Top Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Top Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Known as the southern hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is actually the biggest city in the country. It is a wonderful redezvous for culture vultures. Things to attracts your attention is numerous varying from French historic site to American war museum, from Chinese temples to modern cultural shows. 
Each district of Ho Chi Minh city has its own vibes. However, to get the best introduction of this city, our list of Top Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is simply the ideal suggestion
ho chi mih reunification palace

Visit Independence Palace

One of the must-sees in the city is the Independence Palace. This historical site housed the president of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It is now a museum that showcases a range of weapons used during the battle between American and Vietnamese soldiers. Other things to see here are the grand meeting rooms and the President’s living quarters.

ho chi minh city view
Photographer: Cuong Doan

Cruise Along Saigon River

This is simply one of the best way to soak up the beauty of the city. There are certain overnight cruises to Mekong Delta but if you do not have much time, a sunset cruise or even a dining cruise could provide chances to capture the panorama of Ho Chi Minh city. 

ho chi minh nortre dame

Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral

Most Travelers know the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but there is another one in Ho Chi Minh City. Built in the 1880s by French colonists, this monument is a must-visit, especially those who are hungering for religion and striking grandeur. It distinguishes itself with a statue of the Virgin Mary and two Romanesque bell towers.

saigon post office

Check Out the Central Post Office

Put up in the 19th century, Saigon Central post office is worth a visit while in the city. It displays numerous designs including Renaissance, Gothic and French colonial styles. You may wonder at its elegant exterior splendor, but there is a lot to see and admire once inside (curved ceilings, beautiful wall paintings, old phone booths and more).

vietnam spices

Ben Thanh Market

For local life, culture, culinary adventure and souvenirs ensure to visit the Ben Thanh Market. Positioned in the heart of the city, Ben Thanh features a lot of goods sold at affordable prices. Its streets are lined with food strolls that serve mouthwatering cuisine. Craft shops display artworks you can buy as souvenirs. 

Wander Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Ho Chi Minh City is dotted with incredible spots that are worth to behold. If you want to immerse some of them, the best way to go is to take a stroll along the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Lined by cafes and restaurants, this street stretches from the Saigon River up to the city hall. The walk rewards views of Ho Chi Minh statue, fountain show and exquisite colonial architecture.

war museum

Visit the War Remnants Museum

For those, who want to have an insight into the Vietnam War history, the War Remnants museum should be your first stop in Ho Chi Minh. Adding to the countless photos, the museum displays a collection of American tanks, helicopters and jets. Other things to wonder at are the tiger cages that housed prisoners during the war.

Recommended Culture Tour: Vietnam Mountan To Beach Tour

Temple and Pagoda Hopping

Without doubt, historical sites stand among the top allures in Ho Chi Minh City. If you are looking for things to do, temples and pagodas are a must. Whether Hindu, Taoist or Buddhist temples, there are all available. Of all monuments, don’t miss the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its grand architectural decorations and serene gardens.

thien hau pagoda
Photo: Colin Paul 07 -

Check Out Chinatown

What you shouldn’t think of missing while in Ho Chi Minh is its china town. Several temples and pagodas dot this locality along with a big market “Binh Tay Market” that draw a handful of customers (both local and foreigners). On this tour, don’t hesitate to visit various shops with affordably priced goods and restaurants that serve yummy Chinese food.

ho chi minh rider
Photo: Frank Mckenna

Go On a Bike Tour

Imagine there are over 10 millions of population in Ho Chi Minh and most of them use bike as the main method of transportation. Then, having a bike ( or scooter) tour is probably show you more than just a way of life here.
On a guided ride, you will tackle the busy streets, hidden food scenes, amazing lanes stuffed with little open markets. 
We also recommend you to try this in Hanoi, it is one of the most thrilling city adventures in Vietnam !

Celebrate a rooftop Cocktail

After beautiful moments in the city’s incredible spots, spend off an evening with a drink from one of its posh rooftop bars. Most buildings feature these bars with sweeping views of the entire city. Don’t miss the Air 360 Sky Lounge, here you enjoy craft cocktails in a setting that is filled with live music. Another prime locale to chill out after city hopping is the Glow Sky Bar. Have Fun on the River You still have more things to relish in Ho Chi Minh.

a o show

Attend a Show at the Saigon Opera House

If you are still not sure of where to spend your night outs in Ho Chi Minh, reserve one for a show at the Saigon Opera House. With its excellent designs, this French colonial theatre hosts varied pleasing shows (A O Show, Teh Dar and the Mist) that invite a huge audience.

Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History

Lovers of history, the Museum of Vietnamese history has plenty for you. Check it out while in Ho Chi Minh City. It showcases a diverse exhibit of artefacts ranging from the prehistoric era to Vietnam’s independence.

Visit a Theme Park

Just a short drive from the City Centre, you find Dam Sen Park an incredible locality suitable for kids and adults. This Park packs a lot into the visitors’ day trip. Adults can engage in bird watching, boat cruise as kids appreciate the water park with its water slides, cool water games and a wave pool. It is hard to miss a ride on the monorail.

saigon food

Take a Cooking Class

Amongst the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh city, taking a cooking class is a must. The whole experiences offers great market encounters, the appreciation of local spices and unique ingredients. There is nothing more exciting than having a chance to scan the local market, prepare the food with a dedicated chef then taste your very own Vietnamese dishes. 
There are many cooking classes to parttake varying from classic dishes to vegetarian meals.
See also: Hanoi Food Tours

Experience the Nightlife

According to our travel expert, Ho Chi Minh city is the best place to hang out in the evening. The city`s nightlife is colorful and abundant. Whether it is for food, entertainment or clubs, there are plenty spots to immerse into.  

Take a Free Walking Tour

There is no better way to take in Ho Chi Minh City’s spotlights than a free walking tour along its streets. Make sure to visit some points of interest within the city like temples, palaces, museums, local markets and shopping malls.

Day Trip to Cu Chi Tunnels

When you are selecting top things to add on your wish list in Ho Chi Minh, don’t forget a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. Not only used as supply routes and storage areas during the Vietnam War, but these tunnels were also hiding places and sheltered civilians for over 2000 days. Exploring the underground network of Cu Chi is an amazing experience !

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Insider Travel Tips 

 Vietnam is diverse. For first time visit, the Best of Vietnam is luring enough with not only beautiful cultural exploration but also unique touches to local life. 
Dzung Nguyen - Vietnam Travel Expert

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