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

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

We will book another tour with this group. It was fabulous.

They found us, picked us up, took us to places we would never find, spoke good English, knew a lot of history and culture, were very considerate and safe. I hope to book at least one more tour with them while we are here. The young woman, Lai, was especially good with me -- an older woman who is not used to riding motorcycles.

Guide was informative and extremely pleasant.

So glad we chose that company everything worked like clock work from pick up to drop off.

Cu Chi Tunnels & VIP Speedboat Tour Reviewed by Sylvia, 01/07/2019

A very special experience, we learnt so much about Vietnamese History.

Our guide knew so much and was very informative. It was a full day, we saw and experienced so much and it was just incredible. The lunch was delicious and filling. The whole day was packed with adventure.

Private Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta: Full-Day Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 01/07/2019

Great tour, great guide, nice variety of war history and local culture

Great tour, great guide, nice variety of war history and local culture. Our guide (Bao), was very knowledgable and friendly. The places we visited were all very interesting and all the people there were friendly. We (my wife and grown children) all had a great time.

Best food, best guide and great way to see a new part of the city!

The food was incredible, the best we’ve had, and definitely would not have been brave enough to try ourselves. Tan was a brilliant guide and we learnt lots of new things about the city. Definitely something everyone should do!

Saigon Street Food: 3.5-Hour Evening Tour Reviewed by Lucy, 01/04/2019