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How to Spend One Day in Saigon



HCMC, or Ho Chi Minh City to the locals, is one of the best cities to visit while in South Vietnam. As the country’s most populous city, you’ll get a taste of the city that never sleeps.

What to do in Ho Chi Minh City if you just have one day in the city? You’ve come to the perfect place!  If you just have a short amount of time in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ve compiled a list of the most important sights and activities for you to take advantage of. Information about transportation and lodging is also available. This schedule helps you make the most of your one day by ensuring that you spend as much time as possible at each of the sights. Allow 6-8 hours for this trip.

Don’t worry, We take care of it. Due to your extensive travels, we won’t cram too many sights into your one day in HCMC.  You’ll want to spend at least three days in this city, if not more, so that you may take your time and see everything, as well as go on multiple day trips. As a bonus, it’s a good reason to return!

Just how much information do we have on Ho Chi Minh? We’ve now been in HCMC for two years (nearly three). When we have guests here, we usually stick to this one-day agenda.

 

W

What’s the best way to get to Ho Chi Minh?
From either the domestic or international side, Tan Son Nhat International Airport is where most people fly into Ho Chi Minh City.

Don’t forget to apply for a visa in advance if you’re coming from outside the United States. Check out this link to determine if e-Visas are accessible in your country of travel, as certain nations allow them. You cannot get a visa at the airport.

The first thing you’ll have to do after getting off the plane is either receive your visa or wait in the immigration line. There are taxis (on the left side upon exiting the Arrivals gate), or you can phone a Grab car if you prefer.

The Domestic Airport side is where you’ll be if coming from a city within Vietnam. Grab your checked luggage from the plane and head to the curb to hail a cab or Grab a car. (More details about transportation can be found in the section below.)

O

ptions for Getting Around Saigon
Taking a taxi or using a ride-hailing app like Grab is the most convenient method to get around Ho Chi Minh City. When hailing a cab, look for either a Mai Linh or a Vinasun, both of which operate with a meter. As there are phony cabs with similar names, double-check to be sure you’re in the right one.
One of the best apps to have while traveling in Vietnam is the Grab app. As with Uber, you’ll need to enter your beginning and ending locations into the app before requesting a ride. When it comes time to get there, you can take a motorcycle or a car. Credit cards can also be used to make a cashless purchase. Using Grab instead of a taxi can save you money, but beware of surge pricing when it’s raining.

W

hat to See and Do in Saigon in One Day
You have the option of starting your sightseeing right away, or you can wait until you get at your destination.

In the event that you decide to spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City, you may wish to check into your hotel first.

What’s the point of us going to Ben Thanh Market so early in the day? It’s considered lucky if you’re the store’s first customer of the day, according to folklore. You may be able to save a ton of money! Good deals and the word “sale” are two of our favorite things in the world.

Ventilation is another reason to visit this market in the morning. As the day progresses, the market becomes more and more stifling.

Spend some time wandering the store to get an idea of what you want to buy. After a while, all of the merchants’ products start to appear the same.

You’ll have to utilize your negotiation abilities if you want something because products don’t have a price tag. Because the vendor’s initial pricing is frequently exaggerated, you can keep presenting lower rates until the dealer accepts.

If you’d rather not haggle, look for merchants with “set prices” on the periphery of the market. The “fixed pricing” signage will be visible.

HCM City, Phuong Ben Thành Ward 1, District 1, HCM City, Vietnam 700000
the store is open from seven in the morning till seven in the evening.

B

en Thanh Market has a cyclo rental service.

In addition to visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office is a great place to see.

One hour is required for this task.
Take a Grab or walk for around 12-15 minutes to get to the central post office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City. You can modify the sequence in which you visit these attractions because they are all just a few steps away from each other.

A
must-see is the Central Post Office.
Located in the heart of the city, it’s a beautiful golden yellow structure with French architecture.
There are two big maps on the left and right top walls, plus a large image of Uncle Ho on the back wall, as you enter the building.  It’s possible to sit in what were formerly phone booths.
Fixed-price souvenir shops are accessible in the city. They contain a lot of the same items as Ben Thanh Market, but they’re a lot more focused on toys, wallets, bags, and coffee.
What if you’d like to send a postcard to a loved one or a friend? Do that right here! In one of the souvenir stores, buy a postcard, sit down at a table, and begin writing. There were two to three weeks between when we mailed a postcard back home and when it arrived.
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is one of the city’s most notable landmarks.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Central Post Office is a must-see throughout your three-day stay.
One of our favorite parts of Ho Chi Minh City is Book Street (ng Sách Thành Ph H Ch Minh). I think it’s an underappreciated location and a lovely street to walk down. You’ll enjoy the peace and quiet and the sight of the street is covered by a canopy of tall trees. It’s a great place to take a break from the heat and enjoy some shade.

The little bookstores are a great place to pick up a few souvenirs and books. There are books in Vietnamese and English that are often discounted. Journals, birthday cards, and canvas tote bags are just a few of the souvenirs you’ll find at the museum store.
Pedestrians and bookworms alike will be able to roam the streets in peace thanks to the absence of motorbikes. As a bonus, there is an outside cafe where you may rest.
The Central Post Office is a short walk from Book Street. Turn right after leaving the Central Post Office and proceed for a little distance. Behind McDonald’s, you’ll find this street.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Notre Dame Cathedral (Nhà th c Bà Sài Gn) is a well-known Catholic church. The French built it between 1863 and 1880, and it’s a popular spot for tourists to soak in the architecture and snap photos. For the time being, the church is closed for renovations. It is expected to reopen in 2023.
Just go across Book Street or Post Office to reach Notre Dame Cathedral. The church is situated right in the midst of the road..

This is the address for The Cathedral of Notre Dame: 1 Công x Paris, Bn Nghé, Qun 1, Hanoi

One of the most recognizable sights in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Because of the ongoing restoration work, the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral looks stunning.

Take a break for lunch.
Needed time: 1 to 1.5 hours
After a long day of walking, you could be hungry. To help you decide if you need a lunch break, here are two options:

My Banh Mi – Delicious Vietnamese sandwiches (bánh m) and fresh juices and smoothies are served at this little eatery. The nicest feature is that the Central Post Office is right across the street.
Address: 57 Nguyễn Du, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 70000

The sizzling mini pancakes (bánh kht) and the sizzling Vietnamese pancakes (bánh xèo) can be found at Bánh Kht Cô Ba Vng Tàu. For those unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine, this is a good place to start. If you’d like, you can smother your pancake in fish sauce and garnish it with fresh herbs and greens. Yum! The Central Post Office is about a 10-minute walk away (about 600 meters, or around 0.38 miles).

To get in touch, please use the following address: 40B Trn Cao Vân, Phuong 6, Quan 3, Thành Phu Hà Ch Minh, Vietnam

Pancake (banh xeo) filled with bean sprouts and shrimp and rice cakes on the side are on the table (banh khot)

Bánh Kht Cô Ba Vng Tàu is a great place to eat a nice supper.

Nguyen Hue Street is a good place to start.
30 minutes to an hour or more is required.
In the center of District 1, Nguyen Hue Walking Street (Nguên Huê) is a lateral pedestrian walkway. It is 900 meters/.5 miles long and is flanked by restaurants, cafes and shops.

Because there is no place to rest under a tree or cover from the sun, the street is rather quiet in the afternoon. Locals and tourists alike use the area as a place to socialize in the evenings. Visitors can expect to observe hawkers selling refreshments and food, youngsters playing and costumed individuals (ie: Elmo or Monkey King). At least 20,000 VND/ $.90 is required to pose for a picture with one of the characters.
You can branch out to other parts of town based on your interests from the walking street.
As you look at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee in the background, you’ll get a sense of the city’s political history.

Visit the Saigon Skydeck of the Bitexco Financial Center to see an observation deck.
Address: 22 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000

Stop at the Ho Chi Minh statue on Nguyen Hue Street during your one-day stay in Ho Chi Minh City. President Ho Chi Minh’s Bronze Statue is right in front of City Hall  a beige French-style structure

Coffee/tea breaks are a good idea.
30 minutes up to an hour
The climate in Ho Chi Minh City is hot and muggy throughout the year. Throughout the year, temperatures are likely to range between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius (86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Visiting during the dry (November-April) or wet season is the only difference (May-October). A break at a coffee shop or tea house is the ideal way to cool off in the oppressive summer heat.
Central Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to visit because there are so many coffee shops to select from.

Finding a little cafe and sitting on the sidewalk in lawn chairs or squatty chairs is the traditional method to consume coffee in the area. Face the street and enjoy an iced Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk (cà phê sua) while people-watching.
You can also go to a coffee shop like Cong Cà Phê, Highlands Coffee, Phuc Long, and Tea, or Trung Nguyên Legend, which are all chains. If you like Starbucks, that is an alternative. Coconut beverages from Cng Cà Phê are some of our favorites! The coffee is fine, but it’s still a nice change of pace. If you’re curious, Trung Nguyên Legend also serves coffee made from weasel dung.
In Ho Chi Minh City, there are numerous Taiwanese milk tea establishments for individuals who want a cup of brew. Nguyen Hue and Huy Thuc Khang Street are home to popular eateries like Koi, Gong Cha, and Yi Fang.



6. Take a food tour or dine out in the evening.

Amount of time: 2+ hours

You may feel hungry at this point in the day. You can either take a cuisine tour or eat at your own pace.
Getting off the beaten path to sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine and street food is easy with a culinary tour. You’ll see places that only a local would know about because your tour guide knows all the inside scoop. Most tours start with a pick-up from your hotel or a predetermined meeting point, and then you either walk or ride a motorbike between destinations.
Consider taking one of the following tours:
Walking Food Tour for Four Hours
A 4-Hour Foodie Tour on a Motorbike
Vintage Vespa Food Tour for 4.5 Hours
If you want to dine alone, Ho Chi Minh City has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. We adore the variety of cuisines available in Ho Chi Minh City. Traditional Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, and Ethiopian cuisines are also available. There is no end to the possibilities.
In the near future, we’ll compile a list of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Here are a few of our favorites to tide you over till then:
Chi Hoa, the Secret Garden, and the Mountains – These three Vietnamese meal selections are excellent. In comparison to Mountain Retreat and Secret Garden, Chi Hoa offers a more homey dining experience. The rooftop views of Mountain Retreat and Secret Garden are spectacular. The most popular wood-fired pizza in the area. Salmon sashimi pizza and seafood pizza are two examples of Japanese-inspired pizzas.
If you’re looking for Spanish tapas, this is a great option. Every few months, the menu is changed to reflect the freshness of the seafood and vegetables. Patatas bravas, or fried potatoes, have an addictive quality.
If you’re looking for the best Japanese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, have a look at our list. Consider checking out the city’s nightlife after supper!

Ho Chi Minh City’s Mountain Retreat Restaurant serves a variety of Vietnamese dishes, including deep-fried tilapia fish, spring rolls, and fried tofu.

The food at Mountain Retreat in Ho Chi Minh City is fantastic!

Last Words on the 1-Day Ho Chi Minh City Trip Planning

It’s the end of your one and only day in Ho Chi Minh City now. The following suggestions for things to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City are meant to help you plan your trip.
We didn’t include any museums on this one-day schedule because we didn’t think they’d be worth the time. The War Remnants Museum is a great place to learn about Vietnam’s past if you’re short on time.

I hope you have the opportunity to go to Ho Chi Minh City and take in the sights!
If you’re planning a trip elsewhere in Vietnam, be sure to read our other articles:

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