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Ho Chi Minh City
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Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

See all tours & things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Ho Chi Minh City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ho Chi Minh City

Friendly and informative guide and interesting 'museum'

Most of the tour is above ground through the jungle, with effective reproductions of living conditions and masses of information and stats about the war years and how the Vietnamese functioned and fought in the tunnels. It focuses on their resilience and resourcefulness, though there are stark reminders of the gruesomeness of this particular war. Visitors have an opportunity to go in to a small section of the tunnels to get an enhanced sense of how it would have felt to live in these conditions. Our guide Steven was knowledgeable, friendly and well organised keeping our small group of mixed ages and nationality together. He reminded us there were 'no winners' in this war - which is one of the main things I took away, although the propaganda film suggests different. I recommend for a different, immersive way of learning about the Vietnam war.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Tour Reviewed by Helen, 06/08/2019

great value, good tour guide, crappy bikes

for the price of around $20, this tour was a bargain (though it's worth keeping a budget of $5+ for tips of various people along the way). Our guide Hang was great, really dead-pan funny and she did a great job explaining things and handling a group that was 50/50 domestic and international traveller. Great lunch. Would be a 5 star tour if they did some basic maintenance on the bikes - most were falling to pieces and I had to drop off the biking part and find my own way back to the base because the chain fell off and the seat post collapsed (and this happened to several people in our group...) the bikes are fine if they are looked after and I was a bit annoyed to miss out on the cycling part.

A great tour to get to known vietnamese Food ans culture

Thanks a lot to Steven, our tour giude for a fantastic private streetfood walking tour. We had a great tour though different parts of Ho Chi Minh City. In various streetfood restaurants and corners, we could try delicious vietnamese food. Steven showed us how to prepare the dishes and explained a lot about food, ingrediences and vietnamese lifestyle, culture and a lot more. After a very tasty and entertaining evening we want to thank Steven for the wonderful time and the good start for our trip in this country. We can kennly recommend Steven and the Tour. Alex & Stephan

Fantastic show, talented dancers and atmospheric sets

My family loved this show, especially as we had just returned from a visit to the the Mekong. It was a good length (just over an hour) and had lots of variety in pace and style of dance. The sets were very beautiful and atmospheric and there was a lot of energy including an opportunity for the audience to participate in making noise. The Opera House is also a wonderful place to spend an evening.

My guide had excellent knowledge of the areas he took me to.

What a wonderful way to start my first visit to Vietnam !! My guide took me through the different markets that aren't normally seen by tourists, and answered so many of my questions. I got to eat some local food and was able to stop for some shopping along the way. I will be back again for another trip.