Ninh Binh Itinerary is what you are looking for? Here we are to provide you the BEST Itinerary to this beautiful hidden gem of Vietnam.

With more than 5 years of experience in planning itinerary and providing tours to more than 100.000 travelers to the North of Vietnam, We – AZlocaltrip would like to introduce you the best itinerary that is suitable for most travelers.

A glimpse of Ninh Binh

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1. Why Go To Ninh Binh? Is Ninh Binh Worth Visiting?

Well! I can say it’s one of the most sublime and magnificent natural landscapes in Southeast Asia. How can I be so sure about this statement?

A vast amount of limestone mountains emerging from meandering rivers, immense green or yellow rice fields depending on seasons… Perhaps that’s why we called Ninh Binh as “Halong Bay on land”.

Mua Cave

Amazing view from Mua Cave

If spectacular scenery isn’t convincing enough, let Ninh Binh show you the way to its true beauty. Contrary to luxury, the splendor of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, this rural area is another way of living, slower and more peaceful. It’s totally a leisure trip for anyone who wanna stay away from dynamic lifestyle in cities.

If you are a cultural explorer, there are many architectural constructions here to delve into the historical timeline of Vietnam. You will also have a chance to discover the capital of Vietnam in the 11th century in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Do you think Ninh Binh is a worth-visiting destination yet? If you still doubt about spending your time here, see more detailed things below to have your best decision: where to go, what time and some helpful tips.

2. Best Time To Visit Ninh Binh? – Ninh Binh Itinerary

Weather influences a lot of how your Ninh Binh itinerary will be. So first, let’s find out what is the weather like in Ninh Binh? and what is the best time to visit?

. Best Time To Visit Ninh Binh

Double check the weather before you go!

Unlike Hanoi, Ninh Binh has only 2 main seasons: the dry season and wet season. The dry season lasts from November to April. During the dry season, the weather is mostly dry and cool. The wet season is from May to October. During this period, the weather is hot and humid and plenty of rainfall.

Additionally, the month of September is especially at risk of typhoons. However, the wet season is a  great time to visit since nature is most beautiful during this time with crystal blue sky and vivid green color of the rice fields.

Below is the detailed description in each month

April and May are the early harvest time. This is a great time to appreciate the ripen rice fields.

Take a walk between the rice field is a moment to relax

Take a walk between the rice field is a moment to relax

June gives a perfect opportunity to take the stunning photographs of flowers, especially Lotus. June is a blooming month of flowers, especially lotus flower which is Vietnam National Flower. In fact, there’re many places to see beautiful lotus flowers but a great thing about Ninh Binh is the natural and picturesque background that makes the whole scenery more striking and stunning.

September and October are the second harvest time of the year. The scenery of Ninh Binh will be covered by the yellow color of rice fields ready for harvesting. Any travelers that book a boat tour along the Bich Dong River can get to explore the Trang An Landscape Complex – Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – Tam Coc while being surrounded by the wonderful scenery of yellow rice fields.

take a boat ride

Whenever you visit Ninh Binh, take a boat ride is a must!

November – a trip to Ninh Binh at the end of November is likely to be relatively low on tourist traffic. It’d be much enjoyable to explore the area without the crowds. However, at this time, the rice has already been harvested, you won’t see the majestic view of yellow rice fields. Apart from this, the whole scene still peaceful as beautiful as usual; also, and the weather is pleasant, not too hot and not too cold. In the evenings it can get a little chilly.

Is there time to avoid?

Between December and February, there’re high chances of drizzles and isn’t appropriate for boat rides. It might not be a good idea to travel to Ninh Binh during this period. Also, after the Tet holiday (Vietnamese New Year) is not a good timing due to heavy crowds.

>>> Discover The Beauty of Ninh Binh in Ninh Binh One Day Tours <<<

3. How Long To Spend in Ninh Binh? – Ninh Binh Itinerary

A stay of at least one or two nights in Ninh Binh is certain to be worth it. 2 days would be the best to explore the whole area but 1 day is enough to explore the highlights destinations.

>>> Or get FREE Customized Itinerary Planning for your trip by our local experts!

4. Getting From Hanoi To Ninh Binh

By train

It takes 2.5 hours to get here and the train stops at the station near Trang An. About 2.5 US$ is the amount of money you need to pay for a one-way ticket from Hanoi to Ninh Binh train station.

By private cars

You can hire a private car through a tourist agency and go straight to the destination in Ninh Binh. However, this is properly costing the most out of 3 ways.

By bus

A regular bus from Hanoi bus terminal Giap Bat departs quite often. It costs about 3.15 US$ and 3 hours as usual. You can buy tickets in the hall of the station.

Like going by train, the bus stops in Ninh Binh, you need to have a suitable transport (taxi, bike) to the tourist area.

The easiest and most convenient transportation is private cars without a doubt. Or you can book a Ninh Binh tour that includes transportation, you don’t need to worry about how to go anymore. Take a look at our Ninh Binh Tours to the most popular destinations in Ninh Binh.

5. Suggested Ninh Binh Itinerary

Ninh Binh 2 days itinerary map by AZ Local Trip

Day One – Ninh Binh 1 day itinerary


  • Bai Dinh Pagoda

In this architectural construction, not only the discovery of Buddhist values, but you also see many well-known records of this famous pagoda. These records are The biggest golden Buddha statue in Asia, The biggest Arhat hall in Asia, The biggest copper bell in Vietnam, The most La Han statues in Vietnam, The biggest pagoda in Vietnam, The biggest well in Vietnam.

Being a huge religious complex (5.39 square kilometers), Bai Dinh compound includes 1.07 square kilometers of new and old Buddhist temples and cultural park, Buddhist academy,… With this large area, people often visit the whole place by electrical car. We can also take a walk around and then enjoy the natural view more.

Time to spend: 2 hours

Entrance fee: No entrance fee but if you use the electric car then it costs 30.000 VND/way

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The highest Buddhist Tower in Asia


  • Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Time to spend: 1 hour 30 minutes

Entrance fee: 20.000 VND

In Ancient Capital Hoa Lu, you can pay a visit to King Dinh and King Le temple, the founders building this capital during the 10th century. Gaining knowledge of the history of Vietnam more than 1000 years ago is a good idea, right?

Hoa Lu Ancient

Chosen to be the first capital in Vietnamese feudatory era, Hoa Lu is definitely attached to many historical stories of 3 dynasties Dinh, Le, Ly.

Before, Hoa Lu was a splendid palace, covering by majestic mountainous area, meandering Hoang Long river and immense Nho Quan, Gia Vien rice fields. All of these makes Hoa Lu be a perfect military basement and got notice of the first King Dinh Tien Hoang.

  • Trang An Ecological Complex

Time to spend: 2 hours

Entrance fee: 200.000 VND/adult for Trang An boat ride: 100.000 VND/child

Well-known as ‘Halong Bay on land’, Trang An is quintessential convergence of majestic limestone mountains, peaceful rice paddies, and clear emerald river. With the huge area (2.168 square kilometers), Trang An is totally a dreamland of tourists that make us surprise by majestic, picturesque landscape. Containing globally eminent values, Trang An deserves to get recognized as World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

You can explore this region by Trang An boat ride or cycle around is also great! Trang An is less crowded than Tam Coc, which means you can fully enjoy the serene atmosphere and spectacular landscape here.

>>> Book Now: Bai Dinh Trang An Tour 

Day Two – Ninh Binh 2 day itinerary


  • Tam Coc – Bich Dong

Time to spend: 2 hours

Entrance fee: 150.000 VND

Floating along Ngo Dong river, you can hear the whisper of the wild winds, enjoying the serenity of this tranquil countryside. Tam Coc is literally known as ‘three caves” in Vietnam. Visiting Tam Coc, mysterious caves open for you, including Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba. Majestic limestone cliffs, mysterious caves, rural scenery with the peaceful river, rice fields – Tam Coc seems to possess all.

Tam Coc – Bich Dong

Bich Dong pagoda is on the same route with Tam Coc so Tam Coc – Bich Dong is surely a great combination

  • Thung Nang

Time to spend: 1 hour

Entrance fee: 15.000 VND for sightseeing ticket; 60,000 VND for the boat ride

We are easily fascinated by the pristine, tranquil beauty of Thung Nang, of an immense lake reflecting prolific trees around majestic mountains. Just exactly the name people called Thung Nang (Sun area), the sun illuminates everywhere, down to leaves, reflecting lake surface, creating a colorful, magnificent landscape to us.

Noticing some birds flying or landing on boughs, we will see the liveliness, diversity of this wonderful destination. One hour floating on the river seems another great experience, right?

Thung Nang

Thung Nang is more peaceful than other famous attractions in Ninh Binh

  • Mua Cave

Time to spend: 1.5 hour

Entrance fee: 100.000 VND

Testing your flexibility by climbing 486 stone stairs to the mountain,  we will see the picturesque view of Tam Coc – Bich Dong area, especially on rice paddy season. Don’t miss a chance to contemplate Vietnamese version of Great Wall.

Amazing view from Mua Cave

View from the top of Mua Cave

view from the top of mua cave

You will reach the top after 500 stone stairs


  • Van Long Nature Reserve

Time to spend: 2 hour

Entrance fee: 60.000 VND for the boat ride and 20.000 VND for admission.

Van Long Nature Reserve

Van Long serves a unique and diverse ecosystem

Being the largest drowning natural reserve in North Vietnam, Van Long Natural Reserve is a unique and diverse ecosystem, a shelter for a wide variety of rare plants and animals.

In Van Long, we will go into the lively life of nature, in an easy, serene scenery, explore marvelous and glorious caves and mountains

>>> Discover other hand-picked Tour Packages in Hanoi.

6. Where To Stay in Ninh Binh?

It all depends on your preference, your budget. I suggest some places here for you to consider your best choices.

  • Trang An Nature House

Address: 479B Trang An Street,  Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh

It’s only 1.6 kilometers from Trang An Eco-Tourism Complex and 4.8 kilometers from Tam Coc – Bich Dong. Besides free Wifi, a buffet breakfast is available in the house each morning. You can taste delicious foods of Asian and European cuisine.

Price ranges from 5 US$ in 8-bed mixed dormitory room to about 26.5 US$ for a King Room with Mountain view per day.

  • Tam Coc Eco House

Address: Van Lam, Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu

Garden views, a washing machine, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private bathroom with free toiletries are at your disposal. Some have a terrace and/or balcony. Free Wifi is included. An Asian breakfast is served daily at the property.

Tam Coc Eco House

Tam Coc eco house brings you a peaceful atmosphere with garden view

The homestay offers a children’s playground. Furthermore, you can go cycling or fishing, and the property offers a bicycle rental service.

Price ranges from 4 US$ in mixed dormitory room to about 12.5 US$ for a King Room with Garden view per day. Also, it’s only 300 meters from Tam Coc.

  • Cozy Son Hotel

It’s only 300 meters from Tam Coc. All rooms have air conditioning, a private bathroom and a kettle. Some rooms include a terrace. A buffet breakfast is served daily at the property.

The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire is available at Cozy Son Hotel. Speaking English and Korean at the reception, staff are willing to help at any time of the day.

Price ranges from 12.8 US$ in King Room with Balcony to about 22.5 US$ for a Family Room with Mountain view per day.

7. Tips and Advice for Ninh Binh Day Trip Itinerary

  • As said, Ninh Binh is a traveler – friendly location. It’s easy to access the area and to go around and explore. Many of the local roads are wide, flat and deserted and it’s really convenient and safe for tourists to go around by motorbikes or bicycles. You can discover this place on your own without worrying about safety.
  • Don’t know where to stay? The advice is to stay in or around Tam Coc area since Ninh Binh town is quite boring and doesn’t really have much going on an. Tam Coc is a tourist spot so it will be much more interesting and things to do around here.
  • Since there are not many ATMs in Ninh Binh, especially at tourist attractions, make sure you bring enough money that covers all the whole trip. There’re ATMs in Ninh Binh Town but it’s 7 kilometers away from Tam Coc.
  • Ninh Binh is an authentic side of Vietnam so that when coming to Ninh Binh, you have to try the most local things here. Instead of going to big restaurants, try to have meals in the small local restaurants or a local homestay. You will likely be served the more appetizing food compared to the restaurants.
  • The best way to travel to Ninh Binh is to use private cars or to use the shuttle bus service from Hanoi. Typically, it takes 2 hours moving on the streets from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. For the shuttle bus, you have to move to the meeting point which is Giap Bat Station.
  • Alternative travel options include the routes that run to Ninh Binh from several cities, including Hanoi, Dong Hoi, Danang, and Hue.
  • Always remember Bringing along a bottle of water, a hat, sunglasses and wear sunscreen if you get here in the summer

>>> You might want to find Ninh Binh travel agency and What day trips from Hanoi to Ninh Binh should do- how to book?  <<<

Ninh Binh Itinerary

Above is everything you need to consider when planning Ninh Binh Itinerary.

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