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8 Best Things to Do in Dalat

A woman overlooking a river on a grassy hillside

8 Best Things to Do in Dalat

Dalat is the largest city in the region known as the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

It’s elevation of 1,500m provides it with some of the mildest weather in all of Vietnam. This means the temperature doesn’t vary much, although the area is still subject to tropical rains from May to October.

A woman stood next to a cascading waterfall with the words "Best things to do in Dalat" superimposed

Things to Do in Dalat

As well as the city, Dalat is known for its scenic beauty, flowers (particularly hydrangeas) and lakes. Many of the flower shops and gardens are now popular tourist attractions. Its unquestionable charm makes it the top honeymoon destination for Vietnamese newlyweds.

There are many things to do in Dalat from nature to interesting man-made structures and attractions. A few of the places on the list are spread around, so the best way to travel about is to rent a scooter.

8 Best Things to Do in Dalat

1. Linh Phuoc Pagoda

The pagoda is around five miles outside of the city. It was built in 1952, making it relatively modern, and some additions have been made as late as 1990.

There are many cool photo opportunities here. The pagoda itself is very photogenic with an interesting mosaic style. Some of it is made from broken glass, pottery, and crockery.

There is also a tall bell tower with an enormous 8.5 tonne bell! But the best piece of the complex is a huge dragon made from over 12,000 bottles!

2. Datanla Waterfalls

A trip to Datanla Falls is definitely one of the best things to do in Dalat! There is so much you can do in this one spot.

They have a fun toboggan ride that you can ride down to the falls and back instead of walking. There’s also a cable car with great panoramic views.

If you’re looking for more thrills you can do canyoneering, abseiling, zip lining and high ropes courses.

After you’re done with the adrenaline rushes (or if you’re just up for more of a chilled day), then you can relax around the waterfalls and pools.

3. Crazy House

The name Crazy House kind of gives the surprise away, but they’re not wrong! It’s not just one house, it’s a large complex of weird and wonderful buildings, and an impressive architectural wonder.

It was fun to go around sunset because it looks really cool in the low light, and it’s probably a little quieter than the day.

As well as an attraction, it’s actually a guesthouse with unique, quirky rooms. It’s probably a little expensive for a backpacking trip, but not too bad at around $30-40 a night.

4. Dalat Flower Park

Dalat is famous for its flower industry and there are dozens of flower gardens and flower parks to choose from.

A woman walking through an indoor flower park with a sea of yellow flowers in front

Some of the best gardens include Trai Mat Hydrangea Garden, Dalat City Flower Garden, or Van Thanh Dalat Flower Garden. For something different there is also a lavender garden located near Tuyen Lam Lake and a sunflower garden inside the Dalat Milk Farm.

5. Dalat Railway Station

The old railway station in Dalat is the Trai Mat Railway Station. It’s a unique historical monument and is the only remaining colonial-era railway station in Vietnam. The station was built in the 1920s and served as a crucial part of the former North-South railway network.

A couple kissing while leaning out of an old train carriage at an outdoor museum

The Trai Mat Railway Station is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the vintage structure, take pictures of the old locomotives, and stroll through the surrounding gardens. There is also a small train museum and souvenir shop inside the station. Visitors can explore the exhibits and browse for souvenirs.

6. Maze Bar

The Maze Bar in Dalat is an indoor bar that’s made up of interconnected mazes and pathways. You’re sure to get lost in here at some point, but that’s all part of the fun.

A man in a bar carved out of a cave

There are tunnels, narrow staircases, interesting décor, and interesting themed rooms. If you can find your way down to the bottom, there is an underwater themed room for example.

As well as the indoor space, at the very top of the bar there is a rooftop area with an amazing view of many of the surrounding buildings, which has led to its nicknames the 100 roofs bar or 100 roofs cafe.

7. Xuan Huong Lake

One of Da Lat’s most famous landmarks is the artificial lake known as Xuan Huong Lake.

Xuan Huong Lake is a central and idyllic spot in Dalat with a peaceful atmosphere and a chance to appreciate the city’s natural beauty.

You can stroll around the lake and take in the scenery. The lake is surrounded by beautiful gardens that are bursting with flowers and native plants like the lovely willow trees. Or if you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can even go out on the lake in a pedal boat.

There are several little cafes dotted around the lake’s edge to grab a coffee and enjoy the view.

8. King’s Palace

The King’s Palace, also known as Bao Dai Palace, holds significant historical and architectural importance. Bao Dai was the last emperor of Vietnam and also the last ruling member of the Nguyen dynasty. He abdicated the throne in 1945 with the news that Japan had surrendered in World War II.

The palace itself was constructed between 1933 and 1938 as a summer residence for the emperor. The architectural style combines influences from both the French and Vietnamese cultures, showcasing a blend of Art Deco and traditional Vietnamese design elements.

Today, Bao Dai Palace and its opulent interiors serve as a museum. Inside, you’ll find period furniture, personal belongings of the royal family, and historical artifacts. Outside, you can enjoy the serenity of the surrounding gardens and grounds. The palace stands as a reminder of Vietnam’s complex history and its cultural heritage.

Getting to Dalat

There are buses from nearby Nha Trang that run regularly throughout the day. There are also sleeper buses that go from Da Nang, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Sometimes, the best way to get up to date information and to book a space is to ask at your hotel or hostel desk.

A woman walking through waist-high grass overlooking a river

Getting Around Dalat

Due to the attractions in Dalat being quite far apart, the best way to get around is to hire a motorbike or scooter. Always remember to wear a helmet and proper clothing and footwear.

If you don’t like the idea of riding around yourself, then taxis are plentiful and cheap in the area as well.

Best Place to Eat in Dalat

Like many cities in Vietnam, one of the best ways to experience the food scene is at Dalat’s night market.

During the day it’s mostly fresh fruit and vegetables for sale, but at night, the cooked street food stalls take over. Once the sun goes down, you’ll find stalls selling traditional Vietnamese food like noodles, rice, soups, and banh mi.

Dalat FAQs

What is the best time to visit Dalat?

The best time to visit Dalat is during the dry season, which typically falls between November and April. This period offers pleasant weather with cool temperatures and less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Is Dalat worth a visit?

Yes, Dalat is definitely worth a visit due to its stunning natural beauty, pleasant climate, unique cultural attractions, and a wide range of outdoor activities.

What is Dalat best known for?

Dalat is best known for its year-round mild climate, scenic landscapes, vibrant flower gardens, and French colonial architecture.

How many days in Dalat?

A stay of 2-3 days is usually sufficient to explore Dalat’s main attractions, but you can extend your visit for more in-depth exploration and outdoor activities.

Is Dalat safe?

Yes, Dalat is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, like any other place, it’s advisable to exercise common travel precautions and be mindful of your belongings.

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