HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaVietnamHo Chi MinhHo Chi Minh Trip + Itinerary Guide for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on April 9, 2018.Here’s a detailed Ho Chi Minh travel guide with sample itinerary, budget, spots to visit, places to stay & more. Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? If you’re on a short trip, you are probably deciding where to go — Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi?I had the same dilemma too on my first visit to the country.Since I only had a couple of days to spend, I decided to go to Ho Chi Minh. Plus, coming from Cambodia, it was closer and cheaper to visit.Popularly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is famous for French-colonial buildings, strong coffee/tea culture, exciting food scene, war-time history & chaotic bike-filled streets.It’s also the gateway to Southern Vietnam, home to many natural & cultural spots worth the journey.Traveling to Ho Chi Minh for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.Scroll down to read must-know travel tips before you go, followed by a sample itinerary + budget breakdown, recommended hotels/places to stay, things to do/places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Blog ContentsGet StartedHo Chi Minh ItineraryHo Chi Minh BudgetWhere to Stay in Ho Chi MinhHo Chi Minh Travel Tips Before You GoThings To Do in Ho Chi Minh + Places to VisitSee More Travel Guides & Blogs Get StartedHow to Go — Touchdown at Ho Chi Minh-Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), which serves flights from Manila (2h 35m travel time), Singapore (2h), Bangkok (1h 30m), Kuala Lumpur (1h 55m) & more. You can also fly directly from other destinations in Vietnam including Hanoi (2h), Da Nang (1h 20m), Hai Phong (2h), Hue (1h 20m), Nha Trang (1h), & Phu Quoc (1h).See cheap flightsManila to Ho Chi MinhVisa-free travel for Philippine citizens — Filipino/Pinoy tourists (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Vietnam. Filipinos usually get a maximum stay of 21.Book your hotel early — Grab rock-bottom rates and avoid fully-booked rooms by booking online as soon as you know you’re going. Click below to compare discounts and read reviews by other travelers.Cheapest ratesBest hotel reviewsCheck prices online and pre-book discounts — Save money by checking discounts on tours, airport/city transfers & sim card/WiFi hotspots. Booking before you leave also saves you time by avoiding the hassles of bringing large amounts of cash & exchanging currency/money during your actual trip.See tours & discounts13% OFF Ho Chi Minh City-Cu Chi Tunnels Half-Day Tour44% OFF Full Day Mekong Delta Excursion from Ho Chi Minh28% OFF Vietnam 3G Unli Pocket Wifi Internet/DataBest time to visit — Go during the dry season from December to April for sunny weather. It’s also the peak tourist season, so expect prices to be higher, especially in the cooler months of December & February. The months of March, April and May are the hottest. Meanwhile, the rainy season lasts from May to November. Getting around Ho Chi Minh — A trip from the airport to downtown Ho Chi Minh takes around 45 minutes by car/taxi/bus/shuttle. Grab and Uber are popular for convenient & safe rides to/from the airport & around the city. As you know, you will need mobile internet to use ride-sharing apps. So, get a data sim card or 3G/4G pocket wifi. Most hotels & top attractions are located in District 1. It’s a fairly small area that can be easily explored on foot.Ho Chi Minh 3G/4G internet dataSee SIM card/WiFi pricesTransport apps, car charter & private transportGet UberGet GrabHo Chi Minh Airport to city transfersVietnam money/currency exchange — Vietnamese dong (VND or ₫) is the currency used in the country. You should be able to exchange your USD, EUR, GBP, SGD easily at most money exchange stalls. To be safe bring, USD (or any of the currencies above) instead of PHP. Exchanging Philippine Pesos to VND is not popular in Ho Chi Minh. Or, use an ATM card to withdraw VND.Ho Chi Minh on a budget — This city is one of the cheapest destinations in Southeast Asia. Affordable accommodations, local food & transport are very easy to find. I’ve included a lot of money saving tips on this guide in case you are traveling on a tight budget.How many days is enough — One day is enough to go on a quick tour of downtown Ho Chi Minh. Plan a visit of 2 to 3 days (or more) if you want to tour Chu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta. With a 1 to 2 week trip, you can go farther to beautiful places to visit in South Vietnam including Dalat, Mui Ne, Nha Trang & Phu Quoc.Ho Chi Minh by land — Direct buses are available from Phnom Penh (6 – 7h) and Siem Reap (13h – 18h), Cambodia. You can also travel by bus or train from other destinations in Vietnam including Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Nha Trang & Can Tho. Click below to see prices.See Ho Chi Minh bus pricesTop travel blogs + guide to Ho Chi Minh & beyondAsian Countries To Visit16 Places To Visit in VietnamIndochina ItineraryHo Chi Minh ItineraryHere’s a sample 3 days & 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary to give you a quick look at how to enjoy a trip to Ho Chi Minh’s top tourist spots. Click below to see prices & discounts online.Day 1: Ho Chi Minh city tour Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam Notre Dame Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) , Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Hall in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam Mekong River view from Saigon SkyDeck, in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam City view from Saigon SkyDeck, in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamFlight to Ho Chi MinhCompare fares & airlines Ho Chi Minh airport to hotel transferSee discounts Ho Chi Minh hotel check-inCheck rates & reviews District 1, Ho Chi Minh sightseeing tour …expandHo Chi Minh City Hall, Saigon Opera House, Saigon Norte-Dame Basilica, Saigon Central Post Office.See discounts Eat at The Lunch LadyContinue Saigon sightseeing …expandJade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace.Visit Saigon SkydeckSee discounts Visit Nguyen Hue Walking StreetHo Chi Minh at nightSee discounts Day 2: Mekong Delta Mekong floating market and river cruise, in Can Tho, VietnamMekong Delta day tourSee discounts Day 3: Chu Chi TunnelsChu Chi Tunnels day tourSee discounts Ho Chi Minh shoppingHo Chi Minh BudgetYour travel expenses in Ho Chi Minh will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 3 days and 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.Transport expenses breakdownVND 130,000Ho Chi Minh Airport to city/hotel transfer — By Uber/Grab. Per carVND 20,000Shuttle bus to Ho Chi Minh city — Per personActivities/attraction costs breakdownVND 344,000Mekong Delta/My Tho full day tour — Including guided group tour, transport, boat cruise, entrance fees & lunch.Book discount hereVND 344,000Chu Chi Tunnels half-day tour — Including guided group tour, transport & entrance fees. Per person.Book discount hereVND 15,000Reunification Palace — Entrance fee per adult.VND 15,000War Remnants Museum — Entrance fee per adult.Budget Trip – Backpacker ExpensesVND 40,000Transport — Airport transfers by bus (roundtrip)VND 240,000Accommodations — 3D2N stay in backpacker dorms. VND 120,000 per bed per night x 2 nightsVND 450,000Food — Daily budget of VND 150,000 x 3 days.VND 718,000Activities — Mekong Delta & Chu Chi Tunnels tour + entrance fees on Saigon sightsVND 730,000Total (excluding activities) — Includes roundtrip airport bus fare, accommodations & food for 3 days. Excludes short rides within the city, activities & flights. Approximately USD 32 / PHP 1.680. Or, a daily budget of VND 243,000 / USD 11 / PHP 560.VND 1,448,000Total — Includes 3 days expenses + activities above. Approximately USD 64 / PHP 3,331. Or, a daily budget of VND 482,000 / USD 21 / PHP 1,109.Don’t let all zeros fool you. The budget above is really cheap considering it includes 2 guided tours outside the city — Mekong Delta & Chu Chi Tunnels. 1 million Vietnamese dong is just USD 44 or PHP 2,200.I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can travel in Ho Chi Minh. If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your own budget.Other activitiesVND 200,000Saigon Skydeck — Admission fee per person.Book discount hereOther expensesVND 20-40KShort Uber/Grab car rides within the city — Estimated fare per trip/car. 4 people max.VND 12-20KShort UberMoto/GrabBike within the city — Estimated fare per trip. Per person.VND 115,000Vietnam pocket wifi — Per day. Connects up to 8 devices.Book discount herePHP 1,620Philippine Travel Tax — For Filipino outbound tourists only.Where to Stay in Ho Chi MinhThe main tourist area in Ho Chi Minh is District 1. It’s the best places to stay if you want a convenient location near top tourist spots, restaurants, shopping & nightlife.District 1 is packed with hotels & hostels that cater to any budget.Most low-cost places & affordable hostels can be found in the area of Pham Ngu Lao & Bui Vien streets, the backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh.Meanwhile, excellent mid-range and luxury hotels are located near the riverside & Nguyen Hue Walking Street.Compare all rates & reviewsHo Chi Minh hotels & hostelsHere’s a list of recommended hotels, hostels & places to stay in Ho Chi Minh. Click below to check prices, discounts & guest reviews.Phan Anh Backpackers Budget | Pham Ngu Lao, District 1Book hereSon Tung HotelBudget | De Tham Street, District 1Book herePhuc Khanh HotelBudget | Yersin, District 1Book hereLa Hostel SaigonBudget | Nguyen Thai Hoc, District 1Book hereNguyen Shack SaigonMid-range | Ben Thanh , District 1Book hereCinnamon Boutique Hotel SaigonSplurge | Le Thi Rieng, District 1Book hereTripwriter HotelSplurge | Pham Ngu Lao, District 1Book hereHotel Nikko SaigonSplurge | Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1Book hereLiberty Central SaigonSplurge | Pasteur Street, District 1Book hereCaravelle Saigon HotelSplurge | Lam Son Square, District 1Book hereHotel Majestic SaigonSplurge | Dong Khoi Street, District 1Book hereRex Hotel SaigonSplurge | Nguyen Hue, District 1Book hereWhere to bookBook your stay online through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy convenient bookings.Click below to see more places to stay and compare rates/discounts:AgodaBooking.comAirbnbHere are some of the top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too:Show moreWide selection of Ho Chi Minh hotels/hostels for all budgets.Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn!Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests.Instant confirmation & free cancellation on most properties.Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.Fast customer support.How to find affordable yet decent hotels perfect for your budgetStep 1 — Go to Agoda.com.Step 2 — Show the best locations only by filtering results by neighborhood. Tap the filter button and scroll down to “Neighborhood.” Then, select these places in Ho Chi Minh:Pham Ngu Lao StreetBui Vien StreetSaigon RiversideNguyen Hue Walking StreetStep 3 — View all properties within your price range by tapping on the “Filter” button. Then, scroll down to “Price per night” and select your price range. Tap on “Filter” to see the results. For desktop users, you can find the filters on the left side of the page.Step 4 — See properties with the highest guest reviews by using the “Guest Rating” filter. Select “9+ Exceptional”. In case there are few results displayed select “8+ Excellent”.To check the cheapest rooms/beds, simply sort the results by price from lowest to highest.To check the best places to stay, sort the results by guest ratings. Tap the “Sort” button. Then, choose “Guest ratings” > “All guests” or any of the choices you like. For desktop users, the sort button is located on top of the results.Carefully check the number of reviews, not only the review score. A higher number of reviews mean a more reliable review score.Pro tip — Go to Booking.com to check more properties, reviews and rates. Use the “Location Score” filter to narrow down to hostels/hotels with the best location. Select “Superb location: 9+.”Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips Before You GoHow to get to Ho Chi Minh?Ho Chi Minh FlightsFlights to Ho Chi Minh arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), the gateway to South Vietnam & busiest airport in the country. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh airport to the city center/downtown area is usually 45 minutes. Or, more if traffic is heavy. You can go via the airport bus, taxi, Uber/Grab or private car. Philippines-Manila to Ho Chi Minh flightsCebu Pacific, Philippine Airline & AirAsia operate direct flights from The Philippines to Ho Chi Minh. Travel time from Manila to Ho Chi Minh by plane is 2 hours and 35 minutes.As an alternative, you can search more options and cheap airfares on connecting flights via Singapore, Kuala Lumpur & Hong Kong.Ho Chi Minh Airport to city center/downtownBy bus — Ride Bus #109, which has a stop at Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1. The fare is VND 20,000 per person. This route operates from 5:30 am until 1:30 am. You can also go on Bus #49, which also passes by Pham Ngu Lao & popular hotel areas beyond. The fare is VND 40,000 per person. The cheapest way to the airport is via Bus #152, which departs from the bus station near Ben Thanh. This route only runs until 6 pm. The fare is VND 5,000 per person.By Taxi/Grab/Uber — Metered rates range from VND 150,000 to VND 170,000 per ride. Ride-hailing/sharing apps are also popular. Use Uber or Grab for convenient & safe rides in Ho Chi Minh.Get UberGrab (iOS)Grab (Android)By private car — For hassle-free transfers, book a private car with a convenient drop-off to your hotel or Ho Chi Minh Airport (if coming from the city). You can hire a car that can seat up to 4 people or a van for bigger groups (up to 7 people per car). Click below to see discount prices.See discountsHo Chi Minh Airport Transfers (SGN Pick Up)How to find cheap flights to Ho Chi Minh?The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on multiple airlines in one go.I use these sites often to find the best prices on flights. Check as many sites as possible because not all may display the same results. Click below to start your search.Also, check Ho Chi Minh promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold several months to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date.To learn more, visit the guide on how to book cheap flights.Where to book bus & train tickets online?Traveling by bus or train to Ho Chi Minh from Cambodia, Thailand or other places in Vietnam? Check the price on sites below that offers the best rates, schedule & comfort. Buy your tickets well ahead to avoid fully-booked seats.12go.asiaBookMeBusDo I need a Visa to travel to Ho Chi Minh?Visa for Philippine citizens — Filipino/Pinoy tourists (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Vietnam granted that the purpose of the visit is for tourism or transit only. Simply show up at the immigration checkpoint and get your passport stamped. Filipinos usually get a maximum stay of 21 days.Always remember that all countries have the right to refuse entry to any person. Even if you are eligible for the free tourist visa or already have one in hand at the border.For a hassle-free trip, make sure that you are able to provide the following:Valid passport not expiring within 6 months.A confirmed travel itinerary — Including a confirmed flight ticket back to your home country or onward destination that you are allowed to enter.Proof of accommodation — Hotel reservation or letter of invitation from your friend/family residing in Vietnam.Evidence that you are able to fund your stay for the entire duration of your visit — May it be in the form of cash or bank account statements.Evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only — You may show tours/activities that you have pre-booked online.How to get Vietnam money?Vietnam’s currency is called Vietnamese Dong (VND or ₫). You should be able to exchange your USD, EUR, GBP, and SGD easily at most money exchange stalls. Don’t exchange a lot at the airport. Branches found in the city usually offer better rates. It’s best to get enough VND at the airport for a ride to your hotel or first 1-2 days expenses. Then, shop around at the city center for the best rates.Philippine Pesos (PHP) to Vietnamese Dong — Exchanging PHP to VND is not popular in Vietnam. Rates are often not favorable. Also, you might waste a lot of time finding currency exchange stalls in the city that accept Philippine Pesos. Better bring USD in cash. Or, find a way to get Vietnamese Dong before arriving.ATMs — I often use my ATM card when I travel abroad. It’s way more convenient than to worry about exchanging cash. Because banks charge a fee per withdrawal, I make sure to withdraw large amounts (once, if possible) instead of several smaller ones.Before your trip, it’s important to contact your bank and request to activate your card for international withdrawal. Your card might not work otherwise. I use a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) ATM card and it takes 24-hours for the bank to complete the activation. Call your bank at least 1 day before your trip! My ATM card has the Cirrus logo on it & could use it on any ATMs that also display the Cirrus logo.Credit cards — Go cash-less whenever possible if you want to avoid paying/exchanging cash. This is easily done by pre-booking online for hotels, tours, transport etc. I opt to pay in my home currency, if available. That way, I know exactly how much is charged to my account. Credit cards are also accepted in many establishments in Vietnam. Of course, except for small shops & local transport.When is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh?The best months to visit Ho Chi Minh is during the dry season from December to April. Traveling at other times of the year are generally okay depending on what places/holidays you like to enjoy. And, whether you want to visit when prices are lower. Here’s a quick guide on what to expect during different seasons in Vietnam:Cool & dry season — December to February are the best months to visit. It’s not as hot and rains are less frequent compared to other times of the year. This is the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices. Book your accommodations/tours ahead especially during major holidays.Dry season — March, April & May are the hottest months. Better bring sun protection.Wet season — Heavy rains are more frequent but usually does not last all day. Prices are lower during these months.How to get around Ho Chi Minh?You can get around by taxi, xe om (motorcycle taxi), public bus or by using ride-hailing/sharing apps. Ho Chi Minh currently does not have a metro (train) or mass rapid transit (MRT/LRT/subway) system. Construction of the Ho Chi Minh City Metro is still ongoing and is due for to be completed in 2020.I used Uber & Grab frequently for affordable & hassle-free rides around the city. Taxis are easy to find, but it may be hard to communicate with many drivers because of the language barrier. Make sure to insist that the driver use the meter. Reliable taxi companies include Mai Linh and Vinasun.District 1, the main tourist & hotel district, is a compact area that is easy to explore by walking. It can get tiring and hot though, so I use Uber/Grab/Taxi often because rides are very cheap. A short Uber/Grab ride within the city can be as cheap as VND 20K to 40K (only USD 1 to 2 / PHP 50 to 100!).You can even travel at half the cost by taking an UberMoto/GrabBike, which is their motorcycle taxi service. Yes, never ignore the risks of getting around by motorbike in Vietnam. But it is undeniably faster than traveling by car and getting stuck in traffic. It is cheaper too. The fare for short rides in District 1 is usually VND 12K to 20K or less than USD 0.5 to 1 / PHP 25 to 50!Useful travel appsGoogle Maps — This travel app will make it a lot easier to navigate around Ho Chi Minh on your own. Download the offline maps before you go so you can check the map even if you don’t have mobile data.Maps.me — Excellent offline maps & Google Maps alternative.Uber & Grab ( iOS / Android ) — Reliable ride-sharing apps.XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter.Google Translate — Very useful to communicate with locals who do not understand/speak English.Agoda & Booking.com — My go-to for convenient hotel bookings & cheap room rates. To display the total price (including taxes & fees) on Agoda, click here to download the app. Tap the menu on the top left corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap on “Price display”. Then, select “Total stay”.Airbnb — Home/apartment rentals.12go.asia & BookMeBus — Online booking for bus, train & other transport in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & beyond.Momondo & Skyscanner — Top flight search & price comparison apps.TripAdvisor — Reviews on the best places to eat & where to stay. Download the app on your iOS or Android device.Where to get Pocket WiFi or buy a mobile data SIM card?Stay connected online during your whole trip. Not only does it make it possible to share your travel moments instantly, you can also travel better by having access to all your favorite travel apps anytime. If you can’t get a good roaming data plan from your current provider, pre-book a local/roaming SIM card online.See discountsVietnam 3G pocket wifi — Pick up or drop off your rental right at your hotel front desk in Ho Chi Minh City. Connects up to 8 devices.See discountsWhere to book tours & attraction tickets?Go to Klook for easy, fast, and convenient bookings. I often book online to enjoy discount rates and reliable tours. Click below to see today’s lowest prices.See discountsHere are some of the top reasons why I like to book tours online & why you should consider it too:Maximize your trip & avoid wasting time walking around town shopping for tours.Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision.Grab bargain prices often cheaper than booking on-site.Free cancellation (check if available).Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.If you’ve already finalized your travel dates, it’s important to book well before the trip. For join-in & private tours, Klook closes the booking period 1-3 days before the tour date. Also, the number of participants is limited on each tour & day. So, reserve early, especially if you are traveling with a group to lock-in those open slots for your group.Click below to see more tours & discounts on:See discountsExpediaThings To Do in Ho Chi Minh + Places to VisitCheck out these top tourist spots, best places to visit & things to do in Ho Chi Minh.1. Ho Chi Minh City Hall Ho Chi Minh City Hall in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamFormerly the Hôtel de Ville de Saïgon, this elegant building is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic landmarks. It was built during the early 1900s in French-colonial style and later renamed as the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. A popular time to visit is during nighttime when the building & grounds are lit up.Location — 86 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1 (See map).Admission/entrance fee — None/Free to take pictures from outside.How to get to Ho Chi Minh City Hall — Found at the heart of the city, the Ho Chi Minh City Hall is easily reached from hotels/hostel in District 1. From Pham Ngu Lao, you can get there on foot (20 minutes walk;1.7km) or by taxi/car/motorcycle. Don’t break a sweat by taking a taxi/Uber/Grab car, which should cost VND 20,000 to 30,000. By UberMoto/GrabBike, the fare is VND 12,000 to 15,000.2. Saigon Skydeck Mekong River view from Saigon SkyDeck, in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam City view from Saigon SkyDeck, in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamLocation — Bitexco Financial Tower, 36 Ho Tung Mau St. (See map).Opening hours — 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.Admission/entrance fee — VND 200,000 per person.How to get to Saigon Skydeck — Getting there from the Reunification Palace on foot takes around 15 minutes (1.5 kilometers). You can find the Bitexco Financial Tower near the riverside end of Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The entrance to Saigon Skydeck is located along Ho Tung Mau Street.3. Nguyen Hue Walking Street Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamNguyen Hue used to be one of the main thoroughfares of Ho Chi Minh. Now, it’s totally closed to traffic and a must-visit attraction of the city, especially at night when you can see French-colonial style & modern buildings lit up. Stretching from Ho Chi Minh City Hall to the Mekong River, it’s almost a kilometer in length.Location — Nguyen Hue St., District 1 (See map).Opening hours — All day/night.Admission/entrance fee — None/Free.How to get to Nguyen Hue Walking Street — Right in front of Ho Chi Minh City Hall. You can’t miss it!4. The Lunch Lady Shrimp noodles at The Lunch Lady, in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamIf you want to try delicious local Vietnamese food, this is one of the best places to go. The Lunch Lady was made famous when it got featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” in 2009.Location — 23 Hoang Sa St., District 1 (See map).Opening hours — 9 am to 3 pm.Prices — Mains from VND 40,000 per dish.How to get to The Lunch Lady — You can find it on a quiet corner near Hoang Sa Street. The Lunch Lady can be hard to find for first-timers & a long walk away from Saigon Central Post Office/Ho Chi Minh City Hall. So, better get there by Uber/Grab/Taxi & check Google Maps for directions.5. Saigon Opera House Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh, VietnamLocation — 7 Lam Son Square, District 1 (See map).Admission/entrance fee — None/Free.Opening hours — 7 am to 7 pm.How to get to Saigon Opera House — Like most city attractions in District 1, Saigon Opera House is within an easy walk from Ho Chi Minh City Hall. In fact, it’s just right around the block. Follow Nguyen Hue Walking Street eastwards & turn left to Saigon Opera House.6. Saigon Norte Dame Basilica Notre Dame Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) , VietnamLocation — End of Dong Khoi Street, District 1 (See map).Admission/entrance fee — None/Free to take pictures from outside.How to get to Saigon Norte Dame Basilica — From Saigon Opera House, follow Dong Khao street until you reach Saigon Norte Dame Basilica. You can’t miss it!7. Saigon Central Post Office Central Post Office Interiors in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), VietnamLocation — End of Dong Khoi Street opposite Notre Dame Cathedral, District 1 (See map).Admission/entrance fee — None/Free.Opening hours — 7 am to 7 pm.How to get to Saigon Central Post Office — Facing the front/facade of Saigon Norte Dame Basilica, you