20 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh

20 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh

Welcome to the vibrant and bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, a destination that promises an eclectic mix of experiences for every traveler. Embarking on a journey to discover the Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh offers an opportunity to delve into a city that blends historical significance with the rush of modern life. From the poignant memories of wars past to the architectural marvels touching the sky, from tranquil green havens to the lively clamor of street markets, this city is a kaleidoscope of history, culture, urban vitality, and so much more.

As the pulsating heart and soul of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City invites you on an adventure through its winding alleys, grandiose boulevards, and serene riverbanks. This guide aims to take you beyond the usual tourist spots, uncovering the city’s hidden gems and offering you a taste of its rich cultural fabric. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, a culinary connoisseur, or simply someone yearning to immerse themselves in the dynamic spirit of this city, prepare to be captivated by the myriad of experiences that await in Ho Chi Minh City.

Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh

  1. War Remnants Museum: Reflecting on History

A visit to the War Remnants Museum is a profound experience, offering insights into the Vietnam War’s impact through exhibits of military equipment, photographs, and artifacts. It’s a place for reflection, highlighting the resilience and spirit of the Vietnamese people. Visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the country’s history and the importance of peace.

  1. Ben Thanh Market: A Culinary Adventure

Ben Thanh Market stands as a testament to the city’s bustling commerce and vibrant culinary scene. As you navigate through its crowded aisles, you’re greeted by the enticing aromas of local dishes, spices, and freshly brewed Vietnamese coffee. It’s an ideal spot to sample traditional foods, shop for souvenirs, and witness the dynamic daily life of the city’s residents.

  1. Cu Chi Tunnels: An Underground Journey

Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels is an adventure into the ingenuity of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This vast network of underground tunnels served as hideouts, living quarters, and supply routes. Crawling through the narrow passageways offers a unique perspective on the guerrilla warfare tactics and the resilience of the Vietnamese people.

  1. Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica: Architectural Elegance

The Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, with its neo-Romanesque architecture and twin bell towers, stands as a beacon of tranquility amidst the city’s hustle. Constructed entirely from materials imported from France, the cathedral is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and a serene place for contemplation. Its presence reflects the French colonial influence and the religious diversity of Vietnam.

  1. Binh Quoi Village: A Glimpse of Rural Life

Escape the city’s frenetic pace with a visit to Binh Quoi Village, where you can experience the tranquil beauty of rural Vietnam. This picturesque spot offers cultural performances, traditional games, and boat rides along the scenic canals. It’s a perfect getaway to enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a peaceful setting, providing a stark contrast to the urban experience.

  1. Saigon River Cruise: A Different View

Embarking on a Saigon River cruise offers a unique vantage point to view the city. As you glide along the water, you’ll see the skyline transform from colonial architecture to modern skyscrapers, illustrating Ho Chi Minh City’s dynamic growth. The cruise often includes dinner and live music, making for a memorable evening under the stars.

  1. Jade Emperor Pagoda: A Spiritual Oasis

The Jade Emperor Pagoda, nestled amidst the bustling streets, serves as a tranquil retreat for those seeking spiritual solace. This Taoist shrine, adorned with intricate carvings and statues, is dedicated to the Jade Emperor and is considered one of the most important religious sites in Ho Chi Minh City. The serene atmosphere and the smoke of burning incense offer a moment of peace and reflection, providing a glimpse into the spiritual practices of the local community.

  1. District 1’s Rooftop Bars: Skyline Splendors

For a night to remember, head to one of District 1’s rooftop bars, where you can sip on cocktails while taking in panoramic views of the city’s skyline. These stylish venues offer a glamorous escape above the city, perfect for watching the sunset or the dazzling lights of skyscrapers. It’s an ideal way to experience the city’s modern vibe and mingle with both locals and travelers.

  1. Street Food Tour: A Taste of Local Life

Dive into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine with a guided street food tour. These tours take you through narrow alleys and bustling streets, stopping at hidden gems where you can taste authentic dishes like banh mi, pho, and more. It’s not just about food; it’s a cultural journey that offers insights into the daily lives of the city’s inhabitants and their culinary traditions.

  1. A O Show at the Saigon Opera House: A Cultural Performance

Experience the vibrant culture of Vietnam with a ticket to the A O Show at the Saigon Opera House. This mesmerizing performance combines traditional music, acrobatics, and contemporary dance to tell stories of rural and urban life in Vietnam. The historic venue, a colonial architectural marvel, adds to the charm and elegance of the evening.

  1. Saigon Central Post Office: A Glimpse into the Past

The Saigon Central Post Office is not just a functioning postal facility; it’s a historical landmark that transports visitors back to the French colonial era. Its architectural elegance, with high ceilings and European decorations, alongside historical maps and old telephone booths, make it a fascinating site for architecture and history enthusiasts.

  1. Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown: Cultural Immersion

Venture into the heart of Chinatown (Cho Lon) to visit the Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu. It’s renowned for its intricate roof sculptures, incense coils hanging from the ceiling, and the vibrant atmosphere reflecting the Chinese influence in Vietnam. Exploring Chinatown itself is an adventure, offering a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural fabric of Ho Chi Minh City.

  1. Can Gio Mangrove Forest: Nature’s Retreat

For nature lovers, a day trip to the Can Gio Mangrove Forest offers a refreshing escape. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home to a rich biodiversity, including mangrove trees, monkeys, and various bird species. Visitors can enjoy boat tours, explore the Vam Sat Eco Park, and learn about the importance of mangrove ecosystems in coastal protection and biodiversity conservation.

  1. Independence Palace: A Journey Through Time

The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, stands as a symbol of Vietnam’s turbulent history leading to reunification. Once the residence of the South Vietnamese President, it’s now a museum where visitors can explore preserved rooms, state gifts, and historical relics. The palace’s architecture and the iconic tank at its gates, marking the end of the Vietnam War, offer a poignant glimpse into the past.

  1. Bitexco Financial Tower’s Sky Deck: City from Above

Soaring into the skyline, the Bitexco Financial Tower offers breathtaking views from its Sky Deck. As the city’s tallest building, it provides a bird’s-eye view of the urban sprawl, winding rivers, and bustling streets below. A visit here at sunset offers a spectacular panorama as the city lights begin to twinkle, highlighting Ho Chi Minh City’s rapid development and beauty.

  1. Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts: A Cultural Treasure Trove

Art lovers will find their haven at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts. Housed in a stunning colonial-era mansion, the museum showcases a diverse collection of Vietnamese art, from traditional to contemporary. The exhibits include sculptures, paintings, and ceramics that tell the story of Vietnam’s artistic evolution, offering a deep dive into the country’s rich cultural heritage.

  1. Le Van Tam Park: A Local’s Retreat

For those seeking a quiet escape from the city’s hustle, Le Van Tam Park offers a lush oasis. Known for its shaded pathways, serene atmosphere, and playgrounds, it’s a popular spot among locals for leisure and exercise. The park also hosts occasional markets and cultural events, providing a glimpse into the community’s lifestyle.

  1. Pham Ngu Lao Street: The Backpacker’s Hub

Pham Ngu Lao Street is the beating heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s backpacker district. Lined with affordable hostels, vibrant bars, and street food vendors, it’s a melting pot of cultures and a perfect place to meet fellow travelers. The energy here is infectious, with live music and bustling night markets that go on till the early hours.

  1. The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre: A Unique Vietnamese Tradition

For an unforgettable cultural experience, attend a performance at The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. Water puppetry is a unique Vietnamese art form that dates back centuries, depicting scenes of rural life and national legends through intricate wooden puppets operated over a water stage. It’s a magical display of craftsmanship and tradition, accompanied by live traditional music.

  1. Bui Vien Street: Nightlife and Entertainment

Bui Vien Street is the epicenter of Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife, offering a diverse array of bars, clubs, and street performances. Known as the “Walking Street,” it comes alive at night with travelers and locals alike, looking to enjoy a lively atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to sample local beers, enjoy live music, and soak in the city’s vibrant night scene.


As our journey through Ho Chi Minh City comes to a close, it’s clear that this city is much more than a sum of its attractions. Each street corner tells a story, every dish carries a legacy, and the people embody the resilience and warmth that define Vietnam’s soul. Through exploring historical sites, engaging with local art, savoring the vibrant street food, or simply taking in the city’s dynamic energy, visitors gain not just memories, but an understanding of the complex tapestry that is Ho Chi Minh City.

This guide has endeavored to showcase the myriad facets of this fascinating city, from its historical depth to its modern-day vibrancy. But the true essence of Ho Chi Minh City lies in its ability to surprise and captivate, ensuring that every visit is filled with discovery. So, as you leave the bustling streets behind, remember that Ho Chi Minh City always has more to reveal, inviting you back to explore deeper and experience the ever-changing panorama of this extraordinary city.

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