Best Things To Do in Vientiane, Laos

Are you looking for what to do in Vientiane?


Vientiane may be the capital city of Laos, but the it has its roots deep into the traditional style of life found in the rural areas. The atmosphere is quite laidback in this city and it is not a commercial tourist centre yet, so you can enjoy peaceful days with very less crowds. The Buddhist influences on the culture in Laos are visible in the architecture and the many tourist attractions in Vientiane. You will also see a touch of European influence here. The Lao National Museum depicts the early history of the country and has souvenirs from the freedom struggle. There are temples and stupas that preserve the Buddhist faith and architectural traditions of the country. The sprawling parks in the city are perfect places to spend a quiet evening or practice martial arts in the morning.

  • Buddha Park: This park is full of statues and sculptures dedicated to the key players in Hindu and British mythology. It derives its name from the 40-metre high reclining Buddha image. The sheer size and attention to detail of the sculptures is one of the most notable things in this park.
  • That Luang: This stupa is the most sacred monument in Laos. The fortress-like temple was built in the 16th century. The inner courtyard offers impressive views of the 148-foot tall stupa. This stupa is the site of the Bun That Luang Festival.
  • Vientiane Night Market: The Mekong riverfront comes alive at night with the Vientiane night market. Vendors set up their stalls around sunset. This market deals with good like clothes, accessories, souvenirs, electronics, paintings etc.
  • Things to do in Vientiane at night: Laotian nightlife isn’t full of booming sounds and parties. It is a lot more low-key and centred around the Mekong River. The Bor Pen Nyang bar is one of the best places in Vientiane to grab a drink after sunset. Foodies should check out the Kong View Restaurant – both for the delicious food and the stunning view of the Mekong River. If you want to dig into the local cuisine, the Vangthong Evening Food Market is the place to be. The Lao Bowling Centre is a great option for a night out with family.
  • Monk Chat: Local monks gather once a month at the Sangha College to interact with the tourists.
  • Lao Herbal Steam and Massage: This makes a relaxing experience when in Vientiane. The peaceful environment created by your masseur or masseuse with help you soak up more of the Laotian hospitality.
  • Hophakew Museum: This Museum is housed in a former royal temple and displays photos of Buddha. Do not forget to take a note of the architecture. The current structure is just a representation of the previous temple.

Below we have a list of things to do in Vientiane and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Vientiane getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Vientiane with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Vientiane

Here is the list of things to do in Vientiane and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Cope Visitor Centre

    4.6 (207 Votes)
    Cope Visitor Centre
    A part of Laos’ troubled history is the Vietnam War which lasted till 1973. Around two million tons of ordnance was dropped on Laos during this war, which resulted in severe disability amongst the local population. The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) Centre works with disabled people in third world countries and offers rehabilitative service in terms of physical and ...Read more
  2. Wat Si Saket

    4.3 (200 Votes)
    Wat Si Saket

    Religious Site, Temple, Sculpture

    This is Vientiane’s oldest surviving ‘wat’ or temple. It was built sometime between 1819 or 1824. The cloister walls of this temple are decorated with thousands of images of Buddha. Many of these were damaged in the 1828 Siamese-Lao war. The main point of attraction here is the Khmer-style Buddha seated on a coiled naga. The 5-meter sculpture is on display in front of the main...Read more
  3. Buddha Park

    4.2 (150 Votes)
    Buddha Park

    Park, Sculpture

    Photography lovers have plenty of reasons to visit Buddha Park. For one, it is Laos’ most famous park for photography. There are around 200 religious statues in this garden. each of these sculptures have been magnified according to their importance and carefully decorated by craftsmen. Buddha is accompanied by sculptures of Hindu gods like Indra riding the three-headed elephant, a four-ar...Read more
  4. Pha That Luang

    4.4 (87 Votes)
    Pha That Luang

    Religious Site, Temple, Sculpture

    The Great Sacred Stupa or the Pha That Luang is the holiest Buddhist stupa in Vientiane. Originally built as a Hindu temple in the 3rd century. Missionaries from the court of Emperor Ashoka brought a bone from Lord Buddha’s body to lie here and from then this temple assumed importance for the Buddhist monks. King Setthathirat built the gold stupa visible today in the year 1566. Today, thi...Read more
  5. Patuxai


    Situated at the end of the Lane Xang Avenue, the Patuxai Monument or the Victory Gate was constructed in the 1960s to commemorate the martyrs who died in the many wars that Laos faced. You can easily see the French influence in the construction of this gate as it resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is the centre piece of the Patuxai Park, a popular place in the middle of Vientiane for af...Read more
  6. Wat Si Muang

    4.4 (310 Votes)
    Wat Si Muang

    Religious Site, Temple

    This temple is revered as the guardian of the city of Vientiane. According to the local legend, a young pregnant woman named Si Muang sacrificed herself to appease the angry spirits that were obstructing the construction of this temple in 1563. The pillar under which she was sacrificed became the central pillar surrounding which the city of Vientiane expanded. Every year during the Boun Thatlua...Read more
  7. Haw Phra Kaew

    4.2 (73 Votes)
    Haw Phra Kaew

    Religious Site, Temple, Museum

    The Ho Pra Keo was built in 1565 as the royal family’s personal chapel. For a brief while in the 18th century, it housed the precious Emerald Buddha that is now housed in the Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. The temple has been converted into a museum that exhibits the gilded throne of Laos, wooden carvings, palm-leaf manuscripts, bronze frog drums, Khmer Buddhist stone tablets etc. that form a ...Read more
  8. That Dam

    3.8 (171 Votes)
    That Dam

    Religious Site, Historical Site

    Legends say that the Black Stupa or the That Dam is the hiding place of the 7-headed dragon that guards the city of Vientiane from the Emperor of Siam. It was believed to be covered in gold, before it was stripped off by the Siamese in an 1827 invasion. It has been called Black Stupa since then. Today, it is just the middle of a roundabout connecting Chantha Khaoumane Road and Bartholoni Road. ...Read more
  9. Chao Anouvong Park

    4.1 (144 Votes)
    Chao Anouvong Park


    King Chao Anouvong ruled Laos in the 19th century before the Siamese invasion. Local legends considered him to be a hero who was captured during the 1828 invasion. To commemorate 450 years of Vientiane’s existence, the government decided to pay tribute to the ruler by constructing the Chao Anouvong Park. Situated on the banks of the Mekong river, this park is flanked by the presidential p...Read more
  10. Mag

    4.3 (61 Votes)
    The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is an organisation which works to resolve the problem of unexploded ordnance in Laos. Laos is one of the most bombed countries in the world and unexploded bombs and mines continue to pose a threat for the citizens even decades after the most horrifying bombings. Mag has been clearing the remnants of these bombs from 1994. To raise awareness and funds for this proj...Read more
  11. Lao National Museum

    3.4 (22 Votes)
    Lao National Museum


    The Lao National History Museum is housed in the same French colonial building where the country’s independence was declared. This building was previously used as the French Governor’s residence. The museum is host to around 8000 artefacts denoting Laos’ history from its origins to the freedom struggle in the 70s. The ground floor has displays of dinosaur bones, pottery shards...Read more
  12. Wat Mixai

    4 (116 Votes)
    Wat Mixai

    Religious Site, Temple, Architecture

    The Wat Mixay temple is a complete lesson in Laotian architecture. The most spectacular part of this building is its roof. This temple is relatively smaller when comparing it with its contemporaries and other temples in Vientiane. However, the architectural style and decoration of this temple can hardly be compared to any other. The main altar as well as the path leading up to it has been cover...Read more
  13. Lao Textile Museum

    4.5 (56 Votes)
    Lao Textile Museum

    Specialty Museum

    Laotian silk has had a high demand for the longest time. The exquisite beauty and fine workmanship needed to produce this silk is one of the many prized traditions of the country. One place where you can learn more about this craftsmanship is the Lao Textile Museum. The museum is dedicated to the tradition of weaving and dyeing as was practised for centuries in Laos. You can check out the vario...Read more
  14. Lao People's Army History Museum

    Military Museum, Statue

    This museum is an exhibit of the weapons, tools, and photos of the Lao People’s Army which was active from the revolutionary period in 1950 till the country’s independence in 1975. Outside the main building of the museum is a display of the various kinds of vehicles and warplanes that the troops used during the revolution. Inside, you can see the statues of various leaders of the mo...Read more
  15. Morning Market


    If you are looking for a bustling place in sleepy Vientiane, you should head to the Vientiane's Morning market or the Talat Salao Market. This market is another name for the swanky mall-like shopping centre near the bus station and is a favourite amongst tourists for its air-conditioned shops and one-stop shopping availability. The shops here are loaded with silks, clothes, souvenirs and access...Read more