The Best and Most Interesting Museums in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Although Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city, the larger Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is home to some of the country’s best museums. Though most of the museums in the city are dedicated to Vietnam’s independence struggles and the Vietnam War, there are a number of fine art and culture museums as well. In my opinion, Ho Chi Minh City is home to some of the best museums in Southeast Asia.
Independence Palace Museum
Independence Palace, also called Reunification Palace, was the residence and headquarters of the president of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) during the 1960s and 70s. Visiting the massive compound is like stepping back in time to war-era Vietnam, when the palace was the center of high society in Vietnam, and indeed in Southeast Asia.
Visiting the museum gives visitors to Ho Chi Minh City a look at the history of the government and ruling class of South Vietnam during the war. It’s one of the most interesting spots in the city for those who are interested in Vietnam’s war-era history.
Visitors can see the rooftop ballroom, originally built as a meditation room but instead used to host South Vietnam’s wildest parties; the president’s secret underground bunker and command center; government meeting rooms; and private residences.
Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace, is located near the center of downtown Saigon at 135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam.
A ticket to visit and tour Independence Palace costs 40,000 VND
Independence Palace is open daily from 7:30am-11:00am and 1:00pm-4:00pm
Southern Vietnam Women's Museum
The Southern Vietnam Women’s Museum is dedicated to the women of Vietnam, with a special emphasis on female revolutionary leaders as well as the traditional culture of minority women in the country.
The main focus of the museum is on famous women from Vietnam’s history, especially those who were leaders during the war.
The Southern Vietnam Women’s Museum is located in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) at 202 Võ Thị Sáu, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
Admission to the Southern Vietnam Women’s Museum is 30,000 VND.
The Southern Vietnam Women’s Museum is open every day except Friday.
The museum’s hours are 7:30 - 11:30 and 13:30 - 17:00.
War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is one of the best museums in Vietnam for learning about the history of the “American War” from the other side. It’s a very important museum to visit, as all too often we only hear one perspective of the war.
The museum holds a large collection of war-era artifacts, documents, and photographs. The most heartbreaking room is dedicated to informing visitors of the lasting effects of the “Agent Orange” defoliant, which is still causing terrible birth defects and massive health problems throughout the country to this day.
The Ho Chi Minh War Remnants Museum is located in downtown Saigon within walking distance of the Independence Palace Museum and the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
The War Remnants Museum is located at 28 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 6, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Admission to the Vietnam War Remnants Museum is 40,000 VND.
The War Remnants Museum is open daily from 7:30 - 18:00.
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the coolest museums in the city, not only for its great collection of art spanning centuries, but for the beautiful old mansion that is the museum’s home. The Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts is housed inside an old colonial-era villa, complete with a historic elevator, spiral staircase, and stained glass, and the building itself is as much a work of art as the fantastic collection that it holds.
The Museum of Fine Arts is located in downtown Ho Chi Minh City within walking distance to Saigon Square.
The museum is located at 97A Phó Đức Chính, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bìn, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Admission to the museum is 20,000 VND
The Museum of Fine Arts is open every day except Monday
Museum of Vietnamese History (Vietnam History Museum)
Located just next door to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Museum of Vietnamese History is another of my favorite museums in the city. The collection, which tells the story of Vietnam from its ancient history to today, spans centuries, and gives visitors a great overview of Vietnamese history and culture.
Collections include prehistoric relics, imperial artifacts, religious art, and much more.
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Vietnamese History is located next to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
The museum’s address is 2 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
An entrance ticket to the Museum of Vietnamese History costs 40,000 VND. If you want to carry your camera and take pictures, there is an extra 20,000 VND fee.
The Museum of Vietnamese History is open daily from 8:00 - 11:30 and 13:30 - 17:00.
Learn More - Visit the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden
Museum of Ho Chi Minh City
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is built inside the old Gia Long Palace. The palace was constructed in 1890 as the residence of the colonial governor, and later became the residence of the president of the State of Vietnam. Today, it’s been converted into the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
This museum tells the story of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It was originally the Ho Chi Minh Revolutionary Museum, a museum dedicated to showcasing the political art and propaganda of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The museum has since been renamed to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
The museum is also home to several interesting pieces of war-era American wreckage.
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is located inside the old Gia Long Palace, near central Saigon.
The museum is located just down the road from Independence Palace at 65 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
Admission to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is 30,000 VND.
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum (Gia Long Palace) is open daily from 8:00 - 18:00.
Ho Chi Minh Movement Museum
The small but free Ho Chi Minh Movement Museum is a showroom and exhibition hall dedicated to the history of the war in Vietnam and how the Communist movement and forces of Ho Chi Minh spread across the country. Although the exhibits are almost entirely presented in Vietnamese, it’s an interesting museum to visit due to the numerous war-era artifacts on display.
The Ho Chi Minh Movement Museum is located near the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden and Museum of Vietnamese History.
The museum is located at 2 Le Duan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
Admission to the Ho Chi Minh Movement Museum is FREE
The museum is open on weekdays from 7:30 - 11:00 and 13:30 - 16:00.
On Fridays, the museum is open only in the morning.
The Ho Chi Minh Movement Museum is closed on weekends.