A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City vs. Hoi An for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An can help you decide which place is right for you.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a busy, diverse, and cultural city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a quaint, peaceful, and beautiful town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and beaches.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Ho Chi Minh City than Hoi An, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Ho Chi Minh City is better known for its museums, theatre productions, nightlife, and big city activities, while Hoi An is more popular for its beaches, historical sights, and impressive beauty. Hoi An is more touristy than Ho Chi Minh City and is known for its peaceful and traditional old town, its unique culinary traditions, and its affordable custom made clothing. Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its motorbike-filled streets, bustling markets, world-class cuisine, and diverse shopping opportunities. Also, Ho Chi Minh City is famous for the War Remnants Museum.

How is Ho Chi Minh City different from Hoi An?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh City is terrific for its museums and history. Also, Hoi An is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit Ho Chi Minh City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. It's a day trip outside of town, but the Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-see stop for any visitor. The War Remnants Museum is also a not-to-be-missed spot. Other highlights of the city include Thiên Hau Temple, the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, the Saigon Opera House, and the Reunification Palace.

Hoi An offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The old town is like a living museum. It's pedestrian-friendly and filled with beautiful yellow buildings. Highlights of the town include the Phung Hung House, Fukian Assembly Hall, and the Hoi An Museum.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Theater?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh City is a good destination for theatre. However, Hoi An is not a theatre destination.

You'll find a nice selection of shows in Ho Chi Minh City. Water puppetry is a traditional art form that originated in the rural areas and was brought to the city. It is a fun cultural experience that kids and adults both enjoy. You can see it at The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.

Hoi An is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Foodies will find both Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An both to be first-rate destinations.

Ho Chi Minh City has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. This city, arguably, has some of the best food in Vietnam. You'll find everything from food stalls selling mouthwatering street food to luxury restaurants preparing traditional dishes with a modern twist. Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich) and Pho (Vietnamese soup) are the most well known dishes around town, but also try the Bún mắm (a noodle dish) and Bún bò Huế (a beef based soup).

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Hoi An is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The local cuisine is truly unique from the rest of Vietnam. It's considered to be a culinary city with interesting recipes that depend on local ingredients that can't be found outside of the region. Specialty dishes of the city include Cao Lầu (pork and rice noodles), Bánh Bao Bánh Vạc (white rose dumplings), and Cơm Gà Hoi An (Hoi An chicken rice).

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Nightlife?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh City is terrific for nightlife. However, Hoi An is lacking in options for nightlife and partying.

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-see party destination. The city never settles down and you'll find all night parties and dance clubs open into the early hours. Backpackers keep the energy high, but there are also luxury clubs and more relaxed places where you can have a good night out if the backpacker thing isn't your scene.

Hoi An is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. It's definitely not your typical backpacker party town, and the city is quietly beautiful in the evening. Many of the bars in the old town close before midnight, but there are some places outside of the area if you're looking for something more lively.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Beaches?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Hoi An is very good for the beach. However, Ho Chi Minh City is not a beach destination.

Many people head to Hoi An to enjoy the beach. There is a long stretch of sandy beach in the area, that can be broken into five different sections. Some areas are privately owned, but there is still plenty of public beach to choose from. An Bang Beach is the most developed and popular beach in the area. Coconut Beach is the most luxurious, and Ha My Beach is similar to An Bang, but smaller.

Ho Chi Minh City is not a beach destination.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for its Old Town?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Hoi An is a world-class destination for its historic old town charm. However, Ho Chi Minh City does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Hoi An is revered around the world. The charming old town is recognizable for its striking yellow color and its many tailor shops. It feels like a living museum, and the evening hours are particularly special with the town's lanterns lighting the way.

Ho Chi Minh City does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

If you're looking to go shopping, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An both offer plenty of first-rate spots.

Many people travel to Ho Chi Minh City specifically to go shopping. The city is filled with a mix of modern shopping centers and local shops selling traditional items. You'll find international brands as well as uniquely Vietnamese products. The city also has some of the best boutique shopping opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Hoi An is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. It is considered to be one of the best and most affordable cities in the world for tailor made clothing. Pop in a shop and have your measurements made. You can pick out a design and in a day or two return for your custom made outfit. It's a truly unique shopping experience.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Families?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh City is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Hoi An is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Ho Chi Minh City is very family-friendly. Kids may feel overwhelmed at first, but they're sure to fall in love with the energy and kid-friendly activities in this city. There are traditional water puppet shows, kid-friendly restaurants, and fun parks. There's also the Suoi Tien Theme Park, smaller water parks, zoos, and art museums to explore.

