Ho Chi Minh City (more commonly known as Saigon) is in the southern region of Vietnam, famous for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh is a noisy, hot, dynamic city that rarely sleeps with a complex history and plenty of cultures to soak up!
I have put together this complete guide to the 7 Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City to help you plan your trip.
Also in this post, I have included some useful information on where to stay in Ho Chi Minh, getting around, and the best Ho Chi Minh City tour packages!
TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY
WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM
The War Remnants Museum is an eye-opener experience, to say the least – a museum not to be missed and one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh. The War Remnants Museum contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War, featuring historic photographs, military vehicles, and weaponry.
It’s very rare to see exhibits, such as the ones inside the War Remnants Museum, that display the horrors of war so graphically and truthfully. It will honestly raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
The entrance fee to the War Remnants Museum is 40,000 dong and the opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.
War Remnants Museum
Historical photographs inside – Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh
The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, is a very iconic landmark in Ho Chi Minh City.
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The Independence Palace was the home and workplace of the South Vietnam President during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon in April 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army Tank barged through the front gates.
The entrance fee to the Independence Palace is 40,000 dong and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Independence Palace – What to do in Ho Chi Minh
The Independence Palace
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SAIGON NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. Its incredible architecture surrounds the rich spirituality behind the thousands of red bricks.
The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French colonists in the late 1800s and it is located in the most crowded district of Ho Chi Minh City – District 1. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral was one of my favorite places to visit in Ho Chi Minh.
The entrance fee to the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
SAIGON CENTRAL POST OFFICE
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a remnant of French colonial times and it is one of the grandest post offices in all of Southeast Asia. Marveling at the features of this beautiful building will take you back a step in time.
As you step inside the Saigon Central Post Office, which was built in the late 1800s, you can see looping arches, polished marble floors, and old telephone boxes serving as a reminder of the importance the post office played before the days of email and mobile phones.
Fun Fact: The post office still uses old-fashioned glue pots for sticking stamps to letters!
The entrance fee to the Saigon Central Post Office is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Saigon Central Post Office
Inside the Saigon Central Post Office
HO CHI MINH CITY HALL
The Ho Chi Minh City Hall is a beautiful piece of architecture surrounded by extremely well-kept gardens and smooth paved roads.
Unfortunately, the Ho Chi Minh City Hall is not open to the public but it is a great spot for photo opportunities during the day and also at night when the building is colorfully lit.
Ho Chi Minh City Hall
BEN THANH MARKET
The Ben Tanh Market is the most popular market in Ho Chi Minh City and a great place to put your haggling skills to the test. You can shop for local handicrafts, artworks, souvenirs, and various clothing.
Inside Ben Tanh Market you can also find hawker-style Vietnamese food and fresh fruit juice stalls dotted throughout. Don’t be afraid to go deep and get lost as there are lots of interesting things to see and one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City.
The entrance fee to the Ben Thanh Market is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Ben Tanh Market
Last but not least on this list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon Skydeck at the Bitexco Financial Tower, one of the main attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the entire city. The best time to visit is during sunset, this way you can catch a clear view of the distant buildings and landscapes during the golden hour before witnessing the colorful bright lights illuminate the city as the sky darkens.
The entrance fee to the Saigon Skydeck is 200,000 dong and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.
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Saigon Skydeck – Things to do in Saigon
WHERE TO STAY IN HO CHI MINH CITY
District 1 is the best area to stay on your visit to Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s within walking distance to all of the locations mentioned above plus it’s close to many restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops.
Ho Chi Minh has thousands of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh to suit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Fusion Suites Saigon
Mid Range: Alagon Central Hotel
Budget: Giang Hotel
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SAIGON, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
MAP OF HO CHI MINH CITY
GETTING AROUND HO CHI MINH CITY
The best way to explore the city is on a self-guided walking tour. There are a number of must-see locations all within 15 to 30 minutes walking distance from one another.
Alternatively, you can travel by taxi, bus, and even train.
Ho Chi Minh City is a popular hub for travelers arriving in Vietnam and departing Vietnam.
WHAT TO PACK FOR VIETNAM
When visiting Vietnam, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Vietnamese sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
BEST VIETNAM TOURS
MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
- Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
- Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
- Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
- Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
- Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
- Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
- Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
- Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
If you have any questions on things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, feel free to drop me a comment below and I will respond to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
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