Top attractions to see in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Know as the “Pearl of the East” – Saigon, the former name of Ho Chi Minh City, has long become a major cultural, economic and political center of Vietnam. Saigon is the interference city between “old and present”. The street life is vibrant; it is full of beautiful buildings and all year round warm weather. Here, visitors will find a modern Saigon with high-rise buildings adjacent to each other, and the amusement and shopping centers crowded, and also have an image of an old Saigon with the ancient villas, and traditional markets with hundreds of years. Vietnamdrive will tell you what to see in Ho Chi Minh City when you visit here.

Ho Chi Minh City Street
On the street in Ho Chi Minh City – Photo: Tran Quang Liem

1. Cu Chi Tunnels

Sai gon to Cu Chi

Cu Chi tunnels are the reason why Americans have lost the war in Vietnam. You will see how elaborate was the tunnel system and how the Vietnamese used it to get an advantage over the Americans. This is the place and experience that you must do.

2. Saigon Opera House

Opera House, Hanoi
Opera House, Hanoi – Photo: @(@teckleng

This is a famous opera house in the Saigon. It’s the perfect example of colonial architecture from the past when Vietnam was a French colony. Opera house is at the center of the city so it is easy to reach. And of course, if you want to see a great concert opera house is placed to go.

3. Saigon Central Post Office

Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City
Central Post Office, District 1, HCM – Photo: Truong Giang

Saigon Central post office is an old building which is visited by many tourists, and it is one of the biggest city attractions. The best part is that post office is still operational so if you want to send mail from there you can! And the last point but certainly not least important is that Central post office was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

4. Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

 Notre Dame Cathedral or Duc Ba Church, Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Notre Dame Cathedral, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

The Cathedral is very near the Central Post Office. The Church itself is a beautiful building that you really need to see when visit Ho Chi Minh City .

Notre Dame Cathedral is a replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France.  All church building materials from cement, steels and screws are from France. The exterior of the church is built of brick produced in Marseille, not plastered and dusty moss, so far retained fresh pink color.

This is a unique architecture from the French colonial era designed by J.Bourard architect with foundation load ten times more than the entire architecture above. Especially around the church is without the fence.

With a total length of 93m, the widest horizontal width of 35m and height of 21m can accommodate up to 1200 people. This is also the place where people often come during the Tet holidays, and Christmas time. It also is a destination for many domestic and foreign tourists.

5. Independence Palace

Dinh Doc Lap in Ho Chi Minh City
Come to this historic cultural monument, visitors will have the opportunity to freely experience and learn about the history and architecture here through clear, specific and complete information. In addition to the program, visitors also see documentary film “Independence Palace – witnesses of history” in 25 minutes. This will definitely be an ideal destination for tourists on the list of tourist destinations in Saigon. Let’s try and discover the real value that this place brings.

6. Pham Ngu Lao Street

Pham Ngu Lao Ho Chi Minh
The corner of Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, HCM -photo: Vietnamdrive

This part of town is known as backpacker district. Pham Ngu Lao Street is the place which attracts people from all walks of life with its offer of all kind of things. From clothing to war memorabilia and all kind of other merchandise can be found here. I would recommend looking for war memorabilia because you could really find a great piece of war history.

7. War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum - Sai Gon
War Remnants Museum, HCM -photo: Ngo Trung

Located at 28 Vo Van Tan Street in District 3, the War Remnants Museum is just as its name says. A museum of a long war history of Vietnam in the 20th-century, you will find there disturbing and depressing parts that defined wars in Vietnam and their fight for independence.

On September 4th, 1975 – just a few months after the peace day, the museum was opened with the original name of the US Exhibition House. The museum features a variety of topics surrounding the war against the United States aimed at emphasizing the cruelty of the war. Here, visitors will better understand the image of the ancient battlefield with heavy losses, the devastation and painful losses suffered by the war. This will be a historic experience for visitors.

8. Dam Sen Park

Dam Sen water park - Sai Gon

Named as a green oasis in the heart of Saigon with a wide lake 3000m2 and 36 modern water games equipment that promise to bring you a lot of exciting relaxation. Dam Sen Park is for all people who like beautiful nature, calm and charming atmosphere. Park is full of lakes and gardens. You will find peace and quiet there. If you are the person that does not like usual amusement parks then this is the place for you to visit.

9. Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market, District 1, HCM -photo: Hoang Viet Quan

The local business shows daily with the active life of the Saigon people. You can find many local products for your friends or relatives after the holidays in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ben Thanh Market is considered a symbol of Saigon for many decades. Located in District 1 of the city center, this place is not only a place for shopping, but also a witness to the history of how much innovation of Saigon. With a convenient location, Ben Thanh Market becomes one of important markets in Saigon with a bustling and crowded shopping center, which is also considered the economic face of Ho Chi Minh City.

In recent years, Ben Thanh Market is an indispensable place for most tours in Saigon. Visitors visit the market not only to shop or roam but also to find some pictures of ancient Saigon still preserved in the heart of the bustling and modern city.

Visitors can go through each booth to find what they need to buy. This place is considered as the “rich” market with all the items from the popular to high. Ben Thanh Market is also an ideal place for visitors to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine with traditional dishes. Try to visit the “dining area” to taste the specialties here, you will be satisfied and do not want to leave it.

Above are the top famous places what you should visit in Ho Chi Minh City during your holidays in Vietnam. It can take you around 2 days to visit all of these. Thus, it depends on your schedule; you can select some of them to visit. Vietnamdrive team is here we can plan your excurissions in Ho Chi Minh City if you need a customized tour to fix your own time and hobby.