See, Do & Eat Guide to Dalat – Vietnam’s City of Eternal Spring

Nestled in the beautiful highlands and surrounded by mountains and forests, Dalat is a destination unlike any other in Vietnam. Its refreshing weather and clean air will also be a welcome change if you’re coming from a place like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.

Founded in 1907 as a French hill station, Dalat is still a popular destination both for local and international visitors. The city quickly grew, with new hotels, resorts, golf courses, and even boarding schools. Located in the highlands and surrounded by pine forests, the city enjoys a temperate climate quite unlike the rest of Vietnam. The great weather has also made Dalat an agricultural center. Rice, coffee, tea, and a large variety of fruits and vegetables are grown here.

Today, Dalat is a popular honeymoon spot for Vietnamese people and a hub for nature lovers who want to go for treks past rice paddies and up some of the area’s highest peaks. Got a few days to spare and want to explore pristine lakes and hillsides? Then Dalat is waiting for you!

Colorful and lightful Xuan Huong Lake
Colorful and lightful Xuan Huong Lake

When to Travel to Dalat

While the rest of Vietnam is hot pretty much year-round, Dalat is known for its fresh, crisp air and comparatively low temperatures. With an average of only 14-23 degrees Celsius, it makes for a great break from the heat and stuffiness of Vietnam’s big cities. Situated in the highlands and surrounded by hills and mist-filled valley, Dalat knows two main seasons: rainy and dry.

With an average of only 14-23 degrees Celsius, it makes for a great break from the heat and stuffiness of Vietnam’s big cities
If you want to avoid downpours, visit the city from November to April but be sure to bring a sweater as it can be quite chilly during this time, especially in the evening or early morning. If you want milder temperatures, head there from April to October but be ready for some rain during this time as well.

A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds
A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds

How to Get to Dalat

Getting to Dalat is easier than its location in the highlands might suggest. If you are coming from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, the easiest and fastest way to travel is by plane. Flights run daily and are less than two hours. From the airport, you can catch a taxi to the city center. The 30-kilometer drive will cost you about 200.000 VND.

If you are coming from Ho Chi Minh City and don’t want to fly or you are traveling from Nha Trang or Mui Ne, you can take a public bus, minivan, or private driver. While this will be a good bit cheaper than a flight, it will also take considerably more time and be less comfortable. Be aware that you will be taking bumpy, winding mountain roads which you’ll be sharing with many motorbikes, trucks, and other vehicles.

If you’re prone to motion sickness this could be a turnoff, but if you think all that adds to the charm of exploring Vietnam, then book your ticket with Mai Linh and Phuong Trang (the two most reliable operators) at any reputable travel agency.

We don’t advise you to drive your own car or bike to Dalat since the road can be rather tricky and the traffic doesn’t make it any easier.

Dalat Train Station
Dalat Train Station

Where to Stay in Dalat

Since Dalat was founded as a hill station by the French and was designed to welcome guests, there is no shortage of accommodation. What’s even better is that there is easily something for every travel style and budget.

Looking for a fancy resort with sweeping views of green mountains? Check out the Terracotta Hotel & Resort. Do you prefer a hotel in the city, closer to its main sights and transportation? Then have a look at Mille Fleurs Hotel. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of hostels to choose from where you can meet fellow travelers and exchange your favorite travel stories. And if you really want to go for a local experience, why not book a homestay? That way you’ll get to meet both locals and fellow travelers and be sure to have an absolutely unforgettable time.

Da Lat railway
Da Lat railway

What to See and Do in Dalat

Dalat has something for everyone. From historical landmarks to beautiful pagodas, this city has got you covered. To give you an idea of what to see and do while you’re in town, here a few things you should add to your itinerary.

Explore Downtown Dalat

Downtown Dalat is made up of a web of streets full of great things to discover. From cool coffee shops selling the freshest coffee you’ve ever had to little stores selling locally produced handicrafts, you can find it all. Take some time to meander around the city, get some delicious, fresh fruit from one of the many street vendors and enjoy the distinctive European flair that makes Dalat so special.

Walk Around Xuan Huong Lake

A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds
If you feel like walking some more after checking out the city, go stroll around Xuan Huon Lake. Right next to it you’ll find the Japanese garden. It’s a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds. To catch a break after all that walking, cross the red bridge onto a little island, grab a drink at the café there and take in the sweeping views of the gently moving lake and surrounding hills.

Have Coffee

Did you know that Vietnam is the world’s second-largest producer of coffee? Only Brazil has a higher output of this cherished bean. All that coffee needs to be grown somewhere, and Dalat with its mild climate is the ideal place. So, get ready to have your taste buds wowed by some of the most delicious, freshest coffee you will ever come across.

Apart from producing classic coffee beans, Dalat is also known for civet coffee, a specialty that’s quite popular among many coffee aficionados. Take it from me, try just one cup!

Visit Truc Lam Pagoda via Cable Car

Truc Lam pagoda is also well worth the visit. Not only is the pagoda itself stunning, but the journey there is unique as well. To reach it, you’ll need to take a cable car which leaves from Robin Hill. This place is easily reached by taxi from the city center. The ride takes about ten to fifteen minutes and costs approximately $3.

Now it’s time to hop on the gondola and go for the 2,6-kilometer trip from Robin Hill to Phoenix Mountain where you’ll find Truc Lam. The trip is twenty minutes long and offers amazing views of the surrounding hills, forests, and valleys. Don’t forget your camera!

Once you’re at Phoenix Mountain, take an hour or two to explore Truc Lam. As Vietnam’s biggest Zen monastery, it’s home to several temples and pagodas as well as expansive grounds where hundreds of monks live in simple quarters.

Bring a picnic and join the locals who come here to share a meal surrounded by fragrant pine trees and overlooking the breathtaking landscape. Don’t have time to prepare your own food? Then grab a banh mi, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich, from one of the many vendors. It’s yummy, filling, and quite cheap.

Robin hill
Robin hill

Take the Historical Train to Trai Mat Village

One of Vietnam’s oldest train stations is in Dalat and definitely worth a visit. If you love vintage trains and want to go for a ride in one, you are in luck as there’s a scenic tour every two hours. It heads out to the suburbs of Dalat towards Trai Mat village where you can visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda. An eclectic place full of multicolored decorations, ornaments, statues, and inscriptions, it makes for quite a contrast to the simple Zen style of Truc Lam pagoda.

To secure a spot on the train, get to the ticket office early; otherwise, you might find all the tickets gone. Once you arrive at Trai Mat, you will have some time to explore the pagoda and the surroundings. To make sure you don’t miss the train back to Dalat city, confirm the departure time with the staff. Stroll Around the Night Market

The place to go for some souvenir shopping and delicious local food is Dalat’s night market on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street. A proper “night” market, it’s open every day from 5 PM to 5 AM and offers an endless choice of food.

Don’t eat dinner before coming here since then you’d miss out on the many amazing foods available including noodle dishes like banh canh, bun rieu, and hu tiu or snack foods like thit nuong (barbecued meat), banh trang nuong (Vietnamese style pizza), and banh ong la dua(pineapple leaf tube cake). Each one will only cost you between 10,000 and 20,000 VND!.

Van Hanh Pagoda
Van Hanh Pagoda

Outdoor Activities in Dalat

Thanks to its location in the highlands, Dalat boasts a rich offering of outdoor activities. When planning your trip, set apart at least one day to try one or more of the ones we list below! For extra details about how to get to the places, we outline below, check out our article on things to see and do in and around Dalat.

Trekking Lang Biang Mountain

With an elevation of close to 2,300 meters, Lang Biang mountain is the highest peak around Dalat and is well worth a visit. Located only 12 kilometers from the city center, you can get here in about 45 minutes via taxi, motorbike, or by taking the local bus no. five. There is parking available.

Trekking Lang Biang Mountain

Since Lang Biang offers the most amazing views of the surrounding countryside, you can imagine that it attracts large numbers of visitors. Often, they will take jeeps to the top, to save time and energy. This makes for a very crowded viewpoint and takes away some of the innate serenity.

If you want a hilltop practically to yourself and don’t shy away from a 3 to 4-hour hike, you’re in luck, because right next to Lang Biang is another peak, Bidoup Ban. It’s only accessible on foot which makes it more challenging but also more fun to explore as you won’t have to worry about being run off the road by jeeps as you climb.

Finding the right entry point can be a bit tricky. After you get your entrance ticket, don’t go through the main gate. Instead, take a small path to the right of it. It will lead you past tea plantations, greenhouses, and up the mountain. As this is quite a hike, bring a backpack with enough water and food for your hilltop picnic.

Trekking Lang Biang Mountain
Trekking Lang Biang Mountain

Day Trip to the Elephant Waterfalls and Pongour Waterfalls

Another great day trip is an outing to explore the Elephant and Pongour waterfalls. The best way to do this is to hire a driver and let him take you there as the roads are winding and sometimes not in the best condition.

The Elephant Falls are about 30 kilometers from Dalat but on the way, you can make several stops at coffee and tea plantations, a silk factory, a rice wine distillery, and even a cricket farm. Ever had a cricket as a snack? Now is your chance.

At the Elephant Falls, you can enjoy your wonderfully serene surroundings and let the sound of the water ring in your ears. Since the current is quite strong, you can’t swim there but climbing the boulders around the falls is just as fun.

On your way on to the Pongour Falls, you can visit the beautiful Linh An pagoda, home to the region’s largest laughing Buddha. Then maybe find a restaurant for lunch as you’ll be hungry from all the exploring. Your driver can probably recommend a great place on the way.

Getting to the Pongour Falls will take another hour as the roads are quite rough but the stunning scenery makes up for it. Once you’re there, you can once again climb boulders beside the rushing waters, sit back, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature all around you.

Elephant waterfall – Thac Voi
Elephant waterfall – Thac Voi

Visit Coffee and Tea Plantations

If coffee and tea is your thing, or you’re simply curious to find out how and where the base ingredient for two of the world’s most widely consumed beverages are produced, take the chance to visit one of Dalat’s many tea and coffee plantations. Apart from seeing how the plants are grown and harvested, you’ll also be able to try some tea and coffee fresh from the farm.

There are several places you can go to on your own or you can book a tour. As with all tours, do your research and read the reviews to be sure you join a good one and don’t end up in a huge, noisy group.

Motorbike to Lak Lake

A lesser-known destination close to Dalat is the serene Lak Lake. Rent a motorbike for a day and take zigzagging mountain roads past rice paddies and green fields of tea and coffee. If you’re lucky you might even see elephants! Not comfortable driving your own motorbike? Get a driver for the day and sit on the back of the bike. That way you can take in your wonderful surroundings and snap some cool photos.

