City Centre, 2.28 mi
18E Cong Hoa Street
Tan Binh District
Ho Chi Minh City
City Centre, 5.63 mi
Corner Hai Ba Trung
St.& Le Duan Bl
Ho Chi Minh City
Visiting Ho Chi Minh City – A City Guide
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is a metropolis on the move, with more than 8.5 million motorbikes zipping between the shimmering skyscrapers, glossy shopping malls and sizzling street food stalls of a city looking to the future.
Ho Chi Minh City: city layout and attractions
The city’s diverse past is evident, particularly west of the Saigon River in central District 1, where plenty of the main attractions and many of the hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are conveniently placed.
Reminders of the French colonial era include the Saigon Opera House and Notre Dame Cathedral, a late 19th-century landmark built using materials imported from France. Also in District 1, Reunification Palace is a symbol of Vietnam’s more recent history.
The concierge recommends...
Eating Out in Ho Chi Minh City.
It’s hard to think of eating in Ho Chi Minh City without thinking of street food, and District 4’s Vinh Khanh Street is one of the best areas to find it. Ben Thanh Night Market also has plenty going on in terms of street food. For more upscale dining, Dong Khoi Street has excellent restaurants nestled among modern towers and colonial-era buildings.
The chef recommends...
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City
When it comes to shopping, Ho Chi Minh City has everything from vibrant markets to high-end malls offering air-conditioned comfort.
The unveiling of Takashimaya Saigon Centre in July 2016 confirmed Ho Chi Minh City’s enthusiasm for luxury shopping. The city’s largest mall can be found in the refurbished Saigon Centre building on Le Loi Boulevard, and is home to more than 200 brands across 5 floors. Renowned names in fashion are on offer, as are cosmetics, accessories and choice foodie options.
A short walk across District 1, Ben Thanh Market provides a more traditional shopping experience. Inside the iconic 1914 building, stall owners sell clothing, electronics, crafts, souvenirs and produce. Prices can be higher here and haggling isn’t what it used to be, but it’s certainly worth trying your luck.
For the colour of Ben Thanh Market without the chaos, Saigon Square at two locations in District 1 is a good option, and the Vincom Center is a little more upmarket.
What to buy in Ho Chi Minh City
Culture & Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City
Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City focusses on District 1’s Pham Ngu Lao Street, where tourists and locals mix at bars, music venues and roadside beer stalls featuring plastic stools. If plastic stools aren’t your thing, Ho Chi Minh City has plenty of culture both before and after dark.
The contemporary arts scene is thriving, and Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum offers pieces from the exotic and distant past. The opera, meanwhile, is as enticing in Ho Chi Minh City as it is anywhere else in the world.
Whatever your plan for the evening, a drink at one of Ho Chi Minh City’s many rooftop bars is a good way to start (and possibly end) it.
The arts in Ho Chi Minh City
Leisure in Ho Chi Minh City
For a break from the buzz of Ho Chi Minh City, try a trip out to District 7’s Ban Nguyet Lake, which has walking routes right along the lake, as well as a shopping mall and restaurants. Back in the centre, Tao Dan Park offers fountains and tree-lined walkways.
Best leisure spots in Ho Chi Minh City