15 greatest things to do in Hoi An in 2 days (2024)

If you’re looking for things to do in Hoi An in 2 days, you don’t want to miss this incredible bucket list. I’ve rounded up both quintessential and off-beat things to experience while exploring the ancient town in Vietnam.

Plan your trip to Hoi An

🛵 Best guided tours in Hoi An:

🏡 Where to stay in Hoi An:

Arriving from the historic town of Hue, I found Hoi An exciting. It’s so ancient, so charming and intimate with its winding canals and colorful lanterns.

No wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you’re visiting Hoi An in 2 days, I’ve got the perfect itinerary for you. I’ve included all the must-sees and absolute best experiences in the city.

Ready to dig in?

Let’s go!

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An Ancient Town

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Hoi An in 2 days

Day 1 in Hoi An

1. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

Start your first day by visiting one of Hoi An’s most iconic landmarks: The Japanese Covered Bridge (also known as Lai Vien Kieu).

Built in 1593 by Japanese traders, it’s more than just a bridge.

It connects the Japanese and Chinese quarters and has a small temple in the middle dedicated to the god of weather.

The bridge is decorated with monkey and dog statues, reflecting the zodiac years when it was started and finished.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Japanese Covered Bridge

2. Explore the Ancient Town

After crossing the bridge, spend a few hours strolling through the narrow lanes of the Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can admire the architecture, which includes a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An (4)
things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Boat Ride on the Thu Bon River

3. Visit the Hoi An Market

Now, head to the local market to experience Vietnamese daily life.

It’s a great place to taste local food and perhaps buy some fresh fruits or souvenirs.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An Market

4. Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is a must-visit in Hoi An.

Built in the 17th century, it serves both as a meeting place for the Fujian Chinese community and a temple to the sea goddess Thien Hau.

With intricate carvings and colorful decorations, it’s a beautiful example of traditional Chinese architecture. It’s also a great spot to learn about local history and spirituality.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

5. Cao Lau for lunch

And now for a noodle dish that’s a specialty of Hoi An.

Cao Lau is a bowl of thick, chewy noodles topped with tasty pork, fresh herbs, and crispy croutons.

It’s a flavor-packed, local must-try that sums up Hoi An in one dish.

Must try meals in Hoi An:

  • Banh Mi (Stuffed French baguette – try it at Banh Mi Phuong)
  • Com Ga (Flavorful chicken rice – try it at Long Com Ga)
  • Cao Lau (Local rice noodles with cha siu pork – try it at Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh)

Read next: 21 popular dishes in Vietnam you should taste

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Cao Lau

6. Take a basket boat ride

Now, this is a fun one!

Basket fishing boats, or bamboo boats, are a big part of local life in Vietnam. They’re used for fishing, and you’ll see them around the country.

If you’d like to try a basket boat trip, you can! This tour takes you on an adventure through a coconut forest, where you’ll get to experience village life with activities like basket boat spinning and crab fishing.

You’ll also learn the art of casting a fishing net and get a lesson from a local fisherman on how to paddle a basket boat.

Book your ticket – Basket Boat Ride in Hoi An (⭐ 5/5)

things to do in Hoi An in 1 day - Hoi An

7. Go to the tailor

Hoi An is famous for its tailors.

Consider visiting one to get some custom-made clothing. I got a few dresses, a suit and shirts done at a tailor in Hoi An, and have been really happy with them.

Even if you’re only in town for a day, some tailors offer speedy services.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Tailor

8. Relax at the beach

Hoi An has great beaches like An Bang and Cua Dai. They’re a quick 15-minute drive from the city center.

We got there by taxi or bike. It’s a great spot to relax and swim, when you need a break from sightseeing or the heat.

beach Hoi An in 2 days
Cua Dai beach

9. Visit the Night Market

In the evening, make sure to explore the Night Market where you’ll find all sorts of trinkets, crafts, and street food.

Try some local dishes like Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) or sweet treats like Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepes).

