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Northern Vietnam's most appealing city has a distinctly laid-back air with its tree-lined boulevards host to a bundle of colonial-era buildings. Caffeine-aficionado heaven, the central area buzzes with dinky cafes where tables spill out onto the pavements – perfect for people watching.

Apart from the cafe culture, there's actually not a lot to do, so most travelers only use Haiphong as a transport hop between the bus from Hanoi and the ferry to Cat Ba Island. If you do decide to linger, the city makes a relaxing change from Vietnam's main tourism centers.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Haiphong.