Adventurous travelers are always on the lookout for new locales. Vietnam has become a secret hot spot for those seeking mild climates, friendly hosts, and interesting cuisines.
Although Vietnam opened its borders to US tourists in 1991, Americans were slow to notice this gem of a country. But, travelers are beginning to catch on. In 2000, only 2.1 million international tourists came to Vietnam. By 2019, that number had risen to 18 million.
The allure is plain to see. Vietnam pairs stunning natural beauty with a rich and complex history. As a bonus, prices for food and accommodations here are lower than they are in many similar South-Asian countries.
But, how much is “lower cost?” Everyone’s ideas of ideal travel are a little bit different. Our experts have checked into flight, hotel, transportation, and other costs you can expect during a holiday in Vietnam.
We’ll break it all down bit by bit so you can see what a trip to Vietnam might cost you.
Average Trip to Vietnam Cost in 2023
A week in Vietnam costs around $4,400 for two people.
- Average Accommodation Cost: $75 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,500 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $50 per person, per day
- Transportation: $20 a day
- Total Cost: $4,400
The costs above are an average. Someone who slings on a backpack and chooses free or cheap activities while staying in dorm style hostels and subsisting on street foods will pay less than someone who seeks out luxury accommodations and fine dining meals.
And, most people like a mix of experiences. You can have Com Ga on a street corner for lunch, then follow it up with the tasting menu at T.U.N.G. that night.
That’s why we dig deep into every aspect of a trip to Vietnam to help you figure out what every element costs. You can pick and choose what appeals most to you while making every dollar of your budget count.
Vietnam Trip Cost: Average by Item
While looking over the costs below, you’re sure to see some areas where our spending doesn’t line up with your personal interests. And, that is absolutely fine. We provide these as a rough guide to help you work out a budget for your own personal Vietnam adventure.
What you spend on hotels will depend greatly on which areas you visit and what sorts of accommodations you prefer. But, even luxury hotels will have prices that are a bargain by US standards.
In Ho Chi Min City, you can find a room in the 4-star ibis Saigon Airport Hotel for only $45 per might. The Odys Boutique Hotel, with is also a four-start hotel and includes a free breakfast, has rooms for around $25 per night.
If you wish to spend time on the coast, Ba Ria – Vung Tau has a number of rooms available for under $100 per night, even for rooms close to the beach. The Imperial Hotel, for instance, costs around $90 a night.
Guests can access the beach from the hotel using an elevated walkway. It’s also three kilometers from the Worldwide Arms Museum and five lm from the Vũng Tàu Paradise golf club.
Look into hostels. Many of them offer private rooms with air conditioning in addition to the usual dorms. Prices start at around $10 a night.
As with most international travel, your flight there and back is likely to be your biggest expense. A plane ride from JFK in New York to Ho Chi Minh City will run anywhere from $1,300 to $2,400, depending on the number and length of your layovers.
In general, airfare to Hanoi is similar in cost, but the fastest flights there are a little cheaper. A 20-hour flight with a single stop at ICN Incheon International Airport in South Korea costs around $1.600.
The cheapest flights might be those going into Da Nang, with fares running as low as $1,200 round trip.
Check local carriers to see if they have inexpensive flights to and from your destination. These may be cheaper than what you see from the international airlines more familiar to you.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Food and drink is inexpensive throughout the country. At street food stands, you’ll probably pay around $2 for a filling meal. Formal meals at high end restaurants will typically cost around $20 US per person. In bars, a beer will cost about $1 US.
Vietnam has a number of craft breweries now, where you may pay about twice that for a beer. Some, like East West Brewing Co., also have expansive food menus.
East West recently advertised smoked chicken wings for about a dollar a piece and fresh shucked oysters for a little more.
Many of the activities for tourists in Vietnam center on getting out and exploring nature. When heading out to the country, most people recommend sticking with tour guides. They can help you avoid any issues with language barriers outside the cities.
One popular destination is Thiên Đường Cave (Paradise Cave), a UNESCO World Heritage site about 60 km north of Đồng Hới. The cave was first discovered in 2005.
It is over 31 km long and includes a number of fascinating geological features. Tickets cost about $10 per person.
One excursion many redditors suggested was the Ha Giang Loop. This is a three to four day road trip that takes you through mountains and canyons in north Vietnam. Tours run anywhere from $200 to $400 per person, including transportation, food, drink, and lodgings.
Many parts of Vietnam also have free attractions you can take in when you want to give your wallet a day off. In Ho Chi Minh City, architecture fans can get a glimpse of multiple buildings designed by Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower.
