Visit Vietnam on your next vacation from the norm. Vietnam has Halong Bay with emerald waters and lush limestone islands, the Temple of Literature with over 1,000 years of history, and impressive cities with museums, art galleries, and great shopping.
If you want to visit this epic destination during the best time, we have got everything you need to plan the perfect trip below. Over 18 million tourists visit Vietnam every year.
Vacationers explore the capital city of Hanoi, the largest city of Ho Chi Minh, the picturesque beachside towns of Nha Trang or Mui Ne, and more. Vietnam borders China in the north, Cambodia to the south, and Laos to the west.
Vietnam is renowned as a beach destination since the entire eastern side of the country lies on the shores of the South China Sea.
Plan your vacation so that your plane lands on solid ground during the best time to visit Vietnam. Continue reading for travel advice and frequently asked questions about the worst, cheapest, and best times to visit Vietnam.
Why You Should Visit Vietnam
Vietnam might not be first on your list of bucket list destinations, but it is worth moving up to that spot! This destination has something for all travelers to enjoy.
Foodies will delight in the amazing cuisine of Vietnam. The most world-renowned menu item is Vietnamese Pho, which is a must-try dish during your trip. Adventure-seekers can fill their thrill cycling in Sapa, kayaking around Halong Bay, or sandboarding in Mui Ne.
Slow down the pace at one of the incredible Vietnam beaches along the east coast. This strip of paradise boasts UNESCO World Heritage Sites and plenty of opportunities for pampering, rest, and relaxation.
The vibrant culture, delicious foods, and friendly people will make your trip to Vietnam one that you will remember forever, no matter where or when you choose to explore.
Overall Best Time to Visit Vietnam
Overall, the best time to visit Vietnam is between the months of November and February. During these months, both Southern Vietnam and Northern Vietnam have the least amount of rainy days.
Vietnam is a hot country throughout the year, but temperatures are at their lowest from November to February.
Vietnam is a long country which makes the weather in the northern parts of the country differ drastically from the southern part. We have divided them so that you can plan your trip depending on the part of Vietnam you are going to.
The best time to visit Northern Vietnam, like Hanoi, is from November to February, avoiding the holidays. November to February are the low travel months in northern Vietnam and when hotel rates are their cheapest.
From November to February, Hanoi sees an average monthly rainfall of between 1 to 3 days. Temperatures reach their lowest in January, with high temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
While this may be low for Vietnam, many travelers prefer these temperatures to those that reach into the 90s between May and September.
The best time to visit Southern Vietnam is between December and March. With less than two inches of monthly rainfall in these months, December to March is the ideal time to enjoy a beach vacation along the pristine shores of Vietnam’s eastern coast.
Southern Vietnam has stable high temperatures year-round, so while you are able to visit any time of the year and enjoy the heat, you are more likely to experience some rain during other months of the year.
Even locals like to escape the cooler temps of the north by visiting the beaches in the south. Unfortunately, this makes December to March also the most crowded time to visit Southern Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh, the major city in Southern Vietnam, experiences stable temperatures in the high 80’s and low 90’s all year. Temperatures in this area of Vietnam never drop below 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cheapest Time to Visit Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam and get the best bang for your buck is during the rainy season or during the winter. This is when crowds are less likely in your vacation destination, making hotel rates less competitive.
In Hanoi, or northern Vietnam, the cheapest time to visit is in December and January (avoiding holidays). This is when a lot of locals and tourists prefer to visit Southern Vietnam instead, making hotel rates their cheapest.
December and January are not considered the rainy season in Northern Vietnam. Still, these months fall during the coldest part of the year.
However, cold in Vietnam is relative. December in Hanoi has highs of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 59 degrees Fahrenheit. January sees highs of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you do not find high 60’s and low 70’s cold, then visit Northern Vietnam during December and January to get the best value for your money.
The cheapest time to visit Southern Vietnam is during the rainy season, between the end of May and mid-November. This is during the monsoon season when you are more likely to experience high winds and heavy rains.
Southern Vietnam temperatures are stable throughout the year, but the high precipitation between May and mid-November raises the humidity levels to uncomfortable levels.
If you do not mind high humidity and the possibility of some rain, then visit southern Vietnam between June and mid-November for the best rates and the highest chances of hotel and tour availability.
Least Busy Time to Visit Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam and experience fewer crowds is during the shoulder months of May to June and September to November.
The shoulder travel season in Northern Vietnam, when you will have fewer crowds but still chances of good weather, is between March and April and September and October.
These months experience higher than average rainfall than the dry season but are not in the midst of the monsoon season. March and April in Hanoi experience high temperatures between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 65 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average monthly rainfall during these months is six and five days, respectively.
September and October in Hanoi experience high temperatures between 85 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The average monthly rainfall during September and November is five and four days, respectively.
The best time to visit southern Vietnam is between April and June and September and November. Ho Chi Minh experiences temperatures around 95 degrees Fahrenheit between April and June.
In September and November, temperatures are slightly lower, with average highs around 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rainfall is likely during your time in Southern Vietnam between April and June and September and November. However, you are still likely to have some days with beautiful skies during these least busy months.
Worst Time to Visit Vietnam
The worst time to visit Vietnam is during the rainy or monsoon season, between May to August or mid-November.
And with good reason, the rain deters travelers looking for pleasant weather on their vacation. These months are also Vietnam’s hottest, making the humidity levels unbearable.
The worst time to visit northern Vietnam is between May and August. Northern Vietnam experiences its rainy season between May to August.with an average of 7 or 8 days of rainfall throughout the month. If you want to explore Vietnam’s top sights without inclement weather, avoid traveling at this time.
The worst time to visit southern Vietnam is between May and mid-November. Southern Vietnam gets more rain than the north and has a longer rainy season. Southern Vietnam’s rainy season is from the end of May until mid-November.
Ho Chi Minh in May and June see high temperatures between 84 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and around 8 to 12 inches of monthly rainfall. Between July and November, expect a minimum of 11-inches of average monthly rainfall and temperatures around 82 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
Things to Consider
As with all places, there are key points to remember when planning your amazing vacation to Vietnam.
Vietnam is considered a very safe country to travel to. Of course, always keep your wits about you when traveling. Leave valuables at home or stored in your hotel safe and avoid flaunting wads of cash or expensive jewelry.
Vietnam experiences weather-related disasters like typhoons and monsoons. Take precautions and buy weather-related insurance before your trip, especially if you take advantage of the low prices during the rainy months.
Vietnam does not have a strict dress code for tourists, but religious temples and sights require modest clothing that covers exposed skin. So, keep your shoulders and knees covered, and avoid wearing hats or sunglasses inside of temples and pagodas.
As a general rule, wear long but loose clothing to keep yourself covered while also keeping cool. Pack fabrics like cotton or linen, which dry quickly and breathe.
You Need a Visa
Most tourists, including American and Canadian citizens, require a visa to travel to Vietnam. Getting a visa to Vietnam is an easy process that must be done ahead of time to avoid any delays to your trip. A visa costs approximately 25 USD or is free if you visit Vietnam for under 15 days.
Learn How To Haggle
Haggling is normal in Vietnam markets, especially when prices are not listed. When you go to a local market, be prepared to haggle the price before paying the bill. Start by reducing the price to close to half of what the salesperson suggests and work your way up to about 75% of the originally stated price.
Remember that many people make a living by selling things to locals and tourists. When haggling, be fair and do not suggest a price that devalues the item or the hard work put into making it.
Point With Your Pinky
In Vietnam, it is considered rude to point with your index finger. Instead, indicate directions by using your pinky finger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to your top questions about visiting Vietnam below.
What are the top things to do in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a country bursting with off-the-beaten-path sights that will drop your jaw. Some of the top things to do and see in Vietnam include:
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
- Halong Bay
- Sapa Countryside
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Hoi An
What language is spoken in Vietnam?
Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. English is the second most frequent language spoken in Vietnam, with more than 51% of Vietnamese people proficient in English. Other languages you are likely to encounter are Chinese and French.
What is the currency used in Vietnam?
The local currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Certain places such as hotels and some stores may accept US dollars, but this is not the norm. Be sure to exchange some money for your trip since most places only accept local currency.
How long should I spend in Vietnam?
Spend at least two weeks in Vietnam to see the highlights, especially if you are coming from a destination with long international flights. Schedule more than two weeks for your trip if you are on a budget to take advantage of cheap bus fares instead of domestic flights.
What is the best way to get around in Vietnam?
Vietnam has every type of transportation that will easily get you from A to B. Flights are the quickest way to hit several major cities throughout your trip. However, buses, trains, and cars are also common and inexpensive ways to move around the country. If you are adventurous, you can hop on a motorbike for quick transportation that weaves through traffic.
What is the population of Vietnam?
Vietnam boasts a population of 99 million people. This gorgeous vacation destination sees nearly 18 million tourists each year. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and has just over five million residents. Ho Chi Minh in the south of Vietnam is the most populated city in Vietnam, with just over nine million residents as of 2022.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Vietnam?
Vietnam is a year-round destination large enough to cover ground throughout the seasons.
The best time to visit Vietnam with minimal rain but larger crowds is between November and February when holiday crowds come in during the dry season. However, temperatures during these months are the lowest of the year.
If you prefer hot weather and do not mind some rain, visit Vietnam during the shoulder seasons between May and June and September and November. Temperatures at this time of year are favorable, with fewer crowds and cheaper hotel rates. However, you are likely to experience rain during your vacation.
Really, there is no bad time to visit Vietnam. This exotic destination has something for any traveler to enjoy throughout the year.
Now that you know the best time to visit Vietnam, all you need to do is book your trip! Get packing and experience festivals, historical sites, jaw-dropping beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine in Vietnam. Safe travels!