Go Canyoning

For the adventure lovers out there, the option to go canyoning will sound awesome. Thanks to its many natural waterfalls, cliffs, and hills, Dalat is the perfect destination for it. Get ready to climb up rocky ledges, rappel down waterfalls, and go down rock slides.

Available excursions vary in length and intensity, so check the providers carefully. Also, have a look at reviews and choose a company that has been praised for using high-quality equipment and good guides. Unfortunately, there are a few black sheep out there, so do your best to avoid them.

Motorbike Around Da Lat with students

We are running a donation-based tour that benefits the students in Da Lat city! You will be taken to famous tourist sites of Da Lat and informed about the stories and history of these places. The students are locals and there really isn’t a better guide to show you the best aspects of this city.

First, you will visit Robin Hill to get a view of Da Lat from above. The city’s history will come to life as the guides point out the small blocks of buildings down below.

Then, continue your trip to visit the palace of King Bao Dai, who was the last king of feudalism in Vietnam.

Bao Dai Summer Palace
Bao Dai Summer Palace

The next stop is the Da Lat Railway Station which was built by the French colonies. You will have a chance to see old French architecture right in Vietnam.

The final destination is Van Hanh Monastery, where the highest Buddha statue in Da Lat is located. Our students will explain Buddhism in Vietnam and how people uniquely practice rituals here.

The entire trip will fly by on the back of a motorbike. Witness the poetic beauty of Da Lat the Vietnamese way as you dash along the countryside.

After the trip, you will have seen all of Da Lat, but you will also have made new friends with our local student guides of Onetrip. This trip costs you only ONE US DOLLAR for the safety of our students. So, why don’t you start your interesting adventure in Da Lat with us?

What to Eat in Dalat

A popular street food in Da Lat

As most cities in Vietnam, Dalat is home to some delicious specialties that you absolutely must try while you’re there. Here’s a list of some you really shouldn’t miss. And if you still want more information about food in Dalat, check out our article about where and what to eat in Dalat.

A popular street food in Da Lat
A popular street food in Da Lat

Steamed cake with chicken intestine – Banh Uot Long Ga

This local delicacy has several variations, some of which are not for the fainthearted. Bánh ướt lòng gà consists of a thin rice pancake stuffed with pig’s offal (yes, you read that right) or chicken, onions, and fresh herbs. If you’re brave enough to try it, head over to Trang, a small restaurant on Tang Bat Ho street known to prepare some of the best Bánh ướt lòng gà around.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork – Nem Nuong

Are you loving all the wrap and roll dishes in Vietnamese cuisine? Then this one is for you. Alongside crispy rice paper rolls you will be served juicy meatballs, usually made of pork and seasoned with tasty herbs and spices. Dip them in the savory peanut sauce that comes with it and your taste buds will do summersaults. Curious? Go to Phan Dinh Phung street and find Bà Hùng restaurant as they are famous for this dish.

Mini Pancake – Banh Can

What kind of a foodie destination would Dalat be if it didn’t feature its own delicious take on Bánh, the local pancake? That’s why you should absolutely try Bánh căn, yet another type of pancake. This one is made with rice flour and egg or beef and is served with fish sauce seasoned with spring onions, garlic, and some chili. Hot and crispy, this is the ideal dish to enjoy during a cool evening in Dalat. A good place to find Bánh căn is Lệ restaurant in a little alley right off Yersin street.

Sweet Soup – Che

For the dessert lovers, Chè is an absolute must-try. This pudding-like dessert comes in many forms and often includes ingredients such as mung beans, tapioca, jelly, and fruit. It can be served hot or cold, so you’ll have a suitable option for either season. In winter, the fact that the hosts serve you hot tea with your dish is an added bonus as it will warm you up nicely from the inside. Dalat’s Chè specialists can be found at Hé, a little hole in the wall restaurant on Ba Thang Hai street.

Avocado Ice-cream – Kem bo

If you’ve still not had enough, there’s one last dessert you need to try. Being home to many a fruit and vegetable plantation, there is an abundance of fresh produce in Dalat. This has led to interesting creations such as Kem bơ, avocado ice cream. Served with sweetened coconut milk, coconut shavings, ground peanuts and chocolate syrup, this dish is unique and tasty. Thanh Thảo, a small dessert shop on Nguyen Van Troi street serves up yummy Kem bơ as well as other ice cream flavors and Chè Thai, another version of Vietnamese sweet gruel.

Did all these great ideas for activities to do and foods to try convince you that it’s absolutely worth it to visit Dalat? Then start planning your trip here right now. Nestled in the beautiful highlands and surrounded by mountains and forests, Dalat is a destination unlike any other in Vietnam. Its refreshing weather and clean air will also be a welcome change if you’re coming from a place like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. Whatever is your point of focus, trekking, exploring, adventure travel or eating yummy local delicacies from small market booths, in Dalat you can do it all. So, what are you waiting for?

Best Time to Visit Da Lat (A Seasonal Breakdown)

Only 300 kilometers from Saigon, Da Lat is a wonderful hilltop destination that is unlike its surrounding areas. With the cool weather from the high mountains, vast pine hills around the city, and the colors of flowers all year round, it has truly earned its nickname: “City of a thousand flowers”.

Da Lat makes its home on Lam Vien Plateau, which belongs to the western mountainous area of Vietnam. Only six hours by bus or 50 minutes by flight from Saigon, it’s easy to get to this hilly escape. The young people in Saigon visit Da Lat on the weekend to enjoy their day off. Not only are there many beautiful landscapes such as waterfalls, lakes, and mountains, but there are also ancient and western buildings worth a visit such as the train station, college, and church.

Geography and Weather in Da Lat

Da Lat has a unique geography and climate compared to other parts of Vietnam, which makes it a popular destination to both escape dense cities and humid heat. This city and surrounding area fall into two geographic features: mountainous terrain and lowlands. You will notice the mountainous terrain around the central highlands of the city. The center of Da Lat looks like an oval basin with many soft, rolling hills that make it such an attractive destination. And the city is also protected by the high mountains of 1,700 meters that form a windshield of sorts.

Situated at 1,500 meters high and surrounded by mountains and forest flora including a magnificent pine forest, Da Lat has a temperate mountainous climate all year round. The city stays at a faily mild temperature, even in the summer. It never gets hotter than 25 degrees Celsius or less than 10 degrees Celsius in the winter.

With this particular weather, Da Lat is famous for its four seasons in a year. Every season has its distinct beauty.

Dalat in Spring
Dalat in Spring

Spring – Season of Trees and Flowers

In the spring (January-March), the temperature fluctuates between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. The temperature is low, the wind speed is slow, and the sky is less cloudy, which facilitates the formation of hoarfrost. Hoarfrost occurs when water vapor freezes into small white particles like salt right on the ground or on the surface of plants. Hoarfrost is rather rare but it makes for incredible photos of this area. This season brings to life many lush trees, and hundreds of flowers bloom.

How to Deal with the Weather

It’s quite cold in the spring, especially in January. You should wear several layers of clothing to keep you warm and this also allows you to tuck away a few layers if you get hot, I suggest preparing a small backpack if you set out for the day to explore. A hat, gloves, socks, scarf, and coat are important pieces of clothing to bring along. Markets in Da Lat sell a wide range of these clothes with reasonable prices, so don’t worry if your luggage doesn’t allow you to pack everything you need.

What to Do

Spring is also the best season to travel to Da Lat because all the trees are green and flowering. Hundred of flowers make a blaze of colors in every corner of the city, from the gardens, along the roadsides, around the hillsides, to the sprays of color that light up the balconies of old houses. The whole city is colored pink by cherry blossoms, a special flower of Da Lat. Not only will you see cherries, but this time is also the blossoming season of dandelions and the harvest time of artichokes.

Pro tip: If you are in Da Lat during this time, you must try Da Lat’s very famous, special tea, artichoke tea.

If you travel to Da Lat in the spring, you can explore and drift through beautiful flowers in famous flower gardens such as Van Thanh, Thai Phien, and Ha Dong.

Summer – Season of Fog and Purple Color

In the summer (April – June), the average temperature fluctuates between 24 and 31 degrees Celsius. Obviously, during this time of year, the weather is warmer than in the spring. Fog is also common and it creates a nostalgic mood at night since the entire city emanates a dim light. You can also expect short rainfalls (but the rain is not intense during this time yet). Thunderstorms and showers often occur at noon and evening around May and June.

How to Deal with the Weather

You can wear comfortable summer clothes during this season. However, a woolen set is necessary if you want to stroll around at night in Da Lat.

Because of the light rain, a raincoat and umbrella are necessary. Vendors sell raincoats everywhere on the road in the center of Da Lat, but there are not many on the mountain roads. Therefore, buy a raincoat in the city in advance, then explore the areas far away from the city. This will definitely keep you drier! The price for a disposable raincoat is really cheap, around 20,000 VND (less than 1 USD).

What to Do

Different from the extreme heat in Saigon, summer in Da Lat is the season of romantic rain and fog across the valley. Da Lat has beautifully decorated coffee shops in the center of the city, on the hillside, or inside the pine forest. Listen to music and sip a cup of coffee in these coffee shops on rainy days. Have a look at The Stories Behind the Lovely Vietnamese Coffee Shops in Da Lat to find your favorite coffee shops.

Summer in Da Lat is highlighted by many flowers such as lavender, Pampas grass, hydrangea, and Purple Phoenix. Read this article to find out more about flowers in Da Lat. Are you fond of tropical fruits? Then listen up! Peach and avocado famously flourish during this time, and they are extremely delicious. The fruit is sold at a cheaper price here and it’s typically cheaper than in other parts of Vietnam because Da Lat is a vast garden of temperate fruit.

Autumn – Season of Romantic Rain

In the autumn (July – September), the average temperature fluctuates between 24 and 31 degrees Celsius and it is the most humid period of the year. The southwest monsoon brings heavy and long periods of rain to the area.

How to Deal with the Weather

In the autumn, it rains heavily almost all day, so this is the off-season in Da Lat. Similar to the summer, a wool set, raincoat, and umbrella are important items you need to prepare if you choose to visit during this season.

What to Do

If you like the romance of rain, autumn is still a good time for you. You can stay at your hostel, or go to the coffee shops to watch the rain pouring down the windows.

Depending on your luck, sometimes the rain will skip a day, but it is unpredictable. During this time, you can see the beauty of the white mustard flower, and enjoy the taste of persimmon in the gardens of Da Lat. The white color of the white mustard flower covers the vast gardens, and the orange color of the persimmon seems to set the corners of Da Lat aflame. And if you make it here in the very beginning of autumn, avocados will still be in season.

A memorable time
A memorable time

Winter – Season of Flowers on the Hill

In the winter (October to December), the average temperature fluctuates between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. October will still receive a lot of humidity because it rains a lot. But after, the northeast monsoon winds will sweep through the basin making for relatively dry weather. This time is very suitable for tourism because the weather is cool and dry.

How to Deal with the Weather

It’s very cold in the winter, so preparing a wool set and wearing several layers of clothing is an absolute must.

What to Do

Winter is the blossoming season of many flowers in Da Lat. The city is a blaze of colors of wild Sunflower, red maple leaf, pink grass, mountain ebony, and buckwheat flowers. Many flower gardens are crowded during this time but for good reason. Both sides of the mountain road in Da Lat turn yellow due to the color of the wild sunflowers. You can also row a boat across Tuyen Lam lake to see the red maple leaf, listen to the sound of nature, and relax.

If you travel to Da Lat anytime in the year, you can still enjoy four seasons in one day. Breathe the fresh air and watch the flowers in the morning as if it were spring. Enjoy the light heat in the afternoon and explore mountain roads to toast the summer. Sit in a coffee shop and watch the rain in the evening as if autumn were right around the corner. Then, eat hot sweet potato and drink hot soy milk in the cold weather to commemorate winter. This is why Da Lat is special, so go find out for yourself.

Breakfast in Da Lat: Start Your Day the Right Way

Mornings in Da Lat are quite cold and the fog lingers just enough to create a dreamy landscape. Believe it or not, this climate has created a distinct morning food culture. A hot breakfast to counter the cold weather as you enjoy Da Lat’s rolling hills and slow pace will surely make you a morning person and maybe even a lifelong Da Lat local.

When I was around ten years old, I came to Da Lat with my grandpa for a month. At that time, my grandpa was raising two horses to sell after they grew up. Every morning I asked my grandpa to let me ride the horse to the city center for breakfast. I will never forget these breakfasts with my grandpa. Da Lat’s cold mornings are perfect for a warm breakfast with your family and friends. Let me recommend a few foods that remind me of this precious time and places to start your day.

Banh Can in Da Lat (mini pancake)

Having originated from the south-central coast of Vietnam, banh can is a very popular dish in Da Lat. When it immigrated to Da Lat, banh can went through a small transformation. These changes have made banh can of Da Lat even more delicious and therefore favored by many people. It’s a kind of grilled rice flour cooked in a special oven made of earthenware.

Banh can xiu mai
Banh can xiu mai

Banh can is served with chicken egg, quail egg, minced beef, squid, or shrimp. The dipping sauce plays a vital role; you have to immerse the cake completely in the sauce before eating. The sauce is made of diluted fish sauce and fried chopped green onion and meatballs. The Vietnamese usually eat banh can for breakfast since it’s easy to eat and can provide enough energy for a morning.

Authentic places to eat banh can for breakfast:

Banh Can Xiu Mai Cay Bo
Address: 56 Tang Bat Ho Street, Ward 1
Hours: 6 AM – 11:30 AM
Contact: (+84) 975 289 709
Price: 20,000 VND – 30,000 VND

Banh Can Binh Dan
Address: opposite 62 Phan Dinh Phung Street
Hours: 7 AM – 11 PM
Contact: (+84) 98 736 74 85
Price: 20,000 VND – 30,000 VND

Banh can Le
Address: 27/44 Yersin Street, Ward 10
Hours: 8 AM – 12 AM
Contact: (+84) 933 189 596
Price: 15,000 VND – 30,000 VND

Banh Can Xuan An
Address: 1 Nha Chung Street
Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM
Contact: (+84) 02633 827 690
Price: 15,000 VND- 30,000 VND

Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat (bread with meatballs)

Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat is not like a normal Vietnamese sandwich, stuffed with meat and sausage. It’s eaten by dipping a piece of bread into a bowl of meatball soup. This soup is mixed with shallots, onions, and garlic, so it’s fragrant, stimulating your sense of taste right away. In addition, this soup also has pork skin, Vietnamese meat sausage, and chopped green onion.

Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat
Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat

Tear a small piece of bread, dip it into the soup, wait until the bread is saturated with flavor, and take a small bite of meatball. You will taste the sweetness of the meat, the good smell of the flavors, and the hot bread and soup may warm you up in the cold morning of Da Lat.

Authentic places to eat banh mi xiu mai for breakfast:

Banh mi xiu mai in Yersin Street
Address: 10 Yersin Street
Hours: 7 AM – 6 PM
Contact: (+84) 02633 828 459
Price: 10,000 VND – 15,000 VND

Banh Mi Xiu Mai in Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Address: 137 Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Hours: 6 AM – 10 AM and 2 PM – 9 PM
Contact: (+84) 941 403 765
Price: 15,000 VND – 25,000 VND

Banh Mi Xiu Mai – Ha
Address: 157, 3 Thang 2 Street
Hours: 6 AM – 12 PM
Contact: (+84) 1659 439 397
Price: 15,000 VND – 35,000 VND

Bun Tho of Da Lat (noodles in a big earthenware bowl)

With low temperatures all year round, it’s always a bit cold in Da Lat; therefore, bun tho was invented to combat this cold that the citizens face every day. As its name suggests, noodles and soup cook in a big earthenware bowl to retain the hot temperature. The ingredients of this food are not really special: fish, shrimp, meat, and noodles. The soup is made from bone broth and coconut water, bringing you a taste of natural sweetness.

Bun Tho of Da Lat
Bun Tho of Da Lat

What makes this dish distinct is that it is served still boiling. You’d better not touch the bowl because it’s extremely hot and can injure you. The white smoke evaporates and carries with it a wonderful smell, warming you up right away!

Authentic places to eat bun tho for breakfast:

Café Memory Acoustic Da Lat (you can also have a drink here after breakfast)
Address: 24/7 Hung Vuong Street
Hours: 7 AM – 10 PM
Contact: (+84) 91 687 13 06
Price: 20,000 VND – 100,000 VND (including food and drink)

Phuot Da Lat Café (you can drink here as well)
Address: 45 Pham Ngu Lao Street
Hours: 7 AM – 10 PM
Contact: (+84) 916 871 306
Price: 20,000 VND – 40,000 VND

Bun Bo Hue in Da Lat (noodles with beef soup)

Bun bo Hue literally means noodles with beef soup of Hue City, a city in central Vietnam. The noodles in this food are actually rice vermicelli and the soup is made of lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, and chili paste. The main meat you will eat in bun bo Hue is beef but sometimes you will see pork. Bun bo Hue can be found all over Vietnam, but it is said that bun bo Hue in Da Lat has a special characteristic: the cold climate requires you to finish the hot dish fast before it cools down!

Authentic places to eat bun bo Hue for breakfast:

Bun Bo Thien Trang
Address: 2 Ho Tung Mau Street
Hours: 6 AM – 10 PM
Contact: (+84) 0263 3812 626
Price: 30,000 VND – 60,000 VND

Bun Bo Hue Cong
Address: 1/1B Phu Dong Thien Vuong Street
Hours: 6 AM – 9 PM
Contact: (+84) 0263 3552 569
Price: 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND

Bun Bo Hue Vy Vy
Address: 202 Phan Dinh Phung Street
Hours: 6 AM – 12:30 AM
Contact: (+84) 978 511 882
Price: 35,000 VND – 45,000 VND

Bun Bo Ut Van
Address: 36A Ap Anh Sang Street
Hours: 7 AM – 5 PM
Price: 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND

Bun Bo Xuan An
Address: 15A Nha Chung Street
Hours: 7 AM – 10 PM
Price: 30,000 VND – 40,000 VND

Pho in Da Lat (rice noodles with beef soup)

Pho is a symbol of the culinary culture in Vietnam. You can even eat pho in many restaurants all around the world! This food may seem a simple dish in which rice noodles and beef broth are the only ingredients, but it mixes elite Vietnamese food with history! Like bun bo Hue, eating pho in Da Lat is a different experience compared to other places due to the cold weather here. Usually, people come to Da Lat to enjoy the cold weather of the city, but it’s more fantastic when you eat something hot and delicious when you feel cold, especially the cold of the morning, when everything is still covered by the fog!

Authentic places to eat pho for breakfast:

Pho Hieu
Address: 23 Tang Bat Ho Street
Hours: 7 AM – 10 PM
Contact: (+84) 0263 3830 580
Price: 20,000 VND – 50,000 VND

Pho Thung
Address: 2/8 Nguyen Van Cu Street
Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM
Price: 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND

Pho Bang
Address: 18 Nguyen Van Troi Street
Hours: 7 AM – 9 PM
Contact: (+84) 0263 3828 396
Price: 35,000 VND

Pho Thanh
Address: 12 Hoang Van Thu Street
Hours: 6 AM – 12 PM
Contact: (+84) 937 568 203
Price: 30,000 VND – 55,000 VND

Banh Uot Long Ga (steamed thin rice cake with chicken tripe)

Banh uot long ga is one more specialty of this highland city. Banh uot literally means wet cake, a kind of steamed thin rice cake; long ga is chicken tripe. Normally, people eat banh uot with cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage), shrimp powder, or mung bean paste. However, in Da Lat banh uot is eaten with long ga and chicken meat. This food is usually served in a big bowl or a deep plate of banh uot, then long ga, chicken meat, cilantro, and pepper. You will eat this food with a small bowl of diluted fish sauce. The texture of soft and hot banh uot combined with the fat of long ga and the sweetness of chicken harmonizes with the slight saltiness of the fish sauce: a truly unique experience when eating this food.

