Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis that offers an array of attractions and activities for visitors to explore. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, discovering this city in just one day can be challenging. However, with a suitable itinerary and planning, you can experience the best of Saigon’s sights, sounds, and tastes in a limited time frame. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive one day itinerary to explore Ho Chi Minh City, highlighting some of the most popular and exciting destinations that can be easily combined for convenient sightseeing without wasting much time searching. We’ll also provide some valuable tips on making the most of your time in this dynamic city while prioritizing nearby attractions over those that require a lot of travel time.
One Day Itinerary to Explore Ho Chi Minh City – Morning: Discovering Saigon’s Iconic Landmarks
Notre Dame Cathedral – Turtle Lake – Ben Thanh Market – Ngoc Hoang Pagoda – Saigon Botanical Gardens – Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum.
Start your day trip in Ho Chi Minh City by visiting the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in District 1. This stunning church is an architectural masterpiece that combines Romanesque and Gothic styles, making it a must-visit spot for first-time visitors. After taking some photos, take a short walk to Turtle Lake, a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists alike. You can enjoy the scenery and taste some delicious street food.
Next, head to Ben Thanh Market, another must-visit spot famous for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious food. Take your time to explore the market, shop for souvenirs, and try some of the local specialties like broken rice, fresh spring rolls, and Southern-style sweet soup.
Afterward, head to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, located nearby. This historic landmark was built in 1864 and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including ancient trees that are hundreds of years old. Opposite the gardens is Independence Palace, and at the main gate, you will find the Temple of the Hung Kings and the Vietnam History Museum, which are also worth a visit.
Before ending your morning tour, visit the Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, a beautiful temple located in District 1 with unique spiritual significance. Finally, stop by the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts in Nguyen Thai Binh Ward to admire its impressive French Baroque architecture and valuable artwork.
With these iconic landmarks on your itinerary, you will surely experience the best of Saigon in just one day.
Afternoon: Tan Dinh Church – Phap Hoa Pagoda – Mien Market
In the afternoon, continue your exploration of the city’s stunning architecture with a visit to Tan Dinh Church. Located at 289 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 8, District 3, this pink church boasts a rare Gothic architecture in Vietnam. Entry is free; many picturesque photo spots exist inside and outside the church. Afterward, head to nearby food stalls to taste local street food such as banh xeo, strawberry tea, salty sticky rice, and fried dough. Alternatively, check out the restaurants inside the Landmark 81 tower for a fancier dining experience.
Next, visit Phap Hoa Pagoda at 870 Truong Sa Street, Ward 14, District 3, in the city center near Le Van Sy Bridge. Established in 1928 and has undergone several renovations, the temple features unique architecture and is surrounded by green space full of flowers and grass. It’s an attractive spiritual destination and a beautiful photo spot in Saigon.
Complete your day in Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to Mien Market at 382 Le Hong Phong Street. This unique market features Cambodian culture and offers a variety of delicious specialties of the Mien people, such as “thot not cake” and orange dessert soup. Don’t miss this opportunity to taste and experience the local cuisine.
Overall, this one-day itinerary for exploring Ho Chi Minh City will allow you to see the city’s iconic landmarks and experience the vibrant culture of Saigon. With a mix of spiritual destinations, architectural gems, and delicious food, this itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors or travelers on a tight schedule.
Evening: Nguyen Hue Walking Street – Bui Vien Street
In the evening, Ho Chi Minh City comes alive with many exciting tourist destinations waiting for you to explore. The most famous one is Nguyen Hue Walking Street, located in the heart of the city. Here, you can stroll down the street, take photos, and check out the famous 42-story book street building. You can also indulge in the attractive food paradise with various specialties from different regions in Vietnam.
Besides Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Bui Vien Street is also a must-visit for Ho Chi Minh City evening activities. This bustling street offers many performances, entertainment activities, cultural experiences, relaxation spots, cafes, and an incredible food paradise that blends the culture of many countries.
This itinerary is perfect for exploring Ho Chi Minh City in a day, especially if you’re visiting for the first time. However, many fascinating tourist destinations in Saigon are still waiting for you to discover. So, plan your photo-taking trip and explore this vibrant city’s wonders.
In conclusion, Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, offers visitors an exciting mix of history, culture, architecture, and delicious food. With just one day to explore this bustling city, it’s vital to prioritize nearby attractions and make the most of your time. This one-day itinerary highlights some of the most iconic landmarks in Saigon, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, and Ngoc Hoang Pagoda. It also includes lesser-known but equally fascinating spots, such as Tan Dinh Church and Mien Market. The itinerary ends with two vibrant evening destinations, Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Bui Vien Street. Following this itinerary, you can experience the best of Saigon’s sights, sounds, and tastes in just one day. However, many other exciting destinations are still waiting for you to discover in this dynamic city.