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 of the most visited attractions where you can learn about the city’s lifestyle, culture, and history. When night comes, it is 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 and has 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 in Ho Chi Minh City, it is the busiest, with trading and entertainment activities occurring day and night.

How to Get to District 1

District 1 is 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), so driving there would take about 30 minutes. 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. Read How to take shuttle buses from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Center for more details.

Attractions in District 1

District 1 has many famous Saigon attractions, most of which are from the 19th century. As a budget traveler, you can also find many sites in the district with free entrance fees.

district 1 hcm central post office
Saigon Central Post Office in District 1
NameEntrance feeAddressCategory
Saigon Central Post OfficeFree2 Cong Xa ParisHistorical attraction
Independence PalaceVND 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 NghiaHistorical attraction
Notre Dame CathedralFree1 Cong Xa ParisReligious site
Huyen Sy CathedralFree1 Ton That TungReligious site
Jade Emperor PagodaFree73 Mai Thi LuuReligious site
Mosque MusulmanFree66 Dong DuReligious site
Tran Hung Dao Memorial TempleFree36 Vo Thi SauReligious site
Mariamman Hindu TempleFree45 Truong DinhReligious site
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine ArtVND 30,00097 Pho Duc ChinhMuseum
Vietnam History MuseumVND 30,0002 Nguyen Binh KhiemMuseum
Museum of Ho Chi Minh City/Gia Long PalaceVND 30,00065 Ly Tu TrongMuseum
Municipal TheatreFree7 Cong Truong Lam SonOpera House
Municipal HallFree 86 Le Thanh TonHistorical attraction
Nguyen Hue Walking StreetFreeFrom Le Thanh Ton and Ton Duc Thang StreetPublic site
Nguyen Van Binh Book StreetFreeFrom Cong Xa Paris and Hai Ba Trung StreetPublic site
Saigon Zoo and Botanical GardenVND 50,0002 Nguyen Binh KhiemZoo, garden
30/4 ParkFreeIn the block of
Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Han Thuyen, Pham Ngoc Thach, and Alexandre de Rhodes Street
Public park
23/9 ParkFreeIn the block of
Tran Hung Dao, Le Lai, and Nguyen Thi Nghia Street
Public park
Bach Tung Diep ParkFreeIn 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, mid-range eateries, and street food stalls.

Street eatsBen Thanh Street Food Market, Nguyen Van Chiem Street, Bach Tung Diep Park
Cafe and restaurantsDong Khoi, Le Thanh Ton, Le Loi, and Hai Ba Trung Street
Vietnamese foodsCo Giang, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Tran Hung Dao, and Nguyen Trai Street
Beer clubs and barsBackpacker Districts (Do Quang Dau, Bui Vien, De Tham and Pham Ngu Lao Street)
Eateries in old apartments26 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

Downtown Ho Chi Minh City is a shopping paradise with grand malls, stylish shops, and bustling local markets.

CategoryAddressWhat to Buy
Shopping mallsDiamond – 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 marketsBen Thanh Market – Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, Le Loi Street Sense Market – Basement of 23-9 Park, 4 Pham Ngu LaoClothes, accessories, cosmetics Conical hats

Ao dai garment

Dried foods

Coffee and tea

Old apartments26 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

Find hotels around District 1:

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. 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.

Find more things to do in Ho Chi Minh City:
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