Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Where is the best area to stay in Ho Chi Minh City?

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a city full of diversity from its attractions to cultures and cuisine, there is something that appeals to everyone in this noisy and buzzing city. There are also some similarities between this city and Hanoi as it has many French buildings and regularly gets called the “Paris of Asia”. The city is home to many historical attractions with many representing the various wars that have been fought here and there are some outstanding museums, breath-taking religious buildings, authentic Vietnamese markets as well as brilliant shopping malls and heaps of nightlife.


The best area to stay in Ho Chi Minh City is the city centre as this is the main commercial hub of the city. Having this area as your base means that you are within walking distance of the main shopping area as well as lots of nightlife options with many restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels to choose from. There are many tourist attractions in the area too with the most popular museums, palaces, religious buildings, art galleries and other things to see and do located in the city centre.

Hotel   Avg price
Blue Diamond Signature Hotel
11 Thai Van Lung
30€ - 29$
Cap Town Hotel
28, 30 Lê Anh Xuân
31€ - 30$
Gia Long King Hotel
65 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé
37€ - 36$
Hotel   Avg price
Liberty Central Saigon City Point Hotel
59 - 61 Pasteur Street
69€ - 68$
Hotel   Avg price
Renaissance Riverside Hotel
8 - 15 Ton Duc Thang Street
116€ - 114$
Caravelle Hotel
19-23 Lam Son Square
124€ - 122$
Park Hyatt Saigon
2 Lam Son Square
260€ - 255$


If you are interested in where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City, you may also be interested in where to stay in Da Lat,  where to stay in Hanoi or where to stay in Hoi An.

City centre, the best area to stay in Ho Chi Minh City


Ho Chi Minh City centreThe vibrant and active city centre is found in District 1 and is where lots of people congregate and fill the pavements up to the rim. You will no doubt see many expats and tourists arriving and wandering aimlessly in the area, which is always a very good sign as you know it is a popular place with like-minded people to meet.


The city centre is the perfect place to stay in due to the majority of the city’s landmarks being located here, which includes the Reunification Palace (also known as Independence Palace), which has been left untouched since the city fell to the North back in the 70s and there are guided tours around the grounds and the building itself. The tour takes you around the recreation room, daunting basement and many other rooms, which display vintage radios, office equipment and other items as well as a photo gallery and propaganda film that depicts the failure of the South Vietnamese army along with the American forces.


Another highly recommended tourist attraction is the War Remnants Museum, which is only a stone’s throw away from the Reunification Palace and the museum tells the story from the beginning of the war with many detailed exhibitions that certainly take the Communism side. However, most things are idolised on how cruel men can be to one another as you will be able to see torture techniques, gruesome photos of people that died a horrific death or have been deformed in some way.


If you are looking for something cheap and tasty then there are plenty of places to eat at around the Ben Thanh Market, though for more upmarket restaurants try the area around the palace. The area around Pham Ngu Lao is the ideal area for drinks as there are hundreds of bars and clubs to pick from, which satisfy anyone’s preferences. The city centre is riddled with accommodation and therefore prices are reasonably cheap with hotels being some of the worst as well as some of the best in the country.



Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City Centre


Other areas to stay in Ho Chi Minh City


Rest of District 1


District 1 Ho Chi Minh CityThe rest of the city centre is made up of Nguyen Binh Khiem and Ben Nghe and both have a good amount of things to do and see, which make them appealing places to stay in. The Nguyen Binh Khiem is home to the Vietnamese History Museum, which has classic items and objects from Vietnam’s history including traditional outfits, arts, armoury, utensils and much more.


The City Hall, the statue of Uncle Ho, Saigon Zoo, Opera House and Galaxy Cinema Plaza are also found in the area, along with lots of cuisines, pubs and hotels. The Ben Nghe is a good sized area that includes various art galleries with many displays of art from local and national status artists on show. Another excellent tourist attraction is the Saigon Skydeck, which has an observation deck and restaurant with beautiful and mesmerizing views over the city. There are also botanical gardens and parks to relax in, which makes it a great place to stay in.


Phạm Ngũ Lão street is known as the Backpacker's Street of Hoh Chi Minh. The Phạm Ngũ Lão area is known for its affordable guesthouses and mini-hotels as well as its western-style restaurants, coffee shops, and international bars, countless tour companies and kiosks.



Hotels in District 1




Thao Dien (District 2)


Thao Dien (District 2)If you are looking for a break from the craziness of downtown, just head across the bridge into Thao Dien. Nestled into the curve of the river, this quiet village-like neighbourhood is the perfect place for families looking for a safe area to stay. Because of its reputation as the “coolest neighbourhood” in Ho Chi Minh, a mix of affluent locals, artists and expat families have made the area their home. With them came beautiful cafes, restaurants, boutique shops, breweries, and galleries. For a taste of literature, history, and fun, head over to the Kurtz’s by Heart of Darkness for the best craft beer in the city.


While Thao Dien does have more of a western influence then other places in the city, there are still plenty of authentic Vietnamese food options and culture to be had. Since the area is so peaceful, there are also empty streets where families can go for walks and explore the neighbourhood without having to worry about the constant dodging of scooters - a necessary concern almost anywhere else in the city. Thao Dien is the perfect place for a family to escape the hustle and bustle after a long day of sightseeing.



Hotels in Thao Dien




Cholon (Chinatown- District 5)


Cholon (Chinatown- District 5)If you want to stay in a more historical part of Ho Chi Minh, and outside all the main downtown attractions, visit Cholon. Found mostly in District 5, Cholon is Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown district. The history of this area goes far back and once was actually its own city before both Cholon and Ho Chi Minh grew large enough to merge together.


The translation of Cholon is “big market” and the area lives up to its namesake. As one of the largest markets in the entire country, Binh Tay market is the best place to go if you want to experience the most chaotic and exciting style of shopping in Ho Chi Minh. A plus is that this market is much more authentic than others in the city and is stocked with goods that locals need for their everyday living. Because of this, there is far less hassling of tourists and you can really get a feel for what it is like to live in Ho Chi Minh.


Outside the market are plenty of other sites to see. Wander around to look at some of the old french-colonial architecture. This is one of the few places where older buildings are much more preserved. Get a glimpse of what the city looked like a hundred years ago. Interspersed amongst the old buildings are beautiful temples and cafes ready to be explored.



Hotels in Cholon




Phu Nhuan District


Phu Nhuan DistrictFor the perfect balance between a modern city and traditional Vietnamese culture, stay in the Phu Nhuan District. As you make the quick ten-minute drive to the area from downtown, you’ll see the skyscrapers fade and a less westernized Ho Chi Minh city appear. Unlike the other streets in the city, which use numbers and famous historical figure’s names, Phu Nhuan in some areas has streets named after flowers. That kind of character has trickled down into every other part of the neighbourhood


Walking through the streets you’ll find an unbelievable amount of gorgeous temples and pagodas dating back to as far as the nineteenth century. All of these are free to explore and you can learn more about the culture and religion of Vietnam.


Phu Nhuan is most famous for its food and is the perfect place to stay if you are a foodie. Because of the mix of influences in the area, you can find a wide array of foods from all over the world. Food vendors line the streets, letting you explore, experiment, and enjoy. It will be hard to make a wrong choice. Afterwards, head to one of the countless cafes nearby to grab a delicious milk-coffee in order to wake up from your recent feast.



Hotels in Phu Nhuan District




Binh Thanh (District 2)


Binh Thanh (District 2)Binh Thanh is a great option for visitors who are looking for a place away from the tourists and expensive prices of downtown. Found in the middle of District 2, Binh Thanh is one of the cheapest places for food and accommodation in the city. Here you will experience what it is really like to be a local.


Wander down the labyrinth of alleyways and corridors that break off from the large main roads. This narrow maze of paths and homes offers a sanctuary from the roar of the traffic. You will most likely see children playing, families relaxing on their front steps, and small food vendors selling their spectacular homemade Banh Mi for fifty cents.


Once you’ve made it out onto the larger roads, venture through the many shops and restaurants available. Experience the real Ho Chi Minh city and eat in the delicious places shoulder to shoulder with local residents who are just coming back from work.


Binh Thanh also offers an escape to nature, with beautiful parks like Van Thanh, where you can relax and enjoy a break from the city stimulation. If you feel like fully embracing the local life, head to Thi Nghe Market to get some fresh ingredients to cook for dinner. If you value authenticity, Binh Thanh is your place to stay.



Hotels in Binh Thanh