We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

real food, real people, real fun

95%
Found this guide helpful

Ho Chi Minh can be the most amazingly diverse experience, so long as you avoid the tourist traps. There's so much to do that isn't in the guide books. Don't be afraid.....its a friendly and welcoming city full of good people with something for everybody.

Good for
  • Solo
  • Friends
  • Couples
  • Senior
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

18 Places

5 City Tips

Print
Map

18 Places

Day 1

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Restaurants

Ben Thanh Market

Flea & Street Markets

Bitexco Financial Tower - Saigon Skydeck

Observation Decks & Towers

Dong Khoi Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Rat Hue Viet Restaurant

Restaurants

Central Post Office

Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings

Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater

Theatres

Chill Skybar

Bars & Clubs

Day 2

Cu Chi Tunnels

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Neighbourhoods

War Remnants Museum

History Museums

Barbecue Garden Restaurant

Restaurants

Day 3

Pho Hung

Restaurants

The Independence Palace

Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites

Vincom Center

Shopping Malls

Saigon River Tour

City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Sightseeing Tours

Cho Dan Sinh (Hardware stores, army surplus, odds and ends)

Gift & Speciality Shops

Nha Hang Ngon

Restaurants

brien a's City Tips

  • embrace the little things, like crossing the road....slow and steady = safe. Don't worry about the noise....its a sign of a busy little economy and say Hello to people (Xin Chao!)
  • if you're not too hot, try walking and taking in the shop fronts and cafes. Don't walk too fast or you'll wilt too early but take your time and you'll be fine.
  • Alost all taxis are well regulated these days. Leave the motorbike taxis to the locals and backpackers and get in an a/c cab for even the shortest of journeys if you are hot!
  • I always tip my hotel supervisor/doorman around $10-20 when I get there as this is a lot of money to them and guarantees their assistance throughout your stay.
  • Your hotel is the best source of information about the city, getting around, etc but don't book tours with them unless you want to pay tourist rates.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Pho Hoa Pasteur
    Restaurants (Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Best pho in Saigon? you decide! Its easy to get to by taxi and is a great way to start your day. DIve in and try all the accompaniments.....it wont cost more than $5-6 per head

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Slightly better service upstairs but be prepared to share your table (its ok, this is normal in Vietnam) if a bus tour comes in.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #130 of 3,256 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Simply delicious Pho 23/09/2018
    • Visit this again and again 16/09/2018
    • Pho Hoa Pasteur
    Address:
    260C Pasteur
    Ward 8, District 3
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84-8-829-7943
    Other:
  • Save
    Ben Thanh Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Your second shopping trip. this time its cheaper tourist goods with some additional 'pushy' sales people thrown in. Visit the fish and meat market at the back on Le Thanh Ton and pick up your gifts for home at knockdown prices. The inside is the haggle zone and outer corridor the 'fixed price' zone for those less confident

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Get there early as its traditionally good luck to make your first sale early ...therefore they are more likely to accept your ludicrously cheap offer!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #88 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Standard market, lots of touristy items 24/09/2018
    • A disappointment 24/09/2018
    • Ben Thanh Market
    Phone:
    +84 8 3521 0004
    Other:
  • Save
    Bitexco Financial Tower - Saigon Skydeck
    Observation Decks & Towers
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Head here to get your bearings. Get a great view across this low-rise city and see the river in all its glory. well worth the visit and allows you to plan your next stops and maybe even get some great photos.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • head here day or night but morning/dusk is best. See if you can spot the markets and the 'richer' ex-pat district??
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning views, nice cafe, and just cool 24/09/2018
    • I’d give it a miss 24/09/2018
    • Bitexco Financial Tower - Saigon Skydeck
    Address:
    36 Ho Tung Mau Street, Ben Nghe ward, District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 93 843 93 27
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 9:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Dong Khoi Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    The main shopping strip. This is a mix of western-ised stores blended with local shops selling almost everything. A good place to start your shopping trip to compare prices and see what the average tourist is buying.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Don't pay western prices! Just get an idea of how much things are and be prepared to haggle. Try Taka Plaza or Saigon Square for factory seconds and 'knock offs'!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    • nice for walking 05/09/2018
    • PERFECT FOR SHOPPING 31/08/2018
    • Dong Khoi Street
    Address:
    District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 700000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 128 894 2399
    Other:
  • Save
    Rat Hue Viet Restaurant
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    This is right near Ben Thanh market and not far from the hotels, yet is hidden down a laneway and a real gem of a find.....if you can be a detective! Great food and real delicacies at reasonable prices. try it all!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Its off Le Thanh Ton almost opposite Liberty Central. Head down the dark laneway (see picture) and its right in front of you
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #422 of 3,256 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
    • A little gold mine of a find 28/08/2018
    • It's okie 20/07/2018
    • Rat Hue Viet Restaurant
    Address:
    1-136/21 B_n Thanh Qu_n 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 700000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 90 950 15 02
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Save
    Central Post Office
    Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Love the old place....although there's not much to see these days. I guess the big Uncle Ho picture is the big draw card but if you get a few minutes its well worth a quick visit and right next to the cathedral (two for one!)

