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Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam

Vietnam’s biggest metropolis is a buzzing cosmopolitan destination where its French heritage is still on display alongside its traditional oriental charm.

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.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Bui Thi Xuan showing a city and street scenes

Bui Thi Xuan

4/5Very Good!(43 area reviews)

Bui Thi Xuan

Top hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Alagon Plus Hotel & Spa
Alagon Plus Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
52 Pham Hong Thai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
NZ$61
per night
7 Apr. - 8 Apr.

Located in Downtown Ho Chi Minh City, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Temple of Mariamman and Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area. Ben Thanh Market and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (27 reviews)

"Good location, friendly staff great spa. Very helpful with airport transfers recommended cheapest way to airport. All main attractions are within easy walking distance. Nice rooftop bar and pool although pool and sunbathing area is not huge. Good choices for bar snacks and breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 11 Mar. 2020

Alagon Plus Hotel & Spa
ibis Saigon Airport
ibis Saigon Airport
4 out of 5
2 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
NZ$126
per night
2 May - 3 May

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! (1,020 reviews)

"Nice hotel there is Starbucks in hotel lobby , there is Shuttle service to airport . In the rooftop nice place if you like to have drinks, ordinary Breakfast ."…"

Reviewed on 28 Mar. 2020

ibis Saigon Airport
Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa
Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
125-133 Ly Tu Trong Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Located in Downtown Ho Chi Minh City, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Benthanh Street Food Market and Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. Ben Thanh Market ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,460 reviews)

"Great hotel stay and excellent staff. Very good breakfast included."…"

Reviewed on 7 Mar. 2020

Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa

Popular activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market
Image for Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

4/5(253 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

3.5/5(85 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(203 reviews)

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
Image for Opera House

Opera House

4/5(117 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(175 reviews)

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
Image for Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office

4/5(186 reviews)

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

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$30
Per adult
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

94% of travellers recommend
NZ$28
Per adult
Luxury-Group Full-Day Mekong Delta Cruise
Image for Luxury-Group Full-Day Mekong Delta Cruise

Luxury-Group Full-Day Mekong Delta Cruise

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$39
Per adult
Saigon Skydeck Tickets
Image for Saigon Skydeck Tickets

Saigon Skydeck Tickets

82% of travellers recommend
NZ$14
Per adult
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

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$71
Per adult
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

94% of travellers recommend
NZ$172
Per adult

Reviews of Ho Chi Minh City

4.1

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
184
5 - Excellent 36.149312377210215%
4 - Good
238
4 - Good 46.75834970530452%
3 - Okay
67
3 - Okay 13.163064833005894%
2 - Disappointing
15
2 - Disappointing 2.9469548133595285%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.9823182711198428%

5/5 - Excellent

Suresh

27 Mar. 2020

Excellent food.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Mar. 2020

Love Vietnam but trip cut short because of covid19

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

8 Mar. 2020

Very busy city. Worthwhile to get recommendations for restaurants as some of the best meals we had were in out of the way restaurants.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Mar. 2020

Grab bike rides are a fun cheap way to get around, last trip on the water taxi is good for night shots of downtown buildings lit up, Bitexco asian restaurant is more expensive than regular street level ones but excellent food and night views

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

4 Mar. 2020

Theres lots to be seen if you look.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Feb. 2020

Amazing city

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Ho Chi Minh City

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