These include the Central Post Office and the city’s version of Notre Dame Cathedral. The old Chinese Quan Am Pagoda is also worth a visit.
Hoi An is another scenic area great for walking. The area is known as the Venice of Southeast Asia. Tour the rice fields and take in the local scenery.
Halong Bay is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. The water there is dotted with over 1,600 limestone towers. A day cruise there will cost around $40 per person. However, this is an attraction that has begun to get crowded.
Many locals recommend heading instead to Bai Tu Long Bay. A full day cruise can start around $60 per person; for an overnight trip, expect to pay around $150 per person.
Cat Ba Island is a national park with a number of trails to explore. You can hike the Lookout Tower Trail fairly easily to get to a spectacular view. More ambitious hikers can reach the scenic Ngu Lam Peak in a couple of hours.
Admission to the national park costs less than $5 per person. If you’d like to hire a guide for experiences like hiking the 18 km Cang Viet Hai Trail, expect to pay about $50 per group of up to four people. This cost typically includes your pass into the park and transportation there.
Because Vietnam is a long and skinny country, many people opt to fly from destination to destination once inside the country. Many flights on domestic carriers like Vietjet Air are under $20 each way.
You may also wish to look at buses for travel. Sleeper buses are a comfortable and affordable way to get from location to location. These will typically cost a little over $10 for a trip. The seats fully recline and let you stretch your legs for a comfortable trip.
Each city has official taxis. Learn which one is officially licensed in each city you visit. Beware of unlicensed cabs hanging out near tourist destinations. These often overcharge by using fast-running meters.
If you are feeling adventurous, you may wish to rent a motorbike while you are in the country. Services like Dragon Bikes, Flamingo, and Rent a Bike offer a range of models starting at round $10 a day.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider before booking a trip to Vietnam:
- Carry both US dollars and Vietnamese Dong. Dollars are most commonly accepted at tourist destinations. If you are going to locally owned restaurants or stores, however, you’ll need the local currency.
- Haggling is common in markets and independent shops. Ask if a better price is available. In restaurants and bars, however, prices are usually set.
- Bring modest clothing for visits to temples or mosques. You will typically not be allowed to have bare shoulders or legs.
- Learn a little Vietnamese before you go. English is taught in schools, so people in urban areas will speak at least a little of it. But, in rural areas, you will encounter people who do not speak English.
- Be cautious when you are on foot. Ninety-five percent of traffic in Vietnam is on motorbikes. These have a tendency to speed and to weave in and out of traffic. You need to watch carefully to stay safe.
- If you decide to rent a motorbike, wear your helmet when you ride. Helmet laws are strictly enforced, and failure to comply could result in a pricey ticket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Vietnam expensive for a vacation?
Vietnam is a great place for an inexpensive vacation. Even luxury accommodations will typically cost less than their equivalent in the US. In general, your flight there will be your biggest cost.
Is Vietnam or Thailand cheaper?
Both Thailand and Vietnam are considered inexpensive places to visit. Generally, however, you’ll find somewhat lower prices in Vietnam than in Thailand. Costs are lower on everything from accommodations to transportation to food.
Should I go to Bali or Vietnam?
It all depends on what you want from your vacation. If you just want to visit the beaches, Bali could be a better pick. If you are looking for historic and cultural offerings, a variety of food, and many types of activities, consider a trip to Vietnam.
Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam?
Both the US State Department and the government of Vietnam recommend obtaining a visa to visit Vietnam before arrival. US Citizens can apply for single-entry e-visas online at the Vietnamese immigration site.
Be sure you have US dollars handy when you arrive in order to pay any outstanding fees.
What is the best time to visit Vietnam?
The best time to visit depends on the region and what you are looking for from your trip. Winters in north Vietnam can be cold, which can get in the way of your adventures. Spring and fall have great weather, but also more tourists.
Many people say the sweet spot for lower prices, smaller crowds, and bet hest weather is between February and June.
So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for Vietnam?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$75 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,500 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$50 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$20 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,400|
There are a ton of factors that will affect your personal trip, including the time of year you go there, where you visit along the way, and what you choose to eat.
On average, a weeklong trip for two, with airfare from the US, will cost under $4,500. Start exploring travel costs, hotels and more to find out when is the best time of year for you to visit our neighbors on the other side of the Pacific.
By watching price trends and learning more about the top attractions, you can give yourself the trip of a lifetime. Happy travels!