Visit the War Remnants Museum.
Of all the things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, visiting the War Remnants Museum is the most sobering. Give yourself enough time to wander through because it’s a lot to take in. It’s divided into different parts with a recommended order, and you can see the varying effects the war had on Vietnam. Before you go, I’d do some research so you know what to expect. Crash Courses has a good video that lays down the basics.
Cost: 15,000 VND
Times: 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Address: 28 Võ Văn Tần
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.
Built in the mid-1800s after France took over the city, it’s official name is Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception. Its bricks were imported from France, and it was considered the loveliest cathedral among the French colonies. It’s an excellent starting point to explore the area.
Times: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Address: Bến Nghé
Send a postcard from the Saigon Central Post Office.
Literally, right next door to the Cathedral is the Post Office, built in the later 1800’s. It’s a mixture of French, Renaissance, and Gothic architecture. Inside is spacious and lovely, and it’s still functioning! If you can, get a postcard to send!
Times: 6:00 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Address: 2 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé
Snap a photo of Saigon Opera House.
A few blocks down and past the swanky hotels (Hyatt, Continental), you’ll find the Opera house nestled in the midst. This is also probably the fanciest part of Ho Chi Minh City because it’s also where I stumbled across the big name brand stores. Built at the turn of the twentieth century, its majestic style is similar to Le Petit Palais found in France.
Cost: Free, though I never went in and photographed it from the outside
Times: Opening hours vary.
Address: 7 Lam Son Square
Walk near the Ho Chi Minh City Supreme People’s Court
There’s not a lot of information out there on this building. According to this Google search, it’s in the beginning stages of restoration. It’s hard to not walk by at some point, and with its bright yellow and blue color scheme, you’re not going to miss it.
Address: 131 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa
Enjoy Nguyen Hue Street!
This seems to be the main street of Ho Chi Minh City. I was there on Tet and it was flooded with people in their best outfits taking photos with the flowers. It’s absolutely gorgeous! Walk along the whole thing and enjoy the colors and cheerful crowds.
Head up to 42 Nguyen Hue Street (an old looking building with a sketchy entrance) and find Saigon Oi, a delicious coffee shop, for a lovely view of the whole street! I also loved Parttea, a cute English tea room.
Address: Nguyễn Huệ
Eat Banh Mi outside City Hall.
At the front end of Nguyen Hue street is HCMC’s City Hall (or known as the People’s Committee Hall). It’s a massive structure with a plaza in front of it for viewing. It’s an awesome meeting point, and it’s nice to hang out and eat some Banh Mi with friends. Banh Mi is this delicious baguette sandwich, and you can buy it from one of the ladies with stalls nearby.
Address: Lê Thánh Tôn
Take a Day Trip to the Mekong Delta.
Since I was kind of nervous visiting Vietnam on my own, I booked a full day tour as soon as I arrived. I’d wanted to see the Mekong Delta anyway, and it was the perfect way for me to get comfortable in a new country. Also, it’s pretty much impossible to visit on your own. I wrote a post reviewing my day trip and what you’ll see exactly if you want more info.
If you have more time, you can actually stay overnight in the Mekong at a homestay, which I always thought would be a unique experience. Check out Viator for all the different tour options. Alternatively, your hotel can help you with booking tours.
For More Vietnam Travel Posts
- A Logistical Guide to Vietnam
- Top 12 Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam
- 22 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Vietnam
For More Reading on Ho Chi Minh City + Vietnam
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What would you add to this list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City? I know only 3 days is NOT nearly enough!
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