What to do in Saigon? It is absolutely big question. There are some truly fascinating historical activities suitable for all ages. From classic French architecture to perfectly maintained American war planes, walking around Ho Chi Minh city is like seeing the past come to life with so many famous places of interest scattered throughout the city. Of course, as Vietnam’s biggest city and business capital, times are changing and modern skyscrapers are starting to punctuate the sky combining the new and old in a uniquely Vietnamese way. With our guide to the Top 10 Best Attractions in Saigon you can get all of the information you need to ensure you don’t miss anything this fascinating city has to offer.
Ben thanh market
Ben Thanh Market is situated in District 1 in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City at the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Ngh, Tan Hung and Le Lai streets. Shops close late afternoon with shopping best done in the morning before the heat of the day hits.
The market is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most famous landmarks and is known by all taxi drivers, although if you are staying downtown check first to see if you can walk to it from your hotel as it’s very centrally located.
Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 –24:00
Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Panoramic view of the city? Look no further than Saigon Sky Deck on the 49th floor of the Iconic Bitexco Financial Tower and Chill Sky Bar on 27th floor Rooftop of AB Tower at a fee of VND200,000 per adult and VND130,000 per child (4 – 12 years old), you will get a pass to Saigon Sky Deck, located on the 49th floor and enjoy the superb view of Saigon below. There are telescopes for your pleasure. If a good cocktail is what you are after, go unwind with a drink in the skyscraper’s lounge on the 52nd floor.
Local Insight: Opening hours is from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The last ticket shall be bought 45 minutes prior to closing time.
Chill Sky Bar is an enviable location for travellers looking to get above the street-level deluge of motorbikes and honking trucks. Spectacular views, sophisticated design, stellar service and excellent food are this rooftop bar’s cornerstones.
Local insight: Weekday’ happy hour lasts from 5:30 p.m. till 8:30 p.m.
Bach Dang Pier
Bach Dang Pier is located next to the ferry terminal and close to the Renaissance hotel in central Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a popular launching point for boat trips along the Saigon River.
From the area, visitors can get involved in all manner of trips and activities. From accessing various parts of the city to explore, to weaving through its canals on a sunset dinner cruise, both tourist and trade boats bustle in and out of Bach Dang Pier throughout the day and night. Some operators also arrange trips to attractions further afield, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels.
As well as being a good place to find out more about tours and activities available on the river, Bach Dang has an appeal all of its own, with a number authentic coffee shops, bars, and eateries on offer. It’s a bustling area where you’ll find locals doing tai chi in the mornings and sipping drinks overlooking the river come the early evening.
If you have a chance to go to Ho Chi Minh City, you certainly can’t take your eyes off the elegant architecture of the Saigon Opera House.
Located at the start of the famous Le Loi Avenue, the building still retails many lively evidences for the influence of French architecture in Vietnam.
The Reunification Palace is an important site of political and cultural significance, built by the French in 1868 to mark the newly established colony of Indochina.
In 1945, it briefly became the headquarters for the Japanese after their defeat of the French. In 1962, two Vietnamese rebel pilots bombed the palace – the president survived but the palace did not. He commissioned a new one to be built. It was renamed Independence Palace and the design became a Modernist icon.
In 1975 the palace was the symbolic site of the triumphant liberation of Saigon. Vietnam was then reunified; since then the building has been known as Reunification Palace.
Today it is a working government building as well as having areas open to the public. Tour the private quarters, the president’s former office and the War Command Room. You get a real sense of what happened here and its importance in Vietnamese history