Sightseeing Saigon

Saigon has a multitude of places to explore with tight alleys and backstreets of Bui Vien to the local markets of Ben Thanh.

Take a cyclo ride around and visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, the old Post Office and the Independence palace for a day of sightseeing around Saigon.

Take a look at some of the places we at Vietnam Backpacker Tips would recommend sightseeing Saigon & check out the rich history embedded within the walls of Ho Chi Minh City.

Nhà Thờ Tân Định Church
<p>The Nhà Thờ Tân Định Church in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam</p> <p>
</p> <p>Being quite a unique church, the French had a major presence in Vietnam and started to build the church in the 1870s. It was finally open in 1876 as a Catholic Church. The following year in 1877, a boarding school was set up right next to it with roughly 300 children attending.</p> <p>The man who supervised the construction was Father Donatien Éveillard. In 1883, he unfortunately passed away and was buried under the church. Today, his tombstone can still be seen by visitors and tourists (Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture).</p> <p>Remodeling was to take place throughout the years and the large tower in front with the giant clock was built in the late 1920s. In 1957, it was painted pink both inside and out. More renovations still continued many years later even during the 100th anniversary of its opening in 1976.</p> <p>Today this is the second largest church in Ho Chi Minh city with Notre Dame being the first. It's a great sightseeing building and worth a stopover on your way to your next destination with the attractive pink colors and the Roman architecture. Catholic or not, It will catch your eye and is worth a visit! Enjoy!</p> <p>Opening Hours:</p> <p>Location:</p> <p>Price:  VND</p> <p> </p> <p>
Notre Dame Cathedral
<p>The Temple of Literature is a beautifully preserved attraction which many would say is the most beautiful in Hanoi.</p> <p>
</p> <p>Situated just down the road from the mausoleum, it is a natural walk from there to this wonderful Temple, which is more for a place of study than religious purposes.</p> <p>With stunning gardens and quite often at weekends local female students from Hanoi Universities in their traditional Ao Dais can be seen here and a wonderful photo opportunity.</p> <p>Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 8:30 - 11:30 & 13:30 - 16:30</p> <p>Location Address: <a href=",105.8406958,15z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x620e85c2cfe14d4c!2sHo+Chi+Minh+Mausoleum!8m2!3d21.0367789!4d105.8346447!3m4!1s0x3135ab9926e7bd67:0x580e078874d5df1e!8m2!3d21.0293643!4d105.8361644" target="_blank" rel="noopener">58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi</a></p> <p>Price: 30,000 VND</p> <p>
Old Post Office
<p>Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest pagoda dating back to the 6th Century and worth a visit during your trip to Hanoi.</p> <p>
</p> <p>This Buddhist shrine has been renamed in recent years from An Quoc to Tran Quoc (meaning protecting the country) and is nestled in between West Lake and Truc Bach lake.</p> <p>Standing 15 metres tall with 11 levels this is one the most iconic buildings you will see in Hanoi and worth a visit, especially as it is free to enter, although stay clear during TET holidays or weekends as it will be extremely busy and not many "selfies" but "groupies" to be had!</p> <p>Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 18:00</p> <p>Location: <a href=",+H%C3%A0+N%E1%BB%99i,+Vietnam/@21.0473444,105.8350946,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3135abae5931e32b:0xb5d945346116c5ff!8m2!3d21.0473444!4d105.8372833" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thanh Nien, Truc Bach, Ba Dình, Hanoi</a></p> <p>
Independence Palace
<p>Hoa Lo Prison, also known as Maison Centrale & The Hanoi Hilton is nestled in between offices and businesses deep in the suburbs of Hanoi city nearby Hai Ba Trung street.</p> <p>
</p> <p>The most famous prison in Vietnam housed Vietnamese revolutionaries & American POW's during the (American) Vietnam War.</p> <p>Portraying horror stories from past residents this is certainly an eye opener for the new Vietnam Backpacker travelling through Hanoi. From  guillotines to claimed uniforms from American soldiers to photos showing the living conditions during different periods, this is one attraction not to miss.</p> <p>Opening Hours: open daily from 08:00 until 17:00 and closed from lunch from 11:30 until 13:30</p> <p>Location: <a href=",105.8446515,17z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x3135ab94003cb3a9:0x8907e8c8de03e894!2zSG_huqMgTMOyLCBUcuG6p24gSMawbmcgxJDhuqFvLCBIb8OgbiBLaeG6v20sIEjDoCBO4buZaSwgVmlldG5hbQ!3b1!8m2!3d21.0259893!4d105.8468402!3m4!1s0x3135ab96aa51de95:0x9701e10bee31af54!8m2!3d21.025418!4d105.8465935" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hoa Lo Street</a></p> <p>Price: 30k VND</p> <p>
