Ho Chi Minh City
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Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

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Top 10 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Named after Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, the city formerly known as Saigon has emerged from its darkest days to become one of Asia's most exciting cities. It boasts vibrant street life, handsome buildings, and warm weather all year round. But what are the best things to do in this interesting city?

Cu Chi Tunnels
Photo: David McKelvey@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cu Chi Tunnels

How did the Americans lose the Vietnam War? Your guide will lead you through hidden trap-doors to explore the Cu Chi tunnels that helped thwart the US army at every turn.

Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre)
Photo: Tun Tun Win@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre)

Modelled on the Petit Palais in Paris, this striking example of French Colonial architecture is easy to reach and regularly hosts some of the city's best concerts.

Saigon Central Post Office
Photo: seafaringwoman @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office still operates, though it also serves as one of the city's top attractions, having been designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel.

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
Photo: yeowatzup @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Pilgrims flocked to this beautiful basilica in 2005 when its Virgin Mary statue was reported to have shed tears. We're sceptical, but there are better reasons to visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, such as its superior architecture!

Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)

Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)

Originally built to demonstrate Vietnam's strength in the wake of Independence, it was torn down, replaced, and eventually renamed Reunification Palace after the fall of Saigon.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Though known as the backpacker district, the bustling Pham Ngu Lao Street attracts people from all walks of life with its bounty of clothing, war memorabilia, and other merchandise.

War Remnants Museum
Photo: amrufm @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum paints a vivid – and often disturbing – picture of the country's 20th-century struggles. It's a must for anyone hoping to understand Vietnam's complex history.

Dam Sen Park

Dam Sen Park

With lakes, gardens, and so much more beyond the rides, Dam Sen is the perfect amusement park for people who don't like amusement parks, as well as those that do!

Jade Emperor Pagoda
Photo: ePi.Longo @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Jade Emperor Pagoda

With its ornate carvings and constant aura of incense smoke, this is the pagoda to see if you've only time for one. Be sure to look over its gorgeous courtyard from the roof!

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Located in the old Gia Long Palace, photographs and artefacts offer an exemplary account of Vietnam's bloody past. It's uncompromising without being gratuitous.

Planning Your Ho Chi Minh City Visit

How to get to Ho Chi Minh City from the airport?

The cheapest way to get to the city is by taking bus 152 near the arrivals exit. It costs extra if your luggage weighs over 10kg, but will take you all the way downtown to the bus station near Cho (market) Ben Tanh. Taxis are located to the left of the terminal. Make sure you take a metered taxi and do not pay in any currency other than Vietnamese dong or you risk being ripped off.

Where to eat?

One of the most charming things about Ho Chi Minh City is how the low-cost street food can so often outperform its best restaurants. You'll find many good ones on Dong Khoi, the lively stretch of shops and bars between the river and cathedral.

Where to shop?

Ho Chi Minh City has several markets worth visiting as well as the aforementioned Pham Ngu Lao Street. The two largest are Cho Ben Tanh and Cho Lon. Cho Lon – the Chinese market – has a dazzling array of goods on offer and is the least touristy of the two. Ben Tanh is also fun to visit, and better regulated, with less knock-off merchandise and fewer pickpockets. That said, you should always be wary of both those things.

Good to know

  • Language
    Vietnamese
  • Currency
    Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+07:00)
  • Country Code
    +84
  • Best time to visit
    Spring

Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Top Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

Cities in Vietnam

Other Sightseeing Options in Ho Chi Minh City

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What people are saying about Ho Chi Minh City

Best way to do a 1 day Mekong Delta visit !

Ms.. Joy is the best guide we have ever had ! Very kind, informative and passionate. We had a fantastic day and visited everything ! I really recommend this private tour to be able to visit Mekong Delta in one day !

Great experience brought to life by a local!

A very entertaining and knowledgable guide and comfortable transport. Our guide really added some interesting insights based on his own family history and upbringing. Didn't appreciate however all the "commercial" stops and practically forced to buy local products. I'm all for supporting the local communities who share their lives with us but needed serious cash to pay for the disabled persons products, tip the rowers, tip the muscians, tip the boat guy, buy honey products, buy coconut sweets... the only downside to an otherwise very enjoyable trip!

From Ho Chi Minh: Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Reviewed by Victoria, 15/04/2019

Great experience with a very cheerful guide

Guide Ha was very knowledgeable and always had a smile on her face. Lots of activities and great lunch and site seeing of the Mekong delta. Had a great time. Highly recommended

Awesome tour with great guides and amazing food

Our family of 4 (inc. 10 & 14yo boys) had an amazing time on our tour. Our guides (4 uni students) were so much fun. We got to buzz around the crazy city on the back of scooters while our guides chatted and giggles Tools down tiny alleys, through markets and gave us a real insight into living in Saigon city centre. The food was great too, but the guides are what make this tour stand out from the others.

An amazing insight into life on the Mekong Delta!

Such a fantastic trip and our guide, Alex (Duc) made it so funny, informative and interesting for us all. Would definitely recommend this trip. We had two children with us, age 10 and 13, and they both loved it. The itinerary, food and scenery was great and all as described on the website. We travelled by several boats, bike and tuk tuk, which made the day varied and fun. My only request would be to provide a child’s bike as my son struggled on an adult bike. Apart from that, absolutely great! Thank you Alex! Ps less jokes next time please (ha ha)