Luang Prabang is a small town in the North of Laos, it is so charming and sleepy that it has stolen the hearts of many tourists and travelers. People love using it as a base to explore this beautiful region of Laos.

The town itself is already reason enough to visit. You'll find bustling markets, adorable little bakeries, and beautiful temples. On top of that, you get to explore the incredible surroundings of Luang Prabang. The highlight for most people visiting is the stunning turquoise waters of the Kuang Si Falls.

Now that you're so easily sold on visiting, it's time to figure out where to stay in Luang Prabang. Even though it's a small town, there are still different neighborhoods and hotels for different needs and budgets.

After visiting this adorable little town on the banks of the Mekong River, and I've put together my favorite neighborhoods and hotels.

Best areas to stay in Luang Prabang

The city is so small that you can walk around most areas and discover the unique neighborhoods on foot.

If you're here for the first time, I suggest staying in Old Town. You'll be closest to temples, markets, and restaurants, making your stay super convenient.

For budget travelers and backpackers, the Mekong Riverfront, also known as Wat That, is the perfect area. You'll find plenty of hostels and affordable accommodations here.

If you want a more secluded vibe but still close to Old Town, check out the Nam Khan Riverfront. It's ideal for families and couples.

And if you're up for something a little different, then you should stay outside of Luang Prabang at one of the luxurious resorts. Here you'll be surrounded by beautiful nature right on the Mekong riverfront.

1. Where to stay in Luang Prabang for the first time: Old Town (Historical Center)

where to stay in luang prabang - city center

If you're visiting Luang Prabang for the first time, the historical center or Old Town is the place to be.

It's brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. You'll find numerous temples to explore and even catch a glimpse of monks seeking alms in the streets. No wonder it's been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

When it comes to great food and enjoyment, the Old Town won't disappoint either. You'll be treated to some of the most amazing French bakeries, thanks to Laos' strong French influence. Here you can enjoy some incredible croissants and other delicious French treats.

Of course, the historic center is also home to the night market and a street food market, which are both a foodie's paradise.

The best part is, that the Old Town also offers some of the most amazing hotels in town. I've had the pleasure of trying a few during my recent visit, and let me tell you, they were absolutely incredible.

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Sightseeing

Things to do in Old Town 

To kickstart the morning on the right note, why not visit not one, but two cafes? After all, you're on vacation – who says you can only go to one cafe in the morning? The French cafes here are absolutely incredible, especially when you least expect this kind of food in an Asian country.

My two go-to spots are Le Banneton, which serves amazing croissants from sweet to savory, and Saffron Coffee's Espresso, located right by the river with a fantastic terrace. They happen to make the best coffee in town too!

After treating yourself in the morning, it's time for some temple hopping. The temples in Luang Prabang Old Town are truly beautiful, and they're not as crowded as you might find them in other places in Southeast Asia. Wat Xiengthong, the oldest and most popular one! I also like Vat Sensoukharam.

Once the sun sets, it's time to hit the markets. The night market is great for all kinds of shopping, from clothes to souvenirs.

And right next to it is the street food market, as the name suggests, a foodie's paradise. They even have a vegetarian alley where you can enjoy a vegetarian buffet for only US$2.50 – all-you-can-eat!

Best hotels to stay in Old Town

($$$) The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel

The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel is your perfect pick if you're looking for a luxurious stay in the heart of Old Town. The hotel is one of the best Luang Prabang hotels and features modern rooms with stunning views overlooking the Mekong River. They also have a restaurant that serves delicious Laotian and French cuisine.

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($$) Mekong Riverview Hotel

A great mid-range option is the Mekong Riverview Hotel. This hotel offers traditional but comfortable rooms and an outdoor terrace with breathtaking views of the Mekong River. Furthermore, it's located within walking distance of the night market.

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($) Mekong Charm Riverside

Much more affordable is Mekong Charm Riverside, which offers great value for money. You'll get a private room with free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The hotel also has an outdoor terrace overlooking the river and is just a short walk away from the night market and many temples.

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2. Where to stay in Luang Prabang for budget travelers & backpackers: Mekong Riverfront (Wat That)

Where to stay in Luang Prabang - Mekong Riverfront

If you're a budget traveler or backpacker, the Mekong Riverfront (also known as Wat That) is the perfect spot to stay in Luang Prabang.

