VietnamHo Chi MinhDistrict 1 in Ho Chi Minh City

District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City

District 1 is Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown where you often see a lot of office buildings, luxury hotels, and fancy restaurants, along with many most visited attractions where you can learn about the lifestyle, culture, and history of the city. When night comes, it is also the time the district is most lively and crowded with people, especially the youth.

Map of District 1’s Attractions:

District 1 Overview

district 1 hcm overview

View of the iconic Bitexco Tower in District 1

District 1 is at the heart of Ho Chi Minh City with a total area of 7.7 square km. The 5 districts sharing its borders are Binh Thanh District and District 3, District 2, District 5, and District 4. There are 10 wards in District 1, including Tan Dinh, Da Kao, Ben Nghe, Ben Thanh, Nguyen Thai Binh, Pham Ngu Lao, Cau Ong Lanh, Co Giang, Nguyen Cu Trinh, and Cau Kho. Even though District 1 is not the largest district in Ho Chi Minh City, it is the busiest with trading and entertainment activities occurring days and nights.

How to Get to District 1

District 1 is 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), so it would take about 30 minutes to drive there. If you use the taxis at the airport, it would cost about VND 100,000 – 150,000. You can also find the bus at the airport that will drop you off in District 1 at Notre Dame Cathedral, Municipal Theatre, Ben Thanh Market, and some hotels or streets in the district. For more details, read How to take shuttle buses from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Center.

Get your bus ticket online:

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Attractions in District 1

In District 1, there are many famous Saigon attractions, most of which are from the 19th century. If you are a budget traveler, you can find many free entrance fee sites in the district as well.

district 1 hcm central post office

Saigon Central Post Office in District 1

NameEntrance feeAddressCategory
 Saigon Central Post Office Free 2 Cong Xa ParisHistorical attraction
 Independence Palace VND 40,000 VND 20,000
(groups of more than 20 people)

There might be extra fees for exhibitions at the palace

 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Historical attraction
 Notre Dame Cathedral Free 1 Cong Xa Paris Religious site
 Huyen Sy Cathedral Free 1 Ton That TungReligious site
 Jade Emperor Pagoda Free 73 Mai Thi Luu Religious site
 Mosque Musulman Free 66 Dong Du Religious site
 Tran Hung Dao Memorial Temple Free 36 Vo Thi Sau Religious site
 Mariamman Hindu Temple Free 45 Truong Dinh Religious site
 Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Art VND 30,000 97 Pho Duc Chinh Museum
 Vietnam History Museum VND 30,000 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Museum
 Museum of Ho Chi Minh City/Gia Long Palace VND 30,000 65 Ly Tu Trong Museum
 Municipal Theatre Free 7 Cong Truong Lam Son Opera House
 Municipal Hall Free 86 Le Thanh Ton Historical attraction
 Nguyen Hue Walking Street Free From Le Thanh Ton and Ton Duc Thang Street Public site
 Nguyen Van Binh Book Street Free From Cong Xa Paris and Hai Ba Trung Street Public site
 Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden VND 50,000 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Zoo, garden
 30/4 Park Free In the block of
Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Han Thuyen, Pham Ngoc Thach, and 
Alexandre de Rhodes Street
 Public park
 23/9 Park Free In the block of
Tran Hung Dao, Le Lai, and Nguyen Thi Nghia Street
 Public park
 Bach Tung Diep Park Free In the corner of
Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Ly Tu Trong Street
 Public park

Foods and Drinks in District 1

If you love local foods, you are in for luck. District 1 has a little bit of everything from traditional dishes to cuisines of countries all over the world. It is also where you can find fancy restaurants as well as mid-range eateries and street food stalls.

 Street eats Ben Thanh Street Food Market, Nguyen Van Chiem Street, Bach Tung Diep Park
 Cafe and restaurants Dong Khoi, Le Thanh Ton, Le Loi, and Hai Ba Trung Street
 Vietnamese foods Co Giang, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Tran Hung Dao, and Nguyen Trai Street
 Beer clubs and bars Backpacker Districts (Do Quang Dau, Bui Vien, De Tham and Pham Ngu Lao Street)
 Eateries in old apartments 26 Ly Tu Trong, 42 Nguyen Hue, 14 Ton That Dam, 95 Pasteur, 42 Ton That Thiep

 International: Starbucks, KFC, Lotte, McDonald, and Coffee Beans

 Local: Trung Nguyen, Highlands, and Phuc Long

Shopping in District 1

ben thanh market main gate district 1 hcm

Ben Thanh Market – the most prominent shopping site for tourists

The downtown of Ho Chi Minh City is also a shopping paradise with grand shopping malls, stylish shops, and bustling local markets.

CategoryAddressWhat to Buy
 Shopping malls Diamond – 34 Le Duan Vincom – 72 Le Thanh Ton

 Takashimaya – 92-94 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia

 Parkson – 35-45 Le Thanh Ton

 Clothes, accessories, cosmetics Coffee and tea
 Local markets Ben Thanh Market – Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, Le Loi Street Sense Market – Basement of 23-9 Park, 4 Pham Ngu Lao Clothes, accessories, cosmetics Conical hats

 Ao dai garment

 Dried foods

 Coffee and tea

 Old apartments 26 Ly Tu Trong 42 Nguyen Hue

 42 Ton That Thiep

 60 Nguyen Trai

 Clothes, accessories, cosmetics

Nightlife in District 1

District 1 is the most lively and vibrant at night. The lights go on, and people hang out after a long day of work or study.

district 1 hcm nguyen hue street

Nguyen Hue Boulevard

nguyen hue pedestrian street night

The street becomes dazzling when the night comes

district 1 hcm nightlife bar

A rooftop bar in District 1

district 1 hcm bui vien

The most fun one can have at night in District 1 is at Bui Vien Street

district 1 hcm night scene

District 1’s night scene

Summary of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City

As one of the central districts and downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, District 1 is always the top choice for visitors when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. The elegant beauty of daytime and exciting vibe at night will please anyone’s needs with its diverse activities and attractions reflecting Vietnamese culture, history, and lifestyle.

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