Escape Travel

How to Spend 48 Hours in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a bustling and vibrant city in southern Vietnam. With a rich history, colorful culture, and delicious cuisine, it’s a popular destination for travelers. If you only have 48 hours to explore this exciting city, there are plenty of must-see sights and experiences to fit into your itinerary. From iconic landmarks to local street food stalls, here’s how to make the most of your limited time in Ho Chi Minh City.

ho chi minh city cityscape vietnam

Day 1

  • Start your day with a visit to the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the heart of the city.
  • Then, head to the Central Post Office, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel and is an impressive example of colonial architecture.
  • Take a stroll through the colorful Ben Thanh Market, where you can find everything from souvenirs to fresh produce.
  • In the afternoon, visit the War Remnants Museum to learn about the Vietnam War from a different perspective.
  • Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese dinner at one of the city’s many street food stalls or restaurants.

Best area to stay

District 1 is the best area to stay in Ho Chi Minh City, as this central district is home to many of the city’s top tourist attractions, including the famous Ben Thanh Market, the Saigon Opera House, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. It also offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, as well as plenty of shopping opportunities. Additionally, District 1 is well-connected to other parts of the city, making it easy to explore all that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer.

ho chi minh monument

Day 2

  • Start your day with a visit to the Reunification Palace, which was the site of the end of the Vietnam War.
  • Then, head to the nearby Ho Chi Minh City Museum to learn more about the city’s history and culture.
  • In the afternoon, take a stroll through the beautiful Saigon Botanic Gardens or visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the city’s most iconic temples.
  • End your day with a sunset river cruise on the Saigon River, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city skyline.

If you have extra time

  • Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, located outside of the city, to see a fascinating underground network used during the Vietnam War.
  • Take a day trip to the Mekong Delta, where you can explore floating markets and traditional villages.

There is so much to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City that 48 hours may not feel like enough time. But with this itinerary, you can get a taste of the city’s history, culture, and cuisine, and make some unforgettable memories along the way.

Want more? check out How to Spend 48 Hours in Tokyo.