- Rainy Day
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
How did the Americans lose the Vietnam War? Your guide will lead you through hidden trap-doors to explore the network of tunnels that helped thwart the US army at every turn.
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
Former Saigon's neoclassical 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
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 church, 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, this bustling market street attracts people from all walks of life with its bounty of clothing, war memorabilia, and other merchandise.
War Remnants Museum
The 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!
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
CurrencyVietnamese Dong (VND)
Time ZoneUTC (+07:00)
Best time to visitSpring
Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
Other Sightseeing Options in Ho Chi Minh City
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