• Hanah

Top 10 must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City for travelers

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Which are the must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, rising imposingly with tons of ancient houses and stone buildings and owning the unique characteristics existing nowhere else. Which are the famous places in Ho Chi Minh City? Let's figure out!

One day, you want to get away from your country and escape to another, and explore some countries around the world. Finally, you find a must-visit country in Southeast Asia, Vietnam. Here, you will have chance to discover the unique tradition and culture different from other countries. You are planning to visit one of its spine cities including Ho Chi Minh City and you want to explore its must-visit attractions. So, where should you visit here to not only save your money but also complete your life’s journey? 


Otherwise, you can do a small trip with your local friends to deeply discover and understand this city. They will tell you more about the history of Ho Chi Minh City and take you to some local restaurants to enjoy traditional cuisine. But, do you remember their phone numbers? I know you forgot already, let me remind it for you via this link https://www.hahatours.com/ho-chi-minh

Ben Thanh Market

Bến Thành Market

One of the symbols of Vietnam is market, where business has been taking place from the very early century until today. Ben Thanh Market is the biggest, oldest traditional market in Ho Chi Minh City which is located right at the central of the city. You might be surprise as all the shops are snuggled closed together, which makes people hard to find ways. Here, visitors can find local souvenirs, handcrafts… 


Especially, you can have a chance to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine right at the market including vegetarian food, sticky rice, Vietnamese noodle with reasonable price. During the day, the business is going on inside market until 19:00 to avoid the sun and the rain outside. Then, it moves out and becomes the night market which makes the night of the city more bustling. Generally, visitors can enjoy your time with the market all day until 24:00.

Ben Thanh Night Market

Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1.

Fee: free

Visiting time:

Day time: 06:00AM - 06:00PM

Night time: 07:00AM - 11:30PM



Cu Chi Tunnels

Củ Chi Tunnels

If you are the kind of people who get interested in the wars, especially Vietnamese war, visiting Cu Chi Tunnels is a must. This is a part of a much network of tunnels underneath the land of Vietnam. 


Can you imagine how difficult it is to live underground where light and air are inadequate? And yet, this was used to hide from enemies, supply food and drugs, and communicate between the Viet Cong soldiers. American soldiers called this “Black Echo” to describe the conditions of the tunnels. HaHa Tours also provide a Củ Chi Half Day tour that you can enjoy the trip with our enthusiastic tour guides. Visit here: http://hahatours.asia/half-day-cu-chi-tour/


Here, you will know and see how small it is when you go underground to explore the lines and feel the condition. This located in Cu Chi District, which is quite far from the city. There are three ways to get there, by tours, by bus and by motorbikes. 


If you want to enjoy the group to visit here and want to be guided during your trip, you should go with the tours. Depending on how you want to join, there are some normal tours, or deluxe tours including or not including meals. You should also refer some tours combining with visiting other places like Mekong Delta or Cao Dai Temple. The price is depended on how the tour is. 


Otherwise, the very cheapest way is going by bus, and also wasting time, honestly. From the central, you go to the bus stations at Ben Thanh Market or 23/9 Park to take the buses. You should take… 2 or 3 buses to get the tunnels. However, the importance is whether you know where to stop and take another bus because bus line in Vietnam is quite terrible. It takes you at least 3 hours to get there and 3 hours more to come back. However, this is the cheapest way because the bus tickets are under 15.000 VND for each. 


Another way is going by motorbikes which is suitable for the kind of people loving adventure. You can rent motorbikes at your accommodation or at some tour offices. The rental bike is around 150.000 VND per day.

Address: TL 15, Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung Ward, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Fee: 110.000 VND

Visiting time: 7:00 – 17:00

War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum

How terrible the war in Vietnam was is displayed in the War Remnant Museum. The name reveals itself. It features scenes, objects the horror of wars between Vietnam and America, France. Of course, this is one of the must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. Here, it takes you around 1 to 3 hours to visit depending on how you are interested in the war. Take your time to stop by each room and each floor. Read carefully each photo and each object exhibited here, especially the room of Agent Orange to see the consequences left behind the war. 


At the corner of the ground floor, there is a group of disabled people selling souvenirs made by themselves. They are the people who are the victims of Agent Orange. After looking around the building, you should visit the backyard of the building to see imitation of Con Dao Prison where Vietnamese people suffered the crime of war in the past. Some will cry. Some will be scared. Some will ask whether Vietnamese is angry with foreigners. But, no worries, the war is ended and Vietnamese people love foreigners.



Address: 28 Vo Van Tan street, District 3,

Ho Chi Minh City.

Fee: 40.000 VND

Bike parking fee: 3.000 VND

(5.000VND from 4PM)

Visiting time: 7:30 – 18:00






Independence Palace

Independence Palace

This is where former Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem stayed until his death in 1963. Then in 1975, its name has changed as it is like today. Others call it Reunification Palace, but both names are not the problem. This palace is located right at the center of the city which is quite easy to find. If possible, you should visit this with a tour guide because of its special location and features outside and inside the building. 



It is nowadays used in the very significant occasions like welcoming delegates of other countries. It usually takes you 1 hour to visit all the building if you don’t want to watch the movie freely displayed. This place doesn’t focus on exhibiting the war, but it displays lush garden, secret rooms, special rooms, antique furniture… Moreover, take your time to go underground the building to see how Vietnamese people worked secretly in the war years ago. You can feel the lack of fresh air, the narrowness which can make you stuffy and afraid.

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Fee: 40.000 VND

Visiting time: 8:00 – 11:00; 13:00 – 16:00


Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Well, this is one of the most well-known historical buildings of the city which you must visit. It is located near the Independence Palace, next to 30/4 Park where you can take your time to have a sit and enjoy local coffee and watch the moving of the city. 


The cathedral was built by French colony when they occupied Vietnam. First, it was built in 1880s. Then, in 1895 the cathedral was added 2 bell towers reaching the height of 58 meters. The special thing is all materials to construct the cathedral were imported from France. Time by time, the cathedral has changed its name many times until 1962 it had the name as it is today. 


Going inside the cathedral, you might be shocked of its furniture and features. It is used today for visitors and people who come for worshipping. Outside the cathedral is a garden with the statue of Our Lady of Peace.

Our Lady of Peace

However, from July 2017, the cathedral has been on the period of restoration. Because of the damage of time, after 137 years working, the cathedral has damaged so much that it has to be reconstructed. Therefore, it is quite hard to visit to protect visitors from any risks caused by the construction. However, people can go here to worship every morning through a small gate in front of the building. It is estimated to reconstruct it until 2023.


Address: 01 Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Fee: free

Visiting hour: all day







Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office

Located next to the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, the Saigon Central Post Office is also one of the famous buildings you should not miss. This building was also built by French in the late 19th century. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel who also designed the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.


Why the building is nowadays one of the must-visit attractions is its typical colonial French features. Inside the post office, there are 2 painted maps opposite of each other. One is the map of greater Saigon and one is the map of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia. There are also some phone booths used in the past when communication was harder than today.


You should meet Mr. Duong Van Ngo, an old man sitting at the end of a wooden table. Why? Because he is the last letter writer in Saigon since he was 17 years-old, the time he started working as a polyglot public letter writer in the post office. And he could be the source of stories connecting people around the world together. Come with him and talk to him, maybe he could know your past story.


Its outside design makes people feel back to 20th century railway station in Europe. It has recently colored in yellow during its period of restoration. Its color used to be pink. Although it is designed in Western style, there are some objects at the roof featured in Eastern style.

Address: 125 Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Fee: free

Visiting hour: 7:00 – 19:00


Municipal Theatre

Municipal Theatre

From the Saigon Central Post Office, walking along Dong Khoi Street, you will reach the Municipal Theatre. Another name of the building is Saigon Opera House. As the name reveals, this is where special artistic activities take place. Walking around its surrounding areas, you might think you are in a European street. You can find luxury restaurants, 5-star or 6-star hotels, and shopping malls… around it.


The building was designed as a classical opera house and influenced by the flamboyant style of The Third Republic. The house has a main seating floor plus two levels of seating above, and once was capable of accommodating 1,800 people. Nowadays, it is used for special occasions like A O Show, Vietnam’s Bamboo Circus. This show is highly recommended to explore the life of Vietnam’s tribes in the past. You can buy tickets for this show online.


Notes: You should spend one day to make a city tour by yourself or with a tour guide by motorbikes, bikes or on foot. Starting from the War Remnants Museum, then Independence Palace. Resting at the 30/4 Park and visit The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office. Walking along Dong Khoi Street to see one of the most beautiful street of the city and explore the Opera House. Lastly, go back Ben Thanh market to enjoy local food here and buy souvenirs for your family and friends.


Or if you want to learn more about this changing city with local people, you can do Saigon Half Day Tour with our tour guide that you don't have to google more information or get lost. Visit here to see more details: https://www.hahatours.com/the-changing-city

Address: 07 Cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


Backpackers Area

Backpackers Area

Where to play and relax after a long day? Here we go! One of the reasons why you should visit Ho Chi Minh City is you can meet people all around the world just in a small area. This is called Backpackers Area, including Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, Đề Thám Street, Bùi Viện Street and Đỗ Quang Đẫu Street. Here, tons of bars, clubs, pubs, tour offices are snuggled closed together.

You can also enjoy local food and foreign food at the same time; however, of course the price is not cheap. If you want to book tours, rent motorbikes, just go here since there are many options for you. You should visit this area at night for it is super crazy and crowded where people gathering here from the evening until… next early morning. Be noted that you should be careful with your stuffs when you walk around this area, especially when the night comes. As some bad guys with their motorbikes will approach you and take your stuffs.

Address: Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


Chinatown

Chinatown

We all know that Vietnamese tradition is influenced by Chinese tradition, especially in the living ways. Moreover, if you want to explore the city further than the central of the city, you should take your time to come here one time.


There are also 3 ways for you to get there from the central. First, you can go with the tour guides who can tell you more about the histories, people, ways of living, their contribution for Ho Chi Minh City… Second, you can go by bus and this is the cheapest way for you. You can also go to the Ben Thanh and 23/9 Park bus stations to take the bus to there. It takes around 1 hour to get there by bus. Last, you can rent a motorbike and go there by yourself.


There are some big markets such as Bình Tây Market, Kim Biên Market where stuffs, ingredients, furniture are quite cheap. Also, this is the heaven for people who love food. You can enjoy Chinese and Vietnamese food here with reasonable price. One more thing you should keep in mind is wearing suitable clothes. Why? Because you should explore some temples, pagodas around this attraction. Thien Hau Temple, one of the famous temples of Ho Chi Minh City, where you should visit one time to see how wonderful it is.

Thien Hau Pagoda

Address: District 5 and 6, Ho Chi Minh City


The Landmark 81 and Bitexco Financial Tower

The Landmark 81 and Bitexco Financial Tower can write how imposing Ho Chi Minh City is. Bitexco Financial Tower used to be the highest tower in the city until the Landmark 81 has appeared. The Bitexco Financial Tower is located next to Saigon Riverside. It is special thanks to its unique architecture, like a lotus. On the tower’s 50th floor, there is a helicopter pad. The tower is 262 meters high and is comprised of 68 floors. There are some luxury restaurants and coffee shops where you can have a sit and enjoy the view of the city from the high place. Be noted that some requires formal clothes.

Bitexco Financial Tower

Address: 2 Hai Trieu, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Visiting time: 8:00 – 23:00

The Landmark 81


The Landmark 81 has recently become the highest tower in Ho Chi Minh City in particular, and in Vietnam in general. Definitely, it has been become one of the must-visit attractions in Saigon. It belongs to Vingroup, the largest real estate corporation in Vietnam. The building has 81 floors with the height of 461 meters. It is along with Vinhome Central Park which is surrounded by luxury apartments. It is quite far away from the central of the city.


Address: Vinhomes Tan Cang, Binh Thanh Distric, Ho Chi Minh City

Visiting time: Monday – Saturday: 9:30 – 22:00. Sunday: Closed

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