From visiting the War Remnants Museum to trying the street food at Ben Thanh Market, our list covers the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. With a rich history, diverse culture, delicious cuisine, and bustling street markets, the city is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vietnam.
1. Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City: Explore the famous landmarks
1.1. Sai Gon Central Post Office
If you are looking for a historic and beautiful landmark, visiting the Sai Gon Central Post Office is one of the best activities in Ho Chi Minh City. This grand building boasts stunning interior, and its striking appearance makes it one of the most recognizable works in the city.
Inside, visitors can marvel at the grand hall adorned with beautiful mosaics and hand-painted maps of Vietnam. There are souvenir shops selling postcards and stamps, making it a perfect place to send a message to your friends and family back home.
1.2. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
If you are looking for things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, don't miss out on visiting the famous Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. It is one of the most significant Ho Chi Minh City tourist attractions and a testament to the city's rich history.
The cathedral was built by French colonists in the late 19th century. The distinctive red-brick exterior and two towering bell towers make the cathedral a striking sight that is visible from many parts of the city.
Here, visitors can appreciate the intricate details of the cathedral's design, from colorful stained-glass windows to ornate sculptures and carvings. It is also surrounded by a peaceful garden, making it a great place to relax and take in the serene atmosphere.
1.3. Independence Palace
If you are a history lover, be sure to check out the Independence Palace as part of your things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. Also known as the Reunification Palace, it is a historic landmark in Ho Chi Minh City that played a significant role in the country's history.
Built in the 1960s, it initially served as the presidential palace of South Vietnam. In 1975, the palace witnessed a historic moment when a North Vietnamese tank crashed through its gates, signaling the end of the war.
Today, visitors can still explore the palace and its many rooms, including the war room, the president's office, and the reception hall. The palace has been preserved as a museum, offering a glimpse into the life of Vietnam's political leaders in the 20th century.
1.4. Ho Chi Minh City Opera House
Located in the heart of the city, Ho Chi Minh Opera House is an essential stop on any tourist's itinerary. Since its construction in the early 20th century, the Opera House has been used for various purposes, such as political meetings, concerts, and even the presentation of the Declaration of Independence.
Today, the Opera House hosts a wide range of cultural performances, including opera, ballet, and traditional Vietnamese music and dance. It has been restored several times to its original beauty and now stands as one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Visitors can tour around, admire its stunning architecture, or enjoy a performance for an unforgettable cultural immersion.
2. Visit renowned museums - One of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
2.1. Saigon War Remnants Museum
If you are a history buff or are simply interested in learning more about the Second Indochina War, Saigon War Remnants Museum is one of the top places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Through a collection of photographs, weapons, and artifacts, the museum provides a look at the devastation caused by the conflict.
The museum offers a moving and thought-provoking glimpse into Vietnam's past. A visit to Saigon War Remnant Museum is a humbling and educational experience that should not be missed out on during your time in Ho Chi Minh City.
2.2. Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts
Located in a building constructed in the French colonial period, Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts houses an extensive collection of artworks from both Vietnamese and international artists. Here, visitors can admire a diverse range of art styles, including traditional and contemporary works, sculptures, and ceramics.
The building itself is also a masterpiece, with a stunning blend of French and Vietnamese architectural features. With various exhibitions, you will always find something new to discover at this cultural gem in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.
2.3. History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City
The History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most unique places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Here, you can immerse yourself in the city's rich history and culture as you explore the exhibits and artifacts on display.
From ancient pottery to wartime relics, this museum is a treasure trove of fascinating insights into the city's past. Visitors can learn about Ho Chi Minh City's evolution over the centuries and gain a deeper appreciation for this vibrant city.
3. Eating and shopping in Ho Chi Minh City - Where to go?
3.1. Ben Thanh Market
There are many exciting things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, and visiting Ben Thanh Market is one of the most unique cultural experiences. This bustling marketplace offers a wide range of culinary delights and shopping opportunities. In the evening, the market transforms into a lively and colorful night market where you can shop, eat, and drink until late at night.
For food lovers, Ben Thanh Market is a paradise. The market has a vast array of street food vendors, small restaurants, and cafes that offer a wide range of Vietnamese cuisine. You can try many local delicacies here, such as banh mi, pho, and bun bo hue. There is something to suit every palate and budget.
After satisfying your appetite, head to the shopping area of the market, which is an absolute shopper's delight. The market offers a range of goods from clothing, handicrafts, souvenirs, jewelry to electronics. Bargaining is a must here, so be prepared to negotiate for a good deal.
3.2. Ho Thi Ky Market
There are endless things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, and one of them is exploring Ho Thi Ky Market. This is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists but is a popular spot for locals. Known as the flower market of Ho Chi Minh City, there is a vast range of flowers here, from traditional Vietnamese blossoms to imported selections, the flowers at Ho Thi Ky Market are a sight to behold.
This market is a hub for wholesalers, so you can find vendors selling flowers in bulk at very reasonable prices. The market also offers a range of clothing and accessories, as well as household items such as utensils, bedding, and curtains. With its affordable prices and a vast selection of products, the market is an excellent place to shop for flowers and gifts.
3.3. Hanh Thong Tay Market
Hanh Thong Tay Market is another hidden gem in Ho Chi Minh City, located in the less touristy district of Tan Phu. The market is known for its wide range of products and affordable prices. You can find high-quality products at very reasonable prices, making it a great place for budget-conscious shoppers.
Here, you can find all kinds of clothing items, from traditional Vietnamese dresses to Western outfits, along with shoes, bags, and accessories. If you are a food lover, Hanh Thong Tay Market has a range of stalls selling many traditional dishes such as banh mi, banh xeo, and pho, as well as beverages like smoothies, juices, and boba tea.
4. Relax on walking streets - One of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City at night
4.1. Nguyen Hue Street
If you want to indulge in the nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City, make sure to come to Nguyen Hue Street. This is a popular destination in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's District 1. At night, the street comes alive with a variety of activities under the colorful lights.
Watching street performances on Nguyen Hue Street is also one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. You will find many talented performers here, from musicians, singers to dancers and acrobats. The performances are free to watch and add to the lively atmosphere of the street.
If you are looking for something to eat, Nguyen Hue Street has a range of restaurants and street food stalls. You can find all kinds of Vietnamese and international dishes, as well as a variety of drinks and desserts.
4.2. Bui Vien Street
Bui Vien Street is a bustling destination in Ho Chi Minh City, known for its vibrant nightlife and party vibe. At night, Bui Vien Street transforms into a vibrant hub of music, lights, and bustling crowds. The street is lined with bars, restaurants, and street food vendors.
One of the most popular activities on Bui Vien Street at night is bar-hopping. Here, you can find a range of bars that offer different atmospheres and drinks. From sports bars, live music bars to rooftop bars, there is something for everyone.
If you are looking for a culinary treat, Bui Vien Street has a lot of food options. Here, you can try the local specialties in small shops or international dishes in restaurants. With its range of entertainment activities, the street is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City.
In addition to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has many other exciting destinations that are just waiting to be explored, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and more. No matter where you go, it is important to choose the right accommodation to ensure that you have the best possible experience. With Vinpearl's signature resort system, you can enjoy a luxurious and unforgettable experience at our properties throughout Vietnam.
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Ho Chi Minh City offers an incredible range of activities and attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression. There is something for everyone in this vibrant city, so don't miss out on the chance to experience them all! Plan your trip to Vietnam today and check off all the things to do in Ho Chi Minh City on this top 10+ list.