VietnamHo Chi MinhHow Much Money Do I Need for Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

How Much Money Do I Need for Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

Ho Chi Minh City is arguably the most expensive city in Vietnam, yet it is still budget-friendly for most travelers. To stay in Ho Chi Minh City, you will have to pay fees for accommodation, transportation, and food. If you have three days in Ho Chi Minh City, here is a breakdown of how much money you will need for your trip.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Budget

This chart is a summary of how much you will roughly need to spend on your 3-day trip to Ho Chi Minh City. For the estimated price of each item, please refer to the tables in the following sections.

ItemsEstimated Price (US$)
Accommodation20/night x 3 nights = 6060/night x 3 nights = 180200/night x 3 nights = 600
Food and Drinks10/day x 3 days = 3030/day x 3 days = 9050/day x 3 days = 150
Attractions Entrance Fee101010

*we will use US Dollars as our currency spending guide for simple illustrative purposes for our international readers. However, you should exchange your foreign currency for the Vietnam Dong (VND) in Vietnam. US dollars and credit cards are accepted only at limited places. This blog uses the exchange rate US$1 = VND 23,000 (as of Sept 2018). Read our local guide to learn more about the Vietnamese Currency.

Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City

how much money do i need for ho chi minh hotel

In Ho Chi Minh City’s center, there are several types of accommodation, from high-end to middle-range and economical. The two most common types are hotels and hostels. You can find luxury hotels in Ben Nghe Ward in District 1 and some middle-range and economical rooms in the backpackers’ district, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1.

ItemsEstimated Price
HotelUS$22 – US$200/night
HostelUS$4.5 – US$9/night

Get a more accurate quote for a hotel in Ho Chi Minh below:

Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City

The most commonly used vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City is the motorbike. It is also convenient and fun to travel by bike. Check out our motorbike tour in Ho Chi Minh City and explore the streets with us.

how much money do i need for ho chi minh transportation

There are also other options such as cars or public transport like taxis and motorbike taxis. You can refer to the estimated price below and our guide to Getting around Ho Chi Minh City to choose a suitable means of transportation for you.

ItemsEstimated Price
Car rentalVND 2,000,000 ~ US$75 – US$ 88 per 8 hours (transport only, without guide)
TaxisVND 13,000 ~ US$0.6/km (within 30 km) 4-seater
VND 15,000 ~ US$0.7/km (within 30 km) 7-seater
Motorbike taxisVND 8,000 ~ US$0.4/km

Foods and Drinks in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is truly a food paradise because there are all kinds of foods from around the world, from many regions of Vietnam, and delicious street foods. And it also has a wide range of prices for any budget and the same tastiness. Read more on What to Expect on Your Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Food Tours.

ItemsEstimated Price (depends on the dishes and number of dishes)
BreakfastUS$2 – US$5
LunchUS$3 – US$16
DinnerUS$3 – US$22
Street food snacksUS$1 – US$5
Non-alcoholic drinksUS$2.5 – US$5

The price could be slightly higher if you go alone without a local tour guide. Many food vendors and small stores offer reasonable prices and good food. Still, if you are wary about the quality of these food sellers, you can also find many convenient stores like Family Mart, Mini Stop, and Circle K that are open 24/7. There are some Vietnamese dishes or Vietnamese food-inspired dishes in these stores during lunch hours for a reasonable price.

how much money do i need for ho chi minh food

Entrance Fee of Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

how much money do i need for ho chi minh attractions

The best thing about visiting attractions in Ho Chi Minh City is that many are free entrances or charge you for only a tiny amount.

Notes: The museum entrance fees are updated from January 2018.

ItemsEstimated Price
Saigon Central Post OfficeFree
Notre Dame Cathedral
Jade Emperor PagodaFree
Thien Hau TempleFree
Ben Thanh MarketFree
Museum of Southern Vietnamese WomenFree
Bui Vien Walking StreetFree
Nguyen Hue Walking StreetFree
Nguyen Van Binh Book StreetFree
Museum of Ho Chi Minh (Bach Dang Wharf)Free
Reunification PalaceVND 40,000 ~ US$1.8
War Remnants MuseumVND 40,000 ~ US$1.8
Museum of Ho Chi Minh CityVND 30,000 ~ US$1.3
Vietnam History MuseumVND 30,000 ~ US$1.3
Fine Art MuseumVND 30,000 ~ US$1.3
Ao dai MuseumVND 90,000 ~ US$4.5

Activities and Entertainment in Ho Chi Minh City

how much money do i need for ho chi minh activities

Besides the attractions, there are also many activities in Ho Chi Minh City you could try to understand more about the beauty of Vietnam and enjoy the quality of tourism service. Read more on Outrageous Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.

ItemsEstimated Price
Zoo and Botanical GardenVND 50,000 ~ US$2.5
Water Puppets ShowVND 150,000 ~ US$7 (depends on theatre)
MassageUS$15 (60 mins body massage)

Shopping and Souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City

how much money do i need for ho chi minh shopping

You may want to take something home to keep or share these experiences and memories in Ho Chi Minh City, from small stuff like keychains, postcards, or clothing to Vietnamese specialties. Read more on Vietnamese Souvenirs to Buy in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

ItemsEstimated Price
T-shirtUS$2.5 – US$9
Conical hatUS$1 – US$3
Ao daiUS$22 – US$45
CandiesUS$1.5 – US$2.5
CoffeeUS$4.5 per 500 grams

Tipping in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam is not expected at most local and small businesses. As the service industry develops, it becomes an essential and sometimes primary income for some service providers. You can give a tip to encourage the staff to keep up the excellent job, but you don’t have to if you don’t find the service incredibly exceptional.

ItemsEstimated Price
Hotel staffUS$1
Waiter/WaitressUS$1.5 (depends on restaurants), some bills automatically include the 5% – 8% service charge
Tour guidesUS$5 – $20/day (depends on your tour group size)

Coming to Ho Chi Minh City

If traveling from another country to Ho Chi Minh City, you may need to apply for a Vietnam visa. However, you can also check if your country is on the list of visa exemptions. Read more on our Vietnam visa guide for more information. You will also need to buy travel insurance to cover fees if something unexpected happens on the way.

ItemsEstimated Price
Tourist visaUS$25 (depends on nationality)
InsuranceUS$100 (depends on the plan)

Once you are in Vietnam, buying a local SIM card is recommended to avoid the high roaming fees, especially if you are going to stay in Vietnam for more than one or two days.

ItemsEstimated Price
SIM Cards (Tourist SIM Cards)US$9
Mobile Data Plan 3G/4GUS$3 – US$9/month (the rate is different across carriers)

Read more on our guide on Where to buy SIM cards in Ho Chi Minh City.

Spending Tips for Budget Travelers

Below are some small tips when spending money in Vietnam that can be useful for your trip. Check out our guide Vietnam Budget Travel: 11 Ways to Save Money in Vietnam.

  • Visit free-entrance attractions
  • Bargain and shop around
  • Buy souvenirs at a less touristy place
  • Book flight train hotel early and economy
  • Travel on foot and motorbike
  • Eat and drink like a local
  • Keep the bill with similar colors separately to avoid giving the wrong one
  • Exchange to Vietnamese currency and use cash instead of cards
  • Spend and convert the money you have left before leaving

Summary of How Much Money Do I Need for Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City is not only wonderful but also cheap to explore. You can often travel, visit many attractions, and join activities in Ho Chi Minh City in 3 days with a low budget. We hope our guide can give you a better idea of how much this Ho Chi Minh City trip may cost and planning your trip will become easier.

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