Traveling in Ho Chi Minh City can be one of the most interesting experiences in your life. Ho Chi Minh is a vibrant, busy city with many dynamic cultures. You may discover the extraordinary beauties and unique style of this city from your journey.
If you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City, it is better to find low-cost flights. Airlines such as Jetstar Pacific, Vietjet Air, Air Asia, all offer great flight deals for you when you hunt tickets in advance. If possible, sign up for email alerts from these airline websites to get deal alerts.
Traveling by motorbike is the best way to explore the city
The best way to travel once arriving in Ho Chi Minh City is cruising on a motorbike. We recommend you to Book Private Tours with local guides, especially if you are new to the city, so you can save your time planning and enjoy a stress-free local experience.
Ho Chi Minh City offers a wide range of luxury hotels that you can choose. Most of these hotels offer the most exceptional services and the best location in the central city. Prices can range from $50 to $85 per night. Some of the top hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are New World Saigon, InterContinental Saigon, M Gallery, Nikko Hotel, Park Hyatt, Le Meridiem, Reverie, and Caravelle Saigon.
If you are traveling on a budget, you can choose to stay at small hotels and hostels. Most of these are situated in the area of Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, and Bui Vien Street, otherwise known as the "backpackers' area" of Ho Chi Minh City. Prices can range from $15 to $30 per night.
Bui Vien Walking Street
Or even better-budgeted choice is a bed in air-conditioning dorm rooms in hostels. It costs just from $6 to $10 for each bed here. This kind of room is similar to the one in the university dormitory. You will have a chance to meet and stay with backpackers from many countries traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. The most notable downside to staying in this area is the loud music and crowd noise from the nearby bars that come to alive at night, especially on the weekend.
A loaf of Vietnamese baguette (Banh Mi)
Just checked in to your accommodation and feeling hungry? Why not try a Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguette), a popular breakfast among the locals and one of the best street foods in the world? Check out famous stores like Banh Mi Nhu Lan (64 Ham Nghi, District 1, opens from 4 AM) or Banh Mi Ha Noi (83 - 85 Nguyen Thien Thuat, District 3, opens from 6 AM) for a taste of this delicious treat. After that, you can start exploring the city by walking around Ben Thanh Market to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
For lunch, you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes inside the Ben Thanh Market Foodcourt, where they offer everything from noodles, rice, to fresh fruits and desserts. In the evening, take a leisure walk down Nguyen Hue Walking Street for a look into Ho Chi Minh City's fast-paced, metropolitan lifestyle. If you do not know what to have for dinner, check out the Cocochin Foodcourt, located right on Nguyen Hue Street (77 Nguyen Hue, District 1, opens from 10 AM to 10:30 PM). The food court offers all sorts of Asian dishes under one roof.
Asiana Food Town
After dinner, walk around Bui Vien Street to enjoy an authentic Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) nightlife style. There are plenty of bars and pubs located on this street. Check out some of the most popular nightclubs in Ho Chi Minh City for more details.
Unlike the often busy and crowded atmosphere on the weekdays, weekends in Ho Chi Minh City start out slowly and leisurely. The locals often spend their weekend mornings enjoying a hearty bowl of Pho and a cup of Vietnamese coffee to start the day. You can enjoy an appetizing bowl of Pho at Pho Quynh (323 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, opens 24 hours) or Pho Hung (241 Nguyen Trai, District 1, opens from 6 AM). To learn more about breakfast and lunch options, check out our guide of Ho Chi Minh's two-day itineraries.
A must-visit location for all tourists coming to Ho Chi Minh City is District 1, where many of the city's attractions are located: from historical destinations and landmarks to galleries and museums. One of the places that you can start your Day Adventure from is the Independence Palace (also known as Reunification Palace). Within walking distance from the Palace are the Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office. The Notre Dame Cathedral has been closed since 2017 for renovation, so you can see it from the outside or go in during mass hours. The Saigon Central Post Office is open from morning to early evening for you to admire one of the French architecture that remain in the city and buy some postcards and stamps to send home.
Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon
And the adjacent Saigon Central Post Office
After visiting these locations, you can also check out the War Remnants Museum, where many valuable historical artifacts and evidence of Vietnamese war history are preserved and exhibited.
Tour duration: 6 hours
Traveling time: 1.5 - 2 hours
Starting a new day in Ho Chi Minh City with a plate of Com Tam (Broken Rice) is a habit of most locals in the south. Com Tam is known as an iconic dish of Ho Chi Minh City. Com Tam Cali (32 Nguyen Trai, District 1) and Com Tam Moc (85 Ly Tu Trong) open early in the morning (around 7 AM). On the other hand, Com Tam Thuan Kieu (26 Ton That Tung, District 1, from 10 AM) is more familiar with the locals and still has high quality and quick service. Locals are also accustomed to enjoying Broken Rice from street vendors because it is cheaper and could be just as delicious. However, the food hygiene of these stalls is not ensured.
Com Tam Thuan Kieu
Com Tam Cali
Bun Bo Hue or Hu Tieu Nam Vang is another choice for you if you prefer to eat something with soup. Quynh Nam Vang Noodle Soup (A65 Nguyen Trai, District 1, 24 hours) is one of the most recommended stores to enjoy this tasty dish in the central district. You may also want to look at other options in our three-day itineraries in Ho Chi Minh City guide.
A good way to spend your Sunday is going on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City, and the most favorite place is the Cu Chi Tunnels. The prominent historical site is where many military campaigns occurred during the Vietnam War and a must-visit destination for anyone interesting in learning about the history of Vietnam. We recommend you Book a Guided Cu Chi Tunnels Tour because while the entrance ticket to the Tunnels sometimes includes a guide, the groups are usually very crowded, making it harder to follow. The tour usually takes about 6 hours to finish, so we recommend you set off early in the morning to refresh in the afternoon.
Inside a military meeting bunker of the Cu Chi Tunnels
Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City is a good choice for your long weekend if you do not know what to do on your day-offs. There are plenty of things for you to enjoy, like eating delicious Vietnamese food, shopping, sightseeing, and riding on the back of a motorcycle.
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© Written by Linh Nguyen and Thu Doan for itourvn.com
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