Ho Chi Minh City (more commonly known as Saigon) is in the southern region of Vietnam, famous for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh is a noisy, hot, dynamic city that rarely sleeps with a complex history and plenty of culture to soak up!
I have put together this complete guide of 7 Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City to help you plan your trip!
Also in this Ho Chi Minh City Guide, I have included some useful information on where to stay in Ho Chi Minh, getting around and the best Ho Chi Minh City tour packages!
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TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY
1. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM
The War Remnants Museum is an eye-opener experience, to say the least – a museum not to be missed and one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh. The War Remnants Museum contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War, featuring historic photographs, military vehicles and weaponry.
It’s very rare to see exhibits, such as the ones inside the War Remnants Museum, that display the horrors of war so graphically and truthfully. It will honestly raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
The entrance fee to the War Remnants Museum is 40,000 dong and the opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.
War Remnants Museum – Things to do in Ho Chi Minh
Historical photographs inside – Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh
2. INDEPENDENCE PALACE
The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, is a very iconic landmark and one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Independence Palace was the home and workplace of the South Vietnam President during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon in April 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army Tank barged through the front gates.
The entrance fee to the Independence Palace is 40,000 dong and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
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The Independence Palace – Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh
Independence Palace – What to do in Ho Chi Minh
3. SAIGON NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. Its incredible architecture surrounds the rich spirituality behind the thousands of red bricks.
The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French colonists in the late 1800s and it is located in the most crowded district of Ho Chi Minh City – District 1. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral was one of my favorite places to visit in Ho Chi Minh.
The entrance fee to the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral – Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
4. SAIGON CENTRAL POST OFFICE
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a remnant of French colonial times and it is one of the grandest post offices in all of Southeast Asia. Marveling at the features of this beautiful building will take you back a step in time.
As you step inside the Saigon Central Post Office, which was built in the late 1800s, you can see looping arches, polished marble floors and old telephone boxes serving as a reminder of the importance the post office played before the days of email and mobile phones.
Fun Fact: The post office still uses old-fashioned glue pots for sticking stamps to letters!
The entrance fee to the Saigon Central Post Office is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Saigon Central Post Office – Best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh
Inside the Saigon Central Post Office – Things to do in Ho Chi Minh
5. HO CHI MINH CITY HALL
The Ho Chi Minh City Hall is a beautiful piece of architecture surrounded by extremely well-kept gardens and smooth paved roads.
Unfortunately, the Ho Chi Minh City Hall is not open to the public but it is a great spot for photo opportunities during the day and also at night when the building is colorfully lit.
Be sure to add a visit to the city hall on your list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Ho Chi Minh City Hall – What to do in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City Hall – Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
6. BEN THANH MARKET
The Ben Tanh Market is the most popular market in Ho Chi Minh City and a great place to put your haggling skills to the test. You can shop for local handicrafts, artworks, souvenirs and various clothing.
Inside Ben Tanh Market you can also find hawker-style Vietnamese food and fresh fruit juice stalls dotted throughout. Don’t be afraid to go deep and get lost as there are lots of interesting things to see and one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City.
The entrance fee to the Ben Thanh Market is FREE and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Ben Tanh Market – What to do in Ho Chi Minh City
Local marketers awaiting their next customers
7. SAIGON SKYDECK
Last but not least on this list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon Skydeck at the Bitexco Financial Tower, one of the main attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the entire city. The best time to visit is during sunset, this way you can catch a clear view of the distant buildings and landscapes during the golden hour before witnessing the colorful bright lights illuminate the city as the sky darkens.
The entrance fee to the Saigon Skydeck is 200,000 dong and opening hours are Monday – Sunday from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.
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Saigon Skydeck – Things to do in Saigon
GETTING AROUND HO CHI MINH CITY
The best way to explore the city is on a self-guided walking tour. There are a number of must-see locations all within 15 to 30 minutes walking distance from one and other.
Ho Chi Minh City is a popular hub for travelers arriving in Vietnam and departing Vietnam.
WHERE TO STAY IN HO CHI MINH CITY
District 1. is the best area to stay on your visit to Ho Chi Minh City, as it is walking distance to all of the locations mentioned above plus it’s close to many restaurants, cafes, bars and shops.
Ho Chi Minh has thousands of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh to suit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Fusion Suites Saigon
Mid Range: Alagon Central Hotel
Budget: Giang Hotel
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SAIGON, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
MAP OF HO CHI MINH CITY
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BEST VIETNAM TOURS
AIRBNB IN HO CHI MINH
Another option for accommodation in Ho Chi Minh is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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LONELY PLANET – VIETNAM
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Travel Guide!
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WHAT TO PACK FOR HO CHI MINH CITY
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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Before you go from this things to do in Ho Chi Minh post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH
Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions on things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, feel free to drop me a comment below and I will respond to you as soon as I can.
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