23 things to do in saigon (ho chi minh city): top attractions!


Ho Chi Minc City used to lớn be known as Saigon although this was officially changed after Ho Chi Minch unified Vietnam giới following the Vietphái nam War. As such, Ho Chi Minch City is a place that is steeped in some of the most important modern history in the world, và you will find references to this on every street corner. If you want lớn learn more about the period of reunification in Vietnam giới, then you can visit monuments, museums & spots used during the Vietnam War like the Cu Chi Tunnels, but you will also find a vibrant modern side to lớn the đô thị at the same time.

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Despite its historic & cultural significance, Ho Chi Minch City is also one of the most dynamic spots in Vietphái mạnh, & you can see this through the cutting edge buildings & the exciting nightlife on offer here. If you want to lớn sample some of the local delights, then the street food scene in the đô thị is also one of the best in the country, và you can happily spend your days eating your way around Ho Chi Minch City, or join a dedicated food tour.

Here are the 25 best things to lớn vì in Ho Chi Minch City

1. Try a bowl of pho

Source: CC7 / shutterstockPho Noodles

You can’t come to lớn Ho Chi Minh City & not try pho which is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.

The soup is made with stoông chồng khổng lồ which the noodles are then added and you can choose from a variety of toppings to lớn customize the dish.

You can also choose from a number of different meats lớn add khổng lồ your soup such as beef or pork.

If you want lớn try some of the best pho on the đô thị then your best bet is lớn stop at one the many street food stalls that abound here.

If you are not sure where to start however, then you can try popular chains such as Pho 24 và Pho 2000.

Recommended food tour: Ho Chi Minc City Food by Night: Private Motorxe đạp Tour

2. Visit the Giac Lam Pagoda

Source: Thoách / shutterstockGiac Lam Pagoda

Giac Lam Pagodomain authority has the clayên khổng lồ fame of being the oldest temple in Ho Chi Minc City và dates from 1744. T

he pagodomain authority is phối in a pretty garden và the name of the temple actually means ‘Feel the Woods Temple’. At the entrance of the temple you will find a graceful Bodhi tree which is sacred in Buddhism và was actually a present from a visiting monk from Sri Lanka in 1953.

You can walk around the grounds và admire the picturesque architecture here & take in the serene atmosphere at the same time.

3. Tour the War Remnants Museum

Source: DnDavis / shutterstockWar Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is one of the most moving sights in Ho Chi Minch City và is dedicated to lớn educating visitors about the atrocities of the Vietphái mạnh War.

This is one of the most popular museums in all of Vietnam và more than half a million visitors come here every year.

Some of the items on display include old military vehicles lượt thích Huey helicopters as well as attack bombers and M48 Patton tanks.

Inside you will also find personal memorabilia of victims of the war as well as old photographs.

Suggested tour: VIPhường City Highlights: War Remnants Museum & Ben Tkhô hanh Market

4. Take a Bonkhông nên River Cruise

Source: People Image Studio / shutterstockHo Chi Minc River

If you want to take in the đô thị from the vantage point of the water, then head for a Bonkhông nên River Cruise.

Here you will get the chance to lớn join a boat ride that includes dinner & takes you baông chồng to lớn the days of elegant cruise dining.

The boat is actually a traditional dragon boat that dates from the 19th century & they serve sầu a buffet dinner complete with live music.

Book online: Bonsai Cruise: 2-Hour Dinner Cruise on the Saigon River

5. Visit the Central Office

Source: Thoách / shutterstockCentral Post Office

A post office may not sound very exciting but the one in Ho Chi Minch City was designed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame.

The building is designed in the Gothic style và dates from 1886 và is still one of the most famous monuments in the city.

Make sure that you go inside, as you will find a huge domed roof và grand walls which are adorned with maps from the colonial period.

There is also a requisite portrait of Ho Chi Minc, the founding father of modern Vietnam giới.

6. Tour Reunification Palace

Source: Richard Yoshida / shutterstockReunification Palace

Reunification Palace was the former home page of the president of South Vietphái nam during the Vietphái nam War.

The building is also steeped in history as this is also the spot where the North Vietnamese invaded in 1975 & Ho Chi Minh City surrendered.

The building looks much as it would have done in 1966 & you can take a không tính tiền guided tour here which will fill you in on the cultural & historical significance of this monument lớn the Vietnam giới War.

7. Have a drink in Psay mê Ngu Lao Street

Source: Richie Chan / shutterstockPsay đắm Ngu Lao Street

If you are looking for some nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City then you need to lớn head for Pmê mẩn Ngu Lao Street.

This is the central bar & cà phê hub of the thành phố and you will find a huge range of watering holes here if you fancy a cold drink at the end of a long day’s sightseeing.

Three of the most famous hotels in Ho Chi Minc City are located here in the form of the Rex, the Majestic & the Caravelle, & they all have sầu rooftop bars with amazing vistas over the glittering đô thị.

8. Grab a coffee in Tao Dan Park

Source: Angy Vaks / shutterstockTao Dan Park

Vietnam is known for its delicious coffee so it stands to lớn reason that it has a strong cà phê culture.

The signature brew here is known as ca phe sua da which is an iced coffee made of a dark roast which is mixed with condensed milk và served over ice.

One of the best places to try this is at Tan Tao Park & if you get there in the morning you can go for a walk và pick up a cup from a street stall.

9. Tour the History Museum

Source: TK Kurikawa / shutterstockVietnamese History Museum

The History Museum is located in a beautiful botanical garden & dates from 1929. The museum would have sầu started off as a French colonial villa which has now been turned into lớn a museum and you will find artifacts here which date baông xã 4,000 years.

Many of the pieces originate from the Bronze Age & there are also items from the Cyêu thích & Khmer kingdoms.

These include collections of weaponry as well as art pieces & gifts that would have been offered khổng lồ Ho Chi Minch by visiting dignitaries.

10. Take a cooking class

Source: Thy Le / shutterstockCooking Class

Vietnam is famous for its delicious food & Ho Chi Minch City is no exception.

With that in mind, you can spend your time eating your way around the city, but if you want to know how to lớn make some of the dishes yourself then you can also sign up for a cooking class.

You will find classes all over town, and many of these include a market tour so that you can learn all about the local ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine.

Available class: 4-Course Hands-On Vietnamese Cooking Lesson in Small Group

11. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Source: Prasit Rodphan / shutterstockNotre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral was built from 1877 và 1883 & sits in the heart of the city.

The cathedral is designed in the neo-Romanesque style và you can kiểm tra out the towers here which soar lớn a height of 40 meters & are topped with impressive iron spires.

The cathedral got its name from the Virgin Mary and the inside is covered in devotional tablets và pretty stained glass windows.

Staff are on hvà during the week to explain all the history of the cathedral to visitors.

12. Travel lớn the Mekong Delta

Source: Indochimãng cầu studio / shutterstockMekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is made up of 39,000 square kilometers of waterways và this is also one of the most densely populated parts of Vietphái mạnh.

The center of the Mekong Delta is around four hours away from Ho Chi Minch City, và many visitors choose to lớn visit as part of an organized tour.

Here you will find floating markets as well as schools và homes and this is one of the most quality sights in all of Vietphái nam.

Suggested tour: Mekong Delta Small Group W/ Vinch Trang Pagoda & Rowing Boat

13. Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels

Source: daphnusia / shutterstockCu Chi Tunnels Entrance

The main draw in Ho Chi Minh City is the Cu Chi Tunnels which would have sầu been used by the Vietcong guerillas at the time of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels are made up of a series of underground chambers which stretch for 30 kilometers out of the thành phố và you can now visit sections of the tunnels và crawl through the small spaces lớn experience the conditions of the Vietcong during the Vietphái mạnh War.

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lưu ý that this is not an igiảm giá khuyến mãi place lớn visit if you suffer from claustrophobia as the tunnels are very small indeed.

Recommended tour: Cu Chi Tunnels: Half-Day in Small Group

14. Admire the Cao Dai Temple

Source: Sirio Carnevalino / shutterstockCao Dai Temple

There are a number of Cao Dai temples in Vietphái mạnh although the one in Ho Chi Minch is said to lớn be the most beautiful of its kind.

The temple took some trăng tròn years lớn build và was finally completed in 1956. Inside you will find some ornate carved dragons but the real draw is the mix of religious statues here.

These include effigies of Christ, Brahman và Buddha, which reflect a range of faiths in one building.

Combo tour: Blachồng Virgin Mountain, Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

15. Have breakfast at Binch Tay Market

Source: Peter Stuckings / shutterstockBinc Tay Market

Binc Tay Market is located in the Cholon district of Ho Chi Minch City & you will find a large clochồng tower here as well as a central courtyard.

The market was built in the 1880s during the colonial period & you can go for a walk & try out the food stalls here.

These include local dishes lượt thích noodle soups or you can just stop by for a coffee.

If possible, try lớn come early in the morning khổng lồ take in the bustling atmosphere.

16. Scale the Bitexco Financial Tower

Source: Distinctive sầu Shots / shutterstockBitexco Financial Tower

The Bitexco Financial Tower was designed by Carlos Zapata & is made up of 68 storeys.

The building soars khổng lồ a height of 262 meters và is meant khổng lồ have sầu been designed to lớn resemble a lotus bulb.

On the 48th floor you will find the Saigon Skydeông chồng và you can come here around sunmix khổng lồ take in the stunning vistas over the city.

There is also a rooftop bar if you want khổng lồ relax with a drink as you take in the scenery below you.

Book online: Bitexco Saigon Skydeông chồng +The Heineken Experience Combo Ticket

17. Eat at Banh Xeo 46A

Source: AS Food studio / shutterstockBanh Xeo

If you want to lớn try banh xeo when you are in Ho Chi Minch City then you need lớn head khổng lồ Banh Xeo 46A. Here you will find a local dish named banh xeo which consists of Vietnamese rice flour pancakes which have been stuffed with a mixture of pork, prawns & bean sprouts.

You can also get vegetarian versions if you prefer, or you can also try some of the other local specialties on the menu.

If you are feeling hungry, make sure not lớn miss the goi cuon which are summer rolls stuffed with pork và prawns.

18. Admire the Phoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Source: tanleimages / shutterstockPhuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda

One of the prettiest pagodas in Ho Chi Minc City is the Phoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda which is a riot of color & comes in a range of red, gold, yellow & gold hues.

The temple dates from 1902 and is covered in brass ritual ornaments as well as antique weapons.

Also make sure that you check out the intricate woodcarvings around the altars, walls and columns, as well as the large & aromatic incense coils.

You will also find colorful hanging lanterns here & the walls are lined with ceramic tiles that tell the stories of local legends.

19. Tour the Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Source: Aleksandar Todorovic / shutterstockHo Chi Minh City Museum

The Ho Chi Minh Museum was built in 1885, although at this time it would have sầu been known as Gia Long Palace, và then as the Revolutionary Museum.

This is widely said khổng lồ be the grandest building in the đô thị và this is the place to come khổng lồ learn all about the culture và history of Ho Chi Minh City.

Just some of the collections on show include ceramics, ancient maps of the city, & marriage costumes that belong to lớn the various ethnic groups in Vietnam.

As you would expect, there are also galleries dedicated to the history of the Vietnam giới War.

20. Browse in Ben Tkhô cứng Market

Source: Richie Chan / shutterstockBen Tkhô cứng Market

Ben Tkhô cứng Market is located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City and is a great place khổng lồ come to shop and eat.

On a visit to the market you will find a range of street food vendors selling local snacks, as well as a dry area where you can pichồng up some souvenirs.

You can also siêu thị for items lượt thích local textiles và ceramics although bear in mind that haggling is expected so don’t be afraid to bargain hard.

Available tour: Ben Tkhô hanh Market Tour và Cooking Class

21. Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Source: Tatiana Belova / shutterstockJade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagodomain authority is dedicated to lớn the Taoist god known as the King of Heaven or Ngoc Hoang.

As you would expect from the name, this is one of the fanciest temples in Ho Chi Minc City và you will find statues of deities here as well as large coils of smoking incense.

The walls are lined with elaborate woodcarvings và the roof is also a work of art in its own right.

If you look up, you will find rooftop statues which show scenes from Buddhist and Taoist legends.

22. Grab a sandwich at Banh Mi Huynh Hao

Source: Olga Kashubin / shutterstockBanh Mi Sandwich

Banh mày is probably the most famous of all of Vietnam’s foodstuff as well as being one of the best loved sandwiches in the world.

Banh mày is made from crusty baguette which is then slicked with pate và then topped with chilies & coriander.

This hole in the wall joint is nothing fancy và there are no tables & chairs, but you will recognize it before you see it thanks to lớn the long line of patrons queuing up for one of the best sandwiches in the đô thị.

23. Admire Cha Tam Church

Source: sharptoyou / shutterstockCha Tam Church

Cha Tam Church was built in the 19th century and is painted a beautiful caramel color on the outside.

If you venture into the church itself, you will find a plaque that marks the place where President Ngo Dinc Diem and his brother Ngo Dinch Nhu were seized in 1963 as they tried khổng lồ flee from the presidential palace.

With that in mind, the church is stepped in Vietnamese history & is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

24. Giac Vien Pagoda

Source: чãvìnkωhỉtз / FlickrGiac Vien Pagoda

Giac Vien Pagoda is not the best known temple in Ho Chi Minch City, but it has also not been restored in the way that many others in the city have sầu been, which means that it retains a lot of its traditional charm.

The temple is located near khổng lồ the Dam Sen Lake & was founded in the 1700s.

Local legend claims that the Emperor Gia Long who died in 1819 used to lớn worship here and this is a great place khổng lồ get a glimpse of the Vietnam of old.

25. Explore the Fine Arts Museum

Source: Peter Stuckings / shutterstockFine Arts Museum

Located in a colonial style mansion, the Fine Arts Museum is a great place khổng lồ come for anyone who is an art lover.

This charming museum features a range of Vietnamese art work that dates from the Bronze era all the way lớn the present day.

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Just some of the galleries that you can enjoy here include pottery, ceramics, sculpture, and paintings, and you will even find an exhibition that is dedicated to displays of ancient weaponry.