Hoi An is a very kid-friendly city. Kids will appreciate the thrill of a visit to Ba Na Hills, which is a theme park with roller coasters, zip lines, and more. Near the city you'll also find ancient ruins, outdoor activities, hands-on classes, and, of course, the impressive old town.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Couples?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Both Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An are high quality destinations to visit as a couple.

Ho Chi Minh City is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. If you're looking for a vibrant cultural scene with excellent restaurants, great parks, and countless day trips, this is the ultimate couple's getaway.

Hoi An is a very popular place to visit for couples. This charming city has a lot of character and some of Vietnam's best restaurants. The city is also known for its tailor made clothes, so make sure you do some shopping while you're in town.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

For backpackers, both Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An are first-rate places to visit.

A large number of backpackers visit Ho Chi Minh City, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. It's well established on the Southeast Asian backpacker's circuit and you'll find no shortage of hostels in town. You'll find a good number of backpackers in District 1 of the city, near Ben Thanh Market. Many backpackers also arrange trips to the Mekong Delta or elsewhere in Thailand while they're here.

Hoi An is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. It's solidly on the backpacker trail, and you'll find many visitors who come for the beautiful culture and fascinating setting.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Students?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh City is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Hoi An is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Ho Chi Minh City. Study abroad students appreciate the city's energy and plethora of activities. It also makes a good base for trips to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Hoi An is not popular with students.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Hoi An is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Ho Chi Minh City is not a good destination for its public transit.

While Hoi An offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Biking, taxis, and motorbikes are the most popular ways to explore the area.

Public transit is generally limited in Ho Chi Minh City. There are public buses around town but motorbike taxis and regular taxis are likely your best bet for getting around.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An a more walkable city?

Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi An

Hoi An is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Ho Chi Minh City is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

Hoi An is a very easy town to get around on foot. There are "walking hours" when motorized vehicles aren't allowed in the old town, and this is a particularly good time to explore on foot.

Ho Chi Minh City is somewhat walkable. In certain neighborhoods it's fairly walkable, but you may have to dodge a motorbike here or there.


For even more information, also check out Is Ho Chi Minh City Worth Visiting? and Is Hoi An Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hoi An or Ho Chi Minh City?

How long in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than in Hoi An. Usually, 3-4 days is a good amount of time for Ho Chi Minh City, and 2-3 days is enough time in Hoi An.

Families should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Hoi An. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Ho Chi Minh City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hoi An than Ho Chi Minh City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hoi An that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Hoi An than Ho Chi Minh City if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Hoi An.


  • How many days in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ho Chi Minh City 3-4 
    Hoi An 2-3

One day in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

You'll find museums and food around the beautiful destination of Hoi An. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

A weekend in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

You'll find food and shopping around the peaceful town of Hoi An. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Five days in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Ho Chi Minh City. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Hoi An is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


A week in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the diverse big city of Ho Chi Minh City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Hoi An is a great place to explore. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Vietnam, The Best 10-Day Tours in Vietnam, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Vietnam, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Vietnam.


Which place is cheaper, Hoi An or Ho Chi Minh City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ho Chi Minh City is $80, while the average daily cost in Hoi An is $45. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $48
    Hoi An $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $96
    Hoi An $40
Compare Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An

Looking for a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City


Hotels in Hoi An


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ho Chi Minh City Hotel Prices and Hoi An Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $15
    Hoi An $19
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.38
  • Taxi From Airport
    $7.87
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.57

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

Also for Ho Chi Minh City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Vinpearl Resort & Spa Long Beach to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $20
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Cam Ranh HTL-APT (CXR): $18
  • Try find better than us! Airport Transfer in Ho Chi Minh HTL-APT (SGN): $19
  • Try find better than us! Airport Transfer in Ho Chi Minh APT-HTL (SGN): $13
  • Transfer from Ho Chi Minh to Airport Tan Sơn Nhat: $16
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport Transfer: $23
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • Tan Son Nhat Airport: Private Transfer to/from Ho Chi Minh: $22
  • Tan Son Airport Arrival Private Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City: $32
  • SGN Airport: the private transfer to Center (District 1 & 3): $16
  • Round-trip Private Transfer Ho Chi Minh - Vung Tau (16 Seats Car): $141
  • Radisson Blu Resort to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hoi An

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Hoi An are as follows:


  • Taxi From Danang to Hoi An
    $8.66
  • Bus From Hoi An Bus Station to Town
    $0.59

Is it cheaper to fly into Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Prices for flights to both Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $14
    Hoi An $9.80
Typical Food Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Street Food Dinner (for Two)
    $4.21
  • Pizza
    $5.12
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.18
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.59
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.68
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Saigon: Street Food Tour: $4.09
  • Saigon Food Tour & Culture Explore Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour: $15
  • Saigon Unseen & Food Tour By scooter w Student | Saigon Adventure: $19
  • Saigon tour Walking Chinatown or HCM city walking food tour: $19
  • Private Walking Food Tour with Local Students : $26
  • Ho Chi Minh Street Food Tour By Motorbike/Car + Sightseeing + Fun: $26
  • Saigon: Backstreets Private Walking Food Tour & 10 Tastings: $27
  • Food Tour by Scooter with Eleven Tastings: $27
  • Super Niche Walking Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: $28
  • Private Walking Food Tour with 13 Tastings: $28
  • Saigon Private Walking Food Tour with Thirteen Tastings: $28
  • Saigon Private Eleven-Tastings Food Tour by Scooter: $28

Typical Food Prices in Hoi An

For Hoi An, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Bamboo Village (for Two)
    $14
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $3.93
  • Casual Dinner (for Two)
    $7.87

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $20
    Hoi An $12
Typical Entertainment Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Massage
    $5.51

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Cu Chi Tunnels half day tours: $39
  • From Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne 3 Days Tour | 4 Star Beach Resort : $170
  • Historical Walking Tour of Saigon: $29
  • Mekong Delta Discovery Day Tour - My Tho - Ben Tre: $46
  • Mekong Vespa Tour 5 hours: $92
  • Mui Ne,Fairy Spring, Sand dunes, Fishing Village, Private Tour: $290
  • Non-Touristy Mekong Delta with Biking in Ben Tre Private Tour: $40
  • Private Mekong Delta 1 Day Tour: $65
  • Private Tour Water Puppet Show And Cruise Tour On Saigon River : $65
  • Saigon Vegetarian Tour by Motorbike and Scooter: $39
  • Small Group Tour to Cu Chi Tunnels and cruise Mekong Delta in a day: $48
  • 'Cost-Saving' Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta 1-Day Tour: $65

Typical Entertainment Prices in Hoi An

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Hoi An's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Golf (for Two)
    $146
  • Short Boat Ride
    $1.57

Tours and Activities in Hoi An

For Hoi An, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Cruiseship Tour to MY SON HOLYLAND - DA NANG CITY From Chan May or Tien Sa Port: $166
  • Cruiseship Trip from TIEN SA or CHAN MAY Port to MY SON HOLYLAND & DA NANG City: $154
  • Cruiseship Trip from TIEN SA or CHAN MAY Port to MY SON HOLYLAND & HOI AN City: $154
  • Cruiseship Trip to GOLDEN BRIDGE & MY SON SANCTUARY from CHAN MAY orTIEN SA Port: $189
  • Cruiseship Trip to My Son Sanctuary & GOLDEN BRIDGE from TIEN SA orCHAN MAY Port: $200
  • My Son - Danang from Tien Sa cruise harbor: $150
  • My Son - Danang from Tien Sa cruise harbor: $180

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $7.86
    Hoi An $8.92
Typical Alcohol Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Beer
    $0.39

Typical Alcohol Prices in Hoi An

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Hoi An are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $9.44


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Hoi An much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hoi An would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hoi An and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ho Chi Minh City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ho Chi Minh City than you might in Hoi An.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Ho Chi Minh City Expensive? and Is Hoi An Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Ho Chi Minh City or Hoi An?

Ho Chi Minh City has a larger population, and is about 110 times larger than the population of Hoi An. When comparing the sizes of Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.