Things to do in HCMC
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, resides in the South of Vietnam and is home to over 5 million people! Sprawling across 12+ districts it may seem difficult to know where to begin when you arrive, but no worries I have got you covered! Here is my comprehensive list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
Things to see in HCMC
Tan Dinh aka The Pink Church
Gaining great popularity on Instagram this Pink Church is a fun little stop while you are in Saigon. The gates are usually closed but you can take in the unique architecture and bright colors from outside!
The Central Post Office
Although quite busy the Central Post Office is a must see! The bright yellow exterior, and French inspired architecture makes it a hotspot for tourist photos. Here you can buy a postcard and send it off to a friend!
Right in the center of town is the City Hall, it is at the end of the popular pedestrian street! The building is built in the French Colonial style and is really quite gorgeous. This is a great spot to walk around as it is close to the Opera House and the apartment Cafes!
Notre Dame Cathedral
Across the street from the Post Office is the city’s main Cathedral. Built back in 1880 by French colonists it still stands today as a city landmark! When I was there it was under construction so we could only barely get a glimse of it – hence no photo!
Places to Visit in HCMC
Ben Thanh Market
In the early 17th century, local vendors would gather near the river to sell their goods. From this accumulation of sellers Ben Tanh was born! This huge market has got everything you could possibly want or need! From fake purses to amazing food, this is the spot. You can wander around its crowded lanes, shopping and eating, what better type of an afternoon is there?
War Remnants Museum
This multi-floored museum most predominately houses the largest array of historical photos related to the Vietnam War, or rather the American War as it is called here. Overall the museum is well laid out and primarily focuses on the American Armies war crimes against Vietnam. You can easily spend over an hour here, but be prepared it is not an easy visit!
Apartment Cafe Block
Located at 42 Nguyen Hue street, this old communist apartment block has been turned into a whole building of cafes and the trendy shops and restaurants. Learn more about these apartment cafes here!
Bui Vien Walking Street
Dubbed the Khao San Road of HCMC, here you can find all the backpacker things! Party bars, hostels, cheap food, souvenirs etc. Here the party can last until the wee hours of the morning, so make sure you are ready!
Where to Eat and Drink
Grab a bite at:
Bep Me In: This is a great spot for traditional Vietnamese food which is fast and casual. The price point is just right and the quality is amazing!
Hum Vegetarian: Slightly more upscale, Humm is Vietnamese Fusion food which is all exclusively made veggie. Every single thing we had here was utterly delicious. It may have been my favorite meal of the whole trip!
Baozi: Baozi is uber trendy and for good reason, it has craft cocktails, artisan bao buns and amazing ramen. The line is usually out the door on weekends so make sure to call ahead!
The Racha Room: This is another trendy night out spot, The Racha Room is located ambiguously up a flight of stairs and has a hidden away feel. The Thai fusion mains are the real star here so don’t bother with appetizers!
L’usine Cafe: Part trendy boutique, part modern brunch spot, L’usine is the perfect place for a breakfast date! Their all day breakfast is delicious, full of the well known European favorites along with a few Vietnamese dishes.
Banh Mi Huynh Hoa: This is the classic Vietnamese baguette sandwich with a Sai Gon twist! Rumor has it that this street food stall is the best place in town to grab one.
Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen: This southern dish, Bun Thit Nuong – meaning grilled meat and noodles is one of my favorites in the city! Delicious grilled pork is added to vermicelli noodles and topped with spring rolls and papaya! *see photo above!
Bunker Bed and Breakfast: Inspired by the LA lifestyle Bunker Bed and Breakfast kinda looks like a classic American diner but with a rock n’ roll edge. Serving up breakfast burgers, loaded fries and so much more this one was of our favorite breakfast spots!
Grab a drink at:
Saigon Social Club
SOHY Sky Lounge
Bitexco Financial Tower
Pasteur Street Brewing
Grab a coffee at:
With locations throughout the country it is not the most unique of cafe choices but what makes this so special is how every Cong is uniquely decorated mimicking a war time experience. The
Cua Hang Cafe 81
Tucked away in an alley, a bit far out of the center of town is possibly the worlds cutest cafe! Cua Hang Cafe is full of quirky antiques from old televisions and radios to sewing machines! There are even some adorable cats. I ordered the Kumquat and honey tea which is a staple across Vietnam.
Katinat Saigon Kafe
This is a great little cafe corner in Saigon! It has a cute balcony perfect for people watching!
The Apartment Cafe
This apartment building turned cafe block is a must visit while you are in Saigon! Inside there aren’t just cafes, but boutiques and trendy restaurants.
My good friend Frances actually lives in HCMC – check out her article all about the Apartment Cafes and other cool shopping there.
Gong Cha Milk Tea
One of Vietnam’s favorite Milk Tea Chains, and for good reason! Gong Cha is the go to if you are craving bubble tea!
Hope this post helps you plan out your time in HCMC! Any other favorites in the city? Let me know what they are in the comments below!