How to Spend a Romantic Holiday in Hoi An, Vietnam

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

The charming city of Hoi An sits on Vietnam’s central coast and is perhaps the country’s most romantic spot. The well-preserved ancient old town of the city looks like it could be straight out of a fairytale, filled with pretty canals, wooden Chinese shop houses, French colonial architecture, and colourful lanterns that adorn the streets. Such a setting creates the perfect ambience for couples to enjoy devastatingly romantic activities, and there’s certainly plenty to do to stay occupied. Keep reading to discover how to make the most of a romantic holiday in Hoi An.

Explore the Old Town

Stroll the narrow streets of Hoi An’s famous Old Town with your nearest and dearest and admire the ornate temples, the quaint cafes, and the exquisite architecture. It’s easy to spend half a day wandering around the city, absorbing the vibrant colours, smells, sights, and sounds of the ancient centre.

The pair of you will come across buzzy food markets selling fruit and vegetables in a rainbow of colours with locals loudly bartering with one another, snug riverside bars, and atmospheric boutiques selling beautiful lanterns and trinkets.

Once you’ve finished strolling, consider hopping on to one of Hoi An’s popular cyclos for a relaxing experience being swept around the city by bicycle. Drivers are everywhere, so you won’t have to struggle seeking one out and it offers the perfect opportunity to rest your feet together following a day of sightseeing.

Enjoy a Riverside Dinner

Hoi An’s Old Town is scattered with plenty of romantic restaurants and cosy bars to sip cocktails in while admiring the magical scenery. Opt for a waterside venue for the best views and watch the luminous lights from the surrounding lanterns reflect off the calm and tranquil waters.

When it comes to dinner, you’ll be overwhelmed with choice when it comes to picturesque restaurants. While Hoi An is a small city, the range of dining options and cuisines is vast. Of course, we would recommend seeking an authentic Vietnamese restaurant to sample the local fare at its finest.

The best way to discover a restaurant that suits both of you is to amble along the pretty canals and streets. After all, stumbling upon the right restaurant is all part of the fun, right? Be sure to try some traditional Vietnamese dishes such as Pho, the country’s national dish. This is a hearty noodle broth filled with herbs and meat – usually beef, and sometimes chicken.

Time your dinner well and you can enjoy watching the golden sun melting into the river to bid farewell to the day.

Indulge in a Day at the Spa

For a day of relaxation and pampering, head to Anantara Spa with your other half. As soon as you step into the luxurious surroundings, the tranquil and serene atmosphere will wash over you. Pair that with one of the spa’s signature couple’s massages and the both of you will be feeling on cloud nine.

The spacious couple’s treatment room features a soaking tub for two where you can sink into a soothing milky bath together. On arrival, it will be filled with colourful flower petals for the ultimate dose of romance.

The Anantara Resort is the most luxurious place to stay in the city, so for a couple’s retreat in surroundings that are both lavish and locally influenced, consider staying overnight.

Spend a Day at the Beach

While Hoi An is known for its quaint Old Town, it’s also surrounded by many golden sand beaches with different vibes and atmospheres.

The sun can be overwhelming when roaming the streets of Hoi An, especially during the summer months of June to August, so a day trip to the coast can be a welcome respite from the heat.

Whether you’re a couple seeking thrills from adventure activities like parasailing or are looking to spend some quality time together relaxing on the sand away from it all, there are plenty of beaches to suit different tastes.

For hustle and bustle head to An Bang Beach, the region’s most popular stretch of sand. Here you can sip fruit cocktails or dine on fresh Vietnamese spring rolls from the many bars and restaurants between sunbathing sessions.

After a more tranquil beach trip? Then head to Hidden beach, Hoi An’s worst kept secret. While more and more people are drawn to the calm and relaxed nature of the spot, arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds and relax together in paradise.

Take a Lantern Boat Trip Ride

Venice has nothing on Hoi An when it comes to romantic boat trips down quaint canals. While you won’t be serenaded by a man in a striped shirt on your boat, you’ll cruise down Hoi An’s enchanting waterways passing through the ancient Old Town lit up with glowing lanterns.

The boats themselves are decorated beautifully with bright and colourful lanterns and lights ensuring Instagram-worthy photo opportunities from every angle. You’ll pass other lantern boats sailing in the darkness and pretty sights onshore that only add to the romantic atmosphere.

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