Sapa is an absolute gem in the north of Vietnam, especially loved by hikers and nature enthusiasts. This charming town serves as a perfect base for exploring the breathtaking rice terraces and joining thrilling multi-day hiking adventures in the surrounding mountains.

Sapa is a unique place to visit in Vietnam, but it's not just about nature; it's also a small spa town offering top hotels, spas, and a wide array of fantastic restaurants and cafes. 

During my visit, I had the chance to explore much of the region and discover my favorite areas and hotels. Let me share them with you so you can decide where to stay in Sapa Town.

Best areas to stay in Sapa

Sapa Town may be small, but it still has different areas to stay in that could suit you better depending on what you're looking for.

The city center of Sapa is great if it's your first time here. You'll find many popular hotels, from luxury to more affordable options. Plus, you're close to everything, making it super easy to start hikes or visit the rice terraces.

Muong Hoa, located south of the city center up a hill, is a little quieter and perfect for families. You'll enjoy stunning views of the town and find plenty of nice hillside hotels and resorts here.

For budget travelers and backpackers, staying near Sapa Lake is your best bet. You'll be centrally located and have access to more affordable accommodations.

If you're purely here for an experience right in the middle of nature, the outskirts of Sapa are perfect for you. You can stay in eco-lodges or homestays amidst rice fields and be ready to start off on hikes and adventures.

How to get to Sapa

The easiest way for most people is to take the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From there, it's just another quick bus or taxi ride and you're in Sapa Town in no time! The train usually offers sleeper options with different classes, so you can choose the level of comfort that suits you best.

If you're looking for other options, you could also consider getting a private shuttle or a taxi from Hanoi. Just keep in mind that they can be more expensive than the train, but it's definitely worth considering, especially when traveling as a family or group. Oh, and be prepared for some windy roads to Sapa – not ideal for those who easily get motion sick!

Alternatively, renting a car in Hanoi is a great idea, especially if you want to explore the beautiful surroundings of Sapa as well.

1. Where to stay in Sapa for the first time: Sapa City Center

Where to Stay In Sapa - Sapa City Center

The city center is the place to be when you're visiting Sapa Town for the first time! You'll find a little bit of everything here, making it super easy to access the most popular hotels, resorts, and a wide range of international and traditional restaurants.

Not only that, but you'll also discover plenty of unique shops and smaller markets.

It's the perfect opportunity to snag some souvenirs and beautiful handicrafts from the local villagers who sell their goods here.

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Shopping

  • Luxury hotels

Things to do in Sapa City Center

Visiting the Sapa market in the city center is an absolute must! Here, you can find local produce and snacks at unbelievably low prices. Moreover, it's the perfect spot to experience the local atmosphere of Sapa and enjoy incredible street food.

While exploring the city, especially the market, you'll come across numerous barbecue stalls. They're quite iconic to Sapa and definitely worth checking out. Don't forget to try one of their delicious skewers!

For a more upscale dining experience, I highly recommend my favorite restaurant in town, Sapa Skyview. They serve traditional Vietnamese cuisine with a modern twist, and the best part about it is the breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding rice fields.

Best hotels to stay in the City Center

($$$) Hotel de la Coupole – MGallery

One of my favorite hotels in Sapa and one of the best luxury hotels in the area, Hotel de la Coupole is a true landmark in the city center. The hotel boasts a heated swimming pool and an incredible spa for some pampering after all those hikes. Plus, their rooms are cozy and comfortable – just what you need to relax in Sapa.

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($$) Sapa Horizon Hotel

With a little less prestige than the previous hotel, Sapa Horizon Hotel is still an excellent option for those looking for something luxurious. The rooms are spacious and modern, and you'll enjoy all the amenities you need during your stay. Best of all, it's conveniently located in the center of town, just a few steps from the market!

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($) Ladybird Sapa Hotel

If you're looking for something more affordable but still comfortable, then Ladybird Sapa Hotel is a great option. The staff was wonderful, and the rooms were really cozy and clean. Plus, it's just 10 minutes away from the city center by foot, perfect for budget-conscious travelers.

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2. Where to stay in Sapa for families & the best views: Muong Hoa

Where to Stay In Sapa - Muong Hoa

Just up the road from the city center lies Muong Hoa. This charming area tends to be a little more expensive than other parts of town, but don't worry. You'll find a range of accommodation options, from luxurious spa hotels to cozy boutique stays.

It's the perfect spot for families, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Hoang Lien Son mountains and rice fields.

Muong Hoa is also the ideal starting point for various hikes and exploring the beautiful Sapa region. You can easily venture to other parts of Sapa and visit nearby villages.

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Views

  • Couples

  • Exploring & hiking Sapa

Things to do in Muong Hoa

Muong Hoa is such an amazing area if you're up for exploring some other villages around Sapa. You'll have a great time touring beautiful Muong Hoa Valley and making your way towards Ta Van and Ta Phin village.

The trekking experience is absolutely fantastic as you get to hike through the rice fields, and the villages are totally worth visiting! The locals are incredibly friendly, and the delicious Vietnamese food you'll find here is a treat. Some villages even offer homestays, so you can turn this into a memorable multi-day adventure.

If you don't feel like going all the way to town while you're here and you're craving some good Vietnamese food, then I can totally recommend Yummy Restaurant! The restaurant is simple and traditional, but let me tell you, the noodle dishes here are absolutely amazing, just like the views.

Best hotels to stay in Muong Hoa

($$$) My Boutique Hotel & Spa

If you're looking for one of the most luxurious hotels near Muong Hoa, then My Boutique Hotel & Spa is your best bet. Not only will you enjoy incredible views from the hotel terrace, but you'll also have access to a variety of spa treatments and the hotel's own bike rental, which is a great opportunity to explore the region by bicycle.

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($$) KK Sapa Hotel

For a comfortable and enjoyable stay with lovely views of the Muong Hoa Valley, KK Sapa Hotel is an excellent choice. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the rooms are really cozy – perfect for couples or small families.

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($) My Gallery Boutique Hotel & Spa

My Gallery Boutique Hotel & Spa is a great option for budget-conscious travelers who still want to experience a little luxury. The rooms are nice and spacious, with all the necessary amenities you might need during your stay. Plus, some of the rooms offer views of Muong Hoa Valley, making it an even better value! 

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3. Where to stay in Sapa for budget travelers: Sapa Lake

Where to Stay In Sapa - Sapa Lake

For backpackers and budget travelers, I recommend staying near Sapa Lake, a little away from the city center. This area is a great spot to find cheap accommodation that's still reasonably close to the city center. 

Furthermore, it's not as crowded as other parts of Sapa and you can often find some amazing deals here.

The best part is that you can easily access many of the trails around Sapa from Sapa Lake. And if hiking isn't quite your thing, the Sapa Night Market is also conveniently close to the lake.

Best area for: 

  • Budget travelers

  • Backpackers

  • Exploring nature

Things to do near Sapa Lake

If you're in the lake area in Sapa, it's super easy to go out and explore the beautiful surroundings without spending a dime. One must-visit spot is the stunning Silver Waterfall of Sapa, also called Thac Bac. You can either trek the entire way, which is super easy even for beginners or take a car ride if you prefer. 

Another amazing place to explore outside of Sapa is Cat Cat Village. It's a traditional Hmong village that's absolutely worth a visit and is only about a 30-minute walk from Sapa. Make sure to add it to your list of things to do when you're in Sapa!

If you're not into exploring as much, you can always stay close to Sapa Lake. Take a boat ride on the lake, and around the lake, you'll find plenty of handicraft vendors and street food stalls that stay open late into the night.

If that's not enough, you can also wander a little further East from the lake and make your way to the Sapa Night Market. It's a fantastic place with even more vendors and shopping opportunities to explore!

Best hotels to stay near Sapa Lake

($$$) BB Sapa Resort & Spa

 The BB Sapa Resort & Spa is one of my favorite luxurious and modern Sapa hotels near the lake and just a few minutes away from the center of town. With its stunning views, spacious rooms, and indoor heated swimming pool, it's definitely one of the best spots to stay for those who are looking for something a little extra special but still affordable.

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($$) Muong Thanh Sapa Hotel

Muong Thanh Sapa Hotel is a popular mid-range hotel for those looking for a comfortable stay near the lake. The rooms are modern and clean, and the staff is really friendly. One of their highlights is definitely the herbal bath they offer, which is great after a long day of hiking.

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($) Himalaya Sapa Hostel

If you're a true budget traveler, then the Himalaya Sapa Hostel is the perfect spot for you. It's super affordable, and you'll find everything you need for a comfortable stay, including clean beds, showers, and Wi-Fi.

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4. Where to stay in Sapa for couples & trekking: Outside of Sapa

Where to Stay In Sapa - Outside of Sapa

The outskirts and surrounding areas of Sapa are absolutely perfect for trekking and exploring the region. You'll be treated to stunning views, lush rice fields, and charming hidden villages. 

While you won't find many spa hotels outside of Sapa town, there are cozy eco-lodges and homestays that will let you fully immerse yourself in nature.

If you're planning a romantic getaway with your partner, this is the place to be! 

Best area for: 

  • Couples 

  • Trekking 

  • Exploring nature 

Things to do outside of Sapa

Hiking Fan Si Pan trek is an absolute thrill! It's a must for experienced hikers visiting Sapa. Not only is it one of the biggest ventures, but it's also the highest mountain in Indochina, standing tall at around 3,143 meters above sea level. Can you believe it?

Located just 9 kilometers outside Sapa, this majestic mountain offers breathtaking views of Hoang Lien Son ranges. It might take a whole week to reach the summit, but trust me, if you're up for the challenge and have the time, it's an experience you'll never forget!

Now, I totally get it if that sounds a little too intense. Don't worry! There are plenty of shorter hiking trails that you can enjoy.

Best hotels to stay outside of Sapa

($$$) Sin Chai Ecolodge

Tucked away in a secluded valley and surrounded by lush greenery, Sin Chai Ecolodge is perfect for couples who want to get away from all the hustle and bustle of Sapa. This eco-friendly paradise offers an array of activities like trekking, cooking classes, and cycling.

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($$) Sapa Garden Bed and Breakfast

Sapa Garden Bed and Breakfast is another great spot for couples looking to explore nature outside of Sapa. This homestay offers lovely views, a peaceful atmosphere, and spacious rooms, perfect for a romantic getaway! 

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($) The Link Farmstay

The Link Farmstay is a great option for budget travelers who still want to experience nature outside of Sapa. It's close enough to the city center and surrounded by lush green fields, so you can truly enjoy the beauty of Vietnam. 

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Where to stay in Sapa – Frequently Asked Questions

🚆 How do I get to Sapa?

The easiest way for most people is to take the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and then another bus or taxi ride until you reach Sapa Town. You could also consider getting a private shuttle or renting a car in Hanoi if you prefer.

⭐ Is Sapa worth visiting?

Absolutely! Sapa is an amazing town in northern Vietnam, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. It offers plenty of activities to do and explore, such as trekking, visiting the local markets, and taking picturesque hikes.

📍 Where is Sapa exactly?

Sapa is a popular hill station in Lao Cai province, Vietnam. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi and near the Chinese border. Most tourists usually use Sapa as a base to explore the lush and green surrounding mountains and rice fields.

📅 How many days should I spend in Sapa?

For most people, spending 3 to 4 days in Sapa is more than enough to see the main attractions and experience the local atmosphere. Of course, if you're looking for a longer stay or an extended trekking adventure, it's also possible to spend up to one week here. 

💸 Is Sapa expensive?

Sapa can be quite expensive compared to other destinations in Vietnam, especially if you're looking for luxury accommodations and extensive spa treatments. However, budget travelers will still find plenty of affordable options here, such as homestays and hostels. When it comes to activities, there are low-cost and more expensive guided trekking tours, or you can also stick to the free hiking trails around Sapa, so you won't be spending a single cent.

Where to stay in Sapa – Final Words

Sapa is absolutely fantastic for everyone! Whether you're into intensive trekking and exploring the mountains and villages in northern Vietnam or just looking to escape Hanoi and indulge in one of the amazing spa hotels in the city, Sapa has got you covered.

No matter which way you choose to experience it, Sapa is definitely worth a visit. The hotels are superb, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and you won't find friendlier locals or more delicious traditional food anywhere else.

I hope that sharing my recent visit will make it a little easier for you to decide where to stay in Sapa.

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