If it is the first time you’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City, you should spend a full day exploring the city center highlights such as: Ben Thanh Market, The Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office or the War Remnants Museum. With a map, you can travel on foot around the city downtown on your own. A package tour is also available at any tourism agency if you want a tour guide to explain about these places.
Your first destination can be Ben Thanh Market located right at the city center. In Ben Thanh Market, you have various choices for your breakfast: all kinds of noodles such as: Pho (the most famous Vietnamese cuisine), hu tieu and bun. Besides, you can also try banh xeo (Vietnamese Crunchy Pancakes) or banh uot, banh beo and many other dishes. Then, you can go shopping around in Ben Thanh market. Do not forget to look at some signs “Fixed price” above your head which implies you cannot bargain in these kinds of stores. If there is not any “Fixed price” sign, remember to bargain to get a good deal.
The Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee Building, located on Dong Khoi street, can be your next stop as they are within walking distance from Ben Thanh Market. Then, you can either walk or take a taxi to the Notre Dame Cathedral which is 1.5 kilometers away from the Opera House. The Notre Dame Cathedral is famous for its French colonial architecture. Nearby, you may have a look at Saigon Post Office, one of the oldest and largest post offices in Ho Chi Minh City.
From Saigon Post Office, it takes you about 10 minutes to walk to the Reunification Palace on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai-Nam Ky Khoi Nghia crossroads. The last impressive place you should not miss is the War Remnants Museum on Vo Van Tan Street. In the evening, you can experience Ho Chi Minh City nightlife by walking around Ben Thanh Market which you might surprisingly find quite different from what you see in the morning. Street vendors and street food stores open making the atmosphere more exciting. If you do not mind sitting at a small table or sharing a table with other people, you should try some dishes here! You will never regret.