Unveiling Ho Chi Minh City: 17 things to do for Travelers

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a bustling metropolis in Vietnam that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. From its vibrant street markets to its historic landmarks, this city offers an array of experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Ho Chi Minh City has something special to offer. Below are 15 of the best things to do in this captivating city:

What are the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city? 


Explore the War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum offers a poignant glimpse into Vietnam’s tumultuous past, particularly during the Vietnam War. With captivating exhibitions and artifacts, visitors can gain insight into the war’s impact on the country and its people. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s history.

 Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

Delve into the fascinating history of the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City. Used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War, these intricate underground passages span over 250 kilometers, serving as a vital lifeline for communication, supply routes, and shelter. Visitors can explore sections of the tunnels, experiencing firsthand the cramped conditions and ingenious survival tactics employed by the guerrilla fighters. Gain insight into the resilience and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people while discovering a crucial chapter in the nation’s history. A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels offers a poignant and educational journey into Vietnam’s wartime past.

Easy book a day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels with Heritage Travel

Tour Cost: Start at USD 12

Length of Tour: At least half a day

Wander Through the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

Admire the stunning architecture of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, a symbol of the city’s French colonial heritage. Marvel at its red brick façades and towering spires, and take a leisurely stroll around the cathedral grounds to soak in the serene atmosphere.

Cruise Along the Saigon River

Embark on a scenic cruise along the Saigon River and admire the city’s skyline from a different perspective. Whether you opt for a daytime cruise or a sunset boat tour, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Ho Chi Minh City’s landmarks, including the Bitexco Financial Tower and the Thu Thiem Bridge.


Indulge in Vietnamese Street Food

No visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without sampling its delectable street food offerings. From pho and banh mi to fresh spring rolls and grilled seafood, the city’s street food scene is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. Head to bustling food markets like Ben Thanh Market or Binh Tay Market to satisfy your cravings.

Explore the Historic District of District 1

Take a leisurely stroll through District 1 and immerse yourself in Ho Chi Minh City’s rich architectural heritage. Admire elegant French colonial buildings, vibrant markets, and bustling street scenes as you explore this charming neighborhood. Don’t miss iconic landmarks like the Saigon Opera House and the Reunification Palace.

Experience the Chaos of Ben Thanh Market

Get lost in the hustle and bustle of Ben Thanh Market, one of the city’s most famous shopping destinations. Browse through a wide range of goods, including clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and local handicrafts. Bargain with vendors and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling market.

Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most revered temples in Ho Chi Minh City. Admire its intricate architecture, ornate decorations, and serene atmosphere as you explore the temple grounds. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the temple’s history and significance.

Take a Walking Tour of Chinatown (Cholon)

Embark on a sensory adventure through the bustling streets of Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City’s vibrant Chinatown. With its rich tapestry of culture, history, and culinary delights, a walking tour of Cholon promises an immersive experience like no other. Meander through narrow alleyways lined with ornate temples, traditional medicine shops, and bustling markets teeming with exotic produce and authentic street food. Discover the fusion of Vietnamese and Chinese architecture, explore hidden gems tucked away in labyrinthine streets, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this dynamic district. A walking tour of Cholon is a must for travelers seeking to uncover the eclectic charm of Ho Chi Minh City.

Enjoy a Water Puppet Show

Experience the charm of traditional Vietnamese water puppetry at a water puppet show. Marvel at intricately crafted puppets as they dance across the water stage, accompanied by live music and storytelling. It’s a mesmerizing cultural experience that offers insight into Vietnam’s folklore and traditions.

Visit the Bitexco Financial Tower Sky Deck

Experience Ho Chi Minh City from new heights at the Bitexco Financial Tower Sky Deck. Towering over the bustling streets below, this architectural marvel offers unparalleled panoramic views of the city’s vibrant skyline. Located in the heart of the financial district, visitors can ascend to the observation deck, perched 262 meters above ground level, for a breathtaking 360-degree perspective of the metropolis. Marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Saigon River, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the historic Reunification Palace from a unique vantage point. Whether it’s catching a stunning sunset or admiring the city lights after dark, a visit to the Bitexco Financial Tower Sky Deck promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking to capture the essence of Ho Chi Minh City from above.

Operating Hours: 9:30AM-9:30PM, daily

Admission: VND 200,000

Estimated Time to Spend: About 1 – 2 hr

Relax & Go Bird Watching in Tao Dan Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City and find tranquility amidst nature at Tao Dan Park, a serene oasis in the heart of the metropolis. Take a leisurely stroll through lush greenery, breathe in the fresh air, and unwind in this peaceful sanctuary. Birdwatching enthusiasts will delight in the diverse avian species that call the park home, from colorful songbirds to graceful herons. Find a quiet spot to relax, meditate, or simply enjoy the symphony of birdsong and have coffee and mingle with the locals. Whether you’re a nature lover or seeking a moment of respite, Tao Dan Park offers a serene retreat from the urban pace of Ho Chi Minh City.

Park Hours: 7AM-10PM, daily

Admission: FREE

Estimated Time to Spend: About 30 mins – 1 hr

Discover Vietnamese History at the Museum of Vietnamese History

Delve into Vietnam’s rich history and culture at the Museum of Vietnamese History, home to an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits. Learn about the country’s ancient civilizations, colonial period, and struggle for independence through engaging displays and interactive exhibits.

Explore the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Embark on a family-friendly adventure at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest zoos in Vietnam. Encounter a diverse range of animal species, from exotic mammals and birds to reptiles and amphibians, as you explore the zoo’s sprawling grounds.

Sample Vietnamese Coffee

Indulge in Vietnam’s famous coffee culture and savor a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee at a local café. Whether you prefer the strong and robust flavor of Vietnamese drip coffee or the creamy sweetness of ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk), the city’s coffee scene is sure to delight your taste buds.

In conclusion, Ho Chi Minh City offers a wealth of attractions and experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks, indulging in delicious street food, or immersing yourself in local culture, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories in this dynamic city. Plan your itinerary carefully, and prepare to be enchanted by the endless wonders of Ho Chi Minh City.

Step back in time at Reunification Palace

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Vietnam at the iconic Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City. This architectural marvel served as the presidential palace of South Vietnam until the historic events of April 30, 1975, marking the end of the Vietnam War. Step inside to discover preserved rooms, including the war command center, telecommunications rooms, and the presidential living quarters, offering a glimpse into the political and social landscape of the era. Wander through lush gardens dotted with historic tanks and aircraft, reflecting the tumultuous past of this significant landmark. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply intrigued by Vietnam’s journey to reunification, the Reunification Palace promises a thought-provoking and memorable experience.


Walk along Pham Ngu Lao Street

Stroll along the vibrant Pham Ngu Lao Street in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and immerse yourself in its energetic ambiance. Known as the city’s backpacker hub, this bustling thoroughfare is alive with a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and flavors. Wander past colorful street vendors offering an array of tantalizing street food, trendy bars, and cozy cafes. Feel the pulse of the city as you encounter fellow travelers from around the globe, sharing stories and experiences. Whether you’re seeking authentic Vietnamese cuisine, a lively nightlife scene, or simply soaking in the local culture, Pham Ngu Lao Street offers an unforgettable urban adventure.

Put your interested activities in your travel bucket and contact one of our Travel Designer for your memorable trip to Ho Chi Minh city. 


Cu Chi tunnels tour

Half day city tour in Ho Chi Minh city 

Walking tour into China town