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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

Worthwhile visit to Cu Chi to gain an understanding of American War

Our tour was delivered by Vietnam Adventure Tours and our guide was "Duc" a young Vietnamese well-spoken English and humorous person. The bus was comfortable and our group of 20 or so fitted comfortably in the air-conditioned bus. It takes about two hours to travel from Ho Chi Minh to the tunnels and the pickup start from around 7.30AM. Its best to as this tour to book the smaller bus this mans you are taken through the site more easily. During the bus ride, old videos played about the Cu Chi Tunnel. At the site, your guide will purchase the tickets and you will make your way to the orientation map that explains visually the site the tunnels and the makeup of them, You will get an opportunity to see a model of the environment and created environment. The tunnels are 20,40,60 and 100 metres in total length and get more difficult as you progress there are escape exits at various points.

Lan was a fun, interesting and engaging guide!

We were picked up at the hotel by Lan at 8 am and made it to the Cu Chi tunnels by 11.30 am after a rest break and a visit to a craft making site. Amazing workmanship and creativity by the disabled Vietnamese injured in the war. The Cu Chi tunnel experience was made very interesting through our informative guide Lan. He also had a wicked sense of humour and a humility when it came to explaining the war and it s atrocities from all sides. I would highly recommend the trip and the insight into just how horrid it would have been during the Vietnam war with such suffering for all - soldiers, children, mothers, families, dogs. Yes even the dogs had a roll to play in the war and suffered tremendously as in other world wars.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Tour Reviewed by Jenny, 08/28/2019

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.

Very enjoyable evening. Too short but sweet!

My family & I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Attentive staff, fabulous entertainment and some good food. The magician was especially great with my children. Only downsides were some of the foods running out pretty early into the trip and not being replenished. Also the included welcome cocktail was a cordial juice...I have been expecting something more substantial. Overall a fabulous trip and highly recommended to see the beautiful Ho Chi Minh city by night. Would be even more fabulous if at least an hour longer which would enable more sales from the bar and some dancing from the passengers.

Informative tour but very crowded tourist location

Thankfully we booked the 10-20 group vs the 20 to 40 group. Otherwise we would have been fighting to hear our guide over the rest of the group. We ended up having about 10 and it was good. The only issue was that there were many other tours going on at the exact same time. So we did a bit of waiting for items to open up for us. All in all it was not too bad but it should be noted. Our guide hei was great at answering all of our questions.

Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels Tour Reviewed by Britnie, 08/21/2019