- Ho Chi Minh City on your own
- Recommended tour of the sights in the center area
- Breaks in between: cafes, restaurants and bars
- City parks
In the south of the socialist Republic of Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. Major parts of the cityscape emerged during the French colonial era. The major sights of the metropolis are all within walking distance of the huge Bitexco Financial Tower. The tower, the city's landmark, is regularly approached by the cruise ship shuttle buses. From there, visitors start on guided tours or city tours on their own.
In the center of Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City on your own
With a little preparation, you can easily visit the main sights of the city center on your own. The advantage for tourists is that in addition to the Vietnamese Đồng (VND), the US dollar is accepted as a parallel currency in all areas of life. The use of international credit cards is also common practice. In addition, Ho Chi Minh City is a safe city. There is no uncertainty at all.
Nguyen Hue Promenade
Recommended tour of the sights in the center area
The 68-storey high-rise building of the Bitexco Financial Tower dominates the entire city area as a landmark. It is ideal as a starting and finishing point for a city tour lasting several hours.
Ben thanh market
A ten-minute walk is between the tower and the huge market hall, one of the city's sights. There are more original and cheaper markets than this in other parts of the city. But no market is like this.
The market area is roughly 13.000 square meters. It is accessible via four main entrances and various side entrances. We approach the market from the south and first notice the clock tower. There is simply everything in the market: fruits, meat, fish, flowers, clothing, shoes, handicrafts, souvenirs, food stalls, etc.
Location: Le Loi, behind the memorial park
Opening time: from 06:00am
The adjacent night market opens in the evening.
The Mariamman Hindu Temple
It is the only Hindu temple in the city. It was built in the late 19th century on the initiative of Indian traders. The temple is dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain. Its exterior is decorated with statues of various gods.
The temple can be visited; Admission is free. When entering the sanctuary, shoes must be removed. Offerings such as incense sticks, jasmine, lilies or gladioli are said to make the goddess friendly. The offerings can be purchased in front of the entrance area.
Location: 45 Truong Dinh Street
The war museum
More than 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the museum brands the "war crimes" of the American invaders and glorifies the attitudes of the brave Vietnamese people. Museum visitors also include many US citizens. You would like to see the tanks, cannons or helicopters left behind after the end of the war or even refresh old memories.
Location: Le Quy Don Street (near the Reunification Palace)
The war museum
Dinh Doc Lap - The Reunification Palace
The Reunification Palace is located in a spacious park of around 12 hectares. Originally, after the occupation of Indochina in the second half of the 19th century, the responsible French governor had the Norodon Palace built on the same site. In 1962 the palace was destroyed by a bombardment. It was demolished and replaced by a new building. After the end of the Vietnam War, the mighty, unadorned building was renamed the Reunification Palace. He has great symbolism for the republic.
Access from Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Road
The Reunification Palace
Turtle Lake Roundabout - Ho Con Ruy
The Ho Con Ruy is more than a roundabout. It is a quiet zone surrounded by trees in the middle of the city. The well-tended water area with fountain, benches and water plants can be viewed from a viewing platform above the facility.
Accessed via the wide Pham Ngoc Thach Street. It runs straight to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Notre Dame Cathedral
French colonists built the Catholic church between 1877 and 1880 in the center of Saigon. The two bell towers are each 58 meters high. They weren't completed until 1895. The building materials were brought in from France. The church is closed for a long time for renovations. But it is undoubtedly one of the most important sights in the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The main post office
The main post office is located in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral on Dong Khoi Street. Dong Khoi Street was Saigon's former promenade. No less a person than Gustave Eiffel planned the steel structure of the building. Monsieur Eiffel knew something about steel. Finally, at the same time, he realized the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The post office was built between 1886 and 1891. Apart from a renovation and modernization of the counters, hardly any changes have been made in the meantime.
The Diamond Plaza Mall is just a few steps from the cathedral and the main post office. It is amazing what luxury brands can be bought in the socialist Republic of Vietnam. And there are other malls with luxury items.
Diamond Plaza with Porsche
If you follow Dong Khoi Street south, you will come to the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Head Office. Behind the bulky name is the town hall. The remarkable building was built by the French colonial power between 1902 and 1908. A special feature of the tripartite structure is the bell tower. The town hall is also one of the architectural icons and attractions of the city.
The Opera House is located on Dong Khoi Street near the City Hall. The building also serves as a city theater. Built in 1897, it now offers 500 seats. In between, it also served as a parliament building.
Lovers and admirers of luxury hotels may be drawn to the Hotel Majestic on the Saigon River. The hotel was built in 1925 by a wealthy Chinese businessman. Originally the magnificent building had only three floors. In 1965 it received three additional floors. The 5-star hotel is owned by the state-owned SaigonTourist.
Location: 1 Dong Khoi Street
Bitexco Financial Tower
The top attraction of the metropolis is the 265 meter high Bitexco Financial Tower. It rises not far from the Hotel Majestic. The skyscraper, built between 2007 and 2010, has 68 floors. It is mainly used as an office building.
On the 49th floor there is a surrounding observation deck, the Saigon Skydeck. From the large, fully glazed platform, visitors can enjoy extensive views of the city center, the Saigon River, the adjoining districts and the landscape.
Ticket prices adults: 200.000 dong (approx. 7,50 euros); Seniors: 130.000 (approx. 5,00 euros)
Breaks in between: cafes, restaurants and bars
The tour shown leads to interesting and attractive destinations. A large number of well-kept cafés, restaurants and bars are ideal for a break and refreshment in between. We tested three restaurants in total. We were not disappointed. The hosts of Ho Chi Minh City know what tourists expect.
The well-kept and beautiful inner-city parks have not yet been mentioned. For example, the Reunification Palace is embedded in 12 hectares of gardens with old trees. In the course of the tour, other parks are passed.
Thong Nhat Park
Update March 2021