Dalat (also spelled Da Lat) is located in the central highlands of Vietnam, about 5,000 feet above sea level. Known for its abundance of beautiful flowers, delicious coffee, and (honestly terrible) wine, Dalat is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and heat of Ho Chi Minh City.
You’ll want to bring a jacket if you plan on visiting Dalat from November until March as the temperature is usually around 50°F and it rains fairly frequently. So if you’re craving some cooler weather, Dalat is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. And while most of the best things to do in Dalat are outdoors, the city also boasts plenty of cute coffee shops, perfect for spending a rainy day sipping coffee.
You’ll find that there are plenty of things to do in Dalat to keep you busy during your vacation in Vietnam. Check out our list of favorites to help you plan an amazing trip!
- The 25 Best Things to Do in Dalat, Vietnam
- 1. Explore the Crazy House
- 2. Take the Alpine Slide to Datanla Waterfall
- 3. Snap Photos at the Vuon Anh Sang Lumiere
- 4. Visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda
- 5. Take a Selfie at the Clay Tunnel
- 6. Stroll Around the Valley of Love
- 7. Wander Through the Dalat Flower Garden
- 8. If you Have Kids, Eat at Rung Thong Mo Farm and Bistro
- 9. Shop in the Dalat Market
- 10. Try Avocado Ice Cream
- 11. Hike to Elephant Falls
- 12. Take the Cable Car to Truc Lam Pagoda
- 13. Enjoy Sunset over the Lake at The Seen House
- 14. Dress up for High Tea at the Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel
- 15. Go on a Swan Boat Ride
- 16. Check out the View from Lang Biang Mountain
- 17. Stroll Through Linh Son Pagoda
- 18. Snap a Photo at Pongour Falls
- 19. Relax with a Coffee and a Good Book
- 20. Visit Bao Dai’s Summer Palace
- 21. Have a Drink at the Maze Bar/100 Roofs Cafe
- 22. Listen to Live Music at The Escape Bar & Cafe
- 23. Enjoy Dinner at The Wooden House
- 24. Try Banh Mi Xiu Mai
- 25. Grab an Early Morning Dalat Donut
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The 25 Best Things to Do in Dalat, Vietnam
1. Explore the Crazy House
The Crazy House is arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Dalat and one that you shouldn’t miss during your trip. This quirky private home has totally reasonably priced hotel rooms or you can just pay a small fee to wander around and explore for as little or as long as you’d like. The house has been in progress since 1990 and the owner, Mrs. Dang Viet Nga, continues to expand to this day.
The Crazy House is aptly named as the architecture is totally bizarre. Skinny bridges with handrails shaped like vines connect the buildings that seem to be melting. You’ll have to climb steep stairs and navigate small spaces to make your way through this attraction. For that reason, it’s probably not the best place to bring small children.
If you choose to spend a night at The Crazy House, the rooms are small but unlike anywhere you’ve ever stayed before! Each room has its own unique design but the twisted wooden design and odd shape are common themes. For the price it’s absolutely worth spending at least one night here during your vacation in Dalat!
Entrance Fees: 60,000 VND per adult, 20,000 VND per child
Hours: 8:30am – 7:00pm
2. Take the Alpine Slide to Datanla Waterfall
This was by far one of our favorite things to do in Dalat and should definitely be added to your itinerary! Datanla Waterfall is lovely but the real adventure of this attraction is getting there and back. In order to visit the falls you’ll need to go on an exhilarating alpine slide ride!
You can choose to ride on your own or with a friend and you can control how fast or slow to go. The track feels safe and you’ll be buckled in so even those who aren’t a fan of roller coaster rides can have a good time on the alpine slide.
Once at the bottom you can get out of your car to check out the waterfall for as much time as you’d like. When you’re finished you’ll get in a new car to head back to the starting point.
The alpine slide ride only takes about 20-30 minutes roundtrip. If you’re traveling with children, be aware that there are height restrictions.
Entrance Fees: 170,000 VND/adult, 100,000 VND/child roundtrip
Hours: Ticket office open from 7:00am until 4:45pm
3. Snap Photos at the Vuon Anh Sang Lumiere
The Vuon Anh Sang Lumiere is a new exhibition in Dalat and one that absolutely must be on your list of things to do while visiting! But bring your camera, it’s meant for snapping lots of selfies.
This amazing light exhibit has different rooms with different themes, but all involve amazing light or art displays. One has hundreds of lanterns hanging from the ceiling, one has an illuminated ball pit, and one is a mirrored room with string lights that seem to go on forever.
You’ll want to spend several hours snapping photos at the Vuon Anh Sang Lumiere and it’s guaranteed to be fun for all ages! Just be sure you bring a selfie stick, a tripod, or a friend to take your photo in front of all of these spectacular backdrops!
Entrance Fees: 120,000 VND/adult, 80,000 VND/child
Hours: Open daily from 9:00am until 9:00pm
4. Visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda
The Linh Phuoc Pagoda is definitely the most ostentatious pagoda in all of Dalat, maybe even in all of Vietnam! The elaborate tilework throughout is unlike anything you’ll see at most of the temples throughout Vietnam.
Climb the stairs of the pagoda to the second floor where you’ll find an enormous wooden Buddha statue and a nice view of the corresponding temple across the parking lot. It won’t take you long to see the entire pagoda but if you’re interested in Buddhist temples, this one is certainly worth checking out.
5. Take a Selfie at the Clay Tunnel
The Clay Tunnel (also called Sculpture Tunnel) is a totally bizarre sculpture park about 9 miles south of Dalat. The highlight of the park is at the very end – it’s two large human head statues that are facing each other in the middle of a small pond. There are places to stand right in front and it’s a popular place to snap a few photos.
But in order to get to the face statues, you’ll need to meander your way through the “tunnel” which is filled with some really crazy-looking clay statues. Monkeys, elephants, snakes, and cupids to name a few. Most of them are actually really terrible so you’ll have a good chuckle along the way.
And as with most tourist attractions in Vietnam, you’ll have to pass by several snack and souvenir shops along the way so don’t worry about packing snacks for this adventure.
Entrance Fees: 60,000 VND/adult
Hours: Open daily from 8:00am until 5:00pm
6. Stroll Around the Valley of Love
Speaking of strange things to do in Dalat, the Valley of Love is another rather odd but very popular tourist attraction. This park is absolutely massive and is a great excursion if you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs on a sunny morning in Dalat.
The Valley of Love has a variety of different photo spots. You can pose in front of the wonders of the world or be a chess piece on a giant chessboard. Snap a photo on a colorful floral staircase or take a ride on a swan boat in the picturesque lake. It’s a little cheesy but undoubtedly a fun activity for the whole family.
Be sure to take advantage of the park shuttles – walking everywhere really isn’t realistic due to the size of the park. After all, it’s free! And don’t miss the wax museum that is full of really creepy and poorly done wax sculptures of celebrities. It’s hilarious and definitely a highlight of the park!
Entrance Fees: 270,000 VND per adult/135,000 VND per child with buffet lunch included OR 220,000 VND per adult/110,000 VND per child without lunch.
Hours: Open daily from 7:30am until 5:00pm
7. Wander Through the Dalat Flower Garden
The Dalat Flower Garden (also called Dalat Flower Park) features over 300 native and exotic flowers in various gardens on the banks of the Ho Xuan Huong Lake. If you want to get outdoors during a sunny day in Dalat, this is the place to do it! Not only are there vibrantly colored flowers at every turn there are also spots to grab a cold beverage or a snack and rest for a bit.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Dalat during the Spring Flower Fair or the Winter Flower Festival, the Dalat Flower Garden is one of the select venues every 2 years. It’s definitely the best time to visit the gardens.
Entrance Fees: 50,000 VND per adult
Hours: Open daily
8. If you Have Kids, Eat at Rung Thong Mo Farm and Bistro
Even if you don’t have kids, it’s worth the drive to enjoy a quiet lunch and Rung Thong Mo Farm and Bistro. But if you are traveling with kids, you’re in for a real treat! The second floor of this darling little restaurant has an area specifically designated for little ones with a few climbing structures and wooden toys.
And outside is a play structure surrounded by a sandpit, as well as some really adorable little kid-sized houses. Finding a place to enjoy a meal when you have children that need to be entertained is daunting and this is the only restaurant in Dalat that we found to be really ideal to bring our 10-month old baby.
Along with the play areas for kids there are also lots of comfy and quiet seating areas – perfect for getting some work done while enjoying the view. And the menu has some great vegan and vegetarian options – we loved the veggie tacos. It’s a bit outside of town but totally worth it!
9. Shop in the Dalat Market
Every night the main traffic circle in Dalat turns into a bustling night market. You’ll find lots of regional specialties such as dried fruit (dried persimmons are what Dalat is known for) and artichoke tea.
Because of Dalat’s elevation, it can actually get quite chilly so you’ll also find an endless number of night market stalls selling warm jackets, furry sweatshirts, crocheted hats, scarves, and gloves. If you’re visiting in the winter you may be surprised by the cold weather and the Dalat night market is the perfect place to pick up some warmer clothes.
