Saigon is Vietnam’s largest city and it has a lot to offer tourists. From historical landmarks to delicious food, there is something for everyone in Saigon. Here are 13 things you should do if you find yourself in this vibrant city.
1. Take a Cruise on the Saigon River
photo: Pew Nguyen
The Saigon River is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Many different cruise companies offer a variety of tour options, so you can choose the one that best suits your interests. Whether you want to take a leisurely ride or go on an exciting adventure, there is a cruise for you.
2. Explore Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War as hiding spots and supply routes. Today, they are open to tourists who want to experience what life was like for those who lived in the tunnels. You can even crawl through them if you’re feeling brave!
3. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
This beautiful church was built in 1880 and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Saigon. The church is considered one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect place to go.
photo: Georgios Domouchtsidis
Bui Vien Street is the heart of Saigon’s nightlife scene. If you’re looking for a place to party, this is it. There are a variety of bars and clubs to choose from, so you can find the perfect place to dance the night away.
5. Take a walk on Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a pedestrian-only street that is perfect for a leisurely stroll. The street is lined with trees and it’s a great place to people-watch. You’ll also find some of the best shopping in the city here.
6. Take photos at Bach Dang Wharf Park
Bach Dang Wharf Park is one of many beautiful green open spaces in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). In addition to being an important historical landmark, Bach Dang Wharf Park is a nice place to escape the chaos of urban Vietnam. You can grab lunch at the restaurant, enjoy the sandy shores, learn about the history of the wharf, walk on the newly added promenade, and much more.
7. Visit Jade Emperor Pagoda
The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a Taoist temple that was built in 1909. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Saigon, and it’s easy to see why. The pagoda is incredibly ornate and it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens.
8. Try street food
Saigon is famous for its street food, and you’ll find some of the best in the city. From pho to banh mi, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to try a little bit of everything so you can experience the true flavor of Saigon.
9. Visit the Central Post Office
photo: Sandip Joy
The Central Post Office is one of the most iconic buildings in Saigon. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel, and it’s a great example of French Colonial architecture. The post office is still in use today, so you can send a postcard to your friends and family back home.
10. Explore Chinatown
Saigon’s Chinatown is a great place to explore. You’ll find a variety of Chinese temples, shops, and restaurants. Make sure to try some of the traditional Chinese food, and don’t forget to bargain with the shopkeepers!
11. Visit Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House is a beautiful example of French Colonial architecture. It was built in 1900 and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The opera house is still in use today, so you might be able to catch a performance if you’re lucky.
12. Check out the view from Saigon Skydeck
photo: The Dang
The Saigon Skydeck is the perfect place to get a bird’s eye view of the city. It’s located on the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower, and it’s the highest observation deck in Southeast Asia. If you’re afraid of heights, this might not be the place for you.
13. Take a day trip to Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a boat ride through the murky waters, visit a floating market, and see how the locals live. Just make sure to avoid tourist traps and you’ll have a great time.
These are just some of the things you can do if you find yourself in Saigon. There is truly something for everyone in this vibrant city. So whether you’re interested in history or prefer to take it easy, be sure to add these 13 activities to your Saigon itinerary.