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travel in vietnam budget

What budget do I need?

One of the most important things to consider in a travel plan is your travel budget. Learn about the currency of Vietnam and the current exchange rate. We strongly advise you to change your money into Vietnamese Dongs and not pay in foreign currency like Euros or US dollars, as the rates will be more expensive.

Here is an approximation of exchange rates in January 2021:

VND

EUR

USD

50,000

1.95

2.14

100,000

3.90

4.28

200,000

7.80

8.57

500,000

19.5

21.42

 

The cost of traveling in Vietnam

The cost of visiting Vietnam is going up every year, but you can still get around comfortably on a limited budget. You can also travel in style and comfort for a lot less than in some other countries.

Vietnam's currency is the Dong (VND). Dongs include 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000 and 1,000 bills. Some look similar, so be careful. 1 Euro is around 25,000 Dongs (25k) and 4 Euros = 100,000 Dongs (100k).

The smallest amount you will see is probably a 500 Dong bill, and this is rare.

Cash is still widely used in Vietnam. You will need cash for taxis and small shops, preferably in small denominations, as many will not have spare change for big denominations like 200,000 or 500,000 Dongs. Keep small bills on hand to pay for entrance fees, street food and drinks.

Credit and debit cards are widely used in Vietnam, especially in department stores and supermarkets, however, small businesses and retailers only accept cash. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted types of credit cards, while American Express and Diners Club are not. Credit card fraud is not particularly prevalent in Vietnam compared to other countries in Asia, but it is best to take the usual precautions against credit card fraud during your stay in Vietnam.

Automated teller machines (ATMs) are common in almost all cities. ATMs are available 24/7. You can withdraw money at most ATMs, but a fee may be applied it you withdraw money using a card not issued by the bank to which the ATM belongs. The maximum withdrawal limit is often €215 (approx. 5,000,000 Dongs) so you will need to make several withdrawals if you need a large amount.

 

Hotel budget in Vietnam

There are many choices for accommodations to fit all kinds of budgets. You could choose to stay in a guesthouse, boutique hotel or large resort with spa. For a more unique experience, stay in a homestay with a local family, or in an ecolodge. The price for a double room in a guesthouse is around 600,000 Dongs (approximately 21.3 Euros), and 1,200,000 Dongs (around 51.6 Euros) in a luxury hotel.

 

Food budget in Vietnam

If you decide to eat like a local, food will not cost you much at all. For example, 'phở' (noodle soup) costs around 50,000 dongs (1.95 euros) and other local dishes start at about 30,000 dongs (1.29 euros).

If you want some variety, for small budgets, plan on 100,000 - 200,000 Dongs for lunch or dinner. For medium budgets, plan between 200,000 - 400,000 Dongs. Double that for larger budgets and top notch meals.

 

The cost of tourist attractions

In almost all tourist attractions, there is no noticeable difference between the prices for locals and those for tourists. In addition, the entrance fees are often not expensive. One entrance to the museum, for example, costs around 50,000 dongs (1.95 euros).

 

Transport budget in Vietnam

Public transport in Vietnam is pretty cheap, so you can get around without spending a lot of money. The trains and buses can slow, but it can be an interesting experience, and if take a sleeper train you can save on staying at a hotel. In cities, motorcycle taxis are a popular way to get around.

Install an app called “Grab” on your smartphone to order a taxi or motorcycle taxi online. The nearest taxi will pick you up just in a few minutes. 

In other towns where Grab's taxis are less available, you can order a traditional metered taxi but it will cost a little more. 

If you have a nice budget and want to travel more comfortably, you can take domestic flights for long distance journeys. This will help you save a lot of time, especially when you are traveling between two different regions, like from North to South, for example.

 

Tips

In restaurants or hotels, tips are not mandatory, but are much appreciated. Leave the guide 4 Euros/day/person and the driver 2 Euros/day/person.

If you are using the services of local guides, trekking guides, or any other activity with staff’s assistance, it is recommended that you leave a tip, from 50,000 to 200,000 dongs, depending on your satisfaction and the duration of the activity.

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