Ho Chi Minh City is a wonderful city, full of life, culture, and history.
It also has a significant number of tourist attractions for all you travellers passing through.
We will cover what we think are the Top 5 Ho Chi Minh City Attractions.
So if you’re here for a few days and don’t know what to do, this list is perfect for you.
#1 – Bui Vien / Bùi Viện
Ahhh… Bui Vien…
The infamous walking street where you can get up to all sorts of no good.
This is a place full of bars, clubs and… Massage parlours … But I won’t get into the latter subject.
The bars and clubs are usually full of a mix of westerners and locals.
Loud music plays all night until the early hours and you can find all sorts of legal and not so legal items to consume.
My personal favourite place to club in Bui Vien is Miss Sài Gòn Pub.
It’s about halfway up the street in what I would call the “centre”.
You can’t miss it, you’ll hear the booming music and see the flashing lights from afar. It features a huge dance floor, lots of seating, and an upstairs section with a balcony with a view of the entire street.
The drinks are a little pricy, but that’s because it’s a more top-end place on the street.
Overall, Bui Vien takes the spot as number 1 for Ho Chi Minh City Attractions because it’s considered Backpacker Central.
You will find everything to your heart’s desire in this street, and some things you will regret… Especially your wallet.
Oh and speaking of your wallet, watch your pockets, thieves are everywhere.
#2 – Nguyen Hue / Nguyễn Huệ (Walking Street)
Nguyen Hue, another walking street, a much more high class version compared to Bui Vien.
This is where you come to enjoy a more peaceful street to walk and explore without having to worry about being harassed or suddenly clipped by a bike whizzing down the street.
Nguyen Hue is spotless and modern, with a selection of beautiful cafes and shop fronts lining each side. In addition, there are dedicated crossings with traffic lights (no need to pray before stepping out) and lots of fancy restaurants / bars to choose from.
Throughout the day are several performances from locals in and around Nguyen Hue: from human statues to dancing and singing.
All the typical busking you might see in other large cities.
My single personal favourite is the vast number of restaurants situated in the Cafe Apartment buildings. You can sit by the balcony sipping a cup of Caphe Sua Da (Vietnamese Milk Coffee) while having your evening meal with a view of the street below. It’s a perfect place to take a breather before deciding on your next destination.
If you go on the weekend in the daytime, you’ll often have bigger performances and games running all over the place.
It’s much more family friendly, but if you’re up for getting the kid inside yourself out and about, it can be a fun day.
#3 – War Remnants Museum
If you’ve come to Ho Chi Minh City and want more historical attractions, then you might want to consider The War Remnants Museum.
It’s a constant reminder of the harsh past of Vietnam, a history with a vast array of atrocities committed. The Vietnamese are a proud and strong people, and they have had to be!
The museum mostly covers the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.
The war was mainly about the American supported South vs North Vietnam’s Vietcong.
As we all know, the south lost the war, and it was a huge defeat for America with the North prevailing as the victor – uniting the country as we know it today: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Dotted around the outside of the compound are many military vehicles – these range from tanks, humvees, helicopters to fighter jets.
You can take as many pictures as you like and purchase a few items as souvenirs.
It’s also very close to the Independence Palace, so doing these all in one day will give you an excellent overview of the troubled history of Vietnam
#4 – Independence Palace
The Independence Palace is a place of great significance to the people of Vietnam since it’s where the war ended in 1975.
It opens from 8am to 4pm most days, for up-to-date information, have a look at their google maps page.
On the 30th April 1975, tanks rolled over the grass surrounding the building as the people tried to flee in the helicopter on the roof. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War, and gave way to the Vietnam we see today.
As well as being a historical landmark, it’s a beautiful building with a lot of architectural beauty and tons of camera opportunities.
I’d recommend going to this right after the war museum and spend a couple of hours exploring the site.
#5 – Bitexco Financial Tower
I love this place.
This is one of the gems of the city. It’s like The Shard in London.
You have the Saigon Sky Deck at floor 49, this is where you can view the entire city with spectacular views.
It’s a 360 degree view point with information points telling you what each angle has to offer.
It’s definitely the highlight of the tower.
You also have the option of heading to EON cafe on the floor above (floor 50)
The price is rather high, but for the view, it’s worth the price.
I mean, you don’t go to somewhere like Bitexco and not expect to pay a little extra.
Other than that, the cafe is an amazing place for relaxing and eating delicious food.
Obviously you’d want a window seat, and it’s definitely worth it, especially
if you catch wonderful weather at a sunset.
The next floor up, floor 51, is the bar / fine dining.
It’s a typical bar in my opinion, a delightful place and definitely worth it for a onetime experience.
My 2nd favourite experience at Bitexco is the Heineken Tour.
At the ground floor when buying your ticket, you’ll be asked to if you want to go on the Tour, I’d recommend it.
Give yourself an 30-60 minutes of viewing time on 360 viewing point at least before your allocated slot for the tour and you’ll need to arrive 10 minutes early.
On the tour, you’ll be shown all about Heineken, where it’s from, why it’s so good and all the history.
It’s a fun experience, you get to play some games, they have a race car simulator, mini football and a few other activities.
At the end you’ll get to learn how to pour Heineken properly and get given a variety of different Heineken flavours to try.
As you leave, you’ll be given a personalise Heineken bottle with your name engraved on it.
Considering the price of less than the $10 for the entry fee and being given 3-4 drinks for free.
They are definitely losing money on this.
But… I drink Heineken now… So maybe not!
There are many more Ho Chi Minh City Attractions, but these are what I would aim to do if you’re here for a few days only.
Would love to hear what you think of this list, leave a comment and if you have recommendations, let us know!
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Hope to see you in Ho Chi Minh City someday, come say hi if you do!