Where should I live?
So you’ve decided to call Saigon your new home, but you’re not sure how to get started? We’ve got you covered in this guide to finding apartments for rent in Saigon.
This involves two steps. Firstly, you’ll need to decide on the location.
Picking the right neighborhood can change the way you see Vietnam. If you pick an area popular with the locals, you’ll find something more affordable for yourself, as well as be able to see a side of Vietnam that often goes unexplored.
This is the route that I took in my first year of living in Saigon. While it provided me with some interesting insights into Vietnamese culture, my experiences weren’t entirely positive.
The novelty of being a foreigner in such a neighborhood can get quite draining, especially with motorbike drivers stopping near you and asking you if you want a ride every few minutes.
Infrastructure is also an issue, and the language barrier can also prove to be frustrating at times. My experience won’t be the same for everyone, but expats typically enjoy a less hectic lifestyle in the districts down below:
This is a popular choice for its established infrastructure and already thriving expat community. You’ll find plenty of activity centers here for rock-climbing, trampolining, and skate boarding. Saigon Outcast, a rock climbing centre and bar (I know, strange combination), is a treasure that has no rival across Saigon for fun activities. International restaurants and cafes, as well as other amenities, will also help make your stay a pleasant one.
In addition to an abundance on activities to try out, it also has the best selection of international schools in the city. If you’re planning to teach here, this would definitely be a major bonus.
There are some downsides, District 2 has a reputation for having awful roads. Thao Dien in particular has roads that look like a hurricane had swept through. Poor drainage also mean that heavy rain quickly leads to floods. This concession is a small price to pay for one of Saigon’s best developed neighbourhoods, and you’re likely to enjoy your stay thanks to what’s on offer.
The Hollywood of Vietnam, District 7 welcomes you with its fresh air and wide roads. Saigon traffic jams barely exist in District 7, unless you’re having to travel into a central district.
Similar to district 2, the expat community is strong here. The community consists mainly of Koreans and Japanese, so you’ll be able to treat yourself to their countries’ delicacies across the neighbourhood.
For a busier vibe, head to Phu My Hung. Here you’ll find a selection of Korean and Japanese restaurants to try, thanks to the international communities here.
Skyrise apartment buildings have cropped up here over the last few years, providing luxurious options for expats.
How to Find Apartments to Rent in Saigon?
There are a number of helpful websites for finding apartments for rent in Saigon. We would recommend using Airbnb, Facebook Groups and Expat.com. These are free to use, though each offer their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
This is my personal favourite way to find a new flat. The advantage of using Airbnb is that you can search for properties using a map. You can search according to your budget and your specific requirements.
Once you extend the duration of your stay beyond a month, a new discounted monthly price will be shown. A rating system lets you see how well your host has taken care of previous guests, so there’s also less of a risk that you’ll have ongoing issues when you choose your new home.
There’s also less of a commitment when going with Airbnb because you aren’t usually locked into a contract. Decide that Saigon or your area isn’t for you? Leave the following month. Having used this method personally, I can’t recommend this method strongly enough – especially if you’re still deciding whether you’ll live in Vietnam for a short or long period of time.
There are plenty of Facebook groups that advertise properties. There tend to be fewer tools for finding apartments according to specific locations, but it’s easier to find people who want to find someone to flatshare with.
However, it’s easy for property owners to contact you based on your requirements. Simply post to the groups about your desired district, price, and other requirements, and someone will likely message you soon after.
Another upside is that there may be more room to negotiate for lower prices.
Another popular option is expat.com which, as you would expect, caters towards expats. Finding long term accommodation can be quite easy here. And all properties will be available for long term rents, meaning that the selection here will be far better than the ones offered by both Airbnb and Facebook.
Found your Apartment to rent in Saigon? Take a look at our guide on things to do in Saigon.