Ho Chi Minh City, which is commonly known as Saigon, has always been considered one of the most worth visiting destinations in Vietnam due to its harmonious coexistence of traditional and contemporary characteristics. There are plenty of popular attractions ranging from substantial shopping malls to historical landmarks, which could not be more ideal for you to visit during your layover. Take a look at our tips on discovering this wonderful city for cabin crews.
Divided into two towers and packed with various international luxury brands including Dior, Hermès and Hugo Boss, Vincom Center is widely known as the city’s largest shopping hub in Ho Chi Minh City. This building is an apartment complex that contains not only shopping stores but also entertainment centers and a massive food court to adequately serve locals, officers, tourists and flight attendants alike.
Building A of the Vincom Center is based on a typical structure of French Baroque-style while Building B gives an impression of a modern glass-fronted skyscraper. Both sides can easily please every visitor even you are the most difficult case.
Vincom Center A: 171 Dong Khoi, District 1
Vincom Center B: 72 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 22:00
Similar to Vincom, Parkson is one of the most must-visit shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City because of its variety of premium products and striking architectural design. You can easily find various international famous brand names, ranging from Giordano for clothes to Lancome and The Face Shop for cosmetics. However, Parkson’s retail prices are more reasonable compared to those of Vincom.
Parkson Saigon Tourist Plaza: 35 Bis - 45, Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1;
Parkson Hung Vuong Plaza: 126 Hung Vuong Street, Ward 12, District 5;
Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 – 21:30
Located in downtown District 1, Diamond Plaza is an extensively renovated shopping center in Ho Chi Minh City, which is famous for luxury products ranging from branded clothing to fashion accessories. Also, there are several food courts and entertainment centers such as bowling, arcade games and a unique bar on the top floor.
Address: 34 Le Duan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 – 22:30
Read more about Shopping Malls in Ho Chi Minh City.
Dong Khoi Street
Located in District 1 – the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Khoi Street is the best place for you to enjoy colonial architecture of old buildings, and shop around in plenty of fashion boutiques, silk scarves, luxury brand names, souvenir stores, and small art galleries. Walking along Dong Khoi Street, you can find it easy to reach several famous attractions including the Saigon Opera House, the Caravelle Hotel, the Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Le Loi Street
Starting at the Saigon Opera House and ending at the Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi Street is considered to be the most tourist street in Ho Chi Minh City. There are many small shops and street stalls which are very tourist-oriented with a variety of items sold ranging from clothing, handmade crafts, and footwear to accessories. The best-selling items of this street are souvenirs, tourist books, and stationery.
If you are a bookaholic and enjoy learning Vietnamese, the Sai Gon Bookstore at 60 Le Loi Street, is highly recommended;
Stop by Saigon Center located right in the middle of Le Loi, which is among the best areas to purchasing clothing brands.
Nguyen Hue Street
Despite located in one of the most modern streets of Ho Chi Minh City, along both sides of Nguyen Hue Street is several old apartments in which there are many fashion boutiques and coffee shops with unique décor. You would fall in love with those little modern but vintage boutiques decorated with lots of vivid light at night.
Stop by 42 Nguyen Hue apartment to see another different Saigon created mostly by young people. Some beautiful fashion boutiques must visit are Pandora Store, V. Station and the Market;
Keep your camera turn on because there are many lovely studio corners for your photo shoot.
See more Shopping Streets in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Market
Located in the central of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh market is one of the oldest Saigon’s landmarks as well as an important symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. This is a heaven of Vietnam tagged souvenirs ranging from handicrafts to local cuisine.
Read more on Vietnamese Souvenirs to Buy in Saigon
When night falls, Ben Thanh Market will intensely come alive with colorful lights and many attractive food stalls offering you various choices of street style food such as noodles, crispy rice pancakes, and barbecued seafood.
Save your appetite to visit Ben Thanh Market in the evening;
Remember to bargain before buying souvenirs.
Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, District 1
Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 – 24:00
With a wide diversity of clothes and accessories, Saigon Square is considered as shopping heaven for Saigon’s young people and foreigners alike. Unlike those luxury malls such as Vincom and Diamond Plaza, most of the clothes displayed here are often made in Vietnam and Cambodia. You can find that this shopping spot is an interesting combination of traditional markets and modern shopping centers.
Always remember to bargain over the price of products;
Spend time shopping around for the best deal.
Saigon Square 1: 77 – 89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1;
Saigon Square 2: 7 – 9 Ton Duc Thang, District 1;
Saigon Square 3: 17E9 – 181 – 183 – 185 Hai Ba Trung, District 1.
Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00
War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum, which used to be named Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, is apparently the most popular museum in Ho Chi Minh City. The museum is a strong reminder of the brutal Vietnam War with various photography and military equipment exhibitions involving helicopters, attack bombers and rocket launchers alike. Recommended visit: 1.5 - 2 hours.
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3
Opening hours: 7:30 - 18:00
Reunification Palace, which is formerly known as Independence Place, is a historic landmark and also an appealing attraction in Ho Chi Minh City due to its colonial architecture. This palace was officially used as the presidential home and workplace during the Vietnam War. However, this special national monument today is particularly remembered by locals as a marked end to the war against the American colonist. Having gone through many renovations, the Reunification Palace is still in use to host many national events. Recommended visit: 1.5 - 2 hours.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1
Opening hours: 8:00 - 11:00 and 13:00 - 16:00
Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Central Post Office
Built in the late 1880s when Vietnam was one of the French colonies, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is among the few remaining attractions of Catholicism in Vietnam, whose primary religion is Buddhism. All the original building materials involving its typical red bricks and stained glass windows were imported from France, contributing to the cathedral’s distinctive features. Outside the cathedral is a lovely garden located in the middle downtown District 1, where young people often gather together playing the guitar and having some Saigon coffee at night. Recommended visit: 30 minutes.
Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
Saigon Central Post Office is one of the last remnants of French colonial times. This building was explicitly designed by Gustave Eiffel who was also the designer of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty alike. Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, the Post Office is within walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral. Both cultural sites are usually recommended to visit together to have a general observation of Vietnam society during the Indochinese Empire period. Recommended visit: 30 minutes.
Address: 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
Ho Chi Minh City layover tips for flight attendants: Your trip to Ho Chi Minh City would be incomplete without setting foot in Vietnam War-related attractions including War Remnant Museum, Reunification Palace, Saigon Central Post and Notre Dame Cathedral. Check out our Vietnam War Tours to fully experience the rich history of Vietnam.
Tan Dinh Church
Tan Dinh Church, which is also called the Pink Church due to the stunning rose pink color of its facades, is one of many churches built during the French colonial period in Vietnam. The unique attraction of this church is obviously its striking color which can easily catch your eyes from a considerable distance. You will want to take some pictures of this little pink castle to share with your family and friends. In this case, a group of friends and a wide-angle camera are highly recommended. Don’t be hesitant to ask your cabin crew friends to visit this gorgeous church together. Recommended visit: 30 minutes.
Address: 289 Hai Ba Trung, Ward 8, District 3. Ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 – 17:30
Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao Streets
Street eating and drinking is a particularly popular culture of today’s modern life in Vietnam, and Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao streets in District 1 are one of the most favorite places of the Saigonese locals. You can immediately catch the scene that many visitors and locals are enjoying barbecued food and drinking beer on the roadside. This makes the street be always crowded and joyful.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Proudly to be the most beautiful walking street in Vietnam, Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a cannot-be-missed attraction in Ho Chi Minh City, especially at night, with colorful light decoration along with a modern fountain system. Walking along the street, you can find several luxury bars and restaurants and at the end of this promenade is Bach Dang Ferry, where you can enjoy the peaceful view of Saigon River. This street is open all day but it is more lively at night.
- HCM isn't a city where public transportation is easy to navigate. To get from places, it is best to go with the recommended taxi brands.
- If you have limited time, it is best to book a tour to discover the city with locals; have a look at our Night Adventure private tours to discover Saigon nightlife and Vietnamese cuisines fully.
- Find the best hotels to stay in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City is always an alive city with various well-known places to visit and plenty of things to experience. For those who are flight attendants, it seems to be increasingly interesting to have a decent chance to explore a different culture. i Tour Vietnam offers you many types of private tours which are probably proper for many different personal schedules. Check out further details of our fun featured Ho Chi Minh City tours.