Ho Chi Minh City, or formerly known as Saigon by the locals, is the largest city in Vietnam, and the first port of call for many visitors to the country. If you’re a shopping freak, you’re in for a treat. Shopping in Saigon is crazy! Filled with world-class local designer fashion, interiors, and lifestyle shops- the city is a true definition of a shopping paradise. The choices are endless and the experience is so satisfying that Saigon attracts demanding fashion connoisseurs and has them coming back for more.
In case you get lost in the overwhelming maze of style and fashion, we thought that an insightful and in-depth guide to shopping in Saigon could do you good. If you’re a first-time visitor, make sure to bookmark this article to get the best buys during your Saigon holiday.
So what’s good about Saigon? Besides the elegant boulevards and gorgeous French colonial architecture, it also has fascinating shopping malls springing up everywhere. Conveniently located adjacent to popular landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, and Saigon Central Post Office, these shopping malls can be reached within minutes by different means of transportation or on foot. They offer a wide array of international brands and renowned local designs as well as all of your retail needs at fixed prices. An additional benefit of going shopping in a mall is that it’s possible to put together an itinerary that combines relaxation, amazing food and of course, shopping. These malls are teeming with dining outlets and entertainment centers to fill your time and tummy after you’ve been exhausted by a shopping frenzy. These are bound to make your experience of shopping in Saigon much smoother.
An additional benefit of going shopping in a mall is that it’s possible to put together an itinerary that combines relaxation, amazing food and of course, shopping.
Vincom Center is surely the most popular shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City which consists of two buildings with more than 250 retail outlets. Occupying a refurbished colonial building, Vincom Center A is where you can shop for electronics, home décor, and upmarket brands such as Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, and Hermes. After a day of shopping, there’s a food court as well as numerous dining outlets and family-friendly entertainment centers to enjoy, including a bowling alley, kid’s playroom, and cinema.
On the other hand, the more modern Vincom Center B brings the best high street brands, sports apparel, homeware, and familiar food outlets such as Carl’s Jr, Seoul Garden, and Tous les Jours Bakery.
Address: (Vincom Center A) 171 Dong Khoi & (Vincom Center B) 72 Le Thanh Ton Street
Opening hours: 9 AM – 10 PM daily
Takashimaya Vietnam is the first Japanese department store branch in Ho Chi Minh City, housed within the five floors of a premium skyscraper. When it first opened, it quickly captured public attention and dominated media headlines for an entire month. There are so many reasons behind such buzz: the place comes with jewelry, cosmetics, and fragrance brands from Europe such as Clarins, L’occitane, Christian Dior, Bobbi Brown, Shiseido, and Estee Lauder. Takashimaya Vietnam also carries ladies apparel from Banana Republic, Bebe, Bonia, and Braun Buffel as well as footwear from Clarks, Geox, and Cole Haan. Lastly, the highest level is where you can find fashion items and casual wear for men, children’s clothing and toys, and not to forget, imported watches and luggage.
Appealing to mostly middle and upper-class shoppers, the mall has a total retail space of 15,000 square meters and a massive food court which offers a convenient and comfortable stop for all your retail and dining needs during your holiday in Ho Chi Minh City. Shopping in Saigon cannot get any better!
Address: 92-94 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM daily
This is a huge shopping complex right in the heart of District 1 along the Le Thanh Ton Street. Found just behind Vincom Center B, this international-standard department store houses cosmetics and perfumes on the ground floor, fashion for men and women on the second and third floors, and on the fourth floor, homeware and dining outlets. It’s a great place to shop for mid-range and upmarket products such as Coach, Calvin Klein, Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Esprit, and Lacoste. Moreover, the Games Center is fitted with air hockey, basketball hoops, bumper cars, and arcade games.
Address: 45 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1
Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 10 PM daily
Many tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into a shopping frenzy while in Vietnam because undoubtedly shopping in Saigon is truly one of the highlights of this fascinating city. And if you want to gain some insight into modern Vietnamese fashion, stop by little designer boutiques or browse online Instagram/Facebook shops. Mostly centered around the popular streets of District 1, all the top fashion boutiques in Ho Chi Minh City can be covered in a day. Follow our trail as we lead you to the best local fashion brands Saigon has to offer. However, do note that you may not be able to bargain unless you buy a large quantity which may (or may not) get you a discount.
Operating since March 2013, this fashion line is the perfect hunting ground for urban fashionistas with slight minimalistic tastes. Libé aims to create fashionable basics that are wearable, timeless, and effortlessly cool. Top selling items like crop tops and basic pants are aimed at young and trendy female fashionistas with an eye for looking cool. For stylish basics that are as versatile as the seasons, Libé is definitely a winner.
