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Vietnam Trip Cost: Exploring Vietnam on a Budget

Posted By: Richard Roeffen / Vietnam Travel Guides
Vietnam trip cost refers to the expenses incurred while traveling in Vietnam. It includes various aspects such as travel, tourism, and overall budget for the trip. The term emphasizes the importance of planning and budgeting for a visit to Vietnam. It also acknowledges the popularity of budget travel options in the country.

Is Vietnam Expensive To Travel To?

When considering a trip to Vietnam, many travelers wonder about the cost of traveling in this beautiful Southeast Asian country. Vietnam has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years, known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. One of the main factors that attract visitors to Vietnam is its affordability, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers.

The Cost of Accommodation

Accommodation in Vietnam is generally very affordable, with a wide range of options available to suit various budgets. Travelers can choose from budget hostels, guesthouses, mid-range hotels, or luxurious resorts, depending on their preferences and financial constraints. The prices for accommodation can vary significantly depending on the location, with major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offering a wider range of options at slightly higher prices compared to smaller towns and rural areas.

The Cost of Food

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its flavors and diversity, and indulging in local street food is a must for any traveler visiting Vietnam. The cost of food in Vietnam is incredibly affordable, especially when compared to Western countries. Street food stalls and local restaurants offer delicious dishes at very reasonable prices, allowing travelers to savor the authentic flavors of Vietnam without breaking the bank. It is also worth mentioning that Vietnam is home to various international cuisines, so travelers with different preferences can easily find options that suit their tastes.

Hanoi Street Food Tour

Hanoi Street Food Tour  - (Source: Collected)

The Cost of Transportation

Getting around Vietnam is relatively inexpensive, thanks to its well-established transportation infrastructure. Whether traveling within cities or between different regions, there are a variety of transportation options available. Public buses, trains, and taxis are affordable choices for exploring cities, while domestic flights and overnight buses offer convenient ways to travel longer distances within the country. Additionally, renting a motorbike is a popular and cost-effective option for exploring Vietnam's rural areas and coastal towns.

The Cost of Activities and Attractions

Vietnam offers a plethora of activities and attractions to suit all types of travelers. From exploring historical sites such as the Imperial City of Hue and the Cu Chi Tunnels to trekking in the picturesque Sapa region, there are numerous adventures to embark on. Many attractions, such as temples, pagodas, and natural landmarks, can be visited free of charge. For guided tours or organized activities, prices can vary depending on the complexity and duration of the experience. However, even these organized tours are typically affordable, allowing travelers to make the most of their trip to Vietnam without breaking their budget.

How Much Is a Trip to Vietnam?

The cost of a trip to Vietnam varies depending on various factors such as the duration of the trip, the level of luxury desired, and the activities planned. However, it is possible to give a rough estimate of the expenses involved in a typical trip to Vietnam.

Flight Costs

The cost of flights to Vietnam can vary depending on the departure location, the season, and the airline chosen. On average, a round-trip ticket from major international airports to cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City can range from $600 to $1,200.

Accommodation Costs

As mentioned earlier, Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. Budget-conscious travelers can find comfortable accommodations such as hostels and guesthouses for as low as $10 to $30 per night. Mid-range hotels typically range from $30 to $100 per night, while luxury resorts can cost upwards of $150 per night.

Food Costs

Food in Vietnam is incredibly affordable, whether eating at local street food stalls or dining at restaurants. On average, travelers can expect to spend around $10 to $20 per day on meals, depending on their eating habits and preferences.

Transportation Costs

Transportation costs in Vietnam can vary depending on the mode of transport chosen and the distances covered. Public transportation, such as buses and trains, are very affordable, with prices ranging from a few dollars for shorter journeys to around $20 for longer trips. Domestic flights and overnight buses tend to be slightly more expensive, with average prices ranging from $30 to $100.

Activity and Attraction Costs

The cost of activities and attractions in Vietnam can vary greatly depending on the specific experiences chosen. Most individual entry fees to attractions range from $1 to $10, while guided tours or adventure activities can range from $20 to $100 or more, depending on their duration and complexity.

Is Vietnam or Thailand More Affordable To Travel To?

When comparing the affordability of travel between Vietnam and Thailand, several factors come into play. Both countries offer unique experiences and have their own price ranges for accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.

Accommodation and Food

In terms of accommodation and food costs, Vietnam tends to be more affordable than Thailand. Vietnam offers a wider range of budget-friendly options for accommodations and street food prices are generally lower compared to Thailand.


While both countries have reliable and extensive transportation networks, Vietnam's transportation costs tend to be slightly lower. Buses and trains in Vietnam are typically more affordable than their counterparts in Thailand. Similarly, domestic flights in Vietnam are often cheaper than those in Thailand.

Activities and Attractions

Both Vietnam and Thailand offer a multitude of activities and attractions for travelers to enjoy. However, the cost of these experiences can vary depending on the location and popularity of the attraction. Overall, Vietnam's activities and attractions tend to be more affordable compared to Thailand.

Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Temple of Literature, Hanoi  - (Source: Collected)

About My Vietnam Trip

During my recent trip to Vietnam, I had the opportunity to explore the country's diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and enchanting cultural sites. I opted for a Vietnam tour package that allowed me to experience the best of what this captivating country has to offer.

Exploring Hanoi

The tour started in Hanoi, the bustling capital of Vietnam. I spent my first few days immersing myself in the rich history and culture of the city. I visited iconic landmarks such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter. The atmospheric streets of Hanoi offered a delightful culinary experience, with delicious local street food at every corner.

Day Trips from Hanoi

During my time in Hanoi, I also took several day trips to nearby attractions. One of the highlights was a trip to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters. Another memorable day trip was to the idyllic Tam Coc, where I took a boat ride through the scenic Ninh Binh countryside, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and lush rice fields.

Vietnam Adventure Tours

As part of my Vietnam tour package, I embarked on an adventure-filled excursion to Sapa, a region known for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant hill tribe communities. I hiked through terraced rice paddies, explored traditional villages, and witnessed the awe-inspiring beauty of Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta

After bidding farewell to the northern part of Vietnam, I headed south to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. This vibrant metropolis offered a stark contrast to the tranquility of the countryside. I visited historical sites such as the Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Remnants Museum, gaining insight into Vietnam's turbulent past.

One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to the Mekong Delta, where I explored the intricate network of waterways, observed the floating markets, and experienced the serenity of the countryside. It was a captivating glimpse into the rural life of Vietnam.

Vietnam Trip’s Total Cost: $1,251

After tallying up all my expenses from my Vietnam trip, I am pleased to report that my total cost for the entire journey amounted to $1,251. This included round-trip flights, accommodation, meals, transportation, activities, and attractions.

It is important to note that this cost is based on my personal choices and preferences. The total cost may vary for different individuals depending on their travel style, duration of stay, and desired level of luxury. However, overall Vietnam offers travelers incredible value for their money, making it an affordable and rewarding destination for adventurers from around the world.

Cost Breakdown by City in Vietnam


Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, offers a wide range of attractions and activities for travelers. On average, accommodation in Hanoi can range from $15 to $50 per night, depending on the type of hotel or hostel you choose. Street food in Hanoi is incredibly affordable, with prices typically ranging from $1 to $3 per dish. Transportation costs within the city are relatively low, with a typical taxi ride costing around $2 to $5.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is another popular destination in Vietnam. Accommodation prices in Ho Chi Minh City can vary greatly depending on the location and amenities provided. Generally, budget accommodations can be found starting at around $20 per night, while more luxurious options could cost upwards of $100. Local street food can be enjoyed for as little as $1, making it an affordable option for meals. Public transportation in the city, such as buses and trains, are incredibly cheap, with single rides starting at just a few cents.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam  - (Source: Collected)

Hoi An

Hoi An, a charming ancient town in Central Vietnam, is famous for its well-preserved architecture and vibrant lanterns. Accommodation options in Hoi An cater to a range of budgets, with budget guesthouses starting at around $10 per night and upscale resorts costing upwards of $100. The local cuisine in Hoi An is renowned for its delicious flavors and affordability, with street food dishes typically priced between $1 and $5. Exploring the town by foot or bicycle is a popular and inexpensive way to get around.

Da Nang

Da Nang, a coastal city in Central Vietnam, offers a mix of beautiful beaches and impressive modern attractions. The cost of accommodation in Da Nang is relatively affordable, with budget hotels and hostels available starting from $15 per night. Dining in Da Nang can be very affordable, with local eateries offering a variety of dishes for $2 to $5. Transportation options in Da Nang include taxis, motorbike rentals, and buses, with costs varying depending on the mode of transportation and distance traveled.

Do You Need Cash in Vietnam?

ATMs and Credit Cards

Vietnam is becoming increasingly card-friendly, especially in major cities and tourist areas. ATMs are readily available, and most accept international cards, providing access to Vietnamese Dong (VND). Credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and shops, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash as well, as smaller establishments may still prefer cash payments.

Currency Exchange

To obtain Vietnamese Dong, you can exchange your currency at banks, exchange offices, or some hotels. Banks typically offer competitive exchange rates, but it's advisable to compare rates and fees before making a transaction. Exchange offices often have slightly higher fees, while hotels may have less favorable rates.

Using Cash in Vietnam

While cards are increasingly accepted, having cash on hand is still recommended. Many street vendors, local markets, and small businesses prefer cash payments. Make sure to have smaller denominations as some places may not be able to provide change for larger bills. It's also wise to carry a mix of VND and your native currency for emergencies or unexpected situations.

Vietnam Trip Planner

Choosing Your Destinations

When planning a trip to Vietnam, it's important to decide which cities and regions you want to visit. Consider your interests, such as history, culture, or natural landscapes, and prioritize destinations that align with those interests. Popular options include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Da Nang, Halong Bay, and the Mekong Delta.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town  - (Source: Collected)

Duration of Stay

The duration of your stay in Vietnam depends on various factors, including your budget, available vacation days, and the number of destinations you wish to explore. Ideally, a trip of at least two weeks would allow you to experience the country's highlights, but shorter visits can still be rewarding, particularly if you focus on a specific region or city.

Booking Accommodation and Tours

Once you have determined your destinations and travel duration, it's time to book your accommodation and any desired tours or activities. Vietnam offers a wide range of options, from budget guesthouses to luxury resorts. Research different hotels or hostels, read reviews, and consider location, amenities, and price. Additionally, look for reputable tour operators if you plan on booking day trips or multi-day excursions.

Vietnam Travel Guides

Top Attractions

Vietnam is a country with abundant natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. Some of the must-visit attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Halong Bay, Hoi An Ancient Town, and My Son Sanctuary. Other popular destinations include the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, the Perfume Pagoda near Hanoi, and the sand dunes of Mui Ne.

Local Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its freshness, flavors, and variety. Sample local specialties such as pho (noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches), and fresh spring rolls. Each region in Vietnam has its own culinary specialties, so be sure to explore the local cuisine wherever you go.

Exploring Nature

Vietnam is blessed with breathtaking landscapes, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. From trekking in the Sapa rice terraces to cruising along the Mekong Delta, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in Vietnam's natural beauty. Don't miss the chance to visit national parks like Phong Nha-Ke Bang or enjoy the pristine beaches in places like Phu Quoc or Nha Trang.

Budgeting Your Vietnam Trip Costs Step-by-Step

Flights and Visas

Start by considering your flight costs to Vietnam and any visa fees associated with your nationality. Look for deals and compare prices to find the best options for your budget. Additionally, check if you need to obtain a visa in advance or if you can avail of a visa on arrival.


Research accommodation options in the cities you'll be visiting and determine what fits your budget. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and reviews. It's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.


Plan how you will get around within Vietnam. Consider factors such as flights, trains, buses, and taxis, depending on the distances and convenience. Research local transportation options and costs to determine the most cost-effective and efficient means of transportation for your trip.

Meals and Activities

Budget for daily meals and activities based on your preferences and priorities. Set aside funds for trying local cuisine, joining tours or excursions, and experiencing cultural activities. Be mindful of spending, but also allow some flexibility for spontaneous discoveries.

Contingency and Souvenirs

It's crucial to allocate some funds for contingencies, unexpected expenses, and souvenirs. Emergencies or unexpected costs can arise, so having a buffer in your budget will provide peace of mind. Additionally, consider purchasing souvenirs or gifts to bring back home, but make sure they fit within your planned budget limits.

By carefully considering the cost breakdown by city, understanding the need for cash, planning your trip, exploring travel guides, and budgeting your trip costs step-by-step, you can confidently embark on your Vietnam adventure tours and enjoy all the wonders this beautiful country has to offer. Whether you're exploring ancient towns, cruising on stunning bays, or indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, Vietnam will surely leave you with unforgettable memories.

Hotels and Backpacking in Vietnam

Accommodation Options in Vietnam

When planning a trip to Vietnam, one of the first considerations is finding suitable accommodation. Vietnam offers a wide range of options for all budgets, from luxurious hotels and resorts to budget backpacker hostels and guesthouses. The major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang have a plethora of accommodation choices, ranging from international hotel chains to locally owned boutique hotels.

Backpacking in Vietnam

For adventurous travelers on a budget, backpacking is a popular way to explore Vietnam. Backpacker hostels are commonly found in popular tourist destinations, such as Hanoi's Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City's Pham Ngu Lao Street. These hostels offer affordable dormitory-style rooms and are a great way to meet fellow travelers.

Backpackers also have the option of staying in guesthouses, which are often family-run and provide a more intimate experience. These guesthouses can be found in smaller towns and rural areas, perfect for those seeking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese Cuisine  - (Source: Collected)

Dining and Food Options

Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its delicious flavors, fresh ingredients, and balance of textures. From world-famous pho to banh mi sandwiches and spring rolls, Vietnam offers a diverse range of culinary delights. Each region in Vietnam has its own specialties, so travelers can look forward to exploring the unique flavors of Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Street Food Culture

For food enthusiasts, the street food culture in Vietnam is a must-experience. The streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are lined with food stalls offering a variety of tasty treats. Pho stands, banh mi carts, and fresh fruit vendors are just some of the options available, offering delicious and affordable meals. Travelers can also try regional street food specialties, such as Bun Cha in Hanoi or Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City.

Drink Prices in Vietnam

Local Beer

Beer is a popular drink in Vietnam, and the country offers a wide variety of options for beer enthusiasts. Local beers such as Bia Hoi and Saigon Beer are widely available and very affordable. Bia Hoi is a light draft beer made fresh daily, and it can be found in bustling beer corners in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Imported Drinks and Cocktails

While local beer remains the most popular choice, Vietnam also offers a range of imported drinks, including international beer brands and spirits. These drinks are commonly found in bars and pubs in major cities and tourist areas. Cocktails are also widely available, with many establishments offering creative and refreshing concoctions.

Planning Your Activities

Popular Tourist Destinations

When planning activities for your trip to Vietnam, there are several popular tourist destinations to consider. Hanoi, the capital city, offers attractions such as the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Temple of Literature. In Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can explore the historic Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the bustling Ben Thanh Market.

Vietnam Adventure Tours

For those seeking adventure, Vietnam offers various options for outdoor activities. Travelers can embark on trekking tours in the mountainous regions of Sapa or Dalat, go kayaking in Halong Bay, or experience the thrill of sandboarding in the Mui Ne sand dunes. Whether it's hiking, biking, or water sports, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure seekers to indulge in.

Transportation Prices in Vietnam

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Vietnam is affordable and convenient, making it easy for travelers to get around. Cities have well-developed public transport systems, including buses and taxis. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also have local transport options such as cyclos and motorbike taxis. These provide a unique way to explore the cities and experience the bustling streets.

Private Transportation and Tours

For those who prefer more flexibility and convenience, private transportation options are available. Travelers can hire taxis or book private cars for sightseeing or day trips from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Additionally, there are various tour operators offering guided tours and transportation services to popular attractions throughout Vietnam. These tours often include transport, entry fees, and local guides, providing a hassle-free way to explore the country.


Considering the diverse range of keywords related to the cost of a Vietnam trip, it is evident that budgeting is a significant aspect for travelers planning to visit this beautiful country. However, despite concerns over expenses, Vietnam offers a variety of options to explore on a reasonable budget. Whether you opt for budget travel in Vietnam, budget for a tour, or choose day trips from Hanoi, there are numerous opportunities to experience the charm and adventure of Vietnam without breaking the bank.

One effective approach to managing your travel expenses is by considering Vietnam tour packages. These packages often include accommodation, transportation, and guided tours at a reasonable price, providing convenience and value for your money. By opting for Vietnam tour packages, you can explore the enchanting landscapes, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and enjoy the delightful cuisine without worrying about individual expenses.

Furthermore, if you are seeking a more thrilling experience, Vietnam adventure tours offer a perfect blend of excitement and affordability. Engaging in activities like trekking, kayaking, or exploring caves allows you to experience the untouched beauty of nature while staying within your budget.

Overall, Vietnam offers travelers various options to ensure an enjoyable trip while being mindful of their budget. With careful planning, consideration of Vietnam tour packages, and the numerous adventures available, you can embark on an unforgettable journey through this captivating country without exceeding your desired travel budget.

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