Ho Chi Minh City as it’s officially called is an electric mix of neon, traffic, history and many smiling faces. There are plenty of things to do with teenagers in Ho Chi Minh City.
Whether it be Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City we loved our time in this city (I will refer to it as both Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City in this article) You will notice that many of the locals still refer to it as Saigon. You see the Ho Chi Minh City name was forced on them when North Vietnam won the war and as we learnt there is still some division over this in the older generation.
The Vietnamese people love children no matter their age and you will find them very welcoming and friendly towards them. We had no trouble finding things to do in Saigon during our stay. Here we recommend all the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers.
Know before you go! Our top Ho Chi Minh travel tips.
There are so many things to do in Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers and tweens that you will find it an excellent city to return to. A mix of amazing culture, epic fun and relaxing are sure to make Ho Chi Minh City a family favourite for holidays in Vietnam with family.
Here are the basics to get you started for the epic trip to Saigon. Just a little about where to stay, how to get to Ho Chi Minh City and how to get around Ho Chi Minh City with children in tow.
Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City with teens
You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City with kids. In Ho Chi Minh City, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Trip Advisor and Hotels.com to find the best prices in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Luxury: relax an amazing infinity pool that looks over downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The VELA Saigon Hotel is just the base to relax in luxury in the pulsating city of Ho Chi Minh. Families will find amazing interconnecting rooms with a balcony available for them
- Mid-Range: Relax after exploring Ho Chi Minh City with rejuvenating massages at the spa. The Alagon City Point Hotel & Spa features a rooftop pool and family suites that fit 4. Room start at $100USD per night
- Traditional Homestay: Located in the heart of district 1 is Nguyen Shack. Nguyen Shack portrays the feel of a Vietnamese village. Good sized family rooms fitting 4 are available
For all your other Bangkok accommodation needs Booking.com also has amazing deals and some properties even have a free cancellation just in case!
Ho Chi Minh City Air bnb alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City with kids then Air BnB is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Ho Chi Minh Airbnb for your family stay in Vietnam.
How to get to Ho Chi Minh City
- The Tân Sơn Nhất Airport is located with the city of Ho Chi Minh. It is the busiest airport in Vietnam. Many International carriers and budget airlines like Vietjet, AirAsia and Jetstar service this airport. Book your flights with kiwi.com
- You can book an airport transfer to the city hotels from the airport.
- Vietnam has an extensive train network that runs along the coast of Vietnam for Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and on into China. Taking an overnight train in Vietnam is a popular way to travel to Ho Chi Minh City from the North. You can book your trains with 12go Asia.
- There is an extensive network of airconditioned buses that service major and regional towns in Vietnam. The most popular international route is on the Transasian Highway from Phnom Penh in Cambodia. You can search for buses with Bookaway
- You can hire a car at any International Airport in Vietnam. I would not recommend driving in Vietnam unless you have prior experience in Asian cities. You can book your hire car today
How to get around Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers
We recommend using the GRAB (the Asian Uber). Down load the app before you arrive in Vietnam so you are lightly familiar with it.
Under no circumstance use a taxi unless it is a life and death matter as you will get ripped off. Alternatively, you can use the Hop on hop off bus to see the sights in Saigon.
Do you need a sim card for your trip to Vietnam?
Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling with teenagers can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority. Plan your trip out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls.
So now that you have all the important information on your trip to Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers here are all the very best things to do with them!
Food tour on motorbike
Ho Chi Minh City is all about motorbikes and there are over 9 million of them zipping and zooming around the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. We went on a food tour with AN Tours Saigon. To say our teenagers in Ho Chi Minh city were excited about this was an understatement.
The food and guides were amazing. We had one bike and a guide for each of us. Both of the girls had been desperate to get on a motorbike for the entire trip but neither of us had the confidence to drive. This was the perfect way to see Saigon with kids and navigate the traffic with a local at the wheel. The girls were so confident and felt so safe by the end they were riding without even holding on. This is our top adventure thing to do with teenagers in Ho Chi Minh City.
Do I need travel insurance in Vietnam?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic holiday in Vietnam from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance
War Remnants Museum
It’s important to learn about the history of a place when visiting with children. Vietnam, Saigon, and Ho Chi Minh City are rich in recent history of war and sorrow. The War Remnants Museum inflicts the horror of war on you like a blunt force trauma. Images and words portray all the horrors of war in sometimes very graphic images (This may be more suitable for older teens, just depends on where your teen is in the emotional maturity)
Our travelling teens have been to a few dark tourism places before and had a good idea of what the museum was already about. We spend a lot of time before we go to any place like this preparing the girls and having open discussions with them about what they may see. We also pick a place they can sit if they decide that it is too much for them to see.
Outside you will find displays of tanks, aircraft, guns and even a mock P.O.W prison. Even though it has a touch of propaganda about it it’s a must-visit to learn about the history of Vietnam.
*We found that the second level of the museum was a little more intense than the ground level. At this level, there was a group who wanted to practice English with the girls so they prefered to do that.
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Cu Chi tunnels
The Cu Chi tunnels are located outside of Saigon. You need to travel around 60 kilometres or 2 hours to reach them. The site is a mix of real and re-constructed tunnels and huts. The Cu Chi people fought for the North Vietnamese Army against the USA during the war.
There is an area where you can go in a real tunnel to see if you fit and a section reconstructed to fit Westerners. Displays of booby traps, weapon making, food preparation are there for you to see and to learn how life was lived in the tunnels. The film presentation that lasted 30 minutes was very educational for our teenagers visiting Ho Chi Minh city area. Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels is a must when visiting Ho Chi Minh city.
Eat Bahn Mi
The staple food of the Vietnamese is the Bahn Mi. A simple crispy french bread roll and light-filled with meats of your choice and salad. A Bahn Mi goes for around $2 Australian and they are delicious. Even the fussiest of kids in Ho Chi Minh City will love these.
Some of the meats include roast pork, chicken, cold cuts and a meat pate spread on it. It is usually accompanied by cucumber, carrot and lemongrass. You will find this amazing meal on most street corners and great if you are budget travelling.
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Shopping at Diamond Department store
The Diamond department store is an elegant affair with 4 floors of luxury brands ranging from Guess, Converse, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Asus, Phillips and more. All these brands command their own little area over the 4 floors.
They are not individual stores they just occupy an area of the Diamond Department store. We were able to snap up some electrical bargains at 50% off. Like most good retailers there are sales all over the store. If your hungry there is a food court on the 4th floor.
We know because we go! How do we keep our teens social when we travel? Our post on how we keep our teenagers social on holiday can help your teens get the most out of a family holiday
Ride the hop on hop off bus
A new player on the tourist scene in Ho Chi Minh City for kids is the Hop on hop off bus. These type of tours are a mainstay of many cities around the world and they are a brilliant way to see a city. We spent 2 days on the 8 stop city route. The weather can be hot and humid in Ho Chi Minh City and our teenager is not overly keen on the heat.
This made the bus tour a great activity for a teenager in Hi Chi Minh city. You can take in all the attractions of Saigon in air-conditioned comfort. Some of the stops included the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Bexito Tower, Bahn Tahn Market and the Saigon Riverfront.
Ben Thanh Market
This is a must-visit in Ho Chi Minh City if you are wanting to do some serious shopping. The Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest surviving structures in Saigon and it is a shoppers dream. The traditional Vietnamese crafts like chopsticks, lanterns, rice bowls and paintings are all there for you to buy.
Bartering is an Olympic sport inside the market where you can also find cold drinks, food, spices and to be honest just about anything else you can imagine.
If bartering is not your thing on the outer corridors there are fixed price shops. I found these were most of the time around what I had bartered down the shops on the inside to but it was still one of the most fun things to do in Ho Chi Minh city with kids.
Cinema in Ho Chi Minh City
Look for CGV Cinemas when in Ho Chi Minh City. Movies are popular with teenagers in Ho Chi Minh City. They are the largest chain in Vietnam. You will find movies in both local and English language versions. CGV feature Imax and 4d while also having different comfort levels such as L’amour, Premium, Gold Class, Stadium, Art House and Sweet Box for couples.
You will find CGV Cinemas in Ho Chi Minh at
• Floor 5th, Crescent Mall, Tan Phu, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3812 3000
• Liberty Central Citypoint Hotel, District 1, 59 Pasteur, Ben Nghe, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3822 3111
• 126, Tan Da, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3812 3000
• Floor 3rd, Pandora City, 1, Truong Chinh, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3812 3000
• Level 3, Aeon Mall, 30, Bao Tan Thang, Celadon City, Son Ly, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3812 3000
• Floor 5th, Parkson Paragon, 3, Nguyen Luong Bang, Tan Phu, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: 08 3812 3000
We recommend Amazon.com for all your travel with teenagers needs!
10 pin bowling in Ho Chi Minh city
10 pin bowling is a great game for the whole family. Ramp up the family competition on wet or hot days in Saigon. You will find a number of first-class bowling alleys in Ho Chi Minh city. Like western lanes, most of these places come with arcade games and food available.
Dream Games 30 Bờ Bao Tân Thắng, Sơn Ký, Tân Phú, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Diamond Bowling Plaza 34 Le Duan, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Escape Rooms in Ho Chi Minh City
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game” is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Bangkok with teenagers.
The Escape Hunt Experience – 2nd Floor, Number 60-62 Cach Mang Thang 8 Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City 0084, Vietnam +84 8 6290 8698
Lost Ho Chi Minh City – 1058 Nguyễn Văn Linh, Tân Phong,
Quận 7, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam+84 28 3771 0333
Bike riding in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City bike riding is a popular family activity when travelling with teenagers. Bike riding allows you to experience your location either in town or out in the surrounding areas. You will find bike tours are the best way to go if you want to get an up-close and personal experience of the city. You will either have a guide to point out all the important attractions or a map to follow.
The bike tours will take you on a Ho Chi Minh City family vacation 2 wheeled adventure. Alternatively, you can find locations that hire bikes and let you explore on your own.
Going to the gym in Ho Chi Minh City
Fitness is very important to a lot of teenagers these days. Working out is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Lifting weights, using the treadmill, cardio and muscle workouts. Just because one is travelling it does not mean you need to stop working out.
In Ho Chi Minh City, you can go to a number of Gyms that sell passes ranging from a day to a week and a month. You can find a list of Saigon Gyms that offers day and weekly passes here,
Places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers
The Nguyen Shack – Located in the heart of district one featuring family rooms. Rooms feature a queen-size bed and bunks, TV, Aircon and WiFi throughout. The Nguyen Shack is modelled on a traditional Vietnamese homestay.
The staff were outstanding. It’s nice to be greeted each day by the staff asking “how was your day?” The Nguyen Shack Saigon has an extensive collection of tea and traditional herbal remedies ready to be consumed. We loved this place as it was central and easy to reach all the places in the city from here. Please read our Nguyen Shack review HERE
For more accommodation options we recommend booking.com for all your hostels, apartments and hotels. Check the map below
We hope this post from us here at Wyld Family Travel has inspired you to visit Ho Chi Minh City with teenagers. There are so many things to do In Saigon with teenagers that will keep everyone in the family happy. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Vietnam once you get there click through to our Vietnam Destination Page for more brilliant inspiration.
We know because we go! Travelling with older kids has just as many issues as travelling with younger kids. Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family holiday inspiration.
Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Vietnam
Essentials for travelling with teenagers
|Items||Travel essentials for Teenagers||Link|
|Headphones||Noise cancelling head phones to block out the noise on the plane and stop you from hearing their music!||Click here for more details|
|Power bank||Is there anything worse than a teen with a flat device||Click here for more details|
|Filtered Water Bottle||Stay safe, and save money by using tap water anywhere on your travels||Click here for more details|
|Pac Safe backpack||An antitheft backpack with numerous security features to stop theft.||Click here for more details|
|Universal power adapter||Works in over 150 countries with US/EU/UK/AUS plugs and Powerful Dual USB Ports||Click here for more details|
Money in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Dong is the official currency. Notes issued are as follows 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000₫. ATMs are easy to find in most towns.
Always exchange your currency at banks. The government-run Vietcombank can exchange dong for US dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Banks in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will let you change foreign currencies.
We have a Vietnam page full of articles you can find >> HERE <<
About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .