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Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Things to do in  Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City hums with life. Packs of motorbikes zip along grand boulevards, whipping past colonial buildings left over from the days of French rule. Colorful markets overflow with flowers and fruit from the Mekong Delta, and vendors hawk cold Vietnamese coffee alongside steaming bowls of pho. Known as Saigon until the fall of the South Vietnamese government, Ho Chi Minh City is full of wartime history, from the War Remnants Museum to the nearby Cu Chi tunnels. And while there’s plenty to discover within city limits, for many, Ho Chi Minh City makes an ideal base for exploring southern Vietnam, where the Mekong River becomes a maze of canals and rivers flowing towards the South China Sea.

Top 10 attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

#1
Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon)

Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon)

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The Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon), aka Ho Chi Minh City Theater (Nhà Hát Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh), is a landmark piece of French colonial architecture. (Saigon was the colonial name for Ho Chi Minh City.) Built in 1897, it is home to the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra, but is best known for evening cultural shows, such as A O and Teh Dar.More
#2
Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

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Built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s as protection from French air raids during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi Tunnels extend underground for more than 155 miles (250 km) in the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh City alone. This network of subterranean passageways later provided vital access to and strategic control over the rural areas surrounding the city during the Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War or the American War), when the tunnels housed living quarters, hospitals, booby traps, and storage facilities for the Viet Cong.More
#3
Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh)

Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh)

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Right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành). More than a place to go shopping, the market is also an architectural landmark, a center of local Vietnamese life and commerce, and a meeting point all rolled into one.More
#4
War Remnants Museum (Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh)

War Remnants Museum (Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh)

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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.More
#5
Reunification Palace (Independence Palace)

Reunification Palace (Independence Palace)

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Originally developed by the French in 1868 to commemorate the establishment of the colony of Indochina, the Reunification Palace (formerly Independence Palace) as it stands today was built during the 1960s. Known in Vietnamese as Dinh Độc Lập or Dinh Thống Nhất, it was most famously the symbolic site of the liberation of Saigon by communist forces that reunited the nation on April 30, 1975.More
#6
Thien Hau Temple (Chua Ba Thien Hau)

Thien Hau Temple (Chua Ba Thien Hau)

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Thien Hau Temple (Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu), built by Cantonese immigrants in the early 19th century, pays tribute to Thien Hau (sometimes called Mazu), goddess of the sea and protector of seafarers. Situated on a busy street in Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown, the active temple displays intricate porcelain dioramas from Chinese mythology both inside and out.More
#7
Mekong River

Mekong River

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The Mekong River, the 12th-longest river in the world at 2,700 miles (4,345 kilometers), is the main artery of Southeast Asia. Its flowing waters are the beating pulse for a region that includes the fertile Mekong Delta around Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, the scenic hills of Laos, and the jungle-lined waterways of Thailand and Cambodia.More
#8
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon)

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon)

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Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon) boasts a striking red façade and towering stone arches constructed with materials imported from France in the 1800s. But its architecture isn’t the only draw. In 2005, visitors reported seeing a tear flow from the eye of a statue of the Virgin Mary here, making it a destination for Catholics on a religious pilgrimage.More
#9
Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office

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The design of Ho Chi Minh City’s Central Post Office, completed in 1891, mimics an old-world European railway station with soaring ceilings and a giant clock face. These rich details lead travelers to pause and soak up the brilliant interior of this architectural landmark, which includes hand-painted maps of the old city.More
#10
Saigon River (Song Sai Gon)

Saigon River (Song Sai Gon)

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The Saigon River (Sông Sài Gòn), the fast-flowing main artery of Ho Chi Minh City, is flanked by both modern skyscrapers and rural villages that give insight into old Vietnamese traditions. Used by locals to escape the urban bustle, the riverbanks are dotted with picnic benches and greenery, making for a pleasant refuge from the metropolitan mania of Saigon.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh City

How to Spend 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam War History Tours in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam War History Tours in Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong River Cruises from Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong River Cruises from Ho Chi Minh City

Top activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Recent reviews from experiences in Ho Chi Minh City

star-5
Awesome visit to Vietnam
bpapanton, Feb 2020
Private Ho Chi Minh City Shore Excursion from Phu My Port
Met was very knowledgeable about all of the important sights to see in Ho Chi Minh City.
star-5
I thought this was a relatively good...
Hannah S, Jan 2017
War Remnants Museum - City & Cu Chi Tunnels Day Tours
The tour guide I think his name was MT had great English and was really funny.
star-5
My wife and I really appreciated...
Jean Frederic H, Dec 2016
Half-Day Tour in Ho Chi Minh with Lunch
I believe that this tour is a must if you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City.
star-5
Highly informative tour. A small...
Jayne D, Aug 2015
Cu Chi Tunnels Small Group Tour from Ho Chi Minh City
He had great local and historical knowledge and was extremely helpful on the tour and with giving us recommendations for other activities, places to go to, eat, shop etc for the rest of our stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
star-5
Well organised trip. Staff were...
R G H, Mar 2016
Half-Day Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City by Luxury Speedboat
The boat trip up the river was also a great way to see a different side to Ho Chi Minh City and the countryside
star-4
I had a good time with my guide Duc...
George A, Oct 2015
Full-day CU CHI TUNNELS & HO CHI MINH CITY HISTORICAL TOUR
He also speaks pretty good English.
star-4
This tour was a very good...
Bill, Apr 2015
Private Tour: Ho Chi Minh City Half-Day Sightseeing
Our guide was very knowledgeable and had very good English language skills.
star-5
The tour was informative about the...
Chuck S, Mar 2016
Cu Chi Tunnels Half Day Experience with DeluxeGroupTours
The tour was informative about the war and village life in Vietnam, and provided a great escape from Ho Chi Minh City to see the surrounding environs.
star-5
BRILLIANT way to see Ho Chi Minh...
Tracy S, Apr 2013
Hồ Chí Minh Cyclo and Market Small Group Adventure
BRILLIANT way to see Ho Chi Minh City.
star-5
Great tour, tour guide was...
Karen K, Jan 2012
Cu Chi Tunnels Small Group Tour from Ho Chi Minh City
Great tour, tour guide was excellent, spoke very good english and had good knowledge about a wide variety of thing in Vietnam.
star-4
Our tour guide speaks English...
Ana Marie R, Sep 2011
Half-Day Tour in Ho Chi Minh with Lunch
Our tour guide speaks English articulately.
star-4
It was probably the highlight of our...
Daryll H, Nov 2009
Mekong Delta Discovery Small Group River Cruise Adventure Tour from Ho Chi Minh
A variety of activities was enjoyed by all.
star-4
This trip was very interesting, and it...
Dean D, May 2010
Mekong Delta Discovery Small Group River Cruise Adventure Tour from Ho Chi Minh
This trip was very interesting, and it was a nice change to see some of the countryside after being in the chaos of the city.
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Shore Excursion in Ho Chi Minh City
twoo, Feb 2020
Make Your Own Full Day Shore Excursion in Ho Chi Minh City
We took a shore excursion with this company to visit the highlights of Ho Chi Minh City.
star-5
Wonderful Experience
Frederick_W, Nov 2019
Private Ho Chi Minh City Shore Excursion from Phu My Port
He was a great guide and it was hard to believe that this was his first tour with English speaking clients.
star-5
Cu Chi Tunnels - Mesmerising Experience
762kannanr, Oct 2019
Half-Day Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City by Luxury Speedboat
Since we had 2 days, we thought of going on a day trip to see some of the sightseeing places recommended by tourists and that's how we decided on Cu Chi Tunnels' trip.
star-4
Enjoyable day out with knowledge guide
pgoodall76, Apr 2019
Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta Full-Day VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh city
This aspect is important as by combining the two attractions (Cu Chi tunnels and Mekong Delta), there is quite a distance to travel, and because Ho Chi Minh City is so congested, getting in and out of the city takes some time!
star-5
Wonderful way to see the city
breadfan18, Jan 2019
Private Street Food Tour by Motorbike with Local Students
Our student guides, Callie, Kwen and Raymond, were all very friendly, smart and nice, and showed great enthusiasm for spending some time with us and showing us around some awesome local spots that we wouldnt have known to visit otherwise!
star-5
Ho Chi Minh City Excellent Excursion
Gregory M, Sep 2018
Ho Chi Minh City Shore Excursion: Private City Tour Including Cyclo Ride
During the drive our guide was so excellent in telling us about the countryside and things that we were passing and the history of the city we were to visit.
star-5
Great tour and very friendly...
tranthikim_y, Jun 2018
PRIVATE Luxury Sunset TOUR Mekong Delta Full Day AFTERNOON TRIP
The guide Thao was very friendly and informative and spoke very good English.
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