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Places to See in Saigon Half-Day Tour


Saigon is a well-known modern city with crowded streets and warm hospitality. This city is also famous for historical attractions which mark many milestones of how it changed and grew up through periods of history. In this guide, we will introduce you some of the famous attraction sites you can visit on a limited time schedule. You will not be able to go through all of them in a half-day but you can refer to our list and choose some of your favorite.

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1. Colonial Architecture

Saigon Central Post Office

saigon half day tour Saigon Central Post Office

Recommend visit: 20 minutes

Saigon Central Post Office was constructed in 1891 by Alfred Foulhoux and Henri Vildieu when Vietnam was a part of Indochina. It is standing right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It used to play a significant role in connecting the operations of the military and the daily life of the residents. Today, postal service is still provided but not really popular. This post office is used primarily as a tourist attraction; you can also find some Vietnamese souvenirs at the entrance of the post office. It is totally free for visiting the Central Post Office and the opening hour is from 8 AM to 5 PM every day. Read more

Reunification Palace (Independence Palace)

saigon half day tour Independence palace 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

You can easily spot the Independence Palace, also called Reunification Palace at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. Built between 1868 and 1873, it was known as the Cambodia Norodom Palace. The palace was then used as an office of the Governor-General of French Indochina. From 1956, Ngo Dinh Diem uses this building as a presidential palace. On April 30th, 1975, the first Communist tank arrived in Saigon rumbled here and it’s as if time has stood still since then. In general, Reunification Palace is not really an outstanding building of Ho Chi Minh City, but for many people, it is still an imposing and momentous mark of the nation. Reunification Palace is open daily from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Entrance fees are VND 30,000 (about $1,5). Read more

Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre)

saigon half day tour Opera house 1

Recommend visit: 2 hours

Built in 1898 by French architects: Félix Ollivier, Ernest Guichard, and Eugène Ferret, Saigon Opera House has always impressed anyone who visits this city. Standing at the heart of Saigon, the opera house is two meters higher than the street surface with two-door layers, in order to prevent traffic noise. You can also refer to detailed information to attend to shows performed in this theatre. Read more

Municipal Hall

saigon half day tour Municipal hall 1

Recommend visit: 15 minutes

The Municipal Hall of Ho Chi Minh City was built between 1902 and 1908 and used to be called Hôtel de Ville de Saigon. At present, the building is the headquarters of the People Committee in Ho Chi Minh City. Unfortunately, it is not open to the general public, but you still can behold its magnificent construction and elegant Western style from the outside.

2. Religious Sites

Thien Hau Temple

Recommend visit: 30 minutes

Settled in the center of Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City, Thien Hau temple was built in 1760 by a group of Chinese immigrants when they first came here and developed the community. This temple was built to honor Thien Hau or Mazu - the "Lady of the Sea". This is one of the oldest and most spiritual temples in Saigon, it is located at 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City and it is open every day from 7 AM to 6 PM. Read more

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

saigon half day tour vinh nghiem pagoda

Recommend visit: 30 minutes

The Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is situated at 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3 with a long history of religion and faith. Inspired by the Northern Vietnam pagoda style, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was built from April 1964 to 1973, and nowadays, it is still well preserved by the Saigonese. The opening hour is usually from 7 AM to 6 PM every day. Read more

Notre Dame Cathedral

saigon half day tour Notre Dame Cathedral 1

Recommend visit: 30 minutes

There is no doubt that Notre Dame Cathedral still plays the main role in not only Ho Chi Minh City’s residents but also the traveling experience of tourists. It is also known under the name Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and is situated at Number 1 Cong Truong Cong Xa Paris Street. The church was constructed between 1863 and 1880 by French colonists. At the moment, the cathedral is renovated to the year 2019, so it is not permitted to visit inside, but you still can admire the statue of Our Lady of Peace in front of the church. Read more

Mariamman Hindu Temple

saigon half day tour Hindu temple 1

Recommend visit: 30 minutes

If you want to experience a Hindu Temple of Indian in Saigon, you can visit the Mariamman Hindu Temple. This temple was built in the 19th century to worship the goddess of the Rain "Mariamman". With the complicated but harmonious construction, this temple will bring you some different colors of another religion. It is opened daily from 7 AM to 7 PM and is located at 45 Truong Dinh, Ben Thanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Read more

Central Mosque - Jamia Al Muslimin

Recommend visit: 30 minutes

Saigon Central Mosque was originally built in 1935 for Indian Muslims, but then it became a place for all Muslims around the world. This mosque is usually crowded on Fridays, but other days, it is quite tranquil, you can visit here and enjoy its peaceful atmosphere. The address is 66 Dong Du Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Opening hours: 8 AM – 8 PM daily

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3. Local Markets

Ben Thanh Market

saigon half day tour Ben Thanh market 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Centrally located in District 1 through decades, Ben Thanh Market is one of the best places for you to find the Vietnamese items that you want. The very first construction of this market was from the 17th century after many times rebuilt, this current building was built in 1912 and officially open in 1914. You can visit here and look for your souvenirs as well as traditional food no matter day or night. It is open from the early morning until midnight. Read more

Binh Tay Market

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Binh Tay Market, constructed in the 1880s, is situated in the center of Vietnam’s largest Chinatown district: 57A Thap Muoi, District 6. It is also known as Cho Lon Moi or Cho Lon Market in the central market of District 6. You can find a lot of souvenirs at many different prices here because most items here are sold by wholesalers. The best time to visit is the market in the morning as that’s when the locals come for breakfast and shop for fresh produce and household supplies. It is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. Read more

Ba Chieu Market

saigon half day tour Ba Chieu market 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Another old local market to visit is Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District. Ba Chieu is a large local market, built in 1942 and renovated in 1987. It is usually crowded at night with many clothes or food where you can get a good price. If you would like to buy some souvenirs, it is better to go in the daytime. It is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. Read more

4. Museums

War Remnant Museum

saigon half day tour War Remnants Museum 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Located centrally in District 3, this museum is always the top-rated choice of museum worth seeing in Vietnam. First opened on September 4, 1975, the War Remnant Museum was operated by the Vietnamese government with the aim of exposing war crimes in Vietnam. The visitors can see many proofs indicating crimes in the Vietnam War. These documents illustrate the killing of civilians, the effects of chemical bombs, the prisoner massacre, and the effects of war in the north of the country. Vietnamese cultural products are also exhibited in rooms outside the museum. The War Remnants Museum is open from 7.30 AM to 12 PM & 1.30 PM to 5 PM every day. Entrance fees are VND 40,000 (about $2). Read more

Vietnam History Museum

saigon half day tour History museum 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Vietnam History Museum was constructed in 1929 by the Société des Études Indochinoises with the aim of preserving the full collection of Vietnamese culture from the very beginning up to now. The visitors can see many artifacts from bronze and iron objects, photos, and ancient documents demonstrating Vietnamese history. The museum is located inside Zoo and Botanical Garden and opens from 8 AM to 11 AM and from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM (from Tuesday to Sunday). The entrance fee is VND 15,000. Read more

Fito Museum

saigon half day tour Fito 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Fito Museum (also called Phito Museum and Vietnam Traditional Medicine Museum) is where you could find and know more about traditional Vietnamese and Chinese medicine as well as the method of these medicines. You can visit this museum at 41 Hoang Du Khuong Street, Ward 12, District 10 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The entrance fees are VND 60,000 for children (less than 1,2 m) and VND 120,000 for adults. Read more

Fine Arts Museum

saigon half day tour Fine Arts 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Constructed between 1929 and 1934 by a French architect - Rivera, the Fine Arts Museum used to be a villa of the Hue family (also known as Uncle Hoa). It was used as a museum in 1987. The Fine Arts Museum's attraction is its many Eastern and Western collections of art from every material and magnificent architecture. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM (from Tuesday to Sunday), and the entrance fee is VND 20,000. Read more

5. Parks and Zoos

Tao Dan Park

saigon half day tour Tao Dan 1

Recommend visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour

Tao Dan is one of the oldest parks in Saigon where you can find green space to relax and get rid of the noise. You can also enjoy the exercises of local people in the early morning and late afternoon every day. It is situated at the corner of Truong Dinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1.

Read more on Public Parks in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dam Sen Theme Park

Recommend visit: 3 hours

Dam Sen Park is a theme park that was built before 1975 and is located at Number 3, Hoa Binh Street, Ward 3, District 11. The whole area of 50 hectares is a combination of 20% lakes and 60% trees and gardens. You can join many adventurous games both on land and water in Dam Sen Park. It is open daily from 7:30 AM to 6 PM.

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden

saigon half day tour Zoo 1

Recommend visit: 1 hour

Founded a century ago, Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Garden (aka Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden) are honored to be one of the oldest zoos in the world. It is now keeping more than hundreds of species of animals and plants; you can find yourself close to nature easily in this zoo. It is open from 7 AM to 5 PM with the entrance fees are VND 30,000 for children (under 1,3 m) and VND 50,000 for adults. Read more

Summary of Places to See in Saigon Half-Day Tour

These attractions stay with Saigon long enough to behold all the significant landmarks of this city including the history, culture, and lifestyle of the citizens also. Coming to Saigon is also meant you will learn how this city went through many hardships and then, possesses a dormant but severe vitality.

You can also check out our Saigon half-day tours or customize your own with us to know apparently values of Saigon.

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Guest - Hannie Grace on Saturday, 04 January 2020 13:17

Those are a lot to do in just half a day though Thanks for suggesting though. I'll be paying a short visit to Ho Chi Minh soon and will take your recommendations for sure

Those are a lot to do in just half a day though :D:D:D Thanks for suggesting though. I'll be paying a short visit to Ho Chi Minh soon and will take your recommendations for sure
Guest - Richard Wells on Saturday, 26 October 2019 13:56

Do join these day tours to see ho chi minh city

Do join these day tours to see ho chi minh city
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