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

Amazing experience - would highly recommend!

The tour was absolutely amazing. We had a fantastic tour guide who was really knowledgeable in the history, culture and background of the sites we visited. She was constantly giving us information and fun facts as we were going through the tour and continuously checked in that we were all comfortable. Cu Chi was an eye-opening experience - definitely recommend going through the tunnels with the local guide as it completely changes your perspective of what the Vietnamese went through during the Vietnamese/2nd Info-China war. The visit to the Mekong Delta was also really enjoyable, with a variety of sights and stops involved. Massive plus from my side was that I forgot my sunglasses on the tour bus and was able to pick them up first thing in the morning the following day before heading to the airport! Really good service.

Amazing experience. A must for any visitor to Ho Chi Minh.

We had a great day. Tour company picked us up on time, ensured we were looked after during trip with water, convenience stops and refresher towel. Our guide Jimmy was friendly, warm and charming...sharing knowledge and stories. Definitely worth it. Bus driver was also very good, confident and patient in crazy Vietnam traffic. A long day but a great day. Also loved the lunch and village experience.

From Ho Chi Minh: Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Reviewed by Juliette, 07/06/2019

A fantastic trip , great value and so much to see and do

Mei was a fabulous guide , very informative and attentive. The trip was a pleasant surprise during our stay in Saigon . Great value for money , lots of things to see and do , lots of delicious things to eat and drink . There were 5 of us traveling together and it was one off our best days . Thanks also to Mr An for safely driving us around . I would highly recommend this trip.

Brilliant, informative and accommodating

We had a fantastic tour with Jecky, he was very knowledgeable and funny. A great way to start our time in Vietnam. He was also very accommodating for our group, we have 4 kids from 12wks-12yrs and he made sure everyone was happy and comfortable the whole tour. Thanks Jecky!

Best of Ho Chi Minh City Private Tour Reviewed by Claire, 07/11/2019

Fa tour guide and cu chi tunnels fantastic

We would like to thank Fa, our tour guide for the well explained experience and the multiple point of view of the Vietnam history. He is very friendly and kind. We got impressed by the tunnels and the methods of the warfare. It is worth a visit. Thank you.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Tour Reviewed by Irene, 07/06/2019