Da Lat (Dalat) Travel Guide


Name: Da Lat / Dalat
Area: 394.6 sq. km. (152.36 sq. mi)
Population: 425,000 (2020)
Language: Vietnamese
Province: Lâm Đồng
Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Time Zone: Indochina Time (GMT+7)
Religions and Beliefs: Buddhism, Catholicism, Caodaism, Islam

Located about 300 km (185 miles) northeast to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Da Lat is a vibrant city teemed with lush forests, lofty hills, turquoise lakes, blossoming flowers, coffee plantations and cascading waterfalls. At the end of the 19th century, a French doctor established the first sanatorium here, after which a large number of French-style villas were built, making Da Lat seem to be a European town. If you’re a backpacker, do not miss trekking, canyoning and hiking on your Da Lat travel. Famous for its fresh air, this bustling town known as the “City of Eternal Spring” is also a great resort where one can spend a cool and leisurely holiday and a honeymoon destination for newlyweds.

Best Places to Visit

1. Crazy House
2. Dalat Flowers Garden
3. Xuan Huong Lake
4. Dalat Center Market
5. Langbiang Mountain
6. Linh Phuoc Pagoda
7. Datanla Waterfalls
8. Elephant Waterfalls
9. Thien Vien Truc Lam
10. Domaine De Marie Church

Old-fashioned buildings, twisting streets and bright-colored flowers are all highlights of Da Lat travel trip. Originally a hotel, Crazy House is the most famous scenic spot in Dalat because of its exaggerated and weird shape. It’s a giant tree house made of a wide mass of wood and wire. You can climb the unique winding stairs and visit the rooms with different themes, such as spider, tiger and bear. Dalat Flowers Garden is home to a variety of colorful plant species and flowers including mimosa, orchid, peach, peony, and chrysanthemum. A famous flower festival is held annually in this “Flower City”. Xuan Huong Lake is a man-made lake in the shape of the crescent moon. You can not only rent a bicycle to ride around the lake, but also rest under the lakeshore trees, and ride a boat on the lake to enjoy the magnificent buildings by the lake.

Best Time to Visit Da Lat: October to March

Featuring a subtropical highland climate, Da Lat has a mild weather most of the year. The best time for Dalat travel is from October to next March in dry season. The average temperature during this period ranges between 14 - 23 °C (57 - 73 °F) and you will witness the bright blooms all over the mountains with a sunny and pleasant climate. The rainy season lasting from May to October should be avoided. Long sleeve T-shirt, trousers and an overcoat are very suitable and remember to wear a pair of comfortable shoes.

Ranking List of Da Lat Food

1. Banh Can - Mini Pancake
2. Banh Trang Nuong - Vietnamese Pizza
3. Lau Bo Ba Tao - Beef Hotpot

With a unique flavor and a very distinct way of cooking, Da Lat food is a must thing to try on your Da Lat travel. As a popular breakfast, Banh Can is a kind of pancake. The rice batter is poured on hot molds made of earthenware and topped with other ingredients like shrimp, squid, eggs, and seasonal veggies. The dish is usually served with steaming broth, meatballs, onions, and fish sauce. Banh Trang Nuong is a variant of pizza cooked on a coal stove with green onions, dried shrimp, rice paper, pork, and tomatoes. Cut into triangular pieces, it is eaten with chili sauce. Lau Bo Ba Tao comes with fragrant beef, noodles, white tofu and vegetables like broccoli and Chinese cabbage.

Best Restaurants in Da Lat

• Goc Ha Thanh Restaurant: 53 Truong Cong Dinh Street, Da Lat.

Just a 10-minute walk from Xuan Hong Lake, it’s a place to try authentic rustic Vietnamese cuisine in relaxed ambience. Some popular dishes are chicken coconut curry, caramelised fish, and spring rolls.

• Trong Dong Restaurant: 220 Phan Dinh Phung St. Ward 2, Da Lat.

This vegetarian-friendly restaurant serves varieties of Asian and Vietnamese dishes. The stir-fried beef with vegetables is the most welcomed with a price ranges of USD3-7 per person.

• La Viet Coffee: 200 Nguyen Cong Tru, Da Lat.

The industrial-themed café and roastery offers guests strongly-brewed Arabica coffee, standard latte, Americano, cappuccino,  drip and syphon coffee.

Where to Stay in Da Lat – 52% People Choose Hotels in City Center

1.  City Center: 52% - First-time Travelers
2.  Xuan Huong Lake: 29% - Tourists’ Choice
3.  Phuong 3: 19% - Night Owls

With numerous French-style buildings and convenient living amenities, Dalat city center has naturally become the preferred area for accommodation on Dalat travel trip. Starting here, tourists can visit some famous attractions including Crazy House, Bao Dai Summer Palace and Center Market. Ana Villas Dalat Resort & Spa and Saphir Dalat Hotel are recommended. Among the top three spots in Da Lat, Xuan Huong Lake is scattered with lots of cozy hotels from luxury to budget. This neighborhood is perfect for sightseeing and family picnics. Besides, Dalat Railway Station also stands here. Phuong 3 is the party capital of Da Lat, ideal for night owls. Visitors can find plenty of clubs and pubs surrounding this locality.

Transportation in Da Lat

Da Lat Airport, aka Lien Khuong Airport (DLI) is the only airport of the town and is about 30 km (19 miles) from downtown area. It operates non-stop flights to 10 destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue, from which it generally takes 1h 55min, 1h, 1h 10min and 1h 15min respectively. And the price for a one-way ticket ranges between USD50 and USD100. Dalat Railway Station is no longer connected to Vietnamese rail network, only operating trains running between Dalat city and the nearby mountain village named Trai Mat where tourists can explore the calm natural surroundings. The fare of a round way ticket for soft seat is about VND 84,000 (USD3.6). Sinh Cafe Hanoi-HCMC Bus is one of the most popular ways to reach Dalat. From Ho Chi Minh City, the bus ride is about 6 hours; and it takes 3 hours from Nha Trang.

Local bus is absolutely the best way of transport for Da Lat travel due to its accessibility to most of the places in Dalat. There is a bus shelter by Xuan Huong Lake which can be availed if you are going towards south. Xe Om - local motorbike taxi is also a good choice to reach short-distance destinations. From Da Lat Airport to the city center, taxi is the best mode of transportation, which usually takes 40 minutes and costs USD 9-11.

Top Shopping Markets

• Dalat Center Market: Phan Boi Chau, Phuong 2, Thanh Pho, Da Lat.

Housing over 1,000 shops, the market is the busiest one in Da Lat city, selling local Vietnamese handicrafts, apparels, wine, household appliances, and even strawberry sweets.

• L’angfarm: 6 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 1, Phuong 1, Da Lat.

The shopping mall is home to numerous retail outlets where tourists can find various delicately packaged food items, such as fermented rice wine and dried persimmons.

• Da Lat Night Market: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Da Lat City.

With the opening time between 17:00 and 22:00, this market is overflowing with stalls selling colorful items including clothing, vegetables, snacks, and handmade souvenirs.
- Last updated on May. 18, 2021 -