Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

SD › Best Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City
Updated: April 15, 2024
By Santorini Dave

Our Favorite Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

• 5-star: The Reverie
• 4-star: PARKROYAL
• 3-star: Amanaki
• New: La Siesta
• Boutique: Hotel des Arts
• Cheap: Vy Khanh
• For families: InterContinental
• Couples: Hotel des Arts
• Pool: The Reverie
• Near Airport: PARKROYAL

A balcony overlooks a historic multi-story building with bright blue windows.

The view of the historic Union Square building, now a mall, from the Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at Caravelle in District 1.

The Best Areas to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

See Also

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Best Family Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

In terms of population, prestige, and appeal to tourists, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) surpasses Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Still commonly referred to as Saigon, it’s spread out but relatively easy for tourists to negotiate, even though this former colonial capital has about eight million people.

Most stay in the extended area officially known as District 1, which is subdivided into seven tourist areas. The central part of District 1, around the Opera House and People’s Committee Building (City Hall), is delightfully elegant and surprisingly quiet. The streets are home to some of Vietnam’s best luxury hotels, upper-class boutiques, and restaurants that rival major European cities.

A stay along the Saigon River provides impressive views, though the polluted water and congested traffic on the riverside road somewhat taint the appeal. (Choose the backstreets for a quieter option.) The classy, convenient, and not too-busy City Center offers apartment complexes ideal for families and those staying a while. Government ministries, foreign consulates, fancy apartments, and several excellent hotels line the quiet, wide streets of District 3.

Phạm Ngũ Lão is still officially within District 1 and the undisputed epicenter for budget travelers. This compact area has many hotels, cafés, shops, travel agencies, and bars. Some travelers rarely venture further out. Along the comparatively quieter and more spacious streets around Phạm Ngũ Lão are tourist facilities and great-value hotels.

The pulsating area around Bến Thành Market is more authentic and less crowded than Phạm Ngũ Lão. It offers fantastic facilities, especially for budget travelers. Thanh Binh is Outside District 1 and about 5km northwest of the Opera House. The area is home to newer hotels mainly built for their convenience to the airport.

Getting Around Ho Chi Minh City

A large double decker red bus waits on the side of the street.

The Red Bus Sightseeing Tour.

A row of bright blue electric bikes sits along a street.

Rent e-bikes for a small fee from the park along Phạm Ngũ Lão street.

Phạm Ngũ Lão in Ho Chi Minh City is the undisputed center for budget-minded travelers. This area offers a mind-blowing range of transportation. Along Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, visitors can join the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Saigon and, very similar, Ho Chi Minh City Red Bus Sightseeing Tour and find plenty of taxis. The best taxi company is Vinasun. The cheapest and quickest way to get around is on Grab motorbike taxis. Use the excellent ride-share app (like Uber) for a set fare rather than deal with drivers directly on the streets.

A line of white taxis with the name Vinasun on the doors sit along a curb, waiting for passengers.

Taxis for Vinasun – the most reliable company in the city – wait outside the posh hotels around the Opera House.

People line up to board a green bus to Cambodia.

A green bus to Cambodia.

Also from this compact and congested area, tourist buses leave for places across Vietnam and into neighboring Cambodia. Many travel agencies, especially along Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, sell bus, boat, plane, and train tickets for other national and regional destinations.

Safety in Ho Chi Minh City

Getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the street – or even walking along the sidewalk is the most significant hazard for all visitors. Take more caution than you would at home and make two assumptions: everyone will ignore road rules, and pedestrians have absolutely no rights.

Take the usual precautions around crowded streets, markets, and bus stations where bag-snatching and pick-pocketing sometimes happen. The safest area in HCMC is Thanh Binh, between downtown and the airport. It’s a middle-class suburban area distant from the tourist crowds.

The Best Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

A calm blue pool with glass wall railings overlooks the city.

Views of the city from Hotel des Arts‘ rooftop infinity pool and bar.

Best Areas in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) for…

  • Best Areas in Ho Chi Minh City for First-Time Visitors: Around the Opera House and District 3
    HCMC is crowded and noisy. Getting around on foot or by taxi can sometimes be overwhelming, even for those accustomed to traveling around Southeast Asia. Anyone visiting HCMC or Vietnam for the first time should avoid staying in congested areas along the Saigon River and around Phạm Ngũ Lão. In stark contrast, the area around the Opera House is quiet yet convenient and home to some of Vietnam’s classiest shops and luxury hotels. District 3 has several worthwhile attractions and many more within walking distance, and the wide, leafy streets are ideal for strolling and even cycling.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Sightseeing: City Center
    People walk across a street to a museum.

    Dominating a section of District 1 near the Opera House is the impressive People’s Committee Building (City Hall).

    Numerous sights around the central area distinguish Ho Chi Minh City. These include the haunting War Remnants Museum, Reunification Hall (Independence Palace), Jade Emperor Pagoda, Thiên Hậu temple, and Bến Thành Market (see later). Several striking buildings stand in the central area of District 1. Some include the Opera House, the People’s Committee Building (City Hall), which is closed to the public, the Central Post Office, and the Notre Dame Cathedral (still being renovated). Visit all the sites independently or on a one-day organized bus tour booked at your hotel or through one of the numerous travel agencies huddled around major hotels. City Center is the best base for exploring these sights on foot and the impressive Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

  • Best Areas in Ho Chi Minh City for Families: City Center and Thanh Binh
    Kids play in the pool.

    Offering superb facilities and plenty of space, the Somerset Ho Chi Minh City apartments is great for families.

    The main concerns for those traveling with children are the crowds, noise, and traffic, which is particularly chaotic around Phạm Ngũ Lão and alongside the Saigon River. Streets around the Opera House are comparatively quiet, but few hotels cater to children. There are two great bases, however. In the City Center, massive apartment complexes cater mainly to long-staying business people and diplomats but can be rented by tourists per night. Most apartments have kitchen facilities and up to three bedrooms, and the pools, gardens, and playgrounds are spacious. Also, there’s a section of Thanh Binh district where several top-end hotels offer terrific facilities for the whole family and are convenient to the airport.

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Couples: Around the Opera House
    There are more romantic places in Vietnam than Ho Chi Minh City. These include the adorable, ancient town of Hoi An, the Vietnamese honeymoon capital in the cooler highlands of Dalat, and the stunning tropical isle of Phu Quoc. In the middle of HCMC, away from the noise, crowds, traffic, and pollution, is an area with several romantic and historic hotels surrounded by delightful buildings like the Opera House and People’s Committee Building (City Hall). Phạm Ngũ Lão is far too crowded for an intimate getaway. The luxury hotels along the Saigon River provide superb (and soundproofed) accommodations, but the outside is noisy, and parts of the river are polluted.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Vibe and Culture: Around Bến Thành Market
    The most vibrant area in any Southeast Asian city is around the markets, which remain a centerpiece of Vietnamese life despite the introduction of western-style malls and supermarkets. Similar to Phạm Ngũ Lão, but smaller, quieter, and less touristy, is the area around Bến Thành Market. Visitors can spend hours strolling around this orderly indoor market where 99% of people are locals buying, selling, and arguing. At the back of the market on the surrounding side streets are plenty of places to shop, eat, and experience Vietnamese culture, where the traffic and noise are pretty tolerable.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Peace and Quiet: Around the Opera House
    Guest swim in the pool and lounge on chairs.

    Lounging at the Rex.

    Ho Chi Minh City can be an overcrowded and overwhelming place, where even the pleasing parks and riverside seem to provide no respite from the intense traffic. Yet, in the middle of the city is a delightful area surrounding the Opera House, People’s Committee Building (City Hall), and the statue of Ho Chi Minh. Luxury boutiques and world-class hotels with excellent restaurants and bars line the rarely-used streets. The tiny parks are a haven for courting locals and weary tourists.

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Views: Along Saigon River
    While the city was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the War, the Saigon River retained its original name. Used primarily for shipping cargo, the river is brown and heavily polluted in parts. It can still be enjoyed, however, on boat trips with Saigon River Tour (among other companies), dinner cruises (book at any travel agency), or hydrofoil to Vung Tau. These leave from the terminal opposite the chaotic roundabout and obvious huddle of high-rise hotels. Attempts to beautify the riverside include a path and some grass, but any enjoyment is lost to the six-lane road alongside it. Even trying to cross the road using the pedestrian crossing with a green light is fraught with danger. Nonetheless, the road and roundabout facing the river are packed with luxury high-rise hotels where rooms, bars, restaurants, and, often, swimming pools offer extensive views across the water and to the other side of the city.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for History: District 3
    Retired aircraft sit outside for view at a museum.

    Different war aircraft on display at the War Remnants Museum.

    Because of French colonialism and the Vietnam/American War, much of what was known as Saigon was neglected or destroyed. The city had to be almost rebuilt from the mid-1970s. Consequently, there isn’t a colonial or pre-colonial history like in Hanoi, Ho An, and other Southeast Asian cities. District 3 is home to the War Remnants Museum, a poignant but understated look at the devastating effects of the War on the country and people, and the Southern (Vietnamese) Women’s Museum. In the extensive parklands where District 3 joins District 1 is the Reunification Hall (Independence Palace), another must-see. Other museums worth visiting for an understanding of the colonial history (French and American) are the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City and The History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City (at the entrance to the worthwhile Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens). They have similar names, but both are easy to visit on foot from hotels in District 3.

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Food and Restaurants: Around the Opera House
    A menu sits in front of a restaurant.

    Streets and alleyways in the Phạm Ngũ Lão area are packed with cheap and cheerful places to eat and drink.

    The congested area of Phạm Ngũ Lão offers some of the tastiest pizzas, tacos, and curries imaginable at Vietnamese-run eateries. Prices are cheap, and service is quick, but every place to eat is noisy. To savor a meal and enjoy some conversation, find somewhere elegant in the central – yet surprisingly quiet – area around the Opera House. Hotels offering superb restaurants include the Rex (for historic ambience), Continental (for French-style elegance), and Sheraton (for views). Otherwise, enjoy some sophisticated dining at Layla – Eatery & Bar (famous for cocktails), Xu Restaurant Lounge (contemporary Vietnamese), or Le Corto Wine Dining (French cuisine).

  • Best Areas in Ho Chi Minh City for Nightlife: Phạm Ngũ Lão and Around the Opera House
    The backpacker enclave of Phạm Ngũ Lão rivals Khaosan Road in Bangkok. Budget-minded travelers find an extraordinary array of tourist facilities and other amenities for the young at heart, including an increasing number of bars and nightclubs. Garish, loud, and usually shoulder-to-shoulder late at night, sometimes there is live music, but more frequently, DJs spin a mixture of techno, house, and trance music for those who can tell the difference. Most clubs and bars are along Bùi Viện Street. Hotels nearby will be affected by noise until the early hours. For something a little classier and quieter, visit some of the drinking spots around the Opera House, especially the Rooftop Garden Bar at the historic Rex Hotel and the street-side Le Bourgeois Restaurant at the charming Hotel Continental.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Markets: Around Bến Thành Market
    A packed market store with shirts, lanterns, and trinkets.

    We could spend hours wandering about the incredible Bến Thành Market.

    Built by French colonialists about 110 years ago, this massive indoor market is a cultural landmark dominated by an iconic clock tower. It is home to hundreds of stalls selling vegetables, meat, cooked food, clothes, spices, household appliances, and just about anything else. Tourists can watch heavy carts get unloaded, inhale spices, devour a phở noodle dish, and observe locals haggling with a smile. Traders aren’t too pushy, and prices are fair, so it’s the place for souvenirs, such as conical nón lá hats, exquisite silk, and Ho Chi Minh T-shirts. Stalls sell authentic and inexpensive Vietnamese food in the middle of the market (menus are in English with photos).

