Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) + The South
Things to do in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) + The South
From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in Ho Chi Minh Saigon The South. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Ho Chi Minh Saigon The South attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.
Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh Saigon The South to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in Ho Chi Minh Saigon The South.
Formerly known as the Exhibition House of American War Crimes (at least until the United States became Vietnam’s biggest trading partner), this haphazardly organized museum provides not so much a coherent narrative of Vietnam’s conflicts with the French and Americans as a visceral and often grues
Housed in a restored colonial villa (next door to a former opium refinery) with a broad terrace overlooking a tree-shrouded courtyard, this louche hot spot is a hangout for the local beau monde. It’s perpetually jammed, especially on weekend nights, when live bands or DJs reign.
At this minimalist shop tucked under the Beaux-Arts Municipal Theater, graphic primary-color classics are reminiscent of Michael Kors; a crimson satin party dress with an exposed zipper is a steal for less than $100.
This stunning example of grand French colonial architecture is still in remarkably good shape considering the fate of so many similar relics here. While it’s not possible to visit without an appointment, anyone can amble by for a glimpse of one of the city’s prettiest buildings.
What was once Vietnam’s hippest nightspot—in the mid-1990s pioneer days—has lost a bit of its edge: the new décor is too flashy, the lighting distracting, and the clientele more corporate than cool.
Racks of candy-colored Indo-chic dresses (from $120) fill the sleek pink-and-black space. Traditional Asian silhouettes are modernized and delivered in unusual fabrics such as houndstooth or nubby wool.
Pick up a Vietnamese ao dai (a woman's costume of tunic and flowing pants) reinvented by Minh Khoa, Ho Chi Minh City's edgiest couturier.
Tucked away in the landmark Eden Mall, right off busy Dong Khoi Street, this centrally located sleek salon and spa is a favorite of well-heeled Saigonese.
The vintage ‘60s soundtrack (from the Fifth Dimension to the Shangri-Las), lengthy cocktail list, and fabulous skyline views from this sprawling ninth-floor terrace bar draw plenty of American tourists and expats.
The shop's two rooms abound with perfectly curated antiques and Art Deco reproductions such as a sexy, low-slung mahogany club chair for just $400. If you fall for any of the tasteful settees, or can't live without an oversize glazed-ceramic lamp, the shop arranges shipping.
One of the city’s premier shopping destinations, Zen Plaza is a retail center containing several floors of shops, including designer brands like Diesel, as well as a food court with options like Pho 24 and a photo studio.
Saigon’s largest selection of English-language books, travel guides, and magazines is also a good bet for postcards, maps, and hard-to-find international newspapers.
Since the “Five O’Clock Follies” (the U.S. military’s daily press briefings during the Vietnam War) were held downstairs, the rooftop garden—with its wacky Dr. Seussian topiary—became a beloved journo hangout, and remains an essential tourist stop to this day.
Locating Villa Anupa, hidden down a slender lane off Le Thanh Ton Street, is a challenge; even harder is deciding which of Anupa Horvil's butter-soft leather bags should come home with you. Will it be the white hobo with tourmaline beading ($250)? Or the metallic-gray clutch ($160)?