Ho Chi Minh City

The ultimate one-day Ho Chi Minh City itinerary

Ho Chi Minh City, located in the southern part of Vietnam, is a lively blend of bustling streets, towering skyscrapers, impressive landmarks, and trendy hotspots. While it wasn’t our top pick in Vietnam, we still had a fantastic time soaking in the city’s energy. From our adventures, we’ve put together an exciting one-day itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City to ensure you make the most of your time in this vibrant city.

Start your day at the Cafe Apartments

One day in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary: Cafe Apartments

Explore a coffee lover’s paradise at the Cafe Apartments, nestled within a historic apartment building. This nine-story block houses cozy cafes, cute shops, and creative spaces. It’s undoubtedly one of the coolest spots in HCMC, perhaps even in all of Vietnam! Starting your day with a cup of Vietnamese coffee here is simply perfect. The options here are endless, just pick the cafe that looks the cutest or best to you! But if you must know, we went to this place called “Oops!” and it was great. No “oopsies” there. 😉

Pro tip
We suggest opting for the stairs over the elevator. Not only is there a fee to use the elevator, but it’s way more enjoyable to climb the stairs and really take in the building as you explore it on foot!

Send a postcard at Saigon Central Post Office

Next up: the Saigon Central Post Office, just a 15-minute walk from Cafe Apartments. You’ll likely see loads of tourists here, all on a mission to send postcards. The building is pretty impressive too, a real architectural treasure from the French colonial era. Chances are you’ll see highschoolers or newlyweds posing for pictures in front of it, since it’s a super popular spot for graduation or wedding photos. Postcards will cost you between 5,000 and 20,000 VND, and depending on the destination you’ll have to buy sufficient stamps, too.

Fun fact
The Saigon Central Post Office was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same architect who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris! How cool is that?

Stroll through Ho Chi Minh’s Book Street

Ho Chi Minh's Book Street

Less than a 5-minute walk from the Saigon Central Post Office, you’ll find Ho Chi Minh’s Book Street. It’s a charming spot for book lovers, with rows of bookshops lining the street. You can even grab some postcards here if you haven’t sent one yet! Even if books aren’t your thing, the cozy vibe of Book Street makes it a lovely place for a leisurely walk. There are benches spread across the street, and you can find some cute cafes here too.

Admire Tan Dinh Church, a pink Catholic church

One day in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary: Tan Dinh Church

Take a 20-minute walk to Tan Dinh Church, easily recognizable by its charming pink-colored facade. It’s the most eye-catching building in Ho Chi Minh City and a popular photography spot. For the best view, we recommend heading to Ola Hale – Restaurant & Bar, just across from the church. It’s a place where you can go for food, drinks, or both! Their food menu looks fantastic, with options like poké bowls, burgers and tacos, and some deliciously sweet desserts. But what we recommend you do when you get here is head straight up. Their rooftop offers the perfect spot to enjoy drinks with a view of the church!

Grab a banh mi at Delicious Banh Mi Ngon

Delicious Banh Mi Ngon

Your next destination is about a 15-minute cab ride away, unless you fancy a 40-minute walk. Trust us, it’s totally worth it! Delicious Banh Mi Ngon is hands down one of our top spots for banh mi in all of Vietnam. Yes, you heard that right, the entire country! The banh mi here are simply delicious. We tried the Special Charm and vegetarian option with cheddar cheese and olives, both absolutely delightful! Plus, we received a lucky charm bracelet after our meal, which was such a nice touch! While prices may be a bit higher, we assure you they’re worth every penny.

Sunset drinks at Banana Mama Rooftop Bar & Kitchen

Banana Mama Rooftop Bar & Kitchen

When in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ve got to experience at least one rooftop spot. We had an amazing time at Banana Mama Rooftop Bar & Kitchen, just a short 15-minute walk from Delicious Banh Mi Ngon. The vibe here is absolutely fantastic! Incredible views, great music, and delicious drinks. Oh, and their burgers are seriously delicious! It’s got everything you need for a great time. They have a happy hour between 4 and 6 PM to get a nice discount on any item you order. The best time to go is about half an hour before sunset, so you can enjoy some cocktails while soaking in the amazing sunset views.

One last drink at Tiem Ky Gui Noi Buon Sai Gon

One day in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary: Tiem Ky Gui Noi Buon Sai Gon

You didn’t think our one day in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary ended at Banana Mama Rooftop Bar & Kitchen, right? 😉 We’ve got one more surprise for you: a secret rooftop spot, loved by locals. Tiem Ky Gui Noi Buon Sai Gon is about a 30-minute walk from Banana Mama Rooftop Bar & Kitchen. The vibe of this rooftop is simply enchanting! It’s a bit hidden, not the easiest to find, but once you discover it, you’ll be blown away. The entrance is really cool, we won’t spoil it, but it’s something special! The rooftop itself is fantastic too. While the menu is a bit limited, the drinks are tasty and reasonably priced. You’re looking at cocktail prices between 90,000 and 120,000 VND (€ 3,30 – € 4,40), and beers for maybe a third of that. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem!

Looking for more Vietnam inspiration?

12 unique things to do in Hanoi
Romantic getaway at Viettrekking Sapa
The best banh mi spots in Vietnam
One-day Ninh Binh itinerary
9 great things to do in Hoi An

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