Also, make sure you come to the market hungry because you’ll find dozens of street food stalls selling fresh strawberries, grilled corn, and other local specialty snacks. One thing you must try, however, is Dalat Pizza, which isn’t really pizza at all. It consists of thin rice paper topped with egg, dried beef, mayonnaise, and shallots. This rice paper pizza (bánh tráng nướng) has now spread all over Vietnam, but it originated in Dalat.
You can find Dalat Pizza at any of the small stalls on the stairs leading down to the Dalat Night Market. Expect to pay ~20,000 – 30,000 VND. Or, if you’re a real rice paper pizza connoisseur, then head to Bánh Tráng Nướng Dì Đinh (Address: 26 Đường Hoàng Diệu).
10. Try Avocado Ice Cream
Another must-try food in Dalat is avocado ice cream. And yeah, it is as weird as it sounds.
It’s whipped avocado mousse combined with sweet condensed milk cream. The taste is like a semi-sweet but also kind of savory and creamy deliciousness. It’s basically like eating guacamole topped with vanilla ice cream.
Avocado ice cream not for every palate but since you can get a cup of it for about a dollar, you should definitely give it a taste!
11. Hike to Elephant Falls
Elephant Falls is an impressive waterfall in Dalat that was named for a large rock resembling the head of an elephant. This will most certainly be a highlight of your trip as the falls is one of the most beautiful in the Central Highlands.
The hike down is short but steep and often slippery so you’ll want to wear sneakers and use caution. There is a handrail for most of the way but it probably isn’t the best activity for people with disabilities or small children.
12. Take the Cable Car to Truc Lam Pagoda
The Dalat Cable Car is a fun afternoon activity that will provide you with nice views of Dalat on a clear day. The ride is relatively short and once at the top, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Truc Lam Pagoda and Monastery.
The Truc Lam Pagoda is lovely but the real highlight is the gardens out front and the beautiful bonsai trees scattered around the hilltop. It’s a peaceful place to wander around for a bit, and when you’re done you can take the stairs all the way down to the lake.
And once you reach the lake, you’ll definitely want to enjoy the view from The Seen House!
13. Enjoy Sunset over the Lake at The Seen House
Once you finish your Dalat Cable Car ride and check out the pagoda, it’s just a short walk down to Tuyen Lam Lake. And the best place to enjoy a view of the lake with a unique coffee concoction is at The Seen House! This little open-air coffee shop is the perfect place to relax while enjoying views of the lake, especially if you’re there around sunset.
The Seen House has some really creative coffee drinks and we’d recommend trying something different. The cold brew coffee with lime and simple syrup is delicious and if you want a snack, the quesadilla is a great choice (although on the menu it’s listed as nachos).
14. Dress up for High Tea at the Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel
Who doesn’t love getting dressed up to eat little cakes and sip tea at a fancy restaurant? And we think high tea is especially enjoyable when it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
The Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel must have been the epitome of glamour back in its heyday. And the antique furniture, gold fixtures, and vintage decor add to its charm. The hotel restaurant, Le Rabelais, serves high tea daily from 2:00 until 5:00pm. And for the bargain price of 350,000 VND (~$15 USD) you’ll get a huge platter of finger food (definitely enough to feed 2) as well as your choice of tea or coffee.
So put on a dress and some heels and enjoy an afternoon of sipping tea and sampling sweet and savory treats at one of the most beautiful hotels in all of Dalat!
15. Go on a Swan Boat Ride
You’ll see cute little swan boats lining the shores of the lakes around Dalat as well as in the Valley of Love. Rent one for an hour and get a little exercise paddling around the water!
16. Check out the View from Lang Biang Mountain
If you’re looking for expansive, panoramic views during your trip to Dalat, then make sure to add Lang Biang to your list of things to do! There are two ways of getting to the top – you can hike the 2.5-mile vertical climb that should take about 2-3 hours, or catch a ride in a Jeep from a local for a fee.
If you do the hike yourself, expect a bit of a challenge, especially the last push for the peak. And if you take the Jeep they ask that you ride down with the same driver who will wait 30 minutes at the top.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and any snacks as amenities are scarce here.
17. Stroll Through Linh Son Pagoda
Linh Son Pagoda has a really simple temple in front, and a lovely pagoda surrounded by lush greenery in the back. It won’t take you long to see everything there is to see here, but it’s well worth your time to have a stroll through the gardens and admire the pagoda.
18. Snap a Photo at Pongour Falls
Pongour Falls is one of the most beautiful falls in the province and always makes the list of things you must do when visiting Dalat. Most visitors prefer Pongour to some of the other waterfalls in the area since there is kept fairly clean, there aren’t strange statues used as decor, and there are no cable cars or alpine slides.
So Pongour Waterfall is certainly one of the few areas in Dalat where you can truly appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape. And without the gimmicky touristy stuff that often comes along with it. Pongour Waterfall is comprised of multiple layers, or tiers, that the water cascades over. Visitors can climb the rocky ledges to snap a few photos (just be careful, it can get slippery).
Pongour falls is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to Dalat!
19. Relax with a Coffee and a Good Book
The weather in Dalat is often rather cool and occasionally overcast or rainy. If you enjoy relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea and a good book on a cold day, then you’ll love all of the cute coffee shops in Dalat. And while a Caphe Sua Da (Vietnamese Coffee) is available all over Dalat, most of these coffee shops have unique flavor combinations and brewing techniques.
Our favorite spot to enjoy coffee in Dalat was at Still Cafe. The coffee shop is in front but the real joy of this cafe is the courtyard in the back. There are several food stalls, a little dessert shop, and even a boutique with locally made souvenirs. And with a giant Totoro statue, a bamboo walkway, and cute seating areas, the photo opportunities here are endless!
20. Visit Bao Dai’s Summer Palace
Bao Dai’s Summer Palace is a great rainy day activity in Dalat as most of what you’ll want to see is indoors. The decor is very retro and it’s pretty funny to think that this was considered the lap of luxury back in its heyday.
You’ll need to put foot covers over your shoes when you enter to keep from damaging the floors and then you’ll be free to roam through every room on both floors. There is a small souvenir room in the back where you can pay to dress in traditional royal clothing for a photo if you want to have a laugh during your visit.
Be sure to check out the gardens on your way back to the exit!
21. Have a Drink at the Maze Bar/100 Roofs Cafe
If you enjoyed wandering around The Crazy House, then you’ll definitely want to have a drink at the Maze Bar (also known as 100 Roofs Cafe). They were both constructed in a similar fashion, but the Maze Bar is on a much smaller scale. And while it’s fun to explore for a bit, it’s more suited for enjoying a cold beverage.
Take the stairs that lead down to the basement and you’ll enter the maze. There are various dark and narrow stairways that lead up through the bar onto the roof. Once outside there are even more stairs to reach the very top where you’ll be rewarded with views of the city (this is where the “100 Roofs Cafe” name comes into play).
You’ll order your drink when you first enter the bar so you can take it to enjoy it wherever you want. That may be in one of the small seating areas inside, or on one of the tables with a view outside.
22. Listen to Live Music at The Escape Bar & Cafe
If you want to have a fun night out in Dalat, but don’t want to get too crazy, then The Escape Bar & Cafe is the perfect choice! The bar is warm and welcoming and the musicians are always top-notch. It’s a great place to enjoy snacks and drinks while enjoying some relaxing live music in Dalat.
Check out the live music line-up on their Facebook page!
23. Enjoy Dinner at The Wooden House
There are lots of amazing restaurants to choose from in Dalat – many of them serve Italian food which may seem strange since you’re in Vietnam. But it turns out that Dalat is a great place to enjoy creamy pasta dishes, wood-fired pizza, and both local and imported wines.
Of all the restaurants we tried in Dalat, The Wooden House was our favorite! There are comfy Papasan chairs overlooking their garden where you can enjoy their homemade bread and decadent pasta while sipping on a glass of vino. It’s the perfect place for a date night during your trip to Dalat!
24. Try Banh Mi Xiu Mai
The Banh Mi Xiu Mai is one of the signature must-try dishes of Dalat! It’s generally considered to be a breakfast dish so you’ll have to get moving in the morning to experience this taste sensation. Unlike a typical banh mi sandwich, the banh mi xiu mai is served as a bowl of meatballs in a savory broth with shallots, onions, and garlic. You’ll get a piece of bread on the side for dipping.
It’s rich and fragrant and absolutely delicious. A must-try during your trip to Dalat!
25. Grab an Early Morning Dalat Donut
The Dalat Donut isn’t even remotely similar to what the word “donut” probably conjures in your head. It’s not the sticky, sugary, frosting-covered pastry you’re used to. This donut is a semi-sweet roll filled with sticky rice, xoi la cam (magenta plant), shredded coconut, and sesame seeds. It has a wonderfully unique flavor and is sweet, but not too sweet.
Our favorite Dalat Donut lady has a little stand in front of Windmills Cafe. But be sure to get there early – before 8:30am – she sells out early and packs up.
That’s it – 25 of the best things to do in Dalat. We hope you have a wonderful trip!
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