Authentic places to eat banh uot long ga for breakfast:

Banh Uot Long Ga Hang
Address: 68 Phan Dinh Phung Street
Hours: 7 AM – 9 PM
Contact: (+84) 932 968 141
Price: 20,000 VND – 60,000 VND

Banh Uot Long Ga Chip Chip
Address: 28 Tang Bat Ho Street
Hours: 6 AM – 7 PM
Contact: (+84) 906 063 771
Price: 30,000 VND

Banh Uot Long Ga TrangDaLat
Address: 17 Tang Bat Ho Street
Hours: 7 AM – 6 PM
Price: 25,000 VND – 35,000 VND

Breakfast Restaurants

If this food list looks a little daunting, or maybe you can’t choose between some of these delicious foods, just slowly wake up and head to a trusted café. You may want to simply sit down in a nice atmosphere to peruse a menu of many options, including some Western dishes before you start a day of exploring. Here are my suggestions:

An Café for Fresh Breakfast

One of my friends suggested this coffee shop in the city center. It offers a lot of familiar food like banh mi, bun bo, and spring rolls. There are also delicious drinks like the typical coffee, fruit smoothies (avocado, strawberry, mango, etc.), tea, and juice. Do you know why this café is special though? In every corner of the shop are little vegetable gardens, you can pick the veges and eat whatever you want! All of these fresh vegetables were bought by the owner from local farms and then replanted in pots. It doesn’t stop here. An Café also has a beautiful atmosphere and arrangement. Having your breakfast in such a beautiful place and enjoying fresh vegetables will be a great beginning to your day!

MORE INFORMATION
Address: 63 Bis 3 Thang 2 Street
Hours: 6 AM – 10 PM
Contact: (+84) 975 735 521
Price: 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND

émai dalat Restaurant for Western Food in Da Lat

This delicious Italian restaurant is located in Da Lat City, and if you have been eating too much Vietnamese food, it’s not a bad choice to turn to Western food for breakfast. “Treat yourself to the sublime” is the slogan of émai dalat Restaurant. You can find delicious Italian food made of fresh ingredients in Da Lat like soups, pizzas, bread, and salad. émai da lat is also a café and homestay, so consider spending your days in Da Lat in an Italian home enjoying their food and drinks.

MORE INFORMATION
Address: 1 Thi Sach Street
Hours: 7 AM – 11 PM
Contact: (+84) 02633 839 001, or their website
Price: 50,000 VND – 100,000 VND

We all need to provide our bodies with enough energy for a day discovering Da Lat City, so a tasty breakfast will give you a good start.

All the Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Da Lat

From fancy dining in French-influenced restaurants to authentic street feasts in local eateries, Da Lat offer travelers all they could hope for. Let’s take a vegetarian food journey across this wonderful city.

If you’re a vegetarian, it can be difficult at times to find a decent meat-free restaurant when traveling. And if you’re traveling to Vietnam, chances are you’ll probably land in Da Lat – one of the most famous and beautiful cities for its rich history, magnificent natural sights, distinctive climate, fantastic local foods, and more. For those who are wondering, Da Lat also has the best vegetarian restaurants to suit your veggie needs! Check out our top choices below.

If you’re still planning your trip to this city, don’t forget to research when to visit and where to stay in Da Lat. Da Lat adventure awaits!

Phan Dinh Phung – A Large Stop for Vegetarians

Phan Dinh Phung street seems to be the neighborhood for vegetarians in Da Lat because there are a lot of amazing meat-free restaurants in this area. You can dine in a spacious and professional restaurant or in a friendly vegetarian house – all on Phan Dinh Phung street.

Hoa Sen Vegetarian Restaurant

With a cozy ambience and relaxing background music, Hoa Sen restaurant can be anyone’s favorite, not just limited to vegetarians! The place was named after lotus, a flower symbolizing a sense of spirituality in Vietnam. Dining here will give you a restful experience along with amazing vegetarian dishes. They feature a variety of dishes on the menu, from regular colorful vegetables to sophisticated dishes with delicious protein substitutes. However, the highlight of Hoa Sen Restaurant is they tend to focus more on fresh vegetables and the chefs have done an excellent job turning veggies into exquisite dishes.

Start with appetizers like mushroom soup or some crispy fried spring rolls; then move on to a main course with rice-based dishes, signature Vietnamese noodles, or even a hotpot! After that you can try ice cold juices or soothing tea to finish your veggie meal. Come here to discover their extremely diverse menu!

Hoa Sen restaurant
Hoa Sen restaurant

This lovely restaurant is also located in the city center, so it’s very convenient for travelers. Just around 700 meters from Da Lat market, Hoa Sen Vegetarian restaurant can be a fine dining place at your doorstep! However, do expect it will be overcrowded during full-moon days in the Lunar calendar as Vietnamese tend to have vegetarian meals on these occasions.

Address:
43 Nguyen Van Cu, Da Lat city
62 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat city

Contact: +84 263 3567 999
Price: from 30,000 VND to 150,000 VND
Opening hours: from 9 AM to 10:30 PM

Dai Loc Vegetarian Restaurant

This mid-range restaurant has comfortable tables and chairs, and nice decoration with calligraphy pieces in the Chinese style. The menu here is not as extensive as Hoa Sen’s, but it can still satisfy your taste buds with savoury and appetizing vegetarian dishes. Other than main courses served as one big portion, you can also choose salads as a side dish to add more green to your meal. The main ingredients are all homemade with beans, tuber vegetables, or seitan to guarantee food safety. Great food with a hospitable and considerate staff –  another plus to check on the list!

a dish at Dai Loc restaurant
a dish at Dai Loc restaurant

Of important note, Dai Loc restaurant has vegan cakes and cookies that are typical Vietnamese and ready to eat! Many of them come in cute and funny shapes representing their names like worm or coin cookies. If you have a big sweet tooth, these snacks will come to the rescue!

Address: 368 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 263 3556 557
Price: from 25,000 to 80,000 VND
Opening hours: from 7 AM to 10 PM

Au Lac Restaurant

This is another cozy and friendly restaurant where you can have a fantastic vegetarian meal on Phan Dinh Phung street. Like Dai Loc, Au Lac is quite a small restaurant but their menu totally makes up for that. With over 50 dishes from light appetizers to group-sized hotpot, this can widen your vegetarian experience. They also have some Vietnamese sweet desserts so you can finish your meal with a delightful touch. Yummy vegetarian dishes with fair prices and a convenient location, don’t miss this place!

food tray at Au Lac Restaurant
food tray at Au Lac Restaurant

Au Lac has an open food stall so there’s another way to place your order. If you don’t want to order from the menu and wish to customize your dish, you just have to point to the desired toppings to let the waiter know. It’s like a special buffet! Note that this can be applied to other restaurants which have the same structure, and price will be a little different from the fixed menu.

Address: 15 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat city
Price: from 15,000 VND to 40,000 VND
Opening hours: from 7 AM to 8 PM

Vegetarian and Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Western Style

The Sky Over Dalat

This restaurant really brings a new air to Da Lat’s vegetarian culinary scene. Since the owner is Italian, food here is well-cooked with a Western influence. You will enjoy a unique and excellent meal that can make you forget that it’s all vegetarian! While some Vietnamese traditional vegetarian restaurants tend to focus more on replicating regular dishes with protein substitutes, The Sky Over Dalat mostly uses a variety of raw vegetables to make food. Together with exotic seasoning and artistic vibes from the owner, veggie dishes here are truly worth trying. Da Lat is famous for its highly fresh and organic produce, and this restaurant knows just how to pick the right farm, so rest assured that you will have a fine dinner with some of the freshest ingredients in town!

The Sky Over Dalat
The Sky Over Dalat

The space is also very cozy with relaxing music and rustic decor of both Western and Eastern style. The staff is friendly, attentive, and helpful. It feels just like walking into a home of an old Italian friend of yours. Fantastic food in a Western menu, peaceful atmosphere, great customer service, The Sky Over Da Lat is ready to satisfy you.

Address: 24 Truong Cong Dinh, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 98 275 47 68
Price: from 75,000 VND to 100,000 VND
Opening hours: from 7 AM to 10 PM

Ganesh Da Lat

This is a chain Indian restaurant that has been well-established in Vietnam for a period of time. They have branches in Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Phu Quoc, and Da Lat. With their huge menu of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, you can have a trip to explore Indian cuisine right in Da Lat. The main dishes here are categorized into two types, Northern and Southern Indian, from the classic masala to strong vindaloo. Serving flavorful dishes seasoned by distinctive spices, Ganesh Da Lat will end your cravings for vegetarian yet it will still fill your stomach.

Address: 1F Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 633 559 599
Price: from 80,000 to 150,000 VND
Opening hours: from 10 AM to 2:30 PM, and 5 PM to 10 PM

Other Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants with a Foreign Menu in Da Lat

Émai Dalat: This is another amazing Italian restaurant in town and they feature several vegetarian dishes on the menu. The food is excellently cooked in an exclusively Western way from starters to desserts. It has a nice garden offering wonderful views while you’re dining. Émai is also a homestay with beautiful rooms for those who want to have a quality breakfast served right below your bedroom.

A set of dishes in Émai
A set of dishes in Émai

Address: 1 Thi Sach, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 263 3839 001
Price: 50,000 VND to 900,000 VND
Opening hours: from 7 AM to 11 PM

Artist Alley Restaurant: You can tell by the name that this restaurant is really artsy, and the design and decoration must be special. It’s true! The owner of Artist Alley is a painter, and his restaurant is full of his artwork. As interesting as it is, the food here is a combination of French and Asian cuisine, adding a new experience to your food tour. Their vegetarian menu includes curry and spaghetti, along with vegetable side dishes in other categories.

Address: 124/1 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 94 166 22 07
Price: from 70,000 VND to 100,000 VND
Opening hours: from 11 AM to 9 PM

Other Veggie Houses and Eateries in the City

An Lac Tam Restaurant

This is a typical Vietnamese eatery with an open kitchen and casual furniture so you can have a different local experience here. An Lac Tam mostly serves dishes with main ingredients like meatless alternatives such as tofu, eggplants, beans, etc. You will see a lot of Vietnamese classics here such as bun bo, pho, mi quang, all in the vegetarian style. The seasoning is pleasant and flavorful, making it suitable for those who have strong taste buds. If you want to try signature dishes of Vietnam and would rather not ruin your vegetarian habit, this is the place!

An Lac Tam also includes some special dishes on the menu like Vietnamese pancakes and clay pot rice to enrich the taste.

An Lac Tam currently has two branches in Da Lat, so make sure to head to the closer one. The price here is also a plus, you can have a full lunch with around 25,000 VND (a little more than 1 USD).

Address:
20A Bui Thi Xuan, Da Lat city
Block A12 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Da Lat city
Price: from 20,000 VND to 35,000 VND
Opening hours: from 9 AM to 9 PM

Thanh Tinh Vegetarian

This local restaurant specially features vegetarian dishes from southwest Vietnam. They serve all kinds of noodle dishes, rice, bread rolls, and many more. You can also enjoy some sweet specialties originally from the Mekong Delta provinces: banh pia and banh in, which are all vegan. Banh pia is quite similar to mooncake due to its dense texture, main ingredients, and sweetness. And banh in can give you a whole new experience: they are no-bake cakes with a round shape and white color. The flour used to make banh in is very unique as it can firmly hold the stuffing, but it also easily falls apart and melts in your mouth when you take a bite.

