Things to do when you are travelling to Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City (also still called Saigon) is famous for cuisines, shoping and a lot of famous places to visit. Saigon became the first destination when travellers think of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, formally known as Saigon - is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.
Saigon is long considered as the Pearl of the Far East, is the most dizzying city of commerce and culture in Vietnam. From delicious food to beautiful French architecture to an up-and-coming craft beer scene, you’ll find no lack of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
A few hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta can be found snaking through countryside. A world away from the busy streets of Saigon, this sight will give you an entirely different perspective of Vietnam altogether. Surrounded by vast maze of rivers, rice paddies, swampland and green gardens, the Mekong Delta should be at the top of your list of things to see when you are staying in HCMC, Vietnam.
Visit the Reunification Palace
Reunification Palace is the top Things to Do and See in Ho Chi Minh City. The Reunification Palace (also known as Independence Palace).
The Reunification Palace became the home to the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It is an incredible example of 1960s architecture. Meeting rooms dominate the lower floor, with an impressive bar on the second floor, and a bomb shelter and communication hub in the basement.
This was also the site that ended the Vietnam War when a North Vietnamese army tanker crashed through the main gate in 1975.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 – 11:00, and again from 13:00 – 16:00
Entrance Fee: 40,000 VND for adults, 20,000 VND for children
See the War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is an incredibly moving experience, one that will change the way you think about the casualties of the Vietnam War. As US citizens, most of us have been sheltered from the atrocities that our country inflicted on Vietnam. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll leave this museum feeling shocked and emotional.
The outside area contains a display of various vehicles and weapons that were used during the war. And the ground floor has a display of anti-war posters and memorabilia. As you climb up the stairs, the museum gets more interesting as well as more difficult to see.
Photos of the aftereffects of the chemical Agent Orange that was dropped all over Vietnam are incredibly sad and overwhelming. Disabilities that have resulted due to exposure to the chemical have passed down several generations. The Requiem exhibition of photos of journalists who were killed during the conflict is also heartbreaking.
A visit to the War Remnants Museum is sure to be an eye-opening and emotionally draining experience. It may not be a fun afternoon, but it is still one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
Opening Hours: Daily from 7:30 – 18:00
Entrance Fee: 40,000 VND per person
Visit Saigon Central Post Office
Another one of the best things to do in Saigon is to visit the central post office Ho Chi Minh City.
The Ho Chi Minh City Post Office was constructed in the late 1800s with Gothic architectural influences. It is by far the most impressive piece of French architecture in the city.
While the building is impressive from the outside, the interior really steals the show. Marvel at the grand arches inside, the beautiful marble floors, and the row of old wooden telephone booths on the left-hand side.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Central Post Office is actually still in use and on most days you’ll find it buzzing with activity. One activity that visitors to Vietnam love is buying a few postcards from one of the souvenir stands and sending them to friends and family back home.
The post office is right near the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is also worth a visit.
See the Skyline from the Bitexco Tower
The Bitexco Financial Tower is the second tallest tower in Saigon to date with 69 floors. The tallest tower is the Landmark 81 located in Binh Thanh district with 81 floors. Both towers are providing absolutely spectacular views of the city below and is a must-visit when the skies are clear. The Saigon Skydeck is the observation deck on the 49th floor of Bitexco Financial Tower. Adults must pay 200,000 VND to catch the view from the observation deck and children 4-12, seniors, and people with disabilities will pay 130,000. Combine with the World of Heineken for 50,000 VND more (includes two drinks).
If that cost seems steep just for a view, consider checking out the EON Heli Bar on the 52nd floor. It doesn’t give you 360° views like the sky deck, but it’s free to enter. Cocktails are rather expensive by Vietnam standards but it’s a small price to pay for the amazing view.
Opening Hours: Daily from 9:30 – 21:30. The last ticket sold 45 minutes prior to closing time.
Entrance Fee: 200,000 VND/adult, 130,000 for children 4-12, seniors, and people with disabilities
Sample Saigon’s Craft Beer
Ho Chi Minh City has an amazing up-and-coming craft beer scene. Brewers from beer capitals around the world are moving here to try new and interesting flavor combinations. Tasting rooms are trendy and lively, and most also offer yummy snacks to complement their brews.
Most of travellers loved the craft beer in Saigon so much.
Eat Seafood on Vinh Khanh Stree
Have you been dreaming about slurping snails out of their shells while sitting on a tiny plastic stool on a busy street in Saigon? Well, you’re in luck because Vinh Khanh Street is lined with restaurants serving all types of fresh, tasty seafood.
Embrace Saigon’s Coffee Culture
Vietnamese people are quite passionate about their coffee. And you’ll find cute coffee shops on virtually every corner of the city.
If you want to get some work done, check out The Workshop in District 1. They have coffee snob worthy brews, reliable Wi-Fi, and plenty of seating for everyone. If you’re looking for an Instagram worthy coffee shot, Padma de Fleur is a florist turned coffee shop where your beverage comes served with a tiny bouquet. And L’Usine is an upscale coffee shop with some delectable American breakfast classics.
There are also several reliable coffee shop chains around town if you just want to get a quick coffee fix on the go.