Saigon tourist guide - what to see in Ho Chi Minh City

As Vietnam’s biggest city, Saigon is a great place to come face to face with Vietnamese culture in all its forms. However, the experience of arriving in this seething metropolis can be a bit overwhelming, so we have prepared this guide to help you select the most interesting places to visit and the most enjoyable activities to occupy you during your stay.

The city’s sights say much about its history, with crumbling, Chinese-style temples rubbing shoulders with ornate, colonial structures built by the French and gleaming malls that testify to the country’s economic resurgence. If you’re at all curious about the city or country’s past, don’t miss out on the principal museums that tell a story of a proud people.

Attractions

From the Reunification Palace to the temples of Cho Lon, there are fantastic and diverse attractions in Saigon for all tastes and ages that should not be missed by any visitor to the city...more

Day trips

Take time out from the city to see the Chu Chi Tunnels or the floating markets in the Mekong Delta with relaxing excursions that show a different side to Vietnam...more

Religious sites

Visit Saigon’s diverse religious sites, including Buddhist and Hindu temples, churches and mosques while belay Vietnam’s communist status and remain revered places of worship...more

Museums

Learn about Saigon’s past in the History Museum or discover the horrors of military conflict in the War Remnants Museum which is sure to shock and educate all that visit in equal measure...more

De Tham

Drop by the backpacker district for the cheapest food, drink, accommodation and tours plus a lively party atmosphere every day of the week with a cluster of exciting traveller bars and pubs...more

Night attractions

Take in a cultural show at a fancy restaurant or shake your stuff in a live-music bar, Saigon has a whole new side after dark which harks back to when thousands of US troops were stationed here...more

Reunification Palace

See the very building where the American War was ended and relive those iconic moments when the tank entered the compound and ended one of the world's bloodiest conflicts...more

Cu Chi Tunnels

The ingenious Cu Chi tunnels were used by Viet Cong to live, plan attacks against US forces and avoid capture whilst battling the south of the nation in the bloody ‘American War’...more

What to see in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City sightseeing attractions

Many of the city’s major sights, such as the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum, are conveniently located in the city centre, so it’s possible to see several places in a day, although you need to allow more time for places like the Jade Emperor Temple, which are further from the centre.

Even if you don’t stay in the budget centre around De Tham, it’s worth visiting the area for its unique atmosphere. Here you’ll see more foreigners than Vietnamese, spilling into and out of cheap (and not-so-cheap) hotels, eating and drinking in good-value restaurants and bars, and shopping in cute boutiques.

Few leave the city without taking a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels or the Mekong Delta, and the tour operators around De Tham are a good place to sign up for a fun day out that will probably cost less than your room for a night.

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