The largest city in Vietnam is known for its French and Chinese influences, bustling markets and motorbike-filled boulevards.

Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as it is still often called) has a complicated history, much of which is reflected in the city today. Modern skyscrapers sit alongside 19th-century architecture, coffee next to traditional green tea, and Buddhist temples under the shadow of cathedrals.

The city is divided into districts, with the most historic being District 1 on the western bank of the Saigon River. Here, you’ll find the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office and the Ho Chi Minh Notre Dame Cathedral. The city’s European influence, from its time as a French colony, is most pronounced here, with impressive 19th-century architecture throughout the area. You’ll also find plenty of hotels so you can stay amongst the attractions. Go for a walk through nearby Tao Dan Park or wander north to the Jade Emperor Pagoda.

Take a break from the intensity of the city and head out to Dam Sen Water Park and the Dam Sen Park Complex. Further outside the city are the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels used in the Vietnam War. The War Remnants Museum is one of the most visited museums in Vietnam, with over half a million visitors a year.

Night time in Ho Chi Minh City provides welcome relief from the heat and humidity of the day and is often the best time to explore some of the more central areas. Dodge the motorbikes and wander the streets of districts 1 and 3 for world-class pho (rice noodle soup). Wash down dinner with the local beer, Bia Hoi, brewed and delivered every day. Shoppers looking for a bargain will find Ben Thanh Night Market a great place to explore.

Ho Chi Minh City is hot and humid, but plenty of buildings are air-conditioning and there are many shaded city parks. You’ll find it cheap and easy to get around, but be careful crossing roads as motorbikes do seem to be everywhere.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Downtown Ho Chi Minh City
Museum of Fine Arts featuring landscape views and a city

Downtown Ho Chi Minh City

Known for Flowers, Castles, Shopping

4/5(572 reviews)

The fantastic nightlife and popular shops are just a few highlights of Downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Make a stop by Ben Thanh Market or Saigon Square while you're exploring the area.

Ben Thanh
Bui Thi Xuan which includes street scenes and a city

Ben Thanh

If you're spending some time in Ben Thanh, Ben Thanh Market and Saigon Square are top sights worth seeing.

Dong Khoi
Saigon Skydeck which includes a city

Dong Khoi

Known for Shopping, Dining, Cafes

4.5/5(382 reviews)

The fantastic nightlife and popular shops are just a few highlights of Dong Khoi. Make a stop by Saigon Square or Vincom Center Shopping Mall while you're exploring the area.

Little Japan
Ho Chi Minh City showing markets, signage and night scenes

Little Japan

Known for Urban, Opera Houses, Shopping

4/5(87 reviews)

Travelers come to Little Japan for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like Opera House and Saigon River while you're in town.

Bui Thi Xuan
Bui Thi Xuan featuring a city and street scenes

Bui Thi Xuan

Known for Dining, Shopping, Friendly People

4.5/5(94 reviews)

A very popular commercial hub in Ho Chi Minh City, this spot has a lively mix of technology stores, fancy bars and restaurants and luxurious hotels.

Phu Nhuan
Traditional Pho in Saigon
trover photo by Chris Tomes

Phu Nhuan

Known for Skyscrapers, Cafes, Culture

4/5(58 reviews)

Visitors highly recommend Phu Nhuan for its abundant dining options, and you can make a stop by Gia Dinh Park while you're in town.

Top Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ibis Saigon Airport
ibis Saigon Airport
4 out of 5
2 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
¥6,426
per night
Dec 8 - Dec 9

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of War Remnants Museum, Independence Palace, and Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Saigon Central Post ...

4.3/5Excellent! (907 reviews)

"This is a very well run, comfortable place to stay. The staff is excellent and the front desk is well manned that even when very busy there isn’t much of a wait. The breakfast buffet is bountiful and diverse. There’s a nice rooftop bar where you can have a bite to eat and watch the planes land. Very ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 17, 2019

ibis Saigon Airport
Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint
Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint
4 out of 5
59 - 61 Pasteur Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
¥8,183
per night
Nov 24 - Nov 25

Located in Dong Khoi, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Saigon Square. Ben Thanh Market and Bitexco Financial Tower are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,115 reviews)

"The staff was friendly. The property was in good condition. One item we think the hotel can be improved right away is the hair dryer you must hold the switch in order to keep it working."…"

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2019

Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint
Hotel Nikko Saigon
Hotel Nikko Saigon
5 out of 5
235 Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
¥11,758
per night
Dec 8 - Dec 9

Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tu Du Hospital and Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area. Bui Vien Walking Street ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,041 reviews)

"Best hotel in ho chi min. An oasis in the chaos of the city"…"

Reviewed on Nov 11, 2019

Hotel Nikko Saigon

Popular things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market
Image for Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

4/5(666 reviews)

No trip to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without exploring this bustling market where you can enjoy a traditional Vietnamese dish or purchase souvenirs.

Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area
Image for Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area

Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area

4/5(243 reviews)

Known as the city’s main backpacker area, the streets of Pham Ngu Lao are lined with great value restaurants, colorful markets and lively bars.

War Remnants Museum
Image for War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum

4/5(371 reviews)

This much-visited museum presents a confronting and often graphic portrayal of the Vietnam War.

Opera House
Image for Opera House

Opera House

4/5(361 reviews)

This stunning theater, with its glistening white architecture and curved lines, makes it easy to forget that you are in Ho Chi Minh City and not in Paris.

Independence Palace
Image for Independence Palace

Independence Palace

4/5(359 reviews)

Get an appreciation for the years of conflict and unrest that plagued Vietnam during the 20th century at this fascinating palace.

Bui Vien Walking Street
Image for Bui Vien Walking Street
trover photo by The Wandering Wanderluster

Bui Vien Walking Street

4/5(330 reviews)

With a visit to Bui Vien Walking Street, a popular shopping spot in Ho Chi Minh City, you can find the perfect gifts to bring home. Discover the lively bars in this walkable area, or seek out the local tours.

Top activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels
Image for Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels

Luxury-Group Half-Day Tour of Cu Chi Tunnels

¥2,610

Escape the bustle of the city to explore rural scenery of Southern Vietnam and get an up-close look at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels in Southern Vietnam. Learn about the lives of Vietnamese soldiers by going for a subterranean stroll through the tunnels, and get the chance to fire guns from the Vietnam War era at a nearby shooting range.

Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch
Image for Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch

Mekong Delta Tour W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda, Rowing-Boat & Lunch

¥2,719

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking river wonderland of the Mekong Delta, located only 2 hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City. This experience is exclusively crafted by our guides who are native to the region, so that you will experience the true local vibes of the area, and be away from the crowds of tourists.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour
Image for Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour

Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Small-Group Tour

¥2,502

Imagine spending your days living in underground tunnels, only able to come out at night when the sun is down - that's what the people of Cu Chi did nearly 50 years ago during the Vietnam War.

Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat
Image for Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat

Small-Group Authentic Mekong Delta Tour by Luxury Speedboat

¥11,856

Nicknamed 'the rice bowl of Vietnam,' the fertile Mekong Delta provides work, food and shelter for much of Vietnam's population. On your full-day tour, you'll explore some of the delta's vast network of channels and canals by speedboat.

Small Group Full-Day Cai Be Floating Market Tour
Image for Small Group Full-Day Cai Be Floating Market Tour

Small Group Full-Day Cai Be Floating Market Tour

¥5,167

Weave through scores of boats loaded with bright piles of freshly picked produce and neatly folded stacks of new clothes. Barter with vendors for unique souvenirs and watch the interactions between locals at this fascinating floating market.

Saigon to CanTho
Image for Saigon to CanTho

Saigon to CanTho

¥3,627

The distance 190km driving for 4hours, although you might go by bus or taxi, but Saigon Private Car is the best choice, because it is cheaper, safety, quicker and ensure quality. Moreover, Saigon Private Car is professional team, English speaking driver, free wifi, and baby car seats (please as your request if you need).

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