The scorching heat of Saigon can shy people away from daytime activities, and we bet you’re looking for some night fun to make up for the lost time. We have assembled the best choices for you and your beloveds to relish the night in Saigon. Rest assured that, from food choices to recreational spots, our local guides have recommended the things to do in Saigon at night you’re about to read here.
Grab a Bite to Eat First – Food Tours and Dinner on Boats
Organized Culinary Tours
If you are one of those who is not a great planner, then let i Tour Vietnam do the work for you. Our I Love Food Tour features professional local guides who take you to stellar food corners across the inner city to enjoy the best Saigon cuisine.
Special Vietnamese Treats
“Com tam” is one of our top recommendations, guaranteeing a loaded stomach and full battery for your succeeding night plans. Marinated grilled pork rib, perfectly cooked broken rice, and flavorful sauce come together to create a mind-blowing taste.
Another classic choice of Saigon for dinner is “banh xeo” – the tasty, crispy Vietnamese pancake that allures even the finickiest diner.
Fancy Dining on Cruise Liners
A budgeted sum of money, around VND 300,000 – VND 900,000 (depending on the ship and menu pricing), would do for a happy dinner with a fascinating ride on Saigon’s iconic river. Embarking on one of the several cruise liners that begin their journeys at around 7 PM from Nha Rong Harbour, you will find extensive menus starring local and international cuisine offered at reasonable prices. The experience can be an unforgettable one.
Get Ready for Some Sightseeing and Mingling
Saigon Opera House
A trace of French imperialism in Vietnam and now a widely recognized landmark of Saigon, the Saigon Opera House is a compelling sight in the daylight. Surely the authority would not ignore investing in an impressive lighting system to make it shine at night. The system is relatively new, though, only 10 years old (try dumbfounding your local friends with this fact).
Apart from being a mere sight to admire and photograph, the theater is for shows. Visit the official website of the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera for more details on show schedules if you’re interested.
You may need to make a phone call to book tickets, so check out our guide on buying a SIM card in Ho Chi Minh City. Make sure you travel with an unlocked phone if you wish to use a local SIM card.
Drop by 7 Cong Truong Lam Son, District 1, for a stunning night of auditory entertainment or idle the night away by the constant traffic flow at Nguyen Hue’s walking street nearby.
Saigon Central Post Office
Nestling in the touristy corner of Saigon, near Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, Saigon Central Post Office is another sight to marvel at. “Then I just come here and look at a building?!”, you may ask. Apart from that, locals also say that meeting up with their friends and sitting on the sidewalk sharing little anecdotes is simply invigorating. Don’t miss out on the Notre Dame Cathedral just in front of the post office. And if the weather isn’t rainy, street vendors in the middle square are selling the local version of a Vietnamese pizza. Try one with the cost of VND 15,000 – 20,000.
Or, if you are a book lover, head towards the brightly lit street of Nguyen Van Binh nearby to browse through all the intriguing, minuscule containers of Vietnamese and international culture.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Within a few years, the street has become a household name among all the locals. Come to Nguyen Hue Walking Street and see dynamism at its best. Youth club meetings, contemporary dances, and zest-filled performances of would-be big stars congregate at the most crowded spot in Saigon at night. Street food options are also abundant in the place. Side note: avoid Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays; otherwise, you will be lonely in the vast open space.
You probably think roaming night markets in Saigon is a classic (and lackluster) activity in Southeast Asian travel destinations. Well, it may be. However, we’re sure there’s no better way to gain an authentic insight into the local life than visiting a market. With all the trading hotspots in Saigon that may give you a headache in choosing, we deem it imperative to put the following two items on our list of things to do in Saigon at night.
Wrap up the Night with Peace or Wildness
Lastly, on our list of things to do in Saigon at night are the places where you would love to linger, albeit in different manners.
The rumor you’ve heard is true: Walk along the streets of Saigon, and you will never fail to find a coffee shop. Nonetheless, finding a cafe where you can enjoy live music while savoring a sip of the Vietnamese highlands’ aroma would take some extra effort. Therefore, looking up the addresses before you call a cab is wise.
For the most part, acoustic cafes in Saigon feature ballad and R&B musicians, besides the omnipresent catchy tunes requested by their customers. This can be explained by the fact that most locals turn to acoustic cafes as a simple and subtle way to while the night away, especially those nights of restless thoughts. That said, cafes with heavier music choices are not a rare breed in the downtown areas.
The best part about acoustic cafes in Saigon is that, apart from professionally prepared performances by guest bands and singers, the stage is dedicated to all the audience members who love to showcase their voices to the crowd.
Live performances reach their zenith at around 9 PM, so it’s best to drop by around this timeframe. There’s often an extra charge for music, varying among different cafes.
A night Blast at the Best Bars
Where else is it better to spend the wee hours than a downtown bar? A place to socialize with the most chic-looking Saigonese, appreciate the smart choice of music and luxuriate in a gratifying cocktail. That is the perfect description of all the busy bars in Saigon, most of which reside in Districts 1 and 3.
Regarding bars and pubs, it’s impossible not to mention Bui Vien Street, widely dubbed as “the Westerners’ Street”, referring to the fact that the street is the hub of foreign backpackers. Fancy bars aside, Bui Vien houses amazing “quan nhau” (Vietnamese-styled pubs) where you get to drink “bia hoi” (Vietnamese draft beer) at incredibly low prices.
Summary of Things to Do in Saigon at Night
We know planning what to do in a new city is nerve-racking, even more so in an aspiring city like Saigon. Saigon has all it takes to entertain you, from food tours, night markets, and impressive sights to acoustic cafes or fantastic bars. It leaves you in confusion.