things to do in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam

10+ Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Saigon Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh City attracts millions of visitors yearly as one of the must-visit destinations in Vietnam. Although the city is busy with hectic life, it has its charm and worth exploring at least a few days.

What are the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city?

Plan an awesome trip to Vietnam with a comprehensive guide to Saigon below.

 

I. Top things to do in Saigon Vietnam

1. Enjoy a great view from Saigon Skydeck at Bitexco Financial Tower

Opened since 2011, the Saigon Deck is located on the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower, a 68-floor  lotus-shaped skyscraper.

best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh Saigon Vietnam

After purchasing the Saigon Skydeck ticket, you can enter the elevator to get to the observation deck on the 49th floor of the building. You can then enjoy a great view of Ho Chi Minh city.

A Skydeck ticket costs around $8.6, and with an extra $2.15, you can join the Heineken beer tour and enjoy a beer with a great view.

-> Book ticket for Saigon Skydeck to enjoy the view of Saigon

Note:

  • Check the weather forecast carefully to avoid the foggy day.
  • If you don’t have time in the morning, the view at night is also worth it.
  • Upgrade your ticket to enjoy Heineken beer while observing the view

Address: Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hải Triều, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.

 

2. Explore Saigon on Motorbike

Saigon is, without a doubt, the city of motorbikes with more than 4.2 million motorbikes on the streets at peak hours. 

While exploring Thailand with a tuk-tuk is a must-do, traveling in Vietnam on motorbikes is a great experience that you should not miss.

You can either rent a bike per day or book the Saigon Motorbike Adventure Tour to explore the city.

Note:

Although the renter usually doesn’t ask for your license when you rent a bike, you may not get insurance if you have an accident.

Thus, we recommend going on a motorbike tour instead for your safety and convenience.

China Town Saigon Vietnam

 

3. Explore China Town Cho Lon

Saigon is home to different cultures, and the Chinese neighborhoods are one of the remarkable areas.

Chinatown, also known as Cho Lon, is located in District 5, District 11 and a part of District 6 of Ho Chi Minh City.

Old Apartment Saigon Vietnam

This place focuses on the culture, cuisine, and unique architecture of the Chinese, mainly Chaozhou and Fujian, so it has created a unique feature in Saigon.

Here, you will feel like you are in a residential area of Hong Kong or lost in a world entirely built by the hands of the Chinese. Most of the houses in this area were built in the late 19th century with Chinese architecture.

China Town temple Saigon Vietnam

We joined a self-guided tour from Urban Tales and explored China Town in a unique way. 

We were on the mission to solve a mysterious murder case, and while doing so, we visited different areas in District 5, including assembly halls and a market.

The tour was well-organized, and our guide checked up on us several times to make sure that we didn’t get lost. 

Urban Tales Saigon Vietnam

The game is available everyday for 2 to 12 participants.

Daily departure: 8:15am – 2pm

Price range:

Price per person (no transfer): 990.000 VND / adult & 750.000 VND / child (7-11 year olds). Free for children under 7 years old.

Supplement for transfer by classic French car:
+ 300.000 VND per adult
+ 250.000 VND per child.

What to pack for the game

Because the game takes part in the morning, you should use sun cream and bring sunglasses. Also, don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You will walk a lot!

 

4. Try Saigon Street Food

Trying Vietnamese street food is one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city.

Saigon street has long become a culinary paradise with a variety of street food from local restaurants to snacks that are sold along the road.

Saigon food tours Vietnam

It’s exciting to know that low-cost street food is sometimes more delicious than food at fancy restaurants.

Bun Thit Nuong, Banh Xeo, Com Tam, etc. are delicious Vietnamese street food that you should try in Saigon.

We’ve joined several food tours in Saigon, and we recommend joining the Saigon Adventure tour to enjoy local food and explore Saigon’s streets like a local.

Saigon Adventour guides

Note: You should learn some basic Vietnamese words and phrases such as numbers so it’s easier to order food.

 

5. Join the Vietnamese cooking class

If you’re a big fan of Vietnamese food, why not try to cook one or two Vietnamese dishes?

Although there are several Youtube videos about Vietnamese food, attending Vietnamese cooking class is a better choice as you can learn a proper recipe and have someone instruct you carefully.

We joined a farm-to-table cooking class and had a blast! You can read more about our experience here.

Ho Chi Minh Cooking class Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Cooking class Vietnam

 

6. Enjoy a dinner cruise on Saigon River

What is better than sipping a glass of wine 🍷 while enjoying a fine dining experience with a stunning view of Saigon?

While dining in restaurants and eateries has become a standard, enjoying an exciting dinner cruise on the Saigon river will be a highlight of your trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

With Bonsai cruise, you can enjoy a 2-hour buffet style dining with excellent live performances and professional service.

Bonsai dinner cruise Saigon river Ho Chi Minh city

 

7. Attend shows at Saigon Opera House

Built-in 1897 with neoclassical style and inspired by the design of the Opera House in Paris, Saigon Opera House is a beautiful and elegant artwork highlighting the heart of vibrant Saigon.

Although this place was built to entertain the French expeditionary force, it was also known as the popular entertainment destination of the elite.

best things to do in Ho Chi Minh Saigon Vietnam

Nowadays, Saigon Opera House is a famous performance place of academic music programs with amazing international musical works and works by Vietnamese composers such as Orchestra, Opera, Ballet, etc.

Saigon Opera House opens numerous shows for travelers, such as A O Show or Teh Dar Show. You can experience the richness of Vietnamese culture with a spectacular hour-long show in Saigon Opera House.

-> Book and enjoy the show at Saigon Opera House

You can choose to

  • Listen to Vietnamese folk music played with 17 traditional instruments in the A O Show
  • Listen to the energetic rhythm performed live with tribe instruments in the Teh Dar Show

Address: 7 Công Trường Lam Sơn, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

 

8. Have fun at 3D Artinus Museum

Although the location is a bit far from the center, visiting Artinus Museum should be on your list of alternative things to do in Ho Chi Minh.

This museum is an excellent place if you enjoy art and creative activities. The wall is full of brilliant theme art, which allows visitors to create creative poses.

You can transform into giants or tiny characters, or experience the tsunami, and join the race of dinosaurs. You can also check in with the angel wings in the legend or fighting with a big bear.

Address02-04 Road 9, Him Lam Residence, Tan Hung Thuan Ward, District 7

 

9. Go Shopping at An Dong Market

If you are too familiar with Ben Thanh Market, try visiting An Dong Market instead.

Located in An Dong Commercial Center, this place is considered as the largest wholesale clothing market in Saigon with a variety of models and extremely reasonable prices.

Tips: You should negotiate before purchasing any item in this market.

Address: 34-36 An Dương Vương, Ward 9, District 5, Ho Chi Minh city.

 

10. Enjoy the coffee culture

Traveling to Vietnam without trying Vietnamese coffee will be a huge miss.

Coffee is not only a drink but also a cultural activity in Saigon. You can find several coffee shops in Saigon, with people sitting inside or on the street, sipping coffee at any time of the day.

The most well-known coffee in Saigon is Ca Phe Sua Da, which means coffee with condensed milk. If you prefer something not so sweet, Ca Phe Da (black coffee) is an alternative option.

My favorite area for coffee is on Pasteur street near Notre Dame Cathedral in District 1. You can find many coffee shops around the quarter.

things to do in Ho Chi Minh: trying coffee in saigon

 

11. Have drinks on a rooftop bar

What to do at night in Ho Chi Minh?

After a busy night exploring the city, enjoying a night with some cocktails and a vibrant view of Saigon seems to be a great choice.

You can find several rooftop bars in Saigon, and my favorite one is The View Rooftop bar on Bui Vien street.

Address: 195 Bùi Viện, Phạm Ngũ Lão Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.

 

12. Party till morning on Bui Vien Street

Bui Vien street, or known as Phố Tây (Foreign area), is an excellent place for a night out for foreigners as well as the locals.

The weekend is the busiest time of the week thanks to its unique and fascinating entertainment activities. Many artistic performances on the sidewalk or the middle of the street attract a lot of visitors and create an exciting atmosphere.

Bui Vien’s walking street is full of restaurants, cafes, restaurants, and bars. You can sit on the sidewalk, drinking beer and eating street food, or you can get in the busy bars and clubs in the area.

The street can be super crowded, and you cannot move due to “traffic jam,” but a visit here will be fun and relaxing.

where to go at night in Saigon Ho Chi Minh

 

II. Day trips from Saigon

After exploring the city, you may find it’s interesting to take half-day or full-day trips from Saigon. There are many places to discover, such as Cu Chi Tunnel, Mekong Delta, or Floating market.

Below are my reviews on those trips

Can Gio Vietnam Mangrove Forest boat tour Vietnam

 

III. Where to buy SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh

To enjoy the best of your trip to Ho Chi Minh, you should purchase a local SIM card when arriving in Vietnam.

The easiest way is to reserve a SIM card online and collect it at Tan Son Nhat airport or get it at your hotel in Saigon.

 

IV. Best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh

The best area to stay in Saigon is District 1 or District 3. As most of the main attractions are in District 1, you may save up transportation budget and walk around.

On the other hand, District 3 is a quieter and easy to get to the center within 10 minutes drive. The accommodation price in District 3 can also be a bit cheaper than in District 1

-> Read tips to book a good accommodation in Vietnam

how to use couchsufing5

V. How to get around Ho Chi Minh

The most common way to get around Vietnam, or Ho Chi Minh in particular, is by motorbikes. You can also get a taxi easily on the street.

It recommended to take a cab from Vinasun or order Grab car/ Grab bikes when visiting Saigon.

To get from Tan Son Nhat airport to your hotels, you can book a private transfer vehicle

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using some of the links. 

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