A visit to Saigon is not complete without a visit to one of its many bustling markets. The local markets perfectly capture what Saigon is all about and a visit to at least one is essential when visiting. Practically anything can be found in the markets from traditional food, handicrafts, clothes, electronics and anything in between. Most travelers will have heard of the famous Ben Thanh Market but there are also several others that we will list here in our top 10 list of markets in Saigon.
1.Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is one of Saigon’s most significant landmarks and heavily mentioned in all Saigon travel guides. Opened in 1914 this is one of Saigon’s oldest markets, and today it is busier then ever in part because of the amount of tourists making their way here every day. Due to its huge notoriety it has perhaps lost a bit of its local charm. The prices that the vendors put on items are also not an accurate reflection of local rates as they have of course begun taking advantage of jet-lagged clueless foreigners wandering in here to buy simple souvenirs to take home. The market is divided in category sections such as electronics, clothes and souvenirs during the day. Do remember to bargain as much as you can when visiting here especially if you are a foreigner. Although the shopping experience here has become a bit underwhelming due to mass tourism, visiting the building itself is absolutely worth the trip. The market opens up at 4 AM on the North Gate with fruit and fresh item stalls and at around 9 AM all other gates open to the general market.
Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
2.Tan Dinh Market
Constructed in 1926 Tan Dinh market has always been a favorite for locals to find their favorite street food. Offering a wide selection of food stalls this is an absolute must visit for all food lovers. Aside from that Tan Dinh is also the go to market to purchase affordable textiles, so tourist looking for cheap cloth to bring home this is where you need to go.
Some dishes worth trying here include Banh Xeo, Bun Man, crab soup, crab noodles and perhaps the most popular is chicken sticky rice.
Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
3.Soa Kinh Lam Fabric Market
There are roughly 500 stalls here selling colorful vibrant Vietnamese fabrics. For those looking for some cloth to make that perfect dress or suit this is the place to go. Walking through the market is quite the spectacle to itself as well. Each stall at this market only sells one type of fabric but in various textures and colors. Anything can be found here from spandex, chiffon, khaki to fabrics for curtains, sheets, cushions, tablecloths and more.
Note that inside the market the vendors are only dealing with wholesale customers, but the stalls that are just outside the market are the ones that sell retail for those looking to buy something to make just for themselves.
Address: 465-473, Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 14, District 5
4. Eco Box Container Market
This market is a combination of shopping and dining spots all housed in old containers. The containers are all have their own artistic decorations on it giving it a very unique flare. Eco box is expected to have around 600 containers selling various items upon completion. This market is only open in the evening between 5 pm and 10 pm. Items for sale here include clothing, cosmetics, souvenirs, toys, dinnerware along with items specifically for backpackers. Every evening there are also acoustic and dramatic performances being held which are quickly gaining in popularity.
Address: 99 N1 Street, Son Ky Ward, Tan Phu District
5. Antique Collectors Market
For Antique enthusiast this is the place to go. Founder in 2009 this market has old items from the past some being sold for a couple hundred thousand Dong all the up to a few thousand US Dolllars. This market is however only open on Sunday mornings between 6 AM and 2 PM, there is also a small entrance fee of 30,000 VND required to enter which also includes a free drink. Although a bit out of the way from the city center this is definitely worth visiting if you have the time.
Address: Cao Minh Cafe, 311/27, No Trang Long Street, Ward 13, Binh Thanh District
6.Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
The largest flower market in Saigon is an absolute must visit. Nestled in a busy residential area the market is a colorful maze that play’s with the senses. This market has been in operation since the early eighties, all flowers here are transported from the nearby mountain town of DaLat. You certainly will not see a flower market of this size in any other major city in the world. Note that if you book a food tour with locals you will get to stop here in your trip.
Address: Ho Thi Ky Street, Ward 1, District 10
7. Hello Weekend Market
Like the name implies this market is only open on weekends. This market is known as a place to get some of the hottest local Vietnamese brands such as All’ bout him, Dottie, Libé, Liti and Floral Punk. The market is located in the Hoa Lu Stadium in a large amphitheater. The market here is mainly visited by locals so expect to find very fashionable clothes and extremely affordable prices.
8. Dan Sinh Market (Yersin Market)
Dan Sinh Market also known as the American Market is catered for war memorabilia as well as special gear for camping trips such as outdoor clothing, thick coats, combat tents and mosquito nets. As well as finding a cool souvenir to bring home this market offers you a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the painful history of the American-Vietnam War.
Address: 104 Yersin, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
9.The New District
For a peek into whats hip and happening among the younger generation, head to The New District to see the trendiest shopping names in the social media world in Vietnam such as Nosbyn, The Blue T-shirt, Heverly, Urbanista, Pop Birdy. This is the place to be seen among Saigon socialites and often you will have live DJ sets and other events going on making it quite the lively place to visit.
Address: Queen Plaza Ky Hoa, 16A Le Hong Phong Str, Dst. 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
10. Binh Tay Market (Cho Lon)
One of the landmarks of Ho Chi Minh, Binh Tay is one of the must visit places in Saigon. Constructed in 1930 makes it one of the oldest markets in Saigon. The unique oriental architecture of the market has also caught the eye of movie directors as the market has been featured in several blockbuster films. Located in the busiest commercial center of Saigon makes the action here relentless. The market is open long hours from 2-3 AM to 9-10 PM every day all day. Due to its close proximity to Chinatown you will here a lot of Chinese being spoken here and Chinese food such as roast duck being offered. The prices here are also known to be very reasonable for both foreigners and locals.
Address: 57A Thap Muoi Street, Ward 2, District 6