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The Ultimate Guide to Dalat, Vietnam

Updated On 
February 10, 2023
13 Min Read
The city of Da Lat surrounded by mountains.

The Ultimate Guide to Dalat, Vietnam

From places to stay to the most popular activities. Find out everything you need to know before visiting Dalat.

Updated On 
February 10, 2023
13 Min Read
The city of Da Lat surrounded by mountains.
Home > DestinationsTopics > Vietnam > 
The Ultimate Guide to Dalat, Vietnam
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From the pine trees to its cooler temperatures, Dalat is a perfect getaway for those wanting to escape the heat and humidity in Vietnam. Because of its relaxed and dreamy atmosphere, Dalat has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Whether you are looking for an adventure or just want to relax and enjoy the weather, this is the ultimate travel guide to Dalat. We have put together the top 11 best things to do in Dalat, as well as, where to stay, and plenty of our Dalat tips to help you travel better.

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Best Time to Visit

Dalat has one of the most stable weather conditions in Vietnam which makes it a good destination all year round. It has two distinct seasons; dry and rainy seasons. The best time to visit is during the dry season which starts from November to March. During these months, you can experience the best weather conditions and expect clear skies with some light rains. It is also the best time to enjoy outdoor activities with warm temperatures during the day while it cools down at night. 

Read: Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Construction workers in front of a colorful wall in Dalat, Vietnam

How to Get to Dalat

Plane: The fastest and most comfortable way to reach Dalat city from anywhere in Vietnam is to take a plane. The Lien Khuong Airport (DLI) is about 33 km from Dalat city center and takes about 30 to 45 minutes drive depending on the traffic. 

Book your flight ticket to Dalat.

There are plenty of taxis waiting at the arrival gate and should cost around 1 USD. You can also ask the receptionist at the arrival to call a taxi. This way, you won’t have to haggle for the price as some drivers may charge you more. Grab cars are also available but we found them to be more expensive during our trip. We arrived at 10am and we paid our Grab driver 20 USD. 

Tip: For a hassle free arrival, book your car transfer here.

A man stands in front of a scaffolding filled with seedlings.

Bus: The cheapest way to reach Dalat is to take the bus. There are plenty of bus companies offering trips on sleeper buses. Depending on the company and the type of bus you book, a ticket costs around 15 USD.

Book for your bus ticket to Dalat in advance.

Most of the buses are arriving at Dalat center and you can walk to your accommodation or book a taxi. Some bus companies even offer transfers from the bus station to your hotel. Ask the receptionist at the ticket counter or the driver’s assistant before getting on the bus. We recommend taking the bus to Dalat at night so you can avoid the traffic and save on your night’s accommodation. 

Tip: For tall travelers, book the bigger compartment bus to give you more space and for a more comfortable seat. The regular sleeper buses are cramped and not the most comfortable.

Young men surrounded by buffalos collect hay near Dalat, Vietnam

Where to Stay in Dalat

Dalat offers plenty of choices to stay at from homestays and hotels to villas. If you want to be in the center and close to restaurants and main attractions, stay in the area around the night market. Everything is accessible on foot and taxis are available everywhere. We recommend renting a motorbike so you can stay somewhere farther from the center yet still very accessible. You can find many accommodations around Le Van Tam street where it’s quiet with great mountain views. There are also lots of cafes nearby where you can enjoy the view. Find all accommodations in Dalat here.

How to Get Around

There is so much to see in Dalat and the best way to get around is to rent a motorbike. This will give you flexibility and it is best in covering longer distances. The majority of the roads in Dalat center are paved but you will need to be careful driving on some of the odd angled and steep streets. 

A man on a motorbike in front of a yellow wall with doors.

11 Best Things to Do in Dalat

1. Go Coffee-Hopping in Dalat

There's no shortage of cafes in Dalat and there's no better way to enjoy the cooler temperature and the view than to go coffee hopping! Whether you’re looking for something trendy or somewhere quiet to work at, Dalat offers plenty of coffee shops just for you. There are even some mobile coffee shops that drive around famous areas such as Tuyen Lam Lake where you can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee or tea overlooking the lake or the lush forest. One of our favorite places to grab a coffee in Dalat is at La Mappa Cafe & Bistro.

Read: Best Coffee Shops in Dalat

A man prepares coffee from his mobile coffee shop in Da Lat, Vietnam.

2. Taste Dalat’s Specialty Food

A must-try experience in Dalat is its cuisine. The hill city is well-known for its many food specialties, including corn rolls (Ram Bắp) and stuffed snails with pork (Ốc Nhồi Thị). To sample these delectable street foods, stroll around the night market or join a food tour that will take you to Dalat's hidden gems. 

Book your Dalat food tour here

Plates with food on a wooden table

3. Visit a Strawberry Farm

Strawberry is one of the most famous specialties in Dalat. Thanks to the perfect temperature in growing them, there are many farms you can visit where you can buy fresh and sweet strawberries for cheap during the strawberry season. We visited Biofresh Organic Farm which is inside the Than Tho Lake Tourist Area

There is an entrance fee of  per person. With the expansive area, there were lots of things to see including the lake and flower gardens with plenty of photo opportunities. If you wish to just buy some strawberries, you can also just enter the farm along this street. You will find a small entrance on the right side. Their strawberry and orange jams are also worth trying!

A woman picks strawberries at a farm in Dalat, Vietnam.

4. Go Canyoning

For adventure seekers, canyoning in Dalat should be on your itinerary. It is a popular activity as you discover the fantastic canyons and incredible gorges. Book a tour as they take you cliff jumping, trekking, and repelling down waterfalls. Here are the most highly-rated canyoning tours in Dalat.

A woman is seen canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam.

5. Explore the Tea Plantation in Cau Dat

The tea plantation in Cau Dat is located around 22 km away from Dalat center and takes about 35 minutes to drive. You can drive around and explore the massive tea fields on your own or you can also book a guide from the plantation. Discover the many viewpoints and observe tea pickers during their workday. There is also a coffee shop where you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a view of the rolling tea fields.

Read: Harvesting Tea Leaves in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Tea leaf pickers at a tea plantation in Cau Dat, Vietnam.

6. Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda

One of the places you shouldn’t miss when in Dalat is Linh Phuoc Pagoda. It is both visited by Buddhists who come here to pray and by anyone who wants to marvel at the impressive architecture of this pagoda. It is unique and has beautiful mosaic art that is made from thousands of colorful pieces of glass, pottery bowls, and porcelain.

You can easily spend an hour looking around the very detailed designs of the intricate tiled walls and ceilings. As well as, the elaborate statues and the biggest buddha made of flowers. This pagoda is located about 10 km from Dalat center and takes around 18 minutes drive. It is free of charge and it is open daily from 8am to 5pm. As it can get really busy, try visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowd. 

Linh Phuoc Pagoda from the inside.

7. Discover Tuyen Lam Lake

The best way to discover Tuyen Lam Lake is to drive a motorbike around. Though the road does not go around the lake, there is still plenty of winding road and pine tree-lined driveways to enjoy. Or you can pick one of the many cafes surrounding the lake to admire the peaceful and beautiful scenery of Dalat. 

You can also take a boat if you want to discover more of the lake. The boat will take you to the other side of the lake where the roads do not go. You can buy a ticket at the boat station and the boat trip takes about 20 minutes one way. Depending on how many people, a boat trip costs around 13 USD. 

Boats lay ashore in Tuyen Lam Lake, Dalat.

8. Catch the Sunrise on Da Phu Hill

One of the best places to watch the sunrise is on Da Phu Hill. It is a great spot to get a view over the city, as well as, the green mountains with lots of pine trees. Da Phu hill has many viewpoints you can go suitable for camping and sightseeing. In comparison to some of the more famous viewpoints in Dalat, it is more peaceful and quiet as there are not that many tourists around.

