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.

  • Cooking Class

    Can you tell the difference between handmade rice paper and the factory kind? Do you know why fish sauce from Phu Quoc and Phan Thiet is world famous? Culinary secrets and techniques are taught around Ho Chi Minh City and may include a market visit to shop for ingredients. The chef may not speak your language, but that's part of ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 five cinemas in some of the foremost shopping centres of Ho Chi Minh City. CGV Cinemas is the newest chain theatre in Saigon and offers more screens than anyone else. Choose between standard theatre seats, specially designed couple's chairs and private VIP screening rooms for your perfect night out at the movies. Their premium lobbies serve a variety of concessions, including Heineken, and movies are available in standard format, digital and in-your-face 3D.

    There are five CGV Cinemas locations in HCMC. Movies are shown in English and Vietnamese, and CGV ...

  • 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 ...