Ho Chi Minh City itinerary : What to do and see in 1,2,3 days?

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s commercial and biggest city, and it is a site where old and contemporary coexist in stark contrast. Moreover, people fall in love with this city because of the energetic lifestyle it offers. The Vietnamese people call it :” The city that never sleep”

Ho Chi Minh City- The city that never sleep

Ho Chi Minh City- The city that never sleep

To fully enjoy Sai Gon ( the old name of Ho Chi Minh City), you must spend months or years here to get the vibe. But to visit all the top destinations, you just need a short itinerary. And here is the detailed guide for you.

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City

Unlike Hanoi, the weather in Saigon is not that unpredictable. However, the rainy season here can turn your plan to nothing. Although it will rain strongly practically every afternoon during this period, the rain will be brief and will dissipate fast. Especially in October, there will be extreme tides which may cause severe floods. It makes traveling from one place to another so much harder.

That leaves December to April as the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City because it is the low domestic season and it does not rain frequently. The temperature is also pretty comfortable at this time, ranging from 22°C to 34°C. If you plan to visit during this time, be prepared to participate in the Tet festival (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), which takes place in late January or early February.

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Ho Chi Minh City itinerary in 1 day – Taste of Ho Chi Minh’ lifestyle

24 hours is just enough to experience a small corner of Ho Chi Minh City. So spend your day wisely. With 1 day, you should focus on experiencing the lifestyle in this city. In order to finish the task, here are some places that you must visit.

Sai Gon Central Post Office

The Saigon Central Post Office is a beautiful antique structure. One of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is go to the post office. The post office was built when France dominated Indochina in the nineteenth century. The structure is an amazing example of French colonial architecture that has remained untouched since the 1800s. Among other historical design aspects, it has high ceilings and arched windows with wooden shutters. The exterior is distinguished by its distinct and cheerful yellow hue.

Saigon Central Post Office interior

Saigon Central Post Office interior

Pick up a postcard or two, as well as stamps, at the post office to send home to friends and family. You may even mail one to your home as a souvenir of your trip, replete with a postmark from Ho Chi Minh City.

Ben Thanh Market.

Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest and most well-known markets in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a nice spot to go around and look for native Vietnamese crafts and other stuff. You can find handicrafts, Vietnamese souvenirs, and even traditional Ao Dai clothes there.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is also well-known for its hawker food vendors. You may taste Vietnamese cuisine and street food prepared right in front of you.

Landmark 81

The 461-meter-tall tower, which has 81 floors, three basements, and a total area of 141,000 square meters, has surpassed the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur to become Southeast Asia’s tallest structure. Up until July 2018, the tower was among the top 14 tallest buildings in the world, among well-known structures such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and Shanghai’s Shanghai Tower.

The city view from Landmark 81

The city view from Landmark 81

From this building, you can observe the whole Saigon area. The Landmark 81 Observatory, located on the 79th to 81st floors, is the ideal site to experience panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors, in particular, may observe a close-up of the city’s prominent attractions using a telescope and the most modern touchscreen device, providing them with unique experiences.

Gastronomy in Ho Chi Minh City.

Com Tam ( Vietnamese broken rice)

The most famous Saigon street cuisine is com tam.The dish’s base is broken rice. You can add shredded pork, fried eggs, or chicken to your meal.

Com Tam - Broken rice

Com Tam – Broken rice

The most popular is barbecued or grilled pork. Along with the rice and pork, the dish includes sliced cucumbers and carrots, as well as a dipping fish sauce.Most com tam restaurants include a small charcoal barbecue for precisely cooking the pork. The caramelized pork chop is incredibly delicious when combined with the delicate rice and accompanying sauce. It’s flavorful and uncomplicated, and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular Saigon street foods.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Hanoi in the north has pho, while Saigoners in the south have selected Hu Tieu as their proud dish.

Hu Tieu

Hu Tieu

Hu Tieu originated in neighboring Cambodia and is the Vietnamese version of Kuy Teav, the Cambodian national cuisine.You can eat it in a variety of forms and ways. It’s often made with thin, chewy rice noodles in a bowl of pig broth flavored with cane sugar.Toppings commonly include minced pork, pig bits, shrimp, quail eggs, and greens.Because of its popularity, there is a wide range of ingredients to pick from. Everything from steak to crab and squid is available. But the minced pork remains since it is the heart of the meal.

Bun Thit Nuong

Bun thit nuong translates as “grilled pork on noodles.” This dish consists of rice vermicelli noodles topped with grilled pork, fresh herbs, and veggies. A wonderful sweet and sour sauce is served alongside the broth-free noodle dish. Crushed peanuts added on top round off the dish. When spring rolls are added, the meal is transformed into bun thit nuong cha gio, which is divine.

Bun Thit Nuong

Bun Thit Nuong

Bun thit nuong is not only a famous Vietnamese street meal, but it is also a celebrated cuisine that should not be missed.

Ho Chi Minh City itinerary in 2 day- Explore the Historical Tunnels

Having one more day in Ho Chi Minh City means that you have time to explore the historical places nearby the city center. For the first day, please follow the key destinations that have been mentioned. And we start this itinerary with the beginning of the 2nd day.

Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of subterranean tunnels used by Viet Cong fighters in the past. Visitors can enter the tunnels’ safer sections, which have been extended to accommodate visitors. Some tunnels still only allow one person to pass through at a time, and the ceilings are rather low.

Underground Cu Chi Tunnels

Underground Cu Chi Tunnels

There are almost 120km of tunnels to explore. Trap doors and subterranean living quarters, hospitals, and armories, all utilized by the Viet Cong, will be visible. You’ll also discover more about how the tunnel was used throughout the battle and the hazards that the men faced.

Nguyen Hue Street

The trip to Cu Chi may take half of the day, and you arrive in Saigon in the evening, so a walk around Nguyen Hue Street is a great idea to enjoy the youthful lifestyle of Saigon.

Cafes building at 42 Nguyen Hue

Cafes building at 42 Nguyen Hue

Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a significant tourist attraction in Saigon. District 1 is home to Nguyen Hue’s main road. This distance becomes a pedestrian zone at night, bringing a large number of locals and visitors to spend time here. From here, you can go to the apartment at 42 Nguyen Hue to enjoy dinner. Because the building has become well-known, more restaurants, cafés, and fashion stores are opening there. This apartment displays the names of famous cafés on Nguyen Hue Street, such as Saigon Oi and Partea.

Gastronomy in Ho Chi Minh City.

Grilled Beef in Wild Betel Leaves

While many people connect Vietnamese food with soup noodles, snacks like bo la lot deserve to be recognized as well. Garlic, lemongrass, and different spices are used to season the minced beef. The slightly scorched taste from grilling simply adds to the deliciousness.

Grilled Beef in Wild Betel Leaves

Grilled Beef in Wild Betel Leaves

Along with the grilled beef, the meal includes Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles, rice paper, and an abundance of fresh Vietnamese herbs and raw veggies. There is also a dipping fermented fish sauce included.

Bun Mam (Fermented Fish Noodle Soup)

Another dish that you should try is Bun Mam. Bun Mam is a rice vermicelli soup dish from southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta area. It’s a popular dish in Saigon and a hearty soup with diverse flavors and textures.

Bun Mam

Bun Mam

The soup’s magic ingredient is “mắm”, a dark-colored broth produced from fermented fish or shrimp paste. Bun mam is a fermented fish-flavored soup with rice vermicelli noodles, shrimp, squid, pork, and eggplants. The all-important fresh herbs and greens, many of which come from the Mekong Delta, are what make Bun Mam so tasty.

Ho Chi Minh City itinerary in 3 day- A tour to Ho Chi Minh landmarks

If you have that much time to spend in this city, you can explore Saigon’s history and culture.So for the first 2 days, just finish all the key destinations that have been mentioned.

On the 3rd day, we recommend you discover Ho Chi Minh’s landmarks.

War Remnants Museum

A trip to the War Remnants Museum is an interesting and rewarding excursion. Exhibits about the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War may be found at the museum.

War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum- Ho Chi Minh City

The museum is conveniently located in the middle of the city. Once inside, you may view a variety of displays about life and warfare throughout Vietnam’s wars.Some of the exhibits are rather gruesome, particularly those depicting pictures from the Vietnam War. They do, however, serve as an important reminder of the devastation caused by conflict and contribute to a full picture of life during the Vietnam War. You may also see Huey helicopters, F-5A fighters, and a guillotine inside the museum.

Independence Palace

The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, is a historical landmark in Vietnam. The palace was erected on the old location of the Norodom Palace. The original mansion was constructed for the French Governor-General of Indochina in 1868.

Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace

You can see all of this history by going to Independence Place. The palace is still standing exactly as it did in 1975. The building’s five floors may be explored, including the underground portion with tunnels and battle chambers and the fourth-floor casino. There are also other hidden rooms and lovely gardens.

Exhibits focus on the history of Vietnam and the palace. There are additional exhibits on military propaganda items and antique telecommunications gear. You are encouraged to explore on your own or with a FREE tour guide.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

The Notre-Dame Cathedral of Saigon, located in Paris Square, is a well-known Catholic cathedral. In the late 1800s, French colonists built the cathedral. Its Romanesque architecture was inspired by Notre Dame de Paris, and elements were even transported in from France.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

The Virgin Mary statue outside the cathedral has now become a highlight of the building. Visitors are believed to have seen a single tear slide down the Virgin Mary’s cheek in 2005. This sighting drew hundreds of people to the cathedral, prompting the Catholic Church to step in.

Gastronomy in Ho Chi Minh City.

On the 3rd day you will visit the places that are nearby each other so it is a good opportunity to explore the real street food.

Milk Coffee

You may feel weird when a very common drink appears on a must-try food list, but believe us, the milk coffee in Saigon is totally different from all the coffee you’ve tried before. Please note that it is not the one you can find in a cafe. To try this drink, you have to buy it from the lady selling drinks right on the street.

milk coffee

Enjoying milk coffee right on the street

With less than 1 US dollar, you can enjoy a strong, rich milk coffee taste. It may be too strong for some people, but at that price, it is really worth a try.

Rice paper snacks

This type of snack is so popular that a lot of Vietnamese people fall in love with it. Rice paper can be used to make a wide variety of dishes, all of which are so delicious.

Rice paper snacks

Rice paper snacks

There are many choices for you. You can try the rice paper salad or the roll mixed rice paper, and they also  have the rice paper “pizza”.You can easily find them anywhere on the way to the major tourist destinations. Don’t forget to buy one and try, it is very wonderful.

With our recommended Ho Chi Minh itinerary in 1,2 and 3 days, we hope that you can have a very wonderful vacation in this city. If you want to visit “the city that never sleep” – Saigon click here

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Linh Chi

Hello, everyone. I'm Linh Chi and I'm very passionate about travelling. I've been to almost all the destinations in Vietnam. Therefore, I'm here to provide you exciting informations about my country- Vietnam.

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