Ho Chi Minh City

Photo of Ho Chi Minh City

About Ho Chi Minh City

It wasn’t long ago that Ho Chi Minh City was Saigon, capital of the Republic of Vietnam, and much of the buzz and freshness of this city today stems from the dramatic changes that took place here in the 70s. Commerce is a busy, whirling king here, but the city’s cultural side, which embraces the past with vitality while propelling life forward, is a very powerful queen. The best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City tend to reflect this idea of the value of local culture and you’ll find fantastic fusions of old and new, French colonial and modern Vietnamese everywhere.

What not to Miss

  • Many visitors are fascinated by Saigon’s war stories and relics and if you are in this group then the Reunification Palace is an unmissable time warp. Formerly the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam, these five storeys have been left largely untouched since the day before Saigon fell to the North. A replica of the tank that crashed through the gate ending the war on the 30th of April 1975 sits on the lawn and the whole building is filled with fantastic vintage 60s equipment.
  • The War Remnants Museum is another must-see if you’re interested in the Vietnam War. It was opened less than five months after the war ended when everything collected was fairly ‘new’. There’s plenty of US military hardware and some fairly disturbing displays retelling individual stories, lists of missing journalists and a simulated ‘tiger cage’ prison.
  • The other war-related must-see are the Cu Chi Tunnels, an enlarged and upgraded version of resistance tunnels and a great place to learn about the experience of war from the point of view of the resistance fighters. You can also fire real weapons here.
  • For a better overview of Vietnamese history you’ll need the Museum of Vietnamese History, which is packed with antiquities. It’s right by the Botanical Gardens.
  • The Ho Chi Minh Museum is all about the life of the city’s namesake and the ‘father of Vietnam’. It is housed in a lovely French colonial building.
  • Some of the other French colonial built highlights are the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Opera House and the Central Post Office. There are numerous wonderful buildings that you’ll just discover as you explore.
  • The colonial era Fine Arts Museum is also worth a visit, both for the elegant details of the building and for the art which ranges from 4th Century religious depictions to contemporary works.
  • Before the French era, Saigon was Vietnamese and there are still plenty of structures from this period, including the Giac Lam Pagoda which is supposedly the oldest temple in town.
  • The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most impressive - spectacular even - it was built in 1909 and the woodcarvings and atmospheric statues look so vibrant and lively. The Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda is also relatively new and very impressive.
  • Saigon’s Mosque is also an impressive green marker on the skyline.
  • Ho Chi Minh City has multiple marketplaces, but Chợ Bình Tây Market and Bến Thành Market deserve special mentions. Obviously the food is one of the reasons to visit Ho Chi Minh City and this is where to see it and taste it.
  • It’s still possible to take ride a cyclo around town - these three wheeler bikes where the passengers sit in front are one of the sights the city is known for, but sadly they’re being outlawed because they’re slow and wide. But it’s definitely still an option and a great way to see the city.

With such diversity, and so many things to see and do, the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City are quickly snapped up, so do plan and book ahead early.

For a City Break

  • It’s a big name and a big hotel, but the Sheraton Saigon is smart, chic and in a great location close to the river. There are almost 500 rooms, with all the mod. cons., plus eight options when it comes to drinking and dining. The views from the rooftop bar are incredible.
  • The Hotel des Arts is hip new and swanky with 168 white on white rooms, claw-footed bathtubs and hardwood flooring. The rooftop bar is unmissable.
  • The Intercontinental Asiana Saigon is a slick, five star hotel in the centre of town close to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Bến Thành Market. There are more then 300 rooms and decadent suites with hardwood floors and rather chic-chi decor. There is a rooftop pool, luxurious spa and gourmet restaurant.

Historic Saigon

  • The Hotel Majestic Saigon is an Art Deco masterpiece dating from 1925. The location is superb, as is the decor, and there’s a choice of rooftop bars and an excellent Vietnamese restaurant.

By the Riverside

  • An Lam Saigon River is a beautiful boutique hotel by lush gardens right on the Saigon river. There are just 15 carefully designed villas with contemporary furnishings and Vietnamese touches. Chic and peaceful with a delicious French Vietnamese fusion menu.
  • The Villa Song is a charming boutique hotel on the Saigon River to north of Bến Thành  - and there is a complimentary boat shuttle. The neighbourhood is trendy with numerous cafes, galleries and riverside restaurants. It is situated close to the Reunification Palace.
  • A large and contemporary high-rise, Le Meridian Saigon is just minutes from B?n Thành and the markets. The decor feels sleek and polished and there’s a choice of river or city views. There is a space age spa and funky bar.

For Luxury

  • The Park Hyatt Saigon is in a great spot in the middle of the main sights. The style is modern, the decor French Colonial, and it has arguably one of the city’s best bars, Lam Son.
  • The Reverie Saigon is bold and luxurious with suites ranging from the very grand to the totally opulent. You will have a private butler, plus a chef if you need one The attention to detail is impeccable.

For Great Value

  • Slightly out of the way, the The Alcove Library Hotel is an elegant French colonial boutique hotel with decor that directs you towards their excellent and extensive library. The location is green and leafy and great for strolling. It is out of the centre of town and that’s why the room rate starts from around £50 per night.
  • Ma Maison is about the same price for the same reason, it’s outside the centre of town. But aside from that it’s perfect - a quaint, 70 year old French villa lovingly converted into an eight room hotel. A calm oasis.
  • If you want to be in the centre of town you can still manage it for less than £100 per night.. The Sofitel Saigon Plaza is a big, big name hotel with panoramic city views, a rooftop pool and spa and a great French restaurant. The larger rooms are quite a bit more expensive so the small ones are great value.

For an Apartment or Villa

If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Ho Chi Minh City Airport, is the busiest airport in Vietnam. You can fly there direct from several international cities, including London, Paris, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai. There are regular buses into town from the airport, plus several taxi queues. The green Man Linh and Vinasun taxi are the official ones to queue for and definitely the ones to opt for.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Tropical Ho Chi Minh City has two distinct seasons, and while the climate is generally mild and the region isn’t known for natural disasters, most visitors will find the dry season more pleasant. This runs between December and April. December is coolest and most humid and by April it’s hot and dry. The rest of the year is wetter, but it’s not really monsoonal weather, and showers pass quickly and make way for sunshine.

Still not sure?

  • Contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

  • The Alcove Library Hotel Ho Chi Minh City (Phu Nhuan District) 26 rooms from CA$84

    Value chic  -  A charming and polished hotel, in a lovely green neighbourhood- and totally affordable!
    Great walks  -  Slightly off centre, this area is great for walking around and exploring without the huge bustling crowds.
    Full of character

    An elegant boutique hotel, slightly off the beaten track. The decor focusses around their extensive library, with flashes of colonial French accents. Comfortable and stylish rooms with classic and fresh look. An unusual and pleasing find. The Bookmark restaurant is popular amongst guests. See More

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  • Ma Maison Ho Chi Minh City (District 3) 8 rooms from CA$79

    Hideaway  -  This quaint and charming Provencal guest house is slightly off the beaten track so you won't be swarmed with other tourists.
    Value chic  -  Picturesque, chic and run with real passion, this is a total steal for the price.
    Local markets  -  Explore the area around the hotel and get lost in the rabbit warren of banh mi stalls, tailors and food kiosks.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the Independence Palace, just a ten minute drive away.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    A quaint 70 year old French villa where charming rooms have been lovingly decorated to reflect Provencal life. Think pastel yellow exteriors with white shutters and wrought iron balconies. Enjoy Vietnamese and European breakfast at a rustic wooden table. An oasis of calm in a bustling city. See More

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  • Sofitel Saigon Plaza Ho Chi Minh City (17 Lê Duẩn) 286 rooms from CA$165

    Local exploring  -  District One has plenty to see and do, head out and explore this vibrant city.
    Sights nearby  -  A ten minute walk from the beautiful Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor year round pool.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.

    Five star service found on one of the hectic city’s more peaceful streets. This classic hotel offers panoramic views of the city, rooftop pool and spa. The French L'Oliver Restaurant is a well known local favourite. See More

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  • Le Meridien Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (Bến Nghé) 343 rooms from CA$216

    Great walks  -  Have a walk around Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, with many lovely plants, flowers, and trees, a temple, and a museum.
    Sights nearby  -  There are many notable Pagodas and Temples including the Quoc Tu Pagoda, the Giac Lam Pagoda and Jade Emperor Pagoda.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor saltwater pool.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.

