On the south coast of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is known for its rich history as it is the place where reunification of South Vietnam and North Vietnam took place. Also recognized as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a popular travel destination in Vietnam whether you have 3 days in Ho Chi Minh or a month the fact of being both modern and historical city makes Ho Chi Minh City a unique place to be in Vietnam. Besides the enticing places to visit and amazing things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, the food scene of Saigon is also something that will definitely drive you crazy while holidaying in Vietnam.
It’s actually hard to say how many days are enough to explore Ho Chi Minh City. For some, the entire 10-day long vacation is not enough, whereas, some can even relish the best of Saigon in under 3 days if designed the right Ho Chi Minh City itinerary. And if you don’t have much time to spend in Saigon hence looking to explore the city in under 3 days, then this itinerary will help you to make the most of your vacation in Saigon.
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Arriving in Ho Chi Minh City
If you are directly flying to Saigon from your home country, then you will arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. If you are traveling to Saigon from any other city of Vietnam, then you can also choose the railway as the commuting means. This is one of the most popular ways to get around the country especially Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An. Saigon Railway Station is the railhead where you will land. The airport is located in District 1 and is at a distance of around 7 km from downtown. Whereas, the railway station in District 3 and is situated at a distance of 8 km from the main city.
Once you check out from the airport/railway station, book a Grab or hire a taxi to reach your hotel. It is advisable to book months in advance in order to save some expense. A cab ride to from District 1 or District 3 to the main city would cost you around 160,000 to 200,000 VND.
3 Days in Ho Chi Minh – Day 1
Begin your Ho Chi Minh city tour with a visit to Cu Chi Tunnels. En route, you can enjoy a scrumptious breakfast. Rather than having your morning meal at the hotel, it is advisable you go out and have your breakfast at a cafe. Cafe Marcel, L. Cafe, The Vintage Emporium, Pho Phu Vuong are some top recommendations in Saigon.
The Cu Chi Tunnels plays an important role in the rich historical past of Vietnam. These tunnels served as the network of an underground passageway that was used by the Vietnam soldiers during the Vietnam War. The entry fee of this tourist site in Ho Chi Minh City is 90,000 VND (including a guide).
After Cu Chi Tunnels, you can add the War Remnant Museum as the next destination on your Ho Chi Minh tour package. If you are a history buff, this place is a real treat for you. With exhibits depicting the history of the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War, you can spend some good time here at War Remnant Museum. The entry fee of the museum is 40,000 VND for an adult.
Doesn’t matter even if you have just 3 days in Saigon, a shopping tour to Ben Thanh Market is a must. Here you can find everything, literally! From souvenirs to clothing to electronic gadgets, you can find everything here at this place. Since you will end your day at Ben Thanh Market, you can have your dinner at any of the restaurants near the market. Nha Hang Ngon, La Camargue, Baba’s Kitchen, Propaganda Bistro, and Quan Ut Ut are some popular restaurant choices amongst tourists around Ben Thanh Market.
3 Days in Ho Chi Minh Day 2
Banh Mi is a popular Vietnamese baguette sandwich mainly eaten in breakfast. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa, Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai are some best places to eat Banh Mi in Saigon. It would cost you around 32,000 VND to buy Banh Mi.
After having this scrumptious meal, proceed to Independence Palace. Also known as Reunification Palace, it was the site where the Vietnam War ended, and hence, the name independence or reunification comes. The entrance fee or Independence Palace for an adult is 20,000 VND.
From there, head to Notre Dame Cathedral in the afternoon. Dates back to 1863, it is one of the main religious centers in Saigon for the Christian community.
** Bonus: If you have time check out the post office right next door. It is home to some amazing colonial architecture and a must not miss if you love getting the perfect picture**
Once done exploring the church, the next stopover on your 3 days trip in Ho Chi Minh City is Jade Emperor Pagoda. It is one of the must-visit places in the city that gives you a chance to find solace.
Another place that must be on your Ho Chi Minh City 3 days itinerary is the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Through a range of exhibits, the museum showcases the struggle of the country for independence. For an adult, the entry fee to the museum is 40,000 VND. It’s really a place you need to see in order to understand how far the country has come and what they have overcome.
After exploring all these attractions, if you still have some time left for the day, you can visit the Bui Vien Street. Well, if you love to socialize, then this is the place to be. The street is lined up with oodles of cafes, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and a lot more.
3 Days in Ho Chi Minh Final Day
Today, plan an entire day tour to Mekong Delta. On the south of Saigon, Mekong is a vast network of islands and rivers. Besides, the enticing natural beauty, a Mekong tour will give you an opportunity to explore the rural and cultural side of the region. A visit to the island includes a boat ride.
In the evening, go on a pilgrimage tour to Cao Dai Temple. A day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to this temple takes you on a peaceful and spiritual tour in Vietnam. Though the architecture of this shrine is more like a church, as you’ll step inside of it, you will be amazed to see the exquisite interior of this place.
**Bonus: If you aren’t interested in going to a temple make sure you check out Landmark 81. This is highest building in HCMC and is absolutely stunning. They have a park on the backside of the building that has an incredible view of the river and landmark. I mean check this out! You can’t miss this right?**
Bun Bo Hue is a must-try dish that we recommend you to try on your last day of the tour. It is a rice noodle soup which includes beef broth, shrimp sausage, and crab meatball. Bun Bo Hue Dong Ba, Bun Bo Hue 31, and Bun Bo Hue Nam Giao.
Since you now have all the information on what to do in Ho Chi Minh City, you can make the most of your time in Saigon. With this guide at your fingertips, you will be aware of all the attractions in advance, and hence, will be able to execute a hassle short vacation to Ho Chi Minh City.