Saigon travel is a popular topic for tourists visiting Vietnam, as the city boasts a diverse range of attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City, is the most populated city in Vietnam, followed by Hanoi, the capital city. A significant proportion of foreign visitors to Vietnam arrive in Saigon, which is in the country’s southern region.
What makes this metropolis the most well-liked travel destination in the country? Let us walk you through an exciting Saigon travel as we explore the attractions and hidden treasures of this vibrant, energetic, and cosmopolitan city.
In this article, we will cover the reasons why tourists love to visit Saigon, the best time to visit the city, then we will go through the highlighted destinations and experiences in Saigon. Helpful tips and information as well as how to choose accommodation in Saigon will also be shared.
- 1 Saigon Travel Guide: A Brief History and Must-See Attractions
- 2 Why do tourists love to visit Saigon?
- 3 Best time to visit Saigon
- 4 Highlighted Destinations and Experiences in Saigon
- 4.1 Coffee culture in Saigon
- 4.2 Exploring the diverse culinary culture of Saigon
- 4.3 Famous Landmarks that cannot be missed
- 4.4 Independence Palace
- 4.5 The War Remnant Museum
- 4.6 The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
- 4.7 The Saigon Central Post Office
- 4.8 Ben Thanh Market
- 4.9 Binh Tay Market
- 4.10 Experiencing the vibrant nightlife in high-end bars and clubs
- 5 Accommodation and transportation
- 6 Helpful tips and information
- 7 Conclusion
Saigon Travel Guide: A Brief History and Must-See Attractions
Due to the numerous ethnic groups that have inhabited the region over the centuries, Saigon has a rich history and culture. The city can be considered a “salad bowl” with its cultural and historical diversity.
The Khmer people, who founded the Kingdom of Funan in the first century AD, are the first known occupants of the area. In the 17th century, the Vietnamese Nguyen Dynasty took over the rule of the area.
Saigon served as both the nation’s capital and a key battleground during the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh City was given its name by the North Vietnamese government when the country reunited in 1975.
Today, Saigon is a thriving metropolis however, modern influences coexist with traditional Vietnamese culture and the population of the city is diversified with numerous racial and religious groups coexisting here.
Why do tourists love to visit Saigon?
Saigon is a vibrant, multifaceted city that offers tourists a distinctive fusion of history, culture, cuisine, nightlife, and shopping. For everyone visiting Vietnam, it is a must-see location. Besides, visitors to Saigon may anticipate being greeted with open arms because Vietnamese people are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality.
The stunning architecture of Saigon is a direct result of the city’s long history of French domination. Tourist attractions include the Central Post Office and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, both of which are exquisite specimens of French colonial architecture.
With everything from rooftop bars and nightclubs to street food vendors and night markets, Saigon offers a vibrant and diversified nightlife scene. Tourists can enjoy some of the delectable local cuisines and experience the vigor and excitement of the city after dark.
The exquisite food of Saigon, which combines French, Chinese, and Vietnamese influences, is well-known. From popular street foods like banh mi and pho to more expensive eateries serving contemporary Vietnamese cuisine, tourists may try a variety of cuisines.
With everything from upscale boutiques and department stores to bustling street markets, Saigon is a shopper’s delight. Everything from trendy clothing and technology to traditional handicrafts and souvenirs can be purchased by tourists.
Best time to visit Saigon
Tourists can visit the city at any time of the year however, the best time should be in the dry season, which is from December to April next year. It’s a terrific time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions and take advantage of its exciting nightlife because the weather is pleasant and there is typically less rain during this period.
Saigon’s rainy season lasts from May to November, with July and September seeing the worst downpours. While the city can still be fun at this time, spending a lot of time outside in the rain and humidity can be uncomfortable.
It is also important to keep in mind that Saigon may get very busy and packed during the peak travel season, which lasts from December to February and again from July to August. Consider going in the shoulder seasons of March through May or September through November if you wish to avoid the crowds.
Highlighted Destinations and Experiences in Saigon
Coffee culture in Saigon
Saigon’s lifestyle is heavily influenced by coffee culture, and there are coffee shops and tea rooms on practically every corner of the city.
Since the introduction of coffee to Vietnam during the French colonial era, the city has had a long history of producing and consuming coffee.
Saigon has a thriving coffee culture today, with a distinctive fusion of traditional and modern coffee shops and tea rooms.
“Cafe sua da” an iced coffee that is sweet and creamy and is created with condensed milk, is one of the most popular coffee beverages in Saigon. This beverage is popular both among locals and tourists and is available in practically all of the city’s coffee shops.
The interiors of Saigon’s coffee shops and cafes are renowned for being distinctive and imaginative, with many of them showcasing colonial-style architecture and vintage furnishings. Visitors can unwind in inviting cafes, sophisticated coffee shops, or rooftop bars, each with a distinctive mood and vibe.
Along with cafe sua da, Vot coffee is a well-known coffee beverage in Saigon, which is a traditional and genuine method of brewing coffee. Vot coffee is a traditional Vietnamese coffee preparation technique that includes dripping hot water through coffee grounds through a cloth filter to obtain a rich and aromatic brew.
The coffee is carefully and slowly brewed, generating a rich, flavorful cup that can be sipped either black or with condensed milk. For coffee enthusiasts and anyone searching for an authentic and traditional coffee experience in Saigon, Cafe Vot is a must-visit location.
The cafe’s distinctive method of brewing coffee and welcoming atmosphere make a remarkable and pleasurable experience that should not be missed.
Saigon’s coffee shops and cafeterias serve a wide range of other coffee beverages, such as espresso, cappuccino, and drip coffee made in the country of Vietnam.
Coffee shops are common sites to go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because many of them offer food, which can range from simple snacks to substantial meals.
The dynamic and vibrant lifestyle of the city is embodied in Saigon’s coffee culture, with coffee shops and tea rooms providing a special fusion of tradition and innovation.
Saigon’s coffee shops and cafes are a must-visit location for anybody visiting the city, whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or just want a cozy place to relax.
Exploring the diverse culinary culture of Saigon
In the position of the largest city in Vietnam, Saigon is known for its bustling and diversified culinary scene, which is a reflection of the city’s cosmopolitan vibe and rich cultural legacy.
Due to its history of French colonialism and its status as a significant hub for international trade and tourism, the city’s cuisine is a distinctive fusion of traditional Vietnamese foods with cosmopolitan influences.
Pho is one of the most popular dishes in Saigon. It is a filling soup prepared with rice noodles, beef or chicken, and a variety of herbs and spices that is one of Saigon’s most well-known dishes. Everybody visiting Saigon must sample pho, which can be found practically everywhere in the city, from street vendors to upscale eateries.
Banh mi, a Vietnamese-style sandwich made with a crispy baguette, meat or tofu, vegetables, and a range of sauces and condiments, is another well-liked food in Saigon.
Apart from Pho and Banh mi, Com tam is also a must-try dish in Saigon.
Com tam commonly referred to as broken rice is a popular and mouth-watering dish in Saigon and all of Vietnam.
The dish is created with broken rice grains, which are typically regarded as being of poorer quality because they are shorter and wider than conventional rice grains.
Broken rice, on the other hand, is more reasonably priced and has a distinctive texture that makes it a favorite among locals.
Several toppings such as pickled vegetables, cucumber, and tomato are frequently included with com tam along with grilled pork, a fried egg, and other ingredients.
Fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, garlic, and other ingredients are used to marinade the pork, giving it a sweet and savory flavor.
Saigon is renowned for its delicious seafood, which is freshly harvested from the coastal waters of the South China Sea, in addition to pho and banh mi. Restaurants and seafood markets in the area serve a variety of seafood meals, such as grilled shrimp and squid, steamed fish, and seafood hotpots.
Saigon’s street food culture, with vendors and stalls that can be found on almost every corner of the city, is one of the distinguishing characteristics of its cuisine. Visitors can try a variety of street foods, such as banh trang nuong, grilled meats, noodle meals, and sweets (grilled rice paper with toppings).
With a special combination of traditional Vietnamese cuisines, multinational flavors, and street food culture, Saigon’s cuisine is a reflection of the city’s vibrant and dynamic lifestyle and is sure to delight and satisfy any food enthusiast. No matter what kind of cuisine you prefer—fine dining or street food—Saigon has a vast selection of amazing flavors and dishes to offer.
Famous Landmarks that cannot be missed
The Independence Palace often referred to as the Reunification Palace, is a well-known site in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and a significant historical marker for Vietnam. The palace, which served as the South Vietnamese president’s house until the end of the Vietnam War, was constructed in the 1960s.
The palace features a distinctive and eye-catching design that combines modernism and conventional Vietnamese architectural styles. Its majesty and beauty are enhanced by the magnificent gardens and fountains that surround it.
Explore the Independence Palace’s numerous chambers and hallways, which have been meticulously restored to resemble those from the time of the Vietnam War. The President’s office, the banquet space, and the communications hub are highlights.
For everyone interested in the history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, the Independence Palace should be seen. It provides a fascinating look into the nation’s history, independence struggle, and rich cultural legacy. Visitors may find a tour guide in a Sai Gon tour better help them to experience this historical monument.
The War Remnant Museum
The Vietnam War and its effects on Vietnam and its people are documented in the War Remnants Museum in Saigon, formerly known as the “Museum of American War Crimes. It is one of the city’s most well-liked tourist destinations, attracting tourists from all over the world.
The museum is home to a variety of images, relics, and displays that give a vivid and frequently terrifying narrative of the battle. The use of Agent Orange and other poisons, the consequences of bombing on populations, and the experiences of POWs and political detainees are all covered in the exhibits.
The outdoor display of military equipment, including tanks, aircraft, and helicopters employed in the conflict, is one of the most prominent exhibits. Anybody interested in the history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War must visit this location. It serves as a somber yet crucial reminder of the Vietnam War’s continuing impacts. Various Sai Gon tours offer tourists a guide to visit the museum.
The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
Located in the heart of Saigon is a Catholic cathedral called the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, also referred to as the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. One of the city’s most prominent landmarks is the cathedral, which was constructed in the late 19th century by French colonists.
The cathedral has twin bell towers that soar beyond 58 meters in height and was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style. The cathedral’s red brick facade, which was constructed using supplies imported from France, is one of its most distinctive features.
Daily masses are still held in the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral in both French and Vietnamese. It is also a well-liked destination where people go to see the architecture and learn about its history. A stunning and significant monument, the Cathedral provides a window into the city’s colonial past and its lasting cultural heritage. Foreign visitors normally go to the Cathedral on their own; however, going with a guide on a Sai Gon tour is unquestionably a great experience.
The Saigon Central Post Office
In the center of the city, close to Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, is where you’ll find the Saigon Central Post Office. Impressive interior elements include lofty ceilings, elaborate ironwork, and a spacious center hall. Maps and murals that portray Vietnam’s history and culture are hung on the post office’s walls. If you are not confident enough to visit the post office on your own, you can take a Sai Gon tour which provides visitors with a guide with great service.
Even though it is still a functioning post office, it is now a famous tourist attraction where people come to see the architecture and learn about the history.
The Saigon Central Post Office is a stunning and significant monument that provides a singular and intriguing window into the colonial past of the city. Anybody visiting Saigon should make sure to go there.
Ben Thanh Market
One of Ho Chi Minh City’s most well-known markets, Ben Thanh Market is a favorite hangout for both locals and visitors. Being a modest trading port on the Saigon River in the 17th century, the market has a lengthy and fascinating history.
The Ben Thanh Market of today is a humming indoor market that is open every day from early dawn until late at night. The market is home to hundreds of merchants selling a variety of products, including street food, fresh fruit, jewelry, apparel, and souvenirs.
For those wishing to purchase traditional Vietnamese handicrafts including lacquerware, silk, and pottery, Ben Thanh Market is a popular choice. Shopping in Ben Thanh Market is enjoyable and engaging because customers can barter with merchants to get the best deal. Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Saigon.
Binh Tay Market
One of Saigon’s biggest and most well-known markets is Binh Tay Market, commonly referred to as Cho Lon Market (Ho Chi Minh City).
The market is found in the neighborhood of Cholon, which is well-known for having a sizable Chinese community and cultural legacy.
The market’s food court, which serves a range of Vietnamese and Chinese foods, is one of its most famous sections. Visitors can try regional favorites including banh mi and pho, as well as roasted meats and dim sum prepared in the Chinese way.
Any visitor to Saigon should make time to visit Binh Tay Market. It is a fantastic place to shop, eat, and explore and offers a fascinating and lively window into the local way of life.
Experiencing the vibrant nightlife in high-end bars and clubs
Visitors to Saigon can choose from a variety of intriguing and active nightlife venues. Apart from The Bui Vien Walking Street, here are some of Saigon’s most popular nightlife spots:
Bui Vien Walking Street: Bui Vien Walking Street located in the heart of Saigon, is a vibrant and lively pedestrian street. The street is a well-liked hangout for both locals and tourists because it is dotted with stores, pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs.
With merchants selling street food, souvenir, and clothing as well as performers demonstrating their skills on the street, Bui Vien Walking Street is renowned for its vibrant and upbeat environment.
With neon lights illuminating the walkways and music pouring from the pubs and clubs, the Boulevard is especially busy at night. Bars and clubs can be found on the street; they provide everything from live music to DJ sets and karaoke.
In the center of Saigon, visitors can partake in inexpensive cocktails, socialize with other travelers, and dance the night away.
Bui Vien Walking Street is a must-see location for everyone who wants to see Saigon’s vibrant and active side.
Rooftop bars: Cool Skybar, Glow Skybar, and Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar are just a few of the rooftop bars in Saigon that offer breathtaking views of the city skyline.
Nightclubs: Saigon boasts a variety of nightclubs that appeal to various musical and ambiance preferences. The most well-known clubs include Envy Club, Apocalypse Now, and Lush Nightclub.
Street food: At night time, Saigon’s street food scene comes to life with a variety of mouthwatering snacks and dinners being sold by a large number of street vendors and food stalls. Nguyen Thuong Hien Street and Vinh Khanh Street are two well-known locations for street cuisine.
Venues for live music: Saigon is home to a variety of live music venues, from small jazz bars to enormous concert halls. Sax n’ Art Jazz Club, Saigon Opera House, and Hard Rock Café Saigon are a few well-known venues.
Accommodation and transportation
Saigon provides a wide selection of lodging options to fit various preferences and budgets, including luxury hotels, guesthouses, and reasonably priced hostels.
Depending on the type of accommodation and the location, the typical cost of accommodation in Saigon might vary widely. Accommodations in the city center may offer higher prices.
The best choices for group travelers can be serviced apartments or vacation rentals. A bed in a dormitory-style room at a cheap hostel in Saigon can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per night whilst guesthouses and homestays normally cost $15 to $40 per night in Saigon’s guesthouses and homestays.
A normal room at a mid-range hotel in Saigon might cost anything from $40 to $100 per night for a private bathroom and minimal facilities. While some of the most luxurious and high-end hotels in Saigon can cost hundreds of dollars per night, luxury hotels can cost as much as $100 per night.
There are several ways to get around Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), including walking, motorbikes or scooter, taxis, and public transportation.
A Sai Gon tour with a guide should be a great option as well. In Saigon, motorbikes are a common mode of transportation since they are convenient and flexible while it offers tourists fresh air in the humid weather of Saigon.
You can rent a motorcycle taxi by using a ride-hailing app like Grab or Gojek, or you can rent a motorcycle from one of the many rental shops in the city. Motorbikes rental price depends on the type of motorbike as well as the location of the rental shop.
Automatic scooters cost anywhere from $5 – $15 per day while manual motorbikes may cost around $10 – $25 per day. Some popular rental shops include Tigit Motorbikes, RentABike, MotorVina Saigon Scooter Centre, and Phung Motorbike Rental.
In Saigon, taxis are extensively accessible and a practical means of transportation. You can order a taxi on the street or through ride-hailing applications like Grab or Gojek. Some popular taxi brands are Vinasun Taxi and Mai Linh taxi.
Buses are also very popular in Saigon with over 150 routes that cover most parts of the city. The routes are numbered and color-coded, making it easy to identify the right bus to take. The cost of a bus fare in Saigon is normally between 5,000 and 7,000 VND, which is relatively cheap.
In Saigon, bicycles are a common mode of transportation and a great way to view the city. Cyclos are three-wheeled, bicycle-powered vehicles that can be rented for short tours or city mobility.
Helpful tips and information
It is important to book accommodation and flight tickets in advance when making travel plans for Saigon to get the best deals. Here are some guidelines to follow when making reservations for accommodation and flights:
Find the finest airlines and lodging alternatives for your trip to Saigon by conducting research. Search for specials and discounts that can enable you to save money. To receive the best deals and availability, try to book your travel arrangements at least a few months in advance.
Utilize online booking services: To compare costs and discover the best offers, use online booking services like Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda.
Think about the hotel or hostel’s location and amenities before making your reservation. Find accommodation with the features you require, like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and breakfast, that is convenient to the destinations you intend to visit.
It is usually advised to reserve tours and transportation with trustworthy businesses and to check customer reviews before doing so. You may guarantee a secure and comfortable experience while visiting Saigon by making a reservation with a reputable company.
In conclusion, as a result of its colonial heritage and involvement in the Vietnam War, Saigon has a long-winded and complicated history. To discover more about the city’s interesting history and culture, visitors can explore its numerous museums, landmarks, and cultural locations. A Sai Gon tour is certainly not a bad choice to explore the hidden gems of this wonderful city.
Saigon is renowned for its dynamic and varied food, which incorporates the culinary traditions of the Vietnamese, Chinese, and French. Guests can sample a variety of delectable foods.
With a variety of marketplaces, malls, and boutiques selling everything from high-end clothing to traditional handicrafts, Saigon is a shopper’s dream. Tourists can bargain with vendors, peruse neighborhood artisan markets, and find distinctive mementos to take home.
Saigon’s architectural landscape is distinctive and eye-catching, with a variety of designs that range from French colonial to modernist. To appreciate the city’s varied and unique architecture, visitors can explore the city’s numerous sites and structures.
Overall, Saigon is a vibrant, interesting city that has a lot to offer tourists. Saigon has something to offer everyone, regardless of their interests in history, culture, food, nightlife, shopping, or architecture. Saigon is a great starting point for trips to the Mekong Delta and surrounding coastal towns. Saigon is a must-visit location for anybody visiting Vietnam because of its hospitable people, fascinating history, and dynamic culture.