Better known to past generations as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has witnessed conflict and upheaval throughout its history. Its complex heritage is nowhere better seen today than on the city’s skyline. Look up and you’ll see newly-built skyscrapers towering over 19th century European-style architecture; Buddhist temples alongside cathedrals; even modern coffee shops next door to traditional tea houses.

The city’s most historic district, District 1, lies on the western bank of the Saigon River. It is here that you can walk around the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office and the Ho Chi Minh Notre Dame Cathedral. When Saigon was a French colony, its occupiers made their mark on the city and the impressive 19th century architecture in this part of town is testament to that European influence. Nearby, you can enjoy a stroll through Tao Dan Park or head north to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Visitors still flock here to this day, and you’ll find many fine hotels amid the attractions.

For a more relaxed atmosphere away from the centre of the city, spend some time at the Dam Sen Water Park and the surrounding park complex. Further afield, explore the Chi Chi Tunnels used in the Vietnam War. Modern-day Ho Chi Minh City may have transformed dramatically, but the scars of the war are still felt, evidenced at the War Remnants Museum which attracts more than half a million visitors each year and is among the most visited spots in the country.

When night falls, take advantage of the cooler conditions and explore the centre of the city. Around Districts 1 and 3 try a steaming bowl of pho (rice noodle soup) and enjoy a chilled Bia Hoi, the fresh local beer available in these parts. If you’re looking for bargains to take home with you, check out the Ben Thanh Night Market.

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City is easy and cheap, but take care when on the roads as visitors can find themselves overwhelmed by just how frantic the traffic – and especially the motorbikes – can be. By day the city is typically hot and humid, but many buildings have air conditioning and there are plenty of shady spots where you can escape and unwind.

Known for

Shopping, Dining and Cafés

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Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Bui Thi Xuan
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Bui Thi Xuan

Dining, Shopping, Friendly People

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.

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Top hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hotel Nikko Saigon
Hotel Nikko Saigon
5 out of 5
235 Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
NZ$191/night
29 Sep. - 30 Sep.
4.7/5Exceptional! (2,043 reviews)

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! (2,043 reviews)

"Hallway carpeting on 18th floor seems like it needs a cleaning. A bit disappointed in condition after my first visit in early June"…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep. 2019

Hotel Nikko Saigon
Image for ibis Saigon Airport
ibis Saigon Airport
4 out of 5
2 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
NZ$106/night
1 Oct. - 2 Oct.
4.3/5Excellent! (857 reviews)

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! (857 reviews)

"Convenient, clean, close to restaurants, could have better shower toiletries."…"

Reviewed on 13 Sep. 2019

ibis Saigon Airport
Image for Hotel Majestic Saigon
Hotel Majestic Saigon
4.5 out of 5
01 Dong Khoi Street District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
NZ$181/night
23 Sep. - 24 Sep.
4.3/5Excellent! (2,063 reviews)

Located in Dong Khoi, this luxury hotel is steps from Dong Khoi Shopping Street and Saigon River. Bitexco Financial Tower and Opera House are also within 10 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,063 reviews)

"Amazing friendly Hotel, lovely genuine classic rooms."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep. 2019

Hotel Majestic Saigon

Popular activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market
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Ben Thanh Market

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
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Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area

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
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War Remnants Museum

Find out about the history of the Vietnam war from a Vietnamese perspective in this interesting museum based in a former American administration office.

Opera House
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Opera House

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
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Independence Palace

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

Saigon Central Post Office
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Saigon Central Post Office

Make sure you write your postcards in Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s a great excuse to visit the city’s stunning 19th-century post office.

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

NZ$37

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

NZ$39

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

NZ$36

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.

Full-Day Mekong Delta Cruise & Tour
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Full-Day Mekong Delta Cruise & Tour

NZ$59

Visit the Mekong Delta, stopping by the Vinh Trang Pagoda along the way, and board a cruise to learn about life in the delta region. Afterward, get the chance to sample ripe seasonal fruits and take lunch with hot tea on a farm before your day is up.

Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city
Image for Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city

Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city

NZ$92

This special full-day tour (max 7 people a group for VIP option or 12 people a group for normal option) takes you from Ho Chi Minh city to 2 popular attractions: Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta 7:45AM.

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

NZ$74

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.

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