Top 10+ Must-see Vientiane Attractions for Laos Trip [Updated]

Let’s hop on a journey to Vientiane, the laid-back capital city of Laos! From ancient temples to vibrant markets and serene parks, Indochina Voyages will lead you through the top 10 must-see attractions in Vientiane, ensuring an unforgettable experience during your Laos trip.

1. Pha That Luang

  • Location: That Luang Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: 5,000 Lao Kip (approximately $0.55 USD)
  • Open Time: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Pha That Luang is a Buddhist Stupa, considered as a national symbol of the country. The temple has a long and rich history, having been built in the 3rd century as a Hindu temple and later converted to a Buddhist temple in the 16th century.

It is located in the city center of Vientiane so it‘s easily accessible by taxi or tuk-tuk. When visiting the pagoda, you can expect to see the golden exterior of the stupa, which is particularly stunning when the sun shines on it. Besides, it’s worth seeing the surrounding grounds, which include several smaller stupas. All of these are related to the history and cultural significance of Pha That Luang.

Incredible Pha That Luong - National symbol of Laos
Incredible Pha That Luong – National symbol of Laos

Travel tip: You should spend at least 30 minutes to an hour visiting Pha That Luang. Exploring in the morning or late afternoon is best done when the sun is not too strong and the stupa is beautifully lit by the golden rays of the sun.

2. Wat Sisaket

  • Location: Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: 5,000 Lao Kip (approximately $0.55 USD)
  • Open Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Wat Si Saket is one of the oldest and most important holy landmarks for Buddhists in Laos and is regarded as one of the country’s most sacred temples. This temple is rich in history and cultural significance, making it a must-see destination for tourists.

There are various Buddha sculptures and figures throughout the temple, as well as an ordination hall with a flowery ceiling. You can also witness multiple Buddha pictures at an altar, making the temple a one-of-a-kind and captivating tourist site.

Wat Si Saket is accessible to tourists since it is located in the center of Vientiane. You can easily reach the temple by taking a tuk-tuk or taxi from your hotel. It is open daily for visitors and there is no admission fee to enter the temple grounds.

When visiting Wat Si Saket, you should spend around 30 minutes to an hour touring the temple grounds and exploring its various structures. It’s better when you choose a private tour with a local guide, then you can broaden your overview of Lao culture.

Wat Sisaket - A Must-see attraction for Buddhists in Laos
Wat Sisaket – A Must-see attraction for Buddhists in Laos

Travel tip: You should dress respectfully and remove your shoes before entering any of the buildings. Bringing a camera to capture the beauty and cultural significance of the temple is a must.

3. Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

  • Location: 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: 15,000 Lao Kip (approximately $1.65 USD)
  • Open Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Embark on a journey of cultural and spiritual discovery as you visit Buddha Park, one of the most unique and breathtaking attractions in Vientiane, Laos. At Buddha Park, you will be transported back in time to witness the ancient religious beliefs and practices of the region. You’ll be in awe as you walk amongst towering statues and intricate carvings. Don’t miss the large reclining Buddha, symbolizing the moment of enlightenment, and the impressive cycle of life.

The park can be accessed quickly and takes a short time from the city center. During wandering around here, you will broaden the overview of the cultural significance of each sculpture.

Vibrant reclining Buddha in Xieng Khuan
Vibrant reclining Buddha in Xieng Khuan

Travel tip: When visiting, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning sights.

4. Patuxay Monument

  • Location: Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: 3,000 Lao Kip (approximately $0.33 USD) for the observation deck
  • Open Time: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (From Monday to Friday)

Patuxay, also known as Victory Gate, was built to commemorate Laotian soldiers who died during the struggle for independence from France.

Patuxai is a symbol of Laotian nationalism and is considered one of the most important landmarks in the country. It is located in the center of Vientiane, close to many other tourist attractions, and easily accessible by foot or by tuk-tuk. There is a small admission fee to enter the arch and climb to the top, but the view from the top is well worth it.

Patuxay Monument in Vientiane
Patuxay Monument in Vientiane

Travel tip

  • Visiting Patuxai early in the morning or late in the afternoon is recommended to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Be prepared to climb several flights of stairs to reach the top of the arch, but the views of the city are worth the effort.

5. Laos National Museum

  • Location: Samsenthai Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: More than 16,000 Lao Kip (approximately $1.76 USD)
  • Open Time: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM (closed on Laos public holidays)

This cultural and historical building gives tourists images of Laos from the beginning of the country to its Independence. Visitors will surely find this museum interesting with dinosaur bones, sandstone sculptures old Hindu god Shiva machine guns, and black and white photos of old guerrillas fighting U.S.-backed troops before the Independence.

The Lao National Museum is a hidden treasure located in the center of Vientiane. This museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the unique history and culture of Laos with visitors. With exhibitions covering everything from ancient kingdoms to the modern era, including the communist revolution and independence from France. A visit to the Lao National Museum is a journey through time that you won’t forget.

Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or just someone who loves to learn new things, the Lao National Museum is a must-visit destination. And, with its central location and reasonable admission fee, there’s no excuse not to stop by. So, take a step back in time and discover the beauty, wonder, and rich history of Laos at the Lao National Museum.