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Try to sit down and take a minute to imagine you are back in 1960s Saigon......its not difficult to visualize.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Neat architecture, but full of tourist trap vendors 24/09/2018
    • Ok 24/09/2018
    • Central Post Office
    Address:
    At the top of Dong Khoi St opposite Notre Dame Cathedral
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84(08)829-6862
    Hours:
    Sun
    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Mon - Fri
    7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Sat
    7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater
    Theatres
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    I loved this place. An old theatre with some unique and wonderful performances. Its just magical and don't worry that its all in Vietnamese as the actions are universal and the stories romantic and humorous. Just great value for money and something that will stay with you forever.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There are a number of stories so you can go many times without seeing the same story. Wait for the end to find out how its all done....a very talented bunch!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unique and great for kids 23/09/2018
    • it's worth your 50 minutes time 18/09/2018
    • Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater
    Address:
    55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St.
    District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84-88272653
    Other:
  • Save
    Chill Skybar
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    After all your hectic day walking and shopping....relax and unwind with the cocktails at the Chill Skybar. So long as its not the weekend, you'll find it a nice place to wrap up the day with amazing views, great drinks and a slice of modern Saigon.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Weekends can be busy and full of local elite/posers so its not for relaxing but partying!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 139 Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Awesome place 23/09/2018
    • It's worthy for the view 22/09/2018
    • Chill Skybar
    Address:
    76A Le Lai, District 1
    Rooftop of AB Tower
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 93 882 28 38
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    5:30 PM - 2:00 AM
    Fri - Sat
    5:30 PM - 4:00 AM
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Cu Chi Tunnels
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    This is a little bit touristy but critical to hearing all the legends and heroics that went into survival of the Viet Cong and local people of Cu Chi. The tunnels are accessible for a real claustrophobic experience (don't worry...there's escape hatches!) and mock ups of the typical 'traps' and buildings used during the war. Don't expect anything other than the patriotic propaganda about how the enemy were defeated but its great value and worth the slow bus ride to see it.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Don't book this tour from your hotel but head down to De Tham/Bui Vien to find a local tour operator that will sell you the same tour for 1/4 the price. Try TNK Travel.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting 24/09/2018
    • Great experience 24/09/2018
    • Cu Chi Tunnels
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$6
    Hours:
    Sun - Fri
    7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sat
    7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Save
    Pham Ngu Lao Street
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Day or night this is the heart of the 'backpacker district' serving locals and tourists alike. Here you can get a green papaya salad in the park or get drunk in one of the many bars! Watch out for drunkards late night/early morning and don't be offended by the locals offering girls or drugs.....you are a tourist and they wish you to spend your money!! just walk by and ignore them and they'll leave you alone. Some nice hidden cafes in the first floor and craft shops but again this is a western shopping area and so prices are set accordingly.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Stay along Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham quad but don't be afraid to wander down the narrow laneways where local people are sleeping or eating.....its safer than New York!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #59 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Just Another ‘Pub’ Street 24/09/2018
    • Have A Look 24/09/2018
    • Pham Ngu Lao Street
    Other:
  • Save
    War Remnants Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Its not the best museum....not the best kept and without the best artifacts but its a good example of the Vietnamese side to the war story. We've all seen the hollywood films and now its time to hear the Vietnamese side of what went on. Some great photo opportunities although the tanks and aircraft aren't in the best condition. The photo gallery is pretty good with some great reportage from both sides. You can double this up with the museum of Ho Chi Minh city which is around the corner. If nothing else its a quiet place to gather your thoughts and relax a while in the heat

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Take your time to dwell in the upper floors where there are some stark reminders of the impacts of war
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not for the faint hearted 24/09/2018
    • Interesting, candid presentations 24/09/2018
    • War Remnants Museum
    Address:
    28 Vo Van Tan
    Ward 6, District 3
    Ho Chi Minh City 700000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 8 829 0325
    Other:
  • Save
    Barbecue Garden Restaurant
    Restaurants (Australian, Barbecue, Asian)
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Why not stay a while in Pasteur and visit the BBQ garden where the magical scene comes alive at night with fairy lights and some music. Set yourself down at the grill where you cook your own meats in the centre of the table and enjoy the ambience and escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Entrance on the corner of Le Thanh Ton and Nam Ky Khoi.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't wear you favourite white shirt as the BBQ will spit and you'll be covered in blobs of grease for the rest of the night!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #280 of 3,256 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Nice food, good service 20/09/2018
    • Great bbq experience 15/09/2018
    • Barbecue Garden Restaurant
    Address:
    135A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street
    District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 760000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 28 3823 3340
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$12
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Pho Hung
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese, Soups)
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Start you final day in the same style as the first.....Saigon's best Pho?? time for you to decide! Its a little harder to find as google maps has it shown on the wrong side of the road but its alomst opposite the shopping centre. Its more local and don't expect them to speak English. Just point to the Pho you want and just wait for the serving hatch to produce your delights. Tasty and delicious, its a must try for any Pho 'nut'

