Explore and experience a different kind of Vietnam in Da Lat: the weather here is akin to spring, the place is filled with beautiful French-colonial villas, and the lush plains boast of colourful flowers and strawberries instead of rice.
Once famous as the French’s favourite destination during Vietnam’s scorching-hot summer, Da Lat has evolved into a city where lovers flock, and adventure-seekers stay. Whether you’re here to enjoy a romantic rendezvous or join adrenaline pumping activities offered by this city, Vietnam’s “city of eternal spring” will surely leave you amazed and astonished.
Compared to other cities in Vietnam, the tourism in Da Lat is young, and most of its attractions remain pristine and unspoiled by flocking tourists. Da Lat is home to magnificent, well-preserved waterfalls such as Dambri Falls and Elephant Falls. A trip to Bidoup Nui Ba National Park will surely give tourists a glimpse of the natural beauty endowed to the entire city of Da Lat. Heritage is proudly displayed here — apart from the elegant French-colonial houses that can be found everywhere, Da Lat is also home to the modest yet surprisingly charming King Palace. Take a cable car trip to Truc Lam Pagoda — one of Da Lat’s active monasteries — and be prepared to see stunning views on the way!
Domestic flights from Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Vinh City to Lien Khuong Airport (Da Lat’s official airport) are available daily via Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar, and VietJet. Da Lat city center is 30 kilometres away from the airport. Traveling to the city can be done via a shuttle bus (VND 40,000 or USD 1.80) or a taxi (VND 18,000 or USD 7.85).
A cheaper option is to take the bus to Da Lat. Phuong Trang (Futa Bus) serves most of the trips to Da Lat. If you’re coming from Nha Trang, travel time is 4 hours and costs around VND 135,000 (USD 5.89). Buses leave daily at 7;00, 8:00, 11:00, 12:00, 15:00, and 16:00.
Traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat by bus costs VND 220,000 (USD 9.80) and can take up to 8 hours. Buses coming from Da Nang charge VND 270,000 (USD 11.90) for a 15 hour trip to Da Lat.
The Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the currency generally accepted around Da Lat. Hotels and restaurants accept USD for payment, but when it comes to smaller stores and remote attractions, VND is king. Just carry enough VND for your small transactions — this currency is basically useless outside Vietnam. Nine ATMs — which has a withdrawable limit of VND 2,000,000 (USD 88) — can be found in the post office entrance. Apart from major money changing establishments, you can exchange your USD for VND in hotels and gold shops.
Thanks to its elevated location, Da Lat is relatively cooler than the rest of Vietnam. Da Lat has two seasons: the dry season which runs from November to March, and the wet season which lasts from April to October. The most ideal time to visit Da Lat is between January and February — these months have the nicest weather.
Thanks to its size and relatively cooler temperatures, tourists can explore Da Lat by foot without breaking a sweat. Other options include bicycles which you can hire at VND 30,000 (USD 1.35) a day. If you’re planning to visit villages and more distant landmarks, you can take the bus or charter a taxi. If you prefer to travel via private car, you can rent one for USD 40 to USD 70 a day.
Vietnam’s “city of eternal spring” always enjoys fresh produce ranging from the greenest vegetables to juicy strawberries — you can always taste the freshness in every delicacy. Take a bite of Banh Trang Kep, also known as grilled paper rice with egg, and enjoy the delicious blend of fresh vegetables and tasty spices. Another famous veggie treat is Xap Xap, a gastronomic concoction of grated green papaya, peanuts, mint leaves, pork liver, sweet and sour sauce, and chilis. Banh Canh — a thick noodle soup made from pork broth and minced pork — is a perfect comfort food in the cool weather. For desserts, you can choose from endless fruit-based goodies like avocado ice cream and strawberry ice cream.
Da Lat’s breathtaking landscapes, relaxing cool weather, and amiable locals draw tourists in effortlessly. Cycle around town, get lost in its stunning sceneries, and feast upon its mouthwatering delicacies — you’ll surely know why people can’t help but go back here.