Ho Chi Minh City: The Comprehensive Attraction Guide (2024 Updated)

I. Ho Chi Minh City: An Overview 

Ho Chi Minh City (or Sai Gon as the local name) is one of the must-try destinations in Vietnam. Lying in the Southern part of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is the most hustling and bustling across this country. Besides, it is also biased and considered the Pearl of the Far East city in the Indochina time. It features the most modern times, which can attract lots of people not only for its stunning natural landscapes but for its dynamic and lively lifestyles in which diverse options of tourism activities fuel your minds. 

When you come to Ho Chi Minh City, you will see this city standing out. Besides its rapidly developing aspects, Sai Gon still keeps its impressive French architectural styles along with its local lifestyle. Additionally, as a central transportation spot and entertainment place, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit place throughout the journey to Ho Chi Minh City. Explore the article below to learn more about Ho Chi Minh City. 

II. How to go around Ho Chi Minh City

1. By bus

Taking a bus going around Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best ways for those being on a shoestring. With its over 100 bus routes, tourists can easily reach anywhere they want. 

The buses in Sai Gon are pretty safe and affordable, only 0.43 USD, depending on the distance of different places. You pay in cash after stepping onto the bus. Although it has several convenient things for tourists, your trip may suffer from the traffic jams, particularly in the rush hours. 

2. By bicycle

In the early morning, cycling around Ho Chi Minh City is chilly and a pleasant way for those who want to explore every corner here. 

The city route is flat and easy to move with such traffic. You can always sneak through the traffic jams by bicycle. You can contact some accommodations to handily rent a bicycle by purchasing only $5.6 per day. 

3. By taxi

Taking a taxi is another way to explore Sai Gon, which costs about $0.52 for the first kilometer and $0.43 for more kilometers after that. As a trusted Viet travel agent, World Mate Travel sees the most popular approaches for its e-taxi services are Grab, Xanh SM, Bee, and more.

4. By cyclo

If you want to see Sai Gon at a nearer way, you can take a cyclo. Operated by manpower, you can see it easily at every place around the attractions. For example, a trip going around the city center can cost $2.15, or it will depend on the route. 

III. Ho Chi Minh City visit tips: Weather in Sai Gon 

Do you wonder about the weather in Sai Gon? It has two seasons, including the dry season and the rainy season. Ho Chi Minh City has a humid tropical climate, characterized by a long, hot, and humid summertime and also a monsoon with the signature seasonal rainfall and thunderstorms. 

However, the rainy season starts between May and November. It features the dry season from December to April. You can see the highest temperature in the dry season at about 39oC - 40oC in April. Interestingly, the weather is often cooled down by the intermittent showers. 

The most suitable time to explore Sai Gon is around December to February when the festive season is coming and the cool air is everywhere. So, it makes it comfortable for tourists. 

IV. Explore Ho Chi Minh City attractions: Ideal places for travelers 

1. Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels 

During Vietnam’s history, tourists might want to see an intricate underground network utilized in the Vietnam War. Besides, this labyrinth is located about 70 kilometers from Saigon. In the past, it was used as a war room and the headquarters of Vietnamese soldiers. 

Nowadays, travelers can explore different parts of the tunnels, learn more about their historical meanings, and also experience like a soldier with interesting activities. This place is considered a meaningful war museum, which offers a deeper understanding of the Vietnam War. 

  • Address: Tinh 15 Street, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City. 
  • Opening hours: 7 am - 5 pm everyday 
  • Entry fee: from $4 

Featured Tour: Vietnam Tours

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2. Explore the War Remnants Museum 

One of the most must-visit places in Ho Chi Minh City is the War Remnants Museum, which offers a sobering appearance into the Vietnam War’s atrocities. You can see lots of exhibitions showcased here such as military equipment, photos related to the war and military, personal artifacts, and heart-wrenching facts about the war conflict. 

  • Address: No. 28 Vo Tan, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. 
  • Opening hours: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm everyday
  • Entry fee: from $2 for adults and children under 6 years: free 

3. Contemplate the Architecture of the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Saigon 

In the center, as part of Ho Chi Minh City, the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is located as a signature example of French-based colonial architecture designs. Constructed in the 19th century, this cathedral’s twin bell tower looks like reaching skyward with its red brick facade and windows, which will catch tourists’ eyes. 

  • Address: No. 01 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District, Ho Chi Minh. 
  • Opening hours: 8 am - 5 pm every day 
  • Entry fee: Free 

4. Go around the Historic Central Post Office 

As the former central post office in Ho Chi Minh City, which is another testament to France-based signature architecture, this building is one of the must-explore here. The Historic Central Post Office was constructed in the 19th century and features its grand facade, interior, and vintage-based telephone boosts for visitors. Additionally, it also keeps its other functioning post office, making it a special blend of history and state-of-the-art spirit. 

  • Address: No. 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh 
  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 7:30 am - 6 pm; Sunday: 8 am - 5 pm. 
  • Entry fee: Free 

5. Shop & explore Ben Thanh Market 

For those who enjoy shopping activities, exploring the Ben Thanh Market is a perfect place in Sai Gon. This market is filled with thousands of stalls that sell everything from local food, while local handicrafts to textiles and other fresh products. Tourists should take a walk in the Ben Thanh Market for a while to get some lovely souvenirs, signature Vietnamese dishes, and the local culture. 

  • Address: Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. 
  • Opening hours: 6 am - 6 pm every day 

6. Enjoy performances at the Saigon Opera House 

Another spot to explore in Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon Opera House, which is a unique architectural masterpiece dating back to French colonial times. Travelers can see the ornate and unique French-inspired architecture that catches people’s eyes. 

The Saigon Opera House brings a unique cultural experience for travelers, from traditional Vietnamese music to globally acclaimed music. 

  • Address: No. 7 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh 
  • Opening hours: It depends on the show time 
  • Ticket: from $30 to $100 

7. Take a boat tour strolling down the Saigon River 

As a significant feature of Ho Chi Minh’s city, the Saigon River offers travelers a chance to explore the whole city from different viewpoints. Tourists can embark on a boat tour, in which they can witness the skyline of the city, hustling-and-bustling seaports, and its greenery landscapes along the riverbanks. 

  • Tour starts from Bach Dang Pier in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Tour duration about 2 hours 
  • Ticket: from $35

8. Go on a day trip to the Mekong Delta 

A 4-hour drive from the city center, the Mekong Delta is another fantastic place with a hustling and bustling vibe. There are many things to explore in the Mekong Delta, including the floating markets, fruit orchards, and Vietnamese villages that bring a whole picture of the rural life in Saigon. WorldMate Travel provides guided day tours to the Mekong Delta, which cost about $150, including transportation and meals as well. 

Related Article: Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City: Reavel The Secret Of Saigon

9. Discover the Jade Emperor Pagoda 

Last but not least, you can explore the Jade Emperor Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh, which is one of the most famous religious places. As built-in 1909, this pagoda is renowned for its woodwork and many statues of heroes belonging to both Buddhist and Taoist Lore. 

  • Address: No. 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh. 
  • Opening hours: 8 am - 5 pm every day 
  • Entry fee: Free - You can donate to the pagoda if you want. 

Related Arrticle: Best Bars In Ho Chi Minh: Finding King Of Best Club

V. Outstanding dishes during your Ho Chi Minh city tours 

1. Bun Mam in Sai Gon 

The dish focuses on the Southern-based cooking styles with the fermented fish source. You can taste a bowl of Bun Mam, including shrimp, squid, grilled pork, and eggplant, offering an authentic cuisine experience. 

You can try the best Bun Mam in Saigon as follows: 

● Bun Mam 144

+ Address: No. 144 Khanh Hoi Street, District 1, 

+ Price: from VND 75,000 - VND 85,000 

● Bun Mam Mien Tay 

+ Address: No. 124 Tran Khat Chan Street, District 1

+ Price: from VND 45,000 

2. Bo Kho 

As a traditional dish in Vietnam, Bo Kho is brought into local daily meals. You might see that this is a version of a bowl of beef stew cooked in a Vietnamese style, with the pasty soup seasoned with coconut milk and spices. People often eat Bo Kho with Banh Mi, rice noodles. 

Here are some recommendations that you can taste Bo Kho: 

● Bo Kho Co Mai

+ Address: No. 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1, Ho Chi Minh 

+ Price: from VND 59,000 - 69,000. 

● Bo Kho Di Ut An Do 

+ Address: No. 194/5 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh 

+ Price: from VND 45,000 - 50,000. 

3. Banh Mi (known as Vietnamese Baguette) 

All-time-favorite Banh Mi is a must-try dish in Ho Chi Minh City for its taste, which includes pork, carrot, cucumber, coriander, and hoisin sauce dimming into a layer of pate and pork floss. 

The best place to taste Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh is as follows: 

● Banh Mi Huynh Hoa 

+ Address: No. Le Thi Rieng Street, District 1

+ Price: VND 58,000 

● Banh Mi Hong Hoa 

+ Address: No. 54 Nguyen Van Trang, District 1 

+ Price: from VND 30,000 - 40,000 

● Banh Mi 362 

+ Address: No. Tran Cao Van, District 1

+ Price: from VND 20,000 - 40,000 

4. Com Tam 

Com Tom, called Vietnamese broken rice, is one of the most popular dishes for tourists. The key ingredients include imperfect grains after the milling process. Besides, it is topped with grilled pork, fried eggs, and grilled chicken. 

Here are our suggestions to taste Com Tam: 

● Com Tam Bui Saigon 

+ Address: No. Thach Thi Thanh, District 1

+ Price: VND 45,000 - 65,000 

● Com Tam Moc 

+ Address: No. 85 Ly Tu Trong, District 1 

+ Price: VND 45,000 - 74,000 

5. Hu Tieu 

As a traditional dish comes from the Mekong Delta, Hu Tieu is a noodle soup, which is unlike Pho. This dish is smaller and harder, extracted from pork bones and lots of vegetables. 

Here are some places that you can enjoy Hu Tieu: 

● Hu Tieu Nam Vang Thanh Dat 

+ Address: No. 34 Co Ba, District 1 

+ Price: from VND 59,000 - 69,000 

● Hu Tieu Nhan Quan 

+ Address: No. A68 Nguyen Trai, District 1

+ Price: from 85,000 - 120,000 

6. Banh Xeo 

This dish is a crispy pancake eaten by wrapping in a sheet of rice paper, and green herbs and then dipped in the sweet and sour fish sauce. 

Here are our recommendations for you to eat Banh Xeo: 

● Banh Xeo Nga 

+ Address: No. 251 Nguyen Thien Thuat, District 1

+ Price: VND 50,000 

● Co Ba Vung Tau 

+ Address: No. 40B Tran Cao Van, District 3 

+ Price: from VND 115,000 

V. Best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon accommodation 

If you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City for the first time, World Mate Travel will recommend you stay in the city center to easily reach the most famous attractions. You should stay in District 1, which is the center of lots of food and drinks, accommodations, spa, and tourist attractions as well. 

The price for a night stay in a hotel around the District is usually higher than other parts of the city. However, if you are on a tight budget, you choose to stay at some dorms, the backpacking areas, or hostels in District 1. That will be a good choice, with about VND 250,000/night. 

Besides, there is another option for tourists to choose is District 3. This place is more peaceful, compared to District 1; however, you can find services that look like District 1. 

Additionally, District 2 and 7 will be an ideal option for business travelers. These places have more expensive and upscale services compared to others. District 2 is for Western travelers, while District 7 is for Asian people. 

VI. Travel tips in Sai Gon: from a Trusted Outbound Tour Operator, WorldMate Travel

As a trusted outbound tour operator in Vietnam, World Mate Travel can help you design and bring outstanding tourism experiences to many places throughout Vietnam and Asian countries. If you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City, you can contact us to see more options for your trip at a reasonable price. 


1. What local foods should tourists try in Ho Chi Minh City? 

Must-try dishes include Pho, Banh Mi, Spring Rolls, Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake), Com Tam, and Hu Tieu. 

2. Is it safe to travel to Sai Gon? 

Definitely YES, Ho Chi Minh City is pretty safe for tourists. However, it is common in large cities. You should be aware of the crowds to avoid pickpockets and scammers. 

3. Do local people speak English? 

English is not spoken by the old, however, you can communicate with the young and hospitality staff here can communicate well in English. 


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