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Try the Pho Tai Nam (beef with brisket) or ask for sausage meat. Go for your life because it'll only cost you about $5 each!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #170 of 3,256 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stick to the Pho 09/09/2018
    • Restaurant 06/09/2018
    • Pho Hung
    Address:
    241, Nguyen Trai Rd, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1
    288 Nguyen Tri Phuong Rd, Ward 4, Dist. 10 and 23 D1 Rd Him Lam Residense,Tân Hưng ward, dist 7
    Ho Chi Minh City 700000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 8 3838 5089
    Price range:
    US$60,000 - US$80,000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Independence Palace
    Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Well, it WAS a palace once upon a time. Showing its age now the palace is as it was in the 1970s when the country was reunified (hence the name!) Go and see the bedrooms, the basement bunkers and the rooftop helicopter pad where the American's evacuated from. You can see that it was once a modern status symbol of a wealthy nation that has now been overthrown by Hanoi as the seat of government. Enjoy wandering its quiet hallways and gardens and imaging you are back in the 1960 Saigon at its peak of modernity.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't forget to wander the gardens.....tanks and planes lurk in the shadows.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beware of the coconut man 24/09/2018
    • Well preserved Time Capsule of a palace 24/09/2018
    • The Independence Palace
    Address:
    106 Nguyen Du, District 1
    District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 80 85094
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Vincom Center
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Another shopping centre.....this time its high end shopping! Get your designer goods and expensive gifts here. Just walk between here and Le Loi towards ben Thanh market to get the majority of shopping centres covered. There's Parkson, the Tax Centre as well as Saigon Square and Taka Plaza to take you from Gucci to 'Guchi' in 2 hours!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • You get what's you pay for!! designer goods are not necessarily cheaper here than any other country so shop wisely.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 271 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Overpriced 14/09/2018
    • Modern Shopping Centre within Ho Chi Minh 07/09/2018
    • Vincom Center
    Address:
    72 70, Le Thanh Ton
    District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 93 706 01 97
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Saigon River Tour
    City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Sightseeing Tours
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    If your feet are hurting then why not take a trip along the Saigon river. Its not the most beautiful river but you'll see how the richer side of Saigon residents live as well as see some interesting views of the city. Relax with a coffee or beer and enjoy the breeze as you travel sedately up and down the river for about 1-2 hours

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Watch out for the upper deck karaoke.....not everyone can sing!!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 95 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Ho Chi Minh City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mekong Delta Tour 21/09/2018
    • Cu chi tunnel 13/09/2018
    • Saigon River Tour
    Address:
    1A Me Linh square, Ben Nghe ward, Dist 1
    Room 4, IBC building
    Ho Chi Minh City 700000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 90 244 63 46
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Cho Dan Sinh (Hardware stores, army surplus, odds and ends)
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    Ever wanted to buy a 'genuine Vietnam war zippo lighter'? This where to come.....helmets, fatigues, Zippos, or bullets....you can get them all here. There's no guarantee that they are genuinely 1960-70s but if you believe its genuine....then what the heck! Worth the walk to wander up and down the aisles of war memorabilia and general survival equipment. Good place to go for camping supplies and travel goods as well.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Just make sure that you are buying genuine historical goods....better to pay for non-genuine and then you'll never be disappointed when you find out its from the 1980s
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #133 of 303 Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Hubbie returned here 3 times in two days for buying! 28/08/2017
    • Useful place for us but take care! 28/06/2017
    • Cho Dan Sinh (Hardware stores, army surplus, odds and ends)
    Address:
    intersection of Yersin and Phan van Truong, District 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 8 3825 1130
    Other:
  • Save
    Nha Hang Ngon
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    brien a Says:

    One of my favourite restaurants in HCMC. They serve a variety of dishes from around the country and its always well cooked and tasty. Service can be variable but generally good. Prices are reasonable and expect to pay around $10 per head for a good meal

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • get there early-ish and sit inside for the better ambience....in my opinion, outside is not as nice
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #283 of 3,256 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Great food, great atmosphere 24/09/2018
    • I loved the food 19/09/2018
    • Nha Hang Ngon
    Address:
    160 Pasteur, Phurong Ben Nghe, Quan 1
    Ho Chi Minh City 70000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 8 3827 7131
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:30 AM - 10:30 PM
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo