We traveled all the way from Hanoi, Sa Pa and Cat Ba in North Vietnam, to Da Nang in Central Vietnam, and all the way to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in the South. This list will help you backpacking Vietnam like a boss; no questions asked.
This is your Swiss knife to epic hostels and your answer to where to stay in Vietnam.
Again, the destinations are organized starting in the South, going up to North Vietnam. We also included destinations off the beaten path in Vietnam, such as Kon Tum.
To make this even easier for you, we created a map with all top hostels in Vietnam. Check out our hostel and itinerary map.
Quick Introduction to Hostels in Vietnam
You won’t find hostels in all places in Vietnam. You will find quality hostels only in cities and most-visited places.
Nevertheless, you will also find accommodations who call themselves hostels, even if they do not offer dorms or communal areas.
Names of Accommodations: In Vietnam they use the names they hear from western travelers for everything. Don’t be surprised if you find a restaurant called hostel, or a hotel called Google (we saw it!) . The best hotel/ hostel names we saw include “Trump Hostel”, “Google Hostel”, “iCloud Hotel and “Apple Hotel”.
It might feel overwhelming to decide where to stay in Vietnam.
Worry not, we are here to make it really easy for you.
Before we start with the best places to stay in Vietnam, let us give you some general and useful information:
Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as 4€ up to 15€ per night. A private room starts from 10€ up to 20€ per night. This is a rough average, but you see hostel prices in Vietnam are cheap.
Bear in mind, a hostel can be more expensive than a double room in a Homestay.
Nevertheless, it will be worth to pay a bit more, since you can upgrade to a gorgeous boutique hostel or a hostel with a roof top terrace or even a pool.
Bargaining: In Vietnam it is very normal that accommodations raise their prices if you try to book them directly. We booked many places online directly at their reception counter to get the best price. It sounds quite odd…but well, it happened more than a few times!
Tipping: Tipping is not a thing in Vietnam or in Asia. Please respect local culture and do not throw your money around like a rich guy with no limits. However, that being said, you can show your appreciation always by tipping when someone really treated you well.
Party Hostels: There is a wide range of hostel types. You will find CRAZY party hostels, beautiful boutique hostels and really crap places to stay. Make sure you pick the right type of hostel! In this list we will mark the type of hostels too.
Cheapest Hostels: Again, we only recommend places we would share with our family too. You will not find any bs place here. That being said, if you want to hunt down an accommodation on your own, NEVER go with the cheapest hostel or home stay out there.
Always pay 1€ or 2€ more.
Every single time we took the cheapest place, the price included cockroaches, dirty towels, and an itchy unpleasant experience. Accommodation is so cheap here, you do not need to go for the shi**y 7€ double room when you can have a kick-ass place for 10€ per night.
Room Type Double Bed: The dorm-types are pretty standard. You will find anything from 4-bed dorm to 20-bed dorms. The room type “double bed” is quite funny here. It means: two double beds. so you can book actually with a buddy a double room, and you’ll get two separated queen beds.
(This is the regular case here, always makes sure you book the right room type!)
Safety: Never leave your belongings laying around, especially your wallet. There are stories of a few thousand dong being taken from a wallet. This rule applies to all hostels in the world.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Travel Insurance: Before heading to Vietnam, we recommend getting insurance. Find our insurance guide here. This is especially worth it if you plan to motorbike the country.
Tomorrow Hostel is for every age of traveler, NOT looking for party, but a very relaxing, easy stay with a good night sleep. Their dorms come in pod-style, which I really like. (only downside, the pods do not have curtains).
Tomorrow Hostel is to me a typical Vietnamese-type of hostel.
Meaning you have the Vietnamese hospitality and more of a home-stay feeling, rather than a hostel. There is not as much social ambiance with western-travelers and foreigners, but you chat more with the lovely Vietnamese owners.
A great choice for adults, older travelers and couples.
Good to know: The street leading out of Mui Ne is known for corrupt police. They stop every foreigner on a bike and you will need to bribe them. Please inform yourself on how to avoid this scam.
1. Mui Ne Hills Backpackers – Party Hostel
Especially designed for the backpacker, Mui Ne Hills has still all the luxury of a resort style accommodation…at backpacker prices.
This is the place to meet, have beers with your new travel mates, and seriously kick-back and have an epic time. Many kite-surfers love to stay here. And obviously, there are tours to the famous Dunes you should not miss.
Oh, and just so you know: There is not one swimming pool…but TWO swimming pools!
As for Da Lat, we have three cool hostels for you. They are all quite different. Choose the one that fits best your travel style. There is not a party hostel around. For partying, better hop over to Mui Ne or Nha Trang. Da Lat is more about nature and coffee.
