Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Natalia
From traditional Vietnamese water puppet shows to sunset river cruises, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Hoi An at night. It’s a beautiful city to discover at night, even if you just decide to wander the streets of the Old Town or take a stroll alongside the Thu Bon River. There is a variety of nightlife to enjoy in Hoi An too, with a number of bars and happy hour deals to be found. Make sure you don’t miss a thing with this guide to the 10 best things to do in Hoi An at night!
Wondering where else to visit in Vietnam? Make sure to check our our two week Vietnam itinerary for inspiration!
Things to do in Hoi An at night
Visit the Hoi An night market
One thing you should definitely do at night in the city is visit the Hoi An night market. Stretching for 300 metres along Nguyen Hoang Street, the market is found nearby to the beautiful Bridge of Lights.
The market is home to a mix of clothing, jewellery, lanterns, souvenirs and more, as well as a variety of delicious Vietnamese street food. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything it’s well worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere, but it can be hard to resist treating yourself to some of the tasty food on offer!
Hoi An night market is open from 5pm until 10pm every day, so you’re able to visit even if you’re just in the city for one night!
Sunset Dinner Cruise
Enjoy dinner and drinks as the sky lights up with colour with a sunset dinner cruise. It’s a relaxing way to start your evening with lovely city views as you sail along the river.
There are a variety of sunset cruises on offer, with one of the best rated being through Get Your Guide. This 2 hour cruise includes a welcome cocktail, a boat with an outdoor observation deck and dinner at your own private table, with prices starting from 1,000,000 VND per person.
Hoi An Lantern Festival
Once a month the city plays host to the Hoi An Lantern Festival in order to celebrate the full moon. The festival takes place on the 14th day of the lunar month, so if you want to visit during this celebration then be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Lanterns are a large part of Hoi An’s culture, having originally been introduced to the city by Japanese merchants in the 16th century. Over time the lanterns became popular with locals who believed they would bring good luck to their households.
Lanterns are cheap if you wish to light one yourself, but we actually recommend against doing so as this part of the festival isn’t sustainable. Despite being a key part of the festivities, placing lanterns in the river is effectively littering and is bad for the environment.
If you want to see the Hoi An Lantern Festival in full swing then the first festival of the Lunar Year in February is usually the biggest. Celebrations run until around 10pm, with performances along the river, locals playing board games and more, there are normally more tourists during this time as it’s seen as one of the best things to do in Hoi An at night.
Water Puppet Show
One of the most unique things to do in Hoi An at night is watch a water puppet show. Vietnamese water puppetry is an art form associated with wet rice civilisations in Vietnam, dating back as far as the 10th century.
Water puppet shows tell a variety of stories – ranging from everyday life in Vietnam to tales of fairies and dragons. Tickets to see a show at the Hoi An Water Puppet Theatre should cost around 80,000 VND per person for a 30-45 minute show.
If you’re interested in art and culture then a water puppet show in Hoi An is something you won’t want to miss!
Walk along the river
One of the best free things to do in Hoi An at night is simply walk alongside the Thu Bon River. The riverside comes to life at night, with lanterns, bars, restaurants and the illuminated Bridge of Lights combining to create a lovely setting for an evening stroll.
If you’re early enough then you may even be able to watch sunset from the side of the Thu Bon River – which in our opinion is one of the best places to watch sunset in Hoi An! We personally recommend taking a night walk by the river every night of your stay, as it’s a nice way to wind down for the day.
Hoi An Night Tour
Another way to discover Hoi An at night is by booking a guided night tour through Get Your Guide. The tour will take you to some of the city’s most interesting spots – including the Japanese Covered Bridge and Tan Ky Old House.
Tours are led by an English-speaking guide, giving you the chance to learn more about Hoi An’s history and culture. The tour includes any entrance fees and dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, as well as a traditional performance from local musicians.
Grab a drink during happy hour!
There are plenty of bars and pubs in Hoi An with happy hour deals for you to take advantage of. Happy hour times vary from bar to bar, so if you’re looking for the best value you may want to have a mini pub-crawl and follow the best deals!
Personally we found the best atmosphere to be along the riverfront in the Old Town, so it’s worth starting there when looking for a spot to drink. This area is home to some of the best nightlife in Hoi An, with some venues offering live music throughout the evening.
Relax with a Red Dao Herbal Bath
Take the opportunity to de-stress with a traditional Red Dao Herbal Bath at the Ylang Ylang Spa in Hoi An, as one of the more relaxing things to do in Hoi An at night. These relaxing baths utilise the healing properties of 120 different kinds of herbs and plants, helping to increase blood circulation, alleviate pain and calm your mind.
Red Dao Herbal Baths also help to detox pores and soothe the skin, leaving you feeling fully relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards. Although baths can be booked at any time of day, we recommend booking in the evening for a peaceful end to your day.
It’s easy to book a Red Dao Herbal bath on Klook’s website, with prices starting from 200,000 VND.
Wander Hoi An Old Town
Another of the top free things to do in Hoi An at night is to stroll around the quaint streets of the city’s Old Town. The historic Old Town has a different feel to it at night, and it’s lovely to see the beautiful colonial architecture lit up with lanterns and lights.
There are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants in the area, but if you’re looking to save your money then roam around and allow yourself to get lost in the picturesque streets.
Take a boat trip
A relatively cheap but enjoyable thing to do in Hoi An at night is take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River. Boat trips can be taken throughout the day, but seeing the riverfront lit up at night makes it a more special experience!
