Đà Nẵng is one of the major port cities in Vietnam (in addition to Saigon and Hai Phong) and the biggest city on the Central Vietnam; the city is situated on the coast of the Eastern Sea, at the opening end of the Hàn River. Đà Nẵng is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam, with a well-sheltered, easily accessible port; its location on the path of National Route 1A and the North–South Railway makes it a hub for transportation. It is located within 100 km of several LONESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins. The city was previously known as Cửa Hàn during early Đại Việt settlement, and as Tourane (or Turon) during French colonial rule. It is the third biggest economic center in Vietnam (after Saigon and Hanoi).
Before 1997, the city was part of Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng Province. On January 1st 1997, Đà Nẵng was separated from Quảng Nam Province to become one of five independent (centrally controlled) municipalities in Vietnam. Đà Nẵng is listed as a first class city, and has a higher urbanization ratio than any of Vietnam's other provinces or centrally governed cities In terms of urban population, Đà Nẵng is the fifth largest city in Vietnam.
Đà Nẵng is the largest city in central Vietnam and one of the country's most important ports. Ringed by mountains on one side and the South China Sea on the other, Đà Nẵng borders Thừa Thiên–Huế Province across the Hải Vân Pass to the north, Quảng Nam Province to the south and west, and the ocean to the east. It is 759 km (472 mi) south of Hanoi, and 960 km (600 mi) north of Saigon.
Geologically, Đà Nẵng is situated at the edge of a Paleozoic fold belt known as the Truong Son Orogenic Zone, whose main deformation occurred during the early Carboniferous period. Đà Nẵng's topography is dominated by the steep Annamite mountain range to the north and north-west, featuring peaks ranging from 700 to 1,500 metres (2,300 to 4,900 ft) in height, and low-lying coastal plains with some salting to the south and east, with several white sand beaches along the coast.
Đà Nẵng has a tropical monsoon climate with two seasons: a typhoon & wet season lasting from September through March and a dry season lasting from April through August. Temperatures are typically high, with an annual average of 25.9 °C (78.6 °F). Temperatures are highest between June and August (with daily highs averaging 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F)), and lowest between December and February (highs averaging 24 to 25 °C (75 to 77 °F)). The annual average for humidity is 81%, with highs between October and December (reaching 84%) and lows between June and July (reaching 76–77%).
On average, Đà Nẵng receives 2,505 mm (98.6 in) of rainfall. Rainfall is typically highest between October and November (ranging from 550 to 1,000 mm (22 to 39 in)) and lowest between January and April (ranging from 23 to 40 mm (0.91 to 1.57 in)). Đà Nẵng receives an average of 2156 hours of sunlight annually, with highs between 234 and 277 hours per month in May and June and lows between 69 and 165 hours per month in November and December.