How to get from Ho Chi Minh Airport to District 1 in the City Centre?

The Tan Son Nhat International Airport (HCMC) is the largest airport in Vietnam and one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia. It is located approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) northwest of the city center and serves as the main gateway to Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding region. The airport code is SGN after the former name of the city “Saigon”.

The airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 (domestic flights) and Terminal 2 (international flights). Both terminals have a range of facilities and services, including duty-free shops, restaurants, cafes, and currency exchange services.

The airport has a good connectivity to the city, as it’s easy to reach by taxi, Grab, or public bus. 

Check out the 5 options below to get from the airport to the city centre!

(Don’t forget to look at the Vegan Food Guide to Ho Chi Minh City to find places to eat during your stay)

Streets of Ho Chi Minh City

GRAB

To get from Ho Chi Minh City Airport to District 1 using Grab (Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing app similar to Uber), you will need to have the app installed on your smartphone and an internet connection. The airport has free wifi or you can get a SIM card as you exit international arrivals. I bought a Viettel SIM and it was perfect for my 2 weeks in Vietnam.

You can pay the fare through the app using a credit/debit card or cash. I used cash and that was the easiest. I’ve attached a screenshot below of what my fare looked like at 10:30pm at night. (181,000 VND which is around $11 AUD, $8 USD and $7 EUR). As a solo female travelling, I felt very safe doing this option. The fare will be calculated based on the distance and the traffic and you can see the estimate fare before you confirm the booking. This option is usually cheaper than metered taxi and more convenient than taking a bus.

Cost of my Grab late at night to my hotel

109 AIRPORT BUS AND 152 PUBLIC BUS

The 152 Public Bus waiting to depart the International Terminal

In November 2023 I used both the 152 Bus and the 109 Bus and I’ve written up a comprehensive post here about the Cheapest Way to get from Ho Chi Minh City Airport to District 1 by Bus

TAXI

A Vinasun taxi on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City

One of the most efficient option is to take a metered taxi. These can be found as you step outside the airport terminal and are equipped with meters to ensure fair pricing. You’ll have many people offering you “taxi”. It is also advisable to ask the driver to turn on the meter, to avoid any issues with overcharging. Choose Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis to not get ripped off. The journey takes around 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.

TRANSFER ARRANGED BY YOUR ACCOMMODATION

Ask your accommodation to arrange a pickup from the airport. When you exit the terminal, you’ll see someone holding a card with your name on it and they will take you straight to your hotel. Will most likely be more expensive than the other options but for new travellers this is an easier option.


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6 thoughts on “How to get from Ho Chi Minh Airport to District 1 in the City Centre?”

  1. How should I pay the bus from the airport to the city? Cash or card (wise travel card)?
    Would you recommend me to take cash from the ATM airport for 1 day or do the exchange currency at the airport?

    • They only take cash so withdrawing money from the ATM at the airport is the best way 🙂 There is a currency exchange at the airport too if you want to use that

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