Let’s be honest, 7 days in Vietnam -a country with thousands of years of history, abundant UNESCO World Heritage Sites and breathtaking scenery that spans its 3,000-kilometre length- is not enough. However, if a 7-day trip to Vietnam is all you have, then you can cover the country’s major destinations. You’ll leave with an established love for its land, people and culture, with a promise to yourself that you’ll return – that, we are sure of.
A 7-day Vietnam tour will introduce you to a plethora of Vietnam’s charms, from mountains to ocean, valleys to rice fields and major cities to local villages. Vietnam is a well-connected country; if you’re short on time, train, road and air travel routes enable you to move quickly and easily through the country, spending a night or two in each destination.
To get the full Vietnam experience in 7 days, read on to discover this ‘7-Day Vietnam at a Glance’ itinerary.
Vietnam Itinerary: 7 Day Overview
‘Vietnam at a Glance’ is the perfect option for those that want to experience the real Vietnam but are short on time. This 7-day tour of Vietnam begins in the capital city of Hanoi, a city with a 1,000-year history and the hub of Vietnamese culture and cuisine.
Moving on, you’ll spend a night floating between limestone karsts in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay on an overnight cruise. Mid-way through the trip, you’ll jet off down to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern metropolis. Here, you’ll spend the remainder of your 7 days exploring the city formerly known as ‘Saigon’ and the rice bowl of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta.
Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi
Hanoi is the starting point of your 7-day itinerary. Upon arrival, you’ll meet your guide at the airport and be given a brief introduction to the city en route to your hotel. You’ll then have the rest of the day free to explore the Old Quarter on your own, or if you prefer, a tour can be arranged.
At the centre of the vibrant city, Hanoi’s Old Quarter dates back to the Imperial era of Vietnam. It showcases the country’s history perfectly through its plentiful beautiful architecture, street food choices and more.
Today, the Old Quarter is a thriving hotspot for travellers where you can sample local dishes, meet friendly locals and tick off iconic scenes on your Vietnam bucket list.
Day 2: Journey to Halong Bay
Today you’ll wake up refreshed and eager to see more of Vietnam. If you were to choose to do a 7-day North Vietnam itinerary, you could spend longer in Hanoi before jetting off to your next destination, but to see more of Vietnam, you’ll head off to Halong Bay.
The 170-kilometre journey will take you through the Red River Delta, past Vietnamese farmers tending to their vast green paddy fields to Halong City, where you’ll board your junk. Here, your journey on the water begins as you dine on fresh seafood while you sail out into the mystical bay.
The afternoon will be spent on bamboo rowing boats exploring the traditional fishing village of Vung Vieng. You’ll also have the chance to kayak to Ban Chan Island before returning to your junk for happy hour cocktails and dinner.
Day 3: More Cruising, Back to Hanoi & Street Food Tour
What better way to begin your day than on the top deck of your junk doing a Tai Chi class with the peaceful view of Halong Bay?
After your class and a light breakfast, it will be time to jump on the rowing boats once again and explore Cung Do Island where you’ll find Thien Canh Son Cave, the largest in the bay. Disembarking your little boat, you’ll ascend the 100 steps into a cave that is filled with glistening stalactites.
Back on your junk, you’ll admire the magnificent limestone formations of Bai Tu Long Bay during brunch as you sail back to the mainland and head back to Hanoi. Once in Hanoi, you’ll go straight out on a street food tour to discover one of many local markets and taste a variety of popular Northern Vietnamese dishes.
Day 4: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Today, you’ll say goodbye to Hanoi and the north of Vietnam as you board your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Upon arrival, you’ll be once again met by your guide and taken to your hotel.
Based in the city centre, you’ll then have the rest of the day free to explore this vibrant city that buzzes with over 8.5 million motorbikes! Straight away, you’ll notice the differences between the north and south of Vietnam. If you were to choose a 7-day South Vietnam itinerary, you would begin your trip in this city.
Between the beeping horns and bright lights, you’ll find grand hotels and staggering skyscrapers juxtaposed with street food stalls which have been set up on the same spot for decades and coffee shops squeezed into tiny spaces. Despite being a rapidly growing city, Ho Chi Minh City seems to maintain its local charm.
Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Just an hour from the city, you’ll find the labyrinth of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam-American War. The Cu Chi Tunnels stretched over 200 kilometres. In some parts, the tunnels were several levels deep, contained trap doors, living areas, storage facilities and more.
You’ll be guided around the park learning about how these tunnels played a fundamental role in the war, and you’ll have the chance to experience them first hand with an optional walk through a stretch of the tunnels.
Upon returning to the city, you’ll head out with your local guide on a tour of the principal monuments and buildings. Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Central Post Office are two examples of the elegant classical French colonial architecture that you’ll witness in the city. You’ll also visit the War Remnants Museum and bring your tour to an end in the bustling Ben Thanh Market, a great place to have dinner.
Day 6: A Day Trip to the Mekong Delta
Often referred to as the ‘Rice Bowl of Vietnam’, the Mekong Delta is famous as a land of agriculture, cultivation and local villages, producing a majority of the country’s staples – rice and coconuts.
Today, you’ll travel out of the city to explore this region. Hopping onto a long-tail boat, you’ll spend the first part of the day cruising through various local craft villages, learning how to make rice paper, coconut candy and coconut souvenirs. Next, you’ll have the option to hop on a tuk-tuk or to take a 3-kilometre bicycle ride alongside the river to visit the fruit orchards and to have lunch at a local ancient house.
In the late afternoon, you’ll head back to Ho Chi Minh City for your final evening. Your guide can provide recommendations of rooftop restaurants, top street food spots, and the best markets to enjoy your last evening meal.
Day 7: Your Vietnam Travel Itinerary of 7 Days Comes to an End
Depending on your flight departure time, you’ll have some free time to do some last-minute sightseeing or shopping before your driver escorts you to the airport.
Alternative Vietnam Itineraries for 7 Days
Not everyone is looking for a whistle-stop tour from north to south, or vice versa, through Vietnam. You may want to embark on a tour that solely revolves around the cuisine of Vietnam, a cycling tour or even a tour only by public transport. Whatever the case, your ideal 7-day Vietnam itinerary will undoubtedly be different from someone else’s.
Here are some alternative routes for 7 days in Vietnam;
Discover the wonders of Sapa, Ninh Binh and more on this North Vietnam itinerary of 7 days.
See what wonders the cycling trails of the Mekong Delta have in store for you on this South Vietnam itinerary of 7 days.
Vietnam & Cambodia
Explore two countries in a short space of time on this Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary tailored to 7 days.
Ho Chi Minh City
Customise this river and city trip to explore the wonders of Ho Chi Minh City on a 7-day itinerary.
A week in Vietnam itinerary may take the form of heading straight to the centre of the country and exploring the cities of Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An and Dong Hoi.
Travel Insurance for Your 7-Day Vietnam Trip
Whether you’re embarking on a Vietnam itinerary of 7 days from India, Australia or any other country in the world for that matter, it is strongly recommended that you have travel insurance.
Anything could happen on your trip, so make sure you’re covered.
Want to Create Your Own Vietnam Travel Itinerary?
Create your perfect itinerary for Vietnam by connecting with one of our Local Suppliers in Vietnam. With years upon years of experience, our Local Suppliers take your budget, travel style and interests to tailor a trip to suit you.
Design your 7-day tour of Vietnam from scratch with one of our Local Suppliers or customise one of our trips to Vietnam or any one of our other 59 countries by browsing the destination galleries.