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What to do in Hoi An

A One Day In Guide for Hoi An, Vietnam

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Today we have Mike here telling us all about what to do in Hoi An, Vietnam! You might remember Mike from a few months back when he wrote a One Day in Guide for his hometown of Wells in England! Well today he’s taking us a hop, skip and a large leap across the globe over to Southeast Asia!

Here’s Mike:

Hi, I’m Mike! and I’m currently living life as a “Digital Nomad.” The kind Lauren at Lauren On Location has agreed to let me share my travel tips on what to do in Hoi An. I hope you like them and can use them on your trip!

Here’s my guide for what to do in Hoi An 

Lucky you, you’ve made it to Vietnam! Unfortunately, planning what to do here can be pretty overwhelming – especially since there are so many things to do in the little city of Hoi An. Still, I’ve done my best to sort through the endless options of things to do and see and come up with a nice and concise one day in Hoi An itinerary. It’s a lot to fit into a day trip, but if you’re ambitious, it can be done. If you happen to have more time, feel free to spread out activities.

To keep your stress levels low (you are on holiday after all!), I’ve mapped out a complete fun and full day out. From chilling on the beach to savoring the food at local restaurants and taking in the art and history of the charming Hoi An Old Town, it’s definitely a day to remember!

So, let’s go ahead and get started!

A complete one day itinerary in Hoi An.

A Sunrise by the Sea

Suggested time: 6:15 am

The sunrises of Hoi An’s beaches are likely to make your jaw drop. So, If you’re an early riser, start your day in a memorable way with a sunrise by the sea

Some great beaches to catch the sunrise are An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach, so look up which is closest to your hotel.

At this hour, you’re likely to have the beach to yourself. You can bring along a book and read for a while or simply take in the scene. Feeling active? Pop into the beginner’s yoga class by Nomad Yoga on the beach. Held at Luna d’Auttuno and hosted by experienced yoga instructors from around the world, it’ll energize and invigorate you for all the other things you’re going to do in Hoi An.

*Be sure to check the time of the sunrise ahead of time, and adjust the schedule accordingly. 

A Quick Change

Suggested time: 7:30 am

Head back to your hotel and freshen up. Throw on some comfortable walking shows, grab a juice and you’re good to go!

Caffeine Recharge

Suggested time: 8:15 am

Now, after getting an early start, it’s finally time to get your caffeine fix at Espresso Station – a hidden gem of a coffee shop down one of Hoi An’s ancient alleyways.

The Vietnamese owner, King, certainly knows how to make a delicious brew – my favorite is the heavenly creamy “Coconut Coffee.” You can also grab a quick bite to eat here, either muesli or their smoothie bowl with home-made granola, but don’t fill up too much as breakfast is on the horizon.

Address: 28/2 Tran Hung Dao, Hoi An

A Stroll through Hoi An’s Ancient Town

Suggested time: 9:00 am

Next, it’s time to hit the Ancient Town. This area is a Unesco World Heritage Site and was an important trading port in the times up to the 17th century. It’s also home to one of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions, the Japanese covered bridge. The bridge is one of the symbols of Hoi An, so be sure to pass by and see it, or even walk across it.

Another attraction in the area is the Fujian Assembly Hall, a picturesque work of architecture from the late 1600’s.

Take your time as you stroll through the Old Town streets, soaking up the history and the beauty that permeates every butter-yellow wall.

Speaking of butter, by now you’re probably fairly hungry…time for breakfast!  
Wondering what to do in Hoi An? Walk around Old Town and see the Japanese Covered Bridge and Fujian Assembly Hall.
The Best Breakfast in Hoi An’s Old Town

Suggested time: 9:15 am

Depending on whether you had a bite to eat earlier, you can head over to Cargo Club for one of the best breakfasts in town. Sit out front for a view of the beautiful Thu Bon River. Enjoy a feast of Eggs Benedict – their hollandaise sauce is delicious – as you watch boats and street vendors drift by.

The Cargo Club also offers Vietnamese cooking classes, if that’s something you’re interested in!

The streets of Hoi An in Vietnam.

A Relaxing Boat Ride & A Trip to the Market

Suggested time: 10:30 am

After breakfast, there are many things to do in Hoi An, but it’s time for a little relaxation – which you can find right in front of you. Leave the restaurant and take one of the many boats out of the harbour for a 20-minute tour of the areas waterways.

Float lazily down the river and enjoy seeing the Ancient Town from a new perspective.

After you return to dry land, head down the street to see what the bustling Central Market has to offer. The Central market is a destination for locals to get anything and everything they could possibly need, plus for visitors to get clothes tailored, shoes custom-made or souvenirs to collect. It’s a historic trading site and a must-see activity in Hoi An.

Address: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu Streets, Hoi An

What to do in Hoi An- take a trip to the Central Market.
A Taste of “Ca Phe Sua Da”

Suggested time 11:30 am

It’s coffee o’clock again – this time, you’re on the hunt for your first Ca Phe Sua Da, a traditional Vietnamese-style coffee served with condensed milk over ice. Just the refresher you need.

Finding it won’t be a problem in the Old Town – after all, the coffee scene in Hoi An is booming. If you’re looking for a bustling and authentic experience, Bo Bo Cafe is an excellent stop.

Alternatively, Hoi An Roastery has three locations in the Old Town with comfortable seating, fast wifi and delicious coffee. It’s a great spot to take a break from the tourist rush and unwind for a while.

Bo Bo Café, Address: 18 Lê Lợi, Minh An, Tp. Hội An
Hoi An Roastery Address: 135 Trần Phú, Minh An, Tp. Hội An

Time for a Bike Ride

Suggested time: 12:30pm

Wow, can you believe it’s only 12:30?! It’s time to get in some exercise and hop on a bike! You can take a tour if you like – but these typically last half a day. It’s great if you’ve got longer than a day in Hoi An, but with limited time you can still rent a bike for an hour or two and explore the Old Town from the saddle.

As you go, keep your peepers peeled for the street food for which Hoi An is famous. You’re bound to work up an appetite and there’s nothing wrong with a cheeky snack before lunch, right?!

Hoi An’s Local Food Court

Suggested time: 1:30 pm

It’s lunchtime! I’m not sure if you grabbed some street food on your bike ride, but even if you did, no shame in eating again. 

My advice is to join the locals at the Outdoor Food Court on An Hoi Island. Here, you’ll be spoiled for choice, with 10-15 different food vendors who line up and rotate their stalls weekly to give everyone a fair chance to be first in line. Sweet.

Take your time and indulge in Hoi An classics like Mi Quang, Cao Lao and White Rose Dumplings. Everything’s delicious so you can’t go wrong!

Visit the outdoor Food Court and eat with the locals
Alternatively, if you fancy treating yourself, head to one of my favourite Vietnamese spots – Bon Restaurant on Cua Dai. Mrs. Bon looks after each guest with a certain charm that makes you feel right at home.

After welcoming you, she goes into the kitchen and prepares your meal fresh. Every dish I’ve had here has been incredible but some personal favourites are the Eggplant Claypot, Banh Xeo, Fried Wonton…and the the best Com Ga in town!

Address: 474 Cửa Đại, Minh An, Tp. Hội An

Lunch at Bon Restaurant on Cua Da in Hoi AnJust One More Coffee

Suggested time: 2:30 pm

Is your heart racing yet?! Stop in for an afternoon coffee and a short break at the beautiful Rosie’s Cafe. Order a Cold Brew and one of their delicious, homemade vegan desserts. Plus, if you’re up for a chat, take some time to get to know the delightful owners, Thuy and Ha Mi. The story of Rosie’s and the journey of these two friends to bring their dreams to life is truly enchanting.

Address: 8/6 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Tp. Hội An

Beach Bum it

Suggested time: 3:00 pm

Ok- you’ve had an action-packed day. But don’t worry, it’s finally time to be a dedicated beach bum for a few hours at Hidden Beach.

This local favorite is generally free from the tourist hustle and bustle of An Bang Beach, but has all the beauty. Here you can enjoy great Vietnamese cuisine, ice cold beers and views of the Da Nang skyline and Cham Island.  

If you want to stick around for a while, you can enjoy a sunset at Hidden Beach or move north a few kilometers to the well-known An Bang Beach.

Grab a sun-lounger and chill out at H’mong Sisters or one of the many spots along the sandy shore. (H’mong Sisters happens to be one of my favorites for the comfortable, cushy couches, the friendly, attentive service and the great cocktails!)

*Insider Tip: If you have more time, or on your return to Hoi An, try a dive with the folks at Cham Island Dive Centre. It’s an amazing experience and a great way to spend a full day of your holiday.

What to do in Hoi An? Beach bum it at Hidden Beach.
Catch Some Live Tunes

Suggested time: 6:00 pm

Depending on the night of the week, there’s always someone singing somewhere in Hoi An’s young, up-and-coming music scene.

The key is knowing where to go to get the good vibes. Schedules change regularly so it’s best to double check – but our favourite spots are Soul Kitchen on the beach, O’Malley’s Irish Pub and Dublin Gate.

Last Minute Souvenirs

Suggested Time: 8:00 pm

It’s time to head back to Ancient Town, where you can amble down the extremely photogenic Lantern Lane and pick up some souvenirs at the Night Market.

Hoi An's night market where you can buy lanterns.

A Traditional Vietnamese Meal

Suggested time: 8:30 pm

Once you’ve taken some photos and picked up some souvenirs, enjoy a leisurely dinner at the recently opened Home Hoi An. This restaurant has quickly made a name for itself; its traditional Vietnamese menu served with modern flair.

Excellent service, a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails and a truly delicious experience await you. Bon appetit!

Address: 112 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An

Grab dinner at Home Hoi An on your one day in the area.
An After Dinner Wish

Suggested time 10:00 pm

After dinner, step outside and release a candle onto the Thu Bon river, making sure you’ve come up with a good wish as you do so. Probably to come back to Hoi An, right?!

This might be the best finish to your day, but if you still have a bit of life left in you, head to The Chef – the best rooftop bar in town – for a nightcap. Feeling more like dessert? Go for the Love Hoi An, a creamy mix of all the best liqueurs and…chocolate!

Wrap up your night in Hoi An with a stopover at one of the newest ice cream spots in town, BLVD. With multiple locations in the Ancient Town, it’s easy to find and the ice cream is hard to forget.

So, there you have it – your essential guide to what to do in Hoi An and the perfect day in Hoi An itinerary. Hope you enjoyed it…and that you come back to Hoi An soon!

Boats in the Bon River

Thanks for filling in this week Mike! Hoi An looks like an awesome place with so many things to do (and even more to eat and drink). I’d definitely need more than a day here to try all these tasty treats! 😀

Calling all bloggers!

Do you have a place that you hold a special place for in your heart? If you only had 24 hours in this amazing place, what would you do? I’d love to hear what you have to say!! If you’re interested in doing a guest post on Lauren on Location and sharing what makes you love this place, be sure to contact me at lauren@laurenonlocation.com ?

Would you like to visit Hoi An? Which activities from above would you include in your perfect Hoi An itinerary? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! ⬇️

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One day in Hoi An, Vietnam. Where to go, what to eat and more!

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