What to Do and See in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also referred to as Saigon, is a thriving metropolis in southern Vietnam with a vibrant contemporary way of life. The city is home to numerous historical sites that offer a window into Vietnam’s turbulent past, including the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Along with its fascinating past, Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its mouth-watering food, hopping markets, and exciting nightlife. International cuisine is available to tourists, along with a range of traditional Vietnamese dishes like pho, banh mi, and fresh seafood.

Overall, Ho Chi Minh City is an exciting location that has something to offer everyone, whether they want to explore the city’s historical sites, take in the vibrant culture, or indulge in its delectable food. In this article, we will give you some of things you should do and see when visiting this amazing city.

  1. Visit the War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a museum whose sole purpose is to keep the remembrance of the Vietnam War alive. The War Remnants Museum, which had first opened its doors in 1975 under the name Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes, changed its name in 1990 to better represent its emphasis on the human cost of war.

A variety of artefacts, including images, records, and tools used in the battle, are part of the museum’s collection. The displays of how Agent Orange and other chemical weapons affected both troops and civilians, as well as the replica “tiger cages” that were used to house political prisoners, are possibly the most impactful exhibits.

The War Remnants Museum serves as a stark reminder of the atrocities done during the Vietnam War, making a visit there upsetting. However, it also functions as a reminder of the value of diplomacy and peace in resolving disputes and a warning against the horrors of war.

  1. Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours in Hoi Chi Minh City

Hop on, hop off Saigon, also referred to as Ho Chi Minh City, bus tours are a common method for visitors to explore the city’s well-known landmarks and attractions. The tours run on a loop system, allowing visitors to board and depart at predetermined locations as often as they would like for as long as their ticket is valid.

The air-conditioned buses have audio guides that provide educational and entertaining commentary on the places of interest along the route. These audio guides are offered in a variety of languages. Popular sites on the tour include the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace.

In addition to offering flexibility and freedom to explore the city at your own speed, Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours also make transportation convenient and easy. Before boarding the next bus to resume the tour, visitors are free to spend as much time as they like at any given attraction.

Overall, Saigon’s Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours in Ho Chi Minh City offer a convenient and stress-free way to take in the city’s highlights while riding in luxury.

  1. Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels

A well-liked day trip from Saigon allows tourists to investigate the famous underground network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The guerrilla combatants as cover, residences, and supply routes used the 250-kilometer-long tunnels.

The trip typically begins with a stop at the Ben Duoc or Ben Dinh Tunnels, where guests can learn about the significance and history of the tunnels through educational displays and exhibits. They can experience directly the claustrophobic and dark living conditions of the Viet Cong fighters by crawling through portions of the tiny tunnels.

Along with the opportunity to try some of the typical foods consumed by the combatants, the trip also features demonstrations of the traps and weapons used by the Viet Cong during the conflict.

The Cu Chi Tunnels trip from Saigon provides travelers with a distinctive perspective on the history of the Vietnam War and the tenacity of the Vietnamese people. For anyone interested in history, culture, or defense planning, it is a must-visit location.

Click here to book a Cu Chi Tunnel Tour, or click the Viator banner below and book a tour through one of our preferred suppliers.

  1. Enjoy Vietnamese Cuisine in Ho Chi Minh

Vietnamese food is an exquisite fusion of tastes, textures, and colors that reflects the nation’s lengthy history and diverse cultural influences. Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon provides a variety of authentic Vietnamese dishes that tempt the taste buds of locals and visitors equally thanks to the abundance of street food stalls, restaurants, and markets.

The Pho is a flavorful noodle soup prepared with rice noodles, beef or poultry broth, and a variety of herbs and spices that is one of Saigon’s most well-known dishes. Other meals to try include Bun Cha, a delicacy of grilled pork and vermicelli noodles served with a side of dipping sauce, and Banh Mi, a crusty baguette stuffed with meat, vegetables, and pate.

Fresh seafood is another specialty of Saigon, and both residents and tourists love to eat dishes like grilled octopus, prawns, and crab. With dishes like Banh Xeo, a crispy pancake made of rice flour and filled with vegetables and herbs, vegetarians and vegans will also have plenty of choices.

Overall, Saigon’s Vietnamese cuisine is a culinary experience with a wide variety of flavours and dishes that should not be skipped by any food enthusiast.

  1. Experience the Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City

The nightlife in Saigon is active and varied, providing both residents and visitors with a variety of experiences. There is something for everyone in this bustling metropolis, from rooftop bars to nightclubs.

In the backpacker neighborhood of Saigon, Bui Vien Street is one of the most well-known places for nightlife. Here, you will find a buzzing ambiance with live street performances, bars, and eateries. The Nguyen Hue walking street, which provides a more upscale experience with posh rooftop bars and clubs, is another well-liked location.

The Saigon Opera House and other theatres frequently host evening performances, varying from international shows and concerts to traditional Vietnamese music and dance, for those seeking a more cultural experience.

At night markets like Ben Thanh Market, where you can taste regional specialties and shop for souvenirs, foodies can also indulge in Saigon’s well-known street food.

Overall, Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife is vibrant and exciting, offering something for everyone to appreciate.

  1. Shop at the Ben Thanh Market

In the center of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is a popular market and historical site. The market has been a well-liked gathering place for locals and visitors equally since the 17th century.

The market sells a broad variety of products, including fresh produce, souvenirs, clothing, textiles, and regional cuisine. Along with international cuisine, the food stalls offer traditional Vietnamese fare like Banh Mi and Pho.

In addition to offering dining and shopping options, Ben Thanh Market offers a window into Vietnamese culture and everyday life. The market’s lively and vibrant atmosphere is enhanced by visitors’ ability to watch local vendors haggle and engage with customers.

Ben Thanh Market is a must-go place for anyone who wants to take in the views, sounds, and tastes of Ho Chi Minh City. We have written an article on others markets in Saigon to check out when you are in Ho Chi Minh City and that article can be found by clicking here

  1. Bui Vien Street

In Ho Chi Minh City’s backpacker neighborhood, Bui Vien thoroughfare is a well-known thoroughfare. There are many bars, eateries, gift stores, and street performers in this lively and busy area.

Both locals and visitors come out to socialize and have fun on the street at night when it comes alive with a lively ambiance. From international cuisine to Vietnamese street food, there are many affordable dining choices available.

The nightlife on Bui Vien Street, which includes bars and clubs with live music, DJs, and dancing, is well-known in addition to its dining and imbibing options. For its party atmosphere and backpacker vibe, the street is frequently likened to Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Overall, Bui Vien Street is a must-go location for anyone interested in experiencing Ho Chi Minh City’s vivacious night-time.

  1. Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagoda, also called Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, is a revered shrine in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda, which honours the Taoist deity Jade Emperor, was constructed in the first decades of the 20th century.

The pagoda has a lovely courtyard with fish pond and bonsai trees that leads to the temple’s entryway. The temple’s interior is embellished with intricate wood carvings, god statues, and ornate altars.

Visitors can see devotees making incense offerings and hoping for luck and health. Visitors can release turtles for prosperity into the pagoda’s turtle pond.

For anyone interested in exploring Ho Chi Minh City’s spiritual and cultural aspect, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is a must-visit location. In the midst of the busy metropolis, it provides a calm and serene setting.

  1. Walk along Nguyen Hue Boulevard

In the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Hue Boulevard is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. The boulevard provides breath-taking views of the nearby structures and sites and extends from the City Hall to the Saigon River.

The street is lined with lovely trees, fountains, and benches where people can rest and take in the scenery. It is also a well-liked location for festivals, street performances, and other cultural activities all year long.

A leisurely stroll along Nguyen Hue Boulevard is a wonderful way to take in the sights and noises of the city while observing people. It is a must-see location for anyone who wants to see Ho Chi Minh City’s modern aspect.

  1. Vung Tau Beach day Tour

About 120 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the seaside city of Vung Tau is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and lovely beaches. If you want to get away from the city and unwind by the beach, a day trip to Vung Tau is a common choice.

Typically, the trip includes a stop at the well-known Christ the Redeemer statue, which provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city and coastline. The shore offers visitors the chance to go swimming, sunbathe, and engage in other water sports.

Visitors can taste fresh seafood that has been caught in the area’s waters during a seafood lunch at a nearby eatery after the tour. The natural splendor and seaside appeal of Vietnam can be enjoyed in full on a day trip to Vung Tau.

  1. Learn about Vietnamese History at the Independence Palace

Reunification Palace, also referred to as Independence Palace, is a famous historical site in Ho Chi Minh City. The South Vietnamese President used to reside and operate in the palace during the Vietnam War.

With rooms and artefacts from the 1960s and 1970s that have been preserved, the palace provides a window into the political and cultural past of Vietnam. The underground communication hub, the president’s personal living accommodations, and the war room are all open to the public.

Beautiful gardens and fountains encircle the palace, which contribute to its splendor and beauty. For anyone curious about the background of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, it is a must-visit location.

  1. Take a Day Trip to the Mekong Delta

Popular day trips from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta give visitors a look at Vietnam’s agricultural side. The delta is renowned for its verdant scenery, floating markets, and old-world towns.

Usually, the trip includes a boat ride along the Mekong River, where tourists can see how locals live along the banks and visit floating markets. Visitors can also wander through the villages and discover information about regional businesses like rice paper and coconut candy manufacturing.

In most cases, the tour includes a stop at a pagoda or temple where guests can learn about Buddhism and how it has influenced Vietnamese society. A typical Vietnamese lunch at a nearby restaurant marks the tour’s conclusion.

A day trip to the Mekong Delta provides a distinctive and unforgettable experience that contrasts with the hectic city life of Ho Chi Minh City. Click here or one of the images below to book a day trip to see the Mekong Delta.

  1. Dinner Cruise in Saigon

An enjoyable way to experience Saigon’s vibrant city life and its stunning waterway, the Saigon waterway, is on a dinner cruise. The cruise usually lasts a few hours, during which time guests are treated to a sumptuous dinner of traditional Vietnamese food and enjoy breath-taking views of the city’s skyline illuminated by nighttime lights.

Guests can take in live music and cultural acts as the boat cruises along the river, creating an experience that will never be forgotten. While admiring the breath-taking landscape, guests can enjoy their favourite drinks on some cruises that even have an open bar.

Overall, taking a Saigon dinner cruise is a great way to unwind and unwind after a long day of exploring the city and taking in its delectable food and rich culture.

  1. Notre Dame Cathedral

Ho Chi Minh City’s stunning icon is the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Saigon, also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The church, which was erected by French colonisers in the late 19th century, has a neo-Romanesque architectural design and is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and statues of saints. A distinctive fusion of European and Asian elements can be seen in the cathedral, which was built with red bricks that were imported from France. The cathedral was damaged during the Vietnam War, but it has since been repaired and is still used by the city’s Catholics as a place of prayer. Anyone travelling to Saigon must see it because of its beauty and historical importance.

In conclusion, Ho Chi Minh City is a dynamic and varied tourist destination that has something to give everyone. There are many things to see and do in this fascinating metropolis, regardless of your interests in history, culture, cuisine, or nightlife.