Budget travel in Saigon is possible! Last time, we talked about 11 tips to save money in Vietnam. Now, we attempt a saving guide for Saigon specifically. Let’s see how you can go sightseeing, eat, and explore Saigon at minimal costs.
Money Saving Tips in Saigon No.1 – Accommodation: Stay in Cheap Hotels in Saigon
An affordable hotel, with a comfortable bed and a big enough bathroom, is already enough since you won’t spend much time in the room, except for a good night’s sleep, a shower, or a quick nap. Hotels in Saigon that meet the above criteria are scattered across all districts, with prices ranging between VND 300,000 and VND 600,000 (US$ 13 to US$ 25) per night.
You should book hotels in the central districts of Saigon for convenient traveling to the main attractions. Note that budget hotels might be less available in the fancy District 1, especially in the major streets like Hai Ba Trung and Ton Duc Thang where many luxury hotels are located.
Look for affordable hotels in Saigon below:
Money Savings Tips in Saigon No.2 – Sightseeing: Visit Free-Entrance Attractions
Even when paying very little or no admission fees, you can still visit dozens of cultural and historical attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. Popular sites include the Notre Dame Cathedral with its exquisite French-style architecture, the Central Post Office nearby with its warming gold color, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Cho Lon Chinatown in Saigon, War Remnants Museum, and Independence Palace, etc.
You can visit most of Saigon without many entrance fees, except for the cost of traveling between the places. So, an alternative is to book an adventure motorbike tour in Saigon to explore the city authentically with experienced local guides.
Notre Dame Cathedral is an appealing free attraction in Saigon
Money Saving Tips in Saigon No.3 – Eating: Opt for Street Foods in Saigon
Unless you have a soft spot for upscale restaurants, eating in Saigon won’t cost much. While family restaurants are also a good option, street foods in Saigon can get you through the day: mouthwatering banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), delectable pho (beef noodle soup), tasty spring rolls, and so on. Prices for these dishes start at a meager VND 20,000 (US$ 1). Banh mi and pho are widely available and can be found anywhere in Saigon.
Street food is the way to go for saving money in Saigon
Check out The most popular food streets in Saigon
Talking about Saigon cuisine, it is impossible not to mention Vietnamese desserts! They are a superb culinary creation from red beans, green peas, or black beans cooked in simple ways but combined with other delicate family-recipe ingredients. They can be found in almost all of Saigon’s local markets or street food vendors’ carts.
Read more: How much money do I need for Saigon?
Money Saving Tips in Saigon No.4 – Transportation: How to Travel around Saigon without Costing Much Money
Buses are a cheap and popular means of transport in Saigon. You can get around the downtown districts, dropping by local attractions quite effortlessly.
The typical bus fare is VND 6,000 (US$ 0.3). Check out our Saigon bus-taking guide for more details.
Another common choice in Saigon is motorbike taxis booked via ride-hailing apps like Grab and Gojek. But there are certain precautions you should mind before booking the hired transportation.
If you travel in a big group (of 7, for example), then taking a taxi can also be an economical choice. The average taxi fare is VND 16,000 (US$ 0.7) per kilometer. A ride-booking app can also assist you with traveling in groups, and they’ll let you know the cost in the app beforehand.
Look for cheap bus tickets below:
Money Saving Tips in Saigon No.5 – Shopping: Get Good Bargains in Saigon with Skills
For effective shopping in Saigon, you should consider what to buy in advance and learn how to bargain in the markets. Besides the tips in our bargaining skills guide, you can also follow these steps: check prices online to judge if the seller is trying to give you an overpriced deal. Learning some typical Vietnamese phrases for haggling is an excellent way to go about it since the seller may know they shouldn’t fool with you.
Summary of Money-Saving Tips in Saigon
We all agree that saving money on travel trips is a top concern for every traveler. To save money in Saigon, you can consider staying in budget hotels, visiting free attractions, and sampling street foods. Don’t fear you’ll miss out on the best of Saigon following these guidelines since they are the top-notch deals Saigon has to offer.