Explore the city that doesn’t sleep – Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, the vibrant metropolis that never sleeps. This bustling, energetic hub of Vietnam is a city where tradition and modernity collide in a whirlwind of activity. From the bustling markets to the historic landmarks and the contemporary nightlife, Ho Chi Minh City offers an unforgettable urban adventure. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an explorer of diverse cultures, this city has something for everyone. Join us as we delve into the heart of this dynamic and ever-evolving urban landscape and uncover the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City to unveil the vibrant local life

Once named Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City underwent a transformation after the Vietnam War, symbolizing pivotal modern history. This city reverberates with echoes of reunification, evident at every turn. Explore this period’s heritage through museums, monuments, and Vietnam War relics like the Cu Chi Tunnels. Simultaneously, witness the city’s vibrant modernity in its contemporary architecture and lively nightlife, painting a dynamic and forward-looking portrait of Ho Chi Minh City

If you are planning to pay this bustling metropolis a visit, join us on an exploration of the top 10 things to do in Ho Chi Minh and immerse yourself in the excitement of the city that never sleeps!

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City in the day time

Touring the Reunification Palace

Ho Chi Minh city Independence Palace
Ho Chi Minh city Independence Palace

A visit to the Reunification Palace, also known as the Independence Palace, is an essential experience for any traveler exploring Ho Chi Minh City. This historic palace served as the official residence of the South Vietnamese president during the tumultuous period of the Vietnam War. It holds a pivotal place in history as it symbolizes the end of the war, an event marked by the dramatic entrance of a North Vietnamese army tank crashing through its main gate in 1975.

Today, the Reunification Palace stands as a museum, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into life in South Vietnam during the war era. Its well-preserved rooms and exhibits provide valuable insights into the political, cultural, and social aspects of that time. Walking through its halls, you can almost feel the echoes of the past and gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s complex history. A visit here is not just a step back in time but also a reflection on the enduring spirit of this remarkable nation.

Visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral

Ho Chi Minh city Notre Dame Cathedral
Ho Chi Minh city Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece erected in the late 1800s, stands as an enduring symbol of Ho Chi Minh City’s rich history and cultural diversity. This stunning cathedral is an iconic landmark and a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city. 

The cathedral’s neo-Romanesque design, with its intricate facade adorned by red bricks imported from France, captivates visitors with its timeless beauty. Its twin bell towers, soaring into the sky, further enhance its grandeur. The cathedral’s significance is not merely architectural; it carries a deep historical and religious importance for the city’s residents.

Inside, the cathedral’s peaceful ambiance invites contemplation and reflection. Whether you’re drawn to its spiritual aura, its historical significance, or simply its remarkable architecture, a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is an essential part of experiencing the unique blend of tradition and modernity that defines Ho Chi Minh City.

Shopping in Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh Market stands as an iconic symbol of Ho Chi Minh City, known not just for its historical significance but also as a bustling marketplace offering a treasure trove of goods. This vibrant market is a one-stop destination for both locals and tourists, where you can discover a diverse array of products. From colorful textiles and traditional handicrafts to delectable street food and stylish clothing, Ben Thanh Market is a microcosm of the city’s bustling energy.

As you navigate through the labyrinthine aisles, you’ll encounter friendly vendors eager to showcase their wares. However, it’s essential to sharpen your bargaining skills, as prices here are often negotiable. Haggling is not just a means to secure a better deal; it’s an integral part of the market’s culture. So, be prepared to engage in some friendly negotiations, and you may find that perfect souvenir or gift for your loved ones at a price that suits your budget. Ben Thanh Market encapsulates the lively spirit of Ho Chi Minh City and provides an authentic shopping experience you won’t want to miss.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City in the night time

Joining the party at Bui Vien street

Ho Chi Minh city Bui Vien street
Ho Chi Minh city Bui Vien street

Bui Vien, affectionately known as “Backpacker Street,” stands as the epitome of Ho Chi Minh City’s vibrant nightlife scene. This iconic district pulses with energy, offering a thrilling nightlife experience for both locals and travelers alike. Here, neon lights illuminate a lively streetscape adorned with a plethora of bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to every taste and preference.

As the sun sets, Bui Vien comes to life with a cacophony of music, laughter, and chatter. It’s the go-to destination for those seeking a memorable night out, whether you’re looking to dance until dawn or savor delicious street food. Just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Pham Ngu Lao Street, both areas boast an array of dining options, serving up delectable Vietnamese cuisine and international flavors. Bui Vien offers a glimpse of modern Vietnam, where tradition meets a cosmopolitan atmosphere, creating an unforgettable experience in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife scene.

Walking on Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Nguyen Hue Street, situated in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, stands as the city’s premier pedestrian street and a vibrant focal point of entertainment. This bustling avenue, which stretches from the elegant Saigon Opera House, transforms into a bustling hub of activity on weekend nights. The city ingeniously closes off traffic, allowing locals and visitors alike to wander freely and relish the lively atmosphere.

During these pedestrian evenings, Nguyen Hue Street comes alive with a diverse array of attractions. From captivating live music performances that fill the air with melodies to an enticing array of street food stalls offering delectable Vietnamese delicacies, this street caters to all senses. It’s an opportunity to savor the authentic flavors of Vietnam while taking in the city’s artistic and cultural offerings. Moreover, a variety of shopping opportunities, from local crafts to trendy boutiques, add to the street’s charm. Nguyen Hue Street is, without a doubt, the epitome of Ho Chi Minh City’s dynamic spirit and is not to be missed during your visit.

Savoring a colorful cocktail on a rooftop bars

Ho Chi Minh City boasts a skyline adorned with trendy rooftop bars that provide an elevated perspective of this dynamic metropolis. These rooftop havens offer a unique blend of city lights, stylish ambiance, and delectable cocktails, making them perfect for a memorable evening out. Among these, the Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar stands tall, perched atop the historic Caravelle Saigon Hotel. It’s a classic choice, where you can sip on your favorite drink while taking in panoramic views of the city below.

Another noteworthy spot is Saigon Social Club, located atop the luxurious Hotel des Arts Saigon. Here, you can enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere along with breathtaking vistas of the city’s skyline. These rooftop bars are indeed a bit more expensive, but they promise a memorable night out, whether you’re celebrating with friends or simply indulging in the allure of Saigon’s glittering nightscape.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City – Day trip

Explore Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel
Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel

Cu Chi Tunnels, an essential destination near Ho Chi Minh City, offer a profound glimpse into Vietnam’s history and resilience. These intricate underground passages, ingeniously designed by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, served as a clandestine network for movement, communication, and survival. Today, they stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people.

Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels is like stepping back in time. As you navigate the narrow, dimly lit tunnels, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for the courage and resourcefulness of those who lived here during the war. The tunnels have been transformed into a compelling museum that narrates the harrowing stories of survival, showcases the innovative trap systems used against the enemy, and displays artifacts from that era.

Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels is a somber yet enlightening experience, offering profound insights into the resilience and sacrifices made during a tumultuous period in Vietnamese history. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the country’s past and the enduring spirit of its people.

Visiting Binh Quoi tourist village

Nestled along the scenic banks of the Saigon River lies the enchanting Binh Quoi tourist village, a hidden gem within the bustling heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Comprising three distinct villages, this oasis offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Binh Quoi is a sanctuary of leisure and natural beauty, perfect for those seeking a serene getaway.

Among the three villages, Binh Quoi 2 stands out as a picture-perfect paradise and is undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable spots in Ho Chi Minh City. Its beautifully manicured gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for leisurely strolls, picnics complete with barbecues, and boat rides along the meandering river. This serene enclave offers a unique blend of traditional Vietnamese charm and modern aesthetics, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and travelers. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Binh Quoi 2 and capture moments of serenity amid the bustling city.

Traveling to the Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta, a captivating region situated just a couple of hours away from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, offers a fascinating glimpse into rural Vietnam. Renowned for its picturesque rice paddies, intricate network of canals, and vibrant floating markets, this area is a treasure trove of unique experiences, perfect for a day trip from the city.

As you journey through the Mekong Delta, you’ll witness the authentic essence of Vietnamese life. The lush green fields of rice, tended by local farmers, stretch as far as the eye can see, painting a vivid picture of the country’s agrarian heritage. Meandering through the intricate web of canals, you’ll gain insight into the vital role these waterways play in everyday life.

A highlight of any Mekong Delta excursion is a visit to the bustling floating markets. Here, local traders aboard colorful boats congregate to sell a myriad of goods, from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Exploring the Mekong Delta is like stepping back in time, a delightful contrast to the urban buzz of Ho Chi Minh City, offering a captivating glimpse into the rural soul of Vietnam.

Final thoughts

Ho Chi Minh City, a bustling metropolis that never sleeps, offers a whirlwind of experiences. From historic landmarks and vibrant markets to delectable cuisine and energetic nightlife, we hope our exploration of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City has unveiled the city’s diverse character and gives you inspiration for your upcoming visit.

For a truly immersive and personalized adventure, consider Viland Travel’s custom-made tours. These bespoke journeys cater to your unique interests, ensuring that every moment in Ho Chi Minh City is meaningful and exceptional. Let Viland Travel guide you through the hidden gems, cultural delights, and local secrets of this dynamic city, making your visit an unforgettable and authentic experience. 

Don’t miss the chance to discover Ho Chi Minh City in a way that resonates with you on a personal level.