Address: 1st floor, 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1 or 1st floor, 52 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1
Opening hours: 10 AM – 9 PM daily
L‘Usine stocks a unisex collection of contemporary fashion, combined with an art gallery and one of the coolest coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City on the second floor. This is a great place to pop into for a coffee, lunch, drink or a snack, it also contains a concept store retailing emerging Vietnamese labels as well as contributions from abroad. Inspired by the timeless elegance and enterprising industry of the Indochina era, L’Usine’s founders have designed a space that not only showcases global fashion but celebrates modern Vietnamese creativity. There are retro lace dresses from Boaime, everyday T-shirts from Cheap Monday, and handmade lacquerware from Indochine. The interior design of brushed concrete floors and whitewashed brick at L’Usine is hipster perfection and you could easily waste half a day shopping and snacking on macaroons.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 9 PM daily
Address: 70B Le Loi Street, District 1
Shopping in Saigon is not all about the fancy fashion boutiques and glamorous shopping malls but is also about the bustling traditional markets where the goods are sold at much more reasonable prices. And the best thing is that haggling is commonly acceptable in these markets and may even work to win you great bargains. This is also where you can discover the local culture and blend in with Vietnamese people for the most authentic experience.
Shopping in Saigon is not all about the fancy fashion boutiques and glamorous shopping malls but is also about the bustling traditional markets where the goods are at much more reasonable prices.
For the average traveler, we’ve narrowed down the list of the most striking markets that are great for hunting souvenirs and ridiculously cheap clothes. But if your adventurous soul has been captivated by the nostalgic, rustic charm of the local markets, be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Saigon’s Many Markets.
Address: 77-89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1 or 179E-181-183-185 Hai Ba Trung Street, District 1
Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 9 PM daily
What can you get here? Fashion, souvenirs, phones, and good hang out spots!
The diverse products you can find here include functional kitchenware to trendy clothes and amazing technology accessories. Besides, there are also plenty of promotions and sale outlets throughout the year making Saigon Square a favorite shopping spot for Vietnamese youngsters as well as international tourists. As far as we are concerned, the Hai Ba Trung branch has more promotions and discounts while Saigon Square in Nam Ky Khoi Nghia is much more crowded and the goods are slightly superior and more expensive.
Although just like a regular market, the stalls are seemingly placed haphazardly around the mall, the quality of goods here is actually more upmarket. Moreover, as Saigon Square is situated at the tourist heart of Ho Chi Minh City, prices are often inflated. So if you see something fancy, make sure to browse around and inquire about prices as lots of stalls have similar stuff with minor variations. Try offering the merchants 1/2 of the initial price and then gradually raise it up.
A special feature is that the space is pretty bright and clean, it is also air-conditioned to offer you a more pleasant shopping experience as opposed to shopping in Ben Thanh market.
Ben Thanh Night Market
Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh
Opening hours: 6 PM –12 AM daily
What can you get here? Clothes, footwear, hats, jewelry…
As dusk arrives, multi-colored lights flick on and this place becomes as beautiful and busy as ever. A night market sets up alongside the main hall, selling clothing, apparel, and souvenirs until midnight. The market is central, so if you’re staying downtown it will just take about 10 minutes to reach the location.
Ben Thanh night market offers an authentic glimpse into real, living night markets where you can pick up some bargains including lacquer ware, bamboo goods, and arts and crafts. Also on sale are clothes, textiles, luggage, watches, and an assortment of electronic goods. This is the epitome of shopping in Saigon. Do note however that some items are non-negotiable. In such a case, you should ask very carefully about the materials, the origin, the reliability, and then require the shop owners to finalize the price. If the seller refuses to reduce the price, tell them that you will browse around and will go back if the price is reasonable.
You’ll probably need a break after the hustle and bustle of Ben Thanh market, so head to one among 20 street-side eateries around the market building and enjoy some treats.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Saigon’s Many Markets, The Ultimate Guide to Ben Thanh market
Walking around the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily spot street vendors selling cheap fashion and accessories. For Vietnamese people, street vending has become an essential part of city life and a great alternative to markets. Products vary as widely as needs call for. However, bargaining is virtually a must, especially if you are a foreigner.
As far as we know, the fashion street vendors usually work in the evening and mainly appear on the popular roads such as Nguyen Trai (District 5), Cach Mang Thang Tam (District 10), Quang Trung (Go Vap District), Nguyen Anh Thu (District 12), and Thu Duc university campus. Every day, as day turns to night the streets take on a completely different appearance and atmosphere. There are all manners of goods: clothing, shoes, handbags, and accessories for you to choose from.
Le Van Sy Street
This road has a fascinating assortment of clothing, dresses, footwear, and bedding at seriously low prices. Many street hawkers provide sales up to 50%-70% for numerous items.
Nguyen Trai Street
In addition to the fancy boutiques, amidst Nguyen Trai Street – one of the most bustling city streets in Ho Chi Minh City, there are street vendors heavily stocked with dresses, bags, backpacks, and shoes. The vendors are always happy to chat with foreigners and the whole place has a lively fun vibe about it.
Read more: Where to go near Nguyen Trai Street
Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street
No trip to Saigon would be complete without shopping the Nguyen Dinh Chieu street as this place is dubbed as the Vietnamese “footwear paradise”. A part of this street is set aside exclusively for male shoes. The shoe quality here is also good.
We hope that we have given you at least some insight into shopping in Saigon. Enjoy your time here and hopefully, you won’t have to pay for extra baggage weight when you leave Ho Chi Minh City. If you run out of cash, here’s a great follow up about cash, credit, and ATM’s in Vietnam.