Ho Chi Minh City
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Top Tours & Activities 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?

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.

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.

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.

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)

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

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.

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

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!

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

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

A great way to experience the food, culture and people of Vietnam.

We had a very knowledgable guide who helped us to experience the food of Vietnam. You wont get this in a hotel or restaurant because this is what everyday people in Vietnam do. Awesome experience.

A very interesting and enjoyable day tour

Thanh, our guide, came to pick us at our hotel in the morning. There were about 20 of us in a mini bus and we also had a good driver. The whole tour was informative, inciteful about life of the locals in My Tho in the Mekong Delta. We took a boat ride to one of the islands. We were able to see for ourselves how some of the local products of the area were made - honey, bee pollen, soap, durian lollies. Every household has their own fruit trees. We were entertained by singers and musicians while we feast on tea and fresh fruits. The boat ride along the canal is touristy but is a delight. Thanh is a great tour guide and thanks to him we had a great day out.

Ho Chi Minh City: Mekong Delta Small Group Tour Reviewed by Kathleen, 11/30/2017

Good tour very knowledgeable and informative guide exst

Extremely good tour our guide and boat staff were very helpful there knowledge of the area was impressive. A good 1 day tour to do. Plenty of stops on route to see local village life, food was also good.

Humorous, personable and knowledgeable guide. Amazing customer service

Foo was an amazing tour guide. He was humorous at all the right moments, knew how to create a light hearted holiday experience while conveying the reality of the history of the Cu Chi tunnels, and Vietnam in general. The customer service was most amazing - literally responded my emails that I send late at night (I've even received their response at like 2am Vietnam time - their staff is extremely hardworking). Everyone puts the customers experience first. I would highly recommend them! It was an amazing experience

Cu Chi Tunnels: Half-Day in Small Group Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 11/23/2017

Fabulous, friendly, informative. Highly recommended!

"Bunny" our tour guide was amazing!!! The small tour group size is definitely an advantage. Personal service and commentary was clear concise and very informative!!! A tour company we will use again without hesitation.... Thank you for a great day x

Ho Chi Minh City: Mekong Delta Small Group Tour Reviewed by Heidi, 11/22/2017