Ho Chi Minh City is arguably the most expensive city in Vietnam, yet it is still budget-friendly for most travelers. To stay in Ho Chi Minh City, you will have to take care of fees such as accommodation, transportation, and eating. If you have 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City, here is a breakdown of how much money you will need for your trip.
This chart is a summary of how much you will roughly need to spend on your 3-day trip in Ho Chi Minh City. For the estimated price of each item, please refer to the tables in the following sections.
|Items||Estimated Price (US$)|
|Accommodation||20/night x 3 nights = 60||60/night x 3 nights = 180||200/night x 3 nights = 600|
|Food and Drinks||10/day x 3 days = 30||30/day x 3 days = 90||50/day x 3 days = 150|
|Attractions Entrance Fee||10||10||10|
*For simple illustrative purposes for our international readers, we will use US Dollars as our currency spending guide, but in Vietnam, you should exchange your foreign currency to the Vietnam Dong (VND). US Dollars and credit cards are accepted at limited places only. In this blog we use the exchange rate US$1 = VND 23,000 (as of Sept 2018). Read our local guide to learn more about the Vietnamese Currency.
There are several types of accommodation from high-end to middle range and economic in Ho Chi Minh City's center. The two most common types are the hotel and hostel. You can find luxury hotels in Ben Nghe Ward in District 1, and some middle range and economic rooms in backpackers’ district, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1.
|Hotel||US$22 - US$200/night|
|Hostel||US$4.5 - US$9/night|
The most commonly used vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City is the motorbike. It is also convenient and fun to travel by bike. Check out our motorbike tour in Ho Chi Minh City and explore the streets with us.
There are also other options such as cars, or public transport like taxis and motorbike taxis. You can refer to the estimated price below and our guide Getting around Ho Chi Minh City to choose a suitable means of transportation for you.
|Car rental||VND 2,000,000 ~ US$75 – US$ 88 per 8 hours (transport only, without guide)|
|Taxis|| VND 13,000 ~ US$0.6/km (within 30 km) 4-seater |
VND 15,000 ~ US$0.7/km (within 30 km) 7-seater
|Motorbike taxis||VND 8,000 ~ US$0.4/km|
Ho Chi Minh City is truly a food paradise because there are all kinds of foods from around the world, from many regions of Vietnam and of course delicious street foods. And it is also a wide range of price for any budget and the same of tastiness. Read more on What to Expect on Your Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Food Tours.
|Items||Estimated Price (depends on the dishes and number of dishes)|
|Breakfast||US$2 - US$5|
|Lunch||US$3 - US$16|
|Dinner||US$3 - US$22|
|Street food snacks||US$1 - US$5|
|Non-alcoholic drinks||US$2.5 - US$5|
If you go on your own without a local tour guide, the price could be a little bit higher. Many food vendors, small stores offer a reasonable price and good foods, but if you are wary about the quality of these food sellers, you can also find many convenient stores like Family Mart, Mini Stop, and Circle K that open 24/7. In these stores, there are some Vietnamese dishes or Vietnamese foods inspired dishes during lunch hours for a good price.
The best thing about visiting attractions in Ho Chi Minh City is that many of them are free entrances or charge you for only a small amount.
Notes: The museum entrance fees are updated from January 2018.
|Saigon Central Post Office||Free|
| Notre Dame Cathedral ||Free|
|Jade Emperor Pagoda||Free|
|Thien Hau Temple||Free|
|Ben Thanh Market||Free|
|Museum of Southern Vietnamese Women||Free|
|Bui Vien Walking Street||Free|
|Nguyen Hue Walking Street||Free|
|Nguyen Van Binh Book Street||Free|
|Museum of Ho Chi Minh (Bach Dang Wharf)||Free|
|Reunification Palace||VND 40,000 ~ US$1.8|
|War Remnants Museum||VND 40,000 ~ US$1.8|
|Museum of Ho Chi Minh City||VND 30,000 ~ US$1.3|
|Vietnam History Museum||VND 30,000 ~ US$1.3|
|Fine Art Museum||VND 30,000 ~ US$1.3|
|Ao dai Museum||VND 90,000 ~ US$4.5|
|To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!|
Besides the attractions, there are also many activities in Ho Chi Minh City you could try to understand more about the beauty of Vietnam and enjoy the tourism service quality. Read more on Outrageous Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Zoo and Botanical Garden||VND 50,000 ~ US$2.5|
|Water Puppets Show||VND 150,000 ~ US$7 (depends on theatre)|
|Massage||US$15 (60 mins body massage)|
You may want to take something home to keep or share these experiences and memory in Ho Chi Minh City from small stuff like keychains, postcards, or clothing and Vietnamese specialties. Read more on Vietnamese Souvenirs to Buy in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
|T-shirt||US$2.5 – US$9|
|Conical hat||US$1 – US$3|
|Ao dai||US$22 – US$45|
|Candies||US$1.5 – US$2.5|
|Coffee||US$4.5 per 500 grams|
Tipping in Vietnam is not expected at most local and small businesses, but as the service industry develops, it becomes more of an essential and sometimes main income of some service providers. You can give a tip to encourage the staff to keep up the good job, but you don’t have to if you don’t find the service especially exceptional.
|Waiter/Waitress||US$1.5 (depends on restaurants), some bills automatically include the 5% - 8% service charge|
|Tour guides||US$5 - $20/day (depends on your tour group size)|
If you are travel from another country to Ho Chi Minh City, you may need to apply for a Vietnam visa. However, you can also check if your country is on the list of visa exemption. Read more on our Vietnam visa guide for more information. You will also need to buy travel insurance to cover fees if some unexpected thing happens on the way.
|Tourist visa||US$25 (depends on nationality)|
|Insurance||US$100 (depends on the plan)|
Get a quote for your insurance plan:
Once you are in Vietnam, it is recommended to buy a local SIM card to avoid the high charge of roaming fees, especially if you are going to stay in Vietnam for more than one or two days.
|SIM Cards (Tourist SIM Cards)||US$9|
|Mobile Data Plan 3G/4G||US$3 – US$9/month (the rate is different across carriers)|
Read more on our guide on Where to buy SIM cards in Ho Chi Minh City.
Below are some small tips when spending money in Vietnam that can be useful for your trip. Check out our guide Vietnam Budget Travel: 11 Ways to Save Money in Vietnam and How to Visit Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) on a Budget.
Ho Chi Minh City is not only wonderful but also cheap to explore. You can often travel, visit many attractions, and join activities in Ho Chi Minh City in 3 days with a low budget. We hope our guide could you have a better idea of how much this Ho Chi Minh City trip may cost and planning your trip would become easier.
traveling in Saigon is pretty cheap, but you can totally splurge staying and hanging out in central districts
Thank you for the much needed info. The article is very helpful. May I know, is it okay to book train transfers online through the booking site?
I booked the online train from Saigon to Phan Thiet and it was good. Never tried other routes. On a side note, it gives you a good sense of price comparison so that you can avoid scams.