Now you can totally try these delightful Vietnamese desserts even if you are a strict vegan!

Address: 32/1 Phu Dong Thien Vuong, Da Lat city
Contact: +84 263 6287 318/ +84 91 8307 970/ +84 974 778 977
Price: 25,000 VND to 30,000 VND
Opening hours: 8 AM to 9 PM

Vegetarian Food Stalls in Da Lat Market

If you’re wandering inside Da Lat market and your hunger is so distracting, come try these vegetarian food stalls in the market! Located on the second floor, these kiosks stay close together so you can visit another stall if one is already full. Don’t worry about quality because they’re all delicious and flavorful. Keep an eye out for the words “com chay” or “chay” and you will find great vegetarian food!

Da Lat Market
Da Lat Market

Food is absolutely important to make your trip worthwhile and memorable. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, I believe a great (and veggie) restaurant can satisfy your hunger just as a normal restaurant will. When you travel to Da Lat, try one of the restaurants above and let me know what you think!

Where to Stay in Da Lat: Homestays, Hostels and Hotels

No matter whether you go for a basic homestay, one of Da Lat’s small family-run hotels, or choose for luxury in some of the higher-end places in this mountainous town, there is almost no “wrong” place to stay.

Working on your Vietnam itinerary and afraid it’s going to be loud, busy, and motorbike-filled? Discover why more and more travelers are putting Da Lat, the country’s most romantic city, on their list of must-sees. Offering a rich variation in types of accommodations, from cheap homestays to luxe resorts, let us show you why we think you shouldn’t miss this city. Especially if you love flowers, coffee, or both (and who doesn’t!)

Welcome to Vietnam’s capital of romance, Da Lat

Centrally located and offering rare cool temperatures, clean air, and friendly faces all year around, Da Lat is a place that many travelers, both local Vietnamese and from abroad, cherish. It’s a romantic place, with flowers as far as the eye can see, a beautiful lake that offers stunning sunsets, and a generally laid-back vibe that makes every moment so easily enjoyable. Just spending a day or two here will help you understand why the Vietnamese refer to this town in the mountainous highlands of Vietnam as “Little Paris” or “Honeymoon City”.

A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds
A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature as you’ll be surrounded by trees, flowers, and singing birds

While tourism is increasingly a big draw for the capital of Lam Dong Province, it rarely feels “touristy”. Instead, it often looks as if you have landed in a relatively untouched place. Locals still live the life they would otherwise live, seemingly unphased by the few foreign faces walking around their picturesque streets.

The main attractions in Da Lat are sporty adventures, flower fields and coffee farms outside of the city. This allows the town itself to remain a gentle, calm, and relaxing place. And accommodation mirrors this in every single aspect. From budget-friendly small homestays all the way up to private luxury cabins with sweeping views, Da Lat has it all.

Budget: well-designed homestays and hostels

Because Da Lat is relatively small, and quiet throughout, it’s not hard to book a stay inside the action. Since you come here for a relaxing change of scenery, you almost can’t go wrong. Of course, if you still want to connect with as many people as possible, the options are always there, especially in hostels and homestays.

In fact, Da Lat is known amongst locals as the city of “a new homestay every two weeks.” The sense of rest and relaxation comes through in even the most affordable options.

Là Nhà Homestay, Da Lat

Nowhere does this idea of a well-designed homestay manifest itself then at Là Nhà (At Home) Homestay, considered the place that made homestays trendy again with Vietnamese youth. Originally an old villa, like the other houses on Hoang Dieu Street, well-known photographer Dinh Ngu took it upon himself to transform it into this highly Instagrammable travelers’ retreat.

The beds could not be much simpler, nor could they be cuter for that matter
The beds could not be much simpler, nor could they be cuter for that matter

Offering both private rooms and dorms, a shared living room and communal kitchen, this will be a comfortable stay in beautiful surroundings that you or your followers won’t soon forget.

Là Nhà Homestay: 77 Hoang Dieu Street, Ward 5, Da Lat
Prices start at 150,000 VND or about 6.5 USD

YOLO Camping House, Da Lat

“You Only Live Once”, isn’t that why you’re traveling far from home? Why you embraced this crazy adventure and found yourself prepping for one or more weeks in this country? Well, the people behind Yolo Camping House in Da Lat certainly understand the need to explore. Originally founding the YOLO Hostel N Bar that packs a number of dorm rooms right in the city center, these “lovers of life” launched a whole new initiative called the YOLO Camping House, now about two years ago.

As the name suggests, YOLO Camping House is a hostel and house in one. Yes, you heard that right – this house really does offer the best of both worlds, with fully set-up campsites inside the rooms. And, in line with the camping spirit, you won’t find a TV or other electronics in your room, or should we say tent? You will find the essentials: a comfy bed, a few decorative elements and of course, the tent itself, which you can close like a curtain, in case you want to sleep in a bit after long nightly conversations “under” the starry skies.

Camping inside a house, protected from the elements but with a view of the starry nights… only in Da Lat!
Camping inside a house, protected from the elements but with a view of the starry nights… only in Da Lat!

With views of the mountains to boot, this place truly is a unique way of spending one or multiple nights in Da Lat. It may be a bit unusual, but then again… you only live once!

YOLO Camping House: 27B Ba Thang Tu, Ward 3, Da Lat City
Tents with rooms for 1-5 people start at 300,000 VND or about 13 USD

Dalat Lacasa Homestay II, Da Lat

Just looking for a good price and a central location? Dalat Lacasa Homestay II will certainly fit your needs. This hostel is well-designed and has everything you could wish for in a stay at this price. Well-done dorms pack several beds in one room but still provide privacy. The solo rooms offer bright, clean and sunny designs, comfy beds, and a sink right in the room. Besides the great layouts, the main draw here really is the location.

Dalat Lacasa Homestay II
Dalat Lacasa Homestay II

Situated on the Thu Khoa Huan Street, all of Da Lat’s main city attractions are within walking distance. Whether you want to pick up some fresh food at the old market or take a stroll alongside the lake, it’s right out your door.

Dalat Lacasa Homestay II: 59 Thu Khoa Huan Street, Ward 1, Da Lat City
Rooms start at 180,000 VND or about 8 USD

Mid-range: Small Hotels

Misty Hill, Da Lat

Besides its reputation of being the “Paris of Vietnam”, Da Lat is also known as the land of mist, with low-hanging clouds covering the valleys almost year-round. Nowhere is that on display more than at the aptly-called Misty Hill. This is a small family-run hotel in the mountains, only five minutes by motorbike or taxi from the city center.

From the early morning, when misty mountains are overwhelmed by golden sunlight, to the gorgeous cooler afternoons and even during a rain shower (don’t forget that Da Lat will be in rainy season from about May to November, check here for information on weather in Da Lat), the views from your room at Misty Hill never disappoint.

Common rooms are stocked with travel books and offer many spaces to sit and make plans
Common rooms are stocked with travel books and offer many spaces to sit and make plans

And even if the views outside tire you, there’s enough to see inside. The interior has been handpicked by the owner and features many little trinkets, pieces of ceramics and locally-made fabrics.

If it’s peacefulness and nature that you’re looking for without spending a lot, Misty Hill will be your top choice.

Misty Hill: 31/5C 3/4 street, Ward 3, Da Lat City
Rooms start at 500,000 VND or about 23 USD

Émai, Da Lat

A (slopey) few minutes’ walks from the little town center, Émai Homestay is nothing but enchanting. From the moment you approach the place, you will feel like you’re leaving all that you know behind. Everything brings you good vibes, from the romantic font on the name sign outside the gate, to the lovely flower garden you pass on your way in, to the simple and rustic setup of the small art cafe and the Italian-inspired rustic restaurant space. Here, you can find local writers and travelers from afar all at the same time. Everything at Émai feels elegantly put together and charms you at each step of the way.

Émai’s Japanese-style attic rooms with skylight and garden views
Émai’s Japanese-style attic rooms with skylight and garden views

The menu at this homestay is not at all what you may expect here in the highlands of Vietnam, with Italian-inspired salads, pasta, and pizzas leading the charge. But it’s no surprise when you know that its owner (famed writer and poet Đoàn Minh Phượng) spent over 20 years in Europe, learning the flavors preferred on this of the world. Prepared by a local chef, the vegetable-led cuisine feels truly foreign in the best way possible, while local and fresh ingredients still remind you of where you are.

Run by Ms. Doan’s children and nephew alongside a team of talented locals, Émai feels as breezy and romantic as the city it’s in. Rooms vary both in size and layout to fit every need. The first-floor rooms for example, all have bright windows with beautiful garden views. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique and playful, you’ll enjoy Emai’s attic rooms. These rooms were inspired by Japanese architecture with comfortable mattresses on the floor, that look towards a skylight for nightly stargazing. All rooms have private bathrooms with Japanese wooden bathtubs.

Émai Homestay: 1 Thi Sach, Ward 6, Da Lat City
Rooms from 900,000 VND or about 40 USD, including breakfast and coffee or tea

The Seen House, Da Lat

The Seen House simply needs to be … seen. This stunning “country inn” is situated right on Da Lat’s Tuyền Lâm Lake and offers sweeping views of the water and the mountains behind it. Even if you don’t end up staying here, the place welcomes all for a cup of lakeside coffee in the sun or an intimate lunch. Only a 15-minute car ride from the town’s center, you will be arriving at something that almost seems otherworldly.

The rooms’ interior design is simple but of high quality. The large glass panel that fronts the rooms and the fact that they’re right on the lake, means you’ll be waking up to incredible sunrises over the water. Besides the five private rooms and two family rooms that The Seen House packs, there is the cafe, the restaurant, a library, and a workshop.

Imagine doing your work from here. The Seen House surely offers views that need to be seen
Imagine doing your work from here. The Seen House surely offers views that need to be seen

While the prices are absolutely modest and the overall approach minimalist, there is an undeniable resort feel to the place, stemming from the level of detail. Thoughtfulness appears to be a unifying factor between the hotel, restaurant, and bar, especially when it comes to the service. And, of note is the strong Wifi, for those digital nomads that want to combine sunsets with a bit of work.

