Set in Vietnam’s southern central highlands, Da Lat is a beautiful mountain town surrounded by rolling landscapes, waterfalls and forests. Known for its coffee, flowers and cool climate, Da Lat is a popular destination, allowing visitors to escape the heat. Originally built by the French as a resort town in the early 1900s, much of the French colonial architecture can be seen throughout the town.
Even if you’re strapped for time, it would be a shame to miss out on the culture and adventure Da Lat has to offer. There’s plenty of ways to see Da Lat, either rent a motorbike and start exploring or book an Easy Rider tour and let someone else do all the driving whilst you soak up the views. If you have 48 hours to spend in Da Lat, here’s how you should spend it.
Day One, Morning:
Rooftop Breakfast, Cable Car to Truc Lam Pagoda and Tuyen Lam Lake
Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast overlooking the town. Da Lat Backpackers Hostel offers a free breakfast on the balcony with accommodation. Lap up a tasty breakfast followed by a Vietnamese coffee and head out for the day.
Catch the cable car from Robin Hill and take in panoramic views of the mountains as you head up to experience Vietnam’s largest zen monastery and visit Truc Lam Pagoda. The cable car journey itself is fantastic and a brilliant way to see Da Lat. Spend your morning exploring the monastery before heading down the steps to see Tuyen Lam Lake. Also known as “Paradise Lake”, the man-made reservoir is a great place to relax and unwind.
Afternoon: Lunch and Elephant Waterfalls
After a busy morning exploring the countryside, grab some lunch to keep your energy up. There are a number of restaurants throughout the town ranging from budget-friendly local eateries to expensive dine-in options. The elephant waterfalls can be found around 28km from Da Lat city centre and can be reached easily by motorbike or tour. The waterfalls are allegedly named after a large rock that resembled an elephant. The admission cost is 10,000 VND. Da Lat is surrounded by waterfalls, if you have time be sure to visit Datanla Waterfalls and Pongour Falls as well.
Evening: Night Market and The Maze Bar
After the sun sets you can stroll through Da Lat’s night market. Based in the city centre the market sells delicious food, souvenirs and clothes. A charming market to explore at night before heading out for drinks. If you like to drink at quirky and unique places then the Maze Bar is for you. Prepare to get lost in the winding corridors and crannies, the bar also known as the 100 Roofs Bar provides a surreal drinking experience.
Day Two, Morning:
Coffee Plantation Visit
Trai Ham Da Lat Weasel Coffee farm is the town’s first organic coffee farm and is open to visitors. Spend the morning learning everything you need to know about weasel coffee and try out some blends. Weasel coffee is popular throughout Vietnam but Da Lat is known for it. If you’re a big coffee drinker then this excursion is definitely for you.
Afternoon: Crazy House, Da Lat Railway Station and Vintage Train Ride
The Crazy House, officially called Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery, is a unique and bizarre structure in Da Lat. Designed by Dang Viet Nga, the house is a labyrinth of twisting and turning corridors and staircases. This is a completely different experience and wonder of architecture. You can either stay in one of the rooms or visit for the day at a cost of 20,000 VND. Next, head to the Da Lat railway station, a beautiful building with large colourful windows and a functioning Japanese steam train. Explore Da Lat’s countryside by taking the train to Trai Mat Village for just 106,000 VND.
Evening: The Escape Bar
After two days of exploring, head to the Escape bar for some cocktails and entertainment. A great choice for live music with regular outstanding performances, expect to hear covers from Hendrix and The Eagles amongst other greats.
Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two or a stop along the way, start planning your trip to Da Lat. Before travelling anywhere always double check the visa requirements. When travelling to Vietnam, the requirements can be different depending on your country of origin, this can make it tricky to navigate. Here’s where eVisa-Vietnam.com can step in, they take out the hassle of arranging a visa for you. The easy-to-use service has clear step-by-step instructions and fees, simply fill out the form and they’ll do the rest for you. Let eVisa-Vietnam.com take care of your Vietnam visa so you can focus on the fun part, planning your Vietnam adventure.