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  • Writer's pictureTravel Vietnam Local Guide

Ho Chi Minh City travel guide - Time to visit and things to do

Updated: May 11

Looking for adventure in Vietnam? Look no further than Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon! As the biggest and most bustling city in the country, it's a vibrant hub of commerce and finance, boasting a rich history spanning centuries. Picture this: a city where excitement pulses on every street corner. From chic boutiques to electrifying nightlife spots, fascinating museums to mouthwatering cuisine, there's something for everyone in Ho Chi Minh City. Dive into our ultimate travel guide for all the insider tips and must-see attractions!


Best travel time to Ho Chi Minh City

  • February in Ho Chi Minh City brings minimal rainfall, the lowest humidity levels, and a vibrant atmosphere filled with blooming flowers for Tet celebrations.

  • March follows with little rain and humidity, maintaining pleasant conditions.

  • December, expect cooler temperatures compared to usual in HCMC, along with relatively dry weather.


Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

With its enchanting French colonial buildings and vibrant energy, Ho Chi Minh City offers something for everyone. Whether you're into temples, museums, markets, history, architecture, parks, or just soaking up the lively atmosphere, this bustling city has it all.


01 Cu Chi Tunnels - One of the top experiences in Ho Chi Minh City

Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City
Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

One of the top experiences in Ho Chi Minh City is taking a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels are not just a war museum; they offer a firsthand look at the Vietnam War. Venture into the cramped tunnels to experience the conditions the Viet Cong endured during the conflict. Explore various traps they ingeniously devised, witness their underground living quarters, and see abandoned military vehicles. For added excitement, opt to try your hand at shooting different guns at the shooting range. It's an immersive journey into history you won't forget!

Admission: 15,000 VND

Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., 1:30 - 5 p.m. every day including holidays

Address: Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung, Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


02 Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City

Notre Dame Cathedral Ho Chi Minh City
Notre Dame Cathedral Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

At the heart of Dong Khoi Street stands the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, a serene sanctuary amidst the bustling downtown of Ho Chi Minh City. This majestic cathedral, adorned with twin spires, was meticulously crafted using materials shipped all the way from France. Its construction spanned nearly two decades, from 1863 to 1880, resulting in a magnificent testament to faith and architectural brilliance.

Admission: 15,000 VND

Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., 1:30 - 5 p.m. every day including holidays

Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1


03 The Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace Ho Chi Minh City
The Reunification Palace Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

Replacing the former Norodom Palace, the Reunification Palace, also referred to as the Independence Palace, stands as a symbol of power and history. Designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ, this grand estate served as both the residence and administrative hub for the President of South Vietnam. Today, visitors can explore its halls and meeting rooms, adorned with opulent red carpeting, and immerse themselves in the legacy of this iconic landmark.

Admission: 15,000 VND

Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., 1:30 - 5 p.m. every day including holidays

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Thanh, District 1


04 Nguyen Hue Street and City Hall

Nguyen Hue Walk Street Ho Chi Minh City
Nguyen Hue Walk Street Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

Nguyen Hue Street has transformed into the premier pedestrian destination in Ho Chi Minh City. Encircling the area are numerous towering skyscrapers, trendy restaurants, chic shopping arcades, and upscale boutiques. Stretching from City Hall to the Bach Dang Wharf, this bustling promenade offers the ideal setting for a leisurely afternoon walk and comes alive with energy as the sun sets. At the northernmost tip of Nguyen Hue stands City Hall, serving as the administrative headquarters of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee.

Admission: City Hall is not open to the public

Address: 86 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe, District 1


05 Ben Thanh Market - located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Thanh Market Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

Located in the heart of the city, Ben Thanh Market stands as a timeless marketplace situated on reclaimed land once known as Bo Ret Pond. Overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square, this indoor market offers a labyrinth of aisles where visitors can find an array of goods, from fresh produce to traditional conical hats, and from weasel coffee to exquisite lacquerware. At the far end of the market, a maze of food stalls tempts visitors with sizzling bánh xèo and freshly prepared bánh mì sandwiches. It's a bustling hub of activity where the flavors and sights of Vietnam come together in one vibrant space.

Admission: Free

Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., 1:30 - 5 p.m. every day including holidays

Address: 32-30 Phan Boi Chau, Ben Thanh, District 1


06 Landmark 81 - the highest building in Vietnam

Landmark 81 Ho Chi Minh City
Landmark 81 Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City stands tall as Vietnam's highest architectural marvel, boasting the prestigious titles of the tallest structure in the country, the second tallest in Southeast Asia, and the 17th tallest globally. This awe-inspiring skyscraper isn't just a sight to behold; it's a multifunctional masterpiece. Featuring office spaces, luxurious apartments, a top-tier 5-star hotel, and a multi-story observation deck, Landmark 81 offers a world-class experience like no other. For an unforgettable adventure in Saigon, ascending the heights of Landmark 81 is an absolute must-do activity.

Admission: Adults: 300.000 VND (Monday to Friday), 500.000 VND (Saturday and Sunday)

Hours of Operation: Daily from 8:30 am - 11 pm

Address: 720 A Dien Bien Phu, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City


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