While most markets in Vietnam have been in operation for hundreds of years, there are several (especially those located in the cities) that are now geared towards tourists, featuring stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs and pre-packaged food items. While goods here are sold at relatively low prices, you can still exercise your bargaining skills to get better deals. Read on for our handy guide on Vietnam’s most popular local markets.
Hoi An Central Market in this UNESCO-listed ancient town offers an authentic shopping experience for travellers in Vietnam. Located along the Thu Bon Riverbank, the marketplace is flocked with locals and tourists bargaining purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, handicrafts, and street snacks. The best time to visit is in the early morning, as that’s when local fishermen drop their catch off at Hoi An Central Market, where you’ll be greeted with a lively atmosphere of market vendors and local buyers fervently negotiating over the best fish. There’s also a section within the market specialising in Asian silk and textiles, with experienced tailors offering inexpensive tailor services. Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 20:00
Location: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu Streets, Hoi An
Han Market is a prominent attraction in Da Nang, having served the local population since the French occupation in the early 20th century. Located at the grand intersection of Tran Phu Street, Bach Dang Street, Hung Vuong Street and Tran Hung Dao Street, visitors can find hundreds of stalls selling just about everything from local produce and coffee beans to T-shirts, jewellery, and accessories. During your visit, be sure to stock up on fresh tropical fruit (bananas, mangoes, durian, and jackfruit) and Da Nang’s speciality food items (prepacked chilli paste, Ly Son garlic, rice crackers, and dried squid).
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 – 19:00
Address: 119, Tran Phu Street, Hau Chai District, Da Nang
Located on the northern edge of the Old Quarter, Hanoi Weekend Night Market spans from Hang Dao Street towards the edge of Dong Xuan Market. The main draw of this lively bazaar is the endless rows of food vendors offering exotic Vietnamese street food. On special occasions, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can also catch traditional Vietnamese music performances such as ca tru, xam, and quan ho. Hanoi Weekend Night Market is recommended if you’re looking to purchase souvenirs, make sure you bargain hard; it’s possible to get around 75% off the first price offered. Most stalls sell pretty similar items, so you can easily move on to the next one if the final price isn’t to your liking.
Opening Hours: Friday – Sunday 20:00 – 23:00
Location: Hang Dao Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Dong Ba Market is the oldest of its kind in UNESCO-listed Hue, where locals frequent throughout the day to shop for household items, clothing and fresh produce at affordable prices. Occupying a large building along the northern bank of Perfume River, Dong Ba Market is also a great place for breakfast as you can enjoy a wide range of authentic Vietnamese dishes such as pho, banh khoai (stuffed omelette), and fresh spring rolls.
Opening Hours: Daily 03:00 – 20:00
Address: Tran Hung Dao Street, Hue
Quang Ba Flower Market in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district opens as early as 02:00, where you can find rows of colourful flowers sourced from local villages Dong Anh, Soc Son, Me Linh, Dalat, and Nhat Tan. The market is especially busy during the annual Tet Festival, with well-dressed locals in mopeds passing through the narrow aisles. Daisies, cherry blossoms, roses, orchids and sunflowers are sold at relatively affordable prices, all of which can be purchased separately or arranged in bouquets. Whether you’re a flower enthusiast or an extremely early morning riser, Quang Ba Flower Market is a must-visit when you’re in Hanoi…just don’t forget your camera!
Opening Hours: Daily 02:00 – 12:00
Location: Au Co Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
Cholon (Binh Tay Market) in Saigon’s Chinatown attracts sightseers looking to experience the local Buddhist culture in Ho Chi Minh City. Set within District 5, the all-day market features opulent Chinese architecture and bustling shopping atmosphere, as well as an extensive range of handicrafts, lacquerware, textiles, and fresh produce. Due to large crowds and Southern Vietnam’s notorious humidity, it can get rather stuffy so head to the breezy central courtyard to take a breather. There’s also an altar and stone plaque honouring Binh Tay’s founder. Alternatively, an open-air food court at the back of Cholon offers authentic Vietnamese noodles, banh bao (steamed bun with pork filling), and Chinese sausages.
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
Address: 57 Thap Muoi, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
Dong Xuan Market is Hanoi’s largest indoor market, occupying a four-storey, Soviet-style building along Dong Xuan Street. A bustling wet market section is set within the ground level, where you can see locals haggling for fresh seafood, meats, and vegetables. The upper levels houses stalls selling printed tees, fabrics, school uniforms, luggage stalls at wholesale prices. While Dong Xuan Market can get touristy during peak seasons, it’s still a must-visit if you’re looking to experience the local lifestyle or purchase the ubiquitous Vietnamese conical hat.
Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 19:00
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Phan Thiet Central Market hosts hundreds of stalls selling household items, fresh produce, and local delicacies from 05:00 onwards. Located at the intersection between Ly Thuong Kiet and Nguyen Hue Streets, you’ll find just about any kind of fresh and cheap seafood here, from shrimps, squids and fishes to snails, clams, and crabs. The market is best visited in the early hours of morning, as that’s when the local population tend to congregate to haggle for the freshest produce. Authentic Vietnamese delicacies are also available at very low prices, including banh xeo (crispy pancake), mi quang (turmeric noodles), and guoi cuon (fresh spring rolls).
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 – 18:00
Location: The intersection between Ly Thuong Kiet and Nguyen Hue Streets, Phan Thiet
Benh Thanh Market can be seen as a tourist trap to seasoned travellers, but it’s still regarded as one of the must-sees when visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Located in District 1, there are numerous coffee traders with various beans on display as well as stalls selling apparels, textiles, luggage, watches, handicrafts, and electronic goods until 24:00. Mornings are often packed with locals shopping for fresh fruits, spices, nuts, seafood, and household supplies. As with most markets in Vietnam, Ben Thanh Market is also a good place to enjoy a wide range of inexpensive local dishes and snacks such as pho noodles, spring rolls, and banh xeo (crispy pancake).
Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 –24:00
Address: Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City
Nha Trang Market, also known as Dam Market, occupies a three-storey building and opens as early as 04:00 every day. Hailed as the busiest shopping venue in the city centre, where you can find rows of stalls selling handmade clothes, trinkets, fresh produce, and local special products. Unlike most markets, Nha Trang Market is relatively well-organised, with souvenir shops located in the front and middle sections, while the back section is dedicated to meat and fish stalls. The dry seafood section to the right of the building offers a variety of Da Nang delicacies, including shrimp, seaweed, and cuttlefish.
Opening Hours: Daily 04:00 – 18:00
Location: Ben Cho, Van Thanh, Nha Trang
Source: Vietnam by Hotels.com