There is a new, cute hostel in town, called Komori House & Foods.
It is more of a homestay, offering dorms to sleep in too.
Truth be told: We did not stay here personally. It is a brand new homestay/ hostel. However, it looks so promising. Knowing Da Lat, this could be a very unique accommodation! (Da Lat is quite Artsy and Hipsterish!)
Best Hostels in Tuy Hoa: Goc Phu Yen Backpacker & Photographer
This accommodation was totally unexpected, to be honest. Tuy Hoa is not exactly famous, yet a great experience to backpack Vietnam off the beaten path. It is really a destination for everyone traveling by motorbike through Vietnam.
The Goc Phu Yen Backpacker & Photographer is a cute, little hostel/ homestay/ cafe with a big heart.
Again, this place is actually more of a homestay with dorms. We guess, the dorms is why they call it a hostel.
You are just 10 minutes away from the beach and ocean. There are also restaurants and cafés around. As always, we recommend renting a scooter to explore the area.
Best Hostels in Quy Nhon: John and Paul Inn Hostel
From a more homestay-style hostel to a real backpacker hostel.
John and Paul Inn is an absolute backpacker party hostel at the beach. YUP!
In their own words: Ready to Rock ’n’ Roll? Looking for the cheapest drinks in town? Want to meet other backpackers at nightly activities? If so, you’ve found your answer.
You are just a 3 minute walk from the beach and can stay in a clean, fun hostel. Bare in mind, this is a really one of the most popular party hostels in Vietnam. Book in advance, it gets sold out easily.
Super cool: They also organize tours like sand-surfing the dunes, visiting water falls, boat tours and such. FUN!
3. Vietnam Backpacker Hostels Hoi An – “Western-Style” Party Hostel
If you are looking for a “western-style” backpacker hostel with party, bar and swimming pool, go with Vietnam Backpackers.
The hostel is run by Australians, and they know their business: a fun vibe, party-ambiance and cool tours like the boat tours. Some of the rooms overlook rice paddies behind the accommodation.
Vietnam Backpackers Hostel is the best party hostel in Hoi An. They offer FREE Vodka & Rum everyday for 1 hour, as well as nightly events and dj’s.
Con: The location is in-between Hoi An Ancient Town and the Beach-side. We think this is not the best location, except if you are happy to ride a bike to the beach (2km) and the old town (3km).
Good to know: We love Hoi An especially at night, when the lanterns light up the narrow streets and the restaurants and bars are open. Therefore, we actually recommend staying in the ancient town. See our recommendation #1 for best hostels in Hoi An.
Hoi An is gorgeous, seriously! It is surrounded by water and endless rice fields. The beaches are around 5km away from the Old Town.
And we have found the perfect place if beaches are more your cup of tea.
Under The Coconut Tree is a beautiful place we enjoyed. We did not stay here personally, but visited a friend who stayed here. We tried their burgers – yummy! The rooms are bamboo huts, absolutely beautiful!
You are a 50 meters walk away from the beach. You will find hammocks here and lovely street vendors offer you to kick-back in the hammocks in exchange for you buying a drink from them. Now, you would think the drinks are pricey, right!? (at least we thought so…)
He, the street vendor, only asked for 30.000 Dong for a fresh Coconut. What a fantastic deal!
So, yeah, you can also stay at the Under the Coconut tree and hop on a bicycle to visit the Ancient Town. That is our 5th recommendation for places to stay in Hoi An.
When you are traveling as a couple, with a group of friends, or as a coffee-lover, check out SMLXL.
We LOVE this place.
It is not really a hostel since there is only 3 rooms (1 private double room and two dorms). They do not have a lot of guests here, so do not expect any social vibes, except chatting with the wonderful staff here.
This accommodation is inside a super cute café. It feels more like a boutique hotel, to be honest. The breakfast is included and extremely yummy; one of the best we had in all Vietnam. Obviously, you can get a coffee with your breakfast. The coffee…WOW!!
On our way from Hue to the Phong Nha caves, you will come across Dong Hoi. The perfect spot again to unwind and see a smaller, Vietnamese town.
The best hostels in Dong Hoi is Dolphin Home.
If only all hostels in the world had that staff! The staff is simply amazing here. They know everything the visitors want to see, plan next etc. They even help you with your trip to Phong Nha to see the caves – see below.
That place is full of love and we think the people staying here adapt to that vibe instantly. On top, we love the view over the river. A perfect place to find new friends!
Good to know: In case Dolphin Home is fully booked, check out Barefoot Homestay, a great place too!
The absolute coolest hostels in Phong Nha, The Easy Tiger Hostel.
Enjoy a swimming pool, a huge common area, and even daily briefings on the best things to do in Phong Nha.
No kidding. Every morning you can get in the common area and the staff has quick sharing on the best things to do on that day. This can be anything from the cave trips, rice field trips, to even orgnanised clean-ups.
This is an awesome backpacker choice. One of the most famous backpacker hostels in Vietnam.
Best Hostels in Ninh Binh/ Tam Coc: Tam Coc Bungalow
Tam Coc is located only a few km away from Ninh Binh, the bigger city next door.
We highly recommend staying in Tam Coc for your time here as it gives you instant access to the beautiful surroundings. And the best hostel in Tam Coc is the Tam Coc Bungalow.
After all, Tam Coc is the little brother of Ha Long Bay, no doubt about it. And yet, it is unique.
Numerous Pagodas are there to visit, and the river is clearly the busiest street in the area.
It is the biggest island on Cat Ba Archipelago, right next to the world famous Ha Long Bay. One of the most iconic Vietnamese landscapes, known for its emerald waters and thousand limestone islands.
Once you arrive at Woodstock Beach Camp, there is no reason to leave. You have an in-house restaurant, serving western and Vietnamese food.
There is also a bar which opens in the evening, selling drinks for a reasonable price. It is just across the street from the hostel.
This way you can either sleep or have a drink with fellow travelers.
Volunteers and travelers have built different facilities around the bar, like the beach swing aka hammock.
Important to know: This is not a sparkling-clean 5 Star Hostel. This is a backpacker hostel with a hippy-kind of feeling. It is super cool and fun for all travelers if you want to mingle and get the backpacker vibe!
You can see all of Vietnam’s highlights in 20 days if you travel by (sleeping) bus or if you just decide to focus on one area – North and central Vietnam or South and Central Vietnam. However, we do recommend to spend more days in this beautiful country.
Do not rush it!
Vietnam has so many places to see and discover!
Did you know there is an actual desert in Vietnam? We are not talking about the Mui Né dunes, there is an actual hidden dessert.
Read our full review on iVisa, the shortcut for your visa around the world.
We got our visa with iVisa, it was super fast and cheap. Certainly much cheaper than other travellers we met. Unfortunately this German guy did not tell us his online company he got the visa from, but he paid 80€ while we paid 25€.
When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
That is a really good question! and the answer is…
Depending on which area you want to see. Rainy season in North Vietnam and South Vietnam are inverted.
Meaning, when it is rainy season in the north, you can visit the south with sunny warm weather (and no rain).
In central Vietnam, there is warm weather all year round, but it also has a rainy season. The rainy season in Da Nang is around November to January.
Trying to avoid rainy season is a good idea. We just caught the beginning of the rainy season in the south and we had rain all day. Nevertheless, rainy season does not mean that it rains all day long.
While we were in DaLat, it rained every day from 14:00 to 17:00. It was quite punctual every day and we planned our activities around it.
Transport in Vietnam
In Vietnam it is easy to move around. You will find buses, sleeping buses, trains, taxis, scooter-taxis and even drivers who will be happy to drive you around all day long.
Also, in many areas (like Cat Ba Island) it is a good idea to rent a motorbike.
That will give you more flexibility to visit the places.
From Hanoi to Sa Pa you can either take the sleeping train or the sleeping bus.
We took the sleeping train. You can purchase tickets online, BUT: They are 4 times more expensive compared to buying tickets directly at the main train station. No kidding!
Flights to Vietnam
Many travelers with limited time also take flights. A very common route to take is flights from Hanoi to Da Nang and Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City.
Check Kiwi.com to find flights across Vietnam. JetAir is the Vietnamese Airline you will most likely end up booking.
We took once a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi. A second time we took a flight from Hong Kong to Da Nang directly. It is a very common itinerary. There are also direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City.
Other 5 Star Hostels
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more.
And we share all of those unique budget accommodations with you.
Your Destination is not listed?
That simply means there is currently no 5 Star Hostel. However, we have a huge internal list with fantastic hostels all over the place.
If you are missing any destination, then drop us an email. We’d be happy to give you our recommendation for more hostels across Vietnam.
Hostel Packing List
Okay, after finding all these super cool places, it’s time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack.
Make sure you check as well the weather. Weather in Vietnam varies a lot. It can always happen you will be caught in the rain.
I remember the first time backpacking Vietnam. I thought “if it rains, I simply won’t leave the hostel”…I was very naive, let me tell you that. In Da Lat it was raining every day, like clock-work, starting by noon. Sometimes, you simply cannot avoid the rain.
Therefore, what to pack for Vietnam? Get ready for sunshine and rain; for hot and a bit of cold.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should always carry in your backpack.