can find the Saigon Central Post Office on your left.8. Emperor Jade Pagoda Jade Emperor Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh, VietnamLocation — 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1 (See map).Opening hours — 7 am to 6 pm.Admission/entrance fee — None/Free.How to get to Emperor Jade Pagoda — If you feel like taking a walk after a full meal at The Lunch Lady, you can go to the Emperor Jade Pagoda on foot. Walk towards the riverside and turn left at Hoang Sa Street. Turn another left once you reach the bridge. Cross to the other side of Dien Bien Phu Street (at the roundabout), turn left and walk towards Mai Thi Luu Street. Once you reach the corner, turn right and walk a couple of meters to the Emperor Jade Pagoda.9. Ho Chi Minh shopping Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh, VietnamHo Chi Minh is a shopper’s paradise, especially for bargain-hunters looking to buy items from top international brands at a fraction of the price. If you didn’t already know, Vietnam is home to factories of many famous clothing/bag brands including The North Face, Nike, Under Armour, Kipling, Forever21, Mango, Zara and more. Bags & active/sportswear clothing are sold at shocking rock-bottom prices in Ho Chi Minh.Ben Thanh Market — A large marketplace housed in the historic Central Market building. It’s probably the most popular place to buy souvenirs, Vietnamese art, branded goods & local handicrafts. Sellers often offer higher prices to non-local, so bargain hard & shop around before buying. Not keen on shopping? There are many good food stalls here that serve local Vietnamese dishes. Ben Thanh Market is located on Duong Le Loi Street, District 1 (See map).Saigon Square — Sellers are not as aggressive as those in Ben Thanh Market & prices are often cheaper too. This air-conditioned mall is packed with stalls selling clothing, bags, accessories, and jewelry. Here, you can buy Nike dri-fit shirt for around USD 5 / PHP 250 & The North Face bags/jackets for USD40 or less. Shocking, right? Most of the items are factory overruns or class A imitation. So, check the quality of the items before buying. Saigon Square is located on 81 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1 (See map).10. Ho Chi Minh nightlife Bui Vien backpacker & nightlife Street, in Ho Chi Minh, VietnamFor a fun night out & drinks, head to Bui Vien Street, Ho Chi Minh’s version of Khao San Road in Bangkok. It is the famous backpacker area filled with bars, restaurants & dance clubs.If you’re looking to splurge & enjoy views overlooking the city, here’s a list of cool rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh:Alto Heli Bar & EON 51 — 52nd & 51st floor, Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hai Trieu Street, District 1; bitexcofinancialtower.com.Chill Skybar — 26th floor, AB Tower, 76A Le Lai Street, District 1; chillsaigon.com.Top of the Town Bar — 25th floor, Windsor Plaza Hotel, 18 An Duong Vuong Street, District 5.Level 23 Wine Bar — 23rd floor, Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, 88 Dong Khoi Street, District 1; sheratonsaigon.com.Shri Restaurant & Lounge — 23rd floor, Centec Tower, 72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1; shri.vn.Grand Café — 20th floor, Grand Hotel, 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1; grandhotel.vn.Saigon Saigon Bar — 10th floor, Caravelle Hotel, 19-23 Lam Son Square, District 1; caravellehotel.com.Breeze Sky Bar and M Bar — 5th and 8th floor, Hotel Majestic, 1 Dong Khoi Street, District 1; majesticsaigon.com.vn.Rooftop Garden Bar — 5th floor, Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1; rexhotelvietnam.com.Broma — 4th floor, 41 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1; facebook.com/bromabar.11. Reunification Palace Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) , VietnamAlso known as The Independence Palace.Location — 106 Nguyen Du, District 1 (See map).Opening hours — 7:30 to 11 am, 1 to 4 pmAdmission/entrance fee — VND 15,000 per person.How to get to Reunification Palace — From the War Remnants Museum, follow Le Quy Don Street eastwards (on your right after exiting) until the dead end. Turn left to the next intersection and another right to get to the entrance gate of the Reunification Palace.12. War Remnants MuseumLocation — 28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3 (See map).Opening hours — # am to # pm.Opening hours — 7:30 am to 6 pmAdmission/entrance fee — VND 15,000 per person.How to get to War Remnants Museum — It’s around 1 kilometer or a 15-minute walk away from Norte Dame Basilica/Central Post Office. If you’re coming from The Lunch Lady/Emperor Jade Pagoda, the War Remnants Museum is better reached by Uber/Grab/taxi.13. Mekong Delta Mekong floating market and river cruise, in Can Tho, VietnamSee the beautiful countryside of Mekong Delta including iconic fishing villages with stilt houses, rice paddies, floating markets. The most popular destinations in the Mekong Delta include My Tho (nearest & most accessible from Ho Chi Minh), Vinh Long & Can Tho. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh to My Tho is 1h by bus. To Can Tho, travel time is 3-4h.Tours & discounts14. Chu Chi TunnelsFamous underground tunnels that were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots and location of several military campaigns. It’s an easy day trip away from Ho Chi Minh City.Tours & discountsBeyond Ho Chi Minh15. Hanoi & Ha Long Bay Cruise boats and blue sky, in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh, VietnamIn contrast to modern and high-energy Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese capital city is remarkably less busy and has an old-town feel with scenic lakes & more traditional style of life. Hanoi is the gateway to Ha Long Bay and North Vietnam. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 2h by flight, 36-38h by train.Tours & discountsSee moreHanoi travel tipsHa Long Bay16. Hoi An & Da Nang Dusk along the riverside in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, VietnamHoi An is known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Meanwhile, Da Nang is a popular beach destination & the main gateway to Central Vietnam. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h20m by flight, 16-19h by train or 20-22h by bus.Da Nang Tours & discountsHoi AnSee moreHoi An travel tipsDa Nang17. DalatKnown as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its cool climate. Dalat is known for its elegant French-colonial buildings, pine forests, lakes, waterfalls and coffee/tea farms. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h by flight or 6-8h by bus.18. Mui NeThis beach resort town is home to the famous red and white sand dunes of South Vietnam. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 5-7h by bus.19. Nha TrangOne of the Vietnam’s major beach destinations, Nha Trang is especially popular among local weekenders from Ho Chi Minh and foreigners who want to enjoy great-value resorts. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h by flight, 8h by train or 8-9h by bus.20. Phu QuocLocated off the southwest coast of Vietnam near the Cambodian border. Phu Quoc is one of the country’s emerging island destinations known for white-sand beaches and resorts. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h by flight or 9-11h by bus+ferry.Tours & discounts21. Phnom Pehn Angkor Wat replica at the Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, CambodiaAngkor Wat replica at the Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Cambodia’s capital city. Home to the Royal Palace & Killing Fields. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h by flight or 5-6h by bus.Tours & discountsSee morePhnom Penh travel tips22. Siem ReapGateway to Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s #1 tourist spot. Travel time from Ho Chi Minh is 1h by flight or 10-13h by bus.Tours & discountsSee moreSiem Reap travel tipsDon’t Stop HereDid you find this travel guide helpful? Share your trips & tag #detourista. Follow updates on:Instagram @detouristaHQFacebook @detouristaPinterestSee more Ho Chi Minh blog tips & travel guides:16 Places To Visit in VietnamIndochina ItineraryCheck out these pages for more travel inspiration beyond Ho Chi Minh:Asian Countries To Visit17 Places To Visit in CambodiaLaos Tourist Spots Don’t leave yet. There’s more!Indochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the Philippines11 Best Countries to Visit in Asia for First-TimersBalabac Trip Guide for First-TimersDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:Ho Chi MinhVietnamSoutheast AsiaAsia See all placesFind more posts about:FeaturedItineraryPinoy Travel BlogTravel GuideBudgetTourist SpotsLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Comments Greg saysDecember 1, 2018 at 7:23 am For me, the most interesting place in Ho Chi Minh City is the Museum of War Remnants. The photos are drastic but it’s worth seeing them.Reply Start A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.