    Luxe, contemporary high-rise hotel overlooking the Saigon river, minutes from Ben Tanh Market and other must-see attractions. Sleek and polished decor with bright colours and a funky twist. Modern rooms enjoy river or city views. There is a space age spa and lively bar. See More

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  • Hotel Majestic Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (Bến Nghé) 175 rooms from CA$175

    Great walks  -  Take a stroll arounf the Reunification Palace, soak up its history and enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds.
    Local markets  -  Get your bargaining hat on and head out to the iconic Ben Thanh Market, just 15 minutes away.
    Sights nearby  -  Notre Dame Cathedral and the French colonial postoffice are well worth a visit.
    Cooking classes  -  One meal at the hotel will inspire you to sign up for the cooking classes!
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    In prime location since 1925, the Hotel Majestic is an art deco masterpiece of columns, arches, chandeliers and stained glass domes. Its rooftop bars and Vietnamese restaurants offer spectacular views of the Saigon River. Undoubtedly the heart of the pulsating city centre. See More

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  • Hotel Des Arts Ho Chi Minh City (76-78 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai) 168 rooms from CA$182

    Sights nearby  -  The Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica is just a short stroll away and is surrounded by other charming French Colonial buildings.
    Swimming Pool  -  Rooftop infinty pool.
    Full of character
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.

    Saigon’s swankiest new hotel. Contemporary white on white rooms with trendy claw-footed bathtubs and hardwood floors. The rooftop bar is unmissable. Enough said. See More

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  • InterContinental Asiana Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (Bến Nghé Quận 1) 305 rooms from CA$234

    Local markets  -  The iconic Ben Thanh Market, is within walking distance of the hotel.
    Sights nearby  -  just down the road is the famed Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor

    Slick 5-star hotel located in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, near Notre Dame Cathedral and Ben Thanh Market. Spacious and decadent suites feature hardwood floors, bathroom chandeliers and private dining. Rooftop pool, luxury spa and gourmet dining options complete the package. See More

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  • Sheraton Saigon Ho Chi Minh City 485 rooms from CA$251

    Local exploring  -  Centrally located for exploring this exciting city!
    Local markets  -  Explore Cholon, Vietnam's largest Chinatown with roots dating back to 1778.
    Sights nearby  -  Just down the road from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor year round.

    Award winning downtown hotel. Smart, chic rooms feature all the mod cons. Eight dining and drinking options to choose from. Sip on cocktails whilst taking in the city views from the rooftop bar or enjoy a pampering massage at the Aqua Day Spa. See More

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  • Villa Song Ho Chi Minh City (Thảo Điền) 23 rooms from CA$230

    Local exploring  -  Rent a 'two-wheeler' and explore the city like a local.
    Local markets  -  Wander the streets of Ben Thanh Market, haggle, explore and discover the wonders of street food.
    Great walks  -  Sign up for Sophie’s Art Tours and explore the museums and galleries of Saigon.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Reunification Palace, a historic site from the American War.

    A charming boutique hotel on the Saigon River, with a complimentary boat shuttle service. White on white decor with original artworks and unique details. In a trendy neighbourhood packed with cafes, galleries and riverside restaurants. See More

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  • Park Hyatt Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (District 1) 245 rooms from CA$295

    Sights nearby  -  Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and the Reunification Palace are all within walking distance.
    Local markets  -  Check out Ben Thanh Market, where you will find everything from silk scarves to antique furnishings.
    Swimming Pool  -  20m outdoor pool.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection

    Brilliant 5-star hotel slap bang in the middle of downtown Saigon. A modern hotel its decor follows a French Colonial style. Undoubtedly home to one of the city’s best bars, Lam Son - it’s packed at the weekends, get there early! Rooms are decorated in muted tones some with separate living areas. See More

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  • The Reverie Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (District 1) 286 rooms from CA$341

    City Style  -  Elaborate and eye grabbing interiors by top Italian designers, Italian and Asian fine dining and the best vibe in town.
    Sights nearby  -  Within walking distance of French colonial Opera House, the neo-classical Post Office, the historic Reunification Palace.
    Local markets  -  Just a 15 minute walk to the hustle and bustle of Bến Thành Market.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool

    A luxurious and bold hotel in the centre of town. Suites range from grandeur to opulence - to top it all they have private butlers and chefs upon request! Indulgent design, exceptional quality and attention to detail in all aspects. See More

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  • An Lam Saigon River Ho Chi Minh City (Vinh Phu Ward) 15 rooms from CA$349

    Cooking classes  -  Cooking classes with the incredibly talented in house chefs, plus market tours with your private butler.
    Fishing  -  Your butler will organise and accompany you on a fishing trip up the river.
    Local markets  -  The staff can arrange tours of the floating markets of the Mekong Delta.
    Secluded setting  -  Outside the hustle a bustle of Ho Chi Minh City.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

    Captivating boutique hotel, surrounded by lush gardens on the Saigon river. Exclusively designed villas - contemporary furnishings with Vietnamese touches. Achingly chic, astonishingly peaceful and worth every penny! A delicious French Vietnamese fusion menu is served. See More

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