Last updated on July 26th, 2023 at 02:46 pm
Vientiane, the capital of Laos is a popular stop off on the backpacker trail. Most people don’t spend too long here, just a few days maximum. Check out this guide to 1 day in Vientiane if you’re short on time, but still want to experience the best of Vientiane.
For more Laos inspiration, check out my recent blog posts:
- 4 Day Thakhek Loop Itinerary
- 3 Day Vang Vieng Itinerary
- 2 Day Luang Prabang Itinerary
- How to get from Pakse to Siem Reap
Where to stay in Vientiane
We stayed at Nana Backpackers in Vientiane and it was a really nice hostel. I would say it was the nicest hostel that we have stayed at so far and I would definitely recommend. The rooms were super clean, had air conditioning, there was a really nice pool and a good atmosphere. It also offered free whiskey and vodka in the evening, if it takes your fancy 😉 We got the private double room, which was €24 per night. Dorm rooms are available for as little as €5 per night.
Lao Poet Hotel is another option if you are looking for something more luxurious. It is a 4 star hotel with a pool and a central location. It has great reviews and is rated 8.7 on booking.com. Rooms cost about €80 per night.
How to get around Vientiane
You can rent a scooter for between 100k – 150k kip per day. This is how we chose to get around and is probably the cheapest option. Your accommodation may offer scooter rental or many places in the city offer this service too.
Tuk-Tuk is a more expensive option – it would probably cost around 350k to 450k kip return from Buddha Park alone. If you do choose this option, ensure you make a deal with the driver before you go & don’t pay until you are back in case you get stranded.
By Bus & foot
You can get to Buddha Park by public bus from Talat Sao bus station, just a 20 minute walk from Nana backpacker Hostel. The number 14 bus leaves every 15 or 20 minutes, taking about 40 minutes, It costs less than €1 for a one way ticket.
It is possible to walk to the other 3 destinations, if you prefer to explore the city by foot. Patuxay Monument is 26 minutes of a walk from the hostel, then it is aother 32 minutes to Pha That Luang. The Cope visitor centre is 31 minutes from the hostel.
Loca is a taxi app that is used in Vientiane – it is a more expensive option than a scooter and is worth pricing before you go as prices vary.
By Guided Tour
If you don’t fancy exploring by yourself and don’t mind having a time limit, you can go on a guided tour. In Nana backpackers hostel, you can join a tour that takes you to Buddha Park, Patuxay Monument & Pha That Luang. The cost is $10 and it runs twice daily.
Vientiane 1 Day Itinerary
Grab Some Breakfast
Start off your 24 hours in Vientiane by grabbing some breakfast. If you want some vegan, healthy options – look no further than Coco & Co, vegan café. It offers really tasty smoothie bowls & other great options. Plus, it offers plant based milk for your coffee or tea. It was my first choice for breakfast in Vientiane.
Eoin who is not into smoothie bowls (or any healthy food) was a fan of Sinouk Coffee, they offer great coffee and nice sandwich options too.
Make your way to the COPE Visitor Centre to learn about the history of the bombing in Laos and how it has affected and still affects the local people. Also learn how the work of COPE has helped improve the quality of life for those affected. It is free to enter with a donation box inside. I think everyone should visit, I thought it was very interesting and answered many questions I had from my previous 2 weeks in Laos about the bombings. The opening hours are 8:30 am to 4pm daily. Just a 7 minute drive from Nanas backpacker hostel.
Next, take a trip out to Buddha Park, a 33 minute drive from the Cope Visitor Centre. Here, you could spend an hour or so walking around the park, looking at the many statues. If you are into photography, you will get some very cool photos. It is 40,000 kip each to enter.
Pha That Luang is a 31 minute drive from Buddha Park back towards the centre of Vientiane. If you are keen to visit some temples, then this is a great option being the most important national monument in Laos. The entrance fee is 30,000 kip.
Victory Monument or the Patuxay Monument on Google Maps is just 6 minutes from Pha That Luang. This victory gate is dedicated to the 1940s fight for independence from the French, so is an important monument in the city. It is free to walk around the monument. If you wish to walk to the top for some nice views, you can do so for a small fee of 5,000 kip. The fountains are sometimes in action in the evening which makes the experience even better and you can see the monument light up as it gets dark.
Now after your busy day, you should have built up a nice appetite! I would suggest Sticky Fingers for nice dinner food. It is an 8 minute drive from Patuxay Monument and a 3 minute walk from Nana backpackers. They have a lot of Western options and the food is very tasty.
The Greenhouse is a good option if you are looking for healthy food & vegan options. They offers sandwiches, burgers and more.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to 1 day in Vientiane. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe for more.
Thanks for reading,
- Don't forget to get travel insurance before you set out on your adventure. Safety Wing is a great choice and so reasonable.
- If you are looking for accommodation, then Hostelworld or Booking.com are good options with plenty of accommodation choices.
- Looking to book tours, entry tickets and more, check out Get your Guide.
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