An iconic Saigon building. Built in the 1890s, at the height of French colonial rule, in 1955 it became the home of South Vietnam’s National Assembly. After 1975 and the end of the Vietnam War, the building resumed its intended purpose as the city’s leading theatre. These days, the Opera House hosts a range of musical, theatrical and dance performances.

Distance from the Avanti Hotel Saigon – 1,4 km


Around 7% of Vietnamese practice Roman Catholicism. It’s a minority religion that enjoyed privileged access to land and power during French colonial times – hence Notre Dame Cathedral’s position in the heart of this primarily Buddhist city. Built in 1880, it’s among the oldest remaining colonial era structures, and the country’s best known church. During colonial years, the spires were used as markers by ships sailing up the Saigon River.



Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, across from Notre Dame Cathedral, is another of the city’s iconic colonial era landmarks. It was built in the decade after the cathedral, and opened in 1891. The interior is mostly original and features an impressive barrel vaulted ceiling and large maps of old Saigon. The painting of Ho Chi Minh watching over proceedings on the rear wall was installed after 1975.

Distance from Caravelle Saigon – 1,6 km


Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is Saigon’s busy, central market, dating back to French colonial times. It’s a must for shoppers and curious visitors. You can buy everything imaginable from souvenirs to clothes, fabric and local handicrafts. For locals, Ben Thanh Market is a functioning vegetable and wet market – also worth a look. Saigon’s shopping is moving on from local markets.