The financial issue is always vital when deciding to travel somewhere. Doing some research about the costs of traveling gives us better preparation for a nice trip. If you are considering making a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, our blog on the costs of traveling in Ho Chi Minh City may help you make better decisions.
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh
You are given a wide selection of accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City. We divide the accommodation options into 3 classes: budget, mid-range, and luxury, so you can follow the one you want.
If you want to travel on a shoestring budget, some hostels and hotels in the Bui Vien area are your best choices. This area is located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City and is extremely vibrant at night, especially on weekends. A dorm bed costs you about US$ 7 (VND 170,000) to US$ 10 (240,000) per night. If you prefer a private room, the price ranges from US$ 11 (VND 270,000) to US$ 25 (VND 610,000). Most hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are equipped with air-conditioners. Many foreigners have enjoyed their trips staying in the Bui Vien area, but you can try some other sites to enjoy the different vibes of Ho Chi Minh City.
Bui Vien walking street
For tourists who prefer more comfortable accommodation, mid-range hotels can fulfill your demand. Many mid-range hotels are located in District 1 (in the city center), so it is convenient for your transportation. Each night in these hotels costs you from US$ 45 (VND 1,100,000) to US$ 80 (VND 1,950,000). Some hotels offer a swimming pool or rooftop bar, offering you the comfort you deserve.
If this is your leisure travel and you do not care much about the costs of traveling in Ho Chi Minh City, then high-end hotels are a no-brainer for you. Most French-designed hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are in District 1, and some other private villas are located in District 2. A room in a luxury hotel costs you from US$ 130 (VND 3,200,000) to US$ 500 (VND 12,200,000). For the best experience, you can go for the private villas in District 2 with a river view.
A luxury stay in Ho Chi Minh City
Look for accommodation that suits your needs:
Cost of Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon)
Public transportation (bus) in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively cheap. Thus, it is the best choice for going around the city. A typical one-way bus fare is VND 7,000 (US$ 0.3). Before going, you should ask the hotel staff or search the Internet for the routes.
Another way of transportation is a taxi. The taxis are more flexible but expensive at VND 15,000 (US$ 0.65) per kilometer. Remember to ask the drivers to turn the meter for the exact fares.
Motorbike is one of the most popular means of transportation in Ho Chi Minh
Going around the city by taking a motorbike or scooter tour is an up-and-coming trend. In this way, you can discover the city’s beauties as a local citizen and save the costs of traveling in Ho Chi Minh.
Cost of Eating in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
As you know, Ho Chi Minh City is well-known for street food. If you do not mind eating in the street vendors as local citizens, your costs of traveling in Ho Chi Minh will be saved a lot. It costs you about US$ 5 (VND 120,000) daily for one person.
Street food is a definite reason to love Ho Chi Minh City.
For each meal, eating in a medium restaurant costs you around US$ 3 or US$ 4 (VND 75,000 – VND 100,000). These restaurants can give you a more comprehensive range of dishes and space for enjoying the food.
Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Most must-go destinations are located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. And the ticket price is also low. The entrance ticket cost in museums is about VND 10,000 (US$ 0.5) to VND 30,000 (US$ 1.3). Many other spots, such as the Central Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, ancient temples, and pagodas, are free for entrance.
Independence Palace is a popular attraction in Ho Chi Minh City
Besides, you can go outside the central districts, discover nearby attractive destinations like Cu Chi Tunnels, or spend 1-2 days exploring the Mekong Delta with unique floating markets. Going on a tour helps you save costs and be guided by the locals. The tours usually cost US$ 170.
The traditional markets are the favorite places for shopping for many foreigners. Fresh raw foods or souvenirs can be found here. Ben Thanh market is the most famous one where you can buy many souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. There are many kinds of souvenirs here, with prices ranging from US$ 1 (VND 24,000) up to US$ 25 (VND 610,000).
Check out the complete Ho Chi Minh City Shopping Guide!
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City can get you some sweet deals
Other activities in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
After a long day of traveling to many places, you may want to relax at night with some massage services or have a nice drink in a bar. These activities’ expenditures are around US$ 10 to US$ 100 per time, depending on your choice. A one-hour body massage session can cost you US$ 10 at an average home spa and around US$ 50 at a high-end spa.
Communications in Ho Chi Minh
Wi-Fi is available in any cafes, hotels, restaurants, and stores, and free Wi-Fi at the Nguyen Hue Walking Street, but if you want to go online to find your way when lost, a local SIM card for calling/texting SMS and access to Mobile Data (3G/4G) will be helpful. Depending on your needs, you can choose to buy it or skip it.
You can buy a SIM card from US$ 5 – US$ 10 at a local grocery store, at the airport, or at travel agencies. To top up, you can use e-wallet apps such as Momo or VnPay or head to the convenience stores in Ho Chi Minh City and have the staff help you. Mobile top-up can cost around VND 10,000 – 20,000 – 50,000 – 100,000 – 200,000.
To get access to the Mobile Data, you also need to register a mobile data plan of your SIM mobile carrier (most common carriers in Vietnam are Viettel, Mobiphone, and Vinaphone) at between US$ 3 and US$ 10 for a month of fast access to 3G/4G Internet.
Otherwise, free wifi connection is available in most hotels, coffee shops, and convenience stores so that you can stay online easily.
Vietnam Visa and Flights to Ho Chi Minh City
The costs of a Vietnam visa and flights to Ho Chi Minh City vary according to your nationality and your place of residence, so we don’t include fixed fees in this blog. However, you can check out our guide on Vietnam visas in our blog.
Summary of Typical Costs of Traveling in Ho Chi Minh City
Traveling to Vietnam, especially Ho Chi Minh is inexpensive compared to some neighboring countries. However, being aware of the costs of traveling in Ho Chi Minh City, which are included, will make your trip easier and save a lot of money.
Estimated spending for an ideal day in Ho Chi Minh City
A budget traveler can expect to pay around US$ 20 (~VND 500,000) for accommodation/night and an extra US$ 40 (~VND 1,000,000)/day for general spending. If your budget is more relaxed, you can spend up to US$ 50 (~VND 1,500,000) for a nice hotel room/night and less than US$ 100 (~VND 25,000,000)/day for extravagant spending in Ho Chi Minh.
The costs in this blog are only estimated and updated in November 2023. The exchange rate we use in this blog is US$ 1 = VND 24,385.