24 Hours in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: One Day Itinerary

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

1 days

Thien Hau pagoda
Lit up skyscrapers and commercial buildings
Floating flower market on the river
Riverside sunset and city panorama
Evening city skyline

About Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Experience the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis. This city, formerly known as Saigon, is a bustling blend of the old and new, where skyscrapers tower over traditional markets. Explore the city's rich history at the War Remnants Museum and the Independence Palace. Wander through the narrow streets of Chinatown, and visit the ornate Thien Hau Temple. Enjoy the city's culinary scene, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants, offering a variety of Vietnamese delicacies. Don't miss the bustling Ben Thanh Market for shopping and a taste of local life. As the sun sets, enjoy the city's vibrant nightlife, with rooftop bars offering panoramic views. Ho Chi Minh City is a dynamic and fascinating destination that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and modernity.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Vibrant and Historic Ho Chi Minh City


Start your day with a visit to the bustling Ben Thanh Market, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and purchase local goods. Then, head to the War Remnants Museum to gain insight into Vietnam's history.


Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant. Try the famous Pho or Banh Mi, and don't forget to taste the local coffee.


After lunch, visit the Reunification Palace, a significant landmark of the city. Then, take a leisurely stroll around the beautiful Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and the Central Post Office, both architectural marvels.


For dinner, head to a street food market to experience the local cuisine. Try dishes like Goi Cuon (spring rolls) and Bun Cha (grilled pork with noodles).


End your day with a visit to the Saigon Opera House for a cultural performance. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll along the Saigon River to enjoy the city's night view.

Attractions in Itinerary (7)

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

A bustling market in the heart of the city, offering a wide range of goods from local produce to souvenirs.

Cultural Experiences
War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum

A museum dedicated to exhibiting the atrocities of the Vietnam War, featuring military equipment, photographs, and personal stories.

Cultural Experiences
Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace

A landmark in Vietnam, this palace is a symbol of the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. It features 1960s architecture and historical exhibits.

Cultural Experiences
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

A stunning French-built cathedral in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its neo-Romanesque style and two bell towers.

Religious Sites
Central Post Office

Central Post Office

A beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times, this functioning post office is also a tourist attraction for its architectural beauty.

Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House

A French colonial building that hosts a variety of performances, including ballet, musical concerts, and traditional Vietnamese dance.

Cultural Experiences
Saigon River

Saigon River

A major waterway in Vietnam, offering boat tours that provide a unique perspective of Ho Chi Minh City.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A traditional Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, usually beef or chicken. Pho is a popular street food in Ho Chi Minh City and is considered a national dish of Vietnam.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

A Vietnamese sandwich made from a baguette filled with various ingredients such as pate, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and hot sauce. Banh Mi is a symbol of French colonial influence in Vietnam.

Bun Cha

Bun Cha

A Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle, which is thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam. Bun Cha is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodle and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce.

Com Tam

Com Tam

A Vietnamese dish made from broken rice, often served with a fried egg, grilled pork, and pickled vegetables. Com Tam is a popular breakfast and lunch dish in Ho Chi Minh City.

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo

A crispy, stuffed rice pancake that is a popular street food in Vietnam. Banh Xeo is typically filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, and served with fresh herbs and a dipping sauce.

Goi Cuon

Goi Cuon

Also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, Goi Cuon are made with pork, shrimp, herbs, and rice vermicelli, all wrapped in rice paper. They are served at room temperature with a dipping sauce.

Ca Phe Sua Da

Ca Phe Sua Da

A traditional Vietnamese iced coffee made with dark roast coffee and sweetened condensed milk. Ca Phe Sua Da is a popular drink in Ho Chi Minh City, especially during the hot summer months.

Banh Trang Nuong

Banh Trang Nuong

Often referred to as 'Vietnamese pizza', Banh Trang Nuong is a grilled rice paper with various types of toppings such as egg, dried shrimp, and green onions.

Chao Vit

Chao Vit

A Vietnamese duck rice porridge that is a popular street food in Ho Chi Minh City. Chao Vit is typically served with ginger fish sauce and coleslaw.

