Ho Chi Minh City, as Saigon is officially known these days, is easily the most head-spinning city in Vietnam, so expect to feel somewhat shell-shocked upon arrival. Don’t worry – you will soon get over the sensory overload and discover a charming mosaic of cultures and attractions underneath the superficial hustle and bustle.
The French conquest of Saigon in 1859 is still evident through the broad boulevards and colonial architecture, but the city is now the throbbing heart of a rapidly developing country, with all the usual trappings of modern-day consumerism very much on display. Designer malls and fine restaurants vie for space with age-old temples and street food stalls, forming an uneasy but fascinating blend of old and new.
With motorbikes zigzagging endlessly across your path, soon enough you will find yourself looking to escape the maddening traffic. There’s no better way of doing this than to venture into Saigon’s "hem" – a tangled network of narrow alleys where the local lifestyle can be witnessed in its full glory. Don’t leave Saigon without getting lost in one of these!
What to doShow More →
Curious about what to do or where to go while on your trip? Here are the best experiences in Saigon
Famous for the events from 1975 that ended the Vietnam War, the palace has many spacious rooms and historical pieces worth a scrutiny.
Located in District 1, this indoor market is an authentic shopping experience where you can find anything and everything.
A gothic-style cathedral originally built by the French using French material, now looked after by the Vietnamese and one of the centre points of Ho Chi Minh.
An iconic building with a 19th-century atmosphere and decors that provides modern days services.
The War Remnants Museum is an eye-opening and shocking experience that shows the cruelty of war in Vietnam which lasted for 2 decades and ended in 1975.
Hidden in the forest and spread underground for miles, Cu Chi tunnels are an engineering genius of historical importance that were used by Viet Cong to defeat the mighty USA army.
Known for its stupa and bodhi tree and worshipped in its traditional hall, Giac Lam is the oldest and one of the most treasured pagodas in Ho Chi Minh.
Nguyen Hue Street is a lively pedestrian-only place with elegant colonial architecture and a famous "cafe apartment" building.
This enigmatic temple, opened for over one hundred years, combines influences from Taoism, Buddhism, and other Chinese faith systems.
A Pagoda which worships the famous battalion fighter Quan Cong, this is a place to light a coil and pray for luck on a future journey.
This is a rustic church built by a French Priest who sought to make a place accessible to East Asian Christians in the area yet became a focus in National Politics.
This Pagoda is the keeper of some of the most exquisite Buddhist Relics and Antiques from the South of Vietnam.
This bustling market will leave you buzzing after a morning's shopping, bargaining, and sampling of some very tantalizing local snacks.
The Opera House is one of Saigon's most iconic buildings and an excellent example of French influence in Vietnam.
With 68 floors, 262 meters high and a characteristic helipad Bitexco Tower is the most recognisable skyscraper in the center of Saigon.
A pagoda dedicated to the sea goddess Thien Hau, where carved stories can be viewed, and people’s donations displayed.
A place in the heart of China Town Saigon that is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.
The dazzling array of arts on display are in a converted French Villa showing some exceptional 19th-century European design.
Bui Vien backpacker street in the center of Saigon, packed with bars and clubs with loud music is loved equally by locals and foreigners.
Where to stayShow More →
Whether it's for luxury or budget accommodation, here are the best places to stay in Saigon
5-Star Hotel - Price per night: starts from US$220
5 Star Hotel - Price per night: starts from US$90
6-Star Hotel - Price per night: starts from US$240
<p>La Vela Saigon Hotel is a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of Saigon, located right in the center of modern, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, is a great place to stay for those fascinated by the energy of city life. </p><p>Spacious guest rooms and suites offer floor-to-ceiling views of the city and spa-like amenities. </p><p>Find serenity at Ayla Spa, explore their curated art collections or host an event in one of their unforgettable venues.</p>
Price per night: starts from US$60
Where to eatShow More →
Hungry? How about starving for cultural cuisine? Discover where to eat in Saigon
Pizza, pasta, beef cheese burger, grilled sausages, wings, ribs, fried Mozzarella sticks, french fries and more of your favourite bar snacks.