It's just a little outside of the busy Old Town, but still close enough to enjoy all the action. Being right by the Mekong River gives it a local and residential vibe, making it even more budget-friendly. 

You'll have plenty of restaurants and shops around, and if you feel like joining in the hustle and bustle of the Old Town, it's just a short 15-minute walk away. It's a great opportunity to experience local life up close.

Best area for:

  • Budget travelers

  • Backpackers

  • Relaxation

  • Cheap hotels

Things to do on the Mekong Riverfront

While the Mekong Riverfront may not have as many food options as the Old Town, there are still a few great spots around here.

One of my favorites in this area is Manda de Laos. It has a slightly fancier vibe compared to other places in town, but it's still super affordable. They offer traditional cuisine and a tasting platter, perfect if you want to try different dishes.

The Royal Palace is another must-visit sight in this neighborhood. You can freely roam around the palace courtyard, but if you want to enter the palace and the National Museum of Luang Prabang, there's a small fee of around US$3.50.

Another highlight in the area is the stunning Haw Pha Bang Temple, definitely one of the prettiest temples in town.

Best hotels to stay in Mekong Riverfront

($$$) Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel

A charming colonial-style mansion, once a prince's residence, blending Laotian and French design. It offers an outdoor pool, spa treatments, and great large rooms with amazing terraces out to the garden and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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($$) Sakaodeuan Hotel

The Sakaodeuan Hotel is an incredible value for money. Not only does it have comfortable rooms and a great location near the river, but its breakfast is also one of the best I've ever had. It's the perfect way to start your day, right?

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($) Khonesavane Hostel

For a super budget-friendly stay, you can't go wrong with Khonesavane Hostel. It's located just outside the city center and offers basic but clean private rooms and dorm rooms. The friendly staff and cozy common area make it a great place to meet travelers from all around the world.

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3. Where to stay in Luang Prabang for families & couples: Nam Khan Riverfront

Where to stay in Luang Prabang - Nam Khan Riverfront

On the other side of town lies the Nam Khan River. The area around here has a more developed and touristy vibe compared to the Mekong Riverside, but it's not as bustling as the Old Town, making it a perfect spot for families and couples to enjoy.

This area flourished due to the growing tourism in Luang Prabang, which means you'll find plenty of international bars and restaurants here. However, it doesn't feel overly crowded or noisy. 

Moreover, this area offers great homestays and boutique hotels that are super affordable, ensuring even budget travelers find a comfortable place to stay.

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Couples

  • Budget travelers

Things to do in Nam Khan Riverfront

Foodies will absolutely love this area because there are quite a few of my favorite spots here that you should definitely check out.

If you're into delicious breakfast bowls, Two Little Birds Cafe is the ultimate go-to! And if you prefer a more traditional meal in a cozy atmosphere, Bamboo Garden is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner.

Besides checking out my favorite food spots, there's another amazing thing to do near the Nam Khan River: climb up Mount Phousi for sunset.

It's a bit of a steep climb, but trust me, the view from up there is absolutely worth it! Just make sure to come early enough because it tends to get pretty crowded for sunset. You'll want to grab yourself a good spot. 

Best hotels to stay in Nam Khan Riverfront

($$$) Luang Prabang Museum Inn & Travel

For a cozy stay, the Luang Prabang Museum Inn & Travel is an incredible option. This boutique hotel has elegant and traditional rooms with private balconies. The staff goes above and beyond to ensure you have a comfortable stay. 

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($$) NamKhan Riverside

If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, NamKhan Riverside is the perfect spot. It's located within walking distance of the river and the Old Town and it offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning. The best part is that it has an outdoor swimming pool as well.

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($) Merry Riverside Hotel

Very affordable, and among one of the nicest hotels in the area, is this family-run hotel – the Merry Riverside Hotel. It's located right on the Nam Khan River and offers basic but clean rooms with air conditioning. On top of that, the hotel has its own riverside terrace where they serve breakfast.

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4. Where to stay in Luang Prabang for luxury & relaxation: Outside Luang Prabang

Where to stay in Luang Prabang - Outside Luang Prabang

If you're looking for a more luxurious and relaxed stay, there are plenty of amazing options just outside Luang Prabang.

You'll find beautiful nature resorts with infinity pools that overlook breathtaking mountain ranges, or private villas nestled in lush greenery.

There may not be a lot of restaurants and bars around there, apart from the ones within the resort. But the great thing is, you can always easily grab a taxi or tuk-tuk and be in the Old Town within a few minutes.

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or simply treating yourself to some extra comfort, this is definitely something you should consider!

Best area for:

  • Luxury

  • Relaxation

  • Resorts

Things to do outside Luang Prabang

If you're looking for things to do outside Luang Prabang, you've got to check out the amazing nature that surrounds this place.

One of the most popular spots is Kuang Si Falls. Just a short 1-hour drive from town, you'll be blown away by the turquoise water and lush greenery. It's a must-see!

Best hotels to stay outside Luang Prabang

($$$) Sofitel Luang Prabang 

For a luxurious stay, you can't go wrong with Sofitel Luang Prabang. Not only does it have beautiful rooms and excellent service, and lovely garden views. It's no surprise that the Sofitel Luang Prabang is probably the best hotel in Luang Prabang.

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($$$) The Grand Luang Prabang 

If you want to be close to nature without sacrificing luxury, then The Grand Luang Prabang is the perfect spot for you. It's located just outside of town and offers amazing spa treatments and an outdoor swimming pool.

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($$) My Dream Boutique Resort

For a more affordable option outside of town, My Dream Boutique Resort is the perfect place to stay. It's set in a beautiful garden with stunning views and offers comfortable hotel rooms with air conditioning. It's one of my favorite hotels that offers value for money in Luang Prabang and it has a super cozy atmosphere.

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($) On The Mekong Resort

The Mekong Resort is a great choice – not only is it very affordable, but it's also super cozy. Located just outside of town, this place offers basic, yet clean rooms with air conditioning. The staff here is super friendly and helpful, and the whole atmosphere is just very idyllic.

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Where to stay in Luang Prabang – Frequently Asked Questions

❓ Is Luang Prabang worth visiting?

Absolutely! Luang Prabang is a stunning destination in Laos with loads of cultural and natural attractions. Besides being home to some incredible temples, the area also has amazing landscapes with lush greenery and breathtaking river views and it is a great base to visit the famous Kuang Si Waterfall

🔒 Is Luang Prabang safe?

Yes, Luang Prabang is generally quite safe. As with any tourist destination in Southeast Asia, however, it's important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. It's best to avoid walking alone at night and always be mindful of where you leave your belongings. But the town is so peaceful that even at night, I never felt like something could happen.

📍 What is there to do in Luang Prabang?

The possibilities are endless when you visit Luang Prabang! Whether you're looking for some cultural sightseeing in Luang Prabang's Old Town, outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, or just relaxing at a beautiful resort, there's something for everyone.

🗓️ How many days should I spend in Luang Prabang?

I would recommend spending at least 3 or 4 days in Luang Prabang to make the most of your stay. This should give you enough time to explore all the incredible sights, plus enjoy some leisurely activities like enjoying the local food or exploring nearby villages and waterfalls. 

🌤️ When is the best time to visit Luang Prabang?

The best time to visit Luang Prabang is during the dry season from November to April. The weather is warm and comfortable, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or temple-hopping. The rainy season from May to October can also be a good time to visit, as the landscapes are lush and green, and tourist crowds are smaller during this time. However, be prepared for occasional downpours!

Where to stay in Luang Prabang – Final Words

The natural surroundings and the charming Old Town of Luang Prabang with its historic buildings are absolutely amazing! They are definitely among the highlights of any visit to Laos. I highly recommend to come hang out and spend some time enjoying the slower pace of life in this enchanting little town.

Luang Prabang is an incredible place to stay, and there's no shortage of amazing accommodation options. Whether you're looking for a cozy, budget-friendly hotel or something more luxurious, Luang Prabang has it all. Just make sure to book ahead of time as the town can get quite busy, especially in high season!

And with that, I hope this guide has been helpful in helping you decide where to stay in Luang Prabang.

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