The Seen House: Vuon Thuong, Ho Tuyen Lam Ward, Da Lat City
Rooms start at 1,500,000 VND or about 67 USD

Luxury: Resorts

Because Da Lat is quite affordable, even compared to other Vietnamese cities, it’s no surprise that many of the places to stay here skew towards the lower end of the budget. That doesn’t mean of course that there aren’t some experiences to be had that require digging a little deeper into your wallet, but still, the prices are relatively modest.

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa, Da Lat

Ana Mandara is famous in Da Lat and far beyond for offering a chance to stay in one of the villas that make up this little village in French colonial style. And when we say village, we mean it. The seventeen villas are built around a network of near cobblestoned roads and lush gardens built in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Waking up in Ana Mandara means opening your eyes (and ears) to nothing but peacefulness, fresh mountain air, and the upbeat chirping of birds that call the trees surrounding you their home. A world on its own, you slowly stretch, slowly get out of bed, perhaps take a shower and walk to the quaint little restaurant, while passing flowers on your one hand and pine trees on the other.

A different kind of luxury waking up in colonial French-Vietnam
A different kind of luxury waking up in colonial French-Vietnam

After breakfast, it’s up to you whether you want to retreat to your villa and sit on the front porch, or maybe take a walk around and later outside the village walls, into the mountains of Da Lat. Regardless of what you do, you will truly be transported back to a different time, and it wouldn’t take much more than a few days to leave all your “real world” thoughts and memories behind and truly feel at home.

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa: Le Lai, Ward 5, Da Lat City
Rooms start at 2,800,000 VND or about 128 USD.

Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel, Da Lat

While we honestly don’t think this will be the very best experience Da Lat has to offer, if you’re in the market for some “old-world luxury,” the Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel will have you covered. The area where this hotel is located was originally a popular hunting grounds but has since evolved into a spa and golfing destination.

Traditional luxury is served in this “Palace”
Traditional luxury is served in this “Palace”

The rooms offer views of either the neighboring lake or Da Lat’s cathedral, come with a chandelier, have a minibar and a TV. Some of the more premium rooms and suites will give you access to your very own private fireplaces and a balcony. The room rate is inclusive of breakfast, and there’s a fine-dining French restaurant on site, as well as a pizzeria and an outside terrace. As you can imagine, there will be nothing you will be lacking during your stay here.

Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel: 2 Tran Phu, Ward 3, Da Lat City
Prices start at 3,200,000 or about 142 USD

Bich Dao Villas

Surely, after seeing all these beautiful villas on the lush hills of Dalat would make you dream about staying in one, right? The good news is, the people’s beloved Christina’s has arrived in Dalat, and we have those villas at your disposal. If you have not happened to know, Christina’s is the #1 ranked hospitality in Vietnam, appreciated by travelers for the cozy and classy atmosphere with the focus on delicate details. In addition, the Bich Dao Villas are conveniently located near Bao Dai’s Palace, hidden in a beautiful garden and just about 10-minutes of walking to the city center. Which is more perfect for a sweet escape in this capital of romance?

Bich Dao Villas
Bich Dao Villas

Being newly renovated, those french colonial-styled villas ensure your lovely stay comes with everything that you need for a pleasant vacation. Super comfy beds with fluffy duvets are going to keep you warm during the night, and a LCD TV with good selections of channels to keep you entertained before bedtime. En-suite bathrooms will take care of you after a long day out exploring the charm of the city. Feeling lazy for some time? Just spend a day reading books in your suite with natural sunlight coming from the big windows, or relax in the sun in the hydrangea and lavender garden with a nice warm cup of tea or coffee in proximity.

Adding to the package, the breakfast is included at our Bistro Restaurant from 6.30 am to 9.30 am with fresh localized ingredients. After that, the restaurant serves à la carte fusion cuisine until 10 pm for your hearty lunch and dinner. You can also notice the kitchen in advance for a warm BBQ evening by the campfire!

Bich Dao Villas, 8 Trieu Viet Vuong, Ward 4, Da Lat City
Rooms start at 1,170,000 VND or about 50 USD

Exploring beyond your Da Lat “home”

No matter whether you go for a basic homestay, one of Da Lat’s small family-run hotels, or choose for luxury in some of the higher-end places in this mountainous town, there is almost no “wrong” place to stay. Every room will offer you the opportunity to wake up to fresh mountain air, to take a stroll in a place with plenty to discover, and make it your home base to explore further, go on crazy adventures or simply stay put with a good book and a fantastic coffee.

Top Ten Da Lat Dishes You Should Not Miss

Da Lat is a city of Lam Dong province, located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The perfectly cool climate of Da Lat and the romantic atmosphere has attracted many visitors looking for a quick weekend getaway from the crowded and hot cities.

Da Lat is a city of Lam Dong province, located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The perfectly cool climate of Da Lat and the romantic atmosphere has attracted many visitors looking for a quick weekend getaway from the crowded and hot cities. Another reason Da Lat attracts visitors is the cuisine. We hope to help you get an understanding of what I mean by this article. Here are the 10 best foods you can try in Da Lat.

Salad Da Lat

Salad is obviously something you can get literally anywhere. But if you’re looking for the best, then Da Lat is where it’s at. As the soil and climate in Da Lat are perfect for growing temperate plants and vegetables, such as salad leaves and tomato, you will get the best ingredients here.

Locals usually eat this daily. When you go to any shop or restaurant that sell rice, they will always give you a free dish of salad as a side-just like kimchi in Korea! A simple salad can have your typical ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, half boiled eggs, and comes seasoned with vinegar. You can also add some beef or other meat in some places. Last but not least, if you have always dreamt of sitting in a huge fridge while eating greens, Da Lat is “the fridge” that you are looking for. Granted it’s not as cold as other places in the world, but it is cold for Vietnam!

A well-balanced meal is just around the corner!
A well-balanced meal is just around the corner!

Where to get the best salad in Da Lat

Leguda (Vegetable buffet)
Address:  8 Dong Da, Ward 3, Da Lat city (First floor of Cable car station)
Phone number:  0263 3965 965 (You should book a table in advance)
Business hours: 10AM – 9PM
Price range: 39,000 – 200,000 VND (1.8 – 9 USD)

La Chuoi – Am Thuc Viet
Address: 21/9 Tran Phu, W.3, Da Lat
Phone number: (063) 6 511 500
Business hours: 8 AM – 9 PM
Price range: 30,000 – 50,000 VND (1.4 – 2.3 USD)

Vinh Loi
Address: 2D Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat
Phone number: (063) 3 836 215
Business hours: 6 AM – 9 PM
Price range: 20,000 – 50,000 VND (1 – 2.3 USD)

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sausage – Nem nuong

It would be a pity if you leave Da Lat without trying the tasty Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sausage! Some people say that it originated from Hue, while others say it’s from Nha Trang. But who cares about the origin? That’s the last thing you’ll be thinking about as you munch down on one of those babies.

Last year, a staff member at the hostel I stayed in told me to try the nem nuong at a shop nearby. My pride as a gourmand didn’t allow me to say no to any food suggestion or invitation. So I went there, tried it and fell in love! How can people come up with such a great combination of rice paper, grilled pork sausage, fresh salad, cucumber, starfruit, herbs and fried rice paper? I do not know.

The star of this delicious food is actually the thick peanut sauce. Don’t forget to add a little bit of dried chili so that the spice will warm you up in cold weather. To eat nem nuong, first you need to grab a piece of rice paper, wet it a little bit with water, then add the greens, pork and everything else in it, wrap it up next, and finally dip it into the sauce. Then you go to town!

nem nuong in Da Lat
nem nuong in Da Lat

Where to find the best nem nuong in Da Lat

Nem Nuong Hung Van (This is where I had my nem nuong)
Address: 150 Bui Thi Xuan, Da Lat
Phone number: 02633991968
Business hours: 9 AM – 9 PM
Price range: 35,000 VND (1.6 USD)

Nem Nuong Ut Hue
Address: 1 Chi Lang, Da Lat
Phone number: 02633811120
Business hours: 4 PM – 10 PM
Price range: 40,000 VND (1.9 USD)

Nem Nuong Ba Nghia
Address: 45 Bui Thi Xuan, Da Lat
Phone number:  02633820993 – 01668282928 – 0971514251
Business hours: 9AM – 10PM
Price range: 40,000 VND (1.9 USD)

Mini Pancake – Banh can

This dish is a popular breakfast in Da Lat. It may have originated in Binh Thuan province, but after making its way to Da Lat, it became a part of the food culture here. To me, sitting next to a stove in a cold morning, watching the banh can lady pour the white mixture of rice powder in a pottery pancake pan, fill it with egg, shrimp or squid and frying it until the pancake is burned slightly, is a nostalgic sight. To you, it may be unique. Normally, a dish of mini pancake have 10 – 12 pieces, and it is served with a bowl of broth, made of fish sauce, green onions, and meatballs. All you have to do is dip the cake in the broth and enjoy the harmony of flavors in your mouth.

Banh can preparation
Banh can preparation
Banh can xiu mai
Banh can xiu mai

Where to find the best banh can in Da Lat

Banh Can Da Lat
Address: 7 Tang Bat Ho, Da Lat
Phone number:  091 211 62 46
Business hours:  9 AM – 10 PM
Price range: 20,000 – 30,000 VND (0.9 – 1.4 USD)

Banh Can Binh Dan
Address: Opposite to 62 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat
Business hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
Price range: 20,000 – 30,000 VND (0.9 – 1.4 USD)

Banh Can Cay Bo
Address: 56 Tang Bat Ho, Da Lat
Phone number: 097 528 07 09
Business hours: 6 AM – 11 AM
Price range: 20,000 – 30,000 VND (0.9 – 1.4 USD)

Steamed rice paper with chicken intestine – Banh uot long ga

Steamed rice paper is a popular dish in all regions of Vietnam. However, it’s only in Da Lat that you can find steamed rice paper commonly served with chicken intestine. The dish is made of simple ingredients like rice powder, chicken meat or intestine, topped with crispy fried shallots and served with fish sauce. If you are looking for a dish that is on the weird scale, but not too weird, then you should give steamed rice paper with chicken intestine a try.