Ben Thanh Market
<p>Train street in Hanoi is now one of the most visited streets in Vietnam with hundreds of visitors every day taking snapshots in between the tracks posting to Instagram or Facebook.</p> <p>
</p> <p>With a few quaint little cafes dotted along the train tracks offering anything from egg coffees to beer, you can end up sitting here taking in the view even if a train isn't due for hours.</p> <p>The best time to visit train street in Hanoi is at weekends when more regular trains pass through the houses and give everyone a buzz as it steams on past inches away from the houses enveloping the tracks.</p> <p>Here is a photo of the timetable which may help you get the best out of the visit to train street in Hanoi.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1465 size-medium" src="" alt="" width="225" height="300" /><br /> </a></p> <p>
Binh Tay Market
<p>The Military History Museum is not for everyone but certainly for those people who enjoy seeing military weaponry or machinery dating back generations through Vietnams war history.</p> <p>
</p> <p>The Military Museum has a lot of aircraft on display and one which commands the most attention is the American B-52 bomber downed by the Vietnamese Army during the conflict.</p> <p>Inside you will come across a massive collection of war memorabilia with photos not too biased towards the Americans admittedly but with propaganda all over it is certainly a great place to visit for military buffs.</p> <p>
Jade Emperor Pagoda
<p>Hoan Kiem Lake is at the epicentre of Hanoi and probably the most visited lake in the whole of Vietnam with its ice cream parlours, cafes and the one true place to capture the culture of Vietnam.</p> <p>
</p> <p>Beautiful gardens & trees dipping their branches in to the water line this wonderful setting. The most photographed bridge in Hanoi & its lattice of red along with the simple but mesmerising turtle monument in the centre. This is one place you need to tick off your Hanoi Bucket List today!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1495 size-medium" src="" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a></p> <p>
War Remnants Museum
<p>This once dilapidated street has been given a 21st century facelift with stunning mural artworks which depict the culture and traditions of the local people of Hanoi.</p> <p>
</p> <p>Set up as a joint venture between Vietnamese and Korean artists in a community project back in 2018. The murals depict different parts of Hanoi such as Trang Tien, Old Quarter, Long Bien Bridge (just a short walk from here) and also local people hard at work whether carrying bamboo baskets or deeply engrossed in their calligraphy.</p> <p>Free to any passing tourists to pop along and take as many photos as one wishes, it is worth a walk from train street, maybe along the edges of the tracks getting a unique look on local life in Hanoi.</p> <p>A visit here will be a stepping stone on to the next attraction that Vietnam Backpacker tips would recommend visiting.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1491 size-medium" src="" alt="" width="225" height="300" /></a></p> <p>
Botanical Gardens
<p>Long Bien Bridge is probably the most painted or drawn iconic landmark in quaint cafes all over Hanoi. Built between 1899 - 1902 crossing the Red River to connect two districts of Hanoi.</p> <p>
</p> <p>A walk along this busy bridge is a sight to see any day of the week. Full of mopeds, bicycles, tuk tuks and people either exercising or fishing off the edge with nothing but a ball of string and a weight.</p> <p>A look down will also bring a whole new look in to life by the river with a floating village, gardeners working in their vegetable patches & at certain times you will get to see people swimming in the Red River.</p> <p>Not a lot of people know this but there is a nudist colony (only men, sorry guys) on the stretch of land filled with banana trees and foliage. This is a bit of a shock to an unsuspecting guy cycling around taking photos for his website for the first time...I can tell you 😮</p> <p>With a delightful old lady under the bridge camped out selling Tra Da (iced tea) and a great mural on the wall celebrating the year of the Pig, this for us at Vietnam Backpacker Tips is a venture in to real Hanoi.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1488 size-medium" src="" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a></p> <p>