Laos National Museum
Laos National Museum

Take note

  • Prepare yourself to encounter displays and labels that exhibit a critical perspective towards the West, with a specific emphasis on portraying Americans as “imperialists.”
  • Take a moment to pause at the entrance and sign the guestbook, where you’ll find entertaining conversations related to communism.
  • Bags and cameras are prohibited inside the museum. However, you can securely store your belongings in the lockers provided at the entrance free of charge

6. COPE Visitor Centre

  • Location: Khouvieng Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission, but donations are appreciated (by cash or card)
  • Open Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day (closed on Laos public holidays)

Visiting the COPE Visitor Centre is an eye-opening and heart-wrenching experience. This museum is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring Laotian life. Watching the exhibits transports you through the history of UXO in Laos and the ongoing efforts to clear this dangerous legacy of war.

You’ll hear firsthand accounts from survivors to know more about UXO clearance efforts with the consequences left by bombs during war and discover the critical works being made to assist those affected by this ongoing problem. It serves as a potent reminder of the devastation caused by war.

Whether you’re a history buff, a humanitarian, or simply someone who wants to learn more about the world, the COPE Visitor Centre is a must-visit destination. With its central location and reasonable admission fee, there’s no excuse not to stop by. So, bring your heart and your empathy, and be prepared to be moved by the tragic but important story of UXO in Laos at the COPE Visitor Centre.

cope visit centre in Vientiane, Luang Prabang
Learn more about the world with COPE Visitor Centre

7. Vientiane Night Market 

  • Location: Mekong Riverfront, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission
  • Open Time: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

The Vientiane Night Market is a vibrant and bustling destination that brings you the best of Laos’ rich culture and traditions. This night market is a must-visit if you’re looking to experience real Laos.
As you discover the market, you’ll have the opportunity to try some of Laos’ delicious street food. From steaming-hot noodle soups to fresh fruit shakes, there’s something for everyone. And, for shopaholics, the Vientiane Night Market is a treasure trove of unique and beautiful items. From traditional textiles and handmade crafts to jewelry and souvenirs, you’re sure to find something special to take home with you.

Vientiane Night Market

Travel tip 

  • The night market is open from dusk until late, so you can visit at any time that suits you.
  • When you come, be sure to bring plenty of cash as many vendors do not accept credit cards. Additionally, be prepared to haggle and have some fun!
  • The vendors at the Vientiane Night Market are friendly and love to chat, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.

8. That Dam

  • Location: That Dam Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission
  • Open Time: Open 24 hours

Known as the “Black Stupa,” That Dam is a mysterious and revered monument in Vientiane. Legend has it that a seven-headed water serpent guards a priceless gem buried beneath it. All the bricks crumbling, all the whole place is covered with moss and weeds creating a curious and fascinating sight. Take a moment to marvel at this ancient structure and soak in the tranquil atmosphere surrounding it.

Black Stupa That Dam
That Dam in Vientiane, Laos

9. Talat Sao (Morning Market)

  • Location: Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission
  • Open Time: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Start your day with a visit to Talat Sao, the bustling Morning Market of Vientiane. Browse through the vibrant displays of traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and fresh produce. Experience the lively atmosphere as locals start their day and embrace the authentic Laotian culture surrounding the market.

10. Mekong Riverside Park

  • Location: Fa Ngum Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission
  • Open Time: Open 24 hours

Conclude your Vientiane journey with a leisurely stroll along the scenic Mekong Riverside Park. Enjoy the serenity of the river and soak in the beautiful views it offers. The park is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering open green spaces, food stalls, and vibrant sunsets that paint the sky with breathtaking colors.

11. Wat Ong Teu (Sangha College)

  • Location: Samsenthai Road, Vientiane
  • Entrance Price: Free admission
  • Open Time: Daylight hours

Wat Ong Teu, also known as the Temple of the Heavy Buddha, is a well-known Buddhist temple in Vientiane. The temple was originally built in the 16th century during the reign of King Setthathirat. It was later reconstructed in the 19th century after being damaged during a Siamese invasion.

Come to this college, you not only admire features of a classic Lao architectural style, with a multi-tiered roof adorned with golden nagas (serpent-like creatures) but also have a chance to interact with local monks there. You will get more knowledge about their daily life how they live, what they eat, etc.

Interact with local monks to know more about their daily life
Interact with local monks to learn more about their daily life

12. Local Cooking Classes

Last but not least, indulging in a cooking class in Vientiane is an experience that should not be missed when visiting. Renowned for its delectable cuisine, Laos has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s top food destinations. Immerse yourself in the flavors and techniques of traditional Laotian cooking as you learn from skilled local chefs.

Discover the secrets behind signature dishes like laap, sticky rice, and tam mak hoong. Even renowned chef Gordon Ramsay couldn’t resist the allure of Laos’ culinary delights. A cooking class in Vientiane is not only a chance to satisfy your taste buds but also a fascinating cultural attraction that unveils the essence of Lao cuisine. For more details about participating in the cooking class specifically, please contact with Indochina Voyages Specialist. Our local travel experts will satisfy your preferences!

Now do you agree with me that this city deserves to be on your travel list? So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of Vientiane, and create memories that will stay with you forever. Laos Travel Packages always welcomes you!

Don’t know when is the best time to visit? Read now: Vientiane weather by month: When is the best time to visit?

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From Indochina Voyages Team

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