Steamed rice paper with chicken intestine
Steamed rice paper with chicken intestine

Where to find the best banh uot long ga in Da Lat

Banh Uot Long Ga Long
Address: Alley 202, Lo A16 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat
Phone number: (+84) 0168-252 9116
Business hours: 12 PM – 7:30 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Banh Uot Long Ga Trang
Address: 15F Tang Bat Ho, Da Lat
Phone number: 0263 3825 043
Business hours: 1:30 PM – 8 PM
Price range: 30,000 – 70,000 VND (1.3 – 3.1 USD)

Banh mi dip with meatball soup – Banh mi xiu mai chen

On a chilly day, nothing can be more perfect than holding a hot banh mi to make your hands warm, then teasing it and dipping in a bowl of spicy meatball soup and giving it a go. A bowl of meatball soup contains pork meatball, pork skin, coriander or green onions and pepper. Some places also add pork sausage. This is the desired breakfast in Da Lat, which goes wonderfully with hot soya milk, the signature drink of Da Lat.

banh mi xiu mai
banh mi xiu mai

Where to find the best banh mi xiu mai in Da Lat

Banh Mi Yersin
Address: 10 Yersin, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 7 AM – 6 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Banh Mi Cham Co Gai
Address: 26 Hoang Dieu, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 6AM – 9AM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Banh Mi Phan Dinh Phung
Address: 261 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 2 PM – 9 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Pancake, central style – Banh xeo Da Lat

When discussing banh xeo, people usually think about a big pancake with a thin crust, and veggies on the inside–a must-try dish in Saigon. Let’s forget about that version because the size and taste vary throughout Vietnam. This is the same for other dishes too.  The Da Lat version is still a yellow cake batter that is fried in the pan, but the size is much smaller while the crust is thicker and crispier. When you bite it, the cake will melt in your mouth. The greasy taste of banh xeo is neutralized by the freshness of vegetables so that it’s hard to stop eating more and more. If you are addicted to the wrap and roll cuisine of Vietnam, banh xeo is for you.

Banh xeo
Banh xeo

Where To Find the Best Banh Xeo in Da Lat

Banh xeo Hoang Dieu
Address: 35A-B Hoang Dieu, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 2 PM – 6 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Banh Xeo Que Huong
Address: 10 Phu Dong Thien Vuong, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 3 PM – 7 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Vietnamese Pizza – Banh trang nuong

Maybe it is the cool weather of Da Lat that makes any dish cooked on the coal stove become superstars. And Vietnamese Pizza is not an exception. People will put some other ingredients such as pork, green onions, quail eggs and dried shrimps on rice paper. Then they grill it and rotate it on the coal stove until done. Finally, they will cut it into small triangle pieces and serve with chili sauces. You can also choose to add cheese and sausage to your Vietnamese pizza. This is an addictive snack that you should try when you are in Da Lat.

Vietnamese Pizza – Banh trang nuong
Vietnamese Pizza – Banh trang nuong

Where To Find the Best Banh Trang Nuong in Da Lat

Banh Trang Hoang Dieu
Address: 35A-B Hoang Dieu, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 2 PM – 6 PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Banh Trang Nuong Di Dinh
Address: 26 Hoang Dieu, Da Lat
Phone number: 0168 588 8621
Business hours: 2 PM – 6:30 PM
Price range: 6,000 – 25,000 VND (0.2 – 1.4 USD)

Banh Trang Nuong Co Hoa
Address: 56 Thong Thien Hoc, Da Lat
Phone number: (063) 3 563 563
Business hours: 5 PM – 21:30 PM
Price range: 10,000 – 25,000 VND (0.4 – 1.4 USD)

“Shaken” strawberry – Dau lac

The cool climate of Da Lat is perfect for growing strawberries. You can literally find strawberries everywhere in the world, but only in Da Lat can you find it being served in a unique way – seasoned and shaken. The seller will put a cup of strawberry in a jar. Next, they add shrimp salt, fish sauce, and sugar into the cup and shake it for about 1-2 minutes. Lastly, they put everything back to the cup and hand to you. Besides the sweet and sour signature savory flavor, the seasoned strawberry is also a bit salty, which makes this snack even more interesting. Don’t miss shaking strawberry when you are in Da Lat!

Where To Find the Best Shaken strawberry in Da Lat

People sell shaking strawberry everywhere in Da Lat. But from my own experiences, I recommend you to buy it in the night market. Depending on the season, a cup of strawberry can cost around 15,000 – 20,000 VND (0.6 – 1 USD).

Avocado Ice-cream

Congratulation to the avocado addicts Welcome to avocado paradise! Together with strawberries, Da Lat is where you can find the freshest avocado in Vietnam. Avocado ice-cream of Da Lat is seen as a legendary dessert. That’s why you shouldn’t miss it when you are visiting this city. The way to make avocado ice-cream is also simple. The server chooses the best avocado to blend, and then adds a scoop of coconut ice-cream into the glass and really, that’s all. The dish is a fantastic harmony of avocado and coconut swirled together in a glass of happiness. I’m sure you will love it!

Avocado Ice-cream
Avocado Ice-cream

Where To Find the Best Kem Bo in Da Lat

Kem Bo Thanh Thao
Address: 76 Nguyen Van Troi, Da Lat
Phone number: 098 491 91 10
Business hours: 7AM – 10PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Che Thai Ba Trieu
Address: 4h Ba Trieu, Da Lat
Phone number: No information
Business hours: 8AM – 9:30PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Kem Phung
Address: 97A Nguyen Van Troi, Da Lat
Phone number: 093 414 19 48
Business hours: 8AM – 9PM
Price range: 15,000 VND (0.9 USD)

Sweet soup – Che

This is a food gift for the sweet tooth who is looking for something sweet that is not a cake. On a cool evening, a bowl of hot sweet soup for dessert is super welcome. There are many flavors you can choose, such as beans, corn, pomelo, banana and many more. Sweet soup is also another popular Vietnamese dessert which you will miss after leaving Vietnam.

Where To Find the Best Che in Da Lat

Che He
Address: 11A, 3 Thang 2, Da Lat
Phone number: 098 491 91 10
Business hours: 5PM – 11PM
Price range: 6,000 – 12,000 VND (0.3 – 0.6 USD)

Che Nhu Y
Address: 102A, 3 Thang 2, Da Lat
Phone number: 098 491 91 10
Business hours: 3:30PM – 10:30PM
Price range: 6,000 – 12,000 VND (0.3 – 0.6 USD)

Above is a list of top 10 local food of Da Lat that travelers shouldn’t miss. If you stop by and try anything on the list, don’t forget to share your experiences with other fellow readers in the comment section. But just in case you still can’t decide what to eat and where to go, join our Da Lat Food Tour! I believe this list has given you just a taste of the diversity of food in this region, so now dive in deeper with a local. This foodie adventure will take you from sitting on a small tool on the sidewalk, to comfortably enjoying your dinner in a lovely restaurant. You’ll experience the food scene as a local would.

Beautiful Da Lat: All the Must-Visit Sites

Da Lat is the capital city of Lam Dong province, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. 5,000 feet above sea level, the climate is chilly, making Da Lat a welcome getaway to the southern Vietnamese dealing with year-round hot weather. It is not too far, a six-hour drive or a 40-minute flight from Saigon will get you there hassle-free!

There are many names that the Vietnamese people use to refer to Da Lat: The City of a Thousand Flowers, Dreamy City, Sad City, The Land of Love, The Land of Cherry Blossoms, Little Paris etc. Da Lat has always been depicted in literature, paintings and pictures, wandering about in contemporary arts and travelers’ hearts. It’s hard to describe Da Lat because words don’t do justice to the feeling you get when there, talking to the locals, feeling the cool breeze, watching flowers bloom, and enjoying authentic coffee.

Lavender farm in Dalat
Lavender farm in Dalat

Let’s start by dreaming first.

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Da Lat Right Now

Imagine immersing yourself in the slow living pace of Da Lat, just let things happen, no hassle. Take time to enjoy life and to find peace for your inner self as Da Lat is a perfect getaway for your soul. I am going to share with you some reasons why you should purchase a flight now, so you can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and maybe never come back.

  1. Da Lat has a much cooler climate than Saigon, so it makes for a perfect getaway from the blazing sun of the South. For those of you who haven’t been in a temperate environment before, you will appreciate the changing weather of Da Lat within just a day: spring in the breezy morning, summer in the warm noon, gusty autumn afternoon, and a chilly winter evening.
  2. The cool climate also makes it the perfect place to rest, relax, and be lazy all day. It will even be an excellent experience if you decide to book your accommodation at a more personal homestay or BnB instead of an upscale hotel. Check here for one of them.
  3. Endless pine forests, lakes, and streams, these natural wonders give Da Lat a European feel. Not to mention exploring the wonderful hidden waterfalls, conquering the Lang Biang Peak, and other adventurous opportunities are right at your fingertips.
  4. Even the city itself is great to walk around, such as by the Xuan Huong Lake, the Love Valley, or the Dreamy Hill.
  5. Da Lat is a heaven filled with thousands of species of flowers. From the unofficial symbol of Da Lat – the Mexican Sunflower, to the Mimosa Flower (Silver Wattle), and the Cherry Blossom, these colorful beauties grow everywhere–from the sidewalks to the serpentine tracks around the mountains. Check out this guide to flower season in Da Lat to get the most out of the city’s surrounding nature!
  6. Apart from flowers, you can find the biggest organic farms in Vietnam, with all kinds of vegetables and fruits, from tropical plants to the ones grown in temperate climates like cauliflower and strawberry.
  7. Coffee shops in Da Lat are unique. Every one of them comes with a different style and theme. For instance, Café Song Vy is actually a French-style chateau turned into a coffee shop and has live romantic French music.

Are you excited yet? Get your ticket and accommodation booked now and I will show you around for the best experiences related to the list mentioned above!

Points of Interest and Famous Landmarks

Da Lat Railway Station

The Da Lat Railway Station was built in 1938, and it’s the most important station along the 84 kilometer Phan Rang – Da Lat Railway. It has a unique design, resembling the shape of the Lang Biang Peaks and the stilt houses of the Central Highlands. The station’s interiors are similar to a typical 40s train station in Southern France and the front grand clock is engraved with the date in which Dr. Alexandre Yersin founded Da Lat City. There are only seven kilometers of operational track right now, from Da Lat to Trai Mat, a small suburban town where Linh Phuoc Pagoda is located.

Location: Quang Trung Street, Ward 10

Palace No.3 – Bao Dai’s Palace

Palace No.3 also dates back to 1938, when it served the last Emperor of Vietnam – Bao Dai, as his home and his office in Da Lat. It is located within the Ai An Forest (Love-Making Forest), on top of a hill. The whole building is heavily influenced by European architecture and design, with flower gardens at the front and backyard. It contains many valuable royal items and a hidden wine cellar for you to explore.

