Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Probably one of the best cities in Southeast Asia if you are a fan of walking tours. Doing a Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour is relatively easy even for beginners. Most of the attractions are at walking distance from each other. They can also be reached with leisurely walks along the tree lined streets of Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

It is said that the Ho Chi Minh city hall is one of the finest French colonial heritage building there is in Saigon.  Built from 1902-1908 this was originally built as a hotel and was aptly called Hotel De Ville De Saigon. After the Viet Cong recaptures the south the building was later renamed to People’s Committee building.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: No (Outside only)
Fee: N/A

Tip: If you collect starbucks mugs or tumblers, you can buy yours at the starbucks across the city hall.

Nguyen Hue

A beautiful plaza fronting the Ho Chi Minh city hall becomes a venue for people to congregate and relax after a day’s work. The plaza that stretches all the way to the Saigon river comes alive at night full with street food that people can share. Though it is best to visit this plaza at night it still is worth to take a peek and have a photo take with uncle Ho at the back.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Toursource

Public Access: Yes
Fee: N/A

Saigon Opera House

The opera house was built by French architect Eugène Ferret in 1897. The same building was used as a lower house assembly hall of South Vietnam after 1956. This French Colonial heritage building was not used a theater until 1975. We actually didn’t get to see the inside of the theater during our Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour because there were on going performances. So we just took photos outside and in the lobby.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: Show Dependent: Check Show Tickets Here

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

A majestic brick structure, a heritage building left by the French colonizers the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica stands beautifully at the heart of Saigon. This Catholic Church was built in the late 1800’s to serve the spiritual needs of the Catholic French who resides in the city. As you step inside the church you will feel the solemnity of the people’s devotion to Mary the patron saint of the church giving you a respite from the long walks on your Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Saigon Post Office

Next stop in our Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour is a building built by the same architect as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Gustav Eiffel. Yes this amazing french architect was the person behind Saigon’s central post office. The building still functions the same as since it was ‘first built. This heritage building stand just right across the famed Nortre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Independence Palace

Formerly the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam before the invasion/recapture of North Vietnam. The building is symbolic to today’s Vietnam as their reunification palace as this was the last stand of the US backed state of South Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: VND 30k

Turtle Lake

The Turtle lake is popular among locals as the go to place for some street food in the afternoon. The lake is situated a few hundred meters from the Presidential Palace. It gained the name Turtle lake because of its octagonal shape that resembles a turtle.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Benh Than Market

One of the best place to shop if you are looking for bulk purchases of clothing. Benh Than market has a diverse range of merchandise from food, shoes, clothes and other souvenirs. This could be a perfect end to your Ho Chi Minh city walking tour just right before you fly back home.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Tip: If Ho Chi Minh is your last or only stop and want to shop we suggest to go to Nguyen Trai night markets.

War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a place put up by the government to show the horrors of the Vietnam War from the Viet Cong perspective. The museum curates some of the equipment and weaponry of the US forces spread across multiple levels.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: VND 15k

Tip: Try seeing this museum on a separate day. There’s so much to see and learn here. Take everything with a grain of salt though.

The total distance between all of these places (excluding the War Remnants) is 3 kilometers from the Saigon Opera House to Ben Thanh Market. It’s not that bad if you would think about it but if you include all the walking inside the museums and the market it can get tiring. So make sure that you stretch your legs and eat a good breakfast!.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour Route/Itinerary

Here’s how I suggest you get around these spots.

  • Start at the Saigon Opera House then proceed to Nguyen Hue and the City Hall. All of these attractions are good enough to be seen from the outside. Also, there is no public access for the Ho Chi Minh City Hall.
  • If you have much time to spend, you can try out one of the cafes in the apartment building facing the plaza.
  • Next stop is the Saigon Post Office. This is a good opportunity for you to buy some post cards and send them back home.
  • After the Saigon Post Office a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is just appropriate. The cathedral basilica is just across the street anyway. If you are a catholic this is a great place to stop and reflect and pray for intercession from Mary.
  • From the Notre Dame Cathedral make your way to the Presidential Palace. You can spend a good hour at this place exploring the former strong hold of South Vietnam.
  • If you finish all of them in the morning (Opera House, city hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Presidential Palace), I suggest that you visit the Lunch Lady. This Lunch Lady was made famous by Anthony Bourdain’s visit where he tasted her meal for the day.
  • After lunch you can visit the War Remnants Museum and just spend some quality time there.
  • Once you are done with the museum a quick visit to the Turtle Lake for some snacks would be awesome.
  • A visit to Ben Thanh market can be arranged if you still have time. However the best time to visit the Market is early in the morning. Vendors have this belief that once a customer inquires it will be lucky for their store for the entire day if the person buys. I tell you  they will give you huge discounts if you come in the morning. Though you need to be equipped with basic bargaining skills still.

There you go! I hope this walking tour guide helped you with the information you need for you trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. If you prefer to have a guided Ho Chi Minh Walking Tour Check Out Here For Rates for great value tours. You can also check out out our “free” food tour in Saigon if you plan to eat taste the dishes of the city.

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