Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Things to Do / Activities in Saigon

There are more things to do in Ho Chi Minh City than travelers might imagine. While initial activities may consist of exploring historical landmarks, museums and motorbike-packed streets, as well as trying out the city’s various delicacies and favorite street eats, the bulk of Saigon’s activities remains to be discovered by new visitors.

Tours and excursions are must-dos for visitors stopping by for a day or two. Those planning to stay longer will be surprised to find plenty of activities besides sightseeing. Saigon’s nightlife is active every night of the week, with everything from low-key hipster bars to rooftop glamour lounges each sharing much appreciation among the city’s party-addicted crowd.

While bars, clubs and karaoke joints of Western and local variety reign supreme at night, things tend to tone down a bit during the day; Fortunately, activities are no less plentiful. Stop by the park for a quick read, play a variety of sports with the locals, join a live detective game, discover lesser-known districts like Cho Lon in District 5 (Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown), take a cooking or crafts class, experience the city’s massage parlours and much more.

Families will be happy to know there are numerous venues and activities that cater to all ages and sizes, including Ho Chi Minh City’s many malls, like Vincom Center and VivoCity, as well as cinemas with the latest Western movies and outdoor and indoor markets packed with interesting knick-knacks for both kids and parents.

Those planning on going suit or dress shopping and have a bit of time have the chance to get a bespoke suit crafted by a skilled tailor. Our guide on finding a tailor in Saigon should help you navigate the initially daunting task of getting great custom-made clothes.

Thanks to the city’s central location, many adventures await on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, offering endless weekend getaways possibilities. Madagui Forest City, only a few hours away, is nearly as large as a national park and contains camping grounds, team activities and many hiking trails. Beaches at Vung Tau and Phan Thiet are no more than several hours away and offer excellent opportunities for whiling away an afternoon kicking the sand and watching the waves.

whether you’re a backpacker, expat or exploring with your family, Ho Chi Minh City will always have a good deal of activities for those who look a little deeper.

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  • Saigon Cooking Class

    Through the century old archway lies a peaceful courtyard, home of Hoa Tuc restaurant and Saigon Cooking Class. Learn the secrets of Saigon cuisine with an English-speaking Vietnamese chef in a uniquely elegant setting. The food focus is both traditional and modern fare. Half-day gourmet tours, hands-on cooking classes and private classes are available. Located in the heart of Ho ...

  • Vietnam Cookery Center

    When in HCMC learn the secrets of Vietnamese gastronomy with a hands-on cooking course. Meet your instructor chef at Ben Thanh Market and discover local produce. Then head out to the school to master authentic Vietnamese cooking. The classes, held inside the school's spacious 1930s colonial building, are fun, relaxed and delicious. What better memory to take home from Saigon ...

  • Miso to Mirin – Saigon Cooking Class Delivers Again

    Recently, City Pass had a chance to check out the new Japanese cooking class at Blanchy Street. Miso, Mirin, and Dashi all filled the air with nuanced aromas and odors as Chef Martin Brito gives the ins and outs of crafting the simple, yet complex, dishes of Japan. Hailing from Sydney’s west, Brito spent over a decade in London honing ...

