Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture

Ho Chi Minh City Museum, formerly known as Gia Long Palace, stands as a testament to Vietnam’s rich history, culture, and society, which is a popular place for wedding photography.

Nestled in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this iconic museum, designed by architect Alfred Foulhoux, was completed on August 12, 1978. With a history spanning 44 years, this institution has become a cornerstone of cultural preservation, education, and reflection for both locals and tourists alike.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture - the museum is an ideal place for wedding photography
Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture – the museum is an ideal place for wedding photography


Meeting the Demand for Historical Knowledge

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum, often referred to as the “Museum of Ho Chi Minh City” or simply “Saigon Museum,” stands as a veritable treasure trove of historical artifacts and documents that meticulously trace the multifaceted evolution of the city and its integral role in shaping the broader narrative of Vietnam’s history. Situated in the heart of this bustling metropolis, the museum is a venerable institution that serves as both a repository of knowledge and a visual journey through time.

Upon entering this cultural oasis, visitors are transported into a world where the past comes alive through an array of meticulously curated exhibits and displays. The museum is thoughtfully organized into various departments and themed rooms, each dedicated to different facets of history, culture, and society. These departments provide a comprehensive and immersive experience for visitors eager to delve into the rich tapestry of Ho Chi Minh City’s and Vietnam’s history:

Department of Nature and Archeology:

By intertwining the story of the region’s natural history with its cultural and societal evolution, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum offers a comprehensive and holistic experience for visitors. This approach not only enriches the understanding of the area’s past but also underscores the vital connection between the environment and human history, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate interplay between nature and civilization.

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Department of Geography and Administration of Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City:

Gain profound insights into the geographical evolution and administrative changes that have sculpted the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh over the course of centuries. The Ho Chi Minh City Museum not only preserves the tangible remnants of the past but also offers a captivating exploration of the city’s transformation through geography and governance.

By engaging yourself in Ho Chi Minh metropolis’s geographical and administrative narratives, you will leave the museum with a thorough grasp of how this lively metropolis has grown over time. This sophisticated viewpoint emphasizes the fundamental interplay between geography, governance, and the urban environment, making the Ho Chi Minh City Museum a must-see for those looking to unravel the complex fabric of this amazing city’s history.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture - special stair in the museum
Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture – special stair in the museum

Chamber of Commerce, Trade, and Services:

Tourists to the museum can embark on an informative trip through Ho Chi Minh City’s economic evolution, tracking its growth from humble origins to the bustling city it is today. They can learn about the city’s early economic foundations as a significant commercial port where merchants from all over the world converged to exchange goods and ideas. The museum also provides an opportunity to observe colonialism’s transformative impact, which brought both exploitation and economic infrastructure, such as the creation of essential transportation networks and industrial zones. Furthermore, visitors can learn about the challenges and achievements of post-independence economic policy in Ho Chi Minh City, which accepted socialism while still nurturing a dynamic market-oriented economy.

Chamber of Industry and Handicrafts:

The Chamber of Industry and Handicrafts invites visitors to explore the rich tradition of craftsmanship and industrial progress that have significantly contributed to the growth and development of the city. Through a captivating array of exhibits, you can witness the evolution of traditional Vietnamese handicrafts, such as intricate lacquerware and delicate silk weaving, and how these time-honored crafts have seamlessly integrated with modern industry, playing a vital role in the city’s economic prosperity. This section also offers a close look at the tools and techniques that artisans have honed over generations, fostering a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship that continues to thrive in Ho Chi Minh City.

Saigon Cultural Department – Ho Chi Minh City:

In the Saigon Cultural Department, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant and diverse culture of the city, which encompasses traditional customs, artistic expressions, and contemporary cultural phenomena. This section of the museum provides a dynamic showcase of the city’s cultural heritage, featuring captivating traditional dance performances, modern art installations, and more. It allows guests to gain a profound understanding of the city’s cultural identity as it has evolved over the years, celebrating the fusion of various cultural influences and highlighting the artistic spirit that defines this metropolis.

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Department of Revolutionary Struggle 1930 – 1954:

The Department of Revolutionary Struggle offers a journey back in time to the heroic stories and pivotal events of Vietnam’s relentless fight for independence during the early 20th century. Through immersive exhibits and historical artifacts, visitors can gain valuable insight into the key movements, leaders, and sacrifices that shaped the course of Vietnam’s struggle against colonial rule. This section of the museum vividly portrays the unwavering determination and courage of countless individuals who played a crucial role in sparking a wave of revolutionary spirit that resonates through the ages.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture - the breath-taking view of the museum
Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture – the breath-taking view of the museum

Revolutionary Struggle Room 1954 – 1975:

From 1954 to 1975, it left people’s mark on Vietnamese. And wonderful events that tourists may learn from Cu Chi Tunnels tour or Mekong Delta tours are demonstrated in this site. Stepping into the Revolutionary Struggle Room, guests can bear witness to the tumultuous period that led to the reunification of Vietnam and the end of the Vietnam War. Engaging exhibits within this section chronicle the political and military struggles, both domestically and on the international stage, which ultimately resulted in the unification of North and South Vietnam. Visitors have the opportunity to reflect on the enduring spirit of resilience that played a pivotal role in the nation’s triumph over adversity during this critical period in its history.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture - the museum is a tourist destination now
Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture – the museum is a tourist destination now

Room of Resistance Memorabilia and Room of Vietnamese Coins:

The museum also offers two captivating rooms: the Room of Resistance Memorabilia and the Room of Vietnamese Coins. In the Room of Resistance Memorabilia, visitors can explore an array of artifacts that shed light on Vietnam’s resistance efforts throughout history, offering a deeper understanding of the courage and determination of the Vietnamese people in their quest for independence. In the Room of Vietnamese Coins, guests delve into the nation’s currency history, examining the evolution of coins and banknotes that have played a significant role in shaping the country’s economic landscape over time.


Beyond its educational value, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum offers a respite from the chaos of daily life. Visitors can take a break and bask in the tranquility it provides, making it more than just a museum—it’s a place for reflection and relaxation.

Unique Structure and Poetic View

The museum’s architecture is a harmonious blend of Western influences, particularly French and Greek styles. Visitors are greeted by large windows, elegant spiral staircases leading in different directions, and balconies that offer sweeping views of the surrounding area. The museum’s pillars are adorned with finely crafted Gothic details and Roman Renaissance elements, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship in every corner.

Held Many Exhibitions

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum isn’t just a repository of artifacts; it’s a dynamic space that frequently hosts exhibitions showcasing a wide range of topics and artists. Some notable exhibitions include:

Belarus Through Paintings:

This exhibition showcases 31 landscape paintings by prominent Belarusian artists, offering a unique perspective on the world through the eyes of talented painters.

“Some Pictures of Communal Houses in Ho Chi Minh City”:

This thematic exhibition highlights the significance of village communal houses in the city’s cultural heritage. It underscores the importance of preserving and promoting these cultural treasures and instilling a sense of pride and attachment to traditional Vietnamese culture, especially among the younger generation.

Communal houses, with their rich history and cultural significance, play a vital role in the lives of the people in Ho Chi Minh City and beyond. They serve as spiritual and religious centers, symbols of community cohesion, and repositories of historical value, showcasing the resilience of the Vietnamese people in the face of adversity.

The Museum’s Architecture

The museum building itself is a historical gem. It was originally constructed in the late 19th century and served as the Gia Long Palace, the residence of French colonial administrators. Its colonial architecture, characterized by ornate details and a blend of European and Asian design elements, adds to the museum’s charm.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture - many travelers come to this museum to take photos
Ho Chi Minh City Museum with French architecture – many travelers come to this museum to take photos

Visiting the Museum

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is open to the public every day, except Mondays, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The admission fee is affordable, making it accessible to tourists and locals alike. The museum is conveniently located in District 1, near many other attractions and restaurants, making it easy to include in your itinerary.

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone eager to delve into the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese history and culture. With its diverse exhibits, stunning architecture, and engaging exhibitions, it offers a profound and enriching experience for all who pass through its doors. Whether you seek knowledge, artistic inspiration, or a moment of serenity, this museum promises to be an unforgettable memory into the heart and soul of Ho Chi Minh City tour and Vietnam tours as a whole.

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