A city famous for the principal role it played in Vietnam war and its French colonial landmarks is a perfect scene to unravel. Saigon has an abundance of things to offer travelers to do and experience that can pose as a challenge to stay on a budget. Here we present to you ten things to do for free in Ho Chin Minh City also known as Saigon.
1. Ben Thanh Market
Visit the Ben Thanh Market located at on Ho Chi Minh’s Lo Lei Street, District 1, where the local markets are filled with everything that you can imagine. From spices, clothes, souvenirs to housewares and jewelry, they have got it all. It is Saigon’s liveliest areas and is well-known for real Vietnamese food.
Address: Phan Bội Châu, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
2. Notre Dame Cathedral
The intricate Notre Dame Cathedral was built by the French during the 18oos. It stands next to the Post Office, and entrance is free. It is one of the popular sights visited by tourists as it is a prominent sacral building. Note that the cathedral is active and be mindful of the worshippers.
Address: 1, Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
3. Central Post Office
The Central Post Office was built in 1886 and 1891 by architecture Gustave Eiffel. It is the largest post office in Vietnam. The post office is reminiscent of the early European railway station, filled with lovely old phone boxes. The architecture is a blend of gothic and renaissance with French influences. It is surely the best place from which to send post cards.
Address: 2 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, tp. Hồ Chí Minh, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
4. Free Concert at Opera House
Concerts are on every Saturday mornings. Get up early on Saturday and watch them perform outside the opera house on the steps. They feature different orchestras every week. You can also enjoy the performance as you relax in the parks nearby.
Address: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
5. Tao Dan Park
Embrace the lush greenery that surrounds Tao Dan Park. It is one of the most attractive parks in the city. Here you can find locals exercising and practicing Tai Chi. Do look out for the replica of Nha Trang’s Cham tower and Hung King Temple that is ideal for taking photos.
Address: 110Bis, Nguyễn Du, Bến Thành, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
6. San Art Laboratory Museum
Sàn Art (‘san’ meaning ‘platform’) is a non-profit contemporary art museum dedicated to the exchange of cultural knowledge is open to all. The premise consists of a public reading room with both the textual and visual material. The exhibitions showcase local and diverse talent of Vietnam.
Address: 7 ward 19, 48 Mê Linh, Vietnam
7. Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)
Reunification Palace, built on the site of the former Norodom Palace is an iconic landmark. The architecture is a mix of both traditional and modern design. It is a historical monument as in 1975, a tank belonging to the North Vietnamese war crashed through its gate, symbolizing the end of the Vietnamese war. Entrance fee is about a dollar or two, so it is as good as free.
Address: 135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
8. Starlight Bridge
The starlight bridge is located in the heart of the commercial and financial district 7. It is the very first modern pedestrian of Vietnam that cost $2.5 million to construct. Take a romantic stroll in the evening to experience a 154 meter-long walk amongst led-lit stars.
Address: cầu Rạch Bàng 2, Vietnam
9. Saigon Free Walking Tours
Saigon free walking tours is a non-profit organization that is run by the hospitality and tourism students of Hoa Sen University. They offer a free city English-speaking tour and five other tours to cover different aspects of the city. More than 200 tourists have enjoyed their services, and you are bound to get a better understanding of the people and the culture.
10. Jade Emperor Pagodas
Ho Chin Minh is one of the biggest and oldest city of Vietnam. Thus it is home to many Pagodas and Temples. Jade Emperor Pagoda also known as Tortoise Pagoda is widely considered as the most picturesque shrine. It is said that those who don’t pass this gate will have to meet with the ‘God of Hell.’ Rituals are ongoing here, and you will find locals lighting candles and joss sticks. There is no entry fee, but you could make a donation.
Address: 40 Điện Biên Phủ Đa Kao Quận 1 Đa Kao Quận 1 Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam