Introduction to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis located in southern Vietnam. With a rich history, a fascinating blend of cultures and an abundance of attractions, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for travelers. Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Far East”, Ho Chi Minh City holds a special place in Vietnam's history and is a symbol of the country's resilience and growth.

ho chi minh city by night

Hustle and bustle city 

Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 24 districts, each with its own unique character and attractions. The city is famous for various landmarks and points of interest, including the Ben Thanh Market, the War Remnants Museum and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Additionally, the city is renowned for its delicious street food, offering mouthwatering dishes.

ho chi minh city travel guide

The beautiful city with simple things

Essential Information for Your Ho Chi Minh City Adventure 

Before planning your own journey, here are some essential pieces of Ho Chi Minh City travel guide information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

How to get around 

For your convenience, there are 3 means in our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide to explore and travel around here:

  • City bus: 7.000 VND (~ 0.29 USD) - 14.000 VND (~ 0.59 USD) per ticket.
  • Motorbike rental: 100.000 VND (~ 4.21 USD) - 160.000 VND (~ 6.74 USD) per day.
  • Saigon hop-on hop-off bus: 149.000 VND (~ 6.28 USD) - 599.000 VND (~ 25.23 USD) per ticket.

how to get around ho chi minh city

Motorbike is the ideal transport if you want to get around this city


You should stay at the homestay so as not to miss the opportunity to explore the cuisine and entertainment venues in Ho Chi Minh. Here are 4 places I recommend.

Rustical Homestay

  • Address: No.183/47A, Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, 1 Dist.
  • Price: 500.000 VND (~ 21.06 USD) - 850.000 VND (~ 35.81 USD) per night.
  • Phone: 0916 128 668

Botanic House

  • Address: No.100/4 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, 1 Dist.
  • Price: 500.000 VND (~ 21.06 USD) - 700.000 VND (~ 29.49 USD) per night 
  • Phone: 0702 806 355.

M & K Signature Homestay

  • Address: No.6/6, Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Ben Thanh Ward, 1 Dist.
  • Price: 400.000 VND (~ 16.85 USD) - 700.000 VND (~ 29.49 USD) per night.
  • Phone: 0983 488 400.

Sen Boutique Homestay

  • Address: No.63B, Nguyen Cu Street, Thao Dien Ward, 2 Dist.
  • Price: 600.000 VND (~ 25.28 USD) - 1.200.000 VND (~ 50.55 USD).
  • Phone: 0918 290 015.

where to stay in ho chi minh city - ho chi minh travel guide

A cosy room in Botanic House 

Insider Recommendations for Local Food 

Ho Chi Minh is a melting pot of cultural and culinary influences from around the world, with a wide variety of flavors. That is why foreign visitors often think in advance about what they will eat when they arrive. Let's experience a magnificent culinary world with top 6 delicious dishes in Ho Chi Minh City travel guide.

Grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice

Price: 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) - 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per dish.


  • 378 Alley, Vo Van Tan Street, 3 Dist.

  • Ut Lua Stall, No.115, Phan Dang Luu Street, Phu Nhuan Dist.

Savory sticky rice

Price: 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) - 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per dish.


  • Xoi 31, No.31, Nguyen Huu Can Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, 1 Dist.

  • Xoi Khanh Duc, No.18/5, De Tham Street, Cau Ong Lanh Ward, 1 Dist.

Vietnamese pancake

Price: 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) - 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per dish.


  • Banh xeo A Phu Stall, No.10A, 3/2 Street, 12 Ward, 10 Dist.

  • Muoi Xiem Stall, No.46A, Dinh Cong Trang Street, Tan Dinh Ward, 1 Dist.

what to eat in ho chi minh city

International visitor enjoy Vietnamese Pancake - Banh Xeo 

Fresh spring rolls

Price: 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) - 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per dish.


  • Bo Bia & Goi Cuon Stall, No.51/24B, Ho Thi Ky Street, 10 District.

  • Goi Cuon Stall, No.69, Tran Van Dang Street, 9 Ward, 3 Dist.

Saigon hotpot

Price: 200.000 VND (~8.43 USD) - 500.000 VND (~ 21.06 USD) per set.


  • Local Thai - Thai Restaurant, No.89/19, Doan Van Bo Street, 12 Ward, 4 Dist.

  • Saigon goat hot pot restaurant, No.105, Truong Dinh Street, 6 Ward, 3 Dist.

Fried dough

Price: 20.000 VND (~ 0.85 USD) - 50.000 VND (~ 2.12 USD) per dish.


  • Van Thanh Stall, 185 Alley, Vo Van Tan Street, 5 Ward, 3 Dist.

  • Phung Khac Khoan Stall, No.63, Phung Khac Khoan Street, Da Kao Ward, 1 Dist.

ho chi minh street food - ho chi minh travel guide

International tourists enjoy Saigon street foods

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Itineraries: Maximizing Your Time in the City 

As I said above, Ho Chi minh City, the bustling metropolis of South Vietnam, offers a lot of attractions and experiences catering to every tourist's preferences. Whether you only have a spare day or a prolonged vacation, keep reading the Ho Chi Minh City travel guide to make the most of time on your Saigon journey.

ho chi minh travel guide

Tourist take a photo in Saigon Central Post Office 

One-Day Highlights: Must-See Sights and Experiences 

If you find yourself with just a day to explore Ho Chi Minh City, fear not! With careful planning, you can still immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and experience here. There are the 6 best destinations that you can visit around Ho Chi Minh City per day.

Exploring Saigon City Tour Bus

Traveling by the hop-on hop-off bus in Saigon is an efficient way to visit the city's top attractions. This sightseeing bus service is a great option to get around the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City during the day.

  • Price:


City Tour (1 turn)

City tour in 24 hours

City tour + having a meal on a cruise

City Tour (1 turn) + explore 

Independence Palace 


149.000 VND 

(~ 6.28 USD) per person

475.000 VND 

(~ 20.01 USD) 

per person

599.000 VND 

(~ 25.23 USD) 

per person

199.000 VND 

(~ 8.38 USD) per person

Active Time 

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, 5:00 PM - 22:30 PM


ho chi minh travel guide

Ho Chi Minh City Tour by bus

Independence Palace 

A visit to Independence Palace is an absolute must for history enthusiasts and anyone interested. The palace provides a deep understanding of the war for independence and reunification. It's a remarkable experience to walk through the rooms that once witnessed significant historical events. Independence Palace offers a rewarding and enlightening journey into Vietnam's history and is a highlight of any trip to Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Address: No.135, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, 1 Dist.

  • Price: 40.000 VND (~ 1.69 USD) - 65.000 VND (~ 2.74 USD) per ticket.

  • Active time: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM.

Students of the AirWay Military College visit the Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market 

Ben Thanh Market where the essence of Vietnamese culture, commerce, and culinary delights converge. With its diverse product offerings, rich cultural experience, and the chance to immerse in the local way of life, the market is a vibrant showcase of Vietnamese traditions and a delightful place to shop, eat, and discover the heart and soul of Saigon.

  • Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, 1 Dist.

  • Active time: 4:00 AM - 7:00 PM.

ben thanh market - ho chi minh travel guide

Foreign visitors can buy souvenirs in Ben Thanh Market 

War Remnants Museum 

The War Remnants Museum focuses on the Vietnam War. It presents a perspective on the war from the Vietnamese point of view and showcases the harsh realities and atrocities of the conflict. The museum houses a comprehensive collection of exhibits, photographs, and artifacts that vividly portray the horrors of war. 

  • Address: No.28, Vo Van Tan Street, 3 Dist.

  • Price: 15.000 VND (~ 0.63 USD) per ticket.

  • Active time: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM.

War Remnants Museum

International tourists in War Remnants Museum 

Two to Three Days: Deep Dive into the City's Culture and History

If you'd like to experience an enriching two to three-day journey and uncover iconic landmarks, follow our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide. We believe that revealing the below attractions of Saigon is an ideal plan.

SUP Rowing Tour on Water Coconut Canal  

The SUP Rowing Tour offers a delightful experience that caters to both beginners and experienced paddlers. It is located in the Binh Quoi Area, which is about 8 km from the city center. The canal is surrounded by lush greenery and traditional stilt houses, providing a glimpse of authentic Vietnamese countryside life. Paddling through the calm waters, you can feel a sense of serenity and a deep connection with nature.

  • Address: Binh Quoi ecotourism Village area, Binh Thanh Dist.

  • Price: 830.000 VND (~ 34.97 USD) per person.

  • Active time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM.

ho chi minh travel guide

When entering SUP tour, you can get a coconut drink for free

Mekong Delta 

The Mekong Delta is a verdant expanse of green with rice paddies, fruit orchards and coconut groves stretching. It is about 50 km east of the Saigon center. Exploring the Mekong Delta allows travelers to connect with warm and hospitable local people. You can engage with the local communities, visit traditional handicraft workshops and experience the delta's traditional music.

The floating markets, where traders gather to sell their produce from boats, are a vibrant and colorful spectacle. Travelers can indulge in mouthwatering local dishes and unique delicacies, such as elephant ear fish, coconut candies and fresh tropical fruit juices. Furthermore, you can witness the rich birdlife in the area.

what to do in ho chi minh city

Mekong Delta tour 

Cu Chi Tunnels

If you only have 1 day to travel to explore Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu Chi tunnels are well worth your time to visit and explore. It is about 70 km northwest from the Ho Chi Minh City center. Surely this journey to visit Cu Chi tunnels will bring you a lot of useful knowledge. You can book a day tour from travel companies for the best support.

  • Address: Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi Dist. 

  • Price: 90,000 VND (~3.81 USD) - 100,000 VND (~4.23 USD) per person.

  • Active time: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

what to do in ho chi minh city

Visitor experiences Cu Chi Tunnels

Extended Stay: Exploring Beyond the City

With long days in Ho Chi Minh City, you can delve deeper into its rich culture and history. Extend your exploration beyond the city center and venture to these spots in our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide.

Can Gio Biosphere Reserve 

Can Gio Biosphere Reserve is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, located approximately 50 kilometers southeast of the city center. It offers an opportunity to connect with nature, witness diverse wildlife, and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of preserving these delicate ecosystems. Day trips and guided tours are available for those who wish to explore this natural sanctuary.

  • Address: Rung Sac Street, Long Hoa Commune, Can Gio Dist.

  • Price: 35.000 VND (~ 1.47 USD) per person.

ho chi minh travel guide

The stunning view in the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve 

Cao Dai Temple 

The Cao Dai Temple is a captivating religious site that showcases the unique Cao Dai faith in Ho Chi Minh City. It is approximately 95 kilometers northwest of the city center. It takes around two hours by car to reach the temple from Ho Chi Minh City. Many tour operators offer trips to the temple from the city, making it accessible for foreign tourists. 

  • Address: Long Hoa Ward, Hoa Thanh Town, Tay Ninh Province.

cao dai temple

A model take a picture in Cao Dai Temple 

Exploring Vung Tau Coastal City

Vung Tau is conveniently accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, located around 125 kilometers southeast of the city. It boasts a string of beautiful beaches that cater to different preferences whether you seek water sports and activities for tranquil relaxation. Visitors will have a chance to visit ships and drilling rigs.

ho chi minh city travel guide

Tourist have a summer vacation in Vung Tau beach 

Safety travel tips while you are in the city

  • You should wear polite, discreet clothes when visiting temples and sacred places.

  • Traveling around Ho Chi Minh City for 1 day by bus will save you more money.

  • Don't forget to bring a raincoat, sunscreen, hat, jacket when traveling Saigon.

  • You should choose the time to explore Ho Chi Minh City depending on your purpose of travel.

  • Be sure to bring cash for the entrance fee as credit cards might not be accepted in some palaces.

We’re delighted that you’re still here with us, uncovering the hidden gems in Saigon. In this post, we introduce an overview of Ho Chi Minh City and essential notes for your adventures. Furthermore, there are some captivating day, three-day, or longer trips from Saigon center. Hope you enjoy our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide and please keep in mind our list for your next Vietnam trip.