Ninh Binh 1 day itinerary : How to spend a day in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh one day itinerary

Ninh Binh, known as “Halong Bay on land”, has become a rising destination for top day trips from Hanoi. In this post, you will see everything you need to know about Ninh Binh one day itinerary 

Why Ninh Binh day tour from Hanoi?

Ninh Binh is about 100 kilometers or 63 miles from Hanoi within 2 hours to a two-and-a-half-hour drive depending on the traffic. 

The distance is not too far for taking a day trip from Hanoi, it is quite suitable for those who have limited time but want to see the stunning view of limestone karst mountains in Ninh Binh 

Ninh Binh is a friendly tour for everyone : solo traveller, couples, family with kids, group of friends etc…. so everyone can join, suits all travel tastes : historical sites, fascinating culture, hearty local food and friendly people;  and a variety of activities : trekking, hiking, sightseeing, cycling and more. 

What is Ninh Binh famous for?

  • Beautiful countryside
  • Breathtaking scenery of the towering limestone cliffs
  • Lots of sightseeing spots from temples, and pagodas to natural landscapes, and amazing viewpoints.
  • Hearty local food: Mountain goat meat and Vietnamese crispy rice cracker 
  • Friendly locals

Top Ninh Binh one day tour from Hanoi for guided tour

Check out the top-rated Ninh Binh day trip from Hanoi

The classic Ninh Binh

Mua viewpoint

Mua Viewpoint

This Ninh Binh itinerary covers the best highlights of Ninh Binh has to offer

Hoa Lu ancient capital – Check out two king temples of Dinh and Le, dated back since the 10th century

Hiking Hang Mua viewpoint (500 steps) – The best viewpoint in Ninh with 360 degree view

Leisurely bamboo boat tour in Tam Coc

Ninh Binh off the beaten track

Explore Ninh Binh off the tourist trail. There are 2 options to choose from

Option 1 : Phat Diem Stone Cathedral and boat tour at Galaxy Grotto. 

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Visit Phat Diem Cathedral to learn more about a Cathedral with a pagoda-style roof

Explore the Galaxy Grotto  – a true hidden gem with an amazing lime

If you don’t feel like Phat Diem Cathedral is on your bucket list, add Bai Dinh pagoda instead. Bai Dinh is known as one of the largest religious complexes in Vietnam with over 539 hectares

Option 2 : Van Long Nature Reserve with biking, and boat trip in Linh Coc, Hai Nham 

Van Long nature reserve

Van Long nature reserve

This is a very unique itinerary that very tour companies offer it. Still, it’s an off-the-beaten-track Ninh Binh itinerary that takes you see less touristy spots in Ninh Binh that you can’t experience in a common tour. 

First, starts from your hotel and take 2 hours drive to Van Long nature reserve, take a leisurely bicycle ride around the village area for 1 hour. 

Then head to a local village to learn about hand embroidery by locals before making your way to a local restaurant for lunch. 

After that, take half an hour drive to Linh Coc Hai Nham for a relaxing bamboo boat ride for 1 hour through limestone caves with very few tourists 

A final stop is to hiking 500 steps to reach Mua viewpoints in the afternoon to see 360 degree view of the towering limestone cliffs, rivers and rice paddies which is the best viewpoint in Ninh Binh for your Instagram photos in Ninh Binh 

Head back to Hanoi around 7pm. Tour ends.

Read more : Less touristy Ninh Binh day trip from Hanoi 

Option 3 : Ninh Binh highlights but leaves early in the morning to beat the crowd. 

Ninh Binh itinerary

Boat ride in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

6am : Departs from your hotel in Hanoi and head out to Ninh Binh.

Arrive in Tam Coc, taking a leisurely and laidback bamboo boat tour for one and a half hour to explore Tam Coc

Biking the rural villages and exploring the hidden Thai Vy temple, just 1 mile away from the Tam Coc pier then head to Mua viewpoint for conquering the Mua viewpoint with 500 steps with stunning view of the beautiful natural landscapes.

Then enjoy lunch in a local restaurant that only a few tourists know. 

After that, check out the two king temples of Dinh and Le at Hoa Lu ancient capital; there is a nearby village where you can stroll around. 

Then head back to Hanoi around 5.30pm

Option 4 : Cuc Phuong national park : Trekking, sightseeing, cave visit and Endangered Primate Center

Hiking in Cuc Phuong national park

Hiking at cuc phuong national park

  • Trekking 2 hours to Cay Cho Chi – 6 kilometers trekking around trip
  • Hiking the Early Man cave – 200 steps
  • Check out the Endangered Primate Center and Turtel Conservation Center

Ninh Binh seat in coat tour and small group tour from Hanoi

  • The most popular day tour from Hanoi: Hoa Lu ancient capital, Mua cave and boat tour in Tam Coc plus cycling in through a rural village, price from $40 USD
  • Bai Dinh Pagoda and boat tour in Trang An
  • Hoa Lu ancient capital and Trang An
  • Bai Dinh pagoda, Boat tour in Trang An and hiking Mua cave, price from $50

Read more : Top Photography Spots in Ninh Binh

Top rated restaurant in Ninh Binh for visitors on a day trip from Hanoi

Vegan meal at Tam Coc garden resort

Vegan meal at Tam Coc garden resort

See the lists of the top restaurants in the Tam Coc area and  Trang An area 

Top restaurants in Tam Coc

Cheap and good

  • Minh Khoi restaurant
  • Banh Mi Hanoi
  • Thao Beo restaurant – fresh home-cooked food

Affordable restaurant

  • Minh Toan father cooking
  • Family restaurant 
  • Hoa Luan restaurant
  • Khoa Dung restaurant
  • Chu’s house Tam Coc
  • An Tam Coc restaurant and Cafe

Vegan and Indian food

  • Curry King 
  • Ngon Vegan
  • Ngo Dong Vegan

Fine dining in Tam Coc

  • Tam Coc garden’s restaurant
  • Hidden Charm hotel and resort

Top restaurants in the Trang An and Mua viewpoint area

  • The onside restaurant at Mua cave complex
  • Trang An riverside garden 
  • An Khang Banh Mi

Read more : Top restaurants in Tam Coc,

Top frequently asked questions for Ninh Binh one day itinerary

Is one day enough to see Ninh Binh?

Yes, for the highlights. If you have some spare days which is great from 2 to 3 nights in Ninh Binh

Should I book a guide tour or travel alone for a day?

I do recommend booking a guided tour since your time is limited. Travelling using Google map takes time anyway and you aren’t a travel expert to plan a perfect itinerary for a day.

How much money should I spend for a day trip in Ninh Binh as a self-guided traveller?

$20 for round trip transfer from/to Hanoi

$10 for lunch in a restaurant

$20 for entrance fee

$12 for a rental motorbike with fuel to get around

Approximately $62 for a day tour as a solo traveler. It will be more economical if you are taking a seat on a coach tour from Hanoi, the price ranges from $40 to $60 per person. 

Read more : Ninh Binh solo travel guide

Should I hire a car without a guided tour for Ninh Binh?

Why not. The cost of the car for a day trip to Ninh Binh from Hanoi is around $86 for a 7 seaters car SUV. It’s a good option for a party of 3 or 4 people like groups of friends or family. 

Is that too rush to visit Cuc Phuong national park on a day tour?

Since the distance from Hanoi to the national park is three hour’s drive so what you can see at the national park

The 2 hours of trekking through the jungle and one of the attractions either the Endangered Primate Center close to the park’s gate or hiking 200 steps to explore the Early Man cave 

Is Ninh Binh a family vacation spot?

Tons of things to do for a family with kids in Ninh Binh : Boat tour, cycling, hiking, the national park, hand embroidery class in Ninh Binh

Where should I book a guide Hanoi or Ninh Binh?

If you depart from Hanoi, Book a Hanoi tour guide. If you have already stayed in Ninh Binh, book a local guide in Ninh Binh. 

Top private tours in Ninh Binh

Non touristy Ninh Binh private tour 

Ninh Binh private custom tours from Ninh Binh with local guides

Top Ninh Binh Tours

Ninh Binh wet rice farm tour 

Ninh Binh shore day tour from Halong

Over to you

We hope this Ninh Binh one day itinerary guide helps you to plan a perfect trip to Ninh Binh, if you are looking for a private personalized tour from Hanoi, please get in touch with Hanoi Eco Tour on Whatsapp at +84974313104

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