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An Night Market

Day 2 in Hoi An

10. Join a cooking class

I love food tours and cooking classes! And in a country like Vietnam where food is king, they’re a must!

Start your day with this popular cooking class (⭐ 5/5). You’ll meet at the local market to pick your ingredients, and then you’ll take a bamboo basket boat up the river and try crab fishing.

Finally, you’ll spend two hours in the kitchen learning to cook Vietnamese dishes, which you’ll get to eat afterwards.

Book your spot – Hoi An Eco Cooking Class (⭐ 5/5)

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days

11. Try a lantern-making class

Another fun Hoi An activity is a crafts workshop.

You can learn how to make your own lucky lantern in the city that’s famous for these colorful symbols of happiness and wealth.

In this class, you’ll pick from a variety of silks and learn to craft a bamboo frame that you can use as a unique, foldable souvenir.

Book your seat – Learn to make lanterns in Hoi An (⭐ 5/5)

12. Reaching Out Teahouse

After your class, head to Reaching Out Teahouse.

It’s off the main tourist path and unique because the staff have hearing or speech disabilities. The vibe is super quiet—whispers only.

Just point to what you want on the menu or write it down. Need the bill or more hot water? Use the labeled wooden blocks on the table.

The place is decked out with cool handmade crafts made by the staff, and you can order tea, coffee, or snacks.

13. Go to the spa

I don’t know about you, but Southeast Asia equals wellness for me.

You can find massage places around town or head to Blue Gift Spa for top-notch relaxation.

Now, the only decision you need to make in the next hour is whether you want a body massage, foot reflexology, or Thai massage.

Book here – One Hour Spa Experience in Hoi An (⭐ 5/5)

14. Have dinner at the riverfront

End your last day in Hoi An with dinner at one of the many riverside restaurants. Enjoy the local cuisine as you take in the view of the beautifully lit Ancient Town.

Try Hoa Hien Restaurant for a river view, or opt for the Shore Club An Bang Beach Restaurant if you’d rather have an ocean view.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An (3)

15. Hoi An Lantern Festival

If you’re visiting on the 14th day of any lunar month, you’ll catch the Lantern Festival.

But even if you’re not there on that specific day, the town is always adorned with beautiful lanterns.

things to do in Hoi An in 2 days - Hoi An Lantern Festival

FAQ – Hoi An in 2 days

Can you do a day trip to Hoi An from Da Nang?

Yes, you can easily do a day trip to Hoi An from Da Nang. The two cities are about 1 hour apart by car, so it’s easy to visit Hoi An for the day.

Is it better to stay in Hoi An or Da Nang?

It depends on what you’re looking for:

  • Hoi An: Ideal if you’re interested in history, culture, and a small-town vibe. Great for walking tours, shopping, and local cuisine.
  • Da Nang: Better if you want a mix of city life and beach life. It’s closer to the Marble Mountains and My Khe Beach.

Is Hoi An worth visiting?

Yes, Hoi An is definitely worth visiting!

It’s a unique town with ancient history, culture, and great food. From its charming Ancient Town to delicious local dishes like Cao Lau, it’s one of the most charming places in Vietnam.

Which is better Hue or Hoi An?

I personally prefer Hoi An, but it depends on your interests. Whereas Hue is for history buffs, Hoi An is for atmosphere and cuisine:

  • Hue: Go here for a deep dive into Vietnam’s imperial history, featuring ancient palaces and tombs. It’s more about history and culture.
  • Hoi An: Perfect if you’re into charming streets, lanterns, and a mix of architectural styles. Great for foodies, shoppers, and fans of a laid-back atmosphere.

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One Comment

  1. Hello Miriam, Thanks so much for your post on Hoi. I’m doing research because my wife and I are traveling to Vietnam later this year. I’m so excited for the trip! I’m still getting used to the names of all the places in Vietnam and trying to plan for my own day trips, so I’m truly exploring the place and having fun each day. We’re going to be moving around in Vietnam for around 10 days. Thank you again. I’m enjoying your posts, which are very informative.

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