Getting around Da Lat is reasonably convenient as the hill town is smaller than most cities in Vietnam. Thanks to its mild climate all year round, many travellers enjoy a day of sightseeing in the city centre on foot without breaking a sweat. Unlike most cities in Vietnam, you won’t find any cyclos here due to its hilltop setting, but there are plenty of other transportation options if you don’t fancy exploring the town under your own steam.
Cycling is a great way of staying active while you’re on holiday. The roads within and around Da Lat City Centre are relatively smooth, so many locals and travellers ride bicycles to get around. Best of all, these roads are closed off to motorised vehicles for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. You can easily rent a standard bicycle from shops near Da Lat Market in the city centre for VND 30,000 per day, but do pay more for a mountain bike if you’re planning on exploring the waterfalls and hills.
Travelling by bus is a cost-friendly way of exploring the sights outside Da Lat City Centre. Operation hours are from 05:30 to 17:30 and buses depart from Dalat Inner City Bus Station. There are seven bus routes running through neighbouring districts where you can visit local villages and notable landmarks such as Elephant Falls, Datanla Waterfalls, and Truc Lam Pagoda.
Taxis are the most convenient way to travel between the airport and downtown Da Lat. You can also find many metered taxis downtown, so you can easily flag one down on the streets or have your hotel arrange one for you. Most drivers speak basic English, making it easier for you than taking the bus. While there are plenty of taxi companies in Da Lat, we highly recommend Mai Linh taxis as they usually turn on their meters to ensure a fair price – just look out for the green livery.
If you’re travelling in a group, renting a car is a good alternative. Inclusive of an English-speaking driver, daily rates for a four-seater usually cost US$40 and US$50 for a seven-seater. There are plenty of car rental booths at Da Lat Airport’s arrival hall, or you can book one from your hotel reception. If you choose to drive yourself, make sure you have an international driver’s licence and accident insurance.
Riding a motorcycle on Da Lat’s hilly terrain can be an exhilarating experience for the adventurous traveller. Daily rates are between US$5 and US$7 per day, depending on where you rent your bike from. Having proper insurance and a valid driver’s licence are a must as well. While selecting your motorcycle, be sure to check for any damages or malfunctions, especially brakes.