Bia Hoi

Bia Hoi

A type of Vietnamese draft beer that is brewed daily and served in small bars and on street corners. Bia Hoi is a popular drink in Ho Chi Minh City due to its low alcohol content and refreshing taste.



A traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup or pudding. Che can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, including mung beans, black-eyed peas, tapioca, jelly, fruit, and coconut cream.

Hu Tieu

Hu Tieu

A popular noodle soup in Southern Vietnam, Hu Tieu can be served with different kinds of broth or without broth (dry). The main ingredients are rice noodles, pork, and various herbs.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this period, the city experiences less rain and the humidity is lower, making it the perfect time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The average temperature during these months ranges from 21°C to 34°C. However, if you want to experience the city's vibrant festival culture, visiting during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year in late January or early February, would be ideal.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


International New Year's Day

February 9


Vietnamese New Year's Eve

February 10


Vietnamese New Year

February 11


Tet holiday

February 12


Tet holiday

February 13


Tet holiday

February 14


Tet holiday

April 18


Hung Kings Festival

April 30


Liberation Day/Reunification Day

May 1


International Labor Day

September 2


Independence Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

These are the most common form of transport in Ho Chi Minh City. They are quick, efficient, and can navigate through the city's heavy traffic. You can find them on almost every street corner. Make sure to negotiate the price before the ride.

Grab is a popular ride-sharing app in Vietnam. It offers both car and motorbike rides. It's convenient, safe, and you can pay either by cash or credit card. The app also provides an estimated fare before you confirm your ride.

Traditional taxis are widely available in Ho Chi Minh City. Vinasun and Mai Linh are the most reputable taxi companies. They use meters, so make sure the driver turns it on at the start of your ride.

A cyclo is a three-wheel bicycle taxi that is a fun and leisurely way to see the city. It's best for short distances and not recommended for long journeys or during peak traffic hours.

Ho Chi Minh City has an extensive bus network that covers most tourist destinations. Buses are cheap and air-conditioned, but can be crowded during peak hours. English route information is available at major bus stations.

You can hire a private car with a driver for a day or for your entire stay. This is a comfortable and convenient option if you plan to visit multiple places in one day.

Walking is a great way to explore Ho Chi Minh City, especially the District 1 area where many tourist attractions are located. However, be aware of the traffic and cross the street with caution.

Renting a bicycle can be a fun way to explore the city at your own pace. However, it's not recommended for those who are not used to cycling in heavy traffic.

Boat trips along the Saigon River are a unique way to see the city. There are several tour operators offering sunset cruises, dinner cruises, or trips to nearby attractions like the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Renting a motorbike gives you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace. However, this is recommended only for experienced riders, as the city's traffic can be chaotic.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency₫ VND

Time zoneUTC+7

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 05; Fire: 08; Police: 03

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type BPower socket type C

Voltage220 V

Things to know about Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as a first time visitor


Ho Chi Minh City is located in the tropical region, so it has a tropical climate. The average temperature is around 27-30 degrees Celsius (80-86 degrees Fahrenheit).


The city has two main seasons: the rainy season from May to November and the dry season from December to April.


Vietnamese is the official language, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas and hotels.


The local currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or street vendors.


Tipping is not customary in Vietnam, but it is appreciated. In high-end restaurants and hotels, a service charge is often added to the bill.


Ho Chi Minh City is generally safe for tourists, but like any major city, petty crime like pickpocketing can occur. Be aware of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.


Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City can be chaotic, with a large number of motorbikes. Crossing the street can be a challenge. The key is to move at a steady pace and allow the traffic to flow around you.


Public transportation is available, including buses and a metro system. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are also popular.


Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and delicious. Don't miss trying local dishes like pho, banh mi, and spring rolls.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Always opt for bottled water.


The city is bustling and can be noisy, especially during rush hour. If you're sensitive to noise, consider bringing earplugs.


Vietnam is a conservative country. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.


The standard voltage in Vietnam is 220V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. Check if you need a power plug adapter or voltage converter.


Ho Chi Minh City is in the Indochina Time Zone (ICT), which is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7).


The city has a vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues.


Bargaining is common in markets and some shops. Don't be afraid to negotiate the price.


Vietnam has strict laws on drug use. Possession, trafficking, and use of drugs can lead to heavy fines or imprisonment.


Vietnam has a rich history and culture. Learning a few basic phrases in Vietnamese and understanding local customs can enhance your experience.


Healthcare facilities in Ho Chi Minh City are improving, but it's recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.


Always respect local customs and traditions. This includes not touching people's heads, not pointing with your feet, and removing your shoes before entering someone's home or a temple.

Basic Vietnamese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it


Xin chào

Sin chow

Greeting someone


Tạm biệt

Tam byet

Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you

Cảm ơn

Kam uhn

Expressing gratitude



Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying


Xin lỗi

Sin loy



Làm ơn

Lam uhn

Making a request

I don't understand

Tôi không hiểu

Toy khawng hee-oo

When you don't understand something

Do you speak English?

Bạn có nói tiếng Anh không?

Banh koh noy teeng anh khawng?

Trying to find someone who speaks English


Cứu tôi

Koo toy

In emergencies


Nhà vệ sinh

Nya vay sin

Looking for a bathroom


Thức ăn

Thook an

Looking for food




Asking for water




Ordering a beer


Cà phê

Ca fe

Ordering a coffee

How much?

Bao nhiêu?

Bow nyew?

Asking for the price

Too expensive

Quá đắt

Kwah dat

Negotiating a price

Where is...?

Ở đâu...?

Uh doh...?

Asking for directions


Khách sạn

Khack san

Looking for a hotel

I'm lost

Tôi bị lạc

Toy bee lack

When you're lost

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Hat or cap for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Raincoat or umbrella (in case of sudden rain)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Travel-sized shampoo and body wash

  • Deodorant

  • Sunscreen

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Insect repellent

  • Personal medication and first aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Vietnam Visa

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel booking confirmation

  • Local currency (Vietnamese Dong)

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger and power bank

  • Universal travel adapter

  • Camera

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel guidebook or map

  • Phrasebook or language app

  • Tissues or wet wipes

  • Backpack or daypack

Weather Conditions

Ho Chi Minh City, located in Vietnam, experiences a tropical climate which is characterized by high humidity and two distinct seasons - the wet season and the dry season. The dry season, from December to April, is generally considered the best time to visit. During this period, the city experiences average temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 34°C (93°F). The weather is mostly sunny with less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, it's advisable to carry a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the intense sun. The wet season, from May to November, is characterized by heavy but short-lived downpours, usually in the afternoon. The average temperature during this season ranges from 24°C (75°F) to 35°C (95°F). Despite the rain, the city remains vibrant and bustling. If you're planning to visit during this period, it's recommended to carry an umbrella or raincoat and waterproof footwear. Regardless of the season, the city's high humidity can make the heat feel more intense, so it's important to stay hydrated. Also, air-conditioned places like shopping malls, museums, and restaurants can provide a respite from the heat. Remember, weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Enjoy your visit to Ho Chi Minh City!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


31° / 21°

January is the coolest month in Ho Chi Minh City, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.


32° / 22°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, ranging from 22°C to 32°C. The weather is still relatively cool, making it a good time for sightseeing.


34° / 24°

March marks the beginning of the hot season with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy the heat.


35° / 25°

April is one of the hottest months in Ho Chi Minh City, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C. Be sure to stay hydrated and wear sun protection.


34° / 24°

May sees a slight decrease in temperature, ranging from 24°C to 34°C. The weather is still hot, but there's also a higher chance of rain.


34° / 24°

June is the start of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind the occasional shower.


34° / 24°

July is similar to June, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. The weather can be unpredictable, with sunny days and sudden showers.


34° / 24°

August continues the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. Despite the rain, the city remains vibrant and lively.


34° / 24°

September sees a decrease in rainfall, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. It's a good time to visit if you prefer less rain.


34° / 24°

October is the end of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 34°C. The weather starts to cool down, making it a great time for outdoor activities.


33° / 23°

November sees a further decrease in temperature, ranging from 23°C to 33°C. The weather is cooler and drier, making it a great time to explore the city.


32° / 22°

December is one of the coolest months in Ho Chi Minh City, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 32°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.

Did you know?

Did you know that Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam by population?

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