Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide on a Budget

Ho Chi Minh city travel guide is designed for those who love Vietnam and wish to explore this charming country within a budget. There is plenty of knowledge you should learn before picking up your bag and beginning the journey. Grab some interesting and useful knowledge here!

When to go to Ho Chi Minh city

It is true to say that Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is a hot travel spot where international tourists can visit anytime of the year because there is no threat of disaster here. The only thing they take into account before setting foot in the city is which season they should choose to go; dry season or rainy season. The majority of people who have ever arrived in Vietnam and spent a specific time on the city definitely recommend that dry season is better. Why? It is just because dry season is beneficial to sightseeing and also helps avoid stagnant ponds along streets or roads.


Cyclo is one of the best way to get around Vietnam on local public transport

Bus is the cheapest and most popular means of public transport in Ho Chi Minh City. Daily, there are lots of bus routes from place to place, and you easily find some bus stops along streets in the city. Upon searching for HCM Bus Route Map, you will get some buses departing from Ben Thanh Market for Tan Son Nhat Airport, Binh Tay Market, Mien Tay bus station, and Mien Dong bus station, such as 152, 1, 102, and 26.

Taxi is also regarded as a good choice when you travel in the Ho Chi Minh City. You can easily find taxi service from reputable brands like Mai Linh, Vinasun, and Futa.

Cyclo is a great way to travel around the downtown area because you can leisurely get a sense of the Saigonese’s lifestyle.

Motorbike taxi as well as “xe om” is found at corners of many streets in the city. It is also convenient to use this means of transport. Remember to ask the fare before getting in.

Rental motorbike: coming to the backpacker area (Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien streets), you’d better get a rental motorbike for your Ho Chi Minh city full day tour, which helps you fully explore and experience the city.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh city

Pham Ngu Lao street is the best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh City on a tight budget

Backpacker area (Pham Ngu Lao-Bui Vien streets): this place is the best recommendation for your budget holiday in Vietnam. Not only do you book hotels at the cheap price, but there are also lots of cafés, restaurants, groceries, and travel agencies within walking distance of those accommodations. Surprisingly, some guesthouses offer rooms from $12 per guest.

Ben Thanh Market: It is not easy to find mid-range hotels surrounding the Ben Thanh market since it is the heart of downtown, but Ly Thai To and Le Thanh Ton are two streets where the hotels’ rooms are provided with the price from $35 per night for one person.

Read more: Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City on a Tight Budget

Where to visit in Ho Chi Minh city

 Ho Chi Minh city travel guide on a budget

Reunification Palace: A visit to Ho Chi Minh City will not be complete unless you enter Reunification Palace as it is referred to as a symbol of the Vietnam’s independence. In 1975, the building’s gate was crashed by the North Vietnamese Army’s tank, and this event helped end the Vietnam War and marked the nation’s peace.

Address: 135, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC.

Opening hours:  8:00-11:00AM, 1:00-4:00PM

Entrance fee: VND 20,000 (about $1)/person

Saigon Central Post Office: a sightseeing tour to this destination will allow you to explore French architectural structures dating back to the colonial time.

Address: No.2, Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC

Opening hours: 7:00AM – 7:00PM from Monday to Friday, 7:00AM-6:00PM (Saturday), 8:00AM-6:00PM (Sunday)

Entrance fee: VND 30,000/person

Ben Thanh market: it is amazing to visit this market and shop for specialties before leaving Vietnam.

Address: Phan Boi Chau Street, Ben Thanh Ward, HCMC

Opening hours: 24/24 from Tuesday to Sunday

No entrance fee

War Remnants Museum: the museum stores lots of exhibits on the Vietnam and Indochina wars. To understand more the Vietnamese history, this visit is actually deserving.

Address: 28 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC

Opening hours: 7:30AM-12:00PM, 1:30–5:00PM

Entrance fee: VND 15,000/person

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral: it is also a French architectural style built in the colonial age; its structure is clearly unique and deserves to be contemplated.

Address: No.2, Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District , HCMC

Mass time: 5:30AM, 6:30AM, 7:30AM, 9:30AM (Sunday)

No entrance fee

Book now: Ho Chi Minh city tours (half day) price from $12

Where to shop in Ho Chi Minh city

Saigon Square is one of the best shopping places in Saigon

Lucky Plaza: it is known as one of the most outstanding malls in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can find and get a great diversity of handbags, clothing items, accessories, cosmetics, souvenirs, etc.

Address: 69 Dong Khoi street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC

Opening hours: 10:00AM – 10:00PM

Saigon Square: just like other shopping malls, you can get lots of items you desire here, but the only thing you should remember is that their prices are inflated, compared to somewhere else.

Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.

Opening hours: 08:00 AM– 10:00 PM

Taka Plaza is better for most shopaholics because the items’ prices here are cheaper than those of other malls. Additionally, salesclerks at booths of Taka will not be annoyed when you try to bargain.

Address: 102 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.

Opening hours: 9:00 AM– 9:00 PM

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh city

Banh Mi vietnam is one of the must try food in Saigon

Com Tam or Broken Rice: the dish is broken rice topped with fried scallion, pork, eggs, and some slices of cucumber and tomato. It’s extremely mouth-watering and deserves to be tried.

Bot Chien is also called Vietnamese Fried Rice Flour Cake in English. Its flavor is amazing, and it is served with soya sauce and chili.

Banh Trang Tron is a kind of salad in which there rice paper, beef jerky, mango, and some spices.

Further, there are other awesome recipes like Banh Mi, Pha Lau, Goi Kho Bo (aka Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky), Sup Cua (aka Vietnamese Crab Soup), Xien Que (aka Grilled Pork Skewer), Goi Cuon (aka Spring Rolls), and Snail.

Ho Chi Minh city’s nearby hot spots

Cu Chi tunnels: It will be a great pity when you ignore Cu Chi Tunnels – the most bizarre network of tunnels in the world. Many people suppose that the tunnels are depicted as an underground village, which is also the further proof of the “steel” spirit of Vietnamese.

Cao Dai temple, where the faithful of the Cao Dai religion worship will be an ideal spot for sightseeing. It helps you learn more about features in the religious culture of locals.

Mekong Delta: the destination is a hideaway you can escape from the hustling city. A relaxing and comfortable feeling occurs when you let yourself dip under the cool shadow of palm trees and in the breeze.

Vung Tau – Con Dao island: experiencing a beach trip is also a good idea when you are staying in Vietnam, so Vung Tau – Con Dao Island, where there are stunning and breathtaking beaches will be great recommendations.

Da Lat: thirsty for the fresh air and cool weather, you should think of highlands, e.g. Da Lat. This city is famous for fascinating attractions, like Xuan Huong Lake, Flower Garden, Langbiang mountain, Da Lat Market, vegetable plantations, etc.

Mui Ne – Phan Thiet: Phan Thiet not only owns enthralling beaches, but there are also many wonderful places to visit, such as Fairy Stream, White Sand Dunes, Red Sand Dunes, Fishing Village, Dragon Fruit Farm, etc.

Book now: Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnel (full day trip) price from $45


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