  • Those looking to keep fit in Ho Chi Minh City need to look no further than this fully equipped health club. Equally popular with Vietnamese and expatriates living in the city, the club offers a rooftop swimming pool, an international squash court, male and female changing areas and saunas along with weekly classes in the fitness studio. Located on the 15th and 16th floors of The Landmark Building, the club is known for its breathtaking views combined with the latest gym equipment and friendly staff.
  • In the heart of Saigon's District 1 at the towering Vincom Center, Vincharm Health Club is a full service modern gym with the latest workout equipment. A Western style fitness centre, the spacious and clean facilities feature free weights, cardiovascular machines, a pool, sauna, and steam bath. You can also take classes in yoga, belly dancing and general workout techniques. Burn some calories at one of the leading five star gyms in Ho Chi Minh City. Located on Levels 3 and 4 of Vincom Center, Vincharm Health Club is a modern, fully furnished health and fitness complex where you ...
  • Galaxy Cinema Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City’s original big cinema chain since 2005. Movies include American blockbusters (with Vietnamese subtitles), foreign films (again, with Vietnamese subtitles), 3D movies and, of course, Vietnamese flicks. Two of the theaters reside in District 1, one in District 6, one in the Go Vap district, and one in the Tan Binh district. Galaxy Kinh Duong Vuong in District 6 is the chain's newest and most technologically advanced theatre, although it's a bit far from the city center. Tuesdays are Galaxy's "Happy Day," when select movie tickets are discounted. Ticket ...
  • CGV Cinemas delivers a premium movie going experience with ten cinemas in some of the foremost shopping centres of Ho Chi Minh City. Originating from Korea, CGV Cinemas is the newest chain of movie theatres in Saigon, and they are rapidly expanding. Choose between standard theatre seats, a lovebox (specially designed chairs for couples) and private VIP screening rooms for your perfect night out at the movies. Their premium lobbies serve a variety of concessions and movies are available in standard format, digital, in-your-face 3D, 48FS and the new 4DX experience. There are ten CGV Cinemas locations in HCMC. Movies ...
  • Typifying a modern, noisy and fun bowling alley, Diamond Plaza Bowling in Saigon's Distric 1 has state of the art machines, 24 wide lanes and your choice of bumpers or no-nonsense gutters. Lanes are priced by the hour and you can rent socks and shoes, good news if you showed up in flip-flops. After a game or two, throw down on the snooker tables or check out the rest of the recently revamped Diamond Plaza, a central HCMC shopping complex including department stores, a food court and a slew of desirable merchandise. One of Ho Chi Minh City's ...
  • So you think you can dance? There are a number of places to dance, or learn how to in Ho Chi Minh City. From Salsa to Swing, ballet to belly dancing, Saigon can dance. On Wednesday nights at 8:30 pm try Cafe Molinari at 5 Le Duan for a free basic swing class. Drop by La Salsa at 212 Nguyen Dinh Chieu any night for social salsa. Generally there is no need to take a dance partner. While walking around the parks of central Saigon, keep an eye out for clusters of teenagers practicing the latest dance moves. In ...

Premier activities in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Halloween in Saigon 2014: Ready for the most thrilling party of the year?

    Saigon is going to welcome one of the biggest remaining parties of the year at the end of this October. Halloween, of course. Jump on the bangwagon with City Pass's recommended activites and get thrilled. Count down to the spookiest festival with this legendary music video by "King of Pop" Micheal Jackson. Wake Up Saigon: Zombie Walk on November 1, ...

  • Things to Do in 72 Hours in Saigon

    For most travelers, 72 hours is enough in crazy Saigon. The traffic is lethal, the chaos is incredible and the weather is stinking hot. Many who travel to Vietnam are overwhelmed by one of Southeast Asia’s most bustling cities, and with rustic Hanoi, romantic Hoi An and the lazy beaches of Nha Trang beckoning, most tourists just want to move ...

  • Running Culture in HCMC 2015: Head to new challenges!

    Ho Chi Minh City’s cardio culture is exploding, and with it, unique events that include nightly races and paint-drenched runs. Here are some of the city’s more interesting runs. Thanks to the rising development of highway systems and events designed to appeal to large audiences, not just experienced athletes, HCMC’s running culture is growing in size every year. Some of ...

  • 10 Great Places to Shop in Saigon

    Shopping is, whether unfortunately or not, an indispensable part of life. How can you eat if you don’t buy the food first? How can you buy the food if you have nothing to wear out of the house? We need shoes for work, food for fuel, phones and laptops to communicate, vehicles to get from place to place, machinery, gadgets, ...

  • April's Hottest Events from 7 April to 12 April

    April's Hottest Events from 7 April to 12 AprilMonday 7th of April Made in Japan cocktail feast. Chill Bar is presenting “Made In Japan”, a cocktail feast that will shake up six different Japanese styled cocktails. The sake based secret recipes will be created by world class mixologist Le Thanh Tung, and are just 150,000VND++/cocktail, a unique opportunity for cocktail ...

  • Add Colour to your Life

    Add Colour to your Life Color Me Run will come to Vietnam for the first time on 19 April 2014 in Phu My Hung, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. This fun run has gained popularity worldwide and a number of similar events have been organized in many countries.It all began in January 2012 in Arizona, USA, when 6000 participants ...

  • Golf in Vietnam

    Golf in Vietnam. Great Experience   Although Vietnam has only 30 golf courses in operation, they are all very high quality and some outstanding designs by the top golf architects in the world. If you get the opportunity to play, you will not be disappointed and you will be made so very welcome wherever you go. As yet, there are ...

  • Saigon Artbook Did It Again!

    Saigon Artbook Did It Again! Saigon Artbook is a quarterly publication that catalogs the work of three artists who live in the Saigon area, in the hope of promoting innovative and undiscovered artists. With each catalog, Saigon Artwork hosts a party where people can come to meet the artists and enjoy their work. For more information, visit Saigon Artbook Webpage. The ...

  • Escape Party - Age of Tomorrow

    What are you planning for the New Year's Eve? A countdown party with spaceships and mirror dancers coming from the future? The Headliner of Escape Party this time will be Aly & Fila - the world's NO.1 TRANCE DJ duo. Aly&Fila is an Egyptian trance music duo made up of Aly Amr Fathalah and Fadi Wassef Naguib. They host an ...

  • Afrojack to Rock Saigon

    Afrojack to Rock Saigon Afrojack, the Grammy Award-winning DJ ranked 9th in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs, will headline the Future Now Music Festival that is organised next month. Far East Movement, the popular American hip hop band that visited HCMC last year, also makes an appearance. The Festival will be a one-night performance and will take place on 7 ...

  • 2 Years Beats with Headliner: Martin Eyerer (Ger) // Kling Klong

    2 Years Heart Beats DJ Bios and Recordings Map FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2014-DOORS 8PM TO LATE This is the 10th installment of Heart Beat PRESENTING MartinEyerer// Kling Klong Records[GER] Cybersnack// Zeros + Ones, Cyberculture Hanoi [GER] Chris Wolter, Heart Beat Saigon [GER] B.A.X // Feel of Life Records, Heart Beat [VN] Live visuals by EROL // Heart Beat [SWE] VENUE/ADDRESS ...

  • Don't Let Rainy Season Dampen Your Week.

    Don't Let Rainy Season Dampen Your Week. It's that time of year again. The grey clouds that cover the sky, the single raindrop that multiplies in a matter of seconds, the hands sheltering eyes, the motorists lining the side of the road scrambling to don their colourful, plastic coats. It's rainy season. Soon you'll start to notice emptier streets and ...

  • Will Visa process dampen HCMC's tourist growth?

    Will Visa process dampen HCMC's tourist growth? According to HCMC’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, an estimated 1 million visitors arrived in the city during the first quarter of January - March 2013 – an increase of 18% on the year before. This means that HCMC is on target to attract 4.1m visitors this year. To achieve the annual ...

  • Get Yourself Body-Painted for Free!

    Get Yourself Body-Painted for Free! Color Me Run, which takes place in HCMC on 19 April, is the most colourful and craziest running event this year. The best thing is, we have 3 FREE Color Me Run tickets to give away to the value of $20 each. How to win a ticket: 1) Like the City Pass Facebook page and ...

  • Ice Skating at Crescent Mall

    Ice Skating in the tropical Vietnamese city? When I was informed that there was going to be an ice skating rink in Ho Chi Minh, I thought it would be novel to ice skate in a city where the ambient temperature hovers around 30 degrees year round. I checked out the website and saw some great images that piqued my ...

  • XO Tours: Much imitated but never replicated!

    We all know that it is near on impossible to copyright an idea and protect intellectual property in Vietnam. But what does that mean for your day to day business when you have an original idea and an excellent product? Luckily although people can steal your ideas – in minute detail – and almost totally replicate your offering - it’s ...

  • Saigon: What to Do in 24 Hours?

    You are traveling to Saigon for less than 24 hours and you want to know what to do in just 1 day? Luckily for you, most of the major attractions, spas, hotels and restaurants of Ho Chi Minh City are located in the district 1, which is small enough to be crossed by foot in 1 hour. If you manage ...

  • Arabian Night in HCMC

    Funds raised from the event will be donated to Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in District 10 to renovate and buy equipment for a Multi-Sensory Room that supports 305 students here to develope their academic learning. Multi-Sensory Learning happens when more than one sense is used to acquire and retain information – so applicable for children with multi-disabilities. ...