A must-visit when in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City’s War Remnants Museum (Bảo Tàng Chứng Tích Chiến Tranh) is a poignant reminder of the horrors of war. The grounds house American planes, tanks, helicopters, and weaponry captured during the Vietnam War. Pictorial displays cover everything from the My Lai Massacre to the traumas of Agent Orange and the work of war correspondents.
Set in District 3, in the heart of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, not far from Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum provides the perfect introduction to the Vietnam War. You don’t need a tour to visit: English signage is clear, tickets are easy to find, and the often shocking visuals speak for themselves.
History-focused south Vietnam tours often bundle the War Remnants Museum with the Cu Chi Tunnels for a rewarding day out. If pressed for time, the War Remnants Museum is also a regular stop on Ho Chi Minh City day tours, along with sites, such as the Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, although history buffs will want more time at the museum than most city tours allow.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Many Vietnam War images on display are very graphic: Parents and sensitive travelers may wish to avoid.
- The museum’s perspective is, unsurprisingly, anti-American.
- There is an on-site souvenir shop.
How to Get There
The War Remnants Museum is centrally located in Ho Chi Minh City, and bus routes 14, 28, and 06 run to the museum. Self-driving Ho Chi Minh City is not for the faint-hearted. Apps, such as Grab, can remove the haggling element from motorbike and car taxi transport. If you’re aiming to check off a number of downtown Ho Chi Minh City sights in one day, a HCMC tour makes sense.
When to Get There
The War Remnants Museum opens early in the day, seven days a week, but closes for lunch between 12pm and 1:30pm. This Vietnam War museum is as popular with Vietnamese as it is with tourists, so it’s worth planning your visit to avoid weekends and major Vietnamese holidays, such as Tet, or arriving as early in the morning as you can.
Tracing the History of the Vietnam War
Between about 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War changed the shape of Vietnam—and altered America’s position in the world for good. Travelers interested in exploring Vietnam War history further can explore tunnel and cave sites, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels or the cave complex on Cat Ba Island, and tour prisons, such as Hanoi’s Hoa Lo, or even hike the Ho Chi Minh Trail.