District 1 is Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown where you often see a lot of office buildings, luxury hotels, and fancy restaurants, along with many most visited attractions where you can learn about the lifestyle, culture, and history of the city. When night comes, it is also the time the district is most lively and crowded with people, especially the youth.
Map of District 1's Attractions:
View of the iconic Bitexco Tower in District 1
District 1 is at the heart of Ho Chi Minh City with a total area of 7.7 square km. The 5 districts sharing its borders are Binh Thanh District and District 3, District 2, District 5, and District 4. There are 10 wards in District 1, including Tan Dinh, Da Kao, Ben Nghe, Ben Thanh, Nguyen Thai Binh, Pham Ngu Lao, Cau Ong Lanh, Co Giang, Nguyen Cu Trinh, and Cau Kho. Even though District 1 is not the largest district in Ho Chi Minh City, it is the busiest with trading and entertainment activities occur days and nights.
District 1 is 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), so it would take about 30 minutes to drive there. If you use the taxis at the airport, it would cost about VND 100,000 - 150,000. You can also find the bus at the airport that will drop you off in District 1 at Notre Dame Cathedral, Municipal Theatre, Ben Thanh Market, and some hotels or streets in the district. For more details, read How to take shuttle buses from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Center.
Get your bus ticket online:
In District 1, there are many famous Saigon attractions, most of which are from the 19th century. If you are a budget traveler, you can find many free entrance fee sites in the district as well.
Saigon Central Post Office in District 1
|Saigon Central Post Office||Free||2 Cong Xa Paris||Historical attraction|
|Independence Palace|| |
There might be extra fees for exhibitions at the palace
|135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia||Historical attraction|
|Notre Dame Cathedral||Free||1 Cong Xa Paris||Religious site|
|Huyen Sy Cathedral||Free||1 Ton That Tung||Religious site|
|Jade Emperor Pagoda||Free||73 Mai Thi Luu||Religious site|
|Mosque Musulman||Free||66 Dong Du||Religious site|
|Tran Hung Dao Memorial Temple||Free||36 Vo Thi Sau||Religious site|
|Mariamman Hindu Temple||Free||45 Truong Dinh||Religious site|
|Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Art||VND 30,000||97 Pho Duc Chinh||Museum|
|Vietnam History Museum||VND 30,000||2 Nguyen Binh Khiem||Museum|
|Museum of Ho Chi Minh City/Gia Long Palace||VND 30,000||65 Ly Tu Trong||Museum|
|Municipal Theatre||Free||7 Cong Truong Lam Son||Opera House|
|Municipal Hall||Free||86 Le Thanh Ton||Historical attraction|
|Nguyen Hue Walking Street||Free||From Le Thanh Ton and Ton Duc Thang Street||Public site|
|Nguyen Van Binh Book Street||Free||From Cong Xa Paris and Hai Ba Trung Street||Public site|
|Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden||VND 50,000||2 Nguyen Binh Khiem||Zoo, garden|
|30/4 Park||Free|| In the block of |
Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Han Thuyen, Pham Ngoc Thach, and Alexandre de Rhodes Street
|23/9 Park||Free|| In the block of |
Tran Hung Dao, Le Lai, and Nguyen Thi Nghia Street
|Bach Tung Diep Park||Free|| |
In the corner of
|To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!|
If you love local foods, you are in for luck. District 1 has a little bit of everything from traditional dishes to cuisines of countries all over the world. It is also where you can find fancy restaurants as well as mid-range eateries and street food stalls.
|Street eats||Ben Thanh Street Food Market, Nguyen Van Chiem Street, Bach Tung Diep Park|
|Cafe and restaurants||Dong Khoi, Le Thanh Ton, Le Loi, and Hai Ba Trung Street|
|Vietnamese foods||Co Giang, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Tran Hung Dao, and Nguyen Trai Street|
|Beer clubs and bars||Backpacker Districts (Do Quang Dau, Bui Vien, De Tham and Pham Ngu Lao Street)|
|Eateries in old apartments||26 Ly Tu Trong, 42 Nguyen Hue, 14 Ton That Dam, 95 Pasteur, 42 Ton That Thiep|
International: Starbucks, KFC, Lotte, McDonald, and Coffee Beans
Local: Trung Nguyen, Highlands, and Phuc Long
Ben Thanh Market - the most prominent shopping site for tourists
The downtown of Ho Chi Minh City is also a shopping paradise with grand shopping malls, stylish shops, and bustling local markets.
|Category||Address||What to Buy|
|Shopping malls|| |
Diamond - 34 Le Duan
Vincom - 72 Le Thanh Ton
Takashimaya - 92-94 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia
Parkson - 35-45 Le Thanh Ton
Clothes, accessories, cosmetics
Coffee and tea
|Local markets|| |
Ben Thanh Market - Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, Le Loi Street
Sense Market - Basement of 23-9 Park, 4 Pham Ngu Lao
Clothes, accessories, cosmetics
Ao dai garment
Coffee and tea
|Old apartments|| |
26 Ly Tu Trong
42 Nguyen Hue
42 Ton That Thiep
60 Nguyen Trai
|Clothes, accessories, cosmetics|
District 1 is the most lively and vibrant at night. The lights go on, and people hang out after a long day of work or study.
Nguyen Hue Boulevard
The street becomes dazzling when the night comes
A rooftop bar in District 1
The most fun one can have at night in District 1 is at Bui Vien Street
District 1's night scene
As one of the central districts and downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, District 1 is always the top choice for visitors when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. The elegant beauty of daytime and exciting vibe at night will please any one’s need with its diverse activities and attractions reflecting Vietnamese culture, history, and lifestyle.
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At i Tour Vietnam, we provide private motorbike tours around Ho Chi Minh City, including District 1 like the Day Adventure, Night Adventure, I Love Food, and Saigon’s Other Side. Check them out and contact us when you are ready to go on an adventure.
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I had an amazing tour around this area, so many attractions to see and many things to do. I will make sure I join your guys' night tour next time in back in Ho Chi Minh City. I had a wonderful time, your tour guide Kim was the best
such a bustling area with lots of shops and entertainment
Thanks for the much needed information.