Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City used to be the capital of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. This busy and popular city is known for its crazy amount of motorbikes, busy streets, and delicious street foods. Many people who live in Ho Chi Minh speak English which made it a breeze to travel through and get by. If you happen to be short on time or just don’t like big cities like myself, then I hope this guide for a one day in Ho Chi Minh provides you will all the best Ho Chi Minh City attractions.
Ho Chi Minh City Attractions | Spend One Day in Ho Chi Minh
In this Ho Chi Minh City Attractions guide, I will share some of my favorite spots to visit in the city. The city is not nearly as walkable as Hoi An or Da Nang, but doable.
Additionally, I’m not a huge history buff, so I avoided a lot of the history things from my Ho Chi Minh Itinerary. I have included them below for you to check out, but they weren’t part of my one-day attractions. So let’s go over what you can do in Saigon for one day.
I suggest you start your day with a delicious Coconut Coffee at Cong Caphe. This cafe is the most popular in Vietnam and I will suggest this for every Itinerary I have. You can not go to Vietnam without at least trying this coffee once. It tastes absolutely delicious and refreshing from the humid and hot weather in Vietnam.
Send a Letter or Postcard at Saigon Central Post Office – Popular Ho Chi Minh Attractions
One of the most popular things to do in admire the beautiful Saigon Central Post Office. At this post office, you can mail off letters and postcards or just admire the beautiful architecture. Whatever you do, this Ho Chi Minh City Attraction is one of the most popular to visit. You can spend as much or as little time as you want.
Norte Dame Cathedral
Right next door to the Saigon Central Post Office is the Norter Dame Cathedral. The cathedrals in Vietnam are beautiful to see because of their brightly painted colors which are very untraditional. Like the cathedral in Da Nang, they are similar in color however, I found the cathedral in Da Nang to be pinker than the Norte Dame in Saigon.
People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City – Famous Architectural Attractions
Saigon is pretty popular when it comes to its architecture and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City is no exception. This beautiful hall is across from a small garden filled with gorgeous flowers. This is in fairly close proximity to the Central Post Office and the Norte Dame Cathedral. It’s just a beautiful building to admire.
Eat Lunch at the Bình Tây Market
I suggest you come here to grab a cheap lunch like banh mi. I don’t suggest you eat a lot because there is a lot more to enjoy in the evening time. You can also shop for some goods, flowers, and other souvenirs you may want to get from your trip here. I highly suggest you try and find some delicious peach tea! This I swear was my favorite drink in Ho Chi Minh City.
Get a Massage
If you happen to be getting hot or just need some time to relax, I suggest you try and get a massage. Massages in Ho Chi Minh are very cheap and are a great way to relax. When you travel, sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation. So enjoy some me time as well while you can.
Admire the beautiful Thien Hau Temple
There are many temples and pagodas in Vietnam. Vietnam was influenced by French Colonial and Chinese architecture, so when you see these traditional temples they resemble many similar to China. A lot of the buildings created in Chinese architecture built in the early 1000s, which provides rich culture and history to Vietnam.
Bitexco Financial Tower
Get the best view of Saigon by visiting the Bitexco Financial Tower. Like many cities, you can enjoy a high rise view and see all of Saigon.
Motorbike Adventures in Saigon Food Tour – One of my favorite Ho Chi Minh Attractions
This by far was my favorite part of the trip. If you are traveling solo, with family, with friends or whatever, I highly suggest you go on this tour. They take you to each food destination by motorbike. Additionally, many of the people who take you around are English students so they want to practice their English skills.
I was lucky to have 2 people touring me (one was a trainee) and show me all around town. They made me feel like I was part of their family which was a big deal for someone like me traveling solo. They even accommodated me when I asked to have dessert instead of one of the food options since I wanted to have some traditional Vietnamese desserts. I had some of the best food and drinks during this tour. You won’t regret it. Book your tour here.
Ho Chi Minh City Attractions for History Buffs
- Museum of Ho Chi Minh City – Learn about the city’s cultural and historical facts and their connection with the French. The museum building was built in the late 1800s blending the Occidental style with Oriental style.
- War Remnants Museum – Want to know more information about the Vietnam War? Then this place is for you filled with exhibits relating to the Vietnam War.
- Museum of Vietnamese History – This museum is one of its first kind in Southeast Asia.
- Chi Chi tunnels – A popular day trip from Ho Chi Minh City, these hideouts used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War is a must-see for history and military aficionados.
What is there to do in Ho Chi Minh at night?
- Bitexco Tower – Some of these are listed above, but if you only have time to spend a night in Ho Chi Minh, it’s definitely recommended to get some drinks and a beautiful view of the city.
- Dinner Cruise on Sai Gon River – I have heard this is a popular thing to do at night in Ho Chi Minh. Dinner is served on a boat with traditional Vietnamese entertainment.
- Bui Vien – This location is popular among foreigners and people who love to party and drink. I suggest you come here if you love to party and have a good time out drinking for cheap.
- Starlight Bridge – This bridge is a very popular pedestrian bridge at night and completely lit up with rainbow lights and waterfalls on each side of the bridge.
- Motorbike Adventures in Saigon – As I said above, this is a must-do in Ho Chi Minh. You have to try these amazing dishes and it’s a great way to meet some amazing locals.
Other information about Ho Chi Minh
Is Ho Chi Minh the same as Saigon?
Yes. Actually many people still prefer to call Ho Chi Minh City as Saigon. Saigon was the original name and the name was changed to Ho Chi Minh City after the communist leader. They renamed it in 1976 to celebrate the reunification of north and south at the end of the Vietnam War.
Is Ho Chi Minh safe?
I traveled solo here and I felt completely safe in Ho Chi Minh. Now, as always, it’s a big city and you should never let your guard down and should always keep an eye out for anything that makes you uncomfortable or suspicious.
How to travel around Ho Chi Minh
Like I said before, Ho Chi Minh City isn’t as easily walkable as some of the smaller cities like Hoi An and Da Nang. So the best way I found to get around was to use the Grab Taxi App. It’s like uber, except you can easily hop on a motorbike or a car taxi driver. This was by far the cheapest and easiest way to get around town without wasting any time. This is perfect when you are limited on time to see the best attractions for your one day in Ho Chi Minh.
- One Day in Hoi An
- Hoi An Restaurants
- Hoi An Tailors
- Da Nang Attractions
- Vietnam Itinerary
- Ba Na Hills Da Nang
- Hoi An Lanterns
- Things to do in Hoi An
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