Best Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City

Best Place To Eat Authentic Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City

posted in: Vietnam | 0

Last updated on December 4th, 2022

If you are looking for the best banh mi in Ho Chi Minh, Bánh Mì Hòa Mã is the place. It’s definitely a must-eat food in HCM and locals will tell you about this place for the best banh mi ever in Saigon!

Banh Mi is one of the most delicious baguettes on the planet and you should not miss the chance to taste this Vietnamese food when visiting Vietnam. Many eateries are offering Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City, but this one stands out for its deliciousness.

For the best banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City, head to the Bánh Mì Hòa Mã. It is the place for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh city with a good experience of local eating along an alley. Simply good and value for money. Highly recommended by locals!

Let’s read about the unique experience to have breakfast the Vietnamese way!

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã

Banh Mi Hoa Ma

Located in District 3, in the small alley, Bánh Mì Hòa Mã is one of the popular places for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City. Bánh Mì Hòa Mã is operated since 1958 and it is one of the oldest Bahn mi places in Saigon. The shop is always crowded on weekend, especially Sunday mornings.

Banh Mi Hoa Ma is only open in the morning, starting from 6:00 until 11:00, or until the kitchen runs out which is a daily occurrence. So please come early because their breakfast runs out quickly. Most people will rock up by motorbike and just sit on the street for the best breakfast in Saigon.

Where To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City - Banh Mi Hoa Ma

Enjoy your meal on the low-seating tables and stools in an alley not far from the main street. While the kitchen is by the roadside where you can see how the food is served. It one of the best street-side ambiances, made it a unique experience in Saigon.

The price is very reasonable, and it costs about 70,000 VND for a complete breakfast set.

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã
Address: 53 Đ. Cao Thắng, Phường 3, Quận 3
Operating Hours: Daily from 6:00 until 11:00
Price range: Estimate for 50,000 to 70,000 VND

What To Order

Banh Mi Hoa Ma Menu

There are only two choices on the menu, regular traditional Bahn mi and the full breakfast platter, named Op La (runny egg yolk). Besides, Banh Mi Hoa Ma also serves decent homemade style iced Vietnamese coffee to go along with your banh mi too. No worries about how to order the food in Banh Mi Hoa Ma with menu is photo and price is well-displayed.

We ordered both options to try on with English-speaking staff. The service is efficient and we have our food service fast.

Best Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City

The banh mi is one of the softest baguettes you can get. Crisp on the outside, full and fluffy on the inside. It was generously filled with meat and all the usual accouterments.

It tastes so good and satisfying!

Banh Mi Op La breakfast platter

While the Op La comes in a sizzling dish with 2 eggs cooked to perfection with various meat slices and fish cakes, and grilled onion, along with banh mi and fresh sliced cucumber and carrot pickles.

The food seems to be just basic ingredients like all the ingredients chucked together but it went well. It took our palette satisfaction to the next level! A dipped to the running egg yolks with the banh mi. Simple yet satisfied! One of the best breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City.

Best Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City

All in all, if you happen to be in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), please visit Bánh Mì Hòa Mã at District 3.

The eatery is the best place for anyone wanting a great breakfast experience in HCMC. It’s a kind of experience to sit at the roadside for a perfect breakfast with authentic flavor. You would find this place a bit far away from downtown. But trust me, it is worth your effort. Come hungry and you’ll leave full and satisfied.

Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City? Feel free to read on our Saigon travel stories.

More food journey in Ho Chi Minh City:

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide - What To Eat

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide: What To Eat in Saigon

posted in: Vietnam | 0

Last updated on December 4th, 2022

If you’re wondering what to eat in Saigon, then this Ho Chi Minh food guide will be very useful to you. Find the best local food in Saigon to add to your food list!

Traveling in Ho Chi Minh not only consists of sightseeing, but also the best chance to try authentic Vietnamese dishes. If you travel for food, Ho Chi Minh City should definitely be on your list. The city serves up the most delicious food in Vietnam and is the best place to experience Vietnamese food.

But, good food is available literally everywhere in the city, but which one is the must-try food to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? It is a daunting task if you are a first-timer in the city. You can imagine the thousands of restaurants and street food available in Ho Chi Minh City. We visited Ho Chi Minh City and continued to eat our way through the city. The following dishes are some of the best local foods that we try when visiting Ho Chi Minh city.

In this Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide, we’ve put together our favorite picks of where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Make sure to check it out if you are looking for what to eat in Saigon.

What and Where To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What and Where To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

This Ho Chi Minh City food guide will lead you to some of the best restaurants, local markets, and even street food stalls in Saigon so you can eat like a local!

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide: Where and What To Eat in Saigon

  • Bun riêu cua from Bún riêu Gánh
  • Banh Mi Op La from Bánh Mì Hòa Mã
  • Phở bò (Beef Noodles Soup) from Pho 24
  • Bún bò (Spicy Beef Pork Noodle Soup) from Quan An Bac Hien
  • Banh Beo Hue (Vietnamese Steam Rice Cake) from Bánh Bèo Chợ Bến Thành
  • Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamse Spring Rolls)
  • Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Pork and Shrimp Noodle Soup)
  • Vietnamse Coffee at Cafe Apartment Saigon
  • Grilled meat and seafood skewer
  • Seafood at Vinh Khanh Food Street
  • Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Banana)
  • Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

And many more Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City!

Ho Chi Minh Food Tips

It’s easy enough to go food hunting in Ho Chi Minh City on your own, but if you’d like to eat your way through the city’s street food scene just like the locals, then you may be interested in the below food tour:

Bún Riêu Cua (Minced crab Noodles Soup)

Ho Chi Minh Best Food - Crab Rice Noodle Soup

Originally from northern Vietnam, Bun Rieu gains its popularity among locals in Saigon. There are a few different types of bun rieu such as bún riêu cua (minced crab), bún riêu cá (fish), and bún riêu ốc (snail). The most popular and delicious among this rice noodles soup is the Crab rice noodle soup or called Bun Rieu Cua in Vietnamese.

To make a bún riêu cua, fresh crabs are pounded with the shell into a fine paste before being strained. It is then added and slowly cooked together with a mixture of ingredients such as tomatoes and fish sauce into one of the yummiest bowls.

Estimate Price: Average 40,000 VND to 50,000 for a bowl of Bun Rieu.

Bun Rieu Ganh
Where to eat Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City – Bun Rieu Ganh

Where to eat Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bún riêu Gánh (Address: 4 Phan Boi Chau District 1) is one of the best and most authentic shops in Saigon. Situated beside Ben Thanh Market, the restaurant is always packed with locals and that’s how you know it’s good! The tomatoey broth is thick, flavourful, and fresh and the noodles are topped with quality ingredients, giving you the best in each bowl. The food is excellent and you will not disappoint the food here.

Further Read: Best Place for Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City

Alternatively, try the Bún Riêu Nhà (Address: 19E Kỳ Đồng, District 3) or Bún riêu cua ốc (Address: 66 Nguyễn Thái Bình, District 1). Both restaurants are popular among diners for their piping hot Bun Rieu.

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã

Banh Mi Op La - Ho Chi Minh Food Guide
Banh Mi Op La – Ho Chi Minh Food Guide

Banh Mi is Vietnamese fresh crusty baguettes packed with meat, veggies, and flavorsome sauces. Like pho, banh mi is one of the most well-known examples of Vietnamese food. And if you’re looking for the best street food, Banh Mi is exactly the kind of street food you came to Saigon for. They’re truly one of the best Vietnamese foods in Ho Chi Minh and it is so delicious!

Banh Mi Hoa Ma

Where to eat best Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City?

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã (Address: 53 Đ. Cao Thắng, Phường 3, Quận 3) is one of the oldest banh mi places in Saigon since 1958. It is the place for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh city with a good experience of local eating along an alley. The shop is always crowded on weekend, especially Sunday mornings. Order the Banh Mi Op La and an iced coffee. A great start to the day!

Further read on my food trip to Banh Mi Hoa Ma.

Phở bò (Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho - What To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Phở bò is a Vietnamese noodle soup with broth, meat, rice noodle, and herbs. It is one of the tastiest examples of Vietnamese food and a must-try in the Ho Chi Minh food guide. It’s also one of the most popular foods in Vietnam and is regarded as a Vietnamese national dish.

A hearty bowl of Pho is made with four basic ingredients – clear stock, rice noodles, meat (typically beef or chicken), and greens. For Southern Region, Pho is always topped with bean sprouts and a wider variety of fresh herbs in an iconic savory broth. It’s so tasty and warming. Find one of the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh city!

Where to eat Pho in Ho Chi Minh City:

Pho 24 is a popular Pho restaurant chain in HCMC and is best known for Pho among diners. They serve piping hot pho with many choices in generous portions. The price is very reasonable price and their value meal only costs about VND 29,000 which is very a good deal!

Bún bò (Spicy Beef Pork Noodle Soup)

What To Eat in Saigon - Bun Bo

Originates from the city of Hue in central Vietnam, Bún bò is getting common and you’ll find it everywhere in Vietnam.

Bun Bo Hue is a type of vermicelli rice noodles soup with beef and pork. It is very similar to Pho, but Bun Bo Hue comes with a robust, spicy broth. If you love Pho then definitely give Bun Bo Hue a try.

Quan An Bac Hien

Best place to eat Bun Bo in Ho Chi Minh City:

Quan An Bac Hien (Address: 111 Hai Ba Trung, District 1) – This was our favorite place for Bun Bo in District 1. The shop is always busy with the locals and everyone is enjoying their food here. You can also sample other dishes here such as Bun Pho which is also highly recommended.

Bánh Bèo (Vietnamese Steam Rice Cake)

Banh Beo Cho Ben Thanh Ben

Also originating from Hue City, Bánh Bèo is a specialty from central Vietnam. It has become one of the popular Vietnamese dishes and is loved by locals in Saigon.

Bánh Bèo is a kind of Vietnamese steamed rice cake made with soft bouncy rice cakes topped with a variety of ingredients by region. In the central region, the Huế style is topped with minced shrimp, and the Quang Nam style is topped with a mixture of pork, shrimp, and mushroom at Da Nang. In the Southern region city, Bánh Bèo is topped with steamed mung bean.

Bánh Bèo - Ho Chi Minh Food Guide

We recommended trying the Bánh Bèo Chợ Bến Thành Ben at Thanh Market (District 1). The stall is located at the West Gate when entering the market and it is easy to spot.

There is always a crowded scene where many people come here to eat Hue’s Bánh Bèo. The Banh Beo is chewy, soft, and fragrant, and still keeps the original flavor of dishes from Hue!

Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

Goi cuon - Must-eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Traditionally, Goi cuon is made with shrimp, pork, vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients wrapped in a sheet of rice paper (bánh tráng). All the ingredients offer a well-balanced taste, texture, and most important and deliciously healthy! The spring roll is often served with a peanut dipping sauce or fish sauce dipping sauce.

Soft, light, and refreshing! Perfect as an appetizer, snack, or light meal!

Estimate Price: Average 10,000 – 15,000 VND per roll.

Where to eat goi cuon in Ho Chi Minh City:

Everywhere! We always order Gỏi cuốn as an additional side dish when we eat in Ho Chi Minh City. The best one comes from one of the Ben Thanh Street Food Market stalls and it tastes so good!

Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Pork and Shrimp Noodle Soup)

Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Basically, Hu Tieu Nam Vang is a clear noodles soup consisting of rice noodles in a fragrant broth, added with fresh shrimp, pork, and raw vegetables such as shallots. It is a noodle dish loved by many Southern people. Originating from Cambodia, Nam Vang Hu Tieu was introduced to Southern Vietnam more than a hundred years ago. Saigon takes it to next level and has its version to suit the taste of local people.

Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - Hu tieu Nam Vang Trung Coi

Where to eat Hủ tiếu Nam Vang in Ho Chi Minh City:

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang Trung Còi (Address: 80 Đ. Cao Thắng, Phường 4, Quận 3) is one of the popular local restaurants in District 3 and loved by many diners. The broth is full of flavor and extremely delicious. The noodles can be served in soup or a dry version.

Vietnamese Coffee

Drink Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city is known for unique coffee scene. There are thousands of cafes scattered around the city and spend some time exploring around. You can learn and test different type of coffee in the HCMC. For any coffee lover, do not miss to experience and try traditional Vietnamese coffee at a specialty coffee shop when visiting Ho Chi Minh City.

We have so much fun tasting the coffee when visiting Saigon. Sometimes we just choose one of the coffee shops to taste the coffee. You will be surprised by how nice the coffee taste. Try visiting as many coffee shops if you can. Do check out some of the best places to taste Vietnamese coffee in the city.

Cafe Apartment Saigon

Cafe Apartment Saigon (Address: 42 Đ. Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1) – We had an enjoyable time exploring this unique former residential apartment building that now houses cafes and boutique fashion shops. Such a nice place to come and explore.

Grilled Meat and Seafood Skewer

Saigon Street Food - Grilled Meat and Seafood Skewer

There are many street food options in Ho Chi Minh City. You can find many street food vendors serving local snacks, seafood dishes, hot pots, meat, and seafood skewer everywhere in the city. Don’t be afraid of get some, and sitting on low tables and plastic stools randomly set up in the alley.

Enjoy taking in local life and sample some street food along in the city. You’ll find a great scene in an authentic Vietnam street food scene in Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide - Seafood Skewer

Seafood at Vinh Khanh Food Street

I love seafood and was truly enjoying the seafood street food feast on our nights in Saigon. If there’s a place where you should do street food in HCMC, Vĩnh Khánh Street is the place! The street is one of the most vibrant places in the city packed with street food. It is always bustling with hungry foodies every night!

We recommend you stroll along the street, enjoy taking in local life and get into one of the street food stalls to enjoy the food. This, for me, is what Saigon street food is all about!

Vĩnh Khánh Street
Address: 40 Vĩnh Khánh, Phường 8, Quận 4.

Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Banana)

Vietnamese Grilled Banana

Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled banana) is an extremely special and popular street snack among locals in Ho Chi Minh City. The banana is wrapped with steamed sticky rice, then it will be cooked on the charcoal grill. The dish is the perfect mix of the sweetness of banana and the smell of coconut milk.

Must-try Street Snack in Ho Chi Minh City

Besides, you will certainly walk past some street food stalls on the street when wandering around the city. We spotted some food stalls selling the grilled banana crepe and free feel to try them. It is delicious! 

Vietnamese Grilled Banana in Saigon

Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to great intro to Vietnamese food. Most of the Vietnamese cuisine can be found in Saigon. I ate a lot when I traveled to HCM, but still, I couldn’t sample absolutely everything.

There are so many other dishes that you can try if you looking for what to eat in Ho Chi Minh city.

Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

For recommendation, Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành) is an awesome place to sample the local food. This is the best place for breakfast and lunch food. I might be a bit touristy, but you can almost everything here in this local market.

Overview: Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide

All in all, Ho Chi Minh City is truly a food paradise. There is so much good food and we couldn’t sample all the dishes. Listed in this Ho Chi Minh food guide are some of the best Saigon food that we highly recommended.

There are definitely lots more Vietnamese dishes to try as there are so many authentic Vietnamese dishes in the city. Most of the best dishes can be found on the streets, on small plastic tables and chairs. Try to eat like a local for an authentic food experience on your travels to Saigon!

Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City? Feel free to read on our Saigon travel stories.

More food journey in Ho Chi Minh City:

Ho Chi Minh Best Food - Crab Rice Noodle Soup

Best Place for Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City

posted in: Vietnam | 0

Last updated on December 4th, 2022

Bun Rieu is a famous Vietnamese crab rice noodle soup. It is one of the most popular and must-eat in Ho Chi Minh City. Get the detail for the best bun rieu in Ho Chi Minh City at Bun Rieu Ganh here.

Ho Chi Minh city is one of the famous Vietnamese food paradises in Vietnam. There are so many local foods to taste when visiting Saigon. During my trip to Saigon, I had a chance to taste so many mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes in the city. Among all the foods I ate in Ho Chi Minh City, the Bun Rieu was one of my favorite noodles dishes.

Many shops and street vendors are selling the Bun Rieu in the HCMC. We tasted our bowl at the Bún riêu Gánh, one of the best and most authentic shops in Saigon.

Read below for the food review for the best Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City.

Bun Rieu (Crab Rice Noodle Soup)

Bun Rieu is a traditional Vietnamese soup noodle with rice noodles. This noodle soup is well known for its signature red color and it comes from the broth which is cooked with a mixture of ingredients such as tomatoes, shrimp paste, and fish sauce. The ingredients are an unusual combination, but the complex mixture of it makes the bowl so delicious. I promise you everyone who tried it loves it.

Plus, the bowl is also featured with the “riêu” or meatballs which are usually made of pork, shrimp, crab, and prawns. Together paired with rice vermicelli noodles, all these ingredients make bowl one of the yummiest things in Vietnamese cuisine.

There are a few different types of bun rieu such as bún riêu cua (minced crab), bún riêu cá (fish), and bún riêu ốc (snail). I had bun rieu cua in Ho Chi Minh City, the version with crab, tomatoes, pork, and some pieces of tofu as well.

Bún riêu Gánh

Bun Rieu Ganh
Bun Rieu Ganh

Bún riêu Gánh is a famously good eatery for the best Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City. The location is excellent and just right beside Ben Thanh market. So it is best to couple together with your HCMC itinerary when visiting the local market.

Preparing for a bowl of Bun Rieu

The Bun Rieu Ganh used to be a street vendor of the past and it moved to a cooler restaurant with more comfortable sitting. Although the eater is missing the “street feeling” vibe, you will be sitting on a plastic stool close to the floor with a small table.

There are always see long snaking lines outside, queueing for a bowl of piping hot bun rieu.

Bún riêu Gánh
Address: 4 Phan Boi Chau District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
Operating Hours: Daily from 7:00 until 19:00.
Price Range: About 55,000 VND for a bowl of Bun Rieu.

My Food Trip to Bun Rieu Ganh

Inside Bun Rieu Ganh

As soon as I approached the Bun Rieu Ganh, I immediately got a whiff that came mixed with a tomatoey and seafood aroma.

The lady owner was sitting in front of the restaurant and continuously serving the bowl to the diners. There was a cauldron, constantly simmering the mixture of ingredients such as crabs, fish, tomatoes, and meatballs. Once received the order, the rice vermicelli noodles were added to the simmering broth and dished out together with all sorts of goodies.

It was truly a beautiful scene to look at.

How To Order

What To Eat in Bun Rieu Ganh

Bun Rieu Ganh only serves one thing here, the “Bun Rieu” noodle soup. The menu is very straightforward with the price listed. You can just point when ordering the food and drink. Fish crackers and snacks are available on the table that you taste while waiting for the food.

Without hesitation, we ordered a bowl of bún riêu cua, the crab version of the dish, and what Bún riêu Gánh is most famous for.

Greens served together with Bun Rieu

The service was prompt and fast. We were first to get a plate of greens, bean sprouts, banana flowers. and the tamarind sauce, to be added to your soup. All looks amazingly good.

My Bowl of Bun Rieu

A Bowl of Bun Rieu - Ho Chi Minh must-eat Food
A Bowl of Bun Rieu – Ho Chi Minh must-eat Food

See my bowl of authentic bun rieu with plenty of healthy ingredients! It comes with crab paste, and hunks of pork, all swimming in a light red-colored tomatoey broth. Awesome food options with plenty of flavors.

Had my first sip of the broth. It was light yet with a well-rounded flavor, so wonderful!

While the rice vermicelli noodles were chewy and tasted good.

Bun Rieu with Vegetables

After a few slurps of noodles and after tasting the slab of crab paste, I added the vegetables and herbs into the bowl. I usually eat half the bowl before adding the tamarind and shrimp paste which turns it into a totally different experience.

The taste is slightly plain after being topped with noodles. I topped it with the tamarind sauce and it turn the broth into another level of flavor. I was completely satisfied!

Best Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City

All in all, I would definitely say that the bun rieu from Bun Rieu Ganh was excellent, with a very flavourful broth. Although I only had little time to eat all the Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City, I truly enjoyed my meal here. It is one of the most satisfying and flavorful bowls of noodles I had in Saigon.

If you want to eat the best Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City, the Bun Rieu Ganh is the place! Piping hot and flavorful, that’s what you want to taste!

Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City? Feel free to read on our Saigon travel stories.

More food journey in Ho Chi Minh City:

Ho Chi Minh Itinerary

Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary: A Saigon Travel Guide Blog

posted in: Vietnam | 0

Last updated on December 4th, 2022

Are you looking for the best travel tips to help plan for your Saigon trip? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this travel guide blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know so that you can plan for the Ho Chi Minh City itinerary and make the most of your trip to HCMC.

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon is the biggest city in Vietnam. The city is exciting with modern and old-world characters. There are so many things to do and hidden gems in the city awaiting you to discover. You will be impressed by the war history, cafe culture, tasty Vietnamese food, and shopping when visiting the HCMC.

When considering what to do in Ho Chi Minh City, it can be a little more challenging on your own. Many first-time visitors will find that there is plenty to keep you busy. But don’t worry! Here, I’m sharing the Ho Chi Minh City itinerary to help you plan your trip. We will show you the amazing attractions, what to expect when visiting, where to stay, and things to do in the city for 1, 2, and even up to 3 days!

This Ho Chi Minh travel guide blog will share with you everything you need to know about visiting the town. Keep reading to find out the best things to do, places to stay, and foods to eat while in Ho Chi Minh City. Read on for a 3-Days Ho Chi Minh City itinerary!

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Blog

To help you plan your trip to Ho Chi Minh, we have compiled a list of attractions, hotels, tours, and other useful information to fit into your Ho Chi Minh itinerary. Be sure to read our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide to have an overview ideal on the city.

Situated in the southeast Vietnam region, Ho Chi Minh is the economic heart of the country and has grown rapidly over the past few decades. The vibrated city is surrounded by the Saigon river and has a population of 12 million making it the biggest city in Vietnam.

In fact, Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon. It was the US base during the Vietnam War until the end of the Vietnamese/American War. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City (often abbreviated as HCMC), to honor the revolutionary leader who had declared independence back in 1945.

HCMC has transformed into a thoroughly modern, thriving metropolis. You’ll find soaring skyscrapers that tower over charming French colonial structures and traditional pagodas that represent the city’s past as well as its future.

Once you’ve decided on visiting the dynamic city, let’s start our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide blog.

How To Get to Ho Chi Minh City

Travelers can arrived to Ho Chi Minh City by flight, trains, or even buses.

The closest airport to Ho Chi Minh is Tan Son Nhat international airport. This Vietnam’s busiest airport welcomes international and domestic to the HCMC and Southern Vietnam region. A cab ride from the airport to the city will cost you around 100,000 VND.

To avoid the taxi scam, we recommended pre-booking your Private Airport Transfer to the city area or hotel.

If you are traveling to Ho Chi Minh City from another destination in Vietnam, it’s easy to get to Ho Chi Minh City by train and bus. Traveling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is a very popular trip to make. Generally, the train will be slightly quicker but often double the price.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide Tips: You may check the best transport options from Bookaway.com to compare various transportation options.

How To Get Around in Ho Chi Minh City

How To Get Around in Ho Chi Minh City

Getting around Ho Chi Minh city is a bit tricky. The city has an extensive and efficient public transportation system but it is not easy for foreign travelers due to the language barrier.

But rest assured. Ho Chi Minh city isn’t that huge and pretty walkable. Most of the tourist highlights are located in District 1, which is considered the heart of the city. Plus, the hailing ride (Grab) is very common and convenient. Just like Uber, download the App to book a ride (Scooter or car) and the price is on the app so you never have to worry about having to pay more than you should!

Pro Tips: We recommended getting around the HCMC by a combination of hailing a ride and on foot to save time and energy! You’ll need your phone to be working for this, so pick up a local SIM card.

Best Time To Visit

Generally speaking, Saigon only has two weather, dry or wet session.

The dry season is run from December and March, and this is also the best time to visit HCMC. The weather is warm and dry during this period. You will have good weather to travel around the city. While the weather is extremely hot and humid from May to October. That the temperature can be up to 34 degree Celsius in June!

While June to September is typhoon season in Southern Vietnam. So be warned of floods or heavy rain that may need to watch out!

Where To Stay

Best Place to stay in HCMC

To plan your visit to HCMC, you’re going to want to think about where is the best place to stay in the city.

For travelers, we highly recommend staying in District 1 or District 3 in Ho Chi Minh City. Many hotels are located directly in District 1 and you can find a wide range of accommodation choices, depending on your budget. While District 3 is cheaper, less crowded, and with better food than District 1.

Here’s my personal recommendation on where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

Best Luxury AccommodationHotel Majestic Saigon
Hotel Majestic Saigon at District 1 is a great choice for luxury stay. This colonial-style 1920 landmark sits in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and overlooks the Saigon River. It offers plenty of modern amenities and yet still retains its French colonial style.

Best Mid-Range AccommodationGreen Star Hotel
Green Star Hotel is the best place to stay if you’re looking for a mid-budget stay in Ho Chi Minh City. The room is simple, and clean and has some amenities that will help you have a comfortable stay.

Best Budget Accommodation9 Hostel and Bar
Our top choice for budget accommodation in HCMC goes to 9 Hostel and Bar. It is a super social hostel that offers sleek dormitory rooms and private guestrooms with free WiFi access. It boasts all the basics and is very comfortable for a short stay in the city.

You can view more accommodation in HCMC here: Where To Stay in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary

Next, it’s time to sample the best the city has to offer! Our Ho Chi Minh itinerary is very flexible and you can freely adjust based on your interest and time.

Here is the best of 3-Days Ho Chi Minh itinerary:

  • Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace.
  • Ben Thanh Market
  • War Remnants Museum
  • Jade Emperor Pagoda
  • Tan Dinh Pink Church
  • Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Saigon Central Post Office
  • Ho Chi Minh City Hall
  • Drink Vietnamese Coffee
  • Enjoy the Street Food
  • Nightlife at Bui Vien Street
  • Aerial City View from the Bitexco Tower
  • Day Trip from Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips: Get the Ho Chi Minh City Hop On Hop Off Pass to see Ho Chi Minh city in a glance! You can explore the sights of Ho Chi Minh City at your own pace on the bus!

Reunification Palace

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Blog - Reunification Palace
Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Blog – Reunification Palace

Also known as the Independence Palace, the Reunification Palace is a great place to know more about Vietnam’s history and sightseeing on your Ho Chi Minh city itinerary.

The historical place made its name in global history in 1975. A tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate, ending the Vietnam War. Today, the palace has been classified as a special national monument by the Vietnamese government.

The Reunification Palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975 and preserved exactly as it was. The building is interesting architecture and the grounds are quite immense. You can see the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked on the grounds. While the building has been well-preserved and it retains the elegant furnishings of the day. Do remember to take your time to explore the place and look out for every corner and walkway so that you wouldn’t miss out on any of the exhibits.

If you are into history or architecture, a visit to the Independence Palace is a must-do in HCMC. Give yourself at least 2 to 3 hours to see the palace on your trip to Saigon. Worth a visit!

Reunification Palace
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghai, District 1.
Operating Hours: Daily from 8:00 to 11:00 and from 13:00 to 16:00.
Admission Fee: 40,000 VND

Pro Tips: We recommended hop-on one of the guided tours if you want to get a bit more out of your visit

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành) is the city’s biggest, most authentic market. It is housed in a building from the early 20th century with almost six thousand tenants inside the building. Apparently, anything and everything that you wanted to buy can be found in Ben Thanh Market. There are plenty of shops selling all sorts of things, from basic supplies, and souvenirs, to food but it is quite similar at the market.

Shopping at Ben Thanh Market

Like most of the Asian market, bargaining is a must to get good buys! Sellers are a little pushy but not too bad. An interesting street shopping in HCMC and worth taking a look at if you are in the mood for some shopping and bargaining.

Ben Thanh Market
Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1.
Operating Hours: Daily from 6:00 to 18:00.
Admission Fee:Free!

War Remnants Museum

Things to do in Saigon - Visit War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh is a must for any visitor to Vietnam to gain perspective on a significant chapter. It is so interesting to find out more about this terrible Vietnam war and will allow you to see things from a different perspective.

Visit The War Remnants Museum - Ho Chi Minh Itinerary
Visit The War Remnants Museum – Ho Chi Minh Itinerary

Start with the outdoor display of military equipment along with all the stories and stats on the grounds. Next, the visitor will see the war through the eyes of photojournalists and the US military in the 3-story museum. Displays are mainly photographs and stories in main themes of the history of the conflict, photojournalists and their roles and sacrifices, war crimes, Agent Orange, and protests. Take some thoughtful time here, it’s intense.

We had an hour to allocate there and it definitely wasn’t enough if you looked at everything. It’s tragic and quite a somber experience. You’ll have mixed feelings but it’s worth it to see what the people of Vietnam went through.

War Remnants Museum
Address: 28 Vo Tan Tan, District 3
Operating Hours: Daily from 7:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00
Admission Fee: 40,000 VND

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh Itinerary - Jade Emperor Pagoda

A great place to visit on Ho Chi Minh itinerary is with the gorgeous Jade Emperor Pagoda in the center of the HCMC.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a lovely temple hidden down an alley off a major roadway. It was built by the Chinese community of Saigon in the 17th century and is still actively visited by locals. The temple is a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Many local people worship here and make offerings of flowers and incense.

Not a must-visit attraction but well worth taking about 30 minutes to see the local culture in Saigon.

Jade Emperor Pagoda
Address: 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1
Operating Hours: Daily from 5:00 to 18:00
Admission Fee: Free!

Tan Dinh Pink Church

Tan Dinh Pink Church

Build in 1786, Tan Dinh Church is the second large church in HCMC. This beautiful pink Church is vintage and another must-see on your Ho Chi Minh itinerary. The architecture is amazing, the French influence can be seen. The bright pink church with Gothic pillars makes for some beautiful photos.

The local landmark is situated in District 3 and a few blocks away from the Jade Emperor Pagoda. It is slightly away but is worth the detour. Right across the street is the Tan Dinh Market where you can have a quick lunch or snack in the market.

Tan Dinh Church
Address: 289 Hai Ba Trung, Ward 8, District 3.
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free (Note: Inside is no open for tourist)

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

From Tan Dinh Church and continue to head south, then you’ll reach another iconic building that is not to be missed on the Ho Chi Minh itinerary. Commonly known as the Church of Saigon, the Notre Dame Cathedral is an important remnant of the French colonial period in Vietnam.

Notre Dame Cathedral was built, between 1863 and 1880, by French Roman Catholics. The neo-romanesque church is built with an all-red brick facade, two outstanding bell towers, six bronze bells, and beautiful stained-glass windows.

Sadly, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral has been undergoing severe restoration works and has been closed to visitors. Still, the church is open for prayer service on Sunday morning at 9:30. However, please take note this is a holy place, and please respect it.

Stroll along and the church still looks decent from the outside! There is a virgin Mary statue out side surrounded by a breathtaking garden. Worth to take a look!

Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office

Continue your visit and walk to the Central Post Office, a popular place on the Ho Chi Minh itinerary for the photo opportunity.

The French-built Central Post Office is a beautiful building housing old telephone boxes and historical pictures that showcase some of HCMC’s colonial heritage. The post office is still functioning and you can write a postcard and send it to someone back home.

Inside the Saigon Central Post Office

A great place to stop by to catch a glimpse of the architecture. There were shops with souvenirs on either side.

Central Post Office
Address: 125 Hai Ba Trung, District 1.
Operating Hours: Daily from 8:00 to 18:00 (Closed at SUnday).
Admission Fee: Free!

Admire the Ho Chi Minh City Hall

Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Ho Chi Minh City Hall

The Ho Chi Minh City Hall is another attractive colonial building to admire whilst in HCMC. Also known as the Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee since 1975, the city hall boasted a classic French colonial design in a two-story structure.

The glamorous building was first constructed as a Hotel de Ville by French architects when it was built in 1908. It now serves as a government office. Unfortunately, the building is not open to the public but it does provide a good photo opportunity for the great view of the building. A good time to visit is after dark when the building is illuminated with LED lighting.

In front of the building is the President Ho Chi Minh Statue and from here you can take some lovely symmetrical photos.

People’s Committee Building
Address: 86 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
Admission Fee: Not open to public.

Drink Vietnamese Coffee

Coffee Culture in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world, so don’t miss to taste Vietnamese coffee when visiting Ho Chi Minh. The city has unique coffee culture and locals love to have a cup of coffee for their social pastime.

The Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a vibrant pedestrian-friendly street lined with cafes, restaurants, and a multitude of shops. Great place to go for an evening stroll, people watch, shop, and enjoy a meal or beverage.

Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary - Drink Vietnamese Coffee

Don’t forget to pick one of the coffee shops to relax during the afternoon when strolling around the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. This pedestrian-friendly street is a great place for a stroll and some quality people-watching. We just randomly pick one of the cafes to taste the Vietnamese coffee.

Cafe Apartment Saigon

Alternatively, one of the coolest places to check out is the Cafe Apartment building near Nguyen Hue Walking Street. This fascinating old 9-story apartment which used to be an old apartment has now been converted into cafés and boutique outlets. Head to one on one of the higher floors for a drink or snack and enjoy the views of the bustling street below and sunsets when they occur.

Pro Tips: Using the old elevator to reach upstairs is a unique experience. You will need to pay for the lift service but if you walk the stairs up, it is free!

Enjoy the Street Food

Enjoy the Street Food - Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh is a food paradise with lots of great restaurants and street vendors for the incredible feast. There are so many delicious dishes in Saigon to experience the eating scene in the city. Don’t miss the banh mi, savory pancakes (banh xeo), broken rice (com tam), and all the tasty Vietnamese cuisine. Eat as much as possible during your Saigon itinerary!

Eat Vietname Food in Saigon itinerary

If you love to experience the local culture, then we can warmly recommend you take a street food tour. Accompanied by a guide, you get to experience the local Vietnamese cuisine specialties.

Recommended food tour: HCMC Private Street Food Tour by Motorbike

Aerial City View from the Bitexco Tower

For the best aerial view of HCMC, head up to the top of the Bitexco Financial Tower. This Saigon observation deck provides a 360-degree view over the city. You can take a look around and see the city in all directions or have a drink at the rooftop bar to enjoy the moment.

Get the Saigon Skydeck Admission Ticket at Discounted Price

Plus, the Skydeck does a great job on all aspects of its presentation with plenty of photo opportunities. Visitors can also learn about some interesting history from the mini-exhibition on Vietnamese fashion, the construction of the tower as well as the city itself. A fun place to spend an hour on your Ho Chi Minh itinerary. Worth a stop!

Bitexco Financial Tower
Address: 36 Ho Tung Mau Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
Operating Hours: Daily from 8:00 to 23:00.
Admission Fee: VND 200,000 for adults and VND 130,000 for children, seniors and handicapped persons.

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Tips: It is best to visit Bitexco Financial Tower in the late afternoon, so you can see the lights of the city change from day to night, and then the city lights come on.

Nightlife at Bui Vien Street

Nightlife at Bui Vien Street

End your Ho Chi Minh itinerary at Bui Vien Street. Lined with endless hostels, bars, pubs, bars, and souvenir shops, the lively Bui Vien street is one of the wild streets for nightlife in HCMC.

The street is very intense and busy during the night. With cheap drinks and meals, there are a variety of venues to choose from, from flash bars to simple old Saigon-style street bars sitting on the footpath. Great place if you are looking to part through the night in Saigon.

Overall, Bui Vien has a great vibe if you’re looking for some nightlife or hanging out with close friends. It’s busy and certainly not for everyone but an experience if you are looking to party. Be aware of the pickpocket as you walk down the street.

Day Trip from Ho Chi Minh City

HCMC is a perfect base for traveling around the south of Vietnam. Apart from the main tourist attractions in the city, many attractions are best to plan for a day trip from Ho Chi Minh city. Among them, the Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta are the most popular day trip from Ho Chi Minh that highly recommend to you.

Cu Chi Tunnels is a must-do in your Ho Chi Minh itinerary. This historical landmark is one of Vietnam’s war-related sights. During your visit, it will take you to a turbulent time in Vietnamese history and show you how the Vietcong fought from the tunnels and the traps they laid for the American soldiers. It is situated about 2 hours drive from the HCMC and is best to visit with a half-day tour.

Read for more tour detail: Cu Chi Tunnels from HCM City (Morning or Afternoon)

Mekong Delta offers visitors the opportunity to view vast agricultural landscapes and a unique ecosystem that acts as the major food source for Vietnam. The most popular way is to get on a traditional rowing boat, and the winding river snakes will bring you to experience Vietnam’s natural beauty around as it goes.

Read for more tour detail: Mekong Delta Guided Tour from HCMC

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips: We would highly recommend to take the guided tour to visit these two most interesting places around HCMC with transport arrangements included. You can make the most out of it if you have limited amount of time in HCMC.

Recommended Tour: Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP Day Tour (Transfers by Limo)

Planning on Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary

How many days for Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary

If you are asking how many days for Ho Chi Minh? I would suggest spending at least 3 full days are needed to get a taste of Saigon city. Let’s have a quick overall on what to do in if you only have 1, 2, or 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary!

On the first day of Ho Chi Minh itinerary, I will recommend spending your time seeing some of the city’s highlights and landmarks. By visiting those attractions in Saigon, you’ll be able to get a feel for the city before exploring further. Start your day in the morning and visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, Tan Dinh Pink Church, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, and Ho Chi Minh City Hall. During the day, you can simply be walking over to the Ben Thanh Market for lunch or hoop into one of the cafes for a cup of Vietnamese coffee. End your day at Bui Vien Street for dinner.

On the second day of your Ho Chi Minh itinerary, you will learn about Vietnamese history by visiting the city. You can pick up whatever is left from the first day and continue the visit to the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. End your second day with an aerial city View from the Bitexco Tower.

On your last day of the Ho Chi Minh itinerary, take a guided tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta with hassle-free!

Pro Tips: HCMC is extremely rich in history and culture, and you could easily spend a week exploring Vietnam’s history city and checking out some of the city’s most important landmarks and food culture!

More Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide Tips

How many days for Ho Chi Minh City?

Generally, we recommend staying at least three days in Ho Chi Minh. That way you have enough time to see the main attractions in HCMC for 2 days and add one more day for a day trip to nearby attractions.

Is Ho Chi Minh City worth visiting?

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the definitive must-visit destinations for international travelers to Vietnam. Visitors can travel back to the old Saigon time by visiting plenty of colonial-era attractions!

Is it better to visit Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi?

Both cities are vibrant and good to visit, depending on what are you looking for. The HCMC is rich in Vietnamese historical while Hanoi provides a more cultural Vietnamese experience.

Overview: A Visit to Ho Chi Minh City

All in all, Ho Chi Minh City is an exciting, vibrant city with a rich history. It’s no wonder that it attracts tourists from all over the world. The main challenging part of your Ho Chi Minh City adventure is to plan your perfect Ho Chi Minh itinerary. And we do hope our travel guide can help make your trip more enjoyable. Learn about Vietnam’s history, explore its iconic landmarks, and enjoy the best nightlife, you’ll feel in love with HCMC!

Lastly, I hope you have such a unique experience in HCMC that you will never forget it! If you need more travel inspiration for Vietnam, here you can find all our travel stories about this wonderful country!

More travel stories in Ho Chi Minh City:

Traveling to Northern Vietnam:

Traveling to Central Vietnam: