Enjoy the splendour of Saigon with our guide to the most interesting and unique experiences in Ho Chi Minh City!
Incredible food, sensational night life, and some of the most beautiful sights in Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh City is a dynamic and chaotic experience you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Better yet, visiting Vietnam just got easier with the help of Vietjet Air – helping Australians holiday without breaking the bank.
Whether you are interested in history, culture, cuisine, or entertainment, whether you’re spending 24-hours or 24 days, you will find something to suit your taste in this dynamic and vibrant metropolis. So hop on as we take you through our travel guide to the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City!
Take the ride of a lifetime with Vespa Adventures
With over eight million motorbikes on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, there are almost as many bikes as there are people across this South Asian paradise. And, with Vespa Adventures, you now have the chance to ride one yourself in style. Whether solo or in a group, Vespa Adventures offers a range of tours to suit your needs, including craft beer tours, an insider’s guide to Ho Chi Minh City, and their famed Saigon After Dark, which will take you to some of the most exciting bars and street food options the city has to offer. Riding on the back of a vespa is a thrilling experience, as you join the hustle and bustle of the streets, weaving through traffic like a school of fish. So, if you’re looking for the very best way to explore the city, then jump onto the back and ride along with Vespa Adventures.
Enjoy the never-ending nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City!
While there’s plenty to see and do in Ho Chi Minh during the day, nighttime is when the city comes alive. There are countless bars – whether they are hidden or sitting on rooftops – that dot the city, making every turn a surprise and delight. Looking for a party to keep the night going? Then you must visit the lively karaoke vibes of Carmen with plenty of Spanish, Caribbean and Vietnamese dance tracks to get you pumping and on the dance floor. Or, are you after a quieter drinking hole? Cooku’s Nest in Ho Chi Minh offers live music every night for a relaxing in a small, unassuming hidden bar where silence is a virtue. And for stunning views of the metropolis, head to Le Café des Stagiaire, one of the best rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City. Never let the night end with the incredible nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City!
Feast on the delicious street food of Saigon
Banh mi, pho and sticky rice are just a few of the delicious culinary creations birthed in Vietnam, with some of the very best feeds coming from the street food venders of Ho Chi Minh City. For a truly authentic and flavoursome Vietnamese dining experience, Ben Thanh Street Food Market is a food haven in Ho Chi Minh City chock-full of specialties from across Vietnam, including banh xeo (crispy pancake), goi cuon (fresh spring rolls), and bun ca Long Xuyen (noodles with fish). Alternatively, if you’re after a more glamorous feast, check out one of the many Michelin-star establishments that make Ho Chi Minh City a delicious yet luxurious treat!
Treat yourself with some of the best chocolates in the world
When thinking about chocolate, Switzerland and Belgium often come to mind. But Maison Marou Saigon will no doubt enter the conversation. One of the best chocolate shops in the world, Maison Marou is a cafe, patisserie and gourmet chocolate shop dedicated to the ultimate bean-to-bar chocolate experience. From unique creations such as the pho spice-flavoured chocolate bars to their signature line of hot chocolates, there’s nothing as sweet as visiting Maison Marou in Ho Chi Minh City!
Sail along the Mekong Delta
Running tens of thousands of kilometres across southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a vast network of rivers, swamps, and islands that make this one of the important and beautiful rivers in the world. And you too can now sail along the Mekong Delta with Mango Cruises. These cruises give you the chance to visit and meet the people who live along the river including coconut farmers, the spectacular Cai Rang floating markets, and so much more that lets you get an authentic taste of Vietnam. Visiting the Mekong only takes about an hour from the city centre, so make this a day trip and escape the hustle and bustle from Ho Chi Minh with a relaxing cruise along the Mekong!
Shop till you drop with some of the best markets in the world
With everything from bustling markets to luxury shopping centres, Ho Chi Minh has it all. What makes Ho Chi Minh unique is the diversity of specialised shopping districts that focus on just one item. After flowers? The Ho Thi Ky Flower Market is always blooming. Saigon Square is perfect for clothes shopping. But, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for bargain hunting in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is a thriving market that sells everything from souvenirs, clothes, accessories, to fresh produce, spices, and flowers, all with the option to haggle for a true bargain. And for those wanting something a little more boutique should make a visit to Vincom Centre for the highest quality retailers from around the world. No matter what you’re in the market for, you are guaranteed to find it in Ho Chi Minh City!
Stand in awe of Ho Chi Minh City architecture
An intoxicating blend of ancient creations and modern megastructures, Ho Chi Minh has plenty of architectural marvels to gawk at in between shopping trips. But what makes Ho Chi Minh special is the colonial era structures that bring a unique French influence to the skyline. Landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and the famed Opera House bring a splendour right in the heart of the city reminiscent of walking through Paris. While these buildings may not serve the functions they once did, they nonetheless capture the time and era like nowhere else in the city, with plenty of photo opportunities for the influences among us. An unmissable thing to do in Ho Chi Minh City!
Get a first-hand view of the Vietnam War
Ravaged for decades by a war for independence that later morphed into a civil war, Vietnam has spent many years memorialising the tumultuous recent past for visitors to re-experience from the perspective of people on the ground. In particular is the War Remnants Museum, a solemn archive of exhibits, artifacts, and photographs from the Vietnam War, shining a light on the atrocities and consequences of the war on the people themselves. Travelling further out from the city will give you a chance to see the Cu Chi Tunnels in person, a vast network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war. So learn about the harsher side history of Vietnam on your next visit.
Get a taste of culture with the traditional theatre productions
While Ho Chi Minh City is a whirlwind of activity, sometimes you just want to sit back and take things slow whilst still taking in a slice of traditional Vietnamese culture. There are plenty of traditional and contemporary takes on ancient Vietnamese performances to watch including water puppetry, cai luong (folk opera), an ao dai (traditional dress) show, and even acrobatics. These shows can be watched in one of the many theatres that got along Ho Chi Minh City, including the opulent Saigon Opera House, for a night of grandeur and refined culture on your next trip to Vietnam.
Old is new again in Ho Chi Minh City
Over thousands of years, Ho Chi Minh City has accumulated plenty of temples, pagodas, churches, and mosques to create a web of religions that are still practices to this day. The Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Thien Hau Temple, the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica, or the Saigon Central Mosque are just a handful of the most beautiful and sacred places of worship in the city, letting experience the more spiritual side of Vietnam.
Planning a trip to Vietnam? Then why not Sail the Mekong River with Heritage Line’s Newest Luxury Cruise Ship. And for more great travel recommendations in Asia, check out the Top Sights: 10 Best Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand.