Ho Chi Minh City

Image for Opera House which includes theatre scenes, a city and night scenes

Visit Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam's largest city, with its stunning French and Chinese architecture, is a fast-paced city, home to lively markets and motorbikes that throng the streets.

Ho Chi Minh City, often still referred to as Saigon, is a buzzing city of culture and commerce set against the backdrop of stunning 19-century colonial architecture. Wander through the streets to see how traditional and modern live side by side in this energetic urban environment. A difficult history of conflict from French colonisation through to the Vietnam War is clearly evident in the city's architecture and museums.

From spectacular temples in the Buddhist and Taoist tradition to magnificent cathedrals built entirely with materials sourced from France, Vietnam's largest city is rich in spiritual culture too.

Ho Chi Minh City is divided into districts with District 1, the most tourist-friendly, located on the western bank of the Saigon River. Explore the area, making sure to pay a visit to the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office as well as Notre Dame Cathedral. The magnificent boulevards and elegant villas of District 1 in particular are evidence of an era of French colonisation. There a multitude of hotels to choose from here also, meaning that attractions such as Tao Dan Park and the Jade Emperor Pagoda are all within a reasonable distance.

If you'd like to escape the tropical heat for the day, a visit to the Dam Sen Water Park is a must with fun-filled rides and slides for all the family. Alternatively, leave the humidity and motorbike-filled boulevards behind for a while and venture outside the city to experience some of Vietnam's history. Visit the infamous Củ Chi Tunnels, an underground system used by the Viet Cong in the war, while the War Remnants Museum depicts the chilling barbarity of the Vietnam conflict.

At nightfall, temperatures drop to a more comfortable level, which makes it a great time to walk around the city centre. Explore the streets of districts 1 and 3 and their diverse selection of shops, restaurants and bars. This is the perfect time to try some shopping in Ben Thanh Night Market, followed by some top-notch pho (rice noodle soup) and a freshly chilled Bia Hoi, the local beer.

Temperatures can get pretty high in Ho Chi Minh City but many buildings are air-conditioned and there are plenty of shaded city parks where you can take refuge from the sun. It is cheap and easy to make your way around the city, although do be careful as motorbikes tend to whiz around literally everywhere!

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Bui Thi Xuan which includes street scenes and a city

Bui Thi Xuan

4.5/5Wonderful!(20 area reviews)

A very popular commercial hub in Ho Chi Minh City, this spot has a lively mix of technology stores, fancy bars and restaurants and luxurious hotels.

Bui Thi Xuan

Top hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Nikko Saigon
Hotel Nikko Saigon
5 out of 5
235 Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
SG$134
per night
Feb 1 - Feb 2

Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tu Du Hospital and Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area. Bui Vien Walking Street ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,054 reviews)

"service was very good, the building was clean. I enjoyed my time there."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan,2020

Hotel Nikko Saigon
ibis Saigon Airport
ibis Saigon Airport
4 out of 5
2 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
SG$80
per night
Feb 11 - Feb 12

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of War Remnants Museum, Independence Palace and Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Saigon Central Post ...

4.3/5Excellent! (959 reviews)

"Nice pool and bar area, comfortable beds with good tv choices. Close to airport and efficient transfer facilities."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jan,2020

ibis Saigon Airport
Pullman Saigon Centre
Pullman Saigon Centre
5 out of 5
148 Tran Hung Dao St Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
SG$131
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17

Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Opera House and 30-4 Park. Saigon Zoo and Botanic ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (702 reviews)

"The great service of the bar and restraint staff downstairs! It was amazing!"…"

Reviewed on 26 Jan,2020

Pullman Saigon Centre

Popular things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market
Image for Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

4/5(108 reviews)

No trip to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without exploring this bustling market where you can enjoy a traditional Vietnamese dish or purchase souvenirs.

Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area
Image for Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area

Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area

3.5/5(37 reviews)

Known as the city’s main backpacker area, the streets of Pham Ngu Lao are lined with great value restaurants, colorful markets and lively bars.

War Remnants Museum
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War Remnants Museum

4.5/5(99 reviews)

A sobering collection of artillery, documentation and graphic exhibitions depict the effects of the Vietnam War.

Opera House
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Opera House

4/5(54 reviews)

This stunning theater, with its glistening white architecture and curved lines, makes it easy to forget that you are in Ho Chi Minh City and not in Paris.

Independence Palace
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Independence Palace

4/5(93 reviews)

Get an appreciation for the years of conflict and unrest that plagued Vietnam during the 20th century at this fascinating palace.

Saigon Central Post Office
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Saigon Central Post Office

4.5/5(101 reviews)

Make sure you write your postcards in Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s a great excuse to visit the city’s stunning 19th-century post office.

Top activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels
Image for Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels

Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels

SG$26

Escape the bustle of the city to explore rural scenery of Southern Vietnam and get an up-close look at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels in Southern Vietnam. Learn about the lives of Vietnamese soldiers by going for a subterranean stroll through the tunnels, and get the chance to fire guns from the Vietnam War era at a nearby shooting range.

Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch
Image for Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch

Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch

SG$34

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking river wonderland of the Mekong Delta, located only 2 hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City. This experience is exclusively crafted by our guides who are native to the region, so that you will experience the true local vibes of the area, and be away from the crowds of tourists.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour
Image for Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour

SG$28

Imagine spending your days living in underground tunnels, only able to come out at night when the sun is down - that's what the people of Cu Chi did nearly 50 years ago during the Vietnam War.

Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat
Image for Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat

Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat

SG$147

Nicknamed 'the rice bowl of Vietnam,' the fertile Mekong Delta provides work, food and shelter for much of Vietnam's population. On your full-day tour, you'll explore some of the delta's vast network of channels and canals by speedboat.

Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city
Image for Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city

Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city

SG$80

This special full-day tour (max 7 people a group for VIP option or 12 people a group for normal option) takes you from Ho Chi Minh city to 2 popular attractions: Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta 7:45AM.

Saigon Airport Transfer 7 Seat Car
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Saigon Airport Transfer 7 Seat Car

SG$5

From Tan Son Nhat International Airport to city central in Ho Chi Minh takes about 30 minutes. Private 7-seat car transfers is available with comfortable seats and experienced driver. All transfers are facilitated in comfortable seats with air conditioner.

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