Location: 1 Trieu Viet Vuong Street, Ward 4

Chicken Church (St. Nicholas de Bari Cathedral)

St. Nicholas de Bari Cathedral is commonly known as the Chicken Church, because of a giant copper chicken on top of the main bell tower. Apart from being the main and the biggest church of Da Lat, the Cathedral is the first and the most remarkable French architectural legacy. It follows the standard sweeping height of a Roman Catholic cathedral in Central Europe, and it’s representative of Roman arts in Vietnam.

Location: 15 Tran Phu Street, Ward 4

Domaine de Marie Convent

The Domaine de Marie is a Roman Catholic convent atop a hill in Da Lat. The church’s story dates back to the foundation of the Chicken Church and follows the French and Vietnamese style of architecture. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Da Lat and contains a convent for local children. It was built in reminiscence of a 17th-century French church with pink limestone walls. There is also a three-meter high statue of the Virgin Mary standing on the globe. Moreover, the sophisticated lighting system consists of multiple complexly arranged roofs, which is also based on the stilt houses of the Central Highlands.

Location: 1 Ngo Quyen Street, Ward 6

Domaine de Marie Convent
Domaine de Marie Convent

Linh Phuoc Pagoda – The Pagoda of Broken Glass and Porcelain

Linh Phuoc Pagoda or the so-called Ve Chai Pagoda is located in the town of Trai Mat, just seven kilometers from the Da Lat Railway Station. This pagoda has been well known since 1990 for its unusual and meaningful artworks. Every wall, ceiling, pillar, and statue in the pagoda are decorated with thousands of small pieces of broken glass and porcelain.

Location: 120 Tu Phuoc Street, Ward 11

Thien Vien Truc Lam – Truc Lam Zen Temple

The Truc Lam Temple is situated on a hilltop with amazing gardens. The Trúc Lâm Zen tradition emphasizes the habit of applying Buddhist practice in whatever surroundings one finds oneself. You should find a way to the temple by cable car just to observe the majestic pine forest scenery.

Location: Truc Lam Yen Tu Street, Ward 3

Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda – Gate to Heaven

On your way to Da Lat, you should give Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda a visit. The walkway up the Pagoda is small and somewhat challenging, but you are rewarded with magnificent scenery. The main yard is literally “in the clouds” with the Heaven’s Gate in the middle, from which you can contemplate the breath-taking harmony of clouds and mountains.

Location: Loc Thanh Ward, Bao Lam District, Lam Dong Province

Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda
Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda

XQ Su Quan – Silk Hand Embroidery Handicraft Village

XQ Su Quan – Silk Hand Embroidery Handicraft Village is located just opposite of the Dreamy Hill and serves as an introductory facility to Da Lat’s traditional silk hand embroidery. The complex consists of many unique traditional Vietnamese buildings, namely from Hue and other central coastal cities. Moreover, it also operates as a museum of embroidery with many gorgeous artworks.

Location: Mai Anh Dao Street, Ward 8

Passage of Clay

The Passage of Clay spans over 1.2 kilometers and consists of artistic work that grew from the love of Da Lat by a local artist – Mr. Trinh Ba Dung. The whole complex is completely built by a special mix of clay that is as durable as concrete. According to Mr. Dung, he wanted to show the visitors the first images of Da Lat since its establishment to its transformation as a tourist city, purely through art.

Location: Clay Tunnel, Ward 4

Biological Museum of the Central Highlands

This museum/institution is researching the implementation and use of chemistry, microbes, plants, and tissue engineered for biological benefits. Apart from displaying the results of this research, the museum is a library of hundreds of unique flora and fauna in the Central Highlands. There are up to nine rooms of exhibition and six rooms of documentation open to the public.

Location: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 7

Zoodoo Zoo – Australian Zoo in the midst of Vietnam

If you find stuffed animals not too interesting, then how about some living ones from Australia? Yes, the Zoodoo Zoo is extremely exciting with species coming from the Australian continent such as llamas, camels, kangaroos, pony horses, hares, birds, and even hamsters. You can best enjoy this youthful place with kids!

Location: QL27C – DT723 Road, Da Nhim Town, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province

Shopping and Eating Da Lat Specialties

L’angfarm Market

“We are from Da Lat.” L’angfarm Market is dedicated to providing the best quality agricultural products such as dried fruits and vegetables, artichoke tea and extract, coffee and local specialties to Da Lat residents and buyers from other cities.

Location: 7 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Ward 2

Da Lat Market

This market is the place to get a variety of Da Lat specialties, such as fruits, nuts, and flowers (but especially fresh fruits). The magic starts after 5 PM when the main market closes and its yard fills up with food vendors. Vietnamese pizza and banh mi are the way to go!

Location: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ward 1

Stroll Around and Snap Some Pictures

Xuan Huong Lake – Rendezvous of Lovers

Located in the heart of Da Lat, Xuan Huong Lake is considered the most beautiful and romantic lake of this cloudy land. Many tourist attractions surround this crescent-shaped lake, along with its five-kilometer perimeter. The clean surface of the lake gorgeously reflects the charming scenery of Da Lat with its green pine forests, flowers, gardens, and artistic buildings. From the banks of the lake, Da Lat looks like a summer city located in the Alps. This surely gives it the title – the Rendezvous of Lovers. I recommend walking along the banks or taking a tandem bicycle to fully experience this romantic lake!

Xuan Huong Lake by night
Xuan Huong Lake by night

Lam Vien Square

Lam Vien square covers an area of over 72,000 square meters and is decorated with flowery carpets and decorative plants. There is a festival yard, an exhibition area, a theater, a trade area, and car parking facilities within the square itself. The cultural palace right at the center was designed to look like a wild sunflower with a capacity of 1,000 people, where art programs and meetings will take place. Apart from these exhibits, it is a cool place to hang out with friends or your partner.

Love Valley

Just as true love has to surpass several obstacles, the Valley of Love in Da Lat had to surpass many challenges in the course of time to earn its meaningful name today. Originally, the valley was called Vallée D’amour (Valley of Love) by the French. Its beauty charmed people to name it after the most wonderful thing in the world–love. Not just limited to the title as the top honeymoon destination for newlywed couples, this valley is even regarded as the Niagara Falls of Vietnam with its wondrous waterfalls. To truly marvel at the scenery, follow the natural tracks and staircases all around the valley to visit and admire the gorgeous nature that will take your heart away.

Dreamy Hill

Dreamy Hill is one of those places you can wander about for hours with your loved one. You will find lots of flower bungalows and artistic sculptures as well as a wishing tree and an outdoor auditorium with live local music performances.

Lamenting Lake – Ho Than Tho

This lake is located on a hill surrounded by tranquil pine forests and quiet peaceful feelings. It attracts numerous tourists who love to explore romantic natural landscapes and savor the stunning scenery. Although not as large as Xuan Huong Lake, thanks to its faraway location from the city center – around 4 kilometers to the northeast, Than Tho Lake takes advantage of that. It is home to ideal ecological terrain for tourists to comfortably enjoy nature without much disturbance. There is also a local legend about the lake, which is there for you to discover as you walk its shores.

Tuyen Lam Lake

Just five kilometers south of Da Lat, Tuyen Lam Lake is the biggest lake in the area. The name originated from the grandiose nature around it – flocks of streams and forests blending into each other. Because of its various water sources, Tuyen Lam is known as the lake where rivers, springs, and forests meet each other in harmony. It is one of the largest and the most beautiful lakes in town.

Tuyen Lam lake
Tuyen Lam lake

Da Lat Flower Garden

Da Lat is famously known as the land of a thousand flowers, and undoubtedly the Da Lat Flower Garden is the star. The Garden lies next to the Xuan Huong Lake, 15 hectares in area with sophisticated decoration and floral arrangements. There are approximately up to 300 evergreen species of flowers. The most festive event of Da Lat – Da Lat Flower Festival is held in this garden every year, but the date changes annually.

Savoring the Natural Sceneries In and Around Da Lat

Lang Biang Peaks

With three peaks, Lang Biang Mountain offers a fantastic vista of the surrounding hills and lakes. Its top two peaks are Lang Biang – 2,167 meters – and the 2,287-meter high Bidoup Ban, which are often regarded as the roofs of Da Lat. The mountain is famous for its spectacular nature, as well as its marvelous view of the whole wide area of Da Lat City, the forest, the rivers, and the houses. Visitors will have the option of venturing to the peak by an old Russian jeep or taking the challenge of their own endurance from the pine forest up to the Lang Biang Peak (2,167 meters).

View from Lang Biang Mountain
View from Lang Biang Mountain

Golden Valley

This ten-hectare tourist site is hugged by sloping pine trees and grassy hills. Strolling on the hill, tourists can hear the sound of pine leaves chanting in the wind and indulge in the colorful flowers on the way. Golden Valley features a harmony of natural and man-made beauty. Under the shade of pine trees and green grass is a rock garden with several types of precious stones, such as chalcedony and agate, in different shapes from simple to extremely detailed, carved by nature and the hands of artisans.

Terraces of White Kunai Grass in Lac Duong

These terraces cover a ten-hectare area, located in Da Sar ward, Lac Duong district and only 40 kilometers away from Da Lat. This place is considered the golden destination of many young locals for its dreamy and beautiful scenery. The blooming white kunai grass turns the whole hill into a white color, like bringing a snowy grassland from Europe and placing it here in Vietnam. It is also perfect for photographers to capture nature’s beauty.

Cloud Walking in Thien Phuc Duc Hill

Six kilometers away from the city center to the north, facing the Lang Biang Peak is the cloud-hovering Thien Phuc Duc Hill. Getting here is fairly easy. You just need to make your way to the Thanh Mau Church of Ward 7, and voilà, you are on top of the hill. Arrive in the early morning or late afternoon to best savor the heavenly scenery, seeing the clouds covering the whole Da Lat city.

Explore the Pristine Beauty of the Waterfalls

Da Lat – Lam Dong area is blessed by mother nature with a huge number of waterfalls. You will regret not visiting any of these, hidden away in the midst of a pine forest. The most spectacular waterfall of the whole Central Highland is Pongour Falls, which looks like silver steps to heaven. The other ones like Cam Ly, Datanla, and Prenn will also take your breath away with their own unique beauty. Yet there are just too many to talk about, so I would rather leave them for you to explore. Get in touch with a local tour guide to discover even more secret waterfalls.

End of Story

Note what you want to discover and keep it in your pocket. Da Lat awaits, are you ready? Let me know in the comments below about your experience in the places I have mentioned. I would be happy if this guide helps you! Check out more about Da Lat in these following articles: