Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour

Ho Chi Minh city, better known as Saigon, is a big and booming city. It’s not like any other Vietnamese city you might have already seen. It’s packed with attractions and the action never stops.

It’s not an overstatement to call the traffic in this up and coming city crazy. So for once don’t rent a motorbike, but enjoy this best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City walking tour.

How to get to Ho Chi Minh City

I’m a big fan of the Grab app. You enter your pick-up and drop-off location and choose a means of transport (cheap bike or more expensive car), a driver is assigned to you and the price is fixed. For 77K-90K, depending on how high the demand is at the moment you’ll get to district 1 from the airport.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh city

We spend 2 nights at Lilly’s Hostel in District 1. We booked a private room for 3 persons. They gave us a 6 bed dorm for private use for under €5 per night per person, including breakfast. Rooms are clean and spacious. One shower and toilet per 6 beds, aircon, small lockers to put valuables, curtains around the beds.

For who likes to party is perfectly located in a side ally of Bui Vien street. A big party street full of bars which reminded me to Koh San Road in Bangkok. We aren’t really the hard core party kind of girls, but the party going on just outside the door didn’t bother us.



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Now let’s start that best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour. You’ll be able to fit everything in one day of walking in you don’t enter every attraction. If you also want to visit all places you’ll probably need an extra day.

Ben Thanh market

We will start this Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour at Ben Thanh Market.

You can buy everything you might need at Ben Than Market. From fresh food and flowers to fake designer handbags, sports clothing, souvenirs, …

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Ben Thanh Market

It’s a great place to stroll through and just observe the madness. Maybe even sit yourself down and enjoy a juice while you people watch.

If you are not going to to see a performance at the opera house tonight, you can visit the night market that appears in the streets next to the Ben Than market.

Address: Le Loi Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: indoor market 6h-18h every day, at 18h the outdoor market starts
Entrance price: Free

Independence palace

The second stop of the this Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour is the Independence palace. This former home of the South Vietnamese president, which is open to the public as a museum, is still used for official government events.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Independence palace

We wanted to stroll around in the shade of he surrounding park, but you need a ticket to enter the park together with the museum itself.

Not being big fans of the ‘60 architecture and design elements, we weren’t really overwhelmed by the palace itself. It took us less than 30 minutes to explore the property.

If you are a bit in a hurry I recommend skipping this museum. Walk by, take a picture if you want, but don’t waste time and money on entering.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Independence palace

If you do decide to enter, don’t miss the tunnels and underground bunkers.They are by fast the most exciting feature of the museum.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Independence palace

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia,, Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: 7h30-11h & 13h-16h every day
Entrance price: 40.000 VND + 40.000 VND to visit the exposition

War Remnants museum

The third and most impressive stop on the Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour is the War Remnants museum.

Although it’s quite a saddening experience I would recommend everyone visiting Ho Chi Minh to visit the War Remnants museum. It is a place to remember the atrocious events of the past and makes you think about events still taking place today.

Hundreds of pictures taking during the war guide you through the horrible events that took place. Outside you’ll find tanks and airplanes and a model of a prison.

Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Phuong 6, Quan 3, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: 7h30-12h & 13h30 – 17h every day
Entrance price: 40.000 VND

Saigon Cathedral of Notre Dame

Although you can’t compare this cathedral to the Notre Dame de Paris, you can’t skip this piece of French colonial heritage in Ho Chi Minh City.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City - Cathedral de Notre Dame

We couldn’t enter the church itself, due to a service being held, and there were renovation works in process, but it still a lovely place to visit.

Address: ben Nghe, tp. Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: 8h-11h & 15h-18h. Service at 9h30 on Sunday, which we weren’t allowed to attend (although we were dressed appropriately)
Entrance price: Free

Central Post office

Located right next to the Saigon Cathedral of Notre Dame, you’ll find your next stop of the Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour. It’s hard to miss the Central Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel. Yes, the man behind the Eiffel tower in Paris. The post office is still in active use, so buy a postcard here and have it send home as we did 🙂

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Central Post office

Address: 2 Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: 7h-19h on weekdays, 7h-18h on Saturday and 8h-18h on Sunday
Entrance price: Free

Museum of Ho Chi Minh City

The Museum of Ho Chi Minh or HCMC museum used to be known as the Gia Long Palace or the Revolutionary Museum.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour -

Even on a Sunday afternoon the museum wasn’t busy at all, making it a nice and calm escape from the hot weather.

The museum offers a view on the history of Ho Chi Minh and the impact of the war on the city.

But for me the actual villa the museum is housed in was what amazed me the most. It’s a delight strolling through the neoclassical mansion, built in 1885, with a beautiful wooden staircase, mouldings on doors and ceilings and other original features.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour -

Don’t miss the tunnels taking you to the underground war bunker!

Address: Ho Chi Minh City Museum, 65 LY Tu Trong, Ben Nghe, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: 8h-17h every day
Entrance price: 40.000 VND

Opera house

The opera house is a stunning piece of French colonial architecture and has been beautifully preserved.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Opera House

Reserve some time to go and see a performance in the opera house. Although the AO Show comes highly recommended we opted for the ballet performance of Cinderella. For 550K VND per ticket we bought class 3 tickets (tickets start at 150K). Overall the show was very nice, they included some jokes/humor that might be considered as infantile, but it seemed to make most spectators laugh. Make sure to explore the stunning building during break times.

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh walking tour - Opera House

Address: 7 cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe, Ho Chi Minh, vietnam
Open hours: you can buy tickets at the booth office located at the left side of the building.
Entrance price: Ticket fees depend on the show and the seats you choose. We paid 550K for the ballet performance of Cinderella.

Bui Vien Road

If you still have some energy left in you after a day of exploring Ho Chi Minh City by foot, get yourself to Bui Vien road in district 1. But be aware it’s a loud and busy area which you can easily compare to Koh San Road in Bangkok. Not exactly my cup of tea, but make sure t have a look if you are the party kind of girl/boy.

What not to do

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The Botanical gardens were on our original itinerary, but once we got there we found out that you can’t visit the gardens without buying a ticket for the zoo too.

There are a lot f reviews out there talking about how the animals are mistreated. So please don’t support these practices by buying a ticket to the zoo.

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