a taste of it!
Relax and enjoy a body or foot massage
Massages in Vietnam are very affordably priced and perfect to get away from the heat. During those hotter points during the day, I would escape from the sun and pop into a nearby place, and get an hour foot massage. The massages feel great and help you wind down and relax after traveling. There are massage places all over the town so be sure to find one and enjoy yourself.
Best day spas in Hoi An
- Woosah Spa
- KOI Resort & Spa
- Palmarosa Spa
- Five Senses Spa
- Natura Spa
- Padanus Spa
- Hoi An Blind Massage
Eat Banh Mi at Anthony Bourdain’s Favorite Spot – Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen
Eat the most famous Banh Mi in Hoi An. Although, there is another spot that seems to be pretty popular. At the place Anthony Bourdain recommended, I found it to be more delicious than the other place, but I think that is a personal preference. If you are traveling with others, try and hit up both spots and split the two to get a taste for both of them. The bread for these sandwiches is what makes them both very excellent to eat.
Take photos with beautiful Hoi An lanterns at night
The best part about visiting Hoi An other than the clothing and the food? Checking out the gorgeous lanterns. These beautiful lanterns are filled in the streets at night and typical of anyone’s favorite Instagram story or page. Many of the stalls, however, do charge to take pictures of their lanterns. After all, they need to make a profit. Most people won’t buy a lantern and just want the Instagram photo.
If you have more time, try to make your own lantern at a Lantern Making Workshop in Hoi An. These lantern-making classes take about 1.5 – 2 hours long. You get to learn all the steps of how to make a lantern, add the silk you want and the bands you want as well. You also get to take the lantern home with you!
Check out Chua Cau – the Japanese covered bridge
This is one of Hoi An’s iconic sights and is important to Vietnamese culture. It survived the war and is decorated beautifully. Although this bridge is quite small, it’s the highlight of the beautiful Ancient Hoi An Town. This bridge dates back to the late 18th century and is bridge traditional to Hoi An.
Take a lantern boat ride
If you want, at night you can even take a lantern boat ride in the Thu Bon river. There are many people who own boats that you can travel on and enjoy the beautiful hanging lanterns. It’s a small break from the walking crowds that come out at night, but you’ll have a different experience and view.
Visit a Beach or Cham Islands
If you want something more relaxing, I would suggest going to the beach. There are a couple of nice beaches in Hoi An and it’s not as heavily populated with tourists like they are in DaNang. Most people come to visit the Ancient Town and rarely spend time outside of the area. I spent the day at the beach when I wanted to get away and just relax. I ended up having a massage after.
I would also suggest visiting Cham Islands, these islands are quite beautiful and many take the trip out there for the day. These are beautiful islands off the coast of Hoi An. It’s the perfect location to go snorkeling, swimming and takes about 30 minutes to get to. It’s only recommended to visit when the weather is good, during monsoon season it’s completely inaccessible.
Best Beaches in Hoi An for One Day in Hoi An
These are some of the best beaches in Hoi An that I would recommend.
- An Bang Beach
- Cham Islands
- Ha My
- Cua Dai Beach
- Hidden Beach
- Binh Minh beach
Make a Hoi An Lantern – One Day in Hoi An Favorite
This was one of my favorite things to do in Hoi An. I highly suggest making a lantern and bringing it home as a souvenir. They are really well made and make you appreciate the lantern that you bring home. It makes for a great gift and honestly, I connected with some amazing instructors while I was there. If you are interested in making a Hoi An lantern, learn more about my experience on how to make a Hoi An lantern and where to see them.
Visit the Hoi An Silk Village
Learn the process of how to make silk. This takes approximately one hour and it’s a popular thing to do in Hoi An. Since Hoi An is known for its clothing and silk lanterns, learning how their materials are made is a crucial step to Hoi An. It’s one of Hoi An’s popular products – making it a unique experience for one day in Hoi An.
Other Things to do in Hoi An
- Museum of Trade Ceramics
- Eat Cao Lau
- Day Tours in Hoi An to My Sons Sanctuary
Looking for things to eat in Hoi An? Check out these Hoi An Restaurants.
Best bars in Hoi An
- The Deck Hoi An
- White Marble Restaurant
- The Shamrock Irish Pub Hoi An
- Dive Bar
- Tam Tam Bar
- Mango Mango
- Hoi An Sports Bar
Where to stay in for a one day in Hoi An Itinerary
There are a few areas you can stay in Hoi An, but I stayed at the BackHome Hotel. It was a bit of a walk into the main town, however, it was quieter down that area which I liked. The hotels in Hoi An though do have a night scene with drinking at the lower level, so I do suggest you bring some earplugs. The music often ends pretty early though.
Is a one day in Hoi An Itinerary enough?
Excuse my language but hell no! The reason most people visit Hoi An is to experience this beautiful town and to get some amazing fashionable clothes made. However, if one day is all you got, then I hope this post helps you make the most out of it.
How to get to Hoi An from Da Nang
To make the most of your one-day in Hoi An itinerary, you need to be strategic with your schedule.
There are a few ways to get to Hoi An from Da Nang, you can easily rent a motorbike, take a bus or rent a taxi. Honestly, the taxi was the best bet and didn’t cost too much. The price of the taxi was 300,000 VND. You can easily sort this out with your hotel and they can provide you with a driver or you can use the GRAB app and be able to take taxis by motorbike or car right on the app. I highly suggest you get the GRAB app to use throughout Vietnam.
If you plan to stay in Da Nang, be sure to read my guide about all the Da Nang attractions and how to spend a day in Da Nang.
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