Most people head to the first viewpoint which is what’s marked on google maps. The roads up the hill can get very steep and dangerous. So if you go there by motorbike, park it at the bottom next to the cemetery and hike to the top which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Colorful trees with mountains in the background.

There is another viewpoint that is more accessible by motorbike. Drive up the hill on this road but be careful as it’s still steep and rocky but not as bad as the road on the first viewpoint. If you are not an experienced driver, we do not recommend riding up the hill as it can get very dangerous.

Once you get on top of the hill, drive to this area and enjoy a better view of the mountains. The roads will be much better and if you’re in the right season, find the pink grass along with the countless pine trees. As this area is harder to reach, there are fewer people around.

Colorful trees with mountains in the background.

9. Go Cloud Hunting in Dalat

Apart from Da Phu Hill, there are plenty of other viewpoints that you can visit in Dalat to enjoy the sunrise and sunsets. This includes Do Co Hong Hill and Thien Phu Duc Hill. They are famous for the amazing views of the mountains and the clouds on the hill during sunrise, which is the perfect setting for photographs. 

During our trip, we only got to check Do Co Hong Hill and we found it to be quite popular among prenuptial photoshoots. Despite the crowd, it was still interesting to witness and there are plenty of spaces you can sit to enjoy the view. We also didn't get to enjoy the sea of clouds at this viewpoint as the weather was a bit rainy. However, there are lots of viewpoints you can check out surrounding the area if you want to stay away from the crowds. Other than that, make sure you bundle up as it can get quite cold in the early mornings while you wait for the sun to rise. You might also want to bring some food and drinks to enjoy at the top.

Tip: Book this cloud hunting tour for a memorable experience and a hassle-free journey!

People gather around a fire to keep warm at the top of a hill in Dalat, Vietnam.

10. Drive around Ho Suoi Vang Lake

Just like Tuyen Lam Lake, Ho Suoi Vang Lake has plenty of viewpoints you can enjoy. Drive around to discover the area and enjoy the pine trees and fresh air. There are different roads you can take to get closer to the lake. Many of which you can stop by and take some photos of the amazing view or just catch some locals fishing on the side. 

One famous place of interest is the lonely pine tree close to the lake. As the name suggests, it’s the only big tree standing surrounded by the lake and mountains. It is a great place to camp but the road to get there is terrible. It is steep and there are big holes on the road which is very challenging if you’re driving a motorbike. You will need some help driving it up the hills and you may get stuck. 

Women wearing conical hats work at a farm in Dalat, Vietnam.

11. Enjoy the Waterfalls in Dalat

There are a few waterfalls that you can visit in Dalat. During our trip, we were not able to visit any waterfalls as they were all closed due to the pandemic. What we recommend is to call beforehand at their offices to make sure they are open. 

The most touristic one is Datanla Waterfall. It is also the closest waterfall from the main center in Dalat, around 6 km away. You can enjoy many activities on site including the longest alpine coaster in Asia. This 2,400-meter long coaster trail passes through the lush forest and the Datanla falls. An entrance fee of about 2 USD per person and opens daily from 7am to 5pm. 

Though a bit farther from the center, Pongour waterfall is another beautiful destination you won’t want to miss when visiting Dalat. It’s about 47 km away and takes around an hour to drive. If you’re driving a motorbike, we recommend heading out early to avoid the heat when driving as it gets really hot during the day. Otherwise, book a taxi or rent a car from Dalat for a more comfortable ride. This waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam.

There are also waterfall tours you can book which can take you to most waterfalls close to Dalat and other tourist attractions along the way. Here are the most popular waterfall tours in Dalat.

A woman sells flowers at the market in Dalat, Vietnam

Dalat is an amazing destination in Vietnam. Whether you are spending a week or just the weekend, we hope that this ultimate Dalat travel guide will help you experience the most out of the hill city. 

Leave us a comment below and tell us which one is your favorite thing to do in Dalat.

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