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Boutiques and Malls: Around the Opera House
    While most locals go to traditional markets for convenience and low prices, an increasing number of wealthy Vietnamese like to visit the boutiques and malls in the central part of HCMC. These shopping centers are welcome respites from the rain and heat, but the range of brand-name stores are pretty much the same across big Asian cities. Soaring above Notre Dame Cathedral is the gleaming Diamond Plaza, home to a range of boutiques, restaurants, a food court, and a cinema complex. Also popular are the arcades at the Rex and Sheraton
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City to Organize Tours: Phạm Ngũ Lão
    A large red Travel sign.

    A tour agency.

    This area is unquestionably the epicenter for budget-minded travelers, and some visitors staying elsewhere go to Phạm Ngũ Lão to book organized tours. These range from whirlwind tours around inner-city attractions to popular day trips to the remarkable Củ Chi Tunnels (part of an incredible 250km-long network built during the War), beautiful Mekong Delta (although my recommendation is for 2-3 days), and UNESCO-recognized Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest on an island in the Saigon River delta. Also worthwhile are cooking tours at Bến Thành Market and dinner cruises along the Saigon River. Purchase tours at the numerous travel agencies around Phạm Ngũ Lão. Many agencies are only one office with a desk and a person working on commission for a company.

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Outdoor Activities: Phạm Ngũ Lão
    The best place in HCMC to organize an outdoor activity is around Phạm Ngũ Lão at any travel agency, especially along the namesake road in the northern section. Outdoor types might enjoy hiking through Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest or cycling and canoeing around the Mekong Delta (as part of a multi-day package). Others may relish something more sedate, like golf at the award-winning Long Thanh Golf Club (35kms away) or various beach activities at Vung Tau. This popular weekend getaway is accessible by hydrofoil (two hours one-way) opposite the cluster of high-rise hotels along the Saigon River.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Walking: District 3
    Exploring the city on foot is less unpleasant than Hanoi or other crowded Asian cities. Although along the river and around Phạm Ngũ Lão, it gets noisy with out-of-control traffic. To survive, remember: (1) pedestrians have zero rights – even on footpaths, and (2) almost no one will obey any road rules at any time – especially at traffic lights. The central area around the Opera House is astoundingly quiet, and walking is a real joy, but only on a few streets. Even better are the leafy streets of District 3, with tolerable traffic, wide sidewalks, and plenty to see, including the nearby Reunification Hall (Independence Palace) and two museums (see the best area for history). And there’s at least one café (and often four) on just about every corner.
  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for Cycling: District 3
    Blue electric bikes line a street.

    E-bikes can be rented and dropped off at several points in the central parts of the city, including near Hotel des Arts in District 3.

    The frenzied traffic is why HCMC is not a great place for cycling. Most locals use a motorbike or the bus to get around. Despite this, city authorities have introduced an electric-bike system. For a small fee, users can hire and then drop off an e-bike at major tourist destinations like the parks just north of Phạm Ngũ Lão, near Notre Dame Cathedral, and at the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Inexcusably, however, all instructions at each pickup/drop-off point are entirely in Vietnamese (and there is almost no information online). If you have the courage and linguistic skills to rent an e-bike, cycle around District 3 where streets are wide, traffic flows well, and sights are spread out.

  • Best Area in Ho Chi Minh City for the Airport: Thanh Binh
    Only about 8km from the Opera House (downtown HCMC), the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (with separate terminals for domestic and international flights) is convenient. So, staying at a hotel near the airport is not necessary for a late arrival or early departure. However, there are plenty of hotels near the airport, some close enough to be affected by plane noise. Quietly positioned about halfway between the airport and the city center is a part of Thanh Binh district, where several luxury hotels offer large pools and spacious gardens not possible in the central parts of the city.
A downtown area, with tall buildings, a courtyard with green trimmed bushes and a large round lotus sculpture fountain.

With several parks, an absence of traffic, and abundance of shops and cafés, the area around the Opera House is ideal for first-time visitors.

The 8 Best Areas in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) for Tourists

1. Around the Opera House

A person on a bicycle rides on the wide open street in front of the cream colored Opera House building.

The Opera House is in a quiet and historic area.

Officially, District 1 spreads across most of the inner-city area for about 4km from the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens to beyond the Phạm Ngũ Lão backpacker area. Most sights and amenities of interest for tourists are in this district.

A bronze statue of the man, Ho Chi Minh, stands tall with his right arm raised as if to say hello.

Appropriately in front of the People’s Committee Building (City Hall) is a statue of the revered revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh.

The nicest and quietest section is home to notable buildings like the Opera House and People’s Committee Building (City Hall). With little traffic, a top-notch mall, and some of the city’s finest restaurants and boutiques, walking is an absolute pleasure. There are some stylish five-stars and a few adorable boutique hotels, but little worth recommending in the moderate range. The area is excellent for a romantic holiday and visiting HCMC for the first time.

A man walks down an alley with bright green and yellow painted shops as scooters rest upon their walls.

Among the swanky malls, luxury hotels, and elegant bistros, side streets offer some authenticity and inexpensive places to shop and eat.

A royal blue pool sits in the shade from elaborately painted walls that look like metal arches.

One of the most opulent hotels in the whole city is Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers.

2. Along Saigon River

Sky view of the brown Saigon River with a white arched bridge with tension wires.

Opposite the cluster of high-rise hotels along Saigon River is the terminal for boat trips, dinner cruises, and hydrofoils to the popular beach destination, Vung Tau.

The city’s biggest collection of high-rise hotels is only a few minutes’ walk east of the Opera House (see above). They take advantage of the location alongside the Saigon River, but it’s unattractive and visibly polluted. However, from a terminal (with cafés) opposite the hotels, book boat trips, dinner cruises, and hydrofoils that leave for the fantastic beach at Vung Tau (two hours one-way). Also, there aren’t as many facilities in this area, and traffic along the riverside road is among the worst anywhere in Southeast Asia. There are mostly high-rise hotels with extensive views and a few boutique-style places, but it lacks anything more affordable.

Colorful open umbrellas hang from the ceiling at a cafe along the river.

The cafe in the terminal for boats, cruises, and hydrofoils is a top place to admire the river and escape the traffic (a little).

An outdoor pool sits in a courtyard surrounded by balconies overflowing with green plants and flower baskets.

Hotel Grand offers more charm and elegance than many rival hotels along Saigon River.

A couple leans on a black and gold reception counter, in a white lobby with gold chandeliers, colorful stained glass, and gold steps.

One of the most majestic hotels along Saigon River is appropriately called Hotel Hotel Majestic.

3. City Center

People browse shops along a street.

A wonderful place for walking and browsing is Ho Chi Minh City Book Street which stretches between the InterContinental hotel and Notre Dame Cathedral.

HCMC has a defined Central Business District, unlike Hanoi and most other Vietnamese cities. Lofty buildings housing banks, government ministries, and hotels pepper the area dominated by Lê Duẩn Street. It stretches from the extensive gardens surrounding the Reunification Hall (Independence Palace) to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. This area is comparatively quiet and pleasant to walk around, especially to memorable buildings like the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.

A tall red brick church with twin towers and white pointed roofs.

Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French colonialists in the late 19th century.

The City Center is also close to sights around the Opera House area (see above) and within District 3 (see below). The City Center is not touristy or overcrowded, which makes it even more appealing, but there are also fewer tourist amenities in the immediate area.

Most top-end accommodations are apartments designed for business people and diplomats, although available to tourists per night. With a large swimming pool, playground, spacious gardens, and apartments with kitchen facilities and up to three bedrooms, these apartment complexes are ideal for families.

A large bright two-tone blue tiled pool sits next to a river.

The large, outdoor pool makes Sofitel popular with families.

4. District 3

Three men stand by an Army helicopter.

One major attraction in District 3 is the War Remnants Museum which provides a moving but surprisingly understated look at the devastating effects of the War.

This area adjoining District 1 to the southeast has numerous government ministries, foreign consulates, and worthwhile museums. Traffic flows well along the broad, shady streets, lined with upscale homes, top-class boutiques, a few fast-food outlets, and some western-style supermarkets catering to wealthy residents. District 3 is comparatively quiet, spacious, and convenient to all the attractions and amenities across District 1. On almost every corner is at least one café selling Vietnamese cà phê (coffee).

A row of rentable blue bikes.

These e-bikes can be rented and dropped off at several points in the central parts of the city, including near Hotel des Arts in District 3.

It’s the best place for walking and cycling. Ideal for those visiting the city and country for the first time, most hotels are newish and fashionable. The limited selection of hotels in all categories makes this area less touristy and more likable than most of District 1.

A family sits on soft chairs at a cafe filled with art.

Even if staying elsewhere, it’s worth venturing into District 3 to enjoy a drink or meal at the ground floor cafe/bar at Hotel des Arts.

  • The Best Hotels in District 3:
    Mai House Hotel phone: +84 28 7303 9000
    Citadines Hotel phone: +84 28 3736 6666
    Novotel Hotel phone: +84 28 3822 4866
  • Best Boutique Hotels:
    Hotel des Arts Hotel phone: +84 28 3989 8888
    SILA Hotel phone: +84 28 3930 0800
    M Village The Garden Hotel phone: +84 818 999 317
  • Best Family Hotels:
    Sherwood Hotel phone: +84 28 3823 2288
    Sherwood Residence Hotel phone: +84 28 3823 2288
    SILA Hotel phone: +84 28 3930 0800
    Citadines Hotel phone: +84 28 3736 6666
    Novotel Hotel phone: +84 28 3822 4866
  • Best Cheap/Moderate Hotels:
    Hoang Lan Hotel phone: +84 28 3933 3783
    ÊMM Hotel phone: +84 28 3936 2100
    Sonnet Hotel phone: +84 28 3930 1999
    Ariosa Hotel phone: +84 937 308 111

5. Phạm Ngũ Lão

Women buy colorful fruits from a stand.

At the far western end of Bùi Viện street, Thái Bình is a bustling but compact fresh-produce market.

Phạm Ngũ Lão is the undisputed backpacker hub south of District 3 and still within District 1. Only about 700m by 300m, Phạm Ngũ Lão is crammed beyond belief with a staggering range of facilities. Although steadily becoming a little more upscale over recent years, it remains incredibly popular and, therefore, congested. Almost all accommodations are inexpensive, family-run guesthouses, while the “luxury hotels” listed below are only rated three stars. Inevitably, noise from traffic and nightclubs is a problem. Plan ahead because places rated high on booking.com are often full. The advantages of staying here are the park on the other side of the northern road, with an air-conditioned market. The downside is the insane traffic. It’s the place to book organized tours, outdoor activities, and onward transportation. The nightlife is happening and loud. It’s not an area for families.

In recent years, some no-star guesthouses have been transformed into charming, but more expensive, boutique hotels. These are often booked out, so plan ahead.

  • The Best Hotels in Phạm Ngũ Lão:
    Elios Hotel phone: +84 28 3838 5584
    Prague Hotel phone: +84 28 3925 9925
    Liberty Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 4556
  • Best Boutique Hotels:
    Urban Lodge Hotel phone: +84 904 384 800
    Sunny Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 1978
    Louis Hotel phone: +84 904 160 920
    Beauty House Hotel phone: +84 28 3837 1881
  • Best Family Hotels:
    Elios Hotel phone: +84 28 3838 5584
    Liberty Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 4556
  • Best Cheap/Moderate Hotels:
    Me Gustas Hotel phone: +84 898 466 288
    Vy Khanh Hotel phone: +84 908 343 012
    Kim Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 7495
    Thien Tu Hotel phone: +84 90 877 77 38
    Vien Dong Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 8941

6. Around Phạm Ngũ Lão

A colorful kids park.

In the park immediately north of Phạm Ngũ Lão, this playground is popular with local families.

Inevitably, more hotels and other tourist facilities continue to grow around the perimeters of the hugely popular Phạm Ngũ Lão area (see above). Staying in this general area – particularly north of the park – allows easy access to all the incredible facilities within Phạm Ngũ Lão, but with far less traffic, noise, people, and hassles. In the areas immediately north and south of Phạm Ngũ Lão, boutiques, cafés, minimarts, and travel agencies are used by locals as much as tourists. This area is not as overcrowded and overpriced as other parts of District 1, so it’s perfect for those on a budget and decent enough for families.

A large blue tiled pool sits on top of a tall building.

The large, outdoor pool at Nikko is popular with families.

  • The Best Hotels Around Phạm Ngũ Lão:
    New World Hotel phone: +84 28 3822 8888
    Nikko Hotel phone: +84 28 3925 7777
    Pullman Hotel phone: +84 28 3838 8686
  • Best Boutique Hotels:
    The Hammock Hotel phone: +84 28 3636 3621
    Chez Mimosa Petite Hotel phone: +84 908 799 300
    La Memoria Hotel phone: +84 28 3836 8155
    Mayfair Hotel phone: +84 28 3837 4276
  • Best Family Hotels:
    New World Hotel phone: +84 28 3822 8888
    Nikko Hotel phone: +84 28 3925 7777
    Babylon Hotel phone: +84 903 782 186
    Pullman Hotel phone: +84 28 3838 8686

  • Best Cheap/Moderate Hotels:
    Acnos Hotel phone: +84 28 3925 2090
    Nest Hotel phone: +84 28 3837 2016
    My Anh Hotel phone: +84 28 3926 0353
    9 Hostel Hotel phone: +84 931 448 088

7. Around Bến Thành Market

A woman decided between lots of green veggies at an outdoor produce stand.

There are lots of outdoor produce stands.

Rivaling Phạm Ngũ Lão for budget-conscious travelers are the backstreets around this marvelous indoor market (described earlier). Still in a convenient location for attractions and amenities elsewhere in District 1, this area also has plenty of tourist facilities and more than enough places to eat and drink.

A packed market with floor to ceiling plates, figurines, lanterns, and souvenirs.

The finest place to buy gifts and souvenirs is the huge indoor market, Bến Thành.

Hotels are affordable. Some offer decent views and are positioned along the quiet back streets leading to the Reunification Hall (Independence Palace). However, anywhere near the frenzied traffic at the front (south) of the market will be noisy. More authentic than Phạm Ngũ Lão and less expensive than around the Opera House, this area offers the finest chance to see how locals live. All “luxury hotels” listed below are comfortable and reasonably priced but only rated as three or four stars. This area is ideal for families and fascinating without being overcrowded.

A narrow rectangle pool sits a top a hotel overlooking large green trees.

One major attraction of Silverland Yen Hotel is the gorgeous rooftop pool.

8. Thanh Binh

A birds eye view of tall hotels.

Views from my room at Mường Thanh Luxury Saigon Hotel extend across Thanh Binh district.

The only area outside District 1 and District 3 worth considering is a section of Thanh Binh district. About halfway between the airport and the Opera House downtown is a collection of large hotels, mainly designed for airline staff and visitors with late arrival or early departure. However, the Opera House is only 8km from the airport, so transfers to hotels in the city center are always quick and easy.

Among the backstreets of Thanh Binh are a few sights, such as Giác Lâm Pagoda (the city’s oldest) and the sprawling Ba Hoa Market, but most are ignored by tourists. Menus in local eateries are more likely to only be in Vietnamese, but the area is welcoming, safe, and spacious, and many top-end hotels cater well to families.

The hotels listed below are unaffected by plane noise, which is not the case for other hotels closer to the airport.

Two bright blue and white striped lounge chairs sit by a pool.

The best hotel near the airport is the fabulous PARKROYAL Saigon in a terrific part of Thanh Binh district.

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