There’s plenty of accommodation available in Ho Chi Minh City, but the highest concentration of good ones are located in District 1, the city centre. The backpacker hub is centred around Pham Ngu Lao while the more business-orientated traveller and those looking for something a bit more upmarket, angle towards the French colonial heart of downtown.
We have 33 places to stay in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
Once strictly a backpacker hub, Pham Ngu Lao’s range of accommodation is expanding and now caters to a wider range of budgets and tastes. Narrow alleys running off Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien and Do Quang Dau—for example, alleys 373, 283 and 241 Pham Ngu Lao—are chock full of budget accommodation ranging from longstanding family guesthouses to modern flashpacker hostels that have both dorm and private rooms. For those just looking for a dorm bed, it’s easy enough to walk and do a (hot, sweaty) search in these alleys though most are similarly priced (US$6-8), all including air-con and WiFi. Private rooms within the hostels are extremely popular—book ahead to snag one.
Hostels usually require guests to remove shoes before entering. We suggest storing shoes in your room as they can mysteriously wander off. The narrow alleys are prime spots for thieves who motorbike past pedestrians and snatch bags since it’s hard for a victim to manoeuvre away. Thieves also like to catch travellers off guard as they leave the building with phone and purse in hand. Keep your wits about you and secure your belongings before exiting.
All of District 1 is considered the city centre, but the old French colonial heart is considered the downtown core. In and around this area is the concentration of major historic/tourist attractions such as Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Opera House, as well as major commercial/shopping centres.
High-end hotels, some historic, line the grand Nguyen Hue promenade and Dong Khoi St, formerly Rue Catinat in French colonial days. In District 1, budget accommodation outside of the Pham Ngu Lao area are scarce. However, there are a number of excellent boutique hotels in the US$30-70 range. Downtown is ideal for those who want to stay close to the main attractions and concentration of noteworthy restaurants and bars, and/or escape to the Pham Ngu Lao tourist bubble.