Ho Chi Minh City areas

Where To Stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: 4 Best Areas & Places

Updated: January 23, 2024

The neighborhood options are seemingly endless in a city as large as Ho Chi Minh City. This means where you choose to stay during your trip to Ho Chi Minh City will significantly impact your Vietnamese experience, for better or worse.

Luckily, there are several vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in this area with many accommodation choices.

Ho Chi Minh City has 24 different districts; out of these, 19 are inner-city districts, and five are suburban areas. Districts 1, 2, and 3 are the most centrally located for tourists, and many of the main attractions can be found in District 1. Still, all 24 districts offer something different for everyone.

Whether you seek the bustling city center close to many attractions, a neighborhood with historical charm and French colonial buildings, or a more tranquil setting with lush green spaces, each district has its unique appeal.

Keep reading to learn more about the four best areas to stay in Ho Chi Minh City, each offering a distinct experience.

 

In this travel guide:

 

District 1 Ho Chi Minh City

District 1: The Heart of the City

District 1, the central business and entertainment hub, is the beating heart of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the best place to stay if you only have a few days to explore this vast city or are a first-time visitor.

While this district is home to several large corporate developments, you’ll still experience Vietnamese culture on every street corner. You’ll also find several banks, consulates, administrative centers, and global restaurants while you’re here.

Home to iconic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and the historic Ben Thanh Market, this district is ideal for those wanting to be at the center of the action.

The streets are lined with high-end hotels, chic boutiques, and a myriad of dining options ranging from street food stalls to fine-dining establishments. The vibrant Bui Vien Street comes alive at night, offering a lively atmosphere with bars, clubs, and a diverse nightlife.

While you’re here, ascend to the top of Bitexco Financial Tower and enjoy the stunning views from the 49th floor. Go on a sunset cruise along the Saigon River or attend a show at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

Walking down Nguyen Hue, the main street of this city, is a must – you can explore an abundance of unique buildings, souvenir shops, and top-notch restaurants.

Within District 1 are ten different wards, or smaller neighborhoods. Da Kao is one of the most exciting areas on this district’s northern end, boasting French colonial architecture, edgy restaurants, and several music and art events.

District 1’s convenient location and wealth of attractions mean you could likely spend your entire Ho Chi Minh City experience in this neighborhood without ever leaving!

Best place to stay in District 1

The Caravelle Hotel. Address: 19 – 23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

District 3 Ho Chi Minh City

District 3: Where Tradition Meets Trendiness

District 3 strikes the best balance between tradition and modernity. Located just a short distance from District 1, this area provides a more laid-back atmosphere while offering easy access to the city’s main attractions. This district is known for its French colonial villas, leafy streets, and diverse culinary scene.

The War Remnants Museum, one of the city’s major historical sites, is located here, and it’s ideal for history buffs. You can marvel at artifacts like cameras, guns, uniforms, and even a fighter jet and American Huey helicopter on display.

Stroll down Hai Ba Trung, showcasing fruit markets, boutiques, and upscale restaurants. Right before you get to the canal, you’ll find one of the most notable sights in this area – the Pink Church. Also known as the Tan Dinh Church, this structure was built in the 19th century and showcases an entirely pink facade today.

For a dose of relaxation, head to Turtle Lake. While this is more of a pond than a lake, this body of water is a popular local hangout. Sample the nearby street food and enjoy the outdoors – it’s a cheap outing!

Another local hangout in District 3 is Yoko Cafe. On the weekends, you’ll find local musicians performing on the tiny eclectic stage. Grab a drink and enjoy this cozy local hangout!

With its mix of cultural sites, trendy cafes, and authentic Vietnamese experiences, District 3 appeals to a broad spectrum of travelers.

Best place to stay in District 3

Bach Suites Saigon. Address: 10A Phạm Ngọc Thạch, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

District 5 Ho Chi Minh City

District 5: A Tapestry of Heritage and Culture

About 15 minutes from the city center, you can venture into District 5, also known as Cho Lon, where you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinese heritage. Famous for its vibrant Chinatown, this district boasts ornate temples, traditional medicine shops, tea houses, and bustling markets.

As you wander through the narrow streets of this district, be sure to stop and sample eats from the hole-in-the-wall restaurants, serving everything from dumplings and noodles to roasted meats. This is some of the best food in Ho Chi Minh City!

Binh Tay Market, dating back to the 18th century, is a notable highlight of this district, offering an authentic glimpse into local daily life. This covered market has numerous stalls selling local produce, spices, home goods, and authentic homemade dishes like spring rolls and pho.

Don’t forget to spend some time at Ba Thien Hau Temple – this structure is just as ornate on the outside as it is on the inside. After entering the iron gate and walking through the front courtyard, you’ll see porcelain figurines on the roof. On the interior is a covered courtyard with porcelain dioramas.

District 5 lights up for the Mid-Autumn Festival, where you can visit several street vendors along “Lantern Street.” Staying in this district provides a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, with the opportunity to explore Chinese temples, sample delectable street food, and delve into the area’s fascinating history.

For those seeking a blend of cultural immersion and affordability, District 5 is a compelling choice.

Best place to stay in District 5

Windsor Plaza Hotel. Address: 18 An Duong Vuong, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

District 2 Ho Chi Minh City

District 2: Tranquility by the Saigon River

While District 2 used to be one of the poorest districts in this city, it is now one of the most exclusive areas in Ho Chi Minh City. Situated across the Saigon River, this district is known for its spacious residential areas, green spaces, and a growing expatriate community.

With bigger sidewalks, sports pubs, and international amenities, this district is a bit more friendly to those from the Western world. Maintaining a more suburban feel, District 2 also has several international schools, trendy cafes, and upscale dining options.

The area’s proximity to the Thao Dien expatriate enclave and the scenic Saigon River make it an attractive choice for families and those desiring a quieter stay. However, just because this district is more relaxed doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do or see.

This neighborhood has various top-notch coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. Haven Book Cafe is one of the best places to get some work done, find a new book, or get a caffeine recharge.

Enjoy a luxury high tea at Villa Royale, inspired by Queen Victoria’s Chambers. Or, watch the sun go down on the Saigon River at The Deck, serving Wagyu rib-eye and excellent cocktails.

Reconnect with nature at Yoga Pod, a yoga studio with a secret garden where you can find some calm amidst one of the busiest cities in Asia. Saigon Outcast is another fun venue – this event space is made from two shipping containers that have served as an outdoor cinema, barbecue site, and theater.

Best place to stay in District 2

Villa Song Saigon. Address: 197/2 Nguyen Van Huong, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

Park Hyatt Saigon

Where travel critics stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Curious to discover the accommodation choices of travel experts from renowned publishers such as The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet when they are in Ho Chi Minh City? Delve into our comprehensive guide showcasing all highly recommended hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. This includes everything from hostels to B&Bs that these critics prefer during their stay.

 

Budget

The Hammock Hotel Ben Thanh.

“The Hammock Hotel, overlooking the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum in District 1, has quiet, clean rooms, each adorned with a hanging hammock chair. The minimalist rooftop cafe offers free water, soda and beer for guests.” – New York Times.

Address: 47-49 Le Thi Rieng, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

Mid-range

Fusion Suites Saigon.

“In a relatively quiet street lined with tall, decades-old trees, Fusion Suites Saigon offers spacious rooms decked out in warm natural wood and enlivened with monochrome images of Vietnamese life. Rainforest showers in the bathrooms, an excellent rooftop restaurant, and a modern ground-floor cafe and juice bar are all good reasons to make this your Saigon base.” – Lonely Planet.

Address: 3-5 Suong Nguyet Anh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

Luxury

Park Hyatt Saigon.

“Having opened only in the last decade, the Park Hyatt lobby makes no attempt to emulate the French colonial style of so many other hotels in the city. Instead, it’s all sleekness and modernity, though there are Vietnamese touches in the artwork on the walls and in-room furnishings.” – Frommer’s.

Address: 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

Ho Chi Minh City tips

FAQ: hotel tips for Ho Chi Minh City

Looking for the best budget, boutique, or luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City? Or maybe you’re a backpacker looking for a splendid hostel? Want to know which hotel serves a great breakfast? Here are the answers to all those and other questions about where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

How much does it cost to stay in a Ho Chi Minh City hotel?

For a 3-star hotel, you have to pay around $45 per night and for a 4-star hotel, you would be looking at $90 per night. If you’re after a luxury 5-star Ho Chi Minh City hotel, then you can expect to pay around $190 per night.

 

What is the best boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City?

If you fancy a bit of extravagance but prefer to stay away from the well-known chain hotels, then The Myst Dong Khoi is an excellent option for you. This hotel has been very well-reviewed by travelers and experts alike. For more information on other cool hotels, take a look at our list of the best boutique hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

What is the best luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City?

If cost is not an issue, The Reverie Saigon is a great option for those seeking a luxurious hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. This establishment offers exceptional customer service, is in an ideal location, and has garnered high reviews from customers and travel experts alike. To discover more 5-star hotels, take a look at our selection of the best luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

What is the best cheap hotel in Ho Chi Minh City?

If you are on the hunt for an affordable hotel, then you should consider reserving The Hammock Hotel. It is a great option for those on a budget, as it provides good value for your money. Additionally, the hotel is in a suitable location, and professional travelers have given it their approval. Moreover, the guests who have stayed at the hotel have shared positive reviews. We also have a list of the best budget hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

What is the best hostel in Ho Chi Minh City?

If you’re searching for a well-priced private room or comfy dorm in Ho Chi Minh City, Meander Saigon is worth a look. The hostel has been highly praised by backpackers. Additionally, we have compiled a shortlist of the top hostels in Ho Chi Minh City based on thousands of reviews from backpackers.

 

What is the most romantic hotel in Ho Chi Minh City?

When it comes to planning a romantic getaway, there is nothing more important than choosing the perfect hotel. We recommend Bach Suites Saigon if you want to make your stay in Ho Chi Minh City truly memorable. It’s also an adults-only hotel.

 

Best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City

Best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is from December to April. It’s the dry season and the weather is just perfect – not too hot and not too cold! These months provide the most ideal conditions for sightseeing, shopping, and indulging in the vibrant nightlife of this dynamic city.

You can stroll through the colorful Ben Thanh Market, visit the iconic Cu Chi Tunnels, or enjoy a tranquil moment at the Jade Emperor Pagoda without worrying about sudden rain showers.

The city’s energy is infectious, with an array of cultural festivals and events taking place during these months. The temperature tends to range between 21-34 degrees Celsius (69-93 °F), which is quite comfortable for most visitors.

 

things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

There are many things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should do when you’re in Ho Chi Minh City:

 

Mekong Delta & Vinh Trang Pagoda Tour

Submerge yourself into the native customs of the Mekong Delta during this guide-led journey from Ho Chi Minh City. Take part in a sampan ride traversing picturesque water routes, explore a coconut plantation, and tour the Vinh Trang pagoda. Price: $18. More info.

 

Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Listen to tales from the Vietnam-American conflict while you explore the intricate Cu Chi Tunnels, an extensive underground web stretching over 136 miles (220 kilometers), utilized by the Viet Cong troops. Travel back in history as you glimpse into ancient storage spaces, peek through disguised entrances, and squeeze along army provision channels. Price: $18. More info.

 

Ho Chi Minh City Private Tour by U.S Army Jeep

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and vibrant culture of Ho Chi Minh City during a half-day tour. Experience the city’s iconic attractions while gaining insights into its past and present. Choose between a morning or afternoon tour, each offering a unique itinerary. This 4-hour journey provides an ideal opportunity to view historic landmarks and locations in Ho Chi Minh City like the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Emperor of Jade Pagoda, and Ben Thanh Market. Price: $71. More info.

 

More things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

 

Deciding where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

As a closing note, let’s summarize this travel guide. We covered the best areas of Ho Chi Minh City, so you can decide which part of town you want to stay in.

 

Top 5 areas to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

 

As you have seen in this article, there are plenty of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City is important. Whether you stay in District 1,2, 4 or 5, all those neighborhoods are great areas for your stay.

When deliberating your stay in Ho Chi Minh City, several factors may come into play. The ambiance of the area, whether your journey to this magnificent city is prompted by business or pleasure, and who you’re traveling with family or friends. Also significant is how close you’ll be to the attractions that spark your interest.

Regardless of these variables, one thing remains certain – a fantastic time awaits you during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City!

 

Ho Chi Minh City overview

🏨 Hotel prices: Cheap
🛏 Budget hotel: $40
💑 Boutique hotel: $80
5-star hotel: $170
🌎 Best area for first visit: District 1
👪 Best area for families: District 2
💎 Best luxury hotel: Reverie Saigon
👫 Best boutique hotel: Myst Dong Khoi
💰 Best cheap hotel: Hammock Hotel
🎒 Best hostel: Meander Saigon

 

More tips for Ho Chi Minh City

Get to know the city even better by reading our other articles about Ho Chi Minh City:

Best hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Hostels in Ho Chi Minh City

Cheap hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Boutique hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City