Vietnam is one of Asia’s most popular countries for tourists, and with its beautiful scenery, rich history, and delicious cuisine, it’s easy to see why. But how much money do you need to take with you on a trip to Vietnam? Here at Crown Currency Exchange, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you budget for accommodation, food, travel, activities, and more, all with the aim to help make budgeting for your Vietnam trip much easier.
How Much Spending Money Do I Need for Vietnam?
First things first, let’s look at how much you can expect to spend per day, depending on your travel style.
Those looking for a low cost trip should budget around VND ₫680,000 per day. This will get you a comfortable bed in budget accommodation, such as a dorm room-style hostel or a room in a host family’s Airbnb, enjoy Vietnamese food from local stalls, and the opportunity to travel by bus.
You can also enjoy some of Vietnam’s most popular activities with this budget, including a boat tour of the Tam Coc rice fields and wildlife spotting at Cat Tien National Park.
A mid-range budget of around VND ₫7,600,000 per day will allow you to afford a nice hotel room or entire Airbnb apartment, which is ideal if you’d rather avoid hostels. For this budget, you’ll also be able to travel by train or hop on a scooter taxi, enjoy eating in local restaurants, and sample local wine.
In terms of activity, you can visit the beautiful Halong Bay by boat or take part in a lantern-making workshop in the lead-up to Hoi An’s lantern festival.
With a daily budget of around VND ₫13,500,000, you can stay in a luxury, five star hotel, eat at some of Vietnam’s best fine dining restaurants, and rent a car to get you around the major cities. You’ll also be able to enjoy some of Vietnam’s high end activities, such as cycling tours around Hue and guided tours of the world’s largest cave in Halong Bay.
What Goes into a Travel Budget?
There are some key things that you need to consider when creating a travel budget:
- Food & Drink: There’s no way you can visit Vietnam without trying some traditional dishes and delicacies. So, it’s important that a portion of your budget is allocated for food and drink.
- Accommodation: Obviously, you’re going to need somewhere to stay while you’re in Vietnam. There are many options available, from hostels to luxury hotels, but whatever you choose will need to be paid for!
- Activities: Vietnam has plenty of activities to offer with something for everyone. There’s also something to suit all budgets, so you’ll need to think about what you want to do and how much it will cost.
- Transportation: You’re also going to have to find a convenient way to get around the country, so a portion of your budget will have to go towards transportation costs, too.
What is the Cost of Accommodation in Vietnam?
The cost of accommodation in Vietnam starts at VND ₫313,000, for which you can get a hostel with dorm room-style sleeping arrangements, and goes up to VND ₫2,350,000 for a luxury five star hotel room.
- Budget Travellers: Vietnam has some great hostels, and these are perfect for travellers trying to stick to a lower budget. The average cost for a hostel is VND ₫313,000 per night, and this will get you a bed in a shared room. Alternatively, you can find a room in a host home on Airbnb for as little as VND ₫390,000 per night.
- Mid-Range Travellers: Some people might prefer a little more privacy, in which case a hotel room would be a better option. Budget hotels in Vietnam charge around VND ₫624,000 per night, but prices may be higher in the peak season.
- Luxury Travellers: Whether you’re visiting Vietnam for a special occasion or you simply prefer a little more luxury, you can find some really special accommodation in luxury hotels for around VND ₫2,350,000.
Different Accommodation Options:
- Hostels: Hostels are super popular with budget travellers as they typically cost just VND ₫313,000 per night. Many hostels in Vietnam are unlike others you may be used to as well and have rooftop bars and swimming pools to unwind in.
- Private Airbnb Rooms: For those who want to immerse themselves in as much Vietnamese culture as possible, a room with a local host family is an inexpensive option, costing around VND ₫390,000 per night.
- Whole Airbnb Apartments: Travelling in a group or simply value your privacy? You can book an entire apartment in Vietnam for an average cost of VND ₫1,560,000 per night.
- Budget/Mid-Range Hotels: Hotel rooms in Vietnam are relatively inexpensive and cost around VND ₫624,000 per night. For this, you’ll get your own private space and breakfast, which will help save some room in your food budget.
- Luxury Hotels/Resorts: Like all countries, luxury hotels and high end resorts come with a price, and you can expect to spend as much as VND ₫2,350,000 for this type of accommodation.
Our Money-Saving Tips for Accommodation Costs
- Long-Stay Deals: Some hostels, hotels, and Airbnb hosts will offer a discounted rate if you plan to stay for a longer period of time. This is definitely worth enquiring about if you’re staying for longer than ten days.
- Book Off-Season: As is the case with most places, accommodation costs are higher during the peak season. Book outside of this (typically October to April), and you may be able to get a great deal.
What is the Cost of Food in Vietnam?
Vietnamese food is quite inexpensive, but the amount you’ll need in your budget will ultimately depend on where you want to eat. Here are some average prices across different dining options:
Street Food: You’ll find some incredible national dishes at Vietnam’s food stalls, including pho, bhan mi, and cha ca. The average cost per dish is just VND ₫45,000, with many dishes coming in cheaper (banh trang ton, for example, will cost around VND ₫10,000). Just be sure to scope out each stall to ensure they have high hygiene standards.
Restaurants: The cost of eating in Vietnam’s restaurants isn’t too expensive either, with a three-course meal and drink costing an average of VND ₫400,000. Fine dining costs a little more but still doesn’t break the bank at around VND ₫1,500,000 for two people.
Groceries: Shopping at Vietnam’s supermarkets is really inexpensive, with the average combined cost of bread, milk, eggs, and noodles coming in at just VND ₫230,000. Vegetables are cheap in Vietnam as well but are charged per kilo, so you’ll need to be careful not to over-buy in order to keep your costs down.
Drinks: Soft drinks in Vietnam are very inexpensive, costing around VND ₫10,000 for a can of soda and VND ₫40,000 for fresh juice. Alcohol in Vietnam is much cheaper than some other countries too, with a cocktail costing around VND ₫35,000, local beer around VND ₫15,000 per can, and wine VND ₫50,000 per bottle.
Our Money-Saving Tips for Food Costs:
Take a Cookery Class: Cookery classes are really popular in Vietnam, and they’re also a great way to save money on local food as you’ll be able to eat what you make while also taking part in an activity.
Take Street Food Tours: Some tour operators offer guided tours of Vietnam’s local food stalls, and the cost of the tour includes a tasting dish from each stall you visit, which often works out much cheaper than buying each dish individually.
Use Self-Catering Facilities: Airbnb accommodation often comes with self-catering facilities, and using these to prepare your breakfast and pack yourself a lunch is a great way to save money.
What is the Cost of Travel in Vietnam?
There are a few different ways you can travel in Vietnam, and there’s something suitable for every budget and travel style.
- Bus: Most travellers choose to use Vietnam’s bus services to get around as they are both efficient and convenient, and they are also the preferred form of transportation in Vietnam by locals. The price of a bus trip will depend on how far you’re headed, with local journeys costing around VND ₫124,000 per person and longer trips averaging VND ₫264,000 per person.
- Train: Vietnam’s railways are also a great way of getting from place to place, although it is more expensive. You can expect to spend between VND ₫187,000 and VND ₫500,000 depending on the distance you’re travelling.
- Scooter Taxis: Vietnam has many scooter taxis available that are super convenient for getting around city centres. They’re inexpensive too, charging around VND ₫15,000 per kilometre.
- Car Rental: Renting a car will allow you to stick to your own timeframe and have as much freedom as possible when travelling. The cost will depend on the size and type of car you want, but on average, it costs VND ₫1,500,000 per day.
Our Money-Saving Tips for Transportation Costs:
- Open Bus Ticket: Buy an open bus ticket, and you’ll be able to travel between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and a plethora of other routes for around VND ₫500,000 for up to one month.
- Use “Grab” for Scooter Taxis: Grab is an app that works much like Uber and allows you to see the price of your scooter taxi journey before you hop on. It’s a lot cheaper than street scooter taxis, too.
What is the Cost of Activities in Vietnam?
Whether you’re an intrepid explorer or you prefer to spend your days relaxing on the beach, there are activities in Vietnam for everyone.
- Visit Halong Bay: For an average cost of VND ₫4,000,000, you can visit the stunning Halong Bay and its 1600 limestone towers set among turquoise waters.
- Tour the World’s Largest Cave: Situated within Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, you’ll find Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave. You can take a guided tour of this incredible place for ₫72,000,000, which includes all of your hiking gear, transport, and food for the full day.
- Cycle Around Hue: Hue is an area steeped in history, found between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which marks the North/South divide during the Vietnam War. You can hire a bike and explore the area for ₫7,800,000.
- Go Monkey-Spotting: Cat Tien National Park is home to some of the rarest primates on Earth. Perfect for nature lovers, entry to the park costs ₫60,000.
- Take a Boat Tour of Tam Coc Rice Fields: For ₫200,000 per person, you can take a boat tour of the famous Tam Coc rice fields, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Create a Lantern in Hoi An: During the Vietnamese New Year, the road from Hoi An Bridge to the Hoai River Square is lit up with thousands of handmade lanterns. You can add to this beautiful scene by creating your own lantern in a three-hour workshop that costs VND ₫368,000.
Our Money-Saving Tips for Activity Costs:
- Take Advantage of Group Offers: Many tour operators offer discounts on group booking activities together.
- Ask Fellow Travellers: Even if you’re travelling solo, enquire around your hostel or accommodation to see if any other travellers would be interested in grouping together for a discount.
- Book Off-Season: Many activities in Vietnam are cheaper outside of the high season, so travelling at a quieter time of year is a good way to save some money.
Other Expenses to Consider for the Trip
Other expenses you need to consider ahead of your trip to Vietnam include the following:
- Travel Insurance: While it may feel like one of those “invisible expenses”, reliable travel insurance is essential for covering you in unforeseen circumstances, including emergency medical care, lost luggage, and cancelled trips.
- Vaccinations: It is recommended that you get certain vaccinations or boosters for a trip to Vietnam, including hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, and rabies.
- Visa Fees: Vietnam requires travellers from most countries to hold a visa, so you’ll need to think about the cost of applying and processing when putting your budget together.
- Souvenirs and Gifts: Put some money aside to get yourself a memento of your trip to Vietnam as well. Likewise, your friends and family will be expecting a gift from your travels!
Most Cost-Effective Way to Take Dong to Vietnam
By far, the most cost-effective way of taking Dong to Vietnam is in cash. Not only does this stop you from having to pay the extortionate international transaction fees charged by banks and credit card companies, but you’ll also be able to enjoy Vietnam’s rural areas that may not accept card payments.
Is Vietnam expensive?
Visiting Vietnam is relatively inexpensive as long as you budget properly. Food, accommodation, and travel are cheap, but some activities are more expensive than others.
What currency is used in Vietnam?
The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND).
Do I need to take cash to Vietnam?
It’s best to take Vietnamese Dong (VND) in cash when visiting Vietnam, as this will help you avoid expensive bank and credit card charges for international use.