How to get to Hoi An
Hoi An’s location on the central coast of Vietnam makes it relatively easy to get to from around the country. There are several transport options available including planes, trains, buses and taxis.
The best option depends on where you’re coming from and what your budget is. If you’re travelling a long distance then we recommend getting to Hoi An by train.
Trains are a reliable and affordable way to travel around Vietnam, and was our preferred way of getting to Hoi An. We took an overnight sleeper train and we were surprised at how comfortable it was and how well we slept!
If you’re taking the train you’ll need to arrive into Da Nang station and then travel onwards to Hoi An from there. Depending on where you’re travelling from you may want to consider taking an overnight sleeper train, which means you save paying for a night’s accommodation.
It’s easy to book trains in Vietnam through 12GoAsia’s website, and they offer the best prices we could find for tickets.
As you’ll be arriving into Da Nang you’ll need to plan your onward journey to Hoi An. Fortunately taxis from Da Nang Station to Hoi An are reasonably cheap, costing around 300,000 VND.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Hoi An then you’ll want to travel by bus. Buses run to the city from across Vietnam, with prices starting at 350,000 VND one-way from Hanoi for the approximately 16-17 hour journey.
Best time to visit Hoi An
The best time to visit Hoi An is during the dry season, which runs from February through to July. We recommend visiting between February and April, as the temperatures tend to be more pleasant during these months.
February has an average high temperature of 26°C (78.8°F), March has an average high of 28°C (82.4°F) and average highs in April reach 31°C (87.8°F). Average high temperatures from May through to August range from 33-35°C (91.4-95°F), which can be a little too hot at times!
Hoi An begins to see more rain from September onwards, with the rainy season running through to January. From October to January it’s monsoon season in Hoi An, so it’s best to avoid these months if you can!
Where to stay in Hoi An
Happy Town Hoi An
One of the best budget accommodation options in the city is Happy Town Hoi An. The property is in a wonderful location, just a few minutes walk from the Old Town, so you won’t have to walk far to discover what the city has to offer.
Rooms at the property are basic, but do have air conditioning which is important to have as the city can get quite hot! The homestay hosts are locals, so they’re able to give you some great recommendations for what to do during your time in Hoi An.
Prices at the property start from 250,000 VND per night, which includes breakfast!
Hoi An Central Hotel
The Hoi An Central Hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a hotel with a swimming pool. It’s well worth paying extra for a pool if you have the budget, as it’s an ideal way to cool off from the warm weather.
Rooms at the property have great facilities, including air-conditioning, satellite TV and more!
Staff at the hotel are extremely friendly, and will happily help book any day trips you’re interested in taking too. Prices at the hotel start from 849,673 VND per night.
Uptown Hoi An Hotel & Spa
Another brilliant option is the lovely Uptown Hoi An Hotel & Spa, well-located around a 5-10 minute walk from the Old Town. The hotel boasts a fantastic rooftop swimming pool with city views, which is a great place for relaxing and cooling off.
Free bicycle rental is available at the hotel, so if you fancy discovering the city by bike then staying here is a great option. You can also make use of the on-site spa if you fancy a relaxing massage during your stay.
Rooms start from as little as 690,000 VND per night, with breakfast included in the price.
Allegro Hoi An
If you’re looking for luxury then the stunning Allegro Hoi An is one of the city’s top hotels. The hotel offers a range of wonderful facilities including a large swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spa and an on-site restaurant.
Rooms at the property are beautifully designed and well-furnished for a relaxing stay, and each room has its own private balcony. To top it off, the hotel is brilliantly located within walking distance of Hoi An’s Old Town.
Prices at the hotel usually start from around 4,000,000 VND per night, which includes breakfast.
Belle Maison Hadana
The Belle Maison Hadana is undeniably one of the best luxury hotels in Hoi An. One of the best things about the hotel is the huge outdoor swimming pool, which is the perfect place to cool off after a day of exploring the city.
In terms of facilities the hotel has a lot to offer, including a pool bar, a fitness centre, a spa and more! Free bike rental is also available at the hotel if you fancy a bit of exercise whilst exploring the sights and attractions of Hoi An.
Rooms at the hotel are comfortable and modern, complete with air-conditioning, cable television and more. Rates usually start from 2,312,322 VND per night, with breakfast included in the price.
Where to eat in Hoi An
Phi Banh Mi – Phi Banh Mi serve the best Banh Mis we had in Vietnam, and we ate their pretty much every day during our time in the city. Anyone who says somewhere else serves the best Banh Mis in Hoi An is, quite simply, wrong.
Banh Mis start from around 20,000 VND, and the delicious homemade chilli sauce takes the flavour to another level. If you’re in Hoi An, you have to eat at Phi Banh Mi at least once.
Mr. Son Restaurant – Another great local option is Mr. Son Restaurant at the Nguyen Phuc Chu St Food Court. Located a few minutes walk away from the Bridge of Lights, it’s actually more of a street food stall than a restaurant, but thankfully there are tables to eat at.
The menu offers a variety of Vietnamese dishes at affordable prices, with main dishes starting from around 40,000 VND. For the restaurant’s exact location it’s easiest to check their Trip Advisor page.
Ganesh – If you want a change from Vietnamese cuisine then we recommend visiting Ganesh for some delicious Indian food. It’s a little more expensive compared to the local eateries, but it’s still an affordable option if you aren’t on a very tight budget.
Looking where to